ENTRY REQUIREMENTS AND WORK PERMITS

A passport is required for all visitors to Belize. It should be valid for at least six months beyond the duration of the intended stay in the country. A 30-day visa will be issued on arrival, and extensions (up to six months) may be obtained from any Immigration Office for a fee of BZ$25 for every 30 days. Citizens of the British Commonwealth (India excepted), the United States, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, and the European Community do not require visas for travel to Belize. All other citizens should contact the nearest Belizean Consulate or Embassy for details on obtaining visas before travelling. The Immigration & Nationality Department in Belmopan can be contacted at telephone numbers 501-8-22611, and -22423.

How to get working papers:
Work Permits clarified

Belize's labour regulations are designed to protect the local job market to enable the employment of as many Belizeans as possible, and understandably so. Employment of foreign citizens is possible, however, under certain circumstances. There are two types of work permit applications in Belize:

a) Application for permission to employ a foreigner:
Any foreign citizen who wishes to work in Belize MUST be a legal resident (have resided in Belize for at least six months). He/she must be in the country legally, with proper visas and/or permits issued by the Immigration Department. The prospective employer must submit the application for the foreign worker he wishes to hire, along with three passport photos, $20 in stamps, a valid passport, and proof that this individual is qualified for the job. At the same time, the Labour officer must be satisfied that all efforts to employ a national have been exhausted. This includes providing proof that the vacant position was advertised locally for at least three weeks, following which, no suitable applicant was found;

b) Application for Temporary Self-Employment:
This category would apply to foreign investors, among others. All applicants must be in the country legally, with proper visas and/or permits issued by the Immigration Department. They are required to produce proof of reasonably sufficient funds for their proposed venture (i.e.: local bank statement of account). Applicants must also obtain a reference from the relevant Ministry or Local Organization concerned with the category of work involved. In such situations, the six-month residency requirement is waived, and it is assumed that the venture will lead to creation of employment for nationals in the future.

All applications must be presented to the Labour Officers in the respective districts where the person is expected to work. Labour offices generally accept such applications on one particular day of the week. The Labour Minister has the authority to recommend the approval of all applications. For further inquiries, telephone the Labour Department General Office at (501) 2-44891 and -44907.

Immigration and Work Permit Update, '99

Due to a growing concern about protecting the job market for Belizeans, the Immigration and Nationality Department has tightened its policies, effective February 1999. These changes are mainly reflected in the fees charged to applicants for permanent residency, and work permits. Some previously printed material is repeated here, for ease of clarification.

All visitors to Belize, regardless of the purpose of their visit, are issued a 30-day visa upon arrival. This is renewable, for up to six months, at any immigration office in the country (at borders and principal cities/towns) by paying US$12.50 per month. You must be prepared to present proof of sustenance for the period in question. If you intend to stay more than six months, you must have a work permit. Foreign workers who do not wish to apply for residency may still work, but must leave Belize after six months and re-enter the country, because visas can only be extended for up to six months. You may apply for Permanent Residency after having resided legally in the country, for one continuous year. (All figures quoted below are in US$.)

Permanent Residency

All applicants for permanent residency will be assessed the following fees: Mexicans and Guatemalans: $125; Salvadorans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans: $262.50; Caricom nationals: $300; other Commonwealth nationals: $500; all others (except Mainland China): $625. Unsuccessful application fees are refundable. For nationals of Mainland China, the fee is $1500, which is non-refundable. These application fees replace the prior requirement for a deposit equal to a return fare to the applicant's native land. Once residency is granted, a $62.50 fee is charged for the Permanent Residency Card.

Work Permits

There are two types of work permit applications: a) Application for permission to employ a foreigner: Any foreign citizen who wishes to work in Belize MUST be a legal resident (have resided in Belize for at least six months). He or she must be in the country legally, with proper visas and/or permits issued by the Immigration Department. The prospective employer must submit the following to the Labour Department: The application for the foreign worker he wishes to hire; three passport photos; $10 in stamps; a valid passport; and proof that this individual is qualified for the job. At the same time, the Labour officer must be satisfied that all efforts to employ a Belizean have been exhausted. This includes providing proof that the vacant position was advertised locally for at least three weeks, following which, no suitable applicant was found;

and, b) Application for Temporary Self-Employment: This category would apply to foreign investors, among others. All applicants must be in the country legally, with proper visas and/or permits issued by the Immigration Department. They are required to produce proof of reasonably sufficient funds for their proposed venture (i.e.: local bank statement of account). Applicants must also obtain a reference from the relevant Ministry or Local Organization concerned with the category of work involved. In such situations, the six-month residency requirement is waived, and it is assumed that the venture will lead to creation of employment for Belizeans in the future.

Work Permit Fees are now as follows: Professional and technical workers: $750; general workers: $100; seasonal agricultural workers: $25 per crop; entertainers in groups of two to five: $250 each; individual entertainers: $150; missionaries, educational and volunteer individuals: $25. Barring exceptional circumstances, work permits will not be granted for waiters, vendors, domestic workers, and farm hands.

For further information, telephone the Immigration and Nationality Department at: 501-8-22611 or -22423; or the Labour Department at: 501-8-22204.

D ue to a growing concern about protecting the job market for Belizeans, the Immigration and Nationality Department has tightened its policies, effective February 1999. These changes are mainly reflected in the fees charged to applicants for permanent residency, and work permits. Some previously printed material is repeated here, for ease of clarification.

All visitors to Belize, regardless of the purpose of their visit, are issued a 30-day visa upon arrival. This is renewable, for up to six months, at any immigration office in the country (at borders and principal cities/towns) by paying US$12.50 per month. You must be prepared to present proof of sustenance for the period in question. If you intend to stay more than six months, you must have a work permit. Foreign workers who do not wish to apply for residency may still work, but must leave Belize after six months and re-enter the country, because visas can only be extended for up to six months. You may apply for Permanent Residency after having resided legally in the country, for one continuous year. (All figures quoted below are in US$.)

Permanent Residency

All applicants for permanent residency will be assessed the following fees: Mexicans and Guatemalans: $125; Salvadorans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans: $262.50; Caricom nationals: $300; other Commonwealth nationals: $500; all others (except Mainland China): $625. Unsuccessful application fees are refundable. For nationals of Mainland China, the fee is $1500, which is non-refundable. These application fees replace the prior requirement for a deposit equal to a return fare to the applicant's native land. Once residency is granted, a $62.50 fee is charged for the Permanent Residency Card.

Work Permits

There are two types of work permit applications: a) Application for permission to employ a foreigner: Any foreign citizen who wishes to work in Belize MUST be a legal resident (have resided in Belize for at least six months). He or she must be in the country legally, with proper visas and/or permits issued by the Immigration Department. The prospective employer must submit the following to the Labour Department: The application for the foreign worker he wishes to hire; three passport photos; $10 in stamps; a valid passport; and proof that this individual is qualified for the job. At the same time, the Labour officer must be satisfied that all efforts to employ a Belizean have been exhausted. This includes providing proof that the vacant position was advertised locally for at least three weeks, following which, no suitable applicant was found;

and, b) Application for Temporary Self-Employment: This category would apply to foreign investors, among others. All applicants must be in the country legally, with proper visas and/or permits issued by the Immigration Department. They are required to produce proof of reasonably sufficient funds for their proposed venture (i.e.: local bank statement of account). Applicants must also obtain a reference from the relevant Ministry or Local Organization concerned with the category of work involved. In such situations, the six-month residency requirement is waived, and it is assumed that the venture will lead to creation of employment for Belizeans in the future.

Work Permit Fees are now as follows: Professional and technical workers: $750; general workers: $100; seasonal agricultural workers: $25 per crop; entertainers in groups of two to five: $250 each; individual entertainers: $150; missionaries, educational and volunteer individuals: $25. Barring exceptional circumstances, work permits will not be granted for waiters, vendors, domestic workers, and farm hands.

For further information, telephone the Immigration and Nationality Department at: 501-8-22611 or -22423; or the Labour Department at: 501-8-22204.


Belize Investment Guide page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 28 29

Commons Island Community History Visitor Center Goods & Services Search Messages




Copyright by Casado Internet Group, Belize