New York

Moving to New York?

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Moving to New York

New York is one of the largest, most diverse, and exciting cities on the globe, attracting expats and immigrants ever since its founding. Follow in their footsteps and move to New York City! But first, learn more about neighborhoods and visas in our Expat Guide on moving to New York.
Welcome to New York, the most populous city in the USA.
  • The city that never sleeps has a lot to offer, especially for expats, as there is a great diversity of nationalities and languages.
  • New York is divided into five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island.
  • Depending on the purpose of your stay in New York, you either have to apply for an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa, both of which have different categories.


According to recent news reports, people from various countries, including those with a valid visa and residence permit, have encountered difficulties when entering the United States. Unfortunately, the full extent of those issues seems to be unclear. Before you decide to move or travel there, or leave the country temporarily if already living in the USA, please consult a US embassy and an immigration lawyer if you fear you might be affected.


The influx of immigrants moving to New York reached its pinnacle in the 19th and the early 20th centuries. Nowadays, the population has risen to about 8.5 million inhabitants. With an estimated 800 languages spoken in NYC, it is also one of the world’s most linguistically diverse cities.

The reasons for moving to New York have changed only slightly over the centuries, and the city continues to fascinate especially young people from all over the world. Historically speaking, moving to New York meant a fresh start in a safe haven. Millions of immigrants came to New York in order to escape oppression, persecution, or poverty.

Along the same vein, some of the city’s main selling points are its booming economy as well as the buzz and excitement created by its sheer size and cultural riches. New York City is the backdrop of countless movies, television shows, and books known to a worldwide audience, and this even further amplifies the strange fascination that fuels many a dream of moving to New York. One thing holds true even today: in New York, everything seems possible.

The Bigger the City, the Harder the Decision: Where to Live in New York

For expatriates moving to New York, deciding on a neighborhood can be incredibly difficult. Lucky expats either live in corporate accommodation or at least get HR support in finding a home.

Others are faced with a difficult choice: How does one decide where to live in a city covering upwards of 468 square miles (1212 km2), or in a metropolitan area stretching over more than 6,720 square miles (17,405 km2)? This decision is, of course, very individual and is usually based on many personal factors such as cost of living, income, proximity to work, schools, green spaces, etc.

However, this short overview might help people thinking of a move to New York narrow down their options and get a rough idea of New York City’s neighborhoods.

Would you like to learn more about rental agreements, the housing search, and what to keep an eye on when signing a lease? Take a look at our article on renting a home in the USA.

A Place for Families: Metropolitan New York

A couple of short paragraphs couldn’t possibly do justice to the vastness and diversity of the New York metropolitan area. Metro New York is a viable place to settle down and has some obvious attractions, especially for families or people who might find the prospect of moving to New York City itself too daunting.

While property is a lot cheaper outside NYC, owning a car may become a necessity, and working family members could face a long and stressful commute every day. Moving to New York City proper might appeal mainly to the young and childless. With the possible exception of Manhattan, however, all boroughs do include family-friendly residential neighborhoods as well as hip and more expensive areas.


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

Javier Vazquez

"Even in a crowded city like the Big Apple you can easily get lost. With InterNations I've made some really good friends and also added to my business contacts."

Noemi Roussel

"The top events organized in the New York chapter helped me get to know expat women from France and many other countries all over the world."

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