The secret is out about Belize, although seasoned globetrotters added the country’s vast mountain range and deep-sea wonders to their bucket lists years ago. And as easy as it is to fly to the Central American country – most major U.S. cities are two to three hours away – it’s just as quick to obtain a visa to enter. In fact, you may not even need one. 

To find out whether you need a visa to visit, here’s our guide to make your entry to Belize smooth sailing from the moment the plane lands on the sun-drenched tarmac. 

Get local insight on destinations all over the world with our weekly newsletter delivered to your inbox.
Ancient Maya Mask Temple located in the jungle of Belize.
Beyond the reef you can visit ancient Mayan temples in the jungle of Belize © Johnny Habell / Shutterstock

Do I need a visa to visit Belize?

For many travelers visiting Belize on a short-trip, you don’t need a visa. A valid passport is the only requirement for many countries, which include the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Depending on your citizenship, you can stay in Belize for up to 30 days without an extension. 

To find out whether your country qualifies for visa-free entry, visit Belize’s Immigration Department website. Travelers with valid multiple-entry Schengen visas may also be exempt.  

How to apply for a Belize visa 

For citizens from some countries, including India, Egypt and the Philippines, a visa is required to bask in the beaches of Belize. Travelers from these countries need to have a valid passport and then apply via a Belize consulate.

There are two separate visa categories – sponsored and self-sponsored. Each visa requires a different set of documentation. For more on the specific documents for these visa categories go to Belize’s immigration website

How much does a visa for Belize cost?

When it comes to visa fees, it all depends on which country you hail from. For instance, for a single-entry visa valid for six months, citizens from India, Nepal, Thailand and a few others will need to pay BZ$750 to apply. All other nationals need only pay BZ$200. 

Garifuna troupe performs traditional songs with drumming and dancing in Hopkins Village.
A Garifuna troupe performing in Belize © Roijoy / Getty Images

Can I extend my stay?

A month may not be enough to become entrenched in Belize’s cultural diversity and robust wildlife – and we don’t blame you. If you’d like to extend your stay, Belize offers a Visitor’s Permit Extension, where you gain an additional 30 days to ogle ancient Maya temples or snorkel in the world’s second-largest barrier reef. However, you’ll need to re-apply every 30 days if you’d like to keep extending, and the fee costs BZ$200 each time.  

Can I work remotely in Belize? 

Belize made the dream of having your Zoom beach background a reality with their “Work Where You Vacation” program

With the rise of remote working, this Caribbean country opened its arms to digital nomads who are citizens of the European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States or Canada. 

They can now spend their 9-to-5 plugging away at their laptops and 5-to-9 exploring the islands of Caye Caulker or Ambergris Caye on foot. 

The permit allows you to work in sun-dappled co-working spaces – or the comfort of your rental – for up to six months. So, what are the requirements for a digital nomad visa in Belize? 

For those without dependents, you need a minimum annual income of US$75,000 and employment outside Belize. Those traveling with children must have a minimum annual income of US$100,000. For the latter, student permits are also granted to children to enroll in a Belizean school for the duration of their stay.

As for the cost, enrolling in the “Work Where You Vacation” program will set you back BZ$500 per adult and BZ$200 for children under 18. To learn about the application process, email the Belize Immigration Department

Yoga at dock of Caye Caulker island. Participants perform yoga moves outdoors by the sea.
Expats can temporarily live and work in Belize with a special "Work Where You Vacation" visa © Aleksandar Todorovic / Shutterstock

Arriving in Belize

Upon arrival, those eager to explore the country must provide a flight itinerary to the immigration officers at Belize’s only international airport. A date of departure is a must, and the officers will likely ask you to provide an intended address in Belize. While there’s no entry fee, there is a US$30 to US$60 departure tax.  

Belize may be pocket-sized compared to its flashier neighbors like Costa Rica and Panama, but don’t let that fool you – with vibrant marine life rolling beneath the waves and towering forests cocooning national parks, it’ll be hard to stay away. The country’s fairly straightforward entry requirements make planning your trip much easier.

Buy The Islands Book

The Islands Book

Explore 150 of the world’s most enchanting islands in this inspirational coffee table book that features beautiful photography, illustrations and maps. Island hop across cosmopolitan archipelagos and secret tropical paradises, discover fascinating stories about each destination, meet locals, encounter wildlife and find amazing island experiences.

Buy The Islands Book

Explore related stories

Palau - July 2017: young couple enjoying the view on Long Beach with one of the many islands of Palau in the background, surrounded by clear water in turquoise and blue colors
A couple standing on Long Beach in Palau surrounded by clear blue ocean and islands in the background.

Destination Practicalities

A first timer’s guide to Palau

Sep 25, 2023 • 7 min read