The city is split roughly into two parts, the old city, which dates back to the tenth century, and a more modern part, which was built closer to and on the same level as the sea. Algiers is the most populous city in Algeria. Of its population, the vast majority at the last census identified as coming from an Arabic background (around 53%), whilst around 44% are of Berber-speaking heritage. The rest of the population is made up of foreigners and expatriates, with many Chinese, Malian, and Vietnamese residents, and expatriates from France and the rest of Europe. Algeria's official language is Arabic, but many people use the colloquial Algerian Arabic in everyday use, which takes influences from French and Berber. However, due to the long period of French rule in the 20th century, many people will also speak French as a second language. English is also commonly spoken in the city, primarily as a second or third language.
As it has a Mediterranean climate, expatriates moving to Algiers will need to adjust to hot, dry summers, and mild, wet winters. Although much of Algeria is characterized by extremely hot temperatures, Algiers' climate is moderated by the Mediterranean Sea, which keeps the temperatures more bearable than those in the interior of Algeria, particularly in its deserts. Additionally, the city's close proximity to the Mediterranean Sea also means that the city experiences more rainfall than the rest of the country on average, with around 600 mm falling every year, mainly during the winter. This rainfall is accompanied by average temperatures of around 11.3°C (52.3°F) in the winter months, with highs of 16.7°C (62.1°F). By contrast, the summers are very hot and dry, with average temperatures of around 32.3°C (90.1°F), and highs of up to 47.5°C (117.5°F) in August, which is the hottest month.
Foreigners wanting to move to Algiers will need a visa. In order to gain entry to Algeria, you will need a tourist or business visa, which will last for a period of 90 days. However, should you wish to move to Algiers for longer than the three months allowed by a tourist or business visa, you will need to apply for a work visa, which allows the holder to both live and work in Algiers for a stipulated period of time, usually the length of an employment contract.
To be granted a work visa you must satisfy specific work-related criteria and your prospective employer will need to initiate the application for you, although you must apply through the Algerian embassy or consulate in your home country. If your work visa allows you to move to Algiers for more than a year, you will be given a residency card, which is used for opening bank accounts, paying taxes, and using the public schooling and healthcare systems. You will need to register for a residence card in your local wilaya (province).