Saturday, January 23, 2010


From the local Belize Culture Listserve debating forum

This message sent to the Bz-Culture Mailing List from Lan Sluder :
This is total 100% BS. It's a hype by a real estate broker trying to sell land.

There are nowhere near 20,000 participants in the QRP program. I
haven't tried to find out recently how many there QRPs have been
approved, but the last time I checked, a few years ago, it was fewer
than 200. (The BTB was relucant to give out the exact number, and you
can guess why.) I would say there are more now, but fewer than 1,000.
If I had to guess, maybe 500 or 600 approved since the program
started, of which not all are still in Belize.

No way that one in 15 or 16 people living in Belize (say, 330,000
divided by 20,000) are QRPers. That doesn't even begin to pass the
sniff test.

Nor does the fact that if there are 20,000 in the program, they are
required to deposit at least US$40 million a month in Belize banks, or
about half a billion U.S. a year. The total assets of ALL
Belize-based banks is only a little over a billion dollars.

The problem with QRP is not that it has been too successful but not
successful enough. Its provisions -- you don't get residency but just
permanent tourist status, you have to deposit US$2000 a month in a
Belize bank, etc., you can't work in Belize, you have to have
guaranteed income from a pension or Social Security, not just
investment income -- are not competitive with the programs in Mexico,
Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama.

Panama's pensionado program requires just US$400 a month. Costa
Rica's I believe now requires $1,000.

I have heard that the BTB is reviewing the QRP program to see if they
can make it more competitive. One thing under consideration is that
time as a QRPer will count toward citizenship. As it is now, if you
decide to switch from QRP to permanent resident, you have to pay back
some of your tax benefits and you have to start from scratch in terms
of times toward residency and citizenship.

--Lan Sluder

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