Non-Belizeans are free to own property in Belize and pay similar taxes as Belizeans. Costs in acquiring property include:
Stamp Duty Tax for non-residents was formerly set at 15%. However after careful consideration, the Government of Belize believed that by lowering the tax to meet that of 8% for residents, it would attract foreign investment. The Government of Belize offers income tax and importation tax exceptions to qualified entities whose investment plan is to expand Belize’s economic growth by creating employment opportunity, introduce new technology, utilizes and encourages preservation of Belize’s natural resources, and/or would earn foreign exchange and increase exports.
Residents of the UK and most members of the EU do not need to have a visa to enter Belize, with similar protocol applying to citizen of the US or Canada. Residency may be applied for after one (1) year of continuous legal resident within the country of Belize. Citizenship may be applied for by a ‘resident’ after being living in the country of Belize fir a minimum of five (5) years.
Through an application to the Belize Labour Department, a work permit may be granted to non-nationals for a period of three (3) months to twelve (12) months and renewable upon reapplication due to expiration.
Guidelines to applying for the Qualified Retirement Program include the following:
General incentives for the Qualified Retirement Program include no taxation on income forwarded to your financial institute located in Belize. Additionally, qualified retirees are excepted from import duty for personal effect including but not limited to; furniture, car, boat, etc.
The Diaspora Returnee Incentive Program was introduced in 2010 as a mechanism to foster the embracement of high value diaspora skills of Belizeans who are presently in the overseas and are considering repatriation. The program is aimed to attract Belizeans who have a reoccurring monthly pension or income from a granted source to be deposited and spent in the local economy.
Benefits of Diaspora Returnee Program:
Who can Qualifies?
Calling Belize your home is quite less expensive than living in larger developed countries. With a budget ranging $1,500 to $2,000 monthly, one can live comfortably within the Caribbean jewel of Belize. Imported goods and fuel tend to be high priced due to importation taxes however services and local products are priced substantially lower. Construction cost are averagely $120 Belize currency per square footage. This range may vary depending on location; accessibility to materials, resources, and work force. Building cost on the islands tend to be 40% more than the average estimated cost due to transportation of material and supply of work force. In opposite, cost of construction in rural areas are cheaper as access to material and work force would be easier.