Friday, September 16, 2011

Qualifications for the Belize Retirement Program (QRP)

Qualifications for the Belize Retirement Program (QRP)

Anyone forty-five years and older can qualify for the program. A person who qualifies can also include his or her dependents in the program. Dependents include spouses and children under the age of eighteen. However, it can include a person up to the age of twenty-three if enrolled in a university.

INCOME FROM PENSION OR OTHER SOURCE

1. Qualified Retired Persons
To be designated a Qualified Retired Person under the program, applicants must receive a monthly income of not less than US $2,000 through a pension or annuity that has been generated outside of Belize.

2. Certification
i) When a company grants a pension, that company has to prove that it has been in operation for at least 20 years by submitting proof of registration.

ii) The company that grants the pension shall certify that the pension of no less than US $2,000.00 per month will be forwarded to a reputable financial institution within Belize. This letter must be signed by the manager, president, or by a legal representative of the company.

iii) Certification by a Certified Public Accountant independent of the company:

-Stating the date the company was established
-Verifying the authenticity of the above mentioned letter
-Certifying that the obligation signed in favor of the beneficiary is not less than US $2000.00 per month.

iv) The applicant must present two (2) bank references from the company that is sending the pension.

v) The company granting the pension must present a document outlining its pension scheme.

Requirement ii, iii, iv could be omitted where the company sending the pension is considered to be a Fortune 500 Company.

3. Background Check
All applications are subject to a background check to be carried out by the Ministry of National Security.

APPLICATION PROCESS

APPLICATION PROCESS

Each application for the Retirement Program will be processed by the Belize Tourism Board and forwarded to the Department of Immigration and Nationality. Persons interested in the program must submit completed applications to the Belize Tourism Board with the following supporting documentation:


Birth Certificate:
A copy of a certificate for the applicant and each dependent

Marriage Certificate:
(if married and spouse is a dependent)

Authentic Police Record:
An authentic police record from the applicants last place of residency issued within one month prior to this application

Passport:
Clear copies of complete passport (including all blank pages) of applicant and all dependents that have been certified by a Notary Public. The copies must have the passport number, name of principal, number of pages and the seal or stamp of the Notary Public.

Proof of Income:
(a.) An official statement from a bank or financial institution certifying that the applicant is the recipient of a pension or annuity of a minimum of Two Thousand United States Dollars (US $ 2 000) per month.

Medical Examination:
Applicants should undergo a complete medical examination including an AIDS test. A copy of the medical certificate must be attached to the application.

Photos:
Four front and four-side passport size photographs that have been taken recently of applicant and dependents.

Incentives

INCENTIVES

All persons who have been designated a Qualified Retired Person shall be entitled, on first entering Belize, to import his or her personal effects and an approved means of transportation free of all import duties and taxes.

A Qualified Retired Person shall be exempt from the payment of all taxes and duties on all income or receipts which accrue to him or her from a source outside of Belize whether that income is generated from work performed or from an investment.

REGULATIONS

All privileges, exemptions and regulations herein included are governed by the Retired Persons (Incentives) (Amendment) Act, 2001 and the ACT will serve as the basis for all purposes of interpretation.

1. Personal Household Effects
Qualified Retired Persons have one year from the date that they officially enter the program to import their personal and household effects free of duties and taxes as determined by the Customs Department. Numerous entries are permitted within the one year period; however, your detailed master list of household and personal effects must be submitted to the Belize Tourism Board upon approval into the Program. After the year has elapsed, you will be subject to all duties and taxes under the Customs Department.

2. Transportation

a. Motor Vehicle
Qualified Retired Persons are strongly encouraged to procure a vehicle in Belize. However, we will facilitate duty and tax exemption on an imported vehicle.

b. Light Aircraft
A Qualified Retired Person is entitled to import a light aircraft less than 17,000 kg. A Qualified Retired Person is required to have a valid Private Pilot license to fly in Belize. This license can be obtained by passing the requirements set by the Civil Aviation. However, if the participant has a valid pilot's license, that license only has to be validated by Civil Aviation Department in Belize.

c. Boat
Any vessel that is used for personal purposes and for pleasure will be accepted under this program.

3. Disposal of Duty Free Items
If for whatever reason a qualified retired person decides to sell, give away, lease, or otherwise dispose of the approved means of transportation or personal effects to any person or entity within Belize, all duties and taxes must be paid by the qualified retiree to the proper authorities.

Qualified Retired Persons must note that only after 3 years and upon proof that the vehicle previously imported into Belize under the Program has been disposed of according to regulations, will another concession be granted to import a new transportation.

4. Offenses & Penalties
Any person who knowingly makes any false declaration or entry in order to qualify for or renew any exemption or privilege granted under the Retired Persons (Incentives) (Amendment) Act, 2001 commits an offense and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars.

5. Fee Structure

a. A non-refundable application fee in the sum of US $150.00 payable to the Belize Tourism Board must be submitted with the application.

b. A Program fee in the sum of US $1,000.00 payable to the Belize Tourism Board must be submitted upon acceptance into the Program.

c. Upon acceptance into the Program a fee of US $200.00 must be paid to the Belize Tourism Board for the issuance of the Qualified Retired Person Residency Card.

d. Each dependent is required to pay a Program Fee of US $750 to enter the Program.

NOTE: All payments must be made payable to the Belize Tourism Board and be in the form of US cash, US bank draft or US cashier's check. Personal or company checks will not be accepted.

TERMS and CONDITIONS

TERMS and CONDITIONS

1. All Qualified Retired Persons must adhere to the general procedures cited by the Customs Department for the clearing of all personal and household effects including 'Mode of Transportation'.

2. Qualified Retired Persons are not allowed to seek employment or work for pay while in this program or in Belize.

3. Qualified Retired Persons within this program must inform the Belize Tourism Board regarding any changes stated on the application form. Failure to do so may result in the revocation of applicant's status.

4. Qualified Retired Persons must adhere to all existing laws of Belize, in addition to the Retired Persons (Incentives) (Amendment) Act, 2001.

5. All benefits provided by this program will be exclusively used by the Qualified Retired Persons and his or her dependents.

6. The Belize Tourism Board has the authority to carry out any investigation with respect to the validity of any document provided by the applicant under this program.

7. Participants within this program must inform the Belize Tourism Board prior to leaving the country indefinitely so that the assets purchased under this program can be liquidated.

8. All documents presented to the Belize Tourism Board become the property of the Board.

9. The applicant must not have any criminal matters with the law at the time of application.

10. Applicants must present a listing with all the necessary information with regards to his or her dependents. If the applicant has a dependent over eighteen and in school, then he or she must present a proof of enrollment from that institution.

11. Qualified Retired Persons must submit a yearly bank statement showing compliance with the financial requirements of the program.

12. Qualified Retired Persons must spend an equivalent of one month in Belize annually to maintain their status as a Retiree Resident.

Acceptance of these terms and conditions must be endorsed with the signature of the applicant in the presence of a witness.

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