Moving to Los Angeles: Things you should know before you immigrate to Los Angeles

The Big Orange, LA, El Lay, El Pueblo, Tinseltown, Lotusland, City of Angels, there are few cities out there that carry so many nicknames as Los Angeles. “In Los Angeles, everyone is a star,” said Denzel Washington. And with so many names that goes for the city itself as well. Ever since its foundation in 1781, LA has been a popular destination for immigrants from all over the globe. With large minorities of European, African, Asian and Latin American descent, the city is a melting pot of cultures. The landscape is decorated with world-famous places such as Hollywood, Disneyland, Santa Monica, Long Beach, and Venice beach. Visionaries and entrepreneurs have been coming to LA for centuries, to pursue their dreams and realize their ambitions. Are you ready to follow their footsteps? Join us when we prepare you for your relocation to Los Angeles.

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International removals to Los Angeles with Eurosender

Being the second biggest city in the USA, only after New York, Los Angeles is an economic powerhouse with thriving industries as movie production, tech development and trade. As an expat, you will easily feel at home as the majority of the inhabitants came to this city for employment reasons. As they come from all corners of the world, there is a good chance that there is an expat community from your home country. With its world-famous beaches and surrounded by mountains, forests and wetlands, LA also offers you a wide variety of natural beauty which you can enjoy on your day off. All that combined could make moving to Los Angeles from San Francisco, or from any other place in the world, an attractive option. Want to know more about life in LA? Read our guide that will tell you everything about relocating to the Big Orange.

When moving to the City of Angels, you should know a bit about the local customs and traditions. Find the most basic info below.

TimezoneUTC -8
CurrencyUS Dollar (USD)($)
PopulationLos Angeles has a population of approximately 3.7 million inhabitants.
How do you call someone from Los Angeles?Angeleno
Official languageEnglish is the main language but a total of 224 languages are spoken in Los Angeles.
International dialing code+1 (country code the USA) 213/323, 310/424, 747/818 (area codes)
Emergency number112
DrivingOn the right side
TippingIn restaurants tipping 15-20% is standard. In a bar $1 or $2 per drink is appropriate.
Unusual factWhen LA was founded in September 1781, it was called “El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora Reina de Los” (The Town of the Queen of Angels)

Finding new accommodation, looking for employment, finding your way around town and making new friends, those are just a few of the things you will have to take care of when relocating from New York to Los Angeles. All of that combined can make your move a stressful event. Therefore, you want to settle down as soon as possible. And what gives you that feeling of home? That’s right, your own stuff of course. With Eurosender international removals to Los Angeles are both affordable and quick. Check online how much your relocation will cost or ask for an individual offer, tailor made to the size of your inventory. With Eurosender you organize your relocation simple and secure.

Living in Los Angeles

When living in such a massive city, you may feel a bit lost at times. That is why you should know what you are getting into. Both locals and expats have experienced the issues mentioned below.

  • Even though LA is huge and considered by many as a car city, you can actually do quite well without it. The public transport system has rapidly improved over the last decades. On top of that, more and more bicycle lanes are being created and with the numerous bike sharing services out there, you can easily commute on two wheels.
  • More about commuting. Again, due to its massive size, your commute in LA may take ages. Take this into account when you start looking for accommodation.
  • Los Angeles is one of the most dog-friendly cities in the world. Anything that you can imagine for humans has its counterpart for dogs here. Trimming salons, restaurants, hotels and even special dog parks are all available for your beloved canine.
  • When you are looking for a weekend break, there are many great places to choose from within a 6-hour radius from the city. The area surrounding LA is popular for many outdoor activities such as hiking, camping and cycling.

Visa Regulations for the USA

Getting the right visa in the USA can be a real pain. So, when you decide to relocate to LA, make sure that you start your paperwork long before your arrival. As American visa regulations change from time to time, we strongly recommend that you always contact your local American embassy to ask for the exact rules and regulations regarding the application of a visa. Below you find the basics of the American visa system.

  • Non-immigrant visa: Issued when you don’t have intentions to settle in the USA. You should be able to prove that you will return to your home country when the visa expires. These are some of the visas in this group
        • Student visa
        • Tourist visa (When your country is listed in the visa waiver programmer, you won’t have to apply for a visa)
        • Business visa
        • Specialty workers who can show that they only wish to reside in the USA for a certain period of time
  • Immigrant visas: It is mandatory to have a sponsor for this kind of visa, for example, a relative or an employer. These visas include:
        • Family visa
        • Employment visa
        • Adoption visa
        • Investor Visa (be ready for a minimum initial investment of no less than $500.000)

Healthcare in Los Angeles

Angelenos have some of the best medical facilities in the USA in their city. Here are some tips for when you get sick or injured.

  • Doctor’s visits only go by appointment and you might have to wait a few days up to a month before the doctor can see you.
  • Walk-in clinics are also available, and they are usually cheaper than making an appointment at a doctor. However, there could be queues of people waiting for treatment.
  • The UCLA Medical Center is one of the most acclaimed hospitals in the USA and works closely together with the UCLA campus for education and research.
  • When discussing your remuneration, try to get healthcare insurance from your employer. Often it is possible to get coverage for your family members as well.
  • Do you want to work in healthcare? Then it might be good to know that Los Angeles is facing a major shortage of medical staff in the near future. This opens doors for anyone who counts as a skilled worker in the medical sphere or any industry related to that.

School and education

In the state of California going to school is mandatory until age 18. Most children attend public schools, which in most cases are of excellent quality. When your children speak English, they too can easily attend the public schools in your district, which are free of charge. When you are frequently relocating, or have intentions to back to your home country, it might be a good idea to send your offspring to a private international school. There you will find ample opportunity to study languages and your child will be surrounded by children with the same background.

Higher education in LA is world famous for its excellence. Many famous universities are located in LA such as the UCLA, USC and the University of California.

The job market in Los Angeles

With Hollywood being the most famous location for movie production in the world, many people think that LA is only about entertainment. And even though many are employed in the movie industry and related spheres, there are many other things going on in LA as well. Los Angeles has a thriving tech scene with thousands of start-ups, is one of the largest manufacturing centers in the USA, and in the top 20 of the most important financial centers in the world. This means that there are numerous industries that need skilled workers. However, competition is fierce, and you will have a hard time securing a job when you are not on location. Even though many vacancies are posted online, most employers want to meet face-to-face before hiring someone. That together with a visa and work permit, make finding employment not the easiest of tasks. Nothing is impossible though. So, when you have the determination and will power to make it in LA, you can do the same as many did before you.

Property information

With a city so immense, finding a good spot to live could seem like a daunting task. Some of the things you have to consider are:

  • Price: Real estate is definitely not cheap in LA and you should have a good idea of your future earnings to make sure you get by.
  • Location: Do you commute by car or by public transport? Or maybe even by bike? Always consider the routes to your workplace to avoid unnecessary commuting.
  • Crime rate: Not all areas of LA are affluent and safe, and you may want to ask around a bit about the area you are about to settle in.
  • Schooling: Do you have children? Then checking out the schools in the area is also a must.

Cost of moving to Los Angeles

When you are relocating to Los Angeles, you have probably spent enough time to find a good deal for your plane tickets. But you will also have noticed that the luggage policy of your airline company is not suitable for your relocation. Excess baggage is extremely expensive, and big and bulky items, for example, a piano, are out of the question. The real question you should be asking yourself is: How much is shipping from Canada to Los Angeles? The cost of moving house to Los Angeles will drastically decrease when you make use of the services provided by Eurosender. The first and most important thing is to choose the right service for your items. Look below at the options you have.

  • Standard Shipping is suitable for small to medium-sized items such as luggage, plants and toys and games. You can also send multiple packages in one order. However, always keep the maximum dimensions (including packing material) in mind.
    • Maximum weight of 40kg (30kg in some cases).
    • A maximum length of 175 cm.
    • Length (in cm) + 2x width (in cm) + 2x height (in cm) < 300 cm.
  • Freight Service is suitable for big and bulky items, for example, furniture, car parts or camping equipment. Choose the right pallet and benefit from the cheapest way to move furniture to Los Angeles.
  • Dedicated Van Delivery is suitable when you want your items to go directly from point A to point B. Only your items will be loaded in the van and the only delivery address is your destination.
  • An individual offer is suitable when your order doesn’t match any of the options above. Our logistics experts will check our system to see what the best and most cost-effective option will be for your shipment.

Want to know more about the average moving costs to Los Angeles by using the services of Eurosender? Take a look at the other things that Eurosender provides you with.

  • Packing: Good packing is essential as it protects your items against damage. With our instructions, you can’t go wrong.
  • Payment: With Eurosender you can be sure that paying for your shipment is quick and effortless.
  • Insurance: When your items are properly insured, you will feel much more confident.

Cost of living in Los Angeles

Living in LA is expensive, especially when you have to get around from the minimum wage, which about $12 an hour. When you just arrive and start your first job you might want to know how to easily save on your daily spending. Here is how.

  • Get stuff for free are dirt cheap. This may sound too good to be true, but you will be surprised what you can get when you don’t even have a dime in your pocket. Online listings, thrift stores, yard sales and flea markets are the ultimate place to get stuff for next to nothing.
  • Don’t just buy your groceries at any grocery store you see. There are huge differences between various chains of supermarkets, and you will probably overpay when the location is very convenient.
  • Because LA is surrounded by stunning nature, you can avoid a membership to a sports club by taking advantage of your surroundings. Whether you like slow summer evening strolls or competitive uphill running, in and around LA there many amazing spots to keep you going all year long.
  • If it’s from a truck and its Mexican, there is a big chance that it is delicious and budget friendly. Whether you prefer tacos or burritos is not really a question with the many variations you can find on the streets of LA.
  • Many shops and stores in LA offer reward and retention programs. When you use them for your frequent shopping, your savings can really add up.

Driving in Los Angeles

With a valid US driving license or an International Driving Permit you can drive everywhere on the territory of the USA, including Los Angeles.

Before you set out on your road trip, let’s highlight the most unusual and quirky things about LA traffic.

  • You can expect rush hour on any weekday from 0700-1000. In the evening it is the same between 1600-1900.
  • On numerous freeways in Los Angeles, there is a special lane on the left for carpooling and High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV). To apply for the carpool lane there should be a minimum of 2 or 3 people in the car, depending on individual freeways.
  • Smokers have to be aware that smoking in the car when there is a minor as a passenger, is an offence.
  • Littering is heavily fined with $1.000 even for throwing out a cigarette bud.
  • The horn is only used when spotting danger.
  • Motorcyclists have the right to drive between lanes when there is a traffic jam.
  • With 292 days of sun every year, don’t forget to bring your sunglasses for when you will be cruising the streets of LA.

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Disclaimer: The materials provided in this article were collected from other credible resources to be used for general information purposes only. Given that the legislative basis of the country and its economic development have a changing nature, the information provided in the article could be subject to change. Whilst we endeavour to keep the information up-to-date and correct, Eurosender will not be liable for any inappropriate, incomplete, or inaccurate information. Certain links will lead to websites which are not under control of Eurosender. Thus, Eurosender accepts no liability in respect of materials, products or services being not under control of Eurosender.