American National Fined for Illegal Overstaying in Belize

Immigration logo BelizeUSA flagA 42 year old American from the U.S. state of Indiana overstayed his welcome by about a week. But he has a good reason:  he told a court this morning that six hours is just too short a time to get to know the Jewel. Bryan Rusk, a diesel mechanic, came to Belize last Thursday, February 20, aboard the Carnival Glory cruise ship but he somehow managed to evade the local immigration officer and failed to get permission to enter the country from either Immigration or the ship’s master.

Once on Belizean shores, he reportedly rented an apartment in the King’s Park area and spent a week sightseeing.  But he ended his vacation on Wednesday when he turned himself in to the Fort Street Tourism Village. Immigration authorities went to Fort Street and picked up Rusk and verified his story.

He pleaded guilty to failure to obtain permission to enter Belize and was fined $1,000, which he immediately paid. In response to Rusk’s story, Magistrate Leslie Hamilton said he could understand Rusk’s feelings, but there was a legal way to extend his stay, via a visa permit.

Rusk has a clean criminal record and was not known to be a prohibited or illegal immigrant.  No word on whether he will continue to call Belize home, but it’s safe to say he probably had a good time.

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