To become a permanent resident of Belize, the entry requirements have to be met, which is you enter with permission under a visitor’s visa for 30 days thereafter. Every month you must get permission upon payment of $50 Belize (US $25; these fees are subject to change) with a stamp from the department of immigration to stay longer than 30 days. To stay permanently in Belize, you must be a resident of Belize for 12 months and paid 12 months’ worth of those permission stamps on your passport. Then you are qualified for a permanent residency. You are only allowed to leave the country in that 12-month period for a short stint or two weeks, except for emergency purposes.
It normally takes 3 to 6 months to get your residency. While your residency is being processed, you will remain as a visitor, but you will no longer be charged the fee each month and you basically would use your receipt from the application as proof that you have an application for permanent residence pending. Therefore, if you leave the country and you enter, they would not restrict you with a 30-day restriction anymore.
During that 3 to 6 months period, they do background checks on you through Interpol. There is an exchange of information between local authorities and international authorities and they will make sure that you are not on a list of persons which unsavory backgrounds. You also have to have a Belizean sponsor, who is a citizen, and who would post a bond on your behalf. If your Interpol checks out, along with your sponsorship, upon payment of the permanent residency fee (which is different, depending on the country from where you came), you should get the approval. Applying for a residency could be as much as US $ 750 depending, on where you are from.
If you don’t know anybody in Belize, then getting the bond posted might be a problem. One would have assumed that over a course of 12 months you would have some level of relationships somewhere to be able to get this done. Failing that, you could pay the government in cash, if you have the means.
(Greenbelt around government building in Belize's government district, pictured.)