how to move to colombia – 7 TIPS TO save money when moving to Colombia

Ready to move to Colombia?  Maybe you have already bought your house in Colombia, or maybe you are just considering how it would be. Well, as you realize at this point, I always defend my country so I’m sure you won’t regret of making the decision of moving to Colombia.

Moving to Colombia can seem daunting, and as for many others countries, let’s be honest, it is not easy, nor cheaper.  But like most projects it’s a series of small steps that eventually will make the process less painful and budget-friendly as long as you consider the following big items to get on your to-do list.

1. Plan in advance

The most time you have to plan your moving to Colombia the better. Take advantage of the time you have to find the best deals in advance. Start making a budget considering the most important items in advance.

Early-bird specials are popular with Airlines flights, travel bookings and more, so don’t waste any time and start planning your international move, researching and booking as soon as possible.

2. Work out your income stream

The cost of living in Colombia makes it possible for someone to exist on even a tiny monthly income.

Of course it depends on the type of life you want to have.  If you’re the kind of person who likes to eat dinner all nights of the week, maybe you won’t see the difference. But if you’re the average regular person with a good standard of living, be sure you can live a better life while spending far less. 

However, your current or future income is the basis of the kind of lifestyle you will enjoy.

For those of you who are being relocated from your actual job, you or most exactly your company has this item solved for you (and maybe many others explained below!).

But if you don’t, you can rest assured you have many options available to get an income in Colombia.

Any job that can be done remotely is great for this option: Finding an online virtual assistant job, writer, Tutoring English via Skype, tech worker, a real estate agent, or Turning your knowledge into Revenue doing what you are passionate as I did with the web site you're reading right now.

Figure out before the move to colombia how your skill set can transition to a remote earnings situation, and you’ll be able to get the full advantage of earning while still getting paid in American dollars (or pounds, or euros) and getting much more value for them locally.

Check here the actual exchange for your currency against the Colombian Peso

3. Try on living the local life

Even if you already have your home in Colombia, you can make a trial living in the place where you will live.  Remember is not the same the visit as tourist ( 5 to 10 days in a place) than spend 3 or 6 months.

With new vacation apps like Airbnb, Housetrip, or Oasis Collection you can rent a neighborhood apartment or house and experience the local lifestyle. Shop at the small Tienda around the corner, the bakery shop, and use local transport.

4. Arrange your visa

In Colombia you have different type of visas you can apply for.  if you’re entering as a tourist, you may be able to stay for up to 90 days from your date of entry without a visa.

Many Passport holders from countries don’t need a visa for a 90 day stay.

Before moving to Colombia, you need to check which visa is best for you before you go. Visas can be requested online, through Colombian consulates 

There are three separate categories which the visa falls into:

  • Temporary Visas (temporales) include visas for students, church members, spouses, refugees, NGO volunteers, crew members and parents of Colombian citizens.
  • Business Visas (negocios) include business related to management, foreign trade and infrastructure for Colombia.
  • Mercosur Visa (this visa is only available to citizens from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela).

5. Shipping  to Colombia 

Shipping or Air freight?. That’s the question takes time and a little more organisation, but it’s definitely worth it if you’re saving pennies.

Want to Ship your Car To Colombia?

The very first thing you need to know about shipping/exporting your vehicle to Colombia is a potential deal-breaker: ALL cars shipped to Colombia must now be new, meaning they must be the most recent model year from that manufacturer. The lone exception to this is antique cars, and those must be checked with the Colombian port authority on a case-by-case basis. The country does not allow older, used cars to be imported, so if you do have an older vehicle you don’t have many options other than buying a car once you move to Colombia. 

Of the utmost importance in shipping your vehicle is retaining a reliable, forthright shipping company licensed to operate internationally. This is extremely important because it is necessary to be aware of and understand all the country’s requirements which regulate imports. Before getting a quote from an international shipper, you may want to educate yourself about Colombian customs rules.

 Your car will probably be leaving the U.S. from one of several southern ports, for instance; Port Everglades, Miami, Houston, or Galveston, and is most likely to arrive in Colombia at either Cartagena, Buenaventura, or Barranquilla port. Most of these ports have ships departing either weekly or bi-weekly, so you’ll need to check on exact dates for the port nearest your home location.

Shipping a vehicle in to Colombia can be very difficult so it is good to have a professional company on your side like A-1 Auto Shipping to help you out with this process.  There are many restrictions when shipping a vehicle in to Colombia such as the vehicle needs to be a newer model, because of all these restrictions that are constantly changing you want to check with a specialist just prior to your planned shipping date.  Enter your details below to receive a free quote for shipping and you can obtain any information to see if your vehicle is eligible to be shipped in to Colombia

Colombia Car Shipping Quotes Provided By A-1 Auto Transport Inc.

6. Moving House holds an appliances

Move to Colombia is not only for lone wolves, family groups are most common than we think.

For families looking to move to Colombia and become an expat then you need to know that you are only allowed one shipment of household goods from each County of residence per family.  You should plan to have the household goods arrive 30 days prior to your arrival to Colombia or 120 days after your arrival.  

When you are planning a move to Colombia it is important to know that you will need a list of the contents written in Spanish.  If you are not familiar with Spanish you can use a translator online but they aren’t always 100% correct, you may also pay a professional to translate the list for you, costs will vary depending on the person but Fiveer.com is a great place to find someone for $5.  You must have a shipping inventory with detailed information of all the electrical equipment and appliances that you plan on importing in to the country.  That includes all household appliances such as ovens, microwaves, dishwashers, dryers and don’t forget to list the small things like TV’s, toasters, computers, radios and vacuum cleaners, in fact this list should be very detailed. 

It is extremely important to clean everything very well before packing and make sure there is no food or bugs.  Each shipment may be inspected by customs and they are very strict about this. It is also a good idea to have the make and model of your household appliances along with the serial number, these types of details will keep customs very happy.

Chances are you will shipping your appliances in sealed wooden crates to protect them.  If this is the case you need to make sure that everything is treated before shipping and you will need a sealed certificate to prove it.  If you do not have this then the shipment will end up getting delayed or canceled or at least cost you extra time and hassle.  Usually when a shipment comes in that is not certified then it will undergo a thorough fumigation that you will have to pay for, prices will vary on the mood of the officers and the size/contents of the shipment. 

When you are shipping furniture and especially bedroom furniture make sure you take out any uniforms or equipment related to military or police if applicable.  Other items that are not permitted are pornography, weapons, ammunition and narcotics. 


7. Selling belongings before your move to Colombia

Finally and no less important, is to try to get some extra money from your move to Colombia. You probably won’t take everything with you when leaving your home country.  Some extra cash will be welcome to help you pay some of the costs.  A garage sale if you have the time, or use the internet. There is a huge number of websites out there dedicated to buying and selling second hand goods.

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