American Expats Living In Belize – As an English-speaking country with stunning natural scenery, friendly people and a laid-back lifestyle, Belize is a popular destination for American expats.

If you’re considering moving to Belize from the US, this guide includes everything you need to know to weigh your options. We’ll cover the pros and cons of moving, details on moving to Belize with family, and even moving to Belize with pets.

American Expats Living In Belize

American Expats Living In Belize

To help you reduce costs when managing your money in different currencies, we will also be introducing a multi-currency account. Hold, send and spend in dozens of currencies with mid-market rates and no hidden fees. More on that later.

Move To And Retire In Belize — Belize Happy Adventures

Quick facts about Belize. Moving to Belize from the USA: Can You Do It? Immigration and Visas: Types of Belize Visas Cost of Living in Belize. Send money abroad with a secure transfer. Living in Belize: The Basics Housing. Health system in Belize. Banking and taxation. Education. Getting around in Belize. Quality of life in Belize Is Belize safe to live in? Is it safe to move to Belize? Best Cities to Live in Belize as an Expat Summary: Moving to Belize, Pros and Cons

We’ll get into the details of what you need to know as an American moving to Belize in a moment. First, an overview.

You can travel to Belize from the US as a tourist without a visa¹. However, if you plan to stay longer or want to work while there, you will need to apply for the appropriate visa or permit.

Belize actually makes it easier for expats to enter the country and put down roots. One popular option is the Belize Qualified Retirement Program (QRP)² which allows anyone over the age of 35 who can prove a regular income to settle on a long-term basis.

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Under the QRP you can also settle in Belize with your dependents, who are entitled to earn and invest in the country. More on the different types of visas for Belize in just a few moments.

Although Belize is often considered a great place to retire, it can also be a fantastic option for people looking to relocate with children. The combination of low cost of living, good weather with outdoor activities and friendly people makes it a good choice to move with your family.

If you are considering moving to Belize with your children, you will probably want to decide on the type of school you are interested in before choosing where to live. Many expats with families choose to live in areas like Ambergris Caye that are safe and covered with international school options — but this can be a relatively expensive option. Admission to prestigious independent schools can also be a competitive affair.

American Expats Living In Belize

An alternative is to use public schools — which are generally considered to be of a fairly high standard, but offer a curriculum based on the British system. This could make it difficult for children to reintegrate into the US

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You will be able to bring your pets to Belize when you move, as long as you prepare all the necessary paperwork in advance.

You will need a valid import permit from the Belizean authorities and a veterinary health certificate issued by a USDA registered veterinarian.

Your pet will also need a valid rabies certificate and may be subject to quarantine requirements. Get full details from the US Department of Agriculture³ and the Belize Department of Animal Health⁴.

If you are going to Belize and are shipping all your household goods, you will need a specialized international moving service. The costs involved in moving large and bulky items can be quite high, so you may decide to limit what you send. Generally, shipping is arranged based on taking a 20 or 40 foot container for everything you need.

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If you are moving under the QRP program, there is no import duty on household goods as long as you bring them into Belize in your first year of residence.

As a US citizen you do not need a tourist visa to enter Belize and can stay up to one month. If you’re staying longer, you’ll need to get a visa stamp every month to cover your extended stay, and then you can change your application to permanent after a year if you want to.

If you are working in Belize, you will need a work visa and a temporary work permit. Your employer can apply for your permit after you arrive in Belize — or you can apply yourself if you’re self-employed.

American Expats Living In Belize

We previously mentioned the retirement visa — QRP. This is a popular option because it allows any US citizen over the age of 35 to reside in Belize and bring their spouse and children under the age of 18 with them.

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As a QRP visa holder, you will not be able to work or have a business, and you will have to prove that you have an income of at least $24,000 per year.

Your family members have the right to work in Belize and you also get some other benefits such as duty and tax exemptions and the ability to buy real estate or land for development.

After you have spent a year in Belize, you can apply for permanent residency. This is a relatively simple process, although you will need to collect some paperwork and pay a fee. Full documentation requirements and procedure are listed on the website of the Belize immigration authorities⁶.

The cost of living in Belize is generally low compared to the US, making it a popular destination for expats on fixed incomes such as retirees.

Why Expats Should Consider Moving To Belize

Of course, how much it costs to live in Belize will depend a lot on where you choose to live and what you like to do for fun – but in general it’s possible to have a good quality of life at relatively low costs.

You can find a lot of information online about average prices in Belize — try a site like for aggregate user data that’s constantly updated.

When building your budget for Belize, you’ll also need to think about the one-time and ongoing costs associated with moving. These can range from shipping your goods to obtaining a visa or establishing residency. One common way to settle in Belize is to come as a tourist and then pay monthly for new visa stamps until you’ve been in the country for a year and can apply for residency.

American Expats Living In Belize

Each visa stamp includes an additional fee, which adds up and should be planned for in advance.

International Living Bookstore

If you need to send money to Belize, you could lower your costs and get a better exchange rate with cheap international payments.

Transfers are fast and secure and organized online for convenience. You’ll always get a mid-market rate with no markup and no hidden costs to worry about.

You can also open a free online account to manage your money across borders and see all your transfers and transactions at a glance.

See the Terms of Use for your region or visit Fees and Pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees

Top 4 Places For Expats To Live In Belize

Belize is known as a relaxed place to settle down and live. Let’s take a look at some of the basics you should know if you’re considering moving from the US to Belize.

Finding the perfect place to live in Belize depends on your personal preferences and budget. But since housing costs are generally lower than in many places in the US, you should be able to find something that works for you with a little research.

There are no restrictions on expats buying or renting a place in Belize, including buying land. However, it is worth knowing that there have been some major problems with scammers and scams targeting US citizens buying real estate in Belize⁷.

American Expats Living In Belize

Make sure you have the support of a reputable realtor and real estate attorney to ensure your investment is secure.

The Top 13 Reasons To Live In Belize

Renting a place when you first arrive in Belize can be a smart move. This will give you more opportunity to check out different types of properties and neighborhoods and make a long-term decision about where you want to stay in the country.

Find the perfect rental property by hiring a local real estate agent in the city or area where you want to live.

Many expats in Belize choose to buy real estate for living or as an investment. As a result, there are many services for Americans looking to buy a home in Belize, including real estate agencies and legal practices.

It’s important to have good support from qualified professionals when buying a house in Belize — you’ll also want to learn more about the real estate buying process and do due diligence to make sure the property you’re buying is in good shape.

The Expat’s Guide To Moving To Belize

You will need to ensure that you have adequate health insurance when you visit or move to Belize. Advanced medical care is limited even in major cities, and even emergency care can be unavailable or delayed in rural areas of the country.

The US State Department advises that serious injuries or illnesses will likely require medical evacuation to find appropriate treatment¹.

Having a local bank account in Belize can help you settle in

American Expats Living In Belize

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