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Tourist entry permits, which are usually good for 30 days, are given upon arrival to individuals with a valid passport and visa. (People arriving from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom only need a valid passport.) If you want to stay longer than the time allotted on your permit, you will need to renew your permit at an Immigration Department office before the expiration date.


If you are not a 'Permanent Resident' in Belize, you will need a 'Work Permit' to legally work for yourself or for someone else. The permits are good for one year and cost from $500 - 600 BZ. "Self-employment" permits are by far the easiest to obtain, as you will most likely be viewed as someone with a business that will in fact create jobs and employ local Belizean's. General Work Permits must be applied for by your prospective employer. That employer will have to prove that they have been unable to find a current local resident to fill the position before a permit will be issued.

To obtain a work permit in Belize, the employer and the prospective employee must fill out an application form at the Department of Labor. Three passport pictures and a valid passport are required along with the application. If self-employed you can apply in person.


In order to obtain residential status in Belize, an individual will need to apply for residency. To qualify for residency an individual must reside in Belize for a year and can leave the country for no longer than two weeks during that time.

The application process is best done in person. Immigration officials like to meet you face to face.

  • A police report from the police department where an
    individual has resided for more than six months.
  • A health certificate including an AIDS test, which can
    be obtained from any of the local doctors.
  • 3 passport pictures.
  • A statement from your bank or financial institution,
    if you are not employed or retired.
  • Birth certificates for minor children, marriage certificate/declaration
    of support etc...
  • A work permit or Trade License, where applicable.

Receiving a response varies with workload of the department. When you submit your application ask how long it will take - most likely the answer will be 8-12 weeks.

Applicants must renew their tourist permit at the Immigration Department every 30 days while applying for residency. It may also be necessary to demonstrate adequate income during this time, usually $100.00BZ per day, $3000.00 BZ per month. When residency is granted a fee is charged and the individual is required to register at the Income Tax Department.


An individual can apply for citizenship if he has been a resident of Belize for five years or after one year if he/she is married to a Belizean. Applications for citizenship require the same information as those for residency. When citizenship is granted the individual does not pay an Immigration Deposit, instead there is a fee of $200.00 BZ charged for each adult and $100.00 BZ charged for each child.


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