I came in on the QRP in 2003. At that time it was advertised as permanent residency. At about the same time ‘someone’ stole a lot of blank residency cards. They gave me a letter stating all of this that I was told to show when entering or leaving the country. I kept my folder with all my documents, including this letter, in my carry-on bag. When I showed it to immigration at the Belize airport they laughed at me and said “We don’t honor this.”
Upon my return I did some investigating and learned that the Belize Tourism Board created this program and ‘didn’t ask the immigration people for their blessing.’ Like so many other things you have to play the right game with the right people.
Several years later they gave out residency cards and I was shocked when I saw the words ‘temporary’ and ‘expires.’ This was not the program as promoted.
One of the original requirements was that you had to have a guaranteed income of $2,000.00USD per month. Now I have to prove that I spent that amount each month and pay them $50 BELIZE. Mine expires in April and although I provided them with all the papers and money they were never able to come up with a card for me.
SO – what does it matter Not a thing as it means nothing at any airport. It used to get me free pass at Hol Chan but now that doesn’t even exist.
Bottom line – this was a great idea that was not properly executed in a country run by men of adolescent mentality. I love it here. I do not plan to ever live any place else. I hate the corruption, crime, lack of shame or guilt, greed, overdevelopment, lack of intra-structure and attitude towards gringos (no, we are not all rich).
I appreciate this message board where we all get to vent – thank you Marty!
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