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Would Downtown Los Angeles be the best place for me?

by tom44 on June 18, 2014

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Question by Pedro Nombre K: Would Downtown Los Angeles be the best place for me?
I am from Spain (Barcelona), fully bilingual Spanish-English. I’d like to spend some months/years working in Los Angles (as an electrician, waiter, cleaner, whatever).

I’d like to live in a Mexican/Latin area, not too expensive, not to dangerous, with everything on walking distance ( I got no driving license so I’d have to rely on public transport, and Los Angeles is a city made for cars and not very pedestrian-friendly).

I like to take walks in downtown Barcelona, look at shop windows, take a café in a terrace while watching the people passing by, etc. I am an inner-city guy, I couldnt live in those boring suburban areas where there’s only row after row of houses, I am used to live in apartment buildings.

So I guess my first option is downtown LA, or somewhere East Side. But of course I am not suicidal and I wouldnt go to a place with gang activity and meth labs and stuff like that you see in the movies and documentaries. I’d like a place of normal people, families, parks where you can go and relax reading a book, some nighlife scene, and mexican food. (i love it)

So I’d like some advice from a local Angelino, which areas recommend?

How much can cost to rent a room for a single guy like me?

Is it easy to find job? (as I said, I work here in Spain as an electrician, so I woulnd´t mind any type of job)

How much is an average monthly wage?

Thanks in advance!

Best answer:

Answer by tigrillen
you are not going to get a work visa as “whatever”. So it is impossible for you to get legally a job.

In order to work legally an employer has to sponsor you for a work visa. In order to sponsor you for a work visa, an employer has to show (through advertising the job) that he can’t find some suitable citizen. Unless the job is so unpleasant that nobody wants to do it, that’s not going to happen for a “whatever” job anywhere in LA.

Unless you omitted to tell us that you manage to have also US citizenship.

while you don’t need a work visa to work anywhere in Europe, you will need one for pretty much anywhere else.

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3 thoughts on “Would Downtown Los Angeles be the best place for me?

  1. Jan says:

    In order to work here, you need a work visa. Work visa’s are given to highly educated and skilled professionals, not electricians or waiters.
    If you want something “cheap” in L.A. it will be in the bad part of the city. Nothing is cheap in L.A, especially housing.
    It appears you have no options to come here unless you have an immediate family member who is a US citizen to petition for you. You can’t just move here because you want to.

  2. ibu guru says:

    1. Tourists are absolutely forbidden to work. So are students. You need proof of sufficient funds for all the “typical tourist” expenses: round-trip tickets, hotels, restaurant meals, sightseeing, etc. LA area is expensive! Students also must prove sufficient funds for all school + living expenses, plus return transportation to your country of citizenship. What you propose is illegal & will get you deported & permanently barred from reentry.
    2. Downtown & East LA are downright deadly. You may speak Spanish, but gangs from MS-13 (Salvadoran), various Mexican, Guatemalan, et alia, gangs have their “turf” carved out & you do not go there! Actually, speaking Spanish may be a handicap as you are more likely to be perceived as an “invader” from the “wrong” country’s gang.
    3. If you were fully qualified for an employment visa, jobs are scarce. Real unemployment rate in US is 23%. Among age 16-24 (new grads, unskilled, inexperienced, etc) unemployment rate has exceeded 50% for at least 4 years now. Electricians are not qualified for any employment visa. You need masters degree or better, plus experience, in a high-tech field to have any hope of temporary employment visa. Among illegal aliens, the majority are “dependents.” Less than half ever do any sort of work at all, and of those who do some work, less than half ever find jobs (instead of day labor, etc). Work out the numbers, and about 22% of illegal aliens/unauthorized workers ever find jobs – even temporary or part-time.

    What you propose is illegal. It is also potentially deadly. And you sure as shootin’ are not working in US.

  3. Frank says:

    There are basically NINE ways that you can get a visa to live and work in the US:

    (1) Marriage (or engagement in anticipation of marriage) to a US citizen.

    (2) You have skills that are in short supply in the US e.g. scientific or medical training. A degree is normally a must. Or you have superior specialist skills with at least 12 years experience. (H visas)

    (3) You have an Employer who is willing to transfer you – but even the employer has to make a good case for you – so you have to be a manager unless you fall under category (2) above.(L visas)

    (4) You may get a Green card in the diversity lottery (UK citizens, except N.Ireland, are not generally eligible unless you, your spouse or parents were born abroad or held a different citizenship.

    (5)You own or buy business (does not get you permanent resident status i.e. no green card)You must be a national of a qualifying Treaty countries. The business must have a minimum value of around $ 150k (more the better) bearing in mind you will need somewhere to live and with any startup business you will need at least 2 years living money as back up. So a figure of $ 350k would be a nearer minimum (E-2 visas)

    (6)You are an “investor” i.e. you have at least US $ 1m in assets to bring with you. half of that in a few areas. And your background will be investigated to the hilt. (EB-5 visas)

    (7)You have a close relative (mother, father, brother, sister and no further) who is an US citizen who would sponsor you, approx time this take 2-12 years?

    (8.The R1 visa is available to foreign members of religious denominations, having bona fide non-profit religious organizations in the U.S., for entering the U.S. to carry on the activities of a minister or religious worker as a profession, occupation or vocation

    (9)THE UNUSUAL You are in a position to claim refugee status/political asylum. or You get a member of Congress to sponsor a private bill with legislation that applies just to you.
    The S visa issued to persons who assist US law enforcement to investigate and prosecute crimes and terrorist activities such as money laundering and organized crime

    Recruitment agent will not take you seriously if you are not already in the US. Writing for jobs is really a waste of time; likewise US employers have no idea what foreign qualification are or mean (except Degrees) it may pay you to get your qualification translated into a US equivalent, there are Companies that do this (www.wes.org) ..
    But if you are getting a visa under (2) above then you need a job offer before you can get the visa. Your Employer will be your sponsor this will cost them upward of $ 5k. So you can see you have to be offering something really special to get considered They may also have to prove to the Dept of labor that there is no American who can do the job if the position is to be permanent ©

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