Living in Venezuela

Information for British citizens moving to or living in Venezuela, including guidance on residency, healthcare and driving.

This guide sets out essential information for British citizens moving to or living in Venezuela. Read about how our Embassy in Caracas can help.

This information is provided as a guide only. You should get definitive information from the Venezuelan authorities. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) is not liable for any inaccuracies in this information.

Support for British Nationals Abroad: A Guide sets out how British nationals can stay safe abroad and how the FCDO can help if you do get into difficulty.

Read general guidance on moving or retiring abroad.

To stay up to date: follow the British Embassy Caracas on Facebook and Twitter.

Before you go

See our travel advice for Venezuela for up-to-date information on entry requirements, local laws and customs, safety and emergencies.

Also see our overseas business risk information for Venezuela.


Follow the advice of the Venezuelan government and your local authority. You should also read the Venezuela travel advice.

Visas and residency

Check the entry requirements for Venezuela in our travel advice.

British-Venezuelan dual nationals must enter and leave Venezuela using their Venezuelan passport. Venezuelan entry and exit requirements for dual nationals may change without notice. For further information check with the nearest Venezuelan Embassy or consulate.

For information on Venezuelan immigration laws and regulations, please contact the nearest Venezuelan Embassy or consulate or, if you are already in Venezuela, please direct any queries to the respective Venezuelan immigration authority: SAIME.

Passports and travel

You can apply for or renew your British passport from Venezuela.

Check the Venezuela travel advice for passport validity requirements.

Healthcare in Venezuela

There are no reciprocal healthcare agreements in place between Venezuela and the UK.

Please see the health section of our travel advice for Venezuela.

Medical facilities in Venezuela vary widely in quality. In large cities, private clinics can provide acceptable quality care for routine treatments but are vulnerable to acute shortages of medical supplies and medicines. More complex treatments may require medical evacuation.

Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation. Public health facilities are poor, with frequent shortages of medicines and funding. Ambulance services in remote areas are unreliable and hospitals often lack adequate medical supplies and equipment.

For mental health matters, see our travel and mental health guidance for a list of UK and international organisations that can offer support.

You may also consult a list of local medical facilities here.

NOTE: UK Travel insurance providers will not generally cover your healthcare costs if you live overseas.


If you are on a prescription for any medication you should ensure you have a supply of it, or that you are able to obtain it when in Venezuela. Certain medicines may not be available in Venezuela, particularly medication for chronic health conditions (cancer, HIV, certain heart disease, amongst others - including major brands readily available in the UK), and you may be prohibited from taking them into the country. You should consult your GP before travelling to Venezuela to find out about any alternative medication.

Read the guidance if you need to travel with medicines.

Working in Venezuela

See permanencia en Venezuela for information on obtaining the right to work and/or remain in Venezuela.

If in the UK, please contact the nearest Venezuelan Embassy or consulate.

Some jobs may require a UK criminal records check (known as a DBS check).

Studying in Venezuela

The Ministerio del Poder Popular para la Educacion is responsible for the public and private education systems in Venezuela. There are both private and public schools throughout the country. The education quality varies highly. There are some international schools.


For local information on taxes, please contact the Servicio Nacional Integrado de Administración Aduanera y Tributaria (SENIAT).

The UK has a double taxation agreement with Venezuela so that you do not pay tax on the same income in both countries. Ask the relevant tax authority your questions about double taxation relief. See tax treaties.

You should get professional advice on paying tax in Venezuela. Find an English-speaking lawyer in Venezuela.

Read guidance on:


Check which UK benefits you can claim while abroad and how to claim them.

Many income-related benefits such as Pension Credit and Housing Benefit cannot be paid if you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks.


Read State Pension guidance if you have lived in Australia, Canada or New Zealand and you are claiming or waiting to claim your UK State Pension.

If you retire in Venezuela, you can claim your UK State Pension or new UK State PensionContact the International Pension Centre for further information.

You will need to have access to an international bank account in order to receive a UK pension: Venezuelan banks cannot receive funds from overseas banks.

Life certificates for UK State Pensions

If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service, you must respond as soon as possible. Your payments may be suspended if you do not.

Money and banking

Requirements to open a bank account in Venezuela vary, but you will normally need to have a “cedula” (Venezuelan-issued photo ID for nationals and residents) or the appropriate residence visa/permit along with a valid passport. Please check in advance with the financial institution of your preference in respect to specific requirements.

Accommodation and buying property

See buying a property abroad.

Driving in Venezuela

See Driving abroad.

If you’re asked for a letter authenticating, certifying or validating your UK driver’s licence, you should contact your UK issuing office (eg the DVLA).

See guidance for travelling by road in Venezuela.

You can drive in Venezuela using a British driving licence for up to one year. After that you will need to get a Venezuelan driving licence. Make sure you have copies of your mandatory car insurance documents, driving licence and passport with you at all times.

For information on how to obtain the relevant permissions for your vehicle or how to obtain a local driving licence, contact Instituto Nacional de Transporte Terreste (INTT).

Disabled drivers

If you have a UK Blue Badge and live in Venezuela, you must return it to the original UK issuing authority.


You may be able to vote in some UK elections. You can:

Births, deaths, marriage and civil partnership


If your child is born in Venezuela you must register the birth with the local authorities. You can then register with the UK authorities and apply for a UK birth certificate.

If your child has British nationality, you do not need to register the birth with the UK authorities to apply for a British passport from Venezuela.


If someone dies in Venezuela read our guidance on:

What to do if someone dies abroad.

Bereavement guidance for Venezuela.

List of funeral directors in Venezuela.

Marriage and civil partnership

Find out how you can get married or get a civil partnership abroad.


You must consult with the Instituto Nacional de Salud Agricola Integral - INSAI in respect to local legislation/permits for importing pets.


If you need emergency assistance dial 911 from a landline or a mobile phone. Calls to this number are free of charge.

If you have been the victim of a rape or sexual assault in Venezuela, please read the information for victims of rape and sexual assault in Venezuela. See also information for victims of rape and sexual assault abroad

You may also consult our list of lawyers in Venezuela.

If you’re the victim of a crime, have been arrested, or are affected by a crisis, contact the British Embassy Caracas.

Read the guidance on international parental child abduction if your child may be at risk of this.

Returning to the UK

Read the guidance on returning to the UK permanently which includes information on bringing family members, tax and access to services.

Other useful information

Published 28 October 2015
Last updated 1 August 2022 + show all updates
  1. Living in Venezuela guidance updated for August 2022.

  2. Updated on 17 February 2021 with information about coronavirus (COVID-19) in Venezuela.

  3. Living in Venezuela guide updated for December 2020.

  4. First published.