Belize Retired Persons (Incentive Program)
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
The Retirement Program in Belize was created especially for those people who wish to live in Belize and can prove a permanent and consistent income from investment (abroad or in Belize), pension or other retirement benefits.
WHO CAN QUALIFY FOR THIS PROGRAM?
Anyone forty-five years and older from the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Canada, Europe, Commonwealth Countries and all other countries can qualify for the program. A person who qualifies can also include his or her dependants in the program. Dependants include spouses and children under the age of eighteen. However, it can include a person up to the age of twenty-three if enrolled in a university.
SOME BENEFITS OF RETIRING IN BELIZE
- Tax Breaks
- Peaceful Nation
- English Speaking
- Good Educational System
- Sub-Tropical Climate all year round
- Easy access to land for development and construction of a retirement home
- Close Proximity to the United States and Mexico
- Strong and Stable, Belize Dollar
- Abundance of Natural Resources
- Breathtakingly Beautiful
- Friendly People
Each Application for the Retirement Program will be processed by the Belize Tourism Board in collaboration with the Ministry of National Security and the Department of Immigration.
Persons interested in the program must submit completed applications to the Belize Tourism Board with the following supporting documentation.
- Birth Certificate - A copy of a certificate for the applicant and each dependant.
- Marriage Certificate - If married and spouse is a dependant.
- Authentic Police Record - An authentic police record from the applicant’s last place of residency issued within one month prior to this application.
- Passport - Color Copies of complete passport (including all blank pages) of applicant and all dependants that have been certified by a Notary Public. The copies must have the passport number, name of principal, number of pages and the seal or stamp of the Notary Public.
- Proof of Income
- a. An official statement from a bank or financial institution certifying that the applicant is the recipient of a pension or annuity of a minimum of Two thousand United States Dollars (US $2,000) per month.
- b. A financial Statement from a financial institution, bank, credit union, or building society in Belize certifying that the applicant's investment or deposit will generate the sum, of a minimum of Two thousand United States Dollars (US $2,000) per month or the equivalent of Twenty Four Thousand United States Dollars (US $24,000) per year.
- Medical Examination - Applicants should undergo a complete medical examination including an AIDS test. A copy of the medical certificate must be attached to the application.
- Photos - Four front and four-side passport size photographs that have been taken recently of applicant and dependants.
Please note that it is also a requirement that all dependants should submit all documents listed with exception of the proof of income.
INCOME FROM PENSION OR OTHER SOURCES
A retired pensioner is that person who qualifies under the program and receives a monthly income of not less than US $2,000 through a pension or annuity that has been generated outside of Belize.
- When a company grants a pension, that company has to prove that it has been in operation for at least 20 years by submitting proof of registration.
- The company that grants the pension shall certify that the pension of no less than US $2,000.00 per month will be forwarded to a reputable financial institution within Belize. This letter must be signed by the manager, president, or by a legal representative of the company.
- Certification by a Certified Public Accountant independent of the company:
- Stating the date the company was established.
- Verifying the authenticity of the above mentioned letter.
- Certifying that the obligation signed in favor of the beneficiary is of no less than US $2,000 per month.
- The applicant must present two (2) bank references from the company that is sending the pension.
- The company granting the pension must present a document outlining its pension scheme.
All applications are subject to a background check to be carried out by the Ministry of National Security.
All persons who have been designated a Qualified Retired Person shall be entitled, on first entering Belize, to import his or her personal effects and an approved means of transportation free of all import duties and taxes.
A Qualified retired person shall be exempt from the payment of all taxes and levies on all income or receipts which accrue to him or her from a source outside of Belize whether that income is generated from work performed or from an investment.
All privileges, exemptions and regulations herein included are governed by the Retired Persons (Incentives) Act, 1999, No 11 of 1999 and the ACT will serve as the basis for all purposes of interpretation.
- Personal / Household Effects
Qualified Retired Persons under the program can qualify for duty and tax exemptions on new and used personal and household effects admitted as such by the Product Development Officer in charge of the program. A list of all items with corresponding values that will be imported must be submitted with the application. All items must be imported in country within 1 year after approval into the program.
- Transportation (motor vehicle, boat, aircraft)
- Motor Vehicle
Applicants are encouraged to import new motor vehicles under the program; however, motor-vehicle three years and under will be accepted. Qualified Retired Persons may procure vehicles in country.
- Light Aircraft
A Qualified Retired Person is entitled to import a light aircraft less than 17,000 kg. A Qualified Retired Person is required to have a valid Private Pilot license to fly in Belize. This license can be obtained by passing the requirements set by the Civil Aviation. However, if the participant has a valid pilot's license, that license only has to be validated by Civil Aviation Department in Belize.
Any vessel that is used for personal purposes and for pleasure will be accepted under this program.
- Motor Vehicle
- Disposal of Duty Free Items
If for whatever reason a qualified retired person decides to sell, give away, lease, or otherwise dispose of the approved means of transportation or personal effects to any person or entity within Belize, all duties and taxes must be paid by that person or entity to the proper authorities.
Qualified Retired Persons must note that only after 3 years and upon proof that the transportation that was previously imported to Belize was adequately disposed off, will another concession be granted to import another mode of transportation.
- Offenses and Penalties
Any person who knowingly makes any false declaration or entry in order to qualify for or retain any exemption or privilege granted under the Retired Persons ACT 1999 commits an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars.
Visit http://www.travelbelize.org for more information and the application for the Program.