Moving to Belize from the US
Thinking of moving to Belize? We can understand why — breathtaking beaches, fascinating history, and some of the friendliest people on the planet.
There’s a lot to research before you make the move — how much it costs to ship your goods to Belize for example.
Don’t worry, because we’ve already done the legwork for you. This complete guide on moving to Belize from the US covers everything you’ll need to know.
If you’ve already made up your mind, you could always start the moving process by filling in this form. We'll connect you with our trusted suppliers, who’ll get in touch with bespoke quotes.
Belize is home to astonishing natural wonders, such as the famous Great Blue Hole
Cost of shipping to Belize from the US
Shipping your goods to Belize is thankfully simple.
The majority of goods arrive at the Port of Belize in Belize City, and are transported via truck to locations across the country.
To help give you an idea of the cost of shipping to Belize, we’ve created a handy table with the average rates of shipping from either New York or Los Angeles.
The rates below were sourced from iContainers, and are based on the port-to-port transportation of a 20 ft container of used furniture worth $40,000 (the typical value of the contents of a three-bedroom home).
|Los Angeles to the Port of Belize||$5,349||19 – 22 days|
|New York to the Port of Belize||$3,729||17 – 20 days|
Please note: these container shipping costs exclude typical add-ons such as door-to-door delivery, professional packing/unpacking, and basic insurance cover. Our shipping suppliers normally incorporate these services into their prices, so expect some discrepancy between the rates given here and the quotes you receive. These estimates should be used as an indication only. This information is up to date, as of July 2022.
Select the size of your move to get free quotes
Cost of flying goods to Belize from the US
If you want to get your goods to Belize fast, then flying is the best and most convenient option.
This naturally comes with an added cost, so be prepared to pay more to fly your goods to Belize.
Take a look at the costs in the table below.
These figures come from Freightos, and they’re based on 250 kg of household goods (typically valued at around $40,000). We’ve outlined the average cost of flying goods from both New York and Los Angeles to the Port of Belize.
|New York to Belize||$4,785||2 – 4 days|
|Los Angeles to Belize||$4,561||2 – 4 days|
Healthcare in Belize
Many expats view the healthcare system in Belize as inadequate. The general view is that the country needs more doctors (particularly specialized physicians and staff), more healthcare facilities, and better equipment.
Free healthcare options are available to expats, but the quality is typically far below what would be expected in the US. Private healthcare is better, though again the standard is substantially lower than what you'd experience back home.
If you’re moving to a rural area, the healthcare provision will be even worse, so we strongly advise you get healthcare insurance. That way, if the unexpected happens, you’ll be covered.
That’s why we’ve created our list of recommended healthcare providers. From there, you can request free quotes from whichever company suits your needs.
Mayan ruins are found all across Belize — the tallest building in the country is a Mayan temple
Cost of living in Belize
The cost of living in Belize depends on where you are, but to make it simpler we’ll use Belize City as a benchmark.
Please note that this is a rough guide of what you can expect to pay in Belize.
|Rent for one-bedroom apartment in city center (900 sqft) ||BZ$594 ($294)|
|Meal for two at a typical restaurant in city center||BZ$100 ($50)|
|Monthly ticket for public transport||BZ$40 ($20)|
|Imported beer (33 cl)||BZ$6.53 ($3.24)|
|One liter of milk||BZ$6.27 ($3.11)|
|12 large eggs||BZ$3.85 ($1.91)|
|Internet (60 Mbps or more)||BZ$112 ($55)|
|One gallon of gas||BZ$12.58 ($6.22)|
|Basic (electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage)||BZ$147 ($73)|
Source: Numbeo (2022)
Transferring money to Belize from the US
US dollars are readily accepted throughout the whole of Belize, so there is little need to transfer money.
There are no restrictions on foreigners opening bank accounts in Belize for US dollars — in fact the government encourages it, because it increases the circulation of foreign currency in the country.
Working in Belize
The majority of US citizens working in Belize teach English, but there are other interesting career paths available.
Conservation is one, with the country’s 240 miles of beautiful coastline attracting many people looking to work in ecology. Some jobs involve rehabilitation for local wildlife injured in irresponsible boating accidents.
One of the most appealing parts of working in Belize is that they accept US dollars, meaning setting up your own business is viable. Whatever you want to do, you won’t have any problems exchanging money to fund it.
Getting a work visa for Belize
Getting a work visa in Belize is pretty simple for a foreigner.First, you’ll need to first apply for one. This involves submitting your application to Belize’s Labor Department if you’ve not yet been employed.
If you have been offered a job, then thankfully getting a work visa is entirely the responsibility of your employer.
After 50 weeks of living in Belize, you’ll be able to apply to become a permanent resident. This means you won’t have any barriers stopping you from working.
And that’s why Belize is one of the easiest countries to move to.
Average salary in Belize
A person working in Belize can expect to earn around BZ$3,920 ($1,946) per month, which is substantially higher than the average for neighboring Guatemala ($550).
Highly skilled jobs, such as medical work, offer an average income of BZ$10,000 ($5,000). Doctors working in the private sector can earn more — often reaching BZ$17,000 ($8,439) or more.
Income tax in Belize
Unlike the US, Belize has no scaleable taxation for income. Instead, income tax in Belize is charged at a flat rate 25% for all salaries above BZ$14,500 (£$7,209) — anything below this is exempt.
Citizens’ pension income is exempt too, and there’s no capital gains tax either, making buying and selling property in Belize an attractive option.
Job hunting in Belize
As it’s a small country, job opportunities in Belize aren’t abundant.
However, there are still a few reliable platforms you can turn to when you’re searching for work:
Climate in Belize
Belize has a subtropical climate, with distinct wet and dry seasons. From December to May, the climate becomes very dry, with temperatures reaching an average of 77°F.
The wet season is much more humid, and the average temperature increases to 83°F, though it can easily reach 95°F on the hottest days.
Does it snow in Belize?
Due to its location, Belize never gets cold enough to snow, or even for ice to form. In fact, in the country’s recorded history, the temperature has never dipped below 50°F.
You can definitely afford to leave your thick coats behind when you make the move!
Best places to live in Belize
Belize City: best for work opportunities
Belize City is the country’s biggest city, but surprisingly it’s not the capital — that honor falls to Belmopan.
If you’re looking for work opportunities, Belize City is definitely the best place to start. That being said, it’s still a small city with a population of just 57,000.
So don’t expect to find anything like a thriving financial or tech hub — most work is in teaching English or hospitality.
Corozal District: best for families
This quiet district near the border of Mexico has become increasingly popular with expats looking to raise a family in Belize.
It might not have access to the country’s best sandy beaches, but Corozal offers a laid back way of life.
The cost of living is cheap here too, with an average rental price for a three-bedroom apartment of just BZ$1,000 ($500) a month.
Placencia: best for seaside living
Located about three hours from Belize City, Placencia is fast becoming one of the country’s most desirable places to live.
The long stretches of pristine white-sand beaches are a big reason, but the beauty and character of this seaside town really sells it.
Everyone living here seems to have a permanent smile on their face, and after you move here, we think you will too.
7 quick facts about Belize
- Belize is home to over 900 Mayan sites, including fascinating temples
- In fact, the tallest building in Belize is a Mayan temple
- The country contains the only jaguar reserve in the world
- There are more than 450 tiny islands to explore off of Belize’s coast
- Belize is the only Central American country where English is the official language
- The national flower of Belize is the black orchid
- You can hear the cries of the howler monkey, the loudest in the world, from over three miles away
That’s all for our guide on moving to Belize from the US – hopefully we’ve made your decision to move an easier one.
Your next step is to start thinking about moving your belongings over to Belize, and we can help.
All you need to do to get started is answer a few simple questions on this quick form. We’ll put your answers together and pass them on to our suppliers, who’ll get in touch with quotes for you to compare in no time at all.