23 September, 2012

Just the Facts, Ma'am

With apologies to Sgt. Joe Friday...

I received a comment the other day from some folks looking to move here from Uruguay. They had a question regarding the medical portion of the requirement for obtaining residency in Belize.

This came from a commenter named Maink, who said:
"Hi! I'm so happy to have found your blog! It's great and very informative. We're thinking about making a move from Uruguay to Belize next year. Since it sounds like you've been through it, could you tell me what medical tests are required for residency? All the websites I've read just say medical exam results, but no one specifies. Thanks!"

Now, beyond the shameless 'happy, happy' feeling I get with a nice compliment about the blog, I thought Maink's question was interesting. I know when we were going through the residency process, rumors were rife about every facet of obtaining residency. What was required, what wasn't, etc.

I posted my answer to Maink in another comment, then thought it might be worthwhile to make it a posting so that other folks could find the answer a little easier. So that's what I did.
Hi Maink,

I'm glad you found us and like the blog. Here's the medical requirements for residency (and for nationality or citizenship on down the road too).

The form has two parts, a preliminary medical examination and a physical examination of applicant.
Preliminary Medical
On the first part, you have to answer a bunch of questions on your medical history. It's straight forward and doesn't seek a lot of detail. You have to sign it along with a witness's signature and the examining physician's signature and stamp. Stamps are very important here. It probably won't be accepted without the stamp. One other thing, the medical exam is good for only 30 days, so it's something you have to do towards the end of your application process.
Physical Exam Piece
The second part is the actual physical exam which includes all the usual stuff - height, weight, blood pressure. A chest x-ray may be required for residency and certainly for the nationality portion as is HIV/VDRL tests and possibly urine tests. Again, the doctor must sign and stamp this part of the form as well.
And Sign Here...
That's pretty much it for the medical bit. It's not difficult. Any M.D., here in Belize will be familiar with the form and the requirements, so it's pretty painless.
You get the form as part of the application for residency. You can only apply for residency after having lived here continuously for a year, and it's best to plan on the application process taking a year itself. In our case, all together, we were two months shy of two years to get our residency.

Then it's five years before you can apply for nationality (your two years for residency counts as part of that) so it's only an additional three years for nationality, if you're inclined to go that far.

I hope all this helps. It's not a hard process, but it does take time, and until you get your residency, it costs money. Monthly visas, per person are $50 BZD for the first six months and then $100 BZD thereafter until you get your residency stamp in your passport.

You'll read about a residency card too. No such thing any more. It's all in the stamp in your passport.

So, that's it. Hope it helps.
You might be wondering why I didn't shoot the form so you can print it out and use it. I could have, but chances are that if I had and you used it, the form would have been changed and you'd just delay your process by trying to use an obsolete form. So when it's your time to apply for residency, get on down to your local Immigration Department office and get the latest and greatest.

Thank you Maink, again, for your question. It gave me another posting that I hope folks find of use.


Maink said...

Wow, I've never gotten a whole blog post in reply to a question before! Thanks so very much! You absolutely answered my question! I really appreciate it. :)

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