Belize Country Profile

Passport
For more details visit Belize Passport Ranking
  • Passport Grade
    C-
  • Passport Ranking
    111/198
  • Passport Score
    57.8/198
  • Visa-free Countries
    88
  • Visa-required Countries
    110
  • Access to the World's GDP
    17%
  • Access to the World's Surface Area
    36%
  • Access to the World's Population
    22%
  • Access to the Unesco Sites
    29%
Citizenship and Naturalization
Birthright citizenship (Jus Soli)
  • Birthright citizenship (Jus Soli)
    Yes
    Unrestricted: Any child born in the country automatically becomes a citizen.
Naturalization - Standard Conditions
  • Minimum residency period
    5 years
  • Physical presence requirement
    On average, 9 months a year. Also, cannot leave for longer than 30 days at a time
  • Language test
    No
  • Need to renounce original citizenship?
    No
  • Can minor children naturalize?
    Yes
  • Can naturalized parents pass citizenship to a child born abroad?
    Yes
  • Can you lose naturalization due to prolonged absence/ naturalization elsewhere?
    Yes / No
Naturalization - Your Spouse is a Citizen
  • Living IN the country: Residency/marriage requirement
    1 year / 1 year
    Must be both married and reside in the country for 1 year.
  • Living ABROAD: Marriage requirement
    Not allowed
    Officially, residing in Belize is optional. In practice, residence is required.
  • Language test
    No
  • Need to renounce original citizenship?
    No
Naturalization - Other Beneficial Provisions
  • Your child is a citizen
    No provisions
  • Citizens of specific countries
    No provisions
"–": The provision has not been analysed.
Taxation
For more details visit Cost of Living
  • Taxation Type
    Territorial
A tax resident of a country with a TERRITORIAL tax system pays taxes on the income generated within the country only. Income generated outside of the country remains tax-free.
Schiff Sovereign's Take on Belize
Various retirement-oriented magazines are correct about Belize: It can definitely be a great place to retire. The natural scenery is simply spectacular.

And despite being located in Central America and surrounded by Spanish-speaking neighbors, Belize is English-speaking. Moreover, culturally speaking, it is much closer to English speaking island nations, than, say, to Mexico.

It is also located close to the United States. 

Belize boasts the world’s second-longest Barrier Reef, consisting of around 450 islands and islets. They are called “cayes”, pronounced “keys” (like the Florida Keys). 

The largest of these, Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, are favorites among expats and tourists. Life is relaxed there, and the scenery is amazing.

What the magazines don’t really tell you, however, is that Belize City (the country’s largest city) is a dangerous, dirty dump. You generally wouldn’t want to spend a single day there.

Belize is also surprisingly expensive relative to what you get for the price.

We estimate that the general cost of living in Belize is very comparable with Poland, Lithuania, or Chile. But in Belize, you won’t get nearly the same level of development, sophistication or amenities as you would in any of these countries.

And Belize’s real estate market is far from a screaming bargain, too. If you decide to buy a property there, it should be for lifestyle reasons, not for appreciation potential.

(The Belize dollar is firmly pegged to the USD, which explains at least some of the cost of living distortions.)

Now, let’s talk about Belize’s financial sector.

We can’t recommend that you bank in Belize or form a company there.

The problem isn’t really Belize itself – the country has enacted some of the best asset protection legislation in the world, and hosts several banks catering to international clients.

But the banking sector in Belize is small and immature. And the country is awash with lawyers, fixers and dealers with very questionable reputations.

As a result, a bad reputation follows the country everywhere.

All in all, Belize can be a great place for retirees, or just a pleasant place to spend some time in, but we wouldn’t consider it for just about anything else.
Schiff Sovereign's Rolodex
Service Providers available in Belize
  • Corporate services (company formation, etc.)
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Belize Overview
  • Region
    North and South America
  • Capital City
    Belmopan
  • Largest City
    Belize City
  • Currency
    Belize dollar
  • Languages
    English, Spanish and Creole (widely spoken)
  • Population
    430.2 thousand (173rd)
  • Life Expectancy
    75.8 years (114th)
  • GDP (Nominal)
    $2.7 billion (175th)
  • GDP/Capita
    $6,220 (110th)
Useful Data
For more details visit Cost of Living
  • Cost of Living
    Inexpensive (3/7)
  • Climate
    Average (3/5)
  • Safety
    Very Dangerous (6/7)
  • Pollution
    Average (3/5)
  • English Proficiency
    Native

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