Can I Really Retire in Belize?

Whether you are celebrating your new pension this spring or have a few years to plan, your dream to retire in Belize is achievable. Learn about the rules, regulations and of course the great incentives for a retirement in Belize.

Qualify for retirement in Belize

The Rules, Regulations and Incentives of Belize's Qualified Retirement Program

Retirement in Belize is made so attractive that is hard to resist these welcoming incentives and tax breaks. Government programs, established banks with international experience, and local people who offer smiles alongside fresh pineapple or snorkel fins, all make retirement in Belize a great decision right now. Whether you are celebrating your new pension this spring or have a few years to plan, your dream to retire in Belize is achievable.

These rules are subject to change so check with your Belize real estate professional for the latest details of the program.


All persons who have been designated a Qualified Retired Person shall be entitled, on first entering Belize, to import his or her personal effects and an approved means of transportation free of all import duties and taxes.

A Qualified Retired Person shall be exempt from the payment of all taxes and duties on all income or receipts which accrue to him or her from a source outside of Belize whether that income is generated from work performed or from an investment.


All privileges, exemptions and regulations herein included are governed by the Retired Persons (Incentives) (Amendment) Act, 2001 and the ACT will serve as the basis for all purposes of interpretation.

Personal Household Effects

Qualified Retired Persons have one year from the date that they officially enter the program to import their personal and household effects free of duties and taxes as determined by the Customs Department. Numerous entries are permitted within the one year period; however, your detailed master list of household and personal effects must be submitted to the Belize Tourism Board upon approval into the Program. After the year has elapsed, you will be subject to all duties and taxes under the Customs Department.


Motor Vehicle - Qualified Retired Persons are strongly encouraged to procure a vehicle in Belize. However, we will facilitate duty and tax exemption on an imported vehicle. Motor vehicles must be no older than 3 years from the present year.

Light Aircraft - A Qualified Retired Person is entitled to import a light aircraft less than 17,000 kg. A Qualified Retired Person is required to have a valid Private Pilot license to fly in Belize. This license can be obtained by passing the requirements set by the Civil Aviation. However, if the participant has a valid pilot's license, that license only has to be validated by Civil Aviation Department in Belize.

Boat - Any vessel that is used for personal purposes and for pleasure will be accepted under this program.

Disposal of Duty Free Items

If for whatever reason a qualified retired person decides to sell, give away, lease, or otherwise dispose of the approved means of transportation or personal effects to any person or entity within Belize, all duties and taxes must be paid by the qualified retiree to the proper authorities.Qualified Retired Persons must note that only after 3 years and upon proof that the vehicle previously imported into Belize under the Program has been disposed of according to regulations, will another concession be granted to import new transportation.

Offenses & Penalties

Any person who knowingly makes any false declaration or entry in order to qualify for or renew any exemption or privilege granted under the Retired Persons (Incentives) (Amendment) Act, 2001 commits an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars.

Fee Structure

- A non-refundable application fee in the sum of US $150.00 payable to the Belize Tourism Board must be submitted with the application.

- A Program fee in the sum of US $1,000.00 payable to the Belize Tourism Board must be submitted upon acceptance into the Program.

- Upon acceptance into the Program a fee of US $200.00 must be paid to the Belize Tourism Board for the issuance of the Qualified Retired Person Residency Card.

- Each dependent is required to pay a Program Fee of US $750 to enter the Program.

Retire in Belize

Belize has many options to choose the type of environment and home to fit your retirement dreams. The rules and regulations above are the last business-oriented decisions you will have to make. The rest of decisions about retiring in Belize are all a natural pleasure: The 'Cayes' (keys) are small Caribbean islands, popular for a laid-back lifestyle and ever-present waving palm trees and gentle blue-green waves along the beautiful Belize Barrier Reef shore. Inland to the west, jungle and plains districts offer easy access to historical Mayan ruins, or animal and bird reserves, amidst flowing rivers. To the south, charming villages face the beachfront as bicyclists drift past. Fully furnished homes or raw land ready for design both await. Match your plans and dreams as a Qualified Retired Person in Belize to the generous incentives and enjoy your new tropical lifestyle.

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