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Thread summary:

Possibly moving from Canada, seeking advice on: how to get a visa, immigration lawyer, green card lottery, apartment rental agencies, homes in la, apartments in los Angeles.

 
Old 03-03-2009, 07:30 AM
 
Location: Toronto, canada
8 posts, read 12,189 times
Reputation: 10

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Hey to all of you out in the USA (mainly the La, CA area) I have some questions I would love to find some answers, tips, and or comments on. My husband 31 (who was born in NYC but moved here when he was 12, so he already has a US sin #) and I 31 (a Canadian) have be together for 10 years (married for 3) and both of us are sick of the very cold Canadian winters. So Him and I are looking to relocate to California. We have been to La (and surrounding areas) a few times and love it a lot. So we are looking to move some where in the La/surrounding area, and I have a bunch of questions. I have done my own research on the questions I have but want to see what people have to say on here. So please bare with me because my list is a bit long. Also Thanks in advance to all those who reply to this thread. So here are the questions I have:

1. I know we would need to find jobs first than a place to live, but what are the steps for someone like myself who is married to a US citizen to move to the US? Like how to get a visa/green card? And what is the difference between a visa and green card? [/font]



2. What are the best ways or best places to find a job from up here first? I currently work in the Interior design filed and have college diplomas in Interior design and Graphic design. My husband currently works in a warehouse. Also what is the average pay for jobs in La or surrounding areas for these lines of work?

3. If we do not get jobs first what is needed to get an apt.? We have about $25,000.00 USD saved so we could move first and be ok for about 6 months with out a job, but like I mention how would we get an apt. when our credit checks for the apt. would show up nothing because we came from Canada. Since we will have no credit are there places that will let you pay for 6 months rent in advance on a 1 year lease? Or something like this? [/font]

4. Also I have been looking at apt. for rent in the la and surrounding areas and most of the nicer looking 1 bedroom apt.'s go for about $1000+ per month. Do most apt.'s include utilities? and if not what are the average utilities bills on a 1 bedroom/1 bath apt. with no in unit washer/dryer/or dishwasher?

5. Also Iíve seen some apt.ís that have stuff about needing insurance. Do you need insurance on an apt.? If yes what is the avenge cost for insurance on a 1 bedroom apt.?

6. Also from my apt. research I have found some 2 bedroom houses that are going for about $695+ a month but yet a 1 bedroom apt. in the same areas I'm looking at are $1000+ per month. Why is that? I see that some of the house are looking for someone to rent to so it pays off their house payments but why such a low price? And some of these houses are looking for someone to take over the house payments completely (so in the end we would own it). How does that work?

7. What are some of the nice/safe/not too badly priced areas to live with in 25 - 35 mins of the kodak theatre (this is of course when there is no traffic)?

8. Besides things like rent, food, cable, internet, cell/home phone, car insurance, house/apt. insurance, gas for car, and spending money what are some of the other living expenses for living in LA or surrounding areas? If any

9. What are the best companies in both price/service to go with for cable, internet, cell phones, car insurance, apt/renters insurance?

10. Finally what are the best and worst things about living in LA or surrounding areas of CA besides comments about how bad the traffic is? (we live in Toronto street traffic is about the same is no biggy to us)

Thanks again
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Old 03-03-2009, 10:19 AM
 
127 posts, read 442,877 times
Reputation: 62
Quote:
1. I know we would need to find jobs first than a place to live, but what are the steps for someone like myself who is married to a US citizen to move to the US? Like how to get a visa/green card? And what is the difference between a visa and green card? [/font]
I'm sure he has to petition for you. I don't know how long the process takes but my guess is - not long.




Quote:
2. What are the best ways or best places to find a job from up here first? I currently work in the Interior design filed and have college diplomas in Interior design and Graphic design. My husband currently works in a warehouse. Also what is the average pay for jobs in La or surrounding areas for these lines of work?
Jobs are scarce. It was reported today that 1 in 10 Californians are unemployed. I gave up looking for a full-time job over a year ago and only have this part-time gig. I'm sure it's not impossible to find a job but it's probably going to be very difficult.




Quote:
3. If we do not get jobs first what is needed to get an apt.? We have about $25,000.00 USD saved so we could move first and be ok for about 6 months with out a job, but like I mention how would we get an apt. when our credit checks for the apt. would show up nothing because we came from Canada. Since we will have no credit are there places that will let you pay for 6 months rent in advance on a 1 year lease? Or something like this? [/font]
I don't think having no credit willb e an issue. If you have 6 months in advance that'll probably open doors for you as well. I don't know if you'll be able to get an apt. without a job though. Perhaps a private landlord.

Quote:


4. Also I have been looking at apt. for rent in the la and surrounding areas and most of the nicer looking 1 bedroom apt.'s go for about $1000+ per month. Do most apt.'s include utilities? and if not what are the average utilities bills on a 1 bedroom/1 bath apt. with no in unit washer/dryer/or dishwasher?
Most do not pay utilities except for trash/water.

Quote:
5. Also Iíve seen some apt.ís that have stuff about needing insurance. Do you need insurance on an apt.? If yes what is the avenge cost for insurance on a 1 bedroom apt.?
I don't know.


Quote:
6. Also from my apt. research I have found some 2 bedroom houses that are going for about $695+ a month but yet a 1 bedroom apt. in the same areas I'm looking at are $1000+ per month. Why is that? I see that some of the house are looking for someone to rent to so it pays off their house payments but why such a low price? And some of these houses are looking for someone to take over the house payments completely (so in the end we would own it). How does that work?
695??? That seems questionable. I would not think a decent place in a decent neighborhood would cost such. I think in order to take over a payment you must put down a downpayment (negotiable with seller) and establish yourself within 2 years to get the home in your name. A portion of the rent would go towards the purchase of th home. If you have $25,000 you could probably buy a home at this time. I would look into that especially once you find jobs.


Quote:
7. What are some of the nice/safe/not too badly priced areas to live with in 25 - 35 mins of the kodak theatre (this is of course when there is no traffic)?
Don't know.


Quote:
8. Besides things like rent, food, cable, internet, cell/home phone, car insurance, house/apt. insurance, gas for car, and spending money what are some of the other living expenses for living in LA or surrounding areas? If any
Entertainment & going out. Also car registration fees can be expensive depending on the type of car you have and auto insurance is a must.


Quote:
9. What are the best companies in both price/service to go with for cable, internet, cell phones, car insurance, apt/renters insurance?
Don't know.


Quote:
10. Finally what are the best and worst things about living in LA or surrounding areas of CA besides comments about how bad the traffic is? (we live in Toronto street traffic is about the same is no biggy to us)
This is addressed throughout the forum.


Thanks again
[/quote]
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:10 AM
 
Location: Toronto, canada
8 posts, read 12,189 times
Reputation: 10
thanks for all you comments
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:40 AM
 
10,630 posts, read 22,753,005 times
Reputation: 6687
Getting a job is tough right now. I'd line one before you move, otherwise you'll risk going through all your savings without having anything to show for it.

As far as neighborhoods within half an hour from the Kodak Theater, that will depend entirely on what you're willing/able to spend. We lived in Hollywood, about five blocks away from the Kodak Theater, and loved it. There are some semi-affordable places there, and it's an interesting, fun neighborhood. I'm sure you could find a landlord willing to work out a deal with you if you pay for many months up front, but again, this is about the worst time you could pick to move to LA, at least from a jobs-standpoint. I would put up with the winters a little longer and see if things improve.

As far as insurance, if you're renting you get renter's insurance - it's sometimes optional, sometimes not (although you'll probably want it for your own sake), but it covers your stuff in case of fire, etc. You'll have to get a separate policy for earthquake damage.
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:46 PM
 
Location: Concrete Jungle
240 posts, read 1,316,740 times
Reputation: 194
Every time I turn on the news, I hear about companies, even the LA school district, that are laying off workers. In my opinion, this is one of the worst times to try to move here, especially if you do not already have a job waiting for you and do not have income from another source.

Not all areas of the US have been hit as hard as California. Although you want to get away from cold winters, North Dakota, South Dakota Wyoming and Utah have some of the lowest levels of unemployment in the US and might be easier destinations for you and your husband until the economy improves here in LA. You can always relocate here later when the economy improves after you get into the US.

Also, although Texas has been hit too, I believe the San Antonio area is warm most of the year (extremely so in the summer) and it still has some jobs. There might be some other areas in the US that are warm and have better employment opportunities than California, such as Northern Alabama or maybe even Florida

Best wishes.
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Old 03-11-2009, 12:30 AM
 
2,516 posts, read 7,549,787 times
Reputation: 2394
In all likelihood, you will not be able to come together initially. As a US citizen, your husband will have to initiate the process to bring you into the country as an immigrant spouse. He would first have to have a job so he can prove that he is able to support you. Prepare to spend several thousand dollars on attorneys and other fees, wait a few years, and live apart for at least some of that time.

A visa is official permission to SEEK admission into the US at a port of entry for a specific time and purpose. (They don't have to let you in when you get there.) Not all visas permit holders to work legally in the US. A green card confers "resident alien" status. It means that you are an immigrant who can live and work here indefinitely, unless you do something heinous, and have your status revoked and get deported. It is the precursor to US citizenship via naturalization, should you choose to seek it.

You are really jumping the gun asking about apartments, cable tv, and credit checks at this stage. Right now, you should be consulting an immigration attorney, not C-D posters.

Last edited by katenik; 03-11-2009 at 12:43 AM..
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Old 03-11-2009, 08:19 PM
 
52 posts, read 171,867 times
Reputation: 22
Well since you are Canadian you are granted an automatic "visitors visa" ... so-to-speak. But you can't work legally here. You would need a work permit, which you would get when applying for residency, but not right away. Since you are both married it would be straight forward. No need to hire a lawyer. Just start researching the right paperwork, you'll need things like medical checkups, background checks etc ... so lots of things to do. Application process in whole might be shy of a few grand? How long it takes I have no clue.

$695 for a home sounds more like the weekly rate.

As far as employment goes, companies are cutting back, but its also dependent on what you do. But overall, not the best time to find work. But there are a lot of job postings in LA, but I've also heard he applicant numbers are insane. We posted a basic hourly admin job at our work a few months back and someone said we had a few hundred resumes show up.
As far as renters insurance? I've never lived anywhere in my life where it was required. The building itself will be covered unless the owners don't care if they lose their building to some unforeseen disaster. But if you want to insure your own stuff from theft, etc .. that's up to you.

Getting a rental right now is probably easy (I am assuming). I've seen more for rent signs where I live (Palms / Culver City) than any other time in the past. When I moved here I found about 6 apartments for rent in a several block radius. Now I see like 6 for rent signs walking to the store down the street. I am assuming it might be that way all over since Palms is a pretty nice place to live without being overly expensive.
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:30 PM
 
Location: Toronto, canada
8 posts, read 12,189 times
Reputation: 10
for right now we are only doing our reseach on this idea but if we do move to L.A. it won't be for another 2-3 years. Thanks again for all your replys
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Old 03-23-2009, 01:23 AM
 
Location: Glendale/Los Angeles
571 posts, read 1,672,113 times
Reputation: 238
Wow. It sounds like you need to research the immigration process more than where to live in L.A. right now. A visa is simply the stamp which renders the passport valid for entry to the U.S., a "green card" refers to the permanent resident card you are issued. After this you no longer need the visa.

Check out www.visajourney.com and www.immigrate2us.net for more explanation on the process. It is fairly simple and quick.
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