San Francisco is one of the biggest cities in the US, both in size and population. As of this writing, the city is some to 3.314 million people, and you can expect that several of them came from all over the world. After all, the city is one of the most welcoming when it comes to different types of people. And since it's quite diverse, you might hear different languages spoken here, but English remains the dominant one. As it is in California, the climate here remains sunny and warm throughout the year. It gets cold during the winter, but don't expect any snowflakes to come down anytime soon.
Nowadays, the US is pretty strict regarding borders and its immigration process. Depending on where you're coming from, you will need to get a US visa in order to gain entry to the country. However, thanks to the ESTA Visa Waiver Program, citizens from 40 countries can get into the US without a visa. They include the EU countries, the UK, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Chile, and more. But those are just for entry! To legally relocate to the US, you will need a Green Card. And you can only get that if you meet certain conditions like a petition from an American employer or marriage to a US citizen.
You've probably seen the iconic cable cars of San Francisco in countless movies and TV series, haven't you? Well, those are only part of the city's public transport. It's only popular in media because of its novelty when in reality, other modes of public transport systems are relatively far more efficient and faster. There's the San Francisco 'Muni Metro,' which travels throughout the city and occasionally goes overground in different areas. And the taxis, which you can easily hail practically anywhere in the city. But if that proves too difficult at times, it's best to use a transportation app so you can book a ride.
San Francisco's many neighborhoods are so diverse and different from each other that there's no way you won't find the best place for you to live in. All sorts of lifestyles are suited in the city; there's practically one district for each! The Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, for instance, is the classic residential area made up of hilltop houses that you've probably seen in movies and on TV. If you're moving to San Francisco with your family, this should be your number one pick. The Central Market area, on the other hand, gets you right smack in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city.
If you think living in LA is a lot more expensive than living in San Francisco, think again! The latter is actually the most expensive city in the US to live in, ranking second just after New York. So expect that the living costs here won't be that cheap. It will actually be the complete opposite! Case in point: renting. Whether you go for a luxury long-term rental or a humbler little flat, rental fees in this city mostly cost $2,100.00 to $9,000.00 a month. Want to buy your own place instead? That'll cost you $8,611.13 to $21,527.82 per square meter!
To say that the US job market is tumultuous is a complete understatement. You often never really know its true state, most especially now that the country is in quite the complicated political climate right now. Nevertheless, finding a job in San Francisco, or anywhere else in the US for that matter, is not entirely impossible. Fortunately, there are many ways to do so. You can always go online to job-seeking sites like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Monster. These platforms have proven to be quite helpful over the years. You can also enlist the help of recruitment agencies. They will find the right job for you here!
If there's one thing you really don't have to worry about when moving to San Francisco with your kids, it's their education. The city has countless schools, all of them offering high-quality education, entirely safe spaces, and opportunities for your kids to find themselves and realize their true potential. It's in these institutions where your kids will definitely grow, improve their skills, and hone their talents. Whether you go to a public or private school, it doesn't matter. They're all great here. Some worth noting include the George Washington High School, Lowell High School, and the KIPP San Francisco College Preparatory, among many others.
Once you become a legal resident in the US, you don't have to worry about healthcare all that much. Sure, American healthcare remains a hot political issue in the country, but as of right now, the Affordable Care Act remains the law to follow. This means that you can still get covered based on this system. At the same time, there's also the option of getting private insurance as well. But whichever you choose, moving to San Francisco doubles your luck because the city has enough great hospitals to treat all 3 million people here. The UCSF Medical Center and St. Francis Memorial Hospital are just two of the standouts here.
Is San Francisco safe? The real answer to that is it could be safe. As of this writing, its current general crime rate is 62.34%, which is considered high. Though other cities have higher crime rates, it's quite notable that San Francisco's is this high as well. You even have to be careful while walking around the city. Though it's 69.18% safe to explore San Francisco on foot during the day, it's only 39.35% safe to do so at night. And in certain areas, it’s not safe at all, particularly in Hunters Point, the Mission District, and even Golden Gate Park.
It probably goes without saying but you need to understand the US tax system. It's not difficult to do and it's imperative to your having a hassle-free stay in San Francisco (or any other city for that matter). They take taxes very seriously here and even a minor offense can lead to a very high penalty fee or possibly jail time. Generally, you get taxed on three things here: your income, your property, and the goods & services you purchase. As long as you understand how each of these taxes is imposed, you'll have no problem contributing your fair share.
Don't forget to open your own American bank account when you move to San Francisco. Now that you know that this city is one of the most expensive in the US (and probably in the rest of the world too!), all the more reason you need to set up an account in a local bank. You need to manage your finances wisely if you intend to live here without any problems. At the same time, you'll also need to join an American mobile network. Not only will you remain in contact with everyone if you do, but these companies offer great deals with awesome mobile packages. It's a win-win situation!
Got relocated to San Francisco? Don't sweat it! Though moving here might prove to be a challenge, it doesn't have to get you down. This guide has summarized everything you need to know and do in order to settle down in this beautiful city without a hitch!