Qualified Retired Person Incentive Program
The Belize Qualified Retirement Program (QRP) was created to facilitate eligible people who meet the needed requirements, to obtain residency while allowing them an easy way to permanently live and retire and relax in Belize.
Belize is recognized as a top tourist destination and is also considered to be a top destination for people looking for retirement in the Caribbean. To incentivize people to move and retire in Belize, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) put in place the Qualified Retired Person Incentive Program (QRP). The QRP was developed in the 1990s to open doors for anyone over the age of 45 who is looking to retire in the Central American-Caribbean paradise of Belize.
Belize offers retirees a lot of upsides; English-Speaking, British Common Law, Low-Tax Jurisdiction, close proximity to home, and warm Caribbean Climate. With the influx of retirees and Baby Boomers, Belize has developed a “Permanent Tourist” sector. The QRP was put in place for retirees whose income allows for self-sustainability. The benefits of Belize’s QRP Program for the individual and the country are significant. As stated by International Living “Belize has one of the world’s best retiree programs”.
Who Qualifies for QRP?
The QRP is a great program and allows people who meet the criteria to move and reside in Belize (while easily obtaining residency). Though the QRP is a great program, it is not for everyone. There is a list of qualifications that a person meet to apply and get approval. To be granted approval for QRP the qualifications include;
- A person must be 45 years or older to apply.
- When applying dependents include spouses and children under 18 years.
- A person must meet the financial requirement and be the beneficial recipient of a retirement income of $2,000 USD monthly or $24,000 USD annually generated from a source outside of Belize in an approved foreign currency.
- Retirement Income includes:
- Social Security Benefits
- Investment Account
- Reverse Mortgage
- Personal Savings
- Retirement Contribution Plans
- And other means of retirement income
- Retirement Income includes:
- A person applying for QRP must be able to provide a written undertaking to deposit the required amount in a bank, credit union, or licensed financial institution in Belize.
- Must pass a security clearance check carried out by the Ministry of National Security in Belize.
- Must be able to remain in Belize for a minimum of 30 consecutive days annually (every year).
- Qualifying Countries for the QRP include people with citizenship or status in:
- All Commonwealth countries excluding Belize
- United States of America
- Member States of the European Union [EU]
- Asian-Pacific countries of Australia, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
- All South American Countries
QRP Incentives & Benefits
The QRP offers applicants and QRP members an array of benefits. Any person who has been accepted into the QRP Program is entitled to the following under the Belize Retired Persons Incentives Act
- Belize Residency Status – QRP holders and their dependents shall receive a QRP Resident Card to reside in Belize allowing multiple entries into the country without a Visa. *Resident card to be renewed annually *
- Duty Exemptions – QRP holders shall be entitled to import duty and tax exemption on the following, for personal use only, within the first year of acceptance into the program:
- Household & Personal Effects multiple entries allowed with no limit on the dollar value of effects
- Motor Vehicle [Model must be within the last 5 years] – QRP’s are allowed to purchase a new vehicle every four  years with proper disposal of the previous vehicle
- Light Aircraft [Model must be less than 17,000 kg]
- Motor Boat
- Tax Exemptions – QRP holders shall be exempted from all taxes and duties on income received from a source outside of Belize, capital gains tax, and inheritance tax (estate tax).
- Ease of Purchasing Land – QRP holders are entitled to purchase land for the construction of a home or purchase a home for residential use only.
- Dependent Benefits
- Dependants under QRP can engage in any employment in Belize
- Carry on any business, trade, or profession within Belize if such business relates to activities carried on mainly outside of Belize and conducted exclusively with persons not resident in Belize.
- Make any investment in Belize (Belize Real Estate and Belize Real Estate Investment for example).
- Practice philanthropy and volunteer work in Belize.
QRP Member Benefits:
- Qualified Retired Persons can import personal effects free of import duties;
- Qualified Retired persons are strongly encouraged to purchase a vehicle in Belize. The vehicle must not be more than three years old. Though they can import a vehicle without import duties.
- This requirement is the same for imported vehicles.
- Qualified Retired Persons can import a boat free of import duties to be used for personal use;
- Qualified Retired Persons are exempted from payment of all taxes on income received from outside the jurisdiction of Belize.
QRP Dependent Benefits:
- Belize Residency Status – Dependent will receive a QRP resident card allowing multiple entries into Belize without a Visa.
- Engage in any employment in Belize.
- Carry on any business, trade or profession within Belize if such business relates to activities carried on mainly outside of Belize and conducted exclusively with persons not resident in Belize.
- Make any investment in Belize.
- Practice philanthropy in Belize.
Retire and Invest Program
The BTB (Belize Tourism Board) has introduced a new program that allows QRP holders the ability to more freely invest in Belize and conduct business in Belize. QRP Members will be entitled to carry on business in Belize with approval if the Member meets the following qualifications:
- A Business Plan
- Proof of Investment of at least 1 Million Belize dollars (US$500,000.00)
- If the person has resided in Belize for at least 180 non-consecutive days.
- The Business must employ at least five Belizean citizens.
A QRP Member granted approval to carry on business in Belize will be eligible for the following:
- Permanent residency after designation as a QRP for five (5) years;
- For the grant of any other license or permit necessary for carrying on business in Belize;
- Practice philanthropy in Belize.
Documents Required for QRP
- A QRP Application Form.
- Notarized Birth Certificate for each family member (QRP applicant and dependants)
- Notarized Marriage Certificate (if the spouse is under QRP)
- Original Police Record from last place of residence (issued one month prior to application).
- Color Copy of the entire Passport (including all blank pages). This is required for each family member and/or dependant. Each page must be certified and stamped by a notary.
- Proof of Income. An official statement from a Bank or any other Financial Institution from the country of residence will be required certifying that the applicant is receiving the required financials for QRP. Proof of a monthly income of a minimum of US $2,000.00 or $24,000.00 US annually. This can be through a pension or annuity that has been generated outside of Belize. Once approved, all retirees are requested to open a local bank account and deposit their monthly pension funds or annual income in the Belizean institution. The Belize Tourism Board will request bank statements on a yearly basis to show proof of income and compliance with the retirement program.
- Medical Examination and blood work.
- Four front (profile) and four side passport photographs of the QRP applicant and each member of the family applying as dependants.
Things to Know About QRP
- Qualified Retired Persons are not allowed to seek employment in Belize, however, voluntary work and business investments are encouraged.
- Qualified Retired Persons need to submit a yearly bank statement showing compliance with the financial requirements of the program.
- Qualified Retired Persons are required to renew their retiree status every year.
- Qualified Retired Persons need a customs broker to process your importation of personal effects, vehicles, or boats.
- Qualified Retired Persons are not allowed duty-free on items used to repair or build, nor tools of their trade.
The benefits of the QRP Program include a permanent exemption from all taxes in Belize (estate taxes, income taxes, capital gains taxes, and most import taxes). And while the Belize QRP visa offers full-time residency, new residents can enjoy all the QRP benefits even by spending as little as one month in Belize.
The requirements to successfully enter the Belize QRP Program are remarkably simple when compared to residency programs in other popular retirement destinations. It is a program put in place to incentivize foreign investment and retirement in Belize.
If you are considering retiring in Belize and looking at buying Belize real estate, contact us at RE/MAX Belize!