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Medellin Guru Answers Hundred of Questions Monthly
Medellin Guru is the only blog in Colombia that answers hundreds of reader questions about Colombia monthly. Medellin Guru is now responding to well over 700 questions per month from readers.
>We receive questions about hundreds of topics each month. But questions are mainly about visas, coronavirus, travel to Colombia, moving to Colombia, cities in Colombia, insurance, renting apartments, neighborhoods and real estate.
Medellin Guru has a large network of professionals including a visa agency, insurance broker, real estate agency, lawyers and other professionals. So, we can answer almost any question from readers or find someone who can answer your question
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Sorry but Medellin Guru NO LONGER answers questions from readers due to a huge amount of SPAM unless they are Patreon members and ask on Medellin Guru’s Patreon.
Jeff-Thank you for including me in your new Medellin Guru posts. My husband and I love this newsletter: it seems to be geared more toward “more mature” expats rather than the audience targeted by Medellin Living. We spent two months in Medellin last winter and are planning on a longer stay this upcoming winter, perhaps 3-4 months so we are looking for a longer term lodging this year. No, we don’t expect you to find it for us but do you have a suggestion of a search site besides Airb&b? We speak Spanish.
Thanks, Leah Rosenthal
Hi Leah, thanks!
I have seen that Airbnb does have some lower cost apartment rentals available from some of the local Colombian real estate firms and some local Colombian owners. But make sure to look for properties with ratings and make sure they have hot water. A Spanish language site you can try is https://www.homeaway.com.co/ plus use a google search of “apartamentos con muebles medellin”.
Thanks Jeff–I didn’t realize you had replied as I only just saw this reply. I will check out these sites now that we are down here in Medellin. A friend mentioned, in regard to finding a place, just ask Colombians. And it works. We now have two leads from random people we met on the street.
I have a quick question on paying the EPM bill remotely. We have an apartment that we want to keep the electricity on while we are out of the country but we don’t have a cedula or a colombian bank account. Any ideas on how expats handle this issue?
Thanks for your input.
Hi Mark, expats with Colombian bank accounts can pay bills like EPM electronically when traveling and other expats I have talked to use friends to pay bills when they travel.
Thanks Jeff – we will ask for friends to help since we still don’t have Colombian bank account.
I first “discovered” Medellín in the 1960’s living there as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Since 2010 my wife and I have visited almost every year primarily as volunteers to help teach English in public schools in poor barrios. (That is our rationale for getting out of mid-west winters) Medellín has truly transformed from an almost provincial city of half-a-million to the metropolis it is today. I am looking forward to receiving Medellín Guru updates to keep us informed of what is happening and adding to our “to do” list when in town. Hasta la proxima!
Do you know anything about Jerico or Jardin (Antioquia)?
See our articles about Jericó – https://medellinguru.com/jerico-antioquia/ and Jardín https://medellinguru.com/jardin/.
I am Indian and married to Colombian girl 3 years before and now we have one girl child 3 months old, I know that I can apply R visa because I am parent of Colombian child, but my quiry is how long validity I get and if I stay away from Colombia for more than 2 years then this visa become invalid?
Because I’m mariner and I no can meet this condition sometimes then what should I do
Thanks for advice.
If you get a R visa and if you leave Colombia for a period of more than two years with an R visa without returning to Colombia, the visa expires and is no longer valid. See our article about the resident visa – https://medellinguru.com/resident-visa/
But if you come back to Colombia for even a short time before two years is up, you get another two years.
You keep sending me updates. But when I tried to do a search or even contact you through proper contact page I keep getting “Forbidden Sender Blacklisted” Explain to me why I am blacklisted and if that is the case take me off your mailing list
The Medellin Guru website has Spam protection which blacklists some IP addresses and emails. The search on Medellin Guru will not work if you are using some VPN providers. That is a Spam protection provided by our hosting provider as much Spam originates from VPNs.
The Medellin Guru website like any popular websites has a serious problem with Spam and sometimes receives over 200 Spam messages per day. If we disabled Spam protection, reviewing all the Spam to weed out legit messages would be an unmanageable task with some days even over 1,000 Spam messages received.
Hope all is well with you.
Jeff I believe I have digged a big bad hole for myself with the Colombian immigration authorities and I am in a real need for your advice and guidance helping me resolve my visa problem (explained below). If you know of an immigration lawyer in Bogota who can help me with this, please pass along his/her contact info.
I was married to my ex wife, a Colombian national, from June of 2012 until May of 2016. It was only in 2014 that I applied for a 3-year marriage visa TP-10 (which expired in Feb 2017). As you can see, our marriage ended in May of 2016, but I failed to inform the Immigration authorities of our divorce since I did not know the visa laws/regulations at that time.
Also, right before that TP-10 visa expired in Feb of 2017, I applied for another 3-year TP-10 visa with the help of my ex wife, who wrote and signed a letter stating that we were still together/married in order to help me obtain the same TP=10 visa (2017-2020). Now this visa is expiring in Feb of this year.
This time around my ex wife is not willing to write the same letter out of concern that she could get in trouble. For this reason I decided to file for a Retirement Visa (M-11) instead.
After submitting all the required documents online, the immigration office reviewer (s) required me to submit a copy of our marriage certificate, which was not a required document for the M-11 visa application. Nevertheless, reluctantly I submitted the marriage certificate after which I received a notification email from the immigration office requesting a personal interview with me and my ex wife.
As you can imagine, I am really concerned about going to this interview, because I have no reason or any excuse to give them as to why I did not report my divorce status to them and why my ex wife agreed to write and signed the letter, stating that we were still together/married in 2017, almost a year after our divorce.
Although I am not certain if the immigration office has any information about our divorce, but assuming that they do, what do you think would be the worst consequences that my ex wife and I might face in this case?
Thank you in advance for your time reading and responding,
p.s. Please respond in private to my email if at all possible. Thanks,
Email response sent.
Thanks again for your prompt reply. Unfortunately I have not received an email response from you in my inbox yet. I’ll check other mail boxes to see if it has gone there. Under what name will it be sent to me?
The email was sent at 8:55am today from Medellin Guru at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I received a notice from Bancolombia that payments to them will be frozen for three months. I have a savings account with them but no payments. I do pay my landlord via his Bancolombia account. Were all banks required to freeze payments or was it voluntary on Bancolombia’s part? Should renters also benefit from the freeze?
Secondly, I’m in a temporary apartment and have started searching for a new place. I know this is speculative, but do you have any thoughts on what impact this situation will have on the cost of rent?
Sorry can’t help you about Bancolombia.
I suspect that rent prices may become more negotiable if landlords have trouble renting.
A lot of gringos here are better off than Colombians as we have a steady stream of income thru SS. is there a secure way we can donate to the poor? Preferably using a credit/debit card from the US?
One charity I know that is doing good things is Angeles de Medellin, not sure how they accept donations. They recently provided food for over 150 families – https://www.facebook.com/angelesdemedellinfoundation/
Will look into this topic next week and see if we can find more for an article.
Hi. Do you know if a Venezuelan can fly on a domestic flight in Colombia, if they have an expired passport? Thanks.
That is unlikely.
Jeff, Help! Myself and my family (3 kids) are traveling to Medellin on March 13th-21st from the US. We are actually bringing lots of dental supplies to donate and running a dental clinic around the villages of Nuqui that week for a few days. While I am not worried about Covid as 3 of us have already received both doses of the vaccine my two youngest children have not. I am desperately looking for a clinic in Medellin that is fairly priced to get the required testing to get entrance back to the US. We would need to get this onMarch 19th for 5 of us and have results by the 21st at 1am to board the plane. We are staying at Sites Hotel in Medellin. Could you please help? Thanks
We have a popular article about where you can get COVID-19 tests in Medellín including the costs and time to get results, see – https://medellinguru.com/pcr-test-covid-19-test/
I have just returned from Medellin to the US. There is a place in Laureles that is run for the Central de Referencia Laboratorio Clinico. They have the Prueba PCR test taken there. They stick a cotton swab in one nostril for about ten seconds.
The cost is COP 290000.(about USD 88). They want pesos cash. No charge cards.
They are on Avenida Nutibara at Circular 2 in Laureles, just west of the UPB campus.
On the other side of Nutibara, about two blocks west of the site is a Bancolombia with an outdoor ATM. I was able to use my US credit union debit card there to withdraw pesos. They charge about 5% to do the transaction from dollars to pesos.
The clinico is not open Sunday. I went 70 hours before my arrival time in US. They said no. Come back mañana. (In case of flight delays, I suppose.)
Bring your passport. Fill out forms. I took the test mañana , and they told me I would get the results in 24 hours mañana. They gave me the website to get the results. Not an email and not in 3 hours like the sign says.
About 22 hours later I saw the results online. I wanted a printout, but a print shop was closed on Sunday. I took a screen shot! Now I can show the results anytime.
The airlines did not care to see the PCR test. They just wanted me to cover my nose and mouth with a mask. The governments in Colombia and Mexico just wanted me to fill out migration forms online. In the last 14 days, where were you, were you coughing, etc?
Even the US customs did not ask to see the results. For the record, the results were negative, no covid.
These were my experiences. A sample of one experience is too small to generalize.
Thanks Richard! Always good to hear others experiences. Question as to why you got the more expensive PCR test and not just the antigen test to get back in the US? Also, what airline were you flying that they did not even check your results. That is bizarre. I’m also shocked customs did not ask for your results. We will be flying Aeromexico and wondering if they will be looking closely at results. I kind doubt it, Thanks
I thought I needed a PCR test to return. The other tests offered did not use the term PCR. Is that a dumb reason?
My flight out of Columbia on Aeromexico was 1:30am. I was a bit sleepy, and napped on the plane.
Going thru migration in Mexico City back to the US was torture around 6am. The lines were extremely long. I still got to my next flight time in time, but they said that it was not in time for my luggage to be loaded. They re-booked me for six hours later.
I do not remember US customs asking me for PCR test. But I do remember airlines asking me covid related questions. US customs were concerned about plants and drugs. Their dogs sniffed your suitcases.
My comments are about my return to the US.. Do not trust my memory to be accurate.
I remember Migration thru Mexico to Columbia to be much faster in the early evening. Aeromexico has a flight cancellation policy of allowing one with a modest re-booking charge. You lose a good deal of your money if you cancel more than once.
It may be wiser to book US airlines directly to Colombia. The distance is shorter from Florida to Colombia than from Mexico City. US airlines are more cancellation friendly because of their temporary covid policy. And you avoid migration thru a third country. Maybe you can arrive or leave at better times.
Good luck, whatever your choices.
Richard, we are on the exact same flight home on Aeromexico at 1:30am. We found a spectacular deal for First Class Seats and jumped on them. I hope we don’t regret it. We are staying in Mexico City for two days on the way to Medellin and then just a connection on the way home. We are only taking carryon luggage though so do not need to worry about checking any bags in Mexico City. Thanks for all your comments and experience. I have researched a lot and found either Anitgen or PCR Covid tests are acceptable to get back in the US.
At the same place on Avenida Nutibara, they offer a Test de Antigenos for COP 150000 cash instead. (about $45). Maybe the 3 hour results by email would apply to that??
Take a screen shot of your test results, to be sure you have it when you need it.
If you do not need to worry about check-on bags, you will probably not need to worry about making your connection to the US, It took a little over 1 hour standing to get thru Mexicans migrations.
Be aware of the terminal number of your connecting flight to the US. Aeromexico lands in terminal 2. If your next flight is from terminal 1, you need to take an airport train to that terminal. Add another half hour to find the airline. Let someone guide you and tip them.
Fill out the migration forms online for both Colombia and Mexico. Each flight.
https://apps.migracioncolombia.gov.co/pre-registro/public/preregistro.jsf (on PC)
( apps.migracioncolumbia.gov.co on safari on iphone )
You can choose to fill Español, English, or Francais forms.
https://www.inm.gob.mx/fmme/publico/en/solicitud.html (on PC)
( inm.gob.mx on safari on iphone )
Fill out these two forms forms (each way) the day before or day you fly.
When I went in transit thru Mexico, I filled out I was “in transit to …” as the destination within Mexico.
Practice getting to the forms before you go.
i am trying to plan a visit to medellin to visit friends and family, i will have appropriate tests, but curious about the 10 day isolation. I cant take a long absence from work here in the US. Does anyone know how the isolation is being enforced, or if its being enforced at all?
If you have a PCR test taken within 96 hours of your flight there is NO 10 day isolation. The rule is:
1. Get a PCR test with negative results taken a maximum of 96 hours before your flight
2. If you don’t have a PCR test, quarantine for 14 days when arrive in Colombia
3. Get a PCR test when you arrive in Colombia and quarantine until you receive negative results. It is possible to get PCR test results within 48 hours in Medellín.
See this article – https://medellinguru.com/colombia-require-covid-19-test/
I have been trying to renew my retirement visa online myself and have been rejected for documents I could not send as attachments to their website because the website is only set up to take 8 attachments and I have 10. Many of my documents, particularly the SS letter of income verification and the apostille, have more than one page. Please make note of this in your online instructions so others will not be as disappointed as I am right now.
We recommend not applying for visas yourself and use a visa agency that is experienced. The visa agency we partnered with has helped 131 Medellin Guru readers obtain retirement visas – https://medellinguru.com/retirement-visa/
If you do it yourself you can combine pages into one PDF using a tool like PDF combine – https://combinepdf.com/
Thanks for your answers Jeff. I agree best to use a visa agency as the visa process has become more difficult.
I have never combined anything on my computer but I will try. Thanks so much for the suggestion.