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#389463 - 10/08/10 08:48 PM Is earning income online in first year illegal?
JonRote Offline
Here is my situation,

I'm a 27 year old American male and am hoping to move to Belize in the next couple of years. I know things change quickly in Belize, but I was wondering if I could get some advice on how it stands now.

At my age I am obviously not retired, do not receive a pension and am not independently wealthy. So in order to support myself in Belize would be through an online business. If I already have this business before moving to Belize, and it caters to mainly Americans, would this be considered illegally working in Belize?

I know you can't work for pay or for free in Belize for the first year, but would this qualify? I want to apply for Permanent Residency after living there for one year, and I would hate to get to that point and then be turned down because they feel I've tricked them and been illegally working in their country for the previous year.

Thanks so much for your help.

#389468 - 10/08/10 09:39 PM Re: Is earning income online in first year illegal? [Re: JonRote]
ron Offline
Best contact an immigration lawyer for info. I don't know one but someone on the board probably does. Everyone on the board will have something to say whether it will apply to your particular case is another story.

#389494 - 10/09/10 01:02 AM Re: Is earning income online in first year illegal? [Re: JonRote]
*I Do* Belize Weddings Offline
is your income coming in via US dollars to a US account? If so, this is acceptable. You are not actually working in Belize, but working from Belize telecommuting.

#389495 - 10/09/10 01:06 AM Re: Is earning income online in first year illegal? [Re: *I Do* Belize Weddings]
SP Daily Offline
Legal advice?

#389498 - 10/09/10 01:33 AM Re: Is earning income online in first year illegal? [Re: JonRote]
JonRote Offline
Yes it would be US dollars into a US account. I just wasn't sure if that was considered working in Belize, and didn't want that to affect Permanent Residency. Thanks so much *I Do*.

#389502 - 10/09/10 02:53 AM Re: Is earning income online in first year illegal? [Re: JonRote]
*I Do* Belize Weddings Offline
You are all good! You are working for the US and being paid in the US.

When are you coming?

#389503 - 10/09/10 02:57 AM Re: Is earning income online in first year illegal? [Re: *I Do* Belize Weddings]
JonRote Offline
Oh it will be awhile before I move, but I'm one of those people that gets excited about something and researches the crap out of it first.

Plus, if I wasn't going to be allowed to earn money online while living there, I wouldn't be able to make the move. So that was my big question to get answered first. So thanks again for your help.

#389557 - 10/09/10 06:45 PM Re: Is earning income online in first year illegal? [Re: JonRote]
Phil Offline
Without knowing I would say it could easily be a grey area as it's a fairly new thing for Belize to consider and the law may not account for it specifically. Grey areas can be open to individual interpretation and things can go either way and could get messy. If the remote prospect of this happening is something that would bother you, get legal advice from an Immigration Attorney here in Belize spending a few hundred US$. Most in your shoes, and there are plenty, just do it and show an income via a US$ account. Immigration have the right to ask for the statements to see you can support yourself, they have an amount per month stipulation ~US2k, but as far as I'm aware not to the source - ie it could be a trust fund, investments, royalties, Parents paying pocket money etc.

All this is just opinion to give you further food for thought and research.

#389558 - 10/09/10 07:23 PM Re: Is earning income online in first year illegal? [Re: JonRote]
LaurieMar Offline
Good question jr..but, I wonder what is the difference between "not working in Belize, but working from Belize" as far as the law is concerned. I think what Phil says above is the prudent way to go.

#389565 - 10/09/10 08:18 PM Re: Is earning income online in first year illegal? [Re: Phil]
JonRote Offline
Thanks Phil. I've heard and read a few things on showing you can support yourself to immigration and was wondering if you or anyone else who has gone through the process of living in Belize and/or becoming a permanent resident can clarify.

-I've heard you need to bring a bank statement when you first arrive in Belize to show you can support yourself. Do you just have to show you have enough in the bank for that first 30 days, even if you plan on staying longer? Has anyone actually had to do this or is it a myth?

-Every month when I go to get my 30 day extension stamp do I have to again show I have enough for the next 30 days?

-Or is the only time a bank statement comes up is when applying for residency? Someone on another board told me that question #22 of the residency app is:
1)Source of income (that's where I wonder if telling the truth will cause a problem in my situation)
2)Amount of income
3)Total assets

$2,000US per month sounds like a lot for me in Belize. I'm just one person. If I save $2,000 before moving to Belize, and then live on whatever I earn online while there each month, but use that original $2000 that I deposited in the bank as my proof, would that work?

Sorry, lot's of questions. I'm an overanalyzer.

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