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Belize - Nationality and citizenship

According to section 23 of the Constitution of Belize every person born in Belize immediately before Independence Day became a citizen of Belize on Independence Day. This also applies for every person who, immediately before Independence Day was a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies.

A person born outside Belize on or after Independence Day shall become a citizen of Belize at the date of his birth if, at that date, his father or mother were a citizen of Belize.

The following persons may, upon making application at any time after Independence Day, be registered as citizens of Belize

  • Any person who is married to a citizen of Belize;
  • Any person who has been resident continuously in Belize for a period of five years immediately before the date of his application;
  • Any person who makes a substantial contribution to the economy and/or well being of Belize or who has rendered distinguished service to Belize.

A citizen of Belize by birth or descent who acquires the citizenship of any other country may, if the laws of the other country so permit and at his option retain his citizenship of Belize.

Citizenship

A person shall be or become entitled to the status of a citizen of Belize by right of descent (described above) or by virtue of registration. 

Citizenship by virtue registration

Section 10 of the Belizean Nationality Act establishes that any person shall apply for registration as a citizen of Belize if he or she is of full age and of sound mind; is a ordinarily resident in Belize and has been so resident for a period of five years immediately preceding the date of the application.

Certificate of citizenship of Belize in case of doubt

The Minister may in such cases as he thinks fit, on application made by or on behalf of any person with respect to whose citizenship of Belize a doubt exists, whether on a question of fact or law, certify that that person is a citizen of Belize.

A certificate issued shall be conclusive evidence that that person was such a citizen on the date thereof, but without prejudice to any evidence that he was such a citizen at any earlier date unless it is proved that it was obtained by means of fraud, false representation or concealment of any material fact,