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Moving to Denver?

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Denver at a Glance

Moving to Denver

With its different housing types and diverse neighborhoods, Denver has much to entice expats from around the world. Those considering moving to Denver will need to read up on not just the city and its climate, but also on US visa regulations. You can find this and more in our article on Denver.

About the City

Located just north-west of central Colorado, Denver is a junction for three major interstates, giving it easy access to nearby cities such as Fort Collins and Colorado Springs as well as the states of Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah, Nebraska, and Kansas. With a population of approximately 650,000, Denver is the largest city in Colorado and the 22nd biggest in the country.

Denver's locality makes it very important to the rest of the Colorado. It is the largest metropolis in a 500 mile radius and serves as a natural distribution center for neighboring states in the south-west and mountain regions.

It is also home to many of the tallest buildings in Colorado, including the 56 story Republic Plaza, which was constructed in the mid-1980s and even clad in Sardinian granite. It contains numerous diverse businesses and also hosts the annual American Lung Association in Colorado's Anthem Fight for Air Climb – a charity event that sees more than 2,000 volunteers ascend all the building's stairs. Typically the event raises in excess of 500,000 USD.

Another thing that is big for locals are festivals, with Denver Arts Week and the Starz Film Festival taking place during the fall and Five Points Jazz being held each May.

The demographics of Denver have changed significantly in recent decades, but the census of 2010 showed that the city is home to 105,000 people who were born overseas. Of that number 8.3% originate from Europe, with sizeable Russian and Polish communities being established. Denver is also home to the largest population of Mongolians in the US.

Around three-fourths of Mile High City residents over the age of five speak English as their main language, while about one in five spoke mostly Spanish at home.

The city is very cosmopolitan, with many expats owning their own businesses and living in suburban properties. Expatriates considering moving to Denver will find it a very welcoming place and settling in should take no time at all.

Obtaining a Visa for the United States

Before you are able to move to Denver, you are required to obtain a visa or green card. A visa is a government-issued document that permits a person to live and work in America for an agreed period of time, while a green card authorizes the holder to stay in the US indefinitely.

The two are often confused because essentially they both allow a person entry to the country, and many people with temporary visas are able to stay in the nation for years or even decades due to renewals. Eligibility for either depends on a number of factors, including, for example, one’s employment history, skills, and education.

Visas are typically issued at US embassies and consulates in the expat's own country. However, even if granted they do not guarantee entry, as US Ports have the power to refuse permission. Many expats initially work in the country on a visa before applying for a green card at a later date.

Applying for a visa carries a fee and applicants will be required to have their passport and other supporting documents on hand. A full list of US embassies and consulates, including contact details, can be found online.

The Climate in Denver

Denver enjoys more than 300 days of sunshine each year, but its proximity to the Rocky Mountains means that weather conditions can change very rapidly. During the summer, the average temperature is 74.2 °F (23.4 °C), but highs can easily exceed 88 °F (31 °C) in the month of July. These warm temperatures often cause short downpours and thunderstorms to follow.

In stark contrast, winters range between cool and very cold. December is the coldest month, with average highs of 43 °F (6.3 °C) and lows of 17 °F (-8.5 °C). Snowfall is likely during much of late fall and early spring as well as during the winter. Both the Weather Channel and National Climatic Data Center rank Denver as the 18th coldest city in the United States.

InterNations Expat Magazine