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Moving to Orlando?

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Orlando at a Glance

Moving to Orlando

If (like manyvisitors) you first come to Orlando for its famed theme parks, you'll be happy to learn that expat life here offers much more than casual strolls through Disney Park. This section looks at what moving to Orlando entails, from finding accommodation to climate to visa applications.

Orlando is actually the 26th largest metro state in the USA and the third biggest in the state of Florida. With a population of around 238,300 living in Orlando at the time of the last census in 2010, and approximately 163,000 family households, there certainly is a balance of singleton and family-focused amenities and people throughout the area. For those looking to retire in this wonderful city, about 102,500 others (including expats) have decided to do the same thing.

The Climate in Orlando

So what can you expect from Orlando's weather? Well, Florida isn't called the sunshine state for no good reason. With average temperatures in June to September reaching a gorgeous 90°F (~33°C) and the winter months falling no lower than around 50°F (~10°C), there is most certainly a warm welcome waiting for you. What is more, with a dry outlook forecast from October to May, there is never much in the way of rain to dampen the spirits when it comes to Orlando's year-round sun.

Visas for America

Obviously when planning your move to Orlando, it essential that you apply for a visa. What is even more important is that you choose the right visa.

Here we have a look at some of the visas that are available and the circumstances they are most suitable for. Firstly, it is best to acknowledge that there is no such thing as a Retirement Visa - this is a common misconception amongst many expatriates moving to America, in particular to the Florida region. Another incorrect idea is that simply owning property within Orlando equals an automatic visa status - it doesn't. There are official channels that must always be adhered to when moving to Orlando.

Visitor and Business Visas

B-2 visas are suitable if you are planning to visit in the city of Orlando for a period of no more than six months. You are expected to have sufficient funds to support your stay in Orlando if using a B-2 Visa during the visit and are not allowed to conduct business during your stay. For that purpose, you would need a B-1 business visa, instead.

Permanent Visas

For expats looking to move and stay long-term in Orlando, a Permanent Residency Visa definitely needs to be applied for. The criteria for a Permanent Residency Visa application must be carefully considered. It is also imperative to consider that this can often be quite a lengthy process – so allow enough time when orchestrating your move.

If long-term employment within Orlando is what you are aiming for, it is best to consult a professional company with employment and business visas featuring as their specialist subject. This will ensure you have the right information from the very beginning.

No visa, no charge - sounds tempting doesn't it? The great news is that many such companies do offer a 'no visa, no charge' service, however, it is worth enquiring about the final costs beforehand – you don't want to have any hidden charges to pay for. Making the move from one country to another can be expensive enough without added costs.

Alternatively, you can of course also try to get the visa for your move to Orlando sorted out by yourself. Take a look at the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ website for more info on all types of US visa, both short and long-term. .

Finding Accommodation in Orlando

Once you have found employment, the right area to live in and have begun mingling with fellow expatriates, there is the aspect of accommodation in Orlando to organize.

Whether you either have property rental or property purchase in mind, there is commonly a variety of apartments, condos and houses to choose from. Whether you are making your move to Orlando alone or with your family, there is a home to suit waiting right in the welcoming Orange County sunshine. In comparison with accommodation in New York, for example, you certainly can get more property for your dollar.

Remember that it is beneficial to gain a thorough understanding of how America's real estate process operates prior to making a decision. Ensure that you are familiar with tax and legal stipulations in preparation for your move. This will ensure your transition runs as smoothly as it possibly can do.

There are plenty of picturesque spots to select from within the wider Orlando metropolitan area; these stretch from Kissimmee and Lake Mary to Longwood and Saint Cloud. That means some of Florida's most sought-after locations are never too far away - wherever in Orlando you choose to move to. 

InterNations Expat Magazine