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Moving to Jersey City?

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Jersey City at a Glance

Moving to Jersey City

Jersey City is becoming increasingly affluent and the gentrification of the city is making moving to Jersey City popular not just with expats, as seen in the recent increases in the population. With New York City half an hour away, Jersey City can be a great place for budget-conscious expats.

About the City

Jersey City's population is rising again and is now close to a quarter of a million people. It is one of the world's most diverse cities, with around a third of the population Caucasian, while there are also substantial Asian, Hispanic and African American communities in the area. Little Manila serves its large Filipino population and there is also a large Kenyan American community. 

There is speculation that Jersey City could soon surpass Newark and become the largest city in New Jersey if the recent population growth continues. Jersey City's population was at its peak in the 1930s when it grew to above 315,000, but this figure fell to around 230,000 in the 1980s.

The Climate in Jersey City

Jersey City has a humid subtropical climate according to the Köppen Climate Classification system, with the summers tending to be hot and humid and winters generally mild to cool.

However, it is not uncommon for the winters to be bitterly cold and temperatures can stay below freezing for weeks at a time. During the summer, temperatures can get high but rarely go as high as they do across the Hudson River in New York City. It is uncommon for Jersey City to be hotter than 86°F (30°C).

Visas for the United States

Foreigners wishing to move to Jersey City must first get a visa from one of the United States diplomatic missions. When applying for a visa for the US it is necessary for an individual to show that they qualify under provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

When applying for an immigrant visa, an expatriate must be sponsored by their US employer or a US citizen who is a relative, although only immediate family, spouses and unmarried children have priority. Visas for other relatives can take much longer as there is a limited annual quota.

The sponsoring relative must provide proof of sufficient income to support the visa applicant. This is set at 125% of the annual poverty limit. If an employer is sponsoring the visa, they need to get a labor certificate approval from the Department of Labor to make sure that they are not taking away work from able and proficient US citizens.

It is also possible to gain lawful permanent residency (a Green Card) for the United States through an annual lottery, but this is very unlikely as there is a yearly quota of only 55,000, with millions of people participating.

Anyone traveling to the US will also need an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), but this is different than a visa. 

For more information, please see our article on nonimmigrant US visas.

InterNations Expat Magazine