We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

need advice pls! planning to move to San Diego

Which San Diego hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Toronto, Ontario
posts: 35
reviews: 2
need advice pls! planning to move to San Diego

Hi I visited San Diego January 2004 and fell in love. I've always wanted to move to California so now SD is my destination of choice. I'm moving from Canada, planning to move in Sept/Oct 2005. Does anyone have any advice or idea on how difficult the whole moving process is? (i.e. immigration/visa, housing, jobs). Any good sites or sources I can gain more information from?

Anything or areas I should steer clear from when looking for an apt, or job location? Also how inconvenienced would I be if I didn't have a car? I'm used to owning my own car. How reliable is the public transit there?

It's a scary process and so far the whole visa thing is driving me insane, its so confusing and every place I look charge so much, I'm still a student (graduating April/05) so my $ supply isn't much, to be spending on possible hoaxes. I would love any and all reliable info.


posts: 18
reviews: 5
1. Re: need advice pls! planning to move to San Diego

Hey go to realtor.com EL CAJON zip is 92020 or you can do 92020.EL CAJON has tons of transit.COLLEGE AREA good for younger people dont know zip or LA MESA,MISSION VALLEY. No on san yesidro or nationalcity.If i can get back to this i can mail you some zips of good places.It all depends on where your going to work.SANDIEGO.COM is good.MONSTERS.COM FOR JOBS.ANYWAY that can start you out.Know nothing about passports or visa stuff.

San Diego...
posts: 30
reviews: 14
2. Re: need advice pls! planning to move to San Diego

Like you , I visited san Diego first in 1993 and fell in love with the place . I moved here from Vancouver in 1997 . I was lucky , though . The price of housing then matched the wages here . Since then the price of housing has sky-rocketed but wages have not . It is a county that traditionally pays worse than the San Francisco / Silicon Valley and Orange County areas , where the prices are the same . So expect it to be expensive , like Vancouver is .

Secondly , don't move here without U.S. citizenship or a

" green card " ( i.e. a permanent resident work permit ) . Without one no one wil legitimately hire you here , unless you want to work " under the table ' with no medical coverage and risk deportation . Living in Toronto and never being allowed back into the U.S. would suck . I came here with a Green Card , through my family connections . Suffice to say , unless you have an immediate family member who is American and that will sponsor you , then you need an employer sponsor . They can only do that if you have some special skill that no American can do , or can fill the vacancy .

You can get around San Diego on the trolley system but really it's a car society here . The freeways are great but it is very hard to get around safely without a car . The trolley here at night is not so great , as mostly the poor and unruly people ride it then . It's good for commuting to work during the day , though . You can not just register your car here from Canada .

Due to California's tough emission standards it would be far cheaper to buy one once you get here .

I highly recommend this web-site . it's posted by a Canadian who works inb Silicon valley . It has a lot of answers for you :


Once you overcome these obstacles , I'd be happy to address where to live in this area . Good luck ,


Toronto, Ontario
posts: 35
reviews: 2
3. Re: need advice pls! planning to move to San Diego

Hey Lancaster and Rob! Thank you so much for your advice!

Lancaster: will check out those areas, although I accidentally ended up in La Mesa and dubbed it "La ghetto" after that, so I've already exculded that area.


I know what you mean. I've researched the salary aspects and the expenses. I live in Toronto now, which is super expensive especially for housing. They only just raised minimum wage here after 10 years! AS for the the visa thing I dont have family there : ( but I am looking into different visa options (i.e. H1B). I may consult a "professional" but first will conduct more research myself.

I would love to get more info from you guys and possibly keep in touch but I have no idea how to do that with this site. I thought you could reply individually. Pls do get back on how we can do that IF you dont mind, I certainly will not. THanks again!

Toronto, Ontario
posts: 35
reviews: 2
4. Re: need advice pls! planning to move to San Diego

sorry forgot to say I visited that website dopejam.com...looks great! especially since its from a Cdn perspective! thanks!

posts: 72
reviews: 5
5. Re: need advice pls! planning to move to San Diego

Hi traveldreamer, I just came back from visiting San Diego exactly 1 month ago. I live in Montreal and graduate in April also. I also would like to move to San Diego. Especially for the Amazing climate:) Maybe we can exchange helpful info re. relocation. One thing for sure is that cost of living in San Diego is really high. Alot higher than Toronto.

Toronto, Ontario
posts: 35
reviews: 2
6. Re: need advice pls! planning to move to San Diego

Hey Cindy! I'll totally exchage info with you. I have a book going (I'm a geek!). perhaps we can exchange email addresses or something? I know its expensive but I've looked into certain things (i.e. apts) and they are pretty much same rental rates as Toronto. Besides I'm snowed in today and its 73degrees in San Diego, somethings are worth the price! Definitely msg me details, I'm always willing to help with info.

Toronto, Ontario
posts: 35
reviews: 2
7. Re: need advice pls! planning to move to San Diego

Cindy here you go if you want to email me its sailorette_2004@hotmail.com it's probably easier this way. I guess put San Diego in the subject. Hope to hear from you : )

San Diego, CA
posts: 22
reviews: 1
8. Re: need advice pls! planning to move to San Diego

I was an international student myself when I came to San Diego. As for the immigration, it's much more strict now than 9 years ago, I'd recommend to find a job first, get a working visa (H1B) through a company then come out here. It's better to hire a lawyer if you can afford, they know the best. Or you can get a student visa which is a little easier, attend some kind of school here then get a practical training visa which is good for a year. With this visa, you will be able to work so meantime you can find a company that can support you with the working visa. It's very confusing and stressful, but if you want what you want, gotta do it! As for a place to live, you might want to find a roommate to start... If you want a decent studio/1 bedroom apartment just for yourself, it'll cost you btw $600-$900 at least. For all these infomation, go to signonsandiego.com and sdreader.com they are very useful. Best of luck!

P.S. You must have a car in San Diego.

Pasadena, CA
posts: 850
reviews: 1
9. Re: need advice pls! planning to move to San Diego

I agree with everyone, you must have a green card or a visa to work in the U.S. If you do, check these job fairs out if you'll be in San Diego then.


Southern CA
posts: 54
10. Re: need advice pls! planning to move to San Diego

I did rather well in San Diego without a car for a long time, but I had the same employer for years and lived near my place of employment. As the job market changed I was forced to commute longer distances, and driving became a necessity.

Take a working vacation in San Diego to research & network.