Moving to Colombia
- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Colombia Guide (PDF)
If expats contemplating a move to Colombia can look beyond the country's documented troubles, they'll find an unspoilt land with a friendly and curious local population. Colombia is a geographically diverse country and foreigners are constantly in awe of its scenic beauty, from vast mountain ranges to green prairies and lush rainforests. Most foreigners living in Colombia are based in the capital, Bogotá, but expats should be able to find a community of expats in most Colombian cities.
One of the major considerations of living in Colombia is concerns over safety. While the government has done a lot to tackle drug trafficking, the issues associated with it are still rife. Muggings, burglary and credit card fraud are common crimes that are committed against unsuspecting foreigners. These issues have caused Colombia's popularity as an expat destination to lag behind other South American destinations like Brazil and Argentina, but its expat population is nonetheless steadily growing.
Many young expats come to Colombia to work as English teachers and spend a few years exploring South America. Other thriving industries include construction, medicine, and oil and gas. Having at least a basic knowledge of Spanish will not only be advantageous in the workplace but also helps in interacting with the local population.
The cost of living in Colombia will be considered low by expats moving from North America or Europe. However, it is not quite as low as in neighbouring South American countries. This is mainly due to the fact that a large number of everyday products need to be imported into the country, subsequently increasing the prices. While the cost of school tuition can be high, especially at private and international schools, expats will find that private healthcare is reasonably priced. Furthermore, these expensive elements of expat life in Colombia are offset by low taxes.
Relocating to Colombia will be an exciting step full of new opportunities, even for the most seasoned expat. While some extra safety precautions will be necessary, new arrivals should rest assured that the great hospitality offered by the Colombian people will ensure that they settle in easily.