Getting Belizean citizenship and passport is a good way to transition into a long term residency or to facilitate travel. It is a CARICOM passport as the country is a member of the English-speaking Caribbean Community. Belizeans can travel without a visa to CARICOM, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica the U.K. and several other countries.
The process to getting a Belize passport can seem challenging, especially with new regulations introduced in 2013. But if you do your home work and have all your documentation in order, it will be a smooth process. Here is how to do it.
1. Be a Belizean citizen. Any person born in Belize is a citizen of Belize. You may also be a Belizean if you have obtained a Nationality Certificate that is issued to individuals who have become citizens through naturalization, marriage or descent through their parents.
2. Prepare your documents. You will need your birth certificate, wedding certificate or divorce certificate if applicable, Nationality Certificate if applicable and personal identification such as previous passport, voters identification card or social security card. As of 1 March 2013 you now need two recent passport-size color photographs 2 inches by 2 inches. This is a new requirement and a return to the old requirement discontinued in 2005 when machine-readable passports were introduced. The pictures that you supply will be used to vet your application, and will not be used to prepare your passport.
3. Fill out the passport application form which you can obtain online or at any Belize Embassy or Consulate abroad, or at any immigration office in Belize. The forms now require TWO recommenders in place of the old requirement of one recommender. The recommender for those living in Belize now consists of two classes. Class A is a medical or legal practitioner or a registered minister of religion. Class B is a member of the House of Representatives, a CEO or head of department in the public service, a licensed teacher or a Justice Of The Peace.
If you are applying outside Belize, you will need the new Form 5, and NOT the regular form used when applying from within Belize.
Belizeans living abroad are now limited to 3 choices: a medical or legal practitioner or a registered minister of religion. Applicants abroad now require that their application form be notarized.
The two pictures of the applicant require that one of the recommenders endorse by writing on the back “I certify that this is a true likeness of the applicant “XXX XXX”. The recommender needs to sign and append his official stamp to the back of each picture.
A new requirement for the rules introduced in 2013 is that all application forms must be accompanied by a $1.50 Belize postal stamp.
4. If living in Belize, submit your completed application form and documents in person to the passport office in the City of Belmopan or Belize City along with $50. for adults, or $30. for applicants under age 16. All payments are in cash. Your documents will be vetted and if everything is in order you will be ph0tographed and fingerprinted. Your passport will be ready in 2 to 4 weeks. Emergency passports can be processed within 5 days for a fee of $100.
If living abroad, Belizeans can apply for a passport at the embassy or c0nsul of Belize in Washington D.C., New York City, Los Angeles or Chicago. Outside North America you can apply at the Belize Foreign Mission in London or Taipei, Taiwan. At these foreign missions which are the only ones equipped with biometric capture equipment, the process is the same: you will be photographed and fingerprinted.
You will be informed when your passport will be ready usually in two weeks. In cases of documented medical emergency or urgency passports may be expedited at the discretion of the officer in charge.
Express passport service is also available. For an additional charge of $200. the immigration department will process and deliver your passport within 24 hours.
Tips and Warnings
The Immigration Department Headquarters is located at the City of Belmopan. Office Hours: 8am to 5pm Monday to Thursday. 8am to 4pm on Fridays. Closed Saturday and Sunday. Address: Dry Creek St. Mountain View Blvd Tel: 822-3860/ 822-0739 Fax: +(501) 822-2662
Making a false statement on your application, either by the applicant or recommender carries a penalty upon conviction of $500. and / or one year in prison in Belize.
It is suggested that you return to the same office where you applied to pick up your new passport. You can also arrange to have your passport sent to any municipality for retrieval from a government office, but this can and does lead to additional delay – months in some reported cases.
This Commonwealth country allows its citizens to hold dual nationality – with the exception of those born in Guatemala who must renounce their previous citizenship.
Due to increasing cases of passports and other travel documents being improperly obtained, immigration authorities have increased their vigilance and vetting process. Thus it is useful for the applicant to carefully check that his or her documents are in order to avoid unnecessary delays.
Official Belize Passport Application Forms And Regulations 2013
Download new Belize Passport Application Form for persons over age 16 (adults).
Download new Belize Passport Application Form for persons under age 16 (minors).
Download new Belize Passport Regulations 2013
© Copyright 2013 M.A. Romero & Belize.com Ltd.