Belize Qualified Retired Persons Program
If you are retired or you plan on retiring in the near future, then you should put your eye on the horizon–the Belize horizon, that is. Belize is one of the most vibrant and thriving retirement destinations in the world, thanks to a diverse expat community filled with retirees who have decided to enjoy their retirement years in a place with beautiful weather, an affordable cost of living, and plenty of financial incentives. The reason why Belize is such as popular destination to retirees is thanks to the many benefits that retirees receive from the Belizean government, which are highly appealing to anyone looking to escape hefty fees on their pensions, annuities or even their business income.
Belize is home to a unique program called the Qualified Retirement Program, or QPR. This program is designed to provide a special type of residency to people outside Belize that want to retire in the country. Let’s take a closer look at this program, what it entails, and how to find out if you qualify.
What is the Qualified Retirement Program?
The qualified retirement program is a unique residency category which allows retirees to live in Belize. It provides numerous benefits to people who qualify, including:
- Exemption from import duties and taxes on personal effects brought into Belize
- Exemption from import duties and taxes on personal vehicles brought into Belize (including boats, small planes, and cars)
- Exemption from all income tax in Belize
- Permission to conduct business in Belize–provided that the Business is operating outside Belize and does not employ any Belizean citizens
Spouses and minor children (or children up to age 23 if they are enrolled in school) are included in the qualified retirement program, so they can come along with you if you retire.
Do You Qualify for the Qualified Retirement Program?
There are some requirements for this special program. The most important requirements are:
- You must be 45 years or older
- You must have a monthly income of $2,000 or more that comes from a pension or annuity from outside Belize
The company that provides your pension/annuity has some requirements as well:
- The company must have been in operation for 20 years or longer; a notarized letter must be provided that verifies your $2,000 monthly pension/annuity from this company
- The company must cent a letter from a CPA that establishes the company’s age, validates that the letter sent by the company is authentic, and confirms the $2,000 monthly pension/annuity
- The company must provide 2 bank references
- The company must provide a document outlining their pension or annuity program
If you do qualify for the Qualified Retirement Program and retire in Belize, you must abide by a few regulations. One, you must never seek employment or work for pay while in Belize; two, you must never violate Belizean laws; and three, you must stay in Belize at least one month out of the year. If you violate any of these regulations then your special retirement residency status may be revoked.