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There are many reasons why people move abroad. It can be a job that takes them overseas, or a relationship that makes them decide to leave. If you don’t retire, you’ll have to find a job to support yourself in your new home, regardless of your motivation. Unless you plan on border-hopping every three months to extend your tourist visa, you’ll need some permanent roots and legal documentation. If you are thinking of becoming an ex-pat, Belize is a great place to consider.
Belize’s residency program is a convenient and streamlined option for those wanting to live and work abroad. Due to its historical, cultural, and natural wonders (not to mention its affordability for ex-pats compared with other EU nations), the residency process is incredibly advantageous. It is perhaps the fastest and most efficient way to obtain permanent residency and eventual citizenship in Europe, if not the world. If you decide to get a Belize passport, you won’t have to give up your U.S. or Canadian passports. As a result, applying for residency is a no-brainer.
The process of becoming a resident
In order to become a Belize resident, you must apply for a residency visa. Contact your nearest Belize consulate and gather the required documents. Financial records, job status, copies of passports and social security cards, and letters of intent to become a resident are included.
To qualify for residency, you normally need a job lined up in Belize so that the consulate can ensure that you will have sufficient funds. This hurdle can be bypassed if you work remotely or have a large savings account. The great thing about getting a Belizean residency is that it grants you the legal right to work here if you happen to find a local job in the future.
The next step is to schedule an appointment with your Belizean consulate and present the residency documents. Once your documents are approved by Belize (this process could take a few weeks), they will be sent back to you. As soon as your residency visa is approved, you will need to meet again with the Belize consulate to get it added to your passport. It is now time for you to travel to Belize and start assimilating into your new life there.
After receiving this residency visa, you can apply for a temporary residency permit through the Foreigners and Border Service. You can also contact Belize Real Estate.
People typically schedule their residency permit meetings in Lisbon, but this can cause the availability to get incredibly backed up – sometimes taking up to 6 months to get an appointment (which could mean that your residency visa would expire in the meantime). Several smaller towns throughout the region have offices that handle this final step, allowing you to get Belize residency faster.
Do you know what it means?
By securing a Belize temporary residency permit, you will have the legal right to work and generate income in Belize, and you will be able to begin the process of obtaining permanent residency and citizenship. The permit will also simplify the process of opening a bank account, renting/owning property, and paying bills like phone and utilities. You are more likely to be accepted as a tenant by your landlord if you have a residency permit, and being able to work in the country shows that you are able to support yourself and make your payments on time.
When you’ve acquired your Belize temporary residency, all you have to do is wait. If you spend 180 days or more in the country each year, residency automatically renews for one year. When you have completed 5 years of temporary residency, you will qualify for permanent Belize residency – which allows you to travel freely within and outside of Belize without yearly requirements. You will then be able to apply for Belize citizenship by naturalization after six years of permanent residency. Sufficient knowledge of the Belize language and ties to the local community are required.
Here’s why it’s worth it
The country of Belize is a beautiful one, with a lot of history, culture, and opportunities. Its affordability is unquestionable, and its membership in the EU offers some great advantages. An ex-pat can gain citizenship in any country in the world through the Belize residency program, which is straightforward and fast. You can travel across the continent visa-free, work, and own property within the European Union in just six years.