Colombia Expat Feed
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donchrisml replied to the thread Immigration Attorney in Bogota Needed on the Colombia forum on July 02, 2015:
weitz initially posted:
Hi all, can someone recommend a good immigration attorney, possibly one that also deals with employment and tax law? Our situation (3 foreign partners in a business to be purchased) is a bit complicated, there are a lot of options for us when it comes to visa and starting a society (or not) and we really need someone experienced and competent. Thanks!
donchrisml replied on July 02, 2015 with:
@weitz I shall be glad to get in touch with you. Our firm is experienced and well-known for solid advice in immigration, corporate and tax issues. Take a look at our website Regards, Christoph Möller Attorney-at-Law admitted in Colombia
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bigjailerman replied to the thread ATM Study on the Colombia forum on July 02, 2015:
Andresen initially posted:
I am retired here in Medellin and have my social security deposited into my USAA checking account. (And, no you do not need a military connection to open a checking account with the United Services Automobile Association.) They charge a 1% foreign transaction fee (FTF) on withdrawals. The first 10 transactions each month are free, after that they charge $2 for each additional transaction. So as not to pay, or minimize, the extra $2 charges it is necessary to withdraw as much as possible with each transaction. First, I tested the following banks and this is the maximum they allow per transaction: 780mil – Servibanca 700mil – Citibank 600mil – Bancolombia 300mil – ATH (Banco de Bogota); Occidente; Davivienda; BBVA. (When I say “maximum allowed per transaction” this is based on the highest amount offered on the screen. I haven’t been successful in entering higher amounts.) Second, on the same day (June 30, 2015) I made a 300mil withdrawal from each of the top 3 banks to see if I got the same currency exchange rate (CER). The following resultant USD charges were before the 1% FTF: Bancolombia - $116.09 for a CER of 2,584 COP per USD. Servibanca - $119.34 for a CER of 2,514 COP per USD. Citibank - $121.29 for a CER of 2,473 COP per USD. That’s more than a $3 difference between Bancolombia (1st) and Servibanca (2nd) and almost a $5 difference between Bancolombia (1st) and Citibank (3rd). It certainly looks like the best value is to withdraw cash from Bancolombia! BTW, for future reference, the currency exchange rate close on June 29, 2015 was almost exactly 2600 COP/USD. Also interesting, is that almost all ATMs give you most of your cash in 50mil notes. The only two times I’ve used Servibanca, it gave me all 20mil and 10mil notes. This was the ATM located in the lobby of Torre Medica in El Poblado. (There may be times when someone would like a lot of small bills.) I hope others find this information helpful. Comments are welcome.
bigjailerman replied on July 02, 2015 with:
Yup, it easily ads up to at least 100 bucks in my pocket per month!
bh2 replied on July 02, 2015 with:
Schwab told me they also charge no currency conversion fee. Heck of a deal.
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edgardiser replied to the thread Important Stuff to Bring on the Colombia forum:
Surferusa initially posted:
Hi all, I am planning a 6-week trip to Medellin, could you suggest a few items I should bring that I will need/use, that locally can't get readily or are very expensive, that upon leaving I might give them to local acquaintances? Or maybe not personal items but nice gifts from the States to local contacts who might appreciate such hard to get items?
edgardiser replied on July 01, 2015 with:
I have interacted with many Colombians never have I been taken advantage of and the people whom I associate with appreciate all. So far as loaning money, I never loan to anyone.
bigjailerman replied on June 30, 2015 with:
Ugh. Tank Tops and T Shirts
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Marley1976 posted New to Cartagena on the Colombia forum on June 30, 2015:
May possibly be working in Cartagena in the new year and was curious as to what it is like? -cost to live -safety -culture -things to do -good place to bring a family
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thelocogringo replied to the thread US tourist visa advice for boyfriend on the Colombia forum on June 30, 2015:
Kaylie initially posted:
I'm a 23 year old girl from the US and I've been living with my 22 year old Colombian boyfriend and his family in Bogota for 2 years. We have a "union libre" and that's how I have my visa to stay in Colombia. I want him to come with me to the US for Christmas to visit and meet my family. He is currently in college (going to be starting his 5th semester) and he is studying to be an English teacher. He was working at an English call center for about 9 months but recently quit to start teaching English at a language institute. He also recently bought a motorcycle. (i know it helps if you own something, but I don't know if a motorcycle is enough..) Are these things enough for him to get approved for a tourist visa? Obviously he wants to come back to Colombia because he can't make a living teaching English in the US. School is also really important to him and he wants to improve his English while in the US and be able to be a better teacher. His family is also really important to him. As far as our relationship I don't know what he should say. We're young and have no interest in getting married now, but I don't know how to prove that to the embassy. Any advice?
thelocogringo replied on June 30, 2015 with:
Kaylie, Have him make the aplication for a tourist visa. Be 100 percent honost both on the aplication and also in the interview. They will either give him a visa or not. That is the only way. As you know, Americans value honesty and straightforwardness above all else. They will know if he is a flight risk. The visa people have seen it all and have tons of experiance. Good Luck......
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mukerjicolombia replied to the thread Finding a house in Bogota ... on the Colombia forum:
mukerjicolombia initially posted:
Hi, I'm moving from India to Bogota later this year on a job assignment. Other than my child's school admission, the other big thing on my agenda is finding a house in Bogota. I'd appreciate any assistance I can get in this regard. Is the trend towards living apartments or independent houses? Should I be considering gated communities or not? Which is safer? Which areas of Bogota would you recommend I should live in? Is there an Indian community in Bogota? Should I consider living in that area? What are the approximate rents for apartments/independent houses in Bogota? Do rented apartments/independent houses come with all furnishings - kitchen/furniture/electrical fixtures etc or do we have to buy them after taking an empty house on rent? I know it's quote a lot of questions to start a post with ... but I wanted to put all that's on my mind on paper!
mukerjicolombia replied on June 30, 2015 with:
@alelihomedecor - Thank you very much for the information about PADS. The website looks promising and I will contact them to see if they can provide assistance in locating a suitable apartment. As for your own offer to assist while reviewing my house interiors - I'll contact you once I have located and fixed an apartment in the city. @Exbury - Thank you very much for the exhaustive and extremely helpful insights. This helps. Especially since I'm in Bogota now for a couple of weeks to recce the city for apartments/schools etc before getting my family in. @broncoII - Thanks for the response. It'll be helpful as I compare renting versus purchase etc in the longer run.
broncoII replied on June 10, 2015 with:
Is the trend towards living apartments or independent houses? In Bogota there are no independent homes. They call everything else apartments which are normally in multi level buildings. My wife and I purchased a apartment (condo) 18 story building in North Bogota Cedritos. Gated entrances with security guards 24/7. Normally the farther north the safer and nicer it gets. Good Luck
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caribe replied to the thread visa TP10 spouse visa on the Colombia forum on June 29, 2015:
caribe initially posted:
I'm just about to apply for the spouse visa. I will need to go back to Canada because I still have a business in Canada. I know that once I have the visa and the cedula, I know I can leave for periods no longer than 6 months. I need to know if this visa requires a total number of days per year I must reside in Colombia
caribe replied on June 29, 2015 with:
Thanks a lot for your answer. I was thinking it is best to choose the right visa. I have it clear now. My business, for fiscal purpose, request that I must live in Canada a minimum of 183 days per year. There is then no need to rush my kids to take over the business
donchrisml replied on June 24, 2015 with:
Martin, from a very formal point of view I do not fully agree with the officer. Residency is for 5 years, it´s not unlimited anymore. Therefore, after 5 years you have to apply for a new RE-visa. It´s not about "refreshing" an old visa. We are talking about a new visa application. As any visa application, the follow-up RE-visa application can be denied at the Colombian government´s discretion. But: Colombian immigration regulation clearly states that an applicant who has held a 5-year RE-visa is entitled to apply for another RE-visa if . For that reason it does not matter if the original marriage which led to the first RE-visa is still valid or not. So, do not worry about divorce. As indicated above, even if you are entitled to apply for a new RE-visa that does not mean that you have a right to be granted such visa. The approval of your follow-up application will still be at the government's discretion. From a practical point of view, as you will comply with the formal requirement (having held a RE-visa in the 5 years prior to your next application) the government will only deny your application if there are very strong arguments against your further stay in Colombia (such as serious crimes, grand style tax evasion, offending influential circles etc.) In such cases, even an unlimted RE-visa (if it still existed) would not protect you as you could be deported to your country of origin. To summarize, there is no "right" to stay in Colombia, regardless if the foreigner has resident status or not. The permission of staying in Colombia is always subject to the compliance of some very basic social and legal rules. As long as you stick to those rules, under current law nobody will call into question your acquired resident status. Regards, Chris
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kristinaose posted Work in Colombia on the Colombia forum on June 29, 2015:
I am a 24 year old girl from Norway, I just finished my bachelors degree in education. I have experience from working With disabled People and teaching. I have also been working With children With Down syndrome etc. In 2012, I was in Colombia teaching English as a voulenteer. I really fell in love With the country, and now I want to og back and live there for a while. Since I am planning to stay here for a while, I am looking for a paid job, maybe as an English teacher or something similar. I am very open. Hope someone here can help, and maybe have some suggestions for me. I can speak a little Spanish, but I want to learn it fluently. Kind regards :)
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Andresen replied to the thread phone and internet in rural area on the Colombia forum on June 27, 2015:
enretiro initially posted:
Does anyone knows about phone and internet service in the rural area of Guasca Cundinamarca? Does Direct TV offers TV and Internet service? Can you access Neflix with the internet? Which phone company is better? Thanks
Andresen replied on June 27, 2015 with:
I am in Medellin. Direct TV does offer TV and Internet but for the latter I use Une. Yes, I get Netflix, both Colombian and, using an IP changer, I get US Netflix offers.
soystar1 replied on June 27, 2015 with:
Does Netflix come in internet? Only for the past 10 years or so.
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jonrod888 replied to the thread Moving to Manizales 08/15 on the Colombia forum:
RobC initially posted:
Hello, I am a young business professional looking to relocate to Manizales from Boston. My fiance lives there and is finishing her final year of school and it's in our best interest to enjoy life together in Colombia. Looking on advice on where to look for employment. What documents are needed to get a work visa? How do I extend the 90 day visa I receive when I enter Colombia? Also, do I have to buy a return flight to enter Colombia? Any advice / suggestions would be greatly appreciated as I dig through the prior posts in the forum for answers. Thanks, RobC
jonrod888 replied on June 27, 2015 with:
Immigration in Colombia will not check for a return flight in my experiences BUT the US airline will not check you in unless you have a round trip ticket or proper visa for an extended stay. You can buy a separate fully refundable return ticket and cancel with refund later.
EcuadorDean replied on June 26, 2015 with:
Wrong, you receive 90 days upon entry, I did it twice in the last year. It used to be 60 days and every 30 days thereafter go to DAS but that has changed.
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