How do you like the sound of palm trees, soft sand beaches, and crystal clear water? What if it were also an English-speaking country with an incredibly low cost of living? Guess what – that place actually exists. Belize is sandwiched between Mexico and Guatemala, and is a small country about the size of Wales with a population less than that of Bakersfield, California.
Belize allows foreigners to apply for permanent residency after only a year of life there. Enter on a 30-day visitor visa and keep renewing it every month until you’ve been there for 50 weeks. A $1,000 fee and some bureaucratic red tape is all that’s left before getting the go ahead to stay forever.
Pay attention to the conditions on your visitor visa, however. Some districts will require you to leave the country for two weeks every six months, and doing so resets the clock on your 50-week requirement. If this is your plan of attack, it may be best to engage a lawyer in Belize right away to help you navigate the process. Note that if you intend to work in Belize, you will also need a work permit, at least until you’re granted permanent residency. After five years of permanent residency, you can apply for citizenship.