That all depends on who wants to employ you. But you also have to be there for the interview process. But then you get your permit 2 or 3 months later, unless your boss knows how to pull some strings. Citizenship is a different matter. First you have to live in country for 12 months consequitive before you can even apply. Then the process takes from 6 to 12 month to get approval which requires meetings with police and interviews with immigration as well as complete physicals and blood and HIV testing. It is much better if you stay in country during this process or your paperwork will get lost and the process stops. Then after your residency is approved you must live in the country for a total of 5 years before you can apply for citizenship. Dual citizenship with the US is allowed.
On the timing side it's never taken me more than 6 weeks to obtain a self-employed work permit and as little as 3 and I never used a broker. Your residency application can take a very long time, mine took 13 months. I've been told, and I have to find out if it's true, that citizenship can be applied for after 5 years of living in Belize, not necessarily 5 years after obtaining your residency.
hey Simon how much did your residenty cost? i heard that you can get it quicker if you pay more $$$, and what did you do until then? ( just renew your stay every month or so?, and does every one who has a job have to get a work permit that is not Belizean.
You pay more if you go through a broker. I did mine on my own and paid exactly what is specified by the government, not a penny more. The last one I did cost $1500BZ for the year, the price has gone up since then.
When you renew your VISA at immigration after your first 30 days it's clearly stamped "Permitted to remain on condition that the holder does not enter into employment paid or unpaid, does not engage in any business or profession without the consent of the director of immigration and does not remain in Belize longer than the..."
If you are not a Belizean resident you must have a work permit to work.
SimonB - thanks for the info. It sounds grueling. How is one supposed to stay long enough to obtain a work permit if you're not allowed to work until you get the work permit (Catch22)? I'm not financially set up to be able to do that. I will contact the Ministry of Health and see what I can find out though. I do know what you mean about "headhunters". I have worked with nurses here in the U.S. from many different countries that were actively recruited. On the other hand, you can't blame them for wanting better. Personally, I would be willing to give up alot of $$$ for the peace of mind, serenity and general human kindness that I experienced on AC - but a person does still have to eat.
DESERTRAT - are you by any chance from New Mexico? I am originally and I call myself a desertrat all the time.
Doing it the self employed way you have to have enough money to support yourself and establish your own business. I came down with a fair amount of cash on which I was able to live on while I got things started and until business was enough to support myself.
In a nursing position I would think most everything could be taken care of before you arrive.