There are two types of work permit applications: a) Application for permission to employ a foreigner: Any foreign citizen who wishes to work in Belize MUST be a legal resident (have resided in Belize for at least six months). He or she must be in the country legally, with proper visas and/or permits issued by the Immigration Department. The prospective employer must submit the following to the Labour Department: The application for the foreign worker he wishes to hire; three passport photos; $10 in stamps; a valid passport; and proof that this individual is qualified for the job. At the same time, the Labour officer must be satisfied that all efforts to employ a Belizean have been exhausted. This includes providing proof that the vacant position was advertised locally for at least three weeks, following which, no suitable applicant was found;
and, b) Application for Temporary Self-Employment: This category would apply to foreign investors, among others. All applicants must be in the country legally, with proper visas and/or permits issued by the Immigration Department. They are required to produce proof of reasonably sufficient funds for their proposed venture (i.e.: local bank statement of account). Applicants must also obtain a reference from the relevant Ministry or Local Organization concerned with the category of work involved. In such situations, the six-month residency requirement is waived, and it is assumed that the venture will lead to creation of employment for Belizeans in the future.
Work Permit Fees are now as follows: Professional and technical workers: $750; general workers: $100; seasonal agricultural workers: $25 per crop; entertainers in groups of two to five: $250 each; individual entertainers: $150; missionaries, educational and volunteer individuals: $25. Barring exceptional circumstances, work permits will not be granted for waiters, vendors, domestic workers, and farm hands.
For further information, telephone the Immigration and Nationality Department at: 501-8-22611 or -22423; or the Labour Department at: 501-8-22204.
Here is what you will need for your Work Permit application. Work Permits are issued through the Immigration and Nationality Department.
The following are requirements for Work Permits:
- A valid Passport - Application Form (can be purchased at the Angelus Press located nearby the Immigration offices in Belmopan on Market Sq street) Fee 0.83$ BZD [May 07]
- Three (3) Passport sized photographs [Cost for 4 pictures - 9.00$ BZE]
- $20.00 worth of postage stamps (can be purchased at the Post Office in Belmopan accross from the Immigration building and near the market square)
- Three (3) copies of job vacancies advertised in the local newspaper in different issues if you will be employed by a Belizean company/employer.
- Bank statement (for self-employed)
- Trade License (for self-employed)
- Letter of recommendation from village councilor
- Letter from Church (for Missionary)
- Other relevant documents e.g. birth certificate, diplomas, etc.