Belize Qualified Retired Persons Program (QRP)
Belize offers retired expats more than just desirable climate and beautiful beaches. The Qualified Retired Persons Program offers an incentive and easy transition for people looking at retirement in Belize. In the US it is estimated that 59% of Baby Boomers are planning on relocating for their retirement. The cost of living in the United States makes retiring in America challenging and expensive. This is why many people nearing retirement are looking to spend time abroad. The Central American region is expected to be the #1 destination for people to retire to. This is due to a number of reasons:
- Affordable cost of living
- Affordable real estate
- Desirable climate
- The geographical location provides accessibility to home and family
- Similar timezone
Whether you are currently retired or planning your retirement, you should consider Belize as a potential retirement destination. Not only is Belize English speaking, and accessible, it boasts a desirable climate and stable economy. As a retirement destination, Belize is one of the more vibrant and thriving options for expats. Belize has developed a diverse expat community filled with retirees, drawn to the Carribean destination and the beautiful weather, affordable cost of living, and financial incentives.
Retirees receive an array of benefits and incentives from the Belizean government. These incentives draw many expats to Belize, as its favorable policies are highly appealing to anyone looking to escape hefty fees on their pensions, annuities or business income.
The Qualified Retirement Program or QRP is a unique program developed in Belize. The QRP program is designed to provide a special type of residency to non-Belizian citizens that are looking to retire in Belize.
What is the Qualified Retirement Program?
The QRP Program provides expats retiring in Belize a unique residency category. This residency category allows them to live and reside in Belize. It provides numerous benefits to people who qualify, including:
- Exemption from the import duties and taxes associated with bringing personal belongings to Belize
- Exemption from import duties and taxes on personal vehicles brought into Belize (this including boats, small planes, and cars)
- Exemption from all income tax in Belize
- Permission and ability to conduct business in Belize–provided that the Business is operating outside Belize and does not employ any Belizean citizens
Spouses, dependents, and children up to age 23 are included in the qualified retirement program and can come along with individuals who qualify for the QRP program.
Qualified Retirement Persons Progam Qualifications
The most important requirements for the QRP Program include:
- You must at least 45 years of age
- Your monthly income from a pension or annuity from outside Belize must exceed $2,000
The company that provides your pension/annuity has to meet requirements as well:
- The company must have been in operation for at least 20 years; a letter must be notarized and verify that the monthly income exceeds $2,000.
- A letter from a CPA accountant must be verified, that establishes the company’s age, validates that the letter sent by the company is authentic, and confirms the $2,000 monthly pension/annuity.
- 2 bank references must be provided by the company.
- A document outlining their pension or annuity program must be provided.
Qualified Retirement Persons Program Regulations
If you retire in Belize and qualify for the Qualified Retirement Program there are a few rules and regulations you must abide by.
- You can’t seek employment or work for pay while in Belize.
- You must adhere to Belizean laws.
- You have to stay and reside in the country of 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.