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Moving to Medellin?

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Medellin at a Glance

Moving to Medellin

Medellin's fast improving reputation and beautiful climate, not to mention its immersive culture and incredible nightlife, makes it an appealing place to live for expatriates. It is also one of Colombia's most important economic centers, thus providing ample opportunities to those moving o Medellin.

About the City

Medellin's population grew beyond 2 million in the 2000s and has doubled in the last 30 years as the city becomes a much safer place to live. People living in Medellin are often called “Paisas or Antioqueños” after the department the city is in. There is not currently a large expat population in the city, with over 60% of people living in Medellin having been born in the city, while most other locals are Colombian. 

The vast majority of people living in Medellin are of European descent, although around 6.5% of the local population is of African descent.

Spanish is by far the most common language spoken in Medellin but use of English is on the rise, especially in the city's top hotels and restaurants. If you are an expat planning to move to Colombia, it is essential to have basics or Spanish or at least get enroll in a language course. This would be very useful. 

El Poblado, Envigado and Laureles are three of the safest neighborhoods and they are popular places for foreigners living in Medellin.

The Climate in Medellin

Medellin's climate is famous around the world and it is not surprising that it has earned the nickname of the City of Eternal Spring. 

The city has a tropical rainforest climate, but as it is located high above sea level it is not too hot and temperatures are relatively mild, remaining close to the 26-28°C range for all 12 months of the year. Even at the coldest times of the year it is rare for the mercury to drop below 15°C.

The rainiest months of the year are October and May and the city can be a wet place to live. 

Visas for Colombia

A visa from one of the Colombian diplomatic missions must be obtained before arriving in the South American country, apart from foreigners who are from visa-exempt nations, which includes anyone from the European Union. Visa-free access is also available to holders of a United States Visa or a Schengen Visa.

Citizens of Bangladesh, Cuba, Ghana and Somalia need to apply for a transit visa to travel in Colombia, while people with diplomatic or official/service passports of China, India, Iran, Mongolia, Morocco, Thailand, Ukraine and Vietnam do not need to secure a visa.

Any foreign nationals who are arriving in Colombia on a visa that has a validity of over three months must register with Migración Colombia within 15 days of their arrival in the country.

For more information on visa types, visit Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or take a look at our article on Moving to Colombia.

InterNations Expat Magazine