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#429279 - 02/01/12 11:33 PM Questions about staying long term
InSearchOfSun Offline
A little background: I'm a 30 year old man with a wife and 2 year old daughter. I have a job that allows me to work anywhere that has internet access. We are looking at moving to Ambergris Caye for at minimum 6 months to a year. We have been doing some research but would like clarification on some things. Any help would be appreciated!

1. Tourist Visa - It looks like if we stay past 30 days we will need Visa's that are $25US per month correct? Does that apply to a 2 year old? So it would be $75US per month for my family? After 6 months it doubles?

2. Renewing the Visa - Some website said we had to go to the capital every month to renew but I have also read that it can be done actually on Ambergris Caye at an immigration office near the airport. Can anyone clarify?

3. Proof of Sufficient funds - I have read numerous places that you need proof of $60 per person per day (I have also heard $50). Question 1, what kind of 'proof' can be provide, bank statement or my paycheck stubs? Second, does that apply to my 2 year old as well? So I would need to either have $5,400 in a bank account available at all times or show that I make $5400/mo in income (which I don't, its about $4500 net...)

4. Cost of Living - I would like to spend at most $2000-$2500 per month NOT including rent. We want to live comfortably, is this possible? Are things like golf carts and boats necessary?

5. Crime/Saftey - I hear robberies are common... how common? Is violent crime an issue? Again, I have a wife and a 2 year old daughter so this is something that concerns me.

6. Anything I missed?

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#429348 - 02/02/12 11:03 PM Re: Questions about staying long term [Re: InSearchOfSun]
Colby Offline
I too am very interested in these questions. With near 200 views you would think that someone could answer one or all of these questions. Anyone?

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#429349 - 02/02/12 11:38 PM Re: Questions about staying long term [Re: InSearchOfSun]
Surendra Offline
We just moved here a few months ago. I can give you a few answers.
1. the visa rule applies to anyone with a passport.yes it doubles after 6 months. You can renew this on Ambergris Caye Monday- friday and no need to go to Belmopan.
2.I have never been asked proof of funds for extension of tourist Visas, I have done it 3 times so far.
3.You can live well in AC for $2500 US if it does not include rent. Our electric bill for a 1500 sq feet Condo last month was $200.00 BZ. It would be nice to have a golf cart, do not need a boat unless you live very far up north then security would be an issue any way. You would have to consider a long term rental on the golf carts, because golf cart permits are not issued unless you are a resident or citizen.
4.There are certain areas of town where you hear about crime. It is mostly petty theft and increases during the holidays. We live in a complex with a security guard and it makes us feel safe. Live by the rule do not flaunt what you have, enjoy yourself.


Edited by Surendra (02/02/12 11:43 PM)

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#429350 - 02/02/12 11:43 PM Re: Questions about staying long term [Re: InSearchOfSun]
MisterB266 Offline
Tourist Visa
On the last business day before your 30 days expires (not 1 month), go to the nearest office of the Department of Immigration & Nationality and get a new stamp in your passport. There are several offices scattered around Belize -- you don't have to go to Belmopan unless that's the nearest office.

The fee for a new stamp is BZ$50 (US$25) for each passport holder for the first 6 months, then it's BZ$100 for a new stamp. After 12 months, you could be asked if you intend to apply for permanent residence or you could be asked to leave the country and re-enter.

Proof of Sufficient funds
I never had to show evidence of sufficient funds either upon entry into Belize or at any monthly renewal. I was asked where I was staying and how I liked Belize.

Cost of Living
You could live well on US$2000 a month.

Crime/Saftey
I hear robberies are common...

That's explains the guard dogs, burglar-barred windows and broken glass on top of fences.

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#429351 - 02/02/12 11:47 PM Re: Questions about staying long term [Re: InSearchOfSun]
Stilromin Offline
Dear Colby,

My two cents worth is this,

1. Tourist Visa - It looks like if we stay past 30 days we will need Visa's that are $25US per month correct? Does that apply to a 2 year old? So it would be $75US per month for my family? After 6 months it doubles?

Your tourist visa covers you to be in the country for a maximimum of 30 days at a time. The visa is personal, meaning that each member of your family has to have one in the passport. The cost is $ 50.BZ per visa per person, renewable, AT THE DISCRETION,of the immigration officer,monthly. There is an efficient office in San Pedro above the Scotia Bank. Oh, by the way, your visa states that you will not perform any kind of work while in the country. And,yes...it doubles after a six month stay or more. Reasonable enough.

2. Renewing the Visa - Some website said we had to go to the capital every month to renew but I have also read that it can be done actually on Ambergris Caye at an immigration office near the airport. Can anyone clarify?

See above paragraph.

3. Proof of Sufficient funds - I have read numerous places that you need proof of $60 per person per day (I have also heard $50). Question 1, what kind of 'proof' can be provide, bank statement or my paycheck stubs? Second, does that apply to my 2 year old as well? So I would need to either have $5,400 in a bank account available at all times or show that I make $5400/mo in income (which I don't, its about $4500 net...)

That is a variable, depending on the graciousness of the immigration officer, but you should be prepared to provide documentation of sustainability for at least 2K US monthly. That could also apply to your spouse as well.

4. Cost of Living - I would like to spend at most $2000-$2500 per month NOT including rent. We want to live comfortably, is this possible? Are things like golf carts and boats necessary?

Ambergris Caye is expensive, fundamentally it is an island on the outer part of a large gulf. Your 2500 per month before rent will cover reasonable costs of living. Rent is variable, depending on your tastes. Expect to pay at least 800 US rent per month before utilities and phone for a basic 2 br condo. Golf carts are the norm for transportation, but not necessary if you live proximal to San Pedro town. A permit to operate the cart is required, and they are not transferrable. You must aquire a specific permit to have your cart operate on the streets. A boat is a luxury and should be considered expendable, as someone will eventually assume it should theirs at some time and comandeer it. In the event you would like a boat, you must obtain a Boat Masters License to use it, which requires that you own a company or property in the country. There is a written test, as well as a practical test obtainable through the Belize Port Authority. There is an office on the southern portion of the Island with cooperative officers attending.

5. Crime/Saftey - I hear robberies are common... how common? Is violent crime an issue? Again, I have a wife and a 2 year old daughter so this is something that concerns me.

Armed crime is prevalent. Theft is expected. Drug dealers will approach you on the beachfront and become annoyed if you don't support them. It is not proper to speak of such things, so don't repeat this to anyone, OK ??

6. Anything I missed?
I think that covers it. Let's see how many views you get now.

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#429356 - 02/03/12 12:53 AM Re: Questions about staying long term [Re: InSearchOfSun]
Diane Campbell Offline
The crime issue totally depends on where you live.
In our neighborhood - next to nada.

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#429360 - 02/03/12 01:20 AM Re: Questions about staying long term [Re: InSearchOfSun]
SimonB Offline
prev·a·lent adj
Definition of PREVALENT

1: archaic : powerful
2: being in ascendancy : dominant
3: generally or widely accepted, practiced, or favored : widespread
— prevalent noun
— prev·a·lent·ly adverb

Please. Not even close no matter where you live on the island.

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#429361 - 02/03/12 01:43 AM Re: Questions about staying long term [Re: SimonB]
Decompression Offline
Originally Posted By: SimonB
prev·a·lent adj
Definition of PREVALENT

1: archaic : powerful
2: being in ascendancy : dominant
3: generally or widely accepted, practiced, or favored : widespread
— prevalent noun
— prev·a·lent·ly adverb

Please. Not even close no matter where you live on the island.



Me thinks Stilromin, has a 'bit" of an agenda.


DC

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#429366 - 02/03/12 02:22 AM Re: Questions about staying long term [Re: InSearchOfSun]
labsmom Offline
"Armed crime is prevalent. Theft is expected. Drug dealers will approach you on the beachfront and become annoyed if you don't support them. It is not proper to speak of such things, so don't repeat this to anyone, OK ??"

Wow, that's a bit extreme. We've been going to AC since 2003. Own a home there. Never been approached on the beachfront by drug dealers. Have never been victims of 'armed' crime. Never felt intimidated day or night. Be smart - no matter where you are in the world.

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#429373 - 02/03/12 03:13 AM Re: Questions about staying long term [Re: Diane Campbell]
Amanda Syme Offline
Originally Posted By: Diane Campbell
The crime issue totally depends on where you live.
In our neighborhood - next to nada.


The same goes for my neighbourhood which runs from mile 2 to mile 5.5 south of town.

I don't get approached by drug dealers when I walk on the beach and I don't get threatened. The only time I was told to ***# off was by a low life foreign time share sales man.

Yes there is crime, mainly theft but most certainly some robberies occur.

I think that Surenda's responses were quite accurate.

Be smart, don't flash what you have.

If you decide to make the big move come and have a chat one day.

I hope you decide to give Ambergris Caye a try.

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