Thinking of Immigrating to the US, but which City? Edition 2 — San Francisco Bay Area

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Thinking of Immigrating to the US, but which City?

Edition 2 – San Francisco Bay Area

Having already surveyed New York City and its pros and cons for new immigrants, the next US city we consider is one also very popular among ambitious immigrants — the San Francisco Bay Area. This is a region of extremes. Is it right for you?

The Pros:

1) Tech. This is the undisputed world capital of tech, an industry it has dominated for decades. The region is populated with tech giants such as Apple, Google, Facebook and a constellation of other smaller companies. If you are looking to work in tech, this region has no equal. Same goes if you dream of building a startup. It has unparalleled access to venture capital and a highly skilled workforce.

2) Natural Beauty. Arguably, this is the most beautiful region of the US. You have access to mountains, the ocean, multiple microclimates, diverse plant life, etc. Its physical setting is spectacular.

3) A Beautiful City. The city is set on a series of hills overlooking a large bay and ocean, with an architectural quality that matches its striking environment. It has an almost European aesthetic.

4) Diversity. Over 34% of San Francisco is foreign-born. The area is teeming with immigrants from all over the world. The city has the food to prove it. San Francisco is one of the best food cities in the country. The Asian and Latin American restaurants are legendary.

5) Unique Weather. It’s the only place I know where if you don’t like the weather you can drive a few miles and it changes dramatically. San Francisco has moderate temperatures nearly year round and much of the surrounding area has a warm Mediterranean climate.

6) Shorter Flights to Asia. If you are coming from Asia, the flights back to visit family are shorter than if you settle on the East coast.

The Cons:

1) Cost of Living. This is a very expensive place to live, especially if are not earning a tech industry level salary. Included in the cost of living is the highest income tax rates in the US.

2) Natural Disasters. Wildfires are becoming increasingly common and a big earthquake is a question of when, not if.

3) Homeless Problem. For all the ingenuity and brainpower located in the city, the city lacks a good solution to deal with the tremendously visible problem of caring for those who live on the streets.