Moving To India Expat Guide – that will be the topic of today’s article.
Before introducing this article, if you are interested in our core services which are expat financial, insurance and mortgages, you can contact me here.
The best time to consider your financial situation is when you are moving to a new country.
When moving to India, you first need to be aware of the different immigration laws and norms. With tons of investment pouring in from different parts of the world, many expats will be required to relocate to India to work in Indian companies. But the first thing you should consider is legal work.
Today, we can say that the Indian immigration system is fairly simple and not very complicated. Meanwhile, the only complication experienced is usually the paperwork and the coordination between various departments. Also, an Indian work permit is simple and unique from other Western countries.
However, India is what people picture when they think of Southern Asia. With the hot weather, bustling street markets, and spicy food, the benefits of relocating to this country cannot be overemphasized. Have you been surfing on the internet to get the right information about relocating to India in 2021?
Of course, look no further as we’ve got you covered. Here we will walk you through the things to know if you’re looking to move to India or just curious about what’s going on there. Whether it’s small fun facts, big structural fixtures, pros, and cons, we’ve got it all. Our guide offers a brief introduction to India.
Nonetheless, we compiled various visa options, safety measures, and health to assist your move to India. As an expat, we understand what you need, and we will offer essential services to help you move and live abroad easily. To get a detailed description of this country, read further to know more!
Essential Tips for Moving To India
When it comes to moving to a different country, India is distinctly different from other countries in the world. And the country’s diverse culture is quite different from what you’ll see in the Western world. Depending on how well you’ve prepared, it could quickly go from being either a disaster to a blessing.
Right from what to pack to the language to pick, there are many things to know before moving to India. While it’s true that English will get you through the day without trouble in most cities, it would be better to pick up at least a few basic phrases in the country’s language. Below are the tips for moving to India.
Traffic in India
The traffic in India is one of the first things to consider. That’s why, if you’re in a big city, it would be wise to leave half an hour early. This is because; the traffic on Indian roads can be a lot more unpredictable and chaotic, unlike in the western cities. So, it’s always prudent to consider this factor.
People Staring at You
While you’re moving to this country for the first time, ensure you get used to people staring at you. Whether it’s on the roads or at the restaurants, you’re bound to encounter a few people in India who stare at you just because you are an emigrant. Therefore, it’s prudent to be on guard as well.
Re-Learn How to Drive
On getting to this country, you’ll definitely re-learn how to drive. This is because; driving in India is unlike anywhere else in the world. We can say that it’s equal parts madness and 80s Hollywood action flick, but yet bit still maintains a semblance in the area of chaos. In fact, Indian drivers aren’t disciplined when it comes to driving in the country.
Know What to Pack Here
While India is often seen as one country, it is just as diverse as calling it a continent. Aside from this fact, the country is one of them in the world that has almost all the major geographical features ranging from desert and rainforests to beaches and snow-capped peaks.
However, each state within the country can be as climatically distinct from others as possible. This way, depending on which region or state you’d move to, what you’ll need to pack can drastically change as well. So, it would be wise to research the states or regions well before planning to travel to India.
Public Transportation in India
Local transport in India is not for the faint-hearted emigrants. Although it’s a lifesaver, just like almost everywhere around the world but if you’ve not boarded a train or a bus in the country before, it is prudent to know what you’re actually getting into before landing up at the platform station.
Beware of Auto-Wallahs and Cabbies
Remember, public transport isn’t for everyone in India, and the other alternative is to take a cab or an auto-rickshaw. In this country, cab drivers and auto-wallahs are notorious for fleecing and overcharging; that’s why you need to be careful. Also, in some cities such as Mumbai, there’s a standard fare system.
Ensure You Get Vaccinated
With COVID-19 restrictions and rules in the country, it’s quite okay to get vaccinated before you travel. This is to prevent you from diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, diarrhea, cholera, rabies, typhoid fever, and many others, to mention a few. Therefore, you should opt for re-vaccination against DPT and MMR in the country.
Pros and Cons of Moving To India
After having stayed in the US for nearly 17 years, I decided to shift base to Bangalore, the Silicon Valley of India, along with my siblings. And I must tell you that moving to India is one of the best experiences. India has gained a great deal of attention from expats. Let’s quickly walk you through the pros and cons.
With the above being said, it’s important to consider the positives and the negatives of relocating to India. This will help to ascertain whether it is the right expat destination for you as you’re conducting research. Without further ado, below are the pros of relocating to India in today’s 21st century.
India is Full of Opportunity
India has one of the fastest-growing populations in the world. Aside from this fact, it has a commercial presence that’s advancing rapidly, and the capital city, New Delhi, is a city of opportunity for Indian locals and expats alike. Not only that, but no country has more young people than India in 2021.
The city is exciting, and research made it known that half of India’s population is under 25 years old. Sometimes it seems like they are all here in New Delhi, and that’s why many young expats would be willing to relocate to this country.
Expats Enjoy Low Cost Of Living
As with expat city, you can find expensive places to eat and stay if you have enough money. However, the local economy has not been slow to notice that expats come armed with compensation packages that dwarf the typical local incomes. That’s why we say that it’s one of the cheap places for expat to live.
Unique History and Culture
From the mixed Moslem and Hindu architecture of the Purana Qila to the wonderful Humayan’s Tomb, history is everywhere in this country. The more the recent influence of the British Raj is also noticeable, whether in the national passion or the colonial architecture, the more you’ll enjoy the land.
New Delhi, the capital city, also brings together people and cultures from all across the country. The wide variety of foods, cultures, languages, and many others, to mention a few, is a rich cultural variety. Apart from my personal experience, expats report that locals are friendly and always keen to help.
The capital city is very well connected with direct flights to most major cities in India. Not only that, but Delhi Metro is modern, efficient, clean, and it also connects the city with all major suburbs, including Noida, Gurugram, and Faridabad, sparing commuters from different choking traffic in the city.
Cheap Labor and Social Life
One of the benefits of expats living in this country is that you can get cheap labor. Also, in most houses, you’ll find maids and cooks who take care of cleaning, dishwashing, cloth washing, and many others. This means, as an expat, you can easily find a person who can iron your clothes nearby.
In addition to that, there are mix opinions about social life in India. While some feel that they had a very good social circle, others say one might not benefit from close friends around the country. However, you’ll enjoy different festivals as this plays an important role in their lifestyles.
Expansion of Knowledge in India
Like everyone would tell you, with travel comes the power of knowledge. You’ll definitely experience a similar occurrence in India with their range of cultures and traditions. Wherever you decide to travel or relocate to India, what you’ll gain is priceless. These types of experience are something that can’t be learned by reading a book until you explore the country or have a gist from someone that has experienced it.
Like we’ve been telling you from the onset, no country is perfect. While there are numerous advantages of moving to India, there are many disadvantages that’d make you look down on the country. Here are some of the main cons to bear in mind when considering a move to the Indian capital city.
Hazardous Pollution in India
According to the World Health Organization, Delhi is one of the world’s most polluted cities in recent times. However, being outdoors isn’t pleased with such high levels of pollution, and many people report experiencing respiratory issues due to this factor.
Expensive Schooling Options for Expats
While private schools in Delhi are viable options for expat students, spaces are limited, and their fees are high. This way, international schools are the most popular option for expat and their families, but their fees are even more expensive than you’d ever imagined.
Aside from this fact, the capital city, known as Delhi, isn’t the most family-friendly city for expat. Although they may offer great career progression opportunities for young professionals but it’s not the best place to raise a family. Therefore, as a foreigner, keep this fact in mind while moving to India.
Constant Noise and Dirt
The most apparent sound you’ll hear in most Indian cities is the honking of vehicles, which is basically constant. Over time, you’ll be used to this problem, but at first, you’ll be overwhelmed with the culture if you’re used to the western nation. On the other hand, a lot of people complain about the dirt in this country. In fact, it’s ranked among the poorest countries in the world with street dirt as well.
Stressful Life in the City
The stressful life to get around daily after relocating to India might be frustrating. This is because; life in a metro city is considered busy, rigid, and stressful. With every local fighting to be in the business, with traffic twists and pollution, it can be hard for someone moving from the U.S to withstand.
Crime Rates in Big Cities
Unlike other western countries or neighboring countries in Asia, there’s a high crime rate in India’s capital city. This will result in whether you’ll reconsider your decision for possession in the big city or not. More so, you’re much more inclined to be a sufferer of a crime living in a big city than in the local town
On the flip side, Indian cities are great havens for awareness, social life, and culture. The vibrant cultures are originated in the big cities because it holds a significant population to aid concert halls, museum, sports teams, and many others to mention a few.
Indian Visa Advisory and Terms
Foreign expats or nationals entering Indian are required to possess a valid international travel document. Aside from that, visas are issued by the immigration authorities of a foreign country after verifying and checking your credentials properly.
Once you get a visa application, you’re permitted to enter the country. On the flip side, permission received through a visa is temporary and subject to approval from the necessary bodies at the entry point. Now, let’s consider walking you through the types of visas available for expats in the country.
- Single Entry Visa in India
- Multiple Entry Visa
- Business Visa Entry
- Tourist Visa Entry
- Residence Visa in India
- India Visa on Arrival
- Work and Electronic Visa and many more
Single Entry Visa in India
In India, you’ll get to know that there are strict immigrations rules for expat if you’re planning to relocate. And the single-entry visas remain valid only for one visit to a particular country. However, once you leave its territory, you’ll have to apply for a new visa to be able to return. And this kind of visas is usually cheaper and faster to obtain.
Multiple Entry Visa in India
Unlike the single entry visa type in India, the multiple visas allow foreigners to enter and leave your destination multiple times during its validity, without applying for a visa in the long run. Moreover, keep in mind that each visit is limited by a certain amount of days which you cannot exceed, while some countries might still limit the number of entries.
Tourist Visa Entry
As of today, the tourist visa has been restricted due to COVID-19 rules and regulations. The government introduced it in 2014, and it’s even available online. This kind of visa allows eligible citizens to travel to India for tourism purposes for up to 90 consecutive days for visitation.
Residence Visa in India
The residence visa in India is issued to foreigners staying in the country for not more than 180 days. Also, it is issued following registration at the FRRO, and it’s valid for the duration specified in the emigrant’s visa. Also, it is granted to foreigners after being tested negative for the COVID-19.
India Visa on Arrival
The India visa on arrival will be valid for entry and stay in the country within the period of its validity. More so, the immigration officer may grant a double-entry Visa-on-Arrival that’s valid for up to 60 days. At the same time, this kind of visa is only granted to certain eligible countries upon their arrival in India.
Work and Electronic Visa
The work visa in India allows management of the visa application process to occur entirely in a virtual environment. Besides, everything is done on the internet; visa applications are done online, payment is made online, and the decision on the application is also communicated online.
COVID-19 New Travel and Visa Requirements
Effective from May 4, entry to some cities in India have been suspended and restricted to some countries. This suspension of entry also does not apply to non-U.S. citizen’s spouses or siblings under 21. The following are the latest updates regarding the country’s visa requirements.
- Certain countries are not allowed to enter the country. In addition, emigrants that have previously been tested positive for COVID-19 are restricted from visiting the country.
- If an emigrant or expat got tested during transit, he/she might be quarantined or sent back to his/her point of departure.
- Nationals of India, Nepal, and Bhutan are permitted to enter the country from any country of residence. Also, Airlines will be responsible for ensuring that passengers comply with the travel restrictions before issuing tickets.
- Officials in India will strictly enforce COVID-19 rules, measures, and protocols to expat upon their arrival.
- Overseas Citizens of India and foreign nationals intending to visit India for any purpose are permitted to enter the country through water routes or flight.
Things to Know Before Moving To India
India is making giant strides as the country ranks second among the world’s major economies with a consistently outstanding average growth rate of 5.8 percent in the last 20 years. Also, in India, manufacturing, agricultural, and foreign trade sectors dominate the country. But take a look at this.
A Taste of Indian Food
Before you move to India in this digital world, you should know that Indian cuisine uses aromatic spices such as tamarind, ginger, pepper, saffron, and more for their food. Besides, food plays a significant role in their culture. At the same time, all festivals and celebrations in this country involve a feast where locals gather to dine and wine.
Dealing With India Cultural Shock
If you’re moving to this country for the first time, you should expect a cultural shock different from your home country. Although the locals are usually friendly and welcoming, adjusting to Indian culture a whole lot easier? But sometimes, Indians can be strict when it comes to compliance with their cultures and traditions.
Learn To Wait
You must have this in mind while relocating to India. Always know that you’ll definitely wait for long if you’re not careful. Mainly, don’t believe an Indian when they tell you things will be ready in the next five minutes. Always include an additional time because it’s very common among the locals.
Sense of Personal Space
Indian people are friendly, but they don’t have manners or a sense of personal space. In fact, what you see is what you get because they don’t pretend they’re someone they’re not. And about privacy and personal space, don’t expect much of it after relocating for the first time in India.
Don’t Be Fooled By the Children Smile
You’ll always get this often during your first entry to the country. For countless trips to India in the past, the children have always seemed innocent. When settled down in the country, be aware that most children have zero manners. Besides, they’ll beg and screen your name for hours, and you must not ignore them except you want those children to break your home.
Ignore Local Advice and Hire Servant
Indians are not a luxury people, but when you settle down here, it’s better to hire a servant and ignore the local advice. More so, you can hire a cook and learn new dishes from the person. And if you’ve jumped on the hiring bandwagon, hire a maid within your budget.
Whether you’ve been to India or are heading there for the first time, this guide is what you need. You’ve probably heard of the most common culture shock and massive poverty. Of course, if you want to know what it takes, refer to this guide as we’ve highlighted some important aspects of Indian life.