Whether you’re interested in becoming employed in Belize or setting up your own business, it’s not easy to find information online. But the good news is that Belize welcomes foreigners, including those who want to work or set up a business.
In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about working in Belize.
Work Permits in Belize
In Belize, there are two types of work permit. One work permit is for a local company who wants to hire a foreign person (you) while the other work permit is for temporary self-employment.
You can fill out a work permit application even before you’re hired, but it is best if the potential employer assists you. In order to qualify for a work permit, you must be a legal resident of the country and have spent at least six months in Belize.
If the work permit is granted for a local business to hire a foreign person, the company, not the applicant, will be the entity that receives the work permit. This means that if you decide to change employers later, you’ll need to file for a new work permit.
Finding jobs after you arrive can be difficult in Belize. The best plan is to contact potential employers and line up your housing before you arrive. Although some newspapers and media outlets post job openings, many people learn about job opportunities via networking with locals and resident expats.
If you want to apply for a work permit for temporary self-employment, it’s important to understand that this is generally granted only to individuals who want to invest in the country. Applicants must be legally present in Belize and must provide a letter from whichever organization oversees the category of work that they wish to perform.
Applications for both kinds of work permits also include fees. For more information about requirements, forms, and fees, contact the Belize Department of Immigration and Nationality Services.
Setting Up Your Own Business in Belize
Many foreigners find that setting up their own business is a great way to make money. The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service, better known as BELTRAIDE has a lot of useful information about setting up a business in Belize.
In order to qualify for self-employment status in the country, you’ll need:
- A photocopy of every page in your passport.
- Three passport-size photos.
- A police record from your home country. For Americans, this can be obtained from the FBI.
- A letter stating your qualifications.
- A bank statement to prove your solvency.
- Paying BZD 25 for a processing fee.
- Paying BZD 20 for a stamp duty fee.
All documents must be submitted to the Belize Department of Labour along with the self-employment status application and documents relating to your business, including registration papers and the address of incorporation.
The review process lasts between 2-4 weeks. Once approved, the applicant can then take their approval letter from the Department of Labour to the Immigration office, where the self-employment permit will be added to your passport.