Sunday, July 21, 2024

Immigration Dept. to assist foreigners unable to update their legal status in the country


As previously hinted by Belize Rural South (BRS) Area Representative the Honourable Andre Perez, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, and Immigration announced on Tuesday, September 28th that foreigners/migrants seeking to update their legal status in the country can now visit their nearest immigration office. This is for persons who have not been able to maintain a regular status in the country between April 2020 and September 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To remain in Belize legally, the Immigration Department will offer a Special Regularization Period to immigrants from October 1st through December 31st to apply to regularize their status in the country. A fee of BZ$100 must be paid at the time of the application. The ministry announced this applies to those who have not paid a Visitor’s Permit extension fee. Visitor’s Permit extension fees for the period March 1, 2020, to September 30, 2021, will be waived.

However, fees outstanding before March 1, 2020, will need to be paid. The fee, Statutory Instrument No. 42 of 2005, will be BZ$50 per month for the first six months. Afterward, the fee will increase to BZ$100. The ministry stated that this regularization process will run alongside the current fee of BZ$200 per month structured as Statutory Instrument No. 42 of 2020 for all other migrants.

In addition, immigrants seeking to regularize themselves may utilize this period of regularization as a pre-requisite to apply for Permanent Residence.

BRS Area Representative Perez, also hinted that the government will soon offer the opportunity for illegal migrants in the country to change their status. He said that the process will be rigid and only those who have been living in Belize for years and with strong ties to the country, such as Belizean family members and the intent to contribute to the development of their community, would be considered.

For more information visit the updated website

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