Posted By: Anonymous
requirements for moving to AC - 08/30/05 03:26 PM
My wife and I are planning a final trip to AC before moving down. Things I have read indicate that the paperwork is reasonably simple, can anyone give information of what is needed for Bank accounts, if there are people on AC who help facilitate moves, and information on work permits when buying an existing business (i.e. can we work in the business or can we only be "investors").
Posted By: cindyb
Re: requirements for moving to AC - 08/30/05 04:44 PM
Since we just did this, I'll step in.
As for the bank accounts, be sure to bring letters of reference from your stateside bank. If it is to be a joint account, make sure the reference is for both of you. Establish any wire transfer needs before you get down here. We finally gave up on Bank of America...that's another story.
We established a Belize corporation which owns the business. We do not take salaries, but I "manage" the business on a day to day basis. Our plan was to employ Belizeans when we got the business up and going. If you plan to purchase a business, you are probably going to be in a different situation.
I used a company in Belize City to help us through all the paperwork.
Best of luck to you. It is a wonderful place to live and as close to sane as you are going to get in this crazy world...
Posted By: indygal
Re: requirements for moving to AC - 08/30/05 11:30 PM
We had to have 2 letters of recommendation from our bank in sealed envelopes to open a savings account. Then they still faxed our state side bank to verify we were OK. Also, it took several weeks to get our account up and running. I thought it all rather silly, but it was just part of my training to go with the flow. Enjoy, and don't try and change things.
Posted By: Anonymous
Re: requirements for moving to AC - 08/31/05 12:03 AM
I sure will not try to change things, I like it like it is there, does the letter of recomendation basically say that we are customers in good standing?
Posted By: dolphinboy
Re: requirements for moving to AC - 08/31/05 01:55 AM
I have a friend who is planning a move to Bz. shortly. She is coming in as a tourist (so I would presume she won't be able to get a bank account until she puts in her year, then waits till she gains residency status). Her notion is to extract cash as needed with her ATM card from her existing Canadian domestic account. She has in mind to acquire a second bank card, should something go wrong with the first. I have understood that most banks accept foreign ATM cards in Belize (albeit for a fee of course). Can anyone see why this might not be a good way of sustaining oneself prior to residency, then, presumably opening a Belizian acct? Would letters of reference benefit her as well? For myself, I understand from speaking with a local Canadian bank official, that I could have funds transferred to my bank's "Visa" card, and take cash advances from Belizian banks (using my cc much like an account, without interest paid, or withdrawn so long as I maintain a plus balance) for the time when I am ready to make my own move. (seems better than cash in a sock) I would welcome comments on this matter. Thanks.
Posted By: SP Daily
Re: requirements for moving to AC - 08/31/05 02:21 AM
You can open a Belize $$ bank account without residency or any particular time in Belize. The need for bank references is to insure that you aren't a drug dealer/launderer of money. This is a requirement to satisfy the US DEA and FBI.
Posted By: dolphinboy
Re: requirements for moving to AC - 08/31/05 03:59 AM
You could do so while still recognized as a tourist Jesse?
Posted By: Halonna
Re: requirements for moving to AC - 08/31/05 04:53 AM
Jesse is correct.One does not have to have Belizean papers to have an account there. They are very fussy on papers from your bank giving them your references. Your bank here in the states should know what papers are required as references.
Posted By: Amanda Syme
Re: requirements for moving to AC - 08/31/05 03:26 PM
The bank reference letter must be an original, not a fax or photocopy.
The letter should state that you have been a customer for X number of years and that you are a client in good standing.
There is no need for your bank to include any deposit references. ie. How much money you have in the bank.
The references are required so that if you turn out to be a bad guy the banks in Belize did try to verify who you were prior to opening the account and will have a US bank reference to back up their defence.
You do not have to be a resident (therefore you can be a tourist) in order to open a bank account. However be aware that your Belize bank account will most likely be maintained in Belize dollars. You can arrange with your bank at home to automatically wire a certain amount to your account monthly so you don't have to worry about using atms and a bank card (with all those additional fees.) Here in Belize it is not normal to use a bank card to buy small amount of groceries etc. In fact most stores that take credit/debit cards have a minimum purchase amount before they will accept your card.
You might not be able to qualify for a Visa credit card until you are an official resident of Belize. You used to be able to but it has become more difficult because of the lack of foreign exchange dollars here in Belize. Your credit card needs to be paid in US dollars and you require an exchange control permit each time you pay your card and I guess you need to have a fixed Belize address in order to receive the permit...... I don't know why it is so difficult, but it is.
There is a branch of Scotia Bank here - which I believe is still a Canandian Bank???? You may be able to maintain your account here linked to your account in Canada.
Posted By: Barbara K
Re: requirements for moving to AC - 08/31/05 04:40 PM
My bank faxed the Belize Bank for my letter of reference and they accepted it with no problems and opened an account for me.
Posted By: SimonB
Re: requirements for moving to AC - 08/31/05 06:42 PM
Scotia Bank here and in Canada are 2 seperate entities and you can't access accounts from one to the other, I ran into that problem when I first moved down from Canada. The only catch I had was that they wouldn't pay interest on the account as I wasn't yet resident.
As with Barbara, the bank accepted a letter faxed from the bank in Canada as a reference.