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Employment

Belize - Employment



The labour regulations in Belize have been created to protect the local job market; its aim is to make sure that most of the employment opportunities go to Belizeans, which is understandable. Only under certain circumstances is it possible for foreigners to gain employment.

Those who wish to become employed in Belize must have legal residency, they must have resided in Belize for at least six months. Employers who wish to employ a foreigner should submit an application form for his/her prospective employee. The employer should send the form along with three passport photos, $20 in stamps, a valid passport and proof that the individual is qualified for the job. The labour officer should also be satisfied that all efforts to employ a national have been exhausted, this includes providing proof that the position was advertised in the local area for at least three weeks and no local resident was suitable for the job.

Labour officers in the respective area where the person is expected to work are to be presented with the applications, all of which are usually accepted on a certain day of the week.

There has been growing concern about protecting the Belize job market and for that reason the Immigration and Nationality Department has tightened its policies. Work permits will not be granted to those who are waiters, vendors, domestic workers as well as farm hands. It should be noted that fees are subject to change and for the latest details it is worthwhile contacting the Belize Labour Office to verify the amount that needs to be paid, but they can range from as low as BZ$25 up to almost BZ$1000, depending up upon the type of work that is being undertaken.

Those who are applying for permanent residency will be required to pay the following amount: Mexicans and Guatemalan residents: $125; Salvadorans, those from Honduras and Nicaraguans: $262.50. Caricom nationals: $300, those from other Commonwealth countries: $500; all others, except from Mainland China: $625. Unsuccessful applicants' fees will be refunded. However, for applicants from Mainland China, the application fee is $1500 and this fee is non-refundable. Again, fees are subject to change and the latest details can be provided by the Immigration Office.

Expats who are looking for work in the country may find themselves working in one of several industries. Tourism is a growing sector in Belize although any jobs on offer to expats may well be seasonal. There are opportunities available in construction, medicine and teaching.




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