How to move to Venezuela

 

 

The used-to-be top expat destination's future is looking bleak as it grapples with the collapse of its economy. Venezuela's breath-taking attractions cannot redeem the fact that it is drowning in severe debts and food shortages. A negative growth is recorded in 2016. Expats should reconsider an assignment there that has no proper support.

Although strolling at night in the street is not a good idea in Venezuela, this country is still a great South American escape to start a laidback lifestyle. Moving to Venezuela will surely be a one-of-a-kind experience for foreign nationals, as the country has a rich and vibrant culture to offer – not to mention a wide variety of exquisite local foods that will make one say “Magnífico!” Venezuela has an extremely high biodiversity, thanks to the Amazon Basin rainforest and Andes Mountains that provide shelter to the country’s flora and fauna. With tropical beaches, sultry rainforests, enormous plains, vast rivers, jungle, waterfalls and majestic mountains, Venezuela is a miscellany of natural wonders. There’s still plenty of things to explore when you’re living in Venezuela and many things that make it beautiful despite adversities.

Things you need to check before you move 

1. Check the customs regulations before moving your items

For removals to Venezuela, consider consulting removal companies and get an estimate of how much the move would cost you. Coordinate properly with movers in Venezuela to ensure your shipments arrive within six months of your arrival as customs regulations dictate. 

If you plan to bring in cigars or alcoholic beverages, make sure to observe the set limits. You can only bring in 25 pieces of cigar or 200 cigarettes and only two liters of alcoholic drinks. Used households goods and your personal belongings can be brought in duty-free, as long as they are not new and have been in your possession for a period of at least six months. Brand new goods are duty-free up to a value of 1,000 USD only. For the rest of it exceeding that amount, you may be required to present an invoice. 

Items such as firearms and weapons (and yes that includes toys) would require that you present a special license. Drugs and other narcotics, pornographic materials, and flammable items are prohibited to be brought into Venezuela. If you wish to bring in food stuff like meat or vegetables, then you might need to reconsider. They are also prohibited to be brought into Venezuela. 

2. Check their visa requirements 

Venezuela is one of the very few countries in the world that require visas from US citizens. The only US Nationals allowed to enter the country without a visa are airline crew members and that is for a stay that will not exceed 72 hours only.

That said, there are still quite a number of countries that are allowed a visa-free entry into the country.

Here’s a list of countries whose nationals do not need visas upon entering Venezuela for 90 days:

All EU citizens

Dominica

Monaco

South Africa

Andorra

Grenada

New Zealand

South Korea

Antigua and Barbuda

Guatemala

Norway

Switzerland

Australia

Hong Kong

Palestine

Trinidad and Tobago

Barbados

Iceland

Panama

Turkey

Belarus

Jamaica

Paraguay

Russia

Belize

Japan

Saint Kitts and Nevis

 

Canada

Liechtenstein

Saint Lucia

 

Colombia

Malaysia

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

 

Costa Rica

Mexico

San Marino

 

Countries that need to show ID cards aside from their passport when travelling as tourists:

  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Ecuador
  • Peru
  • Uruguay

Nationals from Iran can enter without a visa but only for a maximum of 15 days, and nationals from Bolivia can enter without a visa if they hold a notarized invitation letter as well as a hotel reservation.

Learn more about the types of visas when you want to work in Venezuela through their official Foreign Ministry website.

3. Check your private healthcare options

As we’ve mentioned earlier, Venezuela is not in its best economic state right now, which also means that getting basic services such as healthcare is not very easy in the country at the moment. In March 2016, CNN reported that Venezuela has a healthcare crisis because of the rising cost, and inefficient healthcare services in the country. If you are planning to live in Venezuela, it is highly advisable to get your own private medical insurance to make sure that you are completely covered and you can receive the best services possible in the country. 

Things you didn’t know

1. The country has beautiful scenery

Venezuela is a beautiful country that has amazing beaches, fantastic national parks and great mountains. One of the most famous natural attraction in the country is the world’s tallest waterfall, the Angel Falls which also inspired the place “paradise falls” from the famous Pixar film “Up”.

But aside from Angel Falls, Venezuela has about 40 national parks and 20 nature reserves. Look forward to nature trips and related activities like hiking and trekking in Venezuela.

Nature Parks:

2. Venezuelan women are the most beautiful in the world (by title)

Venezuela has won the most beauty pageant titles than any other country in the world. For years they have topped the charts for the world’s most prestigious pageants such as Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss International, and Miss Earth. They have won a total of 22 major beauty pageant titles with the latest win on November 2015, for Miss International, when their representative Edymar Martinez Blanco won the crown.

Number of times won:

  • Miss Universe – 7
  • Miss World – 6
  • Miss International – 7
  • Miss Earth – 2

3. It’s one of the most dangerous places in the world

As beautiful as the country and its people are, there are also ugly realities in the country, especially in recent years. The World Atlas released a list of the most dangerous cities in the world in 2015, and they have recently updated the list in December 2016, however, in both of these lists, Caracas, the capital of Venezuela has the highest murder rate. Aside from Caracas, other cities in the country such as Maturin, Valencia, and Ciudad Guayana are also on the top 20 cities in the list. 

4. They have an interesting mix of culture

 

 

The culture of Venezuela is an interesting mix of American Indian, Spanish, and African cultures. And with the country also being host to a considerable number of immigrants in the past decade, the culture of Italians, Portuguese, and even Arabs are now part of Venezuelans' daily living.

The people of Venezuela are known for being fun-loving and outgoing. Do not be taken aback if you are introduced to a Venezuelan and you receive a kiss on each cheek instead of a handshake.

They are also a very ‘expressive' people, so an expat in Venezuela should not take loud conversations as arguments. Women may be on the receiving end of this expressiveness, as Venezuelan men are fond of giving adulatory remarks when they see a beauty before their eyes.

Venezuelans also tend to discuss with full gestures, and may even touch you to give emphasis to what they're saying.

5. They have amazing festivals

 

 

Living in Venezuela also means participating in their colorful festivities. Aside from their lively celebration of Christmas and New Year, they also celebrate the Carnival, which is a holiday observed three days before Ash Wednesday.

During Carnival, you will witness Venezuela's interesting dances. The Red Devils of Yare is one such dance, and it portrays the traditional battle of good against bad on Corpus Christi Day. Dancers don multi-color masks and jewelry while dancing to the beat of the drums.

Special occasions like Christmas also get that unique Venezuelan twist. A large part of the celebration is largely influenced by Spaniards. It is a Venezuelan tradition to celebrate Christmas Eve with a feast shared by the family. Food like pan de jamon and dulce de lechoza are served.

6. They always have Arepa

Their favourite cultural food is called Arepa, and they have it at least once a day, but it’s a common thing to have for breakfast. Arepas are flat bread sandwiches with meat, cheese, and beans. The Venezuelan classic usually has avocados and onions. Arepa is common in South America but is mainly prominent in Venezuela and Colombia. 

  

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