How to emigrate to Colombia from Venezuela?

How to emigrate to Colombia from Venezuela?

The highest concentration of Venezuelan emigration is in Colombia, Peru, and Chile. 

As you probably know already ongoing political, human rights, and socioeconomic developments in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (hereinafter Venezuela) have led to the departure of more than five million Venezuelans to neighboring countries and beyond. The exodus of Venezuelan citizens is already the largest in the modern history of Latin America and the Caribbean and involves both refugees and migrants from Venezuela. 

Given the magnitude of the outflow of Venezuelans, only a coordinated and comprehensive approach among governments at the regional level, with the support of the international community, will allow the region to cope with the scale of the influx. 

Read more below, comment, or contact us if you have any questions.

The highest concentration of Venezuelan emigration is in Colombia, Peru, and Chile. 

Necessary documentation and directory of organizations by the host country 

How to emigrate to Colombia from Venezuela? 

Necessary documentation that they must bring when they go to another country: 

Regardless of which country you are going to, you must have at least the following documents to the best of your ability: 

  1. Citizenship card, identity card, and or passport duly stamped by immigration authorities (it is recommended with a minimum validity of 6 months). 
  2. Criminal or disciplinary record certificate (In Peru the record certificate is not required, instead an INTERPOL certificate must be processed in that country to process the Temporary Permit of Permanence (PTP)). 
  3. If you are traveling with minors and both parents are not present (father or mother is traveling alone with the child), you must carry the exit authorization signed by the father or mother. We recommend that you bring at least two originals or several copies of it. 
  4. Remember that all documents must be current, in good condition, and must be certified in your country or at the Consulate. That means if your documents don’t work go to the closest consulate to get them checked. 


In 2017, Colombia created a Special Stay Permit (PEP), which benefited Venezuelans who entered through formal border points. People registered through the RAMV, the Migration office at the Colombian Foreign Ministry, had the opportunity to regularize their status by acquiring a PEP. The PEP allows these people to stay in Colombia for up to two years with access to basic rights, including employment, health, and education. 

Colombian Institutions 

Institution of Migration Affairs: Migración Colombia

Institution of Refugee Affairs: Comisión Asesora para la Determinación de la Condición de Refugiado. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia) 
Please always check contacts and timetable here, it is available in many languages.  

Where can I find a free meal in Colombia?

Look for a diner, “Comedor” or a community diner, “Comedor Comunitario”, near you on google maps, they are spread out around Colombia.  Here are examples for Cucuta and Bogota

Organizations that help with the processes in the country 

This is a list of some of the organizations which support migrants and refugees. Look at their contact pages. Most of their information is at least in Spanish and English. 
Please go to their website to see where is the closest organization can help you.

At least one of these organizations will be present throughout Colombia in cities and towns like: 


Cucuta, and Ocaña in the department of North Santander,

Santa Maria in the department of Magdalena,

Riohacha in La Guajira, 

Mocoa in the department of Putumayo, 

Medellin and Apartado in Antioquia, 

Buenaventura in Valle del Cauca, 


Popayan and Guappi in Cauca, 

Barranquilla in Atlantico, 

Barrancabermeja in Santander, 

Pasto, Tumaco and Ipiales in Narino.

Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados (ACNUR)
This is the Colombia Refugee Agency (UNHCR). They operate all over Colombia. Please find their updated contacts through Colombia here

Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) operates all over Colombia. Contact them to know more updated details, this is their Latina American website

Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) operates all over Colombia. Contact them to know more updated details. 

Colombian Red Cross IFCRC operates all over Colombia. Contact them to know more updated details.   

Defensoria del Pueblo, operates all over Colombia. Contact them to know more updated details.  

Fundazion is based in Bogota. Colmena venezolana is also in Bogota. 

Misioneros Scalabrinianos Cúcuta operates mainly in Cucuta. But the Scalabrini International Migration Network has different centers in Colombia. Ask for updated details on their Colombian page

Local churches are a good place to look for help wherever you are in Colombia, here are some examples. 

Pastoral Social of the diocese of Cucuta mainly operates in Cucuta. 

Pastoral Social of the diocese of Barrancabermeja mainly operates in Barrancabermeja.

Pastoral Social of Ipiales mainly operates in Ipiales. 

Pastoral Social of Mocoa mainly operates in Mocoa. 

Mutual aid organizations of Venezuelan citizens can support other migrants as well. They are normally quite informal but they can be very effective. Try to find them around your area by asking around or looking online, for example on Facebook. Here I list just a couple of examples.  

FUNVENCOL is a foundation for Venezuelans based in Puerto Asis.  

Fundacolven is a community organization of Venezuelans in Bogota. This is their website. 

The cover image above is Isla Margarita, Venezuela. Photo by Martha Dominguez de Gouveia on Unsplash

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