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Belize: The best residency program you’ve never heard of
For some time, a second residence or passport was seen as the icing of the cake for high net worth individuals.
However, in today’s world, when governments all over the globe impose higher taxes, business restrictions, and see businesses and wealthy individuals as their enemies, a second residence is not a luxury, but a necessity.
At first glance, people tend to think of EU countries and their golden visa programs. These are good options for people from developing nations who want to improve their quality of life, but most of these aren’t precisely known for having low taxes and allowing their citizens to live freely. Plus, their programs usually require high levels of investment.
Another sound and popular option is Panama, but if you aren’t eligible for the friendly nations visa, options are generally expensive. If you’re on that list of countries, that’s amazing.
But what if we told you there’s one underrated option that is as solid, or even better, as Panama?
We’re talking about Belize.
This often-overlooked Central American country has quietly established itself as a top destination for family offices and high net worth individuals looking for a safe plan B.
There are many paths to receive a Belizean residence. You can establish a business, work for a domestic company, or apply for its retirement program. Belize has opened itself to the world, looking for investors and skilled professionals that want to live and invest in the country.
Unlike many other countries that have complex residency requirements, the easy residency options in Belize entitle you with the right to become a Belizean citizen after five years of permanent residency.
Belize is a literal paradise with the second-largest coral reef in the world, dozens of idyllic islands filled with unspoiled beaches, virgin rainforests, and calm inland rivers.
Belize is generally at the top of nature protection rankings. Almost half of its territory is under a special environment regime and doesn’t allow industrial fishing vessels into its waters, which has turned it into a first-level ecotourism destination in the world.
On top of that, Belize offers basically no government interference with foreigners, heavenly places to live, such as Ambergris Caye, and incredibly offshore opportunities.
Belize is the least-known offshore destination of the planet.
And considering the level of the services, the incredible prices, and the top residence options, we must say it is also one of the most underrated destinations. It is one of the top possibilities for baby family offices and mid-level investors.
We can help you establish a baby family office in Belize to protect your wealth for the generations to come. Check out our article right here.
The Mundo team wants to offer you something unique. We bring you what we believe is the most exciting offshore opportunity in The Americas. And it starts with a residency program.
Belize offers some terrific paths towards becoming a resident in the country. They will allow you to take advantage of its territorial tax system and its offshore services to protect your assets, your family, and to live almost tax-free.
Why Belize? Five reasons why you should acquire a Belizean residence
Price and simplicity
The best-known residence option in Belize is the Qualified Retirement Persons (QRP) program, which only requires you to prove a monthly income of over $2000 and be at least 45 years old. The other residence path is also a cheap and straightforward process.
The QRP will effectively allow you to be tax-free on your Belize-sourced income. Moreover, Belize has a territorial tax system. That means that any other residence option will allow you to establish your tax residence in Belize and only pay taxes on your Belizean-sourced income.
We work with the best offshore bank in Latin America, which is located in Belize. We are in a joint venture with a top corporate, trust, and foundation service provider in Belize. We consider this beautiful country to be the most underrated offshore jurisdiction on the planet.
Quality of life
San Pedro has the highest concentration of foreigners in the country. This town is located in Ambergris Caye, an island east of mainland Belize. This is one of the safest places on the planet and has grown enormously in the last few years. You’ll enjoy all the comforts of Western life while living in a small town with a calm ambiance. And if you want something bigger, Chetumal and Cancun are only a couple of hours away in a boat where you can enjoy top nightlife, shopping, and restaurants.
Belize is one of the last tourism investment frontiers in Latin America. It has grown as an ecotourism and beach tourism destination, and the Great Blue Hole is one of the best-known scuba diving sites on the entire planet. Nevertheless, there’s still a ton of untapped potential.
For example, the Western side of Ambergris Caye, known as Secret Beach, is still undeveloped, and only in the past few years, some avid investors have seen its potential (and we can help you acquire a land lot, check out right here).
The possible investment returns in Belize are rare on this day, and becoming a resident can give you a first-hand experience that not many have.
If you want to know more about all our services in Belize, check our Country Focus.
Qualified Retirement Persons Program
One of Belize’s best-kept secrets is its unique retiree program. Its combination of benefits, requirements, and cost can only be compared with the Panamanian pensionado visa.
It will allow you to:
· Pay zero taxes on your worldwide income in Belize.
· Import cars, yachts, planes, and more duty-free during the first year.
· Only spend 30 continuous days per year in Belize to keep the status.
This program won’t allow you to work or own a company in Belize. Nevertheless, you’re free to manage your investments or work outside of Belize, although the limit is unclear.
What do you need? Simple! 1) Be over 45 years old; 2) Prove an income of at least $2,000 per month from any legitimate source. $24,000 per year also works. You can prove your income through pension plans, savings, investments, and any other legitimate source.
You can include your dependents in the application. This includes spouse, underage children, and children between 18 and 23 that are students.
The fees are as follows:
· Non-refundable application fee: $150
· Processing fee (After acceptance): $1,000
· Initial QRPD residence card (after acceptance): $2,000
· Card renewal fee (yearly payment): $25
· Dependent fee (per dependent): $750
To apply for the program, you must submit the following documents:
· Birth certificate
· Marriage certificate (if applicable)
· Police report
· A copy of each page of your passport (notarized)
· Proof of income
· Medical exam results
What can you do if you don’t qualify for the QRP or want to have a business/work in Belize? The permanent residence is the best option for you.
The process is relatively simple. You must enter Belize with a tourist visa and renew it every 30 days. When you live for 50 consecutive weeks in Belize, you can apply for the permanent residence by paying a non-refundable, one-time fee that depends on your nationality and varies a lot. It can go from $125 for Mexican citizens to $2,000 for Chinese citizens.
Together with your application, you’ll need to provide:
· Copy of each page of your passport
· Bank statements
· Birth certificate
· Medical record
· Police record
The best? You can apply for Belizean citizenship after just five years of permanent residence. You can become a permanent resident about one year after starting the whole process.
The other way to do so is by establishing a local company in Belize. This will allow you to receive a work permit after 1-2 months of establishing the company, and a residency card after a year.
If you want to know more about establishing a business in Belize, check out our article right here.
If you choose this method, you should submit the application to the Labour Department with the following:
1. Copy of all passport pages
2. Seven passport photos
3. Police clearance from the last place of residence
4. Police record from Belize
5. Recommendation from the town board where the business will be located
6. Local corporate bank account
7. Belize trade license depending on its location
8. Business plan and proof of funding
9. Certifications of the applicant
The best of these two options is that you can apply for citizenship after five years of holding permanent residence, something you cannot do through the QRP.
What can we do for you?
We work with the finest immigration experts in Belize. Along with NTL, we have more than two decades providing top immigration services in the Caribbean and the whole world.
That’s why we offer it in Belize. It has some of the simplest residence programs on the planet, with fantastic tax planning possibilities.
And we can help you with every step of your application and everything you may need to receive a Belizean residence and moving to Belize as swiftly as you can.
Just contact us right now and we’ll answer all your questions and provide you with a free consultation with our experts.
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