To live legally in Belize, it’s not essential to apply for permanent residency. It’s something that you can choose to do so if you are so inclined. When you enter the country, typically, you are on a tourist visa. That visa is good for 30 days. You can apply for a renewal of that visa after 30 days, which is typically “rubber stamped” as long as the applicant stays out of trouble.
Theoretically you could be living in Belize permanently on a tourist visa as long as you update it every 30 days. Most people who do choose to apply for permanent residency do so in order to be granted permanent residency status, which means they no longer have pay any money to update their tourist visa and having permanent residency also means also you have the ability to legally work in the country.
The cost to renew a tourist visa in Belize is currently BZ $50 every 30 days, which works out to US $25.
(Christmas tree in Ambergris Caye, Belize, pictured. )