Working and Living in Belize

Labor market

You can apply for a work permit after the first 6 months have elapsed. Every person who works as an employee or self-employed requires a working permit until they receive a permanent residence permit. Work permits are valid for one year. The cost is currently $ 25 for missionaries and volunteers and up to $ 1,000 for technical workers.

According to countryvv, locals have an average income of 20 Belize dollars (about 7 euros) a day. Specialists, on the other hand, earn salaries in large companies similar to those in Germany, for example.

It must be noted that you only get the opportunity to become an employee if it has been checked that no local person can actually take up the job you are looking for. This is to ensure that the unemployment rate is kept as low as possible.

Working permit

This is issued for both self-employed work and employment relationships. The working permit is applied for at the Ministry of Labor as follows:

  • 3 photos (passport size)
  • Copy of the passport
  • Copy of qualifications
  • Criminal record certificate
  • Proof of financing (e.g. bank statement)
  • Completed registration form (can be purchased from Angelus Press in Belize City and Belmopan)

Processing fee BZ $ 25 (US $ 12.50) and stamping fee BZ $ 20 (US $ 10) are payable at the Treasury Department. The receipts of payments and the completed application form must be presented to the Ministry of Labor, along with evidence of the establishment of a business.

In order to start a business in Belize, company and location must be registered. Once all the required documents have been submitted, the approval process usually takes 2 to 3 weeks. Approval is given by an admissions committee.

After the approval has been granted, the applicant receives a letter of approval. This must be presented to the Immigration Service for approval along with the applicant’s passport.

If the foreigner works for a particular company as an employee, the company can apply for a permit for the foreigner. This means that the corresponding point for the other requirements is not applicable.

It must be noted that when a company applies for a work permit on behalf of an individual, the individual is only licensed to work for that company and that the work permit holder is the company (even if the permit is recorded in the passport).

Tax haven and tax haven

IBC offshore companies make Belize popular with wealthy foreigners. With this company model, taxes can be minimized and completely avoided. The country offers the appropriate legal framework for these transactions as well as the necessary discretion and secrecy.

Homeschooling, homeschooling, free learning

An increasingly popular alternative to normal school attendance is homeschooling (home tuition or home tuition) or free learning (unschooling). Expats have the right to home schooling in Belize. However, the compulsory attendance is unclear.

Cost of living

For Western European immigrants who want to live on a level comparable to that at home, the cost of living is on average a little cheaper than at home. Those who eat the local staple foods such as beans, rice, chickens and fruit can also live cheaply here.

  • Rental prices in Belmopan are 72.47% lower than in Berlin
  • Restaurant prices in Belmopan are 51.51% lower than in Berlin

Average cost of living in Belmopan (from 03/2019 – 02/2020)

Restaurant Ø € Price € Price from / to
Food, price w. restaurant 4.40 2.65-6.15
Middle class, 3 courses for 2 people. 20.65 19.32-21.95
Local beer, 0.5 l 3.07 1.76-4.39
Imported beer, 0.33 l 3.95 3.51-4.39
cappuccino 1.98 1.76-2.20
Coca / Pepsi (0.33 l) 1.32 0.88-1.76
Water (0.33 l) 0.88 0.88-0.88
Food Ø € Price € Price from / to
Milk (1 L) 1.11 1.04 – 1.19
White bread (500g) 2.09 1.54-2.63
Rice (white), (1kg) 2.39 2.20-2.59
Eggs (12) 2.20 1.14-3.29
Local cheese (1kg) 9.23 8.78-9.68
Chicken breast fillet (1kg) 6.81 2.20 -11.42
Beef (1kg) n / a
Apples (1kg) 2.63
Bananas (1kg) 0.88
Oranges (1kg) n / a
Tomatoes (1kg) 1.32
Potatoes (1kg) 1.32
Onions (1kg) 1.32
Lettuce (1 head) n / a
Water (1.5 l) n / a
Bottle of wine (middle class) 13.17 12.29-17.56
Local beer (0.5 l) 1.36 1.01-1.76
Imported beer (0.33 l) 2.20 1.76-2.63

Average costs for local transport, utilities, clothing, leisure, education by Belmopan (from 03/2019 – 02/2020)

Mode of Transport Ø € Price € Price from / to
One-time ticket 1.75 0.87-2.20
Monthly pass 2.41 0.00-4.83
Taxi base amount 2.18 2.18-2.20
Taxi 1 km 2.18 1.76-2.20
Ancillary housing costs Ø € Price € Price from / to
for 85 sqm apartment (electricity, water, garbage, etc. 80.35 66.86 – 87.82
1 minute prepaid mobile tariff 0.33 0.22-0.44
Internet (60 Mbps or more, unlimited data, cable / ADSL) 93.09 43.62-149.29
Clothes, shoes Ø € Price € Price from / to
Jeans (Levis 501 or similar) 21.91 17.48-26.35
Summer dress (Zara, H&M,… 16.42 15.28-17.56
Nike sports shoes, middle class 53.24 50.19-57.08
Leather business shoes 51.79 28.37-65.54
leisure time Ø € Price € Price from / to
Fitness center, month / adult 29.17 17.48-43.68
Tennis, 1 hour on weekends 8.74
a movie ticket 6.55 4.39 – 6.59
training Ø € Price € Price from / to
Preschool / Kindergarten, private, whole day, monthly per child 365.91 365.91 – 365.91
International primary school per year and child 11,416.33 11,416.33 – 15,287.98

A whole range of goods and services that are standard in Europe are expensive luxuries here, as high import duties are added. As a result, goods such as televisions, computers, cell phones as well as wine and beer, but also gasoline and electricity are more expensive than in Western Europe. PickUps are an exception, for example, which are only taxed at 15% on import.

Average rental prices / purchase and salaries of Belmopan (from 03/2019 – 02/2020)

Monthly rental price Ø € Price € Price from / to
Apartment (1 bedroom) in the city center 307.36 263.45-351.27
Apartment (1 bedroom) outside the center 219.27 175.64-307.36
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in the city center 579.29 436.47-1,053.81
Apartment (3 bedrooms) outside the center 361.13 219.54-614.73
Purchase price of apartments Ø € Price € Price from / to
Price per square meter for an apartment in the city – purchase 986.24
Price per square meter – apartment outside the center – purchase n / a
wages Ø € Price € Price from / to
Average monthly salary (after taxes) 986.24


About the author