Belize’s Qualified Retirement Program (QRP) allows eligible applicants to permanently live, retire, and relax in beautiful Belize. The best part is that in order to be eligible, you don’t actually have to be retirement age. Maybe you’re 45 and wish to retire (very) early and enjoy the good life? If so, you’re in luck because that’s the minimum age requirement. You’ll need to meet a few other requirements as well, as outlined below, but this program makes anyone’s dream of retiring in Belize so easy.
Here’s a list of the qualifications for retiring in Belize under its QRP program. You must meet all of these requirements to be accepted into the program. Here’s who qualifies:
- Applicants who are 45 years old, or older
- Those receiving a pension or annuity of $2,000 USD/month or $24,000 annually from a source outside of Belize
- You must be using a Belize bank to deposit said funds. This can be in the form of a credit union or other licensed financial institution within the country.
- Pass a security clearance by the Ministry of National Security of Belize
- Remain in Belize for at least 30 consecutive days every year.
Those who are accepted into the program enjoy a host of benefits and incentives, to include:
- A Resident Card – As the QRP retiree, you and your qualified dependents (spouse and any children under 18) will receive residence cards that allow you to come and go from Belize as you please without a visa
- Within your first year of acceptance into the program, you’ll receive duty-free tax exemptions on your personal belongings as you bring them into the country. Qualifying items include:
- A personal boat
- A personal, light aircraft. Must be less than 17,000 kg
- A personal vehicle. This must be a model from within the last 5 years
- Further tax exemptions – QRP retirees in Belize are exempt from all incomes received from outside of the country, any capital gains tax and any inheritance tax on received funds.
The QRP Card
This card is given to those who are accepted into the program for retiring in Belize, and they may use the card as a form of ID. It doesn’t replace a passport, but it can be used in place of a visa for travel in and out of Belize, as well as a form of ID when traveling throughout the country. Here’s a little more about the card’s features:
- This card carries the information of your electronic passport page
- It can be scanned by the Immigration Department in order to link your membership record with the Immigration Department’s system
- It can be used as proof of immigration status and/or as proof of identity as an ID card
- It can be used in conjunction with your passport in place of a visa.
How to Apply
The application process is pretty straight-forward, and the application can be found on the Belize Tourism Board website under Resources, then Tourism Forms. A completed application would need to be submitted to the Belize Tourism Board, along with the following supporting documents and the application fee, which is $15 USD. You’ll also need to pay to apply to the program itself, which is $1,000 USD, and then $750 for each dependent, and $200 for the QRP Identification Card. Here is a list of the required documents:
- Birth Certificate – to include your birth certificate, and each dependent’s birth certificate as well
- Marriage Certificate – If applicable
- Clear Police Record/Background Check – to have been completed within a month of application
- Passport – Clear copy of your passport, and that of each of your dependents
- Proof of Income – You’ll need an official bank statement showing proof of ongoing pension or annuity income in the amount of at least $2,000 USD/month, or $24,000 annual deposit
- Medical Exam – Proof of a clean bill of health for you and each of your dependents
- Photos – 4 front and 4 profile passport-sized photographs of you and each of your dependents.
Submit all of these items to the Belize Tourism Board in order to submit your full application. The annual fee after approval for remaining a part of the QRP program is $50 USD per year.
Retiring in Belize
Right now, Belize is a hot spot for expat retirees. You can live a relaxing lifestyle right in the Caribbean for an affordable cost of living, and always have something to see and do. Visit Mayan temples and ruins, snorkel and dive, and so much more. You’re even likely to find an expat community to call your own.