What makes Living in Belize the Right Choice. Part one of a 3 part series by Sharon Hiebing.
When I decided that I wanted to move to another country, the process of finding the right one required travelling to many different prospects, such as Tahiti, St. Lucia, Mexico, and Costa Rica. When it came time to make my final decision, Belize was an easy choice, since it has so much going for it:
English Speaking– Out of all the countries I travelled to, Belize was the only one where English
was the first language. This would make my transition into everyday life extremely easy. In
addition, Spanish and Creole also are common languages in Belize. The fact that Spanish is
widely spoken is a bonus for me, since I have a life goal of learning to speak Spanish fluently. So
Belize had the best of both worlds – my native language, and one I wanted to learn.
Ease of Immigration – In Belize, you have three (3) options:
1. You can literally get your passport stamped every month and pay a small fee ($25 USD as of
this writing), and you can live there indefinitely!
2. Iif you’re over 45 years old and can prove you have an income of at least $2000 a month,
you can become a member of the Qualified Retirement Program (QRP), which also allows
you to bring your possessions and a car and/or boat over duty free!
3. After living in Belize for one year, you can apply (and hopefully get approved) for Permanent
Residency, and after five years, Belizean Citizenship.
No other country that I looked at made immigration so easy and cost effective. The one size fits
all method of immigration in most other countries makes it impossible for many people to move
Diversity – Because of the ease of immigration in Belize, you will find a lot of Expats from
different parts of the world (U.S., Canada, Europe, China, and India to name a few). Also, Belize
nationals are quite diverse themselves. This country is a melting pot of migrants who came as
freemen or slaves, and up until the early 1970’s, Belize was called British Honduras. It is also
bordered by Guatemala and Mexico, and those ethnicities are present as well.
Being from the S.F. Bay Area of California, I was quite pleased to find a new country with so
much rich culture and heritage that I could explore.
Stable Dollar – The Belize dollar is one of the most stable currencies in the world! It is directly
tied to the U.S. dollar, and basically has never changed value. You receive $2 Belizean dollars for
every $1 U.S. dollar, which also makes exchanging money and figuring out prices quite easy!
Sounds pretty enticing so far, doesn’t it? In the Part II, learn more of my reasons for choosing this
wonderful country as my new home.
Sharon Hiebing is an American Expat living in San Ignacio Town, Belize. She is the founder of Wealth Ships’ and offers Expat Relocation Consulting Services via email, phone and one-to-one at affordable rates. She also owns the only property management company in Western Belize, Red Roof Property Management. She has written two ebooks , writes a weekly blog, and posts tidbits daily about her life and work on Wealth Ships Facebook fan page. She’d love it if you came and got to know her.