Medellin is the top exporting region of Colombia and is also home to the first business cluster in the South American country.
Although poverty and unemployment have both traditionally been big problems in Medellin, major improvements have been made in both areas in the last few years. Although there is not a large expat population in Medellin, there are opportunities for expats to work in Medellin.
Medellin's economy contributes around 11 per cent of Colombia's GDP, with the influential Grupo Empresarial Antioqueño helping to manage the local economy among different industries and services.
Agriculture is one of the key local industries due to the city's rural setting, while many national and multinational companies have their headquarters in Medellin. Many new high-rise buildings are under construction in Medellin's city center.
Latin America's biggest fashion show, Colombiamoda, is held in Medellin.
Teaching English as a foreign language is one of the most common job opportunities for foreigners seeking to work in Medellin, but there are other opportunities available.
Job sites such as OpcionEmpleo, CompuTrabajo, LinkedIn, El Empleo and Trabajando.com are among the best places to look for jobs in Medellin.
Classified listings can also be found at Vivavisos, El Colombiano (Local newspaper) and El Tiempo, which is Colombia's biggest and most influential newspaper.
Various documents are needed to secure a TP-4 visa, which allows employment in Medellin, including a notarized Resumen de Contrato (Former Contract) that has been signed by both the expat and their boss, a letter from the employer authorizing the individual to work in Colombia, a photocopy of the Declaracion de Renta and a Certificado de Camara de Comercio.
In addition, foreigners must provide proof of their ability to work, as well as a copy of their passport and four photographs for their visa. The visa costs 190 EUR for EU and Cuban citizens if paid online, and 245 USD for others, or if paid inside Colombia. The Visa can be arranged at any country with a Colombian Consulate.
Once the visa is granted, expats must go to Colombian immigration and apply for their Cédula de Extranjería, which is the Colombian national ID for foreigners. A blood test certifying type of Blood and RH is essential at the moment to get the Cédula de Extranjería.