If you are thinking of relocating to Los Angeles, you are not alone. Many expats call this California city “home” and it is easy to see why. LA is known for year-round warm, sunny weather, a glamorous lifestyle, and laidback vibe. As a local Angeleno, you can ask yourself every day whether you want to tan on the beach, hike in the mountains, or enjoy a rich shopping spree. You can even choose between a raucous NFL stadium game or a romantic evening using a high-powered telescope to see thousands of stars.
In Los Angeles, the opportunities are limitless.
why move to Los Angeles?
Stop wondering. Instead, ask yourself: why not?
Things to Know Before Moving to Los Angeles
There are many pros and cons to moving to Los Angeles. Whether you are looking for a quiet lifestyle or never-ending chaos, the city has something to please everyone.
Never a Dull Moment
As with any major city, there is always something to do in LA. However, what makes this California city stand out is its wide range of activities to suit everyone. Whether you want to party late into the night, go on a calm woodland hike, or explore museums and art galleries, there is something to appease every taste and lifestyle in LA.
A True Melting Pot
Due to its active seaport and major international airport, Los Angeles attracts people from across the globe. This diversity lends itself to the wide variety of cuisines, architecture, and neighborhood makeup you will find throughout the metropolitan area. If you are moving from a country where English is not widely spoken, have no fear. In LA, you are just as likely to have a neighbor from halfway around the world as you are a neighboring US state.
Welcome to The Mediterranean
Los Angeles has long been known for its sunny, clear days that are cooled by the ocean breeze coming off the Pacific. According to a study by Kelly Norton, Los Angeles is the third most pleasant city in the US for weather. In the study, “pleasant” is defined as an average temperature between 55° F (13 °C) and 75° F (24 °C).
On average, Los Angeles receives:
292 annual days of sunshine
35 annual days of rain
72 ° F (22 °C) average daily temperature
It is Expensive
This cannot be said enough. From rent to automobile and gas costs to everyday expenses, it is nearly impossible to live in Los Angeles without spending multiple thousands per month.
You will Be in Your Car...a Lot
Although not a producer of cars, LA is sometimes called The Car Capital of the World just because of how many cars are on the road. The daily traffic jams are infamous and Angelenos spend a large part of their day just trying to get from Point A to B.
It is Very Spread Out
The entire county of Los Angeles covers an area of 4,083 square miles (10,570 square kilometers). Unlike other American cities such as New York and Chicago, you often need to travel across the city to go to bars, restaurants, or other social places. Because of this, the city can feel too spread out and many Angelenos only stay within their “bubble” of LA.
Los Angeles sits on many fault lines: cracks in the earth where the Pacific and North American tectonic plates push against each other. It is estimated some 10,000 earthquakes occur in LA every year, although these are not always felt on the surface.
For a more in-depth look at what it is like to live in LA, check out the
Living section of this guide.
Tips and Advice for Moving to Los Angeles
Is it Hard to Move to Los Angeles as an Expat?
Putting aside all you have to do
for work and residence visas in the US,
it is easy to move to Los Angeles as an expat.
Accommodation options are wide and many
, with housing ranging from small, modern studios to historic large-family standalone houses. Prices are expensive throughout the city, but, if you are flexible on your wants and needs, you are likely to find something that will help you feel right at home. Whether or not an accommodation will allow pets is up to the landlord and may require an extra fee. See the
Living guide for more details
Jobs in LA are plentiful. As an expat, you may have to adjust your expectations or work a little harder to find a company that will sponsor your visa. English is the main language throughout the entire US, and you will need a high proficiency in the language for most job opportunities.
Where expats truly thrive in LA is feeling immediately accepted. As a major sea and air hub, LA is home to immigrants from across the globe. When walking down the street, you are likely to hear many languages spoken in addition to the US’s primary English tongue. Many neighborhoods in LA have been dominated by nationals from one specific country or region, and you can find restaurants specializing in nearly every cuisine from across the globe.
Moving with Pets
It is possible to move to Los Angeles with your furry friend, but keep in mind there are some city laws you will have to obey. First, be aware that landlords are legally allowed to deny you accommodation based on your pet. They are also allowed to restrict the size, weight, and breed of animal they will allow in their property. Please note that disobeying these restrictions could lead to eviction.
Allowed number of dogs:
As of 2017, Los Angeles residents are allowed to own four dogs per household.
Allowed number of cats:
According to the neighborhood of LA, Angelenos may have four to five cats.
Dogs are required to be licensed after the age of four months. In order to obtain a license, owners must provide proof that their dog was spayed/neutered and received a rabies vaccine. You can license your
Neutering (Dogs and Cats)
Dogs and cats must be spayed and neutered after the age of four months. There are some exceptions allowed. See the
LA Animal Services
website for more details.
Leash Law (Dogs)
When outdoors, dogs must be on a leash at all times unless in a fenced-in backyard or dog park that allows off-leash exercise.
No Tethering (Dogs)
You cannot tie your dog to a stationary object for more than three hours in a 24-hour period.
When walking your dog in public, you must pick up after them. Neglecting to do so will result in a fine.
For more information on relocating to the US with your pets, see the relocation section of our
US country guide
Some expats may have a view of America as being stubbornly patriotic and conservative when it comes to mixing with other cultures. However, this is not true of the whole US as it is a large country and each state (and towns within that state) has its own distinct personality.
Expats moving to Los Angeles will find the city (as well as the state of California and the West Coast region) to be very progressive and open-minded when it comes to social issues and commingling with different cultures. Religion does not play as strong of a role on the West Coast as it does in the southeastern part of the US (termed: The Bible Belt) and many Californian school children grow up learning English and Spanish thanks to the heavy prevalence of Central and South American immigrants. Californians are also known for their laidback, “chill” vibe, which helps new residents feel at ease when adjusting to The Golden State.
Welcome to LA!
Although LA is a city known for its competitive nature and exorbitant prices, expats will have no problem feeling welcomed by such a multicultural and diverse city.