Belize is growing as a viable homeland for those looking to relocate to the Caribbean, thanks to a high quality of life and low cost of living. Unfortunately, most of the information available focused on moving to Belize concerns retirees, not families. What about people still raising young children? What are the best schools? How do visas work with families? If you’ve had any of these questions, keep reading to discover what it is like relocating a family to Belize.
North Americans do not require tourist visas to reach Belize. You have one month of time before you must renew a visa ($50 USD). This renewal earns you another month and can be continually renewed while pursuing permanent residency.
If you are 45 or older, the Qualified Retirement Program (QRP) allows you to bring all dependents with you and everyone can gain residency. It also exempts income on taxes and the importation of your personal effects is duty-free. Note, every dependent need to supply the Belizean Immigration Office with application forms, police records, copies of their passports, birth and marriage certificates and proof of income.
Primary school is free but high school costs around $1,000 USD a year. Most schools are connected to religion, with Catholic institutions being regarded as exceptional. Parents must pay for school uniforms and books. Belize’s surging expat populace has encouraged more international schools, offering an option for children having difficult transitioning away from home without resorting to homeschool. Depending on the school, you can find ones based on American, Canadian and even Australian standards with multiple language classes. International schools cost more but that price comes with quality. Notable schools include Belize High School, Caye Caulker Ocean Academy and San Pedro High School.
Belize Towns Growing with Popularity
- San Pedro Town is located on Ambergris Caye and features many creature comforts. It also offers world class snorkeling and activity-rich tours of the mainland.
- Placencia is a peninsula in Southern Belize with a namesake coastal village, white sandy beaches, and popular tourist destinations. The Placencia Lagoon features manatees and crocodiles, and the area is great to go diving or fishing around the Belize Barrier Reef.
- San Ignacio Town is found in Western Belize and offers much for history buffs. It is also close to a plethora of ancient Maya ruins and visitors can observe many indigenous medicinal herbs.
- Corozal Town is a thrifty and rustic paradise that is found along the Belize-Mexico border in Northern Belize. As a quiet place where children can swim and play without being far from home, Corozal continues to grow.
Regardless of what spot you choose, Belize’s real estate is quite affordable. Since raising a family here can cost half the price you may be used to in Canada or the US, you will have more than enough money to spend on the occasional adventure.
If you’re ready to move your family to Belize, find the right option for you with an agent below:
Header photo of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye by Laminar Media.