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Can I send money to someone in Venezuela?
MoneyGram has restored send services, but other providers haven't followed suit.
Must read: US Sanctions on Venezuela
The Office of Foreign Asset Control, part of the US Treasury, adjusted existing US sanctions on Venezuela to allow “humanitarian assistance and non-commercial, personal remittances [to] flow to the people of Venezuela.” The amendments issued allow “U.S. persons [to] continue to engage in and facilitate non-commercial, personal remittances, and the export or reexport of humanitarian items to Venezuela.”
In short, this means that although you’re legally allowed to send remittances to Venezuela, it’s still up to money transfer companies to support the corridor. For more information, refer to the US Treasury FAQ on sanctions.
How to send money to Venezuela
Government regulations in Venezuela have historically made it difficult to send money there, and in the past, no providers were able to do so. However, in June of 2018, MoneyGram began operating agent locations in Venezuela, and it’s possible to send money in person or online using other providers.
As of May 8th, 2020, MoneyGram is the only service currently offering transfers to Venezuela from the US. To send a transfer through MoneyGram, you’ll need to:
- Register for an account or log in if you already have one.
- Select a receiving MoneyGram agent location.
- Choose how you want to pay.
You can also set up the money transfer online but pay with cash in-store. Bring a valid ID and enough money to cover the transfer if you choose this option.
You will not be able to send money to a Venezuelan bank account through MoneyGram — only to MoneyGram agent locations for cash pickup. Our MoneyGram money transfer guide will help you learn more about MoneyGram and how to use its services.
Can I send USD to Venezuela?
No. The only supported currencies for transfers are Venezuelan Bolivar Soberano, which replaced the Venezuelan Bolivar Fuerte in 2018. Because of shifting exchange rates, double-check the exchange rate offered at your time of transfer and the type of currency you’ll be transferring to.
Must read: Inflation in Venezuela
The value of the Venezuelan bolivar has been decreasing at an extreme rate, and inflation reached over 1 million percent in 2018. This means that how many bolivars you get for your US dollars can be dramatically different from one day to the next.
The extreme inflation has also led the Venezuelan government to put strict regulations in place for remittances, which means that the rate you get is likely to be considerably lower than the rate on the black market. This has led to a surge in people using illegal methods to transfer money into the country, which can come with a hefty jail sentence.
Can I send money to Venezuela through my bank?
No. Many US financial institutions have opted not to allow transfers to Venezuela due to strained political relations between Venezuela and other nations, especially the United States.
Check with your bank to see if there are any transfer options available to you.
Can I send money to Venezuela using PayPal, Bitcoin or as cash through the mail?
We do not recommend any of these methods. Not only because you’d have to navigate through many different, possibly unsafe channels, but primarily because you may accidentally break sanction rules. Breaking US sanctions may lead to heavy fines and possible jail time — which is why keeping your money transfers through officially regulated channels is the safest option.Back to top
Tips for picking up cash in Venezuela
The US government warns against travel to parts of Venezuela — especially the Venezuelan and Colombian border — because Venezuela has one of the highest crime rates in the world. If you end up transferring money within its borders, exercise a high degree of caution when collecting cash from an agent.
If possible, don’t travel alone. Police or your hotel concierge may be able to help arrange an escort if you’re collecting a large amount of cash and you’re concerned about your personal safety.
Navigating sanctions can be frustrating and far from easy. Sticking with an official money transfer service and sending money in the officially recognized currencies can help you avoid fees and penalties down the line. Although MoneyGram is the only option at this time, more companies may start allowing transfers to Venezuela in the future.
In the meantime, learn about the diverse world of money transfer options to be ready if more companies start servicing Venezuela.
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