Belize Retirement Program – What You Need to Know
Belize has a thriving expat community due to the country’s excellent weather, affordable cost of living, beautiful nature, and excellent incentives provided by the government to make retiring in Belize simple and easy.
Below is everything you need to know about retiring in Belize.
The Qualified Retirement Program (QRP)
Known as the Qualified Retirement Program (QRP), the Belizean government has designed a special residency category for individuals who want to retire in Belize. Qualifying individuals will enjoy a number of benefits, including:
- Complete exemption from all income tax in Belize.
- Complete exemption from all import duties and taxes for personal effects brought into the country.
- Complete exemption from all import duties and taxes for personal vehicles, including cars, boats, and small planes.
- Spouses and minor children are included in the QRP program.
- Permission to conduct a business from Belize as long as the business operates outside of Belize and does not employ or involve Belizean citizens.
How to Qualify for the Qualified Retirement Program (QRP)
Anyone who is 45 years or older may be eligible for the QRP program. Once an individual has been deemed eligible, their spouses and minor children (up to age 23 if the child is enrolled in school) automatically benefit from the QRP program as well.
In order to qualify, an applicant must have a monthly income of $2,000 US or more via a pension or annuity that does not originate in Belize.
The company granting the pension or annuity must provide:
- Proof that it has been in operation for 20 years or more. A letter signed by the manager, president, or legal representative of the company must be sent to a reputable financial institution in Belize that certifies that the qualifying individual is receiving a pension of $2,000 US or more per month.
- A letter from a Certified Public Accountant working independently of the company must be sent that states the date the company was established, that verifies the authenticity of the company’s letter certifying their history, and that the qualifying individual does indeed receive a pension or annuity of $2,000 US per month or more.
- Two bank references for the company.
- A document outlining the company’s pension program.
Note: a Fortune 500 company need only provide require 1 above.
In addition, the applicant must subject themselves to a background check performed by the Ministry of National Security in Belize.
Qualified Retriement Program Incentives
Once an individual has qualified for the QRP program, they can:
- Import any household effects free of import duties or taxes for up to one year from the date that they enter the QRP program. A master list of personal effects must be submitted to the Belize Tourism Board. After the first year has elapsed, imports of personal goods will be subject to standard duties and taxes.
- Import one motor vehicle every five years that is exempt from all custom duties and taxes.
- Import a light aircraft weighing less than 17,000 kilograms free from duties and taxes. In order to fly the aircraft in Belize, the applicant must have a Private Pilot license in Belize. This can be obtained in Belize or by certifying a valid pilot license from another country with the Civil Aviation Department in Belize.
- Import any vessel (boat) that is used for personal purposes.
Restrictions on the Qualified Retirement Program
At no time may a qualifying QRP member or their family:
- Work for pay or seek employment while in Belize.
- Violate any of the laws of Belize.
- Remain in Belize less than one month in total during any calendar year.
Violations of any of the above can cause the QRP member to lose their membership in the program.
Cerros Sands is a master-planned gated community located in the scenic Corozal District of northern Belize just across the water from Ambergris Caye and 10 miles from the border with Mexico.
Located on the historic Cerros Maya Peninsula facing directly into a wonderful sea breeze, Cerros Sands has completed homes for sale as well as attractive beachfront parcels, seaview parcels, and channel parcels with access to deep water channels that lead to Chetumal Bay and the Caribbean. Financing is also available.
Contact Cerros Sands today for more information on the Qualified Retirement Program or how to retire and invest in Belize.