Moving to Venezuela

Venezuela is an exciting place in which to experience expat life. From the breathtaking Andes to the Great Plains, grasslands and tropical Amazon basin, there are sufficient reasons one would be captivated by this geographically varied country.

Venezuela is home to a large expat community, with many foreigners working in the country's booming oil industry. Most expats have settled in Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, or cities such as Maracaibo, Puerto La Cruz, Anaco and Valencia. Expats working in Venezuela find the business environment to be more informal and relaxed than in North America or Europe.

Spanish is the official language in Venezuela but English is widely spoken. It is still wise to learn a bit of the local language as it will be hugely beneficial for communicating with the Venezuelan people. Major Venezuelan cities are well equipped to serve the needs of expat families with a number of international schools that allow students to continue studying under the curriculum of their home country.

The standard of healthcare in Venezuela is good and there are good private hospitals in Caracas. However, medical treatment is expensive, so expats should have a comprehensive health insurance package.

Venezuela has its fair share of crime. Expats should be vigilant in crowded places as pickpocketing is common. Also avoid travelling to areas close to the Colombian border as this region is particularly dangerous.

Public transport in Caracas and Maracaibo is fairly extensive and it isn't necessary to own a car in either of these cities. Expats who do choose to drive in Venezuela should be warned that road conditions are not always good. Expat drivers should be especially careful when driving at night. Locals in Venezuela do drive erratically at times and therefore it is best to drive defensively.

Moving to Venezuela is an exciting opportunity for even the most seasoned expatriate. Those with an open mind and a desire to embrace the vibrant culture of this country are sure to have an unforgettable expat experience.