It’s time to give an update on my legal status here in Belize. After the issues with my work permit, the process for obtaining my other documentation has been anti-climactic.
When I received my work permit I was informed that I needed to get a social insurance card. I thought, oh great, more governmental red tape. But it actually turned out to be a relatively easy process. I went to the social security office to make my application. The individual who was helping me did goof once – he told me that I would have to pay a fee of $25 BZD, but that was after telling me that there was no fee necessary. So I asked him to show me where it was written about the fee. He came back to his desk and told me that I didn’t have to pay the fee, the fee is applicable only on renewal. I did have to have my picture taken though (again).
Note to those coming in to Belize – any pictures you need to have for government documentation – make sure your shoulders are covered.
After the picture was taken I was told to come back the following week, Monday. Well, it turns out that was Easter Monday, and here in Belize all government offices are closed Easter Monday. So I went to the office on the Tuesday after Easter Monday. My card wasn’t in and I was told it was to be delivered to the Punta Gorda office end of day Tuesday and to come back Wednesday. Well, I didn’t get back until today. I picked up my card and the clerk who took my picture made sure that my shoulders were not showing in the picture. Overall, a relatively easy process.
Same as for getting my Trade License – quite a smooth process. No picture involved this time though, thank goodness. I made my application, paid my fee and picked up my Trade License a week later.
So, definitely, after the mess that was the work permit, getting the social security card and Trade License was a smooth process.