Living In Belize: 7 Frequently Asked Questions
As a Belize Real Estate Agent that has been working in the industry for the past decade, I get to meet people from all corners of the world. Showing property around is similar to the job of a tour guide and I get asked many questions throughout the day.
Today I am sharing with you my answers to the questions that I get asked the most.
1. What is the cost of living in Belize?
The cost of living in Belize really depends on your lifestyle and where you live. Here in the San Ignacio area, we have a large Farmer’s market that is open daily. Fresh fruits and vegetables are readily available. We have some large Taiwanese grocery stores and the prices are competitive. The soil is also very fertile so you can easily grow your own vegetable and herbs in your garden. If you’re living on the cayes, well, everything will be pricier because they need to be shipped from the mainland.
2. What languages are spoken in Belize?
English is the official language of Belize; however Spanish is also widely spoken among others.
3. QRP or Residency?
This is a personal preference. Qualified Retired Persons Incentive Program or QRP allows you to bring in your stuff duty free but you need to meet certain requirements. Belize residency allows you to become a Belizean citizen.
4. What is the cost for building a house, approximately?
The cost of building a house varies and several factors are key. Is your house located miles from town? Are you on-grid or off-grid? Building a house is one thing, but the finishing of the house is another thing. Most builders will tell you between $80 - $200 USD per sq. ft. depending on the finishing.
5. Can I bring my pet(s) to Belize?
Yes, you can bring your beloved pets to Belize. You would need to contact BAHA (Belize Agricultural Health Authority) for entry requirements.
6. Can I work in Belize?
If you are on the QRP program, you will not be able to work. If you are on a tourist visa until you can apply for residency, you will need to apply for a work permit. However, you’ll need to prove to the Government that you have a certain skill for a job that cannot easily be filled by a Belizean. Bear in mind the work permit cost US$1,000 and must be renewed every year.
7. Can foreigners buy property in Belize?
Yes, anyone can buy property in Belize and the process is relatively easy, but you must have an experienced real estate agent and/or attorney during the process.