Foreign Residency Options In Belize And Malaysia

“Kathleen, you always mention how it is possible to live on a modest pension in places like Belize and Malaysia. Yet to be allowed to live as a full-time retiree in Belize you must have a monthly income of US$2,000, and the Malaysia government requires a monthly income the equivalent of about US$3,000. The way I see it is that a person with a monthly income of US$1,300 might be able to afford to live in these places, but they wouldn’t be allowed to by the governments. Am I correct?”

–Bruce M., United States

It depends on the country and the residency visa option you choose.

Right, the QRP program in Belize requires that you have a monthly income of US$2,000 per month to qualify. However, Belize also offers other residency options, including the very straightforward option of simply renewing your tourist visa every 30 days for a year, after which time you can apply for permanent residency. This route doesn’t come with any specific income requirement.

Malaysia doesn’t offer another option, and they don’t want the backpacker crowd as residents. One strategy here would be to spend part of the year in Malaysia and the rest of your time elsewhere. This would allow you to avoid the residency issue altogether.


“Kathleen, I’m in the commercial fishing business. I worked in Alaska for 20 years, but I’m working now on a fishing ship in Argentina.

“I’ve been reading your newsletter now for over a year now, and I enjoy it very much. I feel fortunate to get a chance now to work outside of the United States and look forward to checking out some of the places you write about.”

–Jared H., Argentina

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