Posted By: Viking

Residency - 08/14/10 03:34 PM

Just a few questions. Looking to move within the next 60-90 days. In looking up some of the requirements we have to show a return ticket, show a visa, and that we have enough $ for however long. That's fine but do we really need all of that or just a passport and when we get there register for residency or can we do that prior? Or maybe I am retarded as it is early here and I'm at work, ha
Posted By:

Re: Residency - 08/14/10 03:39 PM

You really do need all of these things. Really. You can not register for residency unless you are physically here. Do a search on this website and you will find that these questions have been answered many many many many times.
Posted By: Viking

Re: Residency - 08/14/10 03:57 PM

I figured they have been, but as previously stated it's early, been a long week and I am at work again. still figuring out this site also. Is it hard to get into an art gallery there?
Posted By: MisterB266

Re: Residency - 08/14/10 04:08 PM

If you have a USA passport, you don't need a visa. When you go through immigration on arrival, your passport will be stamped allowing a stay of 30 days -- no fees. After that, you just keep going to the nearest immigration office every 30 days for new stamps -- these will cost you. After 12 months, you can apply for permanent residency. More details can be easily found by searching.

Although you are required to have an onward/return ticket and sufficient funds, it's unlikely that you'll be asked to show them.
Posted By: Viking

Re: Residency - 08/14/10 04:27 PM

Thank you MisterB266. I have been searching but what I have found so far really hasn't answered anything. Seems like there can be a lot of drama though. So basically I just need a passport and bring a bank statement. I really would prefer not to buy a round trip ticket if not really needed. How much is it for the monthly stamp? Also, is it better to apply for a work permit now or just wait till we are there? I am looking at a few options, buying a tatt shop or bar n grill (although through searching it seems alot of the bar/grills are not doing so well).
Posted By: beachdude

Re: Residency - 08/14/10 04:32 PM

The 30 days stamped in your passport IS your visa. Be sure to get 30 days, it is up to the individual officer. It really winds up at 29 days, since you have to be stamped on the same date again. It is $50BZ for every stamp for 6 months, then $100BZ until you manage to get a residency stamp. The residency process is very informal. It has been different for everyone I have talked to so far. There are some on the level expiditers, I used one. Weeding them out however is not an easy task. This saved me at least a few trips back to Belmopan from what I have gathered by speaking to others who got residency.
I'd get a round-trip, the price difference is minimal, and when you get here you may want to make at least one trip back to get all the things not available here.
Posted By: SFJeff

Re: Residency - 08/14/10 04:43 PM

You'll NEED to get a R/T as very often they ask to see that you have a return leg... not on the Belize end mind you, but the US end ('making the assumption you're coming from the US... not sure how other countries handle it.) Pretty much EVERY time we fly back to the States from here (with a ticket Belize - US - Belize) we are questioned at the counter in Miami/Dallas if we have a return tix. We then show them our residency card and it's ok.

Buy the R/T tix and just make sure the tix is such you change change the return date for a minimal fee...
Posted By: Viking

Re: Residency - 08/14/10 04:51 PM

OK. That was what I was thinking, better safe then sorry right. From what I have read I believe it is a mandatory year prior to filing for residency but have conflicting stories, some say it can be done sooner.....? Also on the work permit, is it better to get prior to coming or after? I know these questions have been answered over and over again and I appologize for the redundency, but honestly some of the other post's I have read go off in different directions without an actual answer, or atleast I am too impaitent to weed through hundreds of posts to finally get to the answer.

Thank you both again
Posted By: Phil

Re: Residency - 08/14/10 06:00 PM

A work permit isn't a given and I imagine has to be applied for in person rather than in advance. Typically you'll get one if opening a business and offering employment opportunities to Belizeans. A lot harder if working for someone. Residency is applied after living in Belize a year, proven with all the correct stamps. There is a maximum amount of days in the year prior to residency you can leave Belize for. Something like 15 days.
Posted By: MisterB266

Re: Residency - 08/15/10 09:34 PM

Just to clarify the tourist visa issue...

Visitors with a USA passport don't need to apply for and have a visa BEFORE they depart USA and arrive in Belize. Here's the site showing the countries "not requiring visas to Belize":

Visitors from these countries get a stamp (I don't use the word visa here to avoid confusion; sometimes called a "tourist card" because once a card was also issued with the stamp) in their passports when they arrive at immigration in Belize.

And here are the "countries requiring visas":
Posted By: gabby

Re: Residency - 08/15/10 10:31 PM

We're going to be there for 38 days. Does that mean we're supposed to go to Belmopan and get a stamp? What if we're going to Tikal for a day while we're there. We technically leave Belize and get stamped again coming back from Guatemala. Would that be enough of a break to restart the clock on 30 days? We could/would spend them night if it meant not having to go get a stamp for the extra 8 days. Thanks!
Posted By: beachdude

Re: Residency - 08/15/10 11:09 PM

Gabby, when I first got here 5 years ago I tried that. The officers at the Western checkpoint didn't want to give me 30 days on re-entry from Guat. This was standard procedure in other countries, in South America, etc. When you come in tell the officer where you're going to stay. You can then go to the nearest Immigration office, Belize city, Ambergris caye, etc, once 29 days have passed. Belmopan only if you're staying in Cayo.
Posted By: dabunk

Re: Residency - 08/15/10 11:40 PM

I had the opposite happen. Went to Chetumal for a day trip and the officer there gave me a 30 day stamp. When we went to renew the family they asked where my passport was. Told them what happened and they went ballistic and told me the officer at the border was not supposed to do that. I told them to take that up with him not me. They did not see the humor in my response at all!!!
Posted By: hazzyy

Re: Residency - 08/16/10 12:15 AM

Correct me if I'm wrong but I think you have to be here for three months before you can apply for a work permit. And both work permit and residency applications have a list of requirements you will have to meet. Bank statements (belize or U.S. banks), you'll have to submit papers for a Belize police record for residency, etc... I have a list somewhere here at the house with the requirements for residency but you can pick the same list up at immigration. For the work permit you'll also have to get a recommendation letter issued from the mayor. These are all things you'll need to get it legit. This is Belize so people have ways of getting things under the table. But legal is always the better and safer way to go.
Posted By: cracked up

Re: Residency - 08/16/10 06:16 PM

There is no waiting period to apply for for a work permit. The prospective employer is supposed to verify (and prove that they actively searched) that there are no qualifed Belizeans.
Posted By: tacogirl

Re: Residency - 08/16/10 06:24 PM

The post below may be helpful to you

Thanks to Dr. D. L. Lawrence, it is no longer a mystery of how to live and work in Belize. She has researched and written The Document Trail The Unofficial Guide for Living and Working in Belize
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