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Belize Expat Forum

residency and Taxes

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Redsnapper
6/21/2021 00:32 EST

Hello. i am planning on moving to Belize later this year to start my 50 weeks in order to get my residency. Am a Canadian senior (67) My question is: When do i actually submit my documents?.....is it within the first 30 days of getting my passport stamped from the day that i arrive at P.G.I.A.?....or does customs give me a certain time frame to go to Belmopan and file my documents?
Also, have heard that the Canadian Govt. deducts 25% from my Canadian pensions...(i get OAS and CPP every month) as Canada does not have a tax treaty with Belize. Is this true? Any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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elgordo42
6/21/2021 13:12 EST

For starters, it is a full 52 weeks, with no more than 14 days out of the country in total, before you can apply for permanent residency. Having any documents in hand before you leave Canada might make it easier, though they will want more current bank statements and pension info when you apply. It makes sense to start filling out the application and gathering stuff together from about 9-10 months. They might even refuse to give you an application and checklist any earlier, anyway!
I will defer to Canadians regarding tax and Canadian health care questions.

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bobbyveee
6/21/2021 15:09 EST

I understand from Canadian friends , if you leave Canada , you lose your Health benefits, unless you spend a certain number of months in the country yearly. Might be worth checking that out.

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WMiller77
6/21/2021 15:33 EST

Yes, this is half true and half untrue. If a Canadian is out of the country for 180 days or more then yes we lose our health benefits when we return and stay for a period of 90 days. However, and I have seen this on more than one occasion (myself included) - if the Canadian goes home with a health issue that is pressing he or she will not be turned away.

And just like other countries, for those who choose to be here for any length of time you may want to investigate getting a life insurance package.

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WMiller77
6/21/2021 15:37 EST

Because you are "earning" the funds in Canada you will be expected to pay the standard Canadian income tax on it.

I work here in Belize and I do pay taxes here in Belize for which I am not double taxed in Canada, meaning I do not pay income tax on the income earned in Belize. However, I am still expected to make my CPP contributions even though I earn my income outside of Canada. I just don't pay double taxes. So yes, you can expect to pay whatever the tax rate is that you would expect to be taxed at in Canada.

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bobbyveee
6/21/2021 17:32 EST

Hi W . Miller , You say , get a life insurance, didnt you mean health ins. actually all u need is a plane ticket home , we took out scuba diver ins. that flew us back to our
'homes', cost peanuts compared to health insurance.
Also meds in Mex. are good and cheap. We kept our US and UK homes , so no probs with meds or Taxes, being out of our countries over 5 months but under 6 months in a foreign country.

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William Russell International Health Insurance

Need health insurance in Belize? William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite).

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WMiller77
6/21/2021 19:00 EST

Sorry, yes, I meant health insurance. I didn't say health insurance is the way to go. I've been here since 2012 and I do not have health insurance.

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Redsnapper
6/22/2021 13:47 EST

Thank you for the quick reply..
Yes i believe its the standard income tax that is deducted from my CPP and OAS and not a flat 25%. Will have to phone the CRA to get confirmation.
Cheers

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Garpy
6/22/2021 14:15 EST

WMiller77
You brought up a point I've been wondering about for a long time. Regarding losing Canada health benefits after 180 days, How does one get them back?
Are you saying that we get them back after 90 days of being back in Canada?

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WMiller77
6/22/2021 14:44 EST

To my knowledge, yes, just be back in the country for the prescribed time, which is 3 months I believe. You don't really have to do anything.

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bradinbelize
6/24/2021 09:11 EST

You will submit AFTER you've done the time. So you will get your monthly stamp and then submit once you have 12. They will go back from the day of your submission and make sure you've been in Belize for at least 315 of the last 365 days.

Get your paperwork and all of your needed items together and have them ready to go months before. Sometimes you can then submit and by the time they look at your stuff you will be missing a month or tow and you can then bring those last two stamped passport pages to them (this is a little trick to not waste anytime).

You will need blood test and criminal report (these are TIME SENSITIVE), expiring in 6 months so you want to get these RIGHT BEFORE you submit as the paperwork will take some time and if the processor sees an expired police record for example, then you have to get another, thus stalling the process.

Have everything, get the 11th stamp (at month 10 1/2 get a police report and your blood test done and have with your 11th stamp) - SUBMIT.

go back for th 12th stamp and follow up. Apologize for making a mistake and offer the 12th stamp (this forces them to pull your file and review). Ask kindly if they can review and make sure you have everything needed - this gets you a set of eyes on your submission and maybe if you're nice and a little lucky you can push to get your interview or make a "friend in the office".

Hope that helps a bit. Good luck on it.

ONE MORE THING: MAKE THREE COPIES OF EVERYTHING - Somewhere along the line, some gov't worker will lose something, having a copy in your file ready to hand them keeps things moving.

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Redsnapper
6/24/2021 14:37 EST

To bradinbelize:
Ok, just one more question. Do i still have to get a criminal report in Canada, and take it with me when i leave for Belize? Thanks again for all your help.

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