I came in on the QRP program. I applied in September of 2003 and was approved by November. I paid an agent who paid the government close to $2,000.00 US. This allowed me to bring in a container of my personal belongings duty free. FREE meaning that the money I paid covered the duty.
HOWEVER. Right at that time a bunch of residency cards were stolen and it took years (I think 3 or 4) for them to get new cards. I carried all of my paperwork with me whenever I went in and out of the country. ANOTHER HOWEVER! Immigration would not honor this as the program was administered by the Belize Tourism Board and those naughty people didn’t “ask” the immigration people for their blessing.
I finally received by residency card four years almost to the date of approval. And guess what? It clearly says “Temporary Resident – expires February 2008.” That meant it was good for only 3 months. I then had to go to Belize City with a new picture – new papers - $50 and PROOF that I had spent $2,000.00 US each month.
The requirements stated you had to have proof of income of that amount – not that you had to have proof that you spent that amount. The fact that I had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on property the year before did not carry over to the next year.
Needless to say I am very frustrated with this program that keeps making up the rules as they go along. I have all my assets in Belize, own four pieces of property on which I pay taxes and am still treated like a visitor.
My understanding is that you can own a business here but I’m not sure you could get a work permit to work in your own business. That is a fuzzy line. Many people who came in on this program have packed up and left.
The short sightedness of bureaucrats here is astounding!
Take only pictures leave only bubbles