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 US 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. Here’s our guide to make your entry to Belize smooth sailing from the moment the plane lands on the sun-drenched tarmac. 

If visiting for under 30 days, you may not need a visa

Many travelers visiting Belize on a short trip don’t need a visa. A valid passport is the only requirement for many nationalities, which includes travelers from the United StatesCanada and the UK. Depending on your citizenship, you can stay in Belize for up to 30 days without needing 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 IndiaEgypt and the Philippines, a visa is required to bask on 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

Visa fees vary depending on your citizenship

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 China need to pay BZ$3000, and people from India, Nepal, Thailand and a few other nations 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

It is possible to extend your visit beyond 30 days

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 reapply every 30 days if you’d like to keep extending, and the fee costs BZ$200 each time.

There's a visa scheme for digital nomads and other remote workers 

Belize made the dream of having your Zoom beach background a reality with its “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 EU, the UK, the US 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 digital nomads to work in sun-dappled co-working spaces – or the comfort of their 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 so children can enroll in a Belizean school for the duration of their stay.

As for the cost, being part of 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

You'll need to show some documentation on arrival 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, there's plenty to do. The country’s fairly straightforward entry requirements make planning your trip much easier.

This article was first published Aug 7, 2023 and updated Jan 11, 2024.

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