Me and my friend are looking on travelling to America, Los Angeles for about 6 months next year. We live in the UK and wonder if were able to get a visa to work there for a short while.
I've been looking at a few apartments to rent but I'm wondering if anyone can help by giving me a link, what to look out for what not to go for or whether its best to get there first and then find somewhere.
Any advice will be much appreciated.
Well, probably the first thing you should know is that foreign tourist visitors to the US are limited to 90 day stays at a time using the ESTA program. You can get around this minor problem in one of two ways--(1) by getting a visa that allows you to stay longer, or (2) by arranging to spend a few days outside of the country (in either Canada or Mexico) once you reach the three month point. I believe this renews your ability to stay for another 3 months at that point--and this can go on for up to two years.
For details (since I'm not the expert on this), I suggest you check with someone at the US consulate om the UK, or direct your questions to the US state department website:
Here are the websites that speaks to your particular issue:
Hope you enjoy your trip--and I'll expand on LA in my next post.
Let me speak to work visas. Unless you received a degree in the US, getting a work visa for the US on a long-term basis is extremely difficult. Look up H-1(B) for details on how they work if you are still interested.
As far as living in LA, I suggest you look at the fun spots--which in LA is near the beaches. The best spots are in Santa Monica, the eastern part of Long Beach, Seal Beach, and other spots that are more expensive (Newport Beach, Malibu, and Corona del Mar).
As an alternative, pick a spot just a short ways inland from the beach--but in a good area.
Examples of this would be Westminster, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Laguna Niguel, or Anaheim.
Whatever you do, stay out of Compton, East LA, South Central Los Angeles, and West Los Angeles south of the Interstate 10 freeway. These are all rundown and somewhat dangerous areas to live in or visit.
Beaches like Palo Verdes and Rolling hills are way out-of the way, as is San Pedro, Terminal Island (all industrial), and anywhere in Long Beach west of the Belmont Shores area. Belmont Shores itself is quite nice--but generally, the farther south (getting into the Orange County area--or even down to San Diego near the beach) is a better choice.
I lived in this area for over 30 years--and now live in northern California--so I know the areas well--especially as I visit family and friends in the LA area every year.
[ Edit: Edited on 06-Dec-2012, at 17:19 by Calcruzer ]
I notice that someone on here has stated that traveling to Mexico or Canada doesn't count in getting your 90 days to restart for visiting the US. Don't know why that would be, but you should probably ask at the US consulate in your home country to verify what is the truth of the matter. Wouldn't want you to book your plans and then find out you can't get back into the US as intended.