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Moving to Las Vegas?

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Las Vegas at a Glance

Moving to Las Vegas

Las Vegas is a vibrant city that's great for people that want to live close to a fun and thriving center, such as the famous central Strip, but who also enjoy quieter, open suburbs. In this InterNations Guide, read up on the wide range of varied opportunities that Las Vegas offers.

There are many expats heading to Las Vegas to work in the hospitality business, or in the growing tech and manufacturing centers in the area.  As well as the world famous attractions of its casinos, Las Vegas also offers up a surprising amount of open space and parkland, as well as lots of exclusive communities with their own amenities and forms of entertainment, which is perhaps why it's so popular with retirees.

About the City

Las Vegas Valley was discovered by explorers from Spain way back in the early 1800s, where it was known as a safe haven on the hard journey to Southern California. In fact, it was its importance as a lush watering hole that gave rise to its name, which means 'the meadows' in Spanish. For a long time the site served primarily as a military outpost, but in the post WW2 years it enjoyed a boom period, with the arrival of new high rise hotel accommodation and the growth in popularity of casinos and resorts. There is certainly no shortage of tourists in the city today. Las Vegas is well known not only as the gambling capital of the world, but also as the wedding capital of the USA. There are over 50 different wedding chapels, and more than 500 places of worship in the city.

The gambling industry is a huge source of income for the state of Nevada, and provides so much capital from tourism that there's no need for state income or corporate taxes for residents in the area. This is great for people with savings, and makes it an appealing place to grow businesses and settle down.

Visas for America

The main advice on the visa process in the United States is to start your preparations early. There is a long process to go through, and it can take up to ten weeks for your visa to be confirmed, even after you've completed all of the necessary stages. Somewhere in the region of 140,000 visas are issued each year by the USA for people that intend to live and work in the country permanently. In order to be eligible for one you'll have to pay a fee, and be able to show that you possess the necessary qualifications and skills to start work.

You'll find five different categories of employment-based immigrant visa to apply for, which relate to the type of work you expect to do. Additionally, there are various temporary worker visas available, too. Once you've determined which one you are suitable for, you'll need to supply you nearest United States embassy with all of the necessary documentation, and be able to show them an up to date passport. During the process you'll also be expected to attend and interview, so you may have to travel if there isn't an embassy close to home.

In order to find your nearest embassy and begin the process of making your working visa a reality, check the official website of the U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Diplomatic Missions.

Also remember that having a working visa yourself doesn't make your spouse eligible for work, so if you're planning to find work together you need to make preparations for both of you.

Climate in Las Vegas

Las Vegas enjoys some of the mildest weather in the USA, with very dry winters and almost no snow annually. This is a desert settlement, so you can expect somewhere in the region of 320 days of sunshine a year. In the summer months the temperature can get very hot indeed, with highs in the region of 41°C. This prohibits a lot of outdoor activities in the middle of the day, so if you're looking forward to hikes or horseback riding it's a good idea to go in the early morning when things are still heating up. The coldest season is in January, but even then the lowest temperatures tend to drop is around 4°C, so you won't have to wrap up too much to go outside. The customary dress for most of the year involves shorts, tee shirts and comfortable shoes. 

InterNations Expat Magazine