Living in Colombia

How to obtain criminal records, residence permit, identity cards and other local procedures for British nationals living in Colombia.


This guide sets out essential information for British nationals residing or planning to reside in Colombia, including quick links to local and UK official websites for advice on residence requirements and more. We are unable to provide any guidance on general lifestyle enquiries apart from the information and links listed below. See our information on what consulates can and cannot do for British nationals.This information supplements the travel advice for Colombia.


If you travel to Colombia to study, you should apply for a visa or permit at the nearest Colombian consulate or embassy. If you are in the UK you can contact the Colombian Consulate in London.


If you travel to Colombia to work, you should apply for a visa or permit at the nearest Colombian consulate or embassy. If you are in the UK you can contact the Colombian Consulate in London.

Entry and residence requirements

For advise on entry requirements for Colombia please visit our Travel Advice pages.

For residence requirements and information on obtaining an identity card known as Cedula de Extranjeria (CE), contact the Colombian Immigration authorities.


It is important to consider whether you can continue to or apply for benefits whilst living abroad or if you are moving or retiring abroad.

Driving licences and vehicles

As a tourist you can drive using a UK driving licence for the same period that the entry was authorised. Carry your passport with you at all times when driving.

For information on how to obtain the relevant permissions for your vehicle or how to obtain a local driving licence, contact Colombia’s Ministry of Transport.

The Direccion de Impuestos y Aduanas Nacionales has information about tax regulations for importing vehicles to Colombia.

For a confirmation certificate of your UK driving licence you need to contact the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.


If opening a personal bank account, you will be expected to submit certain documents. Please ask the bank of your choice about requirements. For information on the banking rules and private funds (AFP) regulations in Colombia, please contact the Superintendencia Finaciera de Colombia. This institution regulates and supervises the financial, insurance and private funds systems, and prevents and detects money laundering and terrorism financing.

For information on taxes, please contact the Direccion de Impuestos y Aduanas Nacionales.


This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the embassy by the relevant local authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice. The FCDO and the British embassy will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information. British nationals wishing to obtain any further information must contact the relevant local authority.

Published 25 February 2014
Last updated 4 April 2014 + show all updates
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