Important Expat Passport Info and Low Cost Electricity
Passport Information for Citizens from the United States
Unfortunately for U.S. expats, the news is not so good. This is the last month you will be able to get extra pages in your passport. Once you run out of pages you will have to apply for a new passport. As of January 2016, the Embassy in Belmopan will only process brand new applications; no renewals or extra pages. If you are still getting monthly Belize immigration stamps, it would be a wise idea to move fast and get those pages. The Embassy only does 3 appointments per day so hurry and get your extra pages now.
Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. The US Embassy is located at 4 Floral Park Road, Belmopan. Their number is (501) 822-4011. They closed on both U.S. and Belizean Holidays.
If your life is too busy and you want help with getting extra pages Quicksilver Messenger offers that service. (+501)667-0669 or (+501)625-0669 Monday Through Friday: 7:00 am – 3:00 pm and Saturday: 7:00 am – 12:00 pm
Canadian Passport Information
Now for the good news. Canadians now have 5 and 10-year passport options. Canadians still have the renewable option for passports and do not need a guarantor from Canada. When getting a new Canadian passport you go through the Canadian Consulate in Belize City and then it gets sent to the High Commission in Guatemala. The cost for a 5-year Passport is $294.00 and for a 10-year Passport is $ 405.00 – pricing in Belize Dollars.
The Canadian Consulate is located at Renaissance Tower, #8 Newtown Barracks, across from the Princess Hotel and Casino. It is open from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm. If you need more information call 223-1060 or email email@example.com / or Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org – She is usually very fast to reply. Please note the Consulate is closed for all Canadian and Belizean holidays. ** Passport cost and Consulate location updated March 2018.
For serious matters, the Belize consulate is supervised by the Embassy in Guatemala. Guatemala Embassy of Canada location: 8th Floor, 13 Calle 8-44, Zona 10, Edyma Plaza Building, Guatemala City, Guatemala. Hours of operation: Monday – Friday: 8:00 am – 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm – 5:00 pm. Contact information: (502) 2363-4348 or by email email@example.com
Cost of Living
I recently had breakfast with an American on vacation with his daughter. He was looking at buying property on Caye Caulker and wanted to know some general info on the cost of living in Belize. His jaw hit the floor when I told them how much my last two electric bills were. My Sept. – Oct. bill was $45.28 and my Oct. – Nov. bill was $42.56; both in Belize currency.
Not everyone gets off that easy my old downstairs neighbors used to pay $500 – $600 a month but they used their air conditioner a lot and the pool pump was also on their bill. It varies widely on the island depending on where you live and what your electric habits are.
Asking to see 1 to 3 months previous utility bill totals is one of the first things to do when renting a place here as the numbers can vary greatly.
Take a picture of all your current ID and keep it on your phone. This way you can verify yourself without having to worry about carrying important ID with you.
Belize folklore – maybe not
This is one of those urban legends that while seemingly outrageous, many expats in Belize would deem is just crazy enough to be true. I was once told by a friend that someone they knew had a dramatic spike in their electricity bill. The people could not figure out for the life of them why the increase and started doing a process of elimination. The last thing they could think of to try was to wait till it got dark one night and shut off all their breakers. Low and behold the neighbor’s power went out too 😀
I will leave you with a few random pictures from around San Pedro.