English speaking lawyer/accountants in Bogota

Hi

Can anyone recommend an English speaking lawyer/accountant in Bogota for tax advice for a retired person wanting to move to Colombia?

Cheers

In Bogotá, Christoph Moller (sometimes spelled Moeller) routinely gets praise on Expat forums for doing the above-mentioned work.

To contact him, google the name.

cccmedia

Some immigration attorneys in Medellín (viz. Langon Law) are perfectly capable of assisting in the visa process with excellent results.

Langon obtained a 'rentista/pensionista' visa for me in 2017 although I did not set foot in Medellín or Antioquia during the process.

Medellín immigration attorneys have agent(s) in the capital who perform the Bogotá portion of the visa process for about $50 when necessary.

If considering Expating to Colombia, Bogotá can be a poor choice for most new arrivals:  cold weather, infamous traffic, safety factors.

cccmedia

Alan Gongora in Medellin is a Harvard attorney that will help you. Super nice man and upstanding. Send him an email and he will fix you you.

BrandonBP :

Alan Gongora in Medellin is a Harvard attorney that will help you. Super nice man and upstanding. Send him an email and he will fix you (up).

Based on personal experience, that's an excellent choice.  In fact, Alan Gongora -- Harvard Law School class of '03 -- is the principal at the Langon Law Firm I referenced above.  Alan drafted my USA will as he is licensed there as well as in Colombia .. in addition to supervising my successful visa effort....

agongora(at)langoncolombia.com

  -- cccmedia

CCC, whilst I always respect your consistently good advice, I have to disagree with your comments about Bogota.

If you are coming from Europe, UK, or north America, where the climate can be pretty cold for long periods in the year, Bogota is like a Spring day, all year round. Perfect for me.

I don't like it too hot, and when I go to lower altitudes where its like 30 or 35 degrees Celsius, I'm always glad to get back to Bogota after 4 or 5 days, where I feel I am in my own temperature comfort zone. Unless you grew up in hot climates, it gets pretty wearing after a while. You must remember that we are all individuals, with different requirements in what we like or don't like. For instance, I am happy that the altitude where I live doesn't have those disease bearing mosquitoes which carry Malaria, Dengue, Chikungunya or Zika.

On safety too, I have to say that having spent 15 years visiting Bogota, for a month or two each year, and now after having lived here for over 4 years permanently, I really have never experienced any crime or threat against my security, felt intimidated, or had any fear for my safety, ever.

Yes, there is crime here, the same as in any capital city in the world, and you have to be careful about displaying your wealth on your sleeve. Its never wise to wear gold necklaces, Rolex watches, or jewellery, the same as in Detroit, Miami, Paris, Rome, London, Manchester, or anywhere else. Someone will surely snatch it.

There have been some incidents, I know that Brandon has had a bad experience, but you MUST follow advice, Like you have to be careful in the Bronx, and not many people would walk through Central Park at night, in New York. The same in Bogota or Medellin, and some Gringo guys have been murdered in Medellin and Cartagena, etc, for trying to deal drugs, prostitution, or scamming the local criminals.  The first thing you should find out is where are the places to avoid, where are the areas where you will be safe, and you should have very little problem.

The Colombian people, including those in Bogota,  are some of the nicest people I have ever met in the world. They have values which we "civilized" people lost many years ago. And to be absolutely honest, to get the most out of your stay, you MUST integrate with the community in which you live.

I too have found the people in Bogotá to be friendly - but they do often have a reputation of being cold and somewhat distant, in comparison to other parts of Colombia - friolentos as compared to calentanos and that doesn't just refer to the climate or a person's weather preference.  A lot of that may be related to the fact that it's Colombia's biggest city and has big city problems and attitudes just as in other countries.

Perhaps you live at a higher altitude than Bogotá - they do have problems with disease-carrying mosquitos in Bogotá, do a search for
bogota zancudos
...and you will see that mosquitos in Bogotá are a major concern.

My one-sentence reference to Bogotá above was not intended to derail this attorney-accountant thread, but now we are officially :offtopic: .

For the record, I personally prefer the climates at Colombia's higher elevations and since October have been staying in a cool, crisp location in the Andes with no discernable bug problem or 'schvitz' factor. :)

  -- cccmedia in Ipiales, Nariño, over 9500-feet elevation, less than two miles from the
  Ecuador border

Osage A ... Yes, you are right that Bogota is reputed to be a little more "cold" in the interpersonal relationships, but I believe that is mostly between Colombians and other Colombians, and as you rightly suggest, is usually found in the larger metropolis or capital cities anywhere. Whether this is because of the competitive nature between fellow countrymen, I'm not sure.  But I do believe from my own experiences that where extranjeros are concerned, especially English speaking, from the USA or UK, they go out of their way to get to know you and be friendly, if only you allow them into your life. You have to integrate with your community, or you may not experience their warmth. Everywhere I go people want to stop and talk, get to know me, invite me into their lives, and they genuinely want to be friends. If they think I have a problem, they are immediately wanting to help. I have never experienced that kind of genuine welcome and friendship in any other country in my life. In large cities, its easy to miss those opportunities and signals, as everything runs on a fast pace, and people have little time to stop and talk. But in your own local area, the local community is where you will find it, whether its your neighbours, the local shops, cafes, and when I have been in the same shop a couple of times, they recognise me, and new friendships start to form very quickly. I'm sure its the same in the smaller towns and cities too, but in Bogota it may not be obvious at first, but its certainly there.

On the question of zancudos/mosquitoes, yes, I agree with you both, you will find mosquitoes in Bogota too. I usually get maybe half a dozen a year in my apartment, (I'm fairly high up) which I quickly dispose of. Some areas that have a lot of standing water around get many more.  But there are many strains of mosquito, and the actual strain of mosquito that most commonly hosts the viruses that I mentioned, (the Aedes mosquito) don't really like the higher and colder altitudes, and when they get to about 5,500 feet, really don't want to be there. In fact, the higher they go, they have difficulty breeding too, so in Bogota, which is 8,600 feet, and certainly where CCC lives at 9,500 feet, its free of that particular strain.  Now I am sure that if someone travels to the low altitudes, gets bitten by an Aedes mosquito, then returns to Bogota or ipiales, and then gets bitten again by a local strain, then yes, its possible to transmit the disease. But I am given to understand that the likelihood and risk is actually quite low.  I am also told that of those who are diagnosed with those diseases in Bogota, by far the majority have recently been to the low areas where the Aedes strain lives. But of course, anything is possible. Never say never.

And yeah, sorry for the "off topic" .  But it makes a change from all those who post thousand upon thousand of posts about how good Medellin is.   Bogota is also great, at least to me,  hahaha.

Sorry for the delay in thanking you all for your comments. The reason I mentioned Bogota is because my wife's family is in Bogota and I visit there at least 3 times a year so i am as familiar with Bogota as I could be. When we eventually move to Colombia, we will have to make a decision where to go. I have been to Medellin and I loved the transport system. Bogota, even with the Transmilenio, is just not in the same league.

Anyway, my current concern is with making sure I comply with the legal requirements from the DIAN since I now have a cedula de extranjeria and have opened a bank account. I am making sure that I am not in Colombia more than 180 days in any 12 month period so I am not resident.

I will try to contact your recommendations even though they are not in Bogota itself.

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