Some translators have been with us from te very beginning, and are as much a part of this platform as we are. This includes 40-year-old Alexander. Originally from Venezuela, this committed translator and proofreader experienced the troubles caused by the socio-economic and political unrest in his country. In this guest blog, Alexander shares the story of his move from Venezuela to Colombia and what effect this had, and still has, on his professional and private life. 

Where it all started

Due to the situation in my country and the difficulties I was going through with my family, we decided to move to Colombia. 

The advantage I have with Fairlingo is that I can work from anywhere as long as I have an internet connection and I can meet the stipulated deadlines for the delivery of the assignments. 

When I arrived in Colombia I was able to continue working, but I had to resolve my immigration status and that of my family. 

Fortunately my wife has dual nationality and through her we were able to give Colombian nationality to my children and through my children I was able to obtain a migrant visa that gives me a 3-year residency in this country, as well as access to a foreigner's ID number.  

In order for the children to obtain Colombian nationality we had to prove my wife's roots in Colombia, she obtained the nationality of her mother who was born in Colombia, for which we had to obtain documents from my mother-in-law and in turn the documents when my wife obtained the nationality, present the Venezuelan birth certificate of my children with an apostille and after a few days they were given the registration where they were considered Colombian nationals. 

To obtain the visa and the cedula de extranjeria (Identification)  I had to present many documents including the identity and nationality documents of my wife and my children as well as the support of my bank accounts in Venezuela, PayPal, proof of my former formal job and also the translator certificate that Fairlingo provides on its website, after a long wait of about 2 weeks I got the approval, I paid the fee and went to get the cedula de extranjeria (Identification) which took about 15 continuous days to arrive. 

Once I got the ID card, I was able to register with the DIAN, which is the entity in charge of taxes and duties in Colombia. 

Additionally, I was able to open a bank account and access benefits as a foreigner being legal in this country. 

I was able to access a formal job with the benefits of the law and additionally continue to provide my services in Fairlingo as a proofreader. 

The benefits of the move

Colombia is a good place to live and work, it has a fairly solid economy that allows programming and to acquire what you need, it is ideal for freelancers who have income in dollars or euros, it has the diversity of climates that Venezuela has and is a little safer, services work well in big cities and housing rents are not so expensive, what I can say is that to rent a house if it is a bit complicated because they require a co-debtor who can be solidarity in case the person who rents the property cannot pay the rent on time. 


Access to credit is a bit difficult for foreigners and even more so if you are Venezuelan, the banks ask that you have been living in the country for more than 5 years to be able to offer products such as credit cards and mortgages, for Colombians nationals it is very easy to get into debt in this country but not for foreigners.

However to receive payment for the services provided through teleworking there are several ways, banks have agreements with foreign entities that allow you to send and receive international transfers, in my case I use a PayPal account that has many years with me but by synchronizing it with an application called Nequi I can change up to $ 700 per month from PayPal to Nequi instantly, of course you must pay commissions but in fractions of seconds I go from having dollars to Colombian pesos and to cover my needs, transfers from PayPal to bank accounts of Colombian banks take up to 1 week but allow you to bring up to 10 thousand dollars. However, you have to be careful because such a large income attracts the attention of the Dian and you have to pay the taxes required by law

My children are receiving a good education, despite studying in public schools the teachers are very well trained and the educational programme is very good, very similar to the Chilean in terms of what they teach and the organisation they have to cope with the system. 

The people of this country are very varied but they have good education and values. On the coast, which is where I arrived, they are very cheerful and informal but everyone says hello even if it is the first time they see you, in Bogotá they are very stately, in Medellin they are very affectionate and regionalist, they remind me of the Maracuchos, the people of Cali are very respectful. 

The small towns that I have been able to visit are very similar, they have all the services but they are not as developed as in Venezuela, but they do have contrasts. 

No regrets

I can tell you a little about Bogota, it is a very big city, it is made up of around 20 localities where 10 million inhabitants live, like any city it has its good parts and it’s not so good parts, however they have tried to keep it in good shape with a system called Transmilenio that allows you to move around almost the whole city without problems at a low cost, Bogotá has terrible traffic that makes you reconsider buying a car because you can't use it every day due to government restrictions where they segment the use of the vehicle by the last number of the license plate, Bogotá is full of shopping malls where you can go to have fun and shop, as well as outdoor parks where you can walk with your family and your pet, the local government has initiatives in the parks where you can learn to ride a bike, play sports and relax.  

To finish I can tell you that the decision to leave my country and come to live in Colombia should have been taken a long time ago but as God's timing is perfect I had to make it at this time and if you ask me if I regret it I can tell you that I do not, the improvement for my family and for me was important. 

I hope to be able to continue working at Fairlingo for a long time and I thank you for the opportunity to tell you a little of my story. 


Vera Nijkamp
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