1) Am I able to work or volunteer in Belize?

A person’s skill-set is a foremost consideration for the Belize Labour Department when granting work permits, which one must acquire if he/she intends to work in Belize. In addition to skillset, individuals must also be able to produce a police record from their country of residence and prove, among other requirements, sufficient funds to support the duration of their stay, showing such evidence to the relevant authorities in Belize. 

To volunteer, applicants will also require a work permit and must be able to produce a police record from their country of residence as well as show an official letter from the charity with which they are working confirming the period of volunteerism. Additionally, proof must be shown by the charity or whoever is covering the costs of living during the volunteer period.

A work permit will not be issued to a visitor, tourist, or volunteer who resides in Belize for a period of less than six months. Work permits will generally not be issued for waitresses, vendors, domestics and farm hands save in exceptional circumstances.

Applications shall be made in person if the applicant is in Belize to the Ministry of Labour for approval. Likewise applicants themselves, upon proof of identity, must personally claim approved documents.

Read more for Work Permit Fees and Processing Times.

Contact information for Labour Department:

Mr. Aniki Palacio
Labour Officer
6/8 Trinity Boulevard, Belmopan
Email: aniki.palacio@labour.gov.bz
Tel: +(501) 802-2297
Fax: +(501) 802-0157

2) What requirements do I need to reside or retire in Belize and/or acquire citizenship?

Any applications for residency in Belize must be done by the applicant directly in Belize. In other words, applicants must be physically present in country when making said applications.

To apply for RESIDENCY, you must live in Belize for one year to be eligible for residency. Certain nationals do not require visas to enter Belize, while others need visas prior to travel. Please see visa checklist if your country requires a visa prior to travel to Belize. Upon arriving in Belize, the period of your stay is renewable/extendable for up to year at any Immigration office in the country by paying USD $25 or BZD $50 per month for residency stamps for the first 6 months and then USD $50 or BZD $100 per month for the following 6 months, after which you can apply for permanent residency. Normally, you must not be outside the country for more than 14 days total in a year.

Please note that during this process you must also be prepared to show additional supporting documents such as, for example, a 6-month validity passport, bank statements to show that you can sustain yourself while in country, a police record from your home country, a Health Certificate, etc. What constitutes as “Supporting Documentation” is detailed by the Immigration Office that you visit in your first application for a visa/stay extension.

To be eligible for CITIZENSHIP, you must have a minimum of five years’ permanent residency. Currently, there is no requirement for permanent residents to spend a specific amount of time in the country during the five-year period. However, it has been suggested that this should be taken into consideration when application for citizenship is being made; therefore, residents should keep themselves abreast of changes in the laws to avoid future problems. Just as in the case of Residency, Citizenship cannot be applied for from outside the country; applicants must be legally in Belize to make these applications, which can be done at the nearest Immigration Office in country.

There is also a RETIREMENT programme option known as the “Qualified Retirement Persons Incentive Program” run by the Belize Tourism Board created especially for those people who wish to live in Belize and can prove a permanent and consistent income from investment (abroad or in Belize), pension or other retirement benefits. Please note, however, that that you will not be able to acquire citizenship under said programme.

For more information, visit the Department of Immigration and Nationality Services website.

3) What vaccines do I need prior to travel to Belize?

Visitors are encouraged to be up to date on routine vaccinations while traveling to any destination. Some vaccines may also be required for travel to Belize. Read more…

4) Can I travel with my pet to Belize?

Yes, this is possible provided that a valid import permit from the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) is granted prior to travel. Visitors must complete an application to import any pets into the country and submit the completed form by email to bahasps@btl.net  or fax: 501-824-3773 or 501-824-4889. Since you need to have the permit upon arrival, the permit will be faxed to you.  A fee of twenty-five ($25.00) BZE dollars applies.

A fee of fifty ($50.00) BZE dollars applies for the application process. 

All fees can be paid (in Belize or US Dollars), upon arrival, to the Quarantine Inspector at the Point of Entry.  An official BAHA receipt shall be issued as proof of payment.

Application Form

For further information, visit the website of the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA)

5) How can I transport human ashes to Belize?

The Department of Health in Belize must issue a transfer permit prior to travel. Kindly note as well that individual airlines and countries may also have their own additional requirements for the transportation of said ashes. Visitors are encouraged to check with and confirm said requirements with the airline of travel to Belize as well as the respective Embassy of in-transit country/countries before traveling.

Requirements for International Transfer of Human Ashes

6) How can I obtain a police record/marriage/birth certificate from Belize?

Police Record – Applications are made directly to the Police Headquarters in Belmopan, Belize. The Belize High Commission helps to facilitate these applications if individuals do not have family members or friends in country to do so directly on their behalf.

Requirements:

  • Completed Police Record Application Form
  • Letter authorizing the Belize High Commission/Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belize to submit application and receive Police Record on applicant’s behalf. (Note: This letter is to be signed by the applicant as well as notarized by a Notary Public)
  • For Non-Belizeans: Notarized copy of applicant’s passport (i) bio  page  of and (ii) page of your entry or departure in Belize
  • 3 recent passport-sized photos
  • Processing Fee: BZD $12 for 2-week service OR BZD $25 for Express service (BZD and USD acceptable in cash only at exchange rate BZD $2 to USD $1)

Birth Certificate – Applications are made directly to the Vital Statistics Unit in Belize. The Belize High Commission helps to facilitate these applications if individuals do not have family members or friends in country to do so directly on their behalf.

Requirements:

  • Completed Birth Certificate Application Form
  • Letter authorizing the Belize High Commission/Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belize to submit application and receive Certificates on applicant’s behalf. (Note: This letter is to be signed by the applicant as well as notarized by a Notary Public)
  • Processing Fee: BZD $4.00 for one-week service; BZD $7 for one day service; BZD $15 for Express service (BZD and USD acceptable in cash at exchange rate BZD $2 to USD $1)

Marriage Certificate – Applications are made directly to the Vital Statistics Unit in Belize. The Belize High Commission helps to facilitate these applications if individuals do not have family members or friends in country to do so directly on their behalf.

Requirements:

  • Completed Marriage Certificate Application Form
  • Letter authorizing the Belize High Commission/Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belize to submit application and receive Certificates on applicant’s behalf. (Note: This letter is to be signed by the applicant as well as notarized by a Notary Public)
  • Processing Fee: BZD $5.00 for one-week service; BZD $15 for one day service; BZD $30 for Express service (BZD and USD acceptable in cash at exchange rate BZD $2 to USD $1)

7) What requirements do I need to film officially in Belize?

A Film License must be granted from the Belize Film Commission in order to film in an official capacity in the country. For non-Belizean personnel, visas and work permits may also be necessary. For full details of the procedure and requirements to apply for a filming license, please visit the Belize Film Commission website which falls under the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH). Read more….

8) Can I travel to Belize by private aircraft or vessel?

If an operator intends to carry out one or more non-scheduled/charter flights(s), in transit across or making non-traffic stops in the territory of Belize, it is necessary for the operator to obtain prior permission.

If an operator intends to perform a (series of) non-scheduled flight(s) into Belize for the purpose of taking on or discharging passengers, cargo or mail, it is necessary for the operator to apply to the Director -Department of Civil Aviation, P.O. Box 367, Belize City, Belize, Tel: (501) 225-2533 or by e-mail to bzeais@yahoo.com or gtorres@civilaviation.gov.bz for permission to carry out such operations not less than FORTY EIGHT (48) hours in advance of the intended landing. The application must include the following information in the order shown hereunder:

  1. Name of operator and Air Carrier Operating Certificate (AOC);
  2. Type of aircraft
  3. Nationality and registration marks of the aircraft;
  4. Date and time of arrival at and departure from P.S.W. Goldson International Airport including origin;
  5. Place or places of embarkation or disembarkation abroad, as the case may be, of passengers and/or freight;
  6. Purpose of flight and number of passengers and/or nature and amount of freight; and
  7. Type of freight;
  8. **Passport details as per table below (CREW AND PASSENGER DETAILS);
  9. Name, address and business of charterer, if any.
  10. Name of handling agent (compulsory)
  11. Additional documents which include:
    • Certificate of Airworthiness of aircraft
    • Certificate of Registration of aircraft
    • Pilot’s License and Pilot’s Medical Certificate
    • Insurance documents of aircraft stating coverage for the territory of Belize
    • Passport details of the crew and passengers (to include: name, nationality, date of birth, issue date and expiry date).

Read more for application forms, fees, and more information…

No permit is required prior to arriving in Belize by private boat. However, boats and crew must immediately clear customs and entry at Belize City, Dangriga, Big Creek, Punta Gorda and San Pedro, on Ambergris Caye. Vessel documents, clearance from last port of call, copies of the crew and passenger list as well as list of stores and cargo must be presented to immigration officials at the port of entry.

There is no customs officer in San Pedro; boats wishing to enter must pay the cost of transport for the customs officer to and from San Pedro from Belize City. For more information, visit the Department of Immigration and Nationality Services website.

9) Can I travel alone with my minor child to Belize?

If a child is traveling with only one parent to Belize, both airline as well as immigration officials will require a signed and notarized Letter of Consent by the absent parent to enable travel and entry to Belize. Visitors are encouraged to have this original letter on hand prior to travel to Belize as some airlines may not even allow boarding on aircraft without the same.

10) Public and Bank Holidays in Belize – 2017

Date Day Public Holidays 2017
1 Jan Sun New Year’s Day
2 Jan Mon New Year Holiday
6 Mar Mon National Heroes and Benefactors Holiday
14 Apr Fri Good Friday
15 Apr Sat Holy Saturday
17 Apr Mon Easter Monday
1 May       Mon    Labour Day
22 May Mon Sovereign’s Day Holiday
10 Sep
Sun Saint George’s Caye Day
11 Sep Mon National Day Holiday
21 Sep Thu Independence Day
9 Oct
Mon Pan American Day / Colombus Day
19 Nov
Sun Garifuna Settlement Day
20 Nov Mon Garifuna Settlement Holiday
25 Dec
Mon Christmas Day
26 Dec Tue Boxing Day