India is a country of diverse cultures and languages. The country is also known for its vibrant food, music, dance, and festivals. With over 1.4 billion people, India is the world’s second most populous country after China. The official languages of India are Hindi and English. However, there are 22 other official languages in India including Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu.
Life in India is a complex mixture of ancient, medieval, and modern cultures. Over time, the country has experienced invasions from a variety of foreign powers, including the Mongols, Persians, British, and French. However, despite these influences, India’s culture and traditions are very strong.
Indian cuisine has been influenced by many cultures including Chinese, Arabic, and British to name a few. Vegetarianism is common in India as it’s part of their culture. Dancing forms an important part of Indian culture. Many forms of dance were developed in ancient times to express religious ideas or historical events but today they are majorly performed for entertainment purposes.
The people of India are extremely diverse and come from different backgrounds. Whether you are traveling to India for business or pleasure, there are many things to consider before your trip. Traveling to India can be very exciting but it is important to understand that India is not like traveling to other countries. Many cultural differences may seem odd or even offensive to an outsider but they are part of daily life in India.
India presents more than its fair share of challenges to newcomers. While it has a lot to offer culturally, there is much to learn, and many aspects of life are different than in the West. The best thing to do when moving here is to arm yourself with as much information as possible. This guide is designed to give you a broad overview of what you can expect to encounter on your journey so that you can be better prepared for what lies ahead.
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Migrating between countries is an incredibly complex process. There are innumerable factors to consider, from what tax situation you will have in the host country, to how the move will impact your professional development, to how it will affect your family life. India is a popular destination for expats wanting to relocate—and with good reason: The economy is growing at a rapid pace, and its business culture is expanding rapidly as well. However, moving to a new country comes with challenges that can’t be overlooked.
Although migration in India has many positive aspects, there are also some negative effects of migration on India’s economy. The large population in cities increases competition for land and other resources that were previously not so limited before migration. For example, although land ownership was not limited before this increase in population density, there is now more competition for land because of new migrants who want to build their own homes or businesses in this unused space.
As an expat living here, you’ll find yourself exposed to all sides of India’s culture: the traditions, the modernization, and the sheer energy that radiates from its people. You’ll also discover that working in India is vastly different than working in your home country. It can be rewarding but it can also be frustrating. The laws are different, the people are different, and sometimes even your coworkers may be different.
Living and working in India as an expat can be an amazing adventure, but it is not without its challenges. This section will outline the visa process, common job opportunities, and the payment structure.
Table of Contents
Basic Things You Need To Know About India
If you are planning on visiting India or if you are already here then there are some things that every traveler should know about this country:
- Capital – New Delhi
- Largest City – Mumbai
- Official Languages – Hindi, English, Bengali, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Urdu
- Religion – Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism
- Demonym – Indian
- Government – Federal Parliamentary Constitutional Republic
- Currency – Indian Rupee (INR – ₹)
- Time Zone – UTC +05:30 (IST)
- Driving Side – Left
- Calling Code – +91
How Is Life In India As A Migrant?
It’s no secret that more and more people are being forced to migrate from their home countries due to poverty, lack of income, a better education system, and other life-changing occurrences. This move is often done with the risk of not returning home after completing school or working. Selecting where to go is often a difficult decision, especially if you’ve never been to locations in your own country much less another country.
It’s very hard to answer the question of how life is as a foreigner in India because it depends on what your expectations are. India is a very different country and it can be overwhelming at times.
The Pros of Living in India
First, the cost of living is extremely low. I’ve been able to live comfortably here on a fraction of the money I spent in my home country. If you’re looking to save some cash and live on a small budget, then India’s a great option. Apartments/Houses are relatively cheaper than in other countries. Taxation is low in India so you can spend more on your wants and needs.
On the positive side, India has a lot to offer in terms of culture and history. The food is very good and there are many things to do that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. India is an amazing place to study, work and live in. Many things make India a great country to live in. The people here are very talented, hardworking and friendly. The food here is rich and delicious, moreover, it is absolutely fine.
In the world of technology, India has made many contributions like the invention of zero, the number system, and the decimal system. Its potential also exists in the area of education, as India is known for having some of the brightest minds in the world. It offers a variety of career options, especially in tech and finance. Some other famous inventions were discovered by Indians like the decimal system, algebra, geometry, and trigonometry.
India is a country known for its cheap labor, which has allowed it to quickly become a hotspot for outsourcing. The fact that the cost of living there is considerably cheaper than, say, the United States makes it even more appealing to companies trying to save money on their bottom lines. However, even with such a large pool of potential employees, not all services in India are cheap—some things might even be more expensive than they are in other countries.
Another major perk of living here is that English is widely spoken by locals and most people speak English with varying degrees of fluency.
The best thing about living in India is that you will meet many interesting people from all over the world. In this way, you will have an opportunity to get in touch with new cultures and traditions.
The Cons of Living in India
However, there are some things that foreigners may not like about India:
In big cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, etc traffic jams can be a nightmare for foreign tourists. You have to wait for hours just to cross a road due to heavy traffic!
India has one of the highest rates of open defecation in the world. This means that many people do not have access to toilets which results in an unhygienic environment around our cities and villages alike!
India is one of the most gender-unequal countries in the world, which translates into a lot of issues for women here. Women are not treated equally there and will want to find out about the level of equality before making any plans for living there.
The long working hour and low pay are the major problems in India. According to The Times of India, an average 15-hour work day is the norm for many. Moreover, workers are generally underpaid and companies are not willing to pay them more. In addition, employees have very few days off.
Pollution is one of the biggest challenges for India’s population. As residents come to India’s cities, they and their families are exposed to air pollution, water pollution, and noise pollution at a rate that can be devastating.
The national crime rate is at an all-time high due to poor law enforcement and a lack of government presence in rural areas where much of the population resides. The government has also struggled to contend with advancing social issues such as gender inequality and caste discrimination. These issues have contributed to a rise in crimes against women as well as communal violence between religious groups.
The majority of the people in India are poor and they live in rural areas. The problems they face in their daily lives are mostly lack of food, shelter, clothing, health care, education, and employment. Most of the people live on subsistence farming or as day laborers. Superstitious beliefs coupled with illiteracy and poverty are the main reasons behind these problems
Still, on the negative side, there are many scams out there and it’s very difficult for foreigners to get jobs with good salaries so most people end up working for less than $1 per hour doing menial tasks such as cleaning houses or washing cars.
Getting Around in India: How Transportation is Like in India?
When you’re traveling in a foreign country, it’s a good idea to prepare yourself for the cultural differences that can be challenging to navigate. One of the most important things you can do is learn how to use public transportation, as you’ll likely be taking it everywhere during your trip.
Transport (and other infrastructure) in India is generally pretty good, at least in the places that tourists tend to visit. In Delhi, for example, taxis are plentiful and easy to find; they use meters and prepaid services like EasyCabs are abundant. The quality of the cars is often questionable, but if you keep your eyes peeled when you’re getting into one, you’ll be fine. There are also plenty of auto-rickshaws (three-wheeled taxis), though the drivers can be aggressive.
Most parts of the roads can be pretty bad in India, especially during monsoon season, so it’s helpful to know ahead of time whether your driver will be taking the most direct route between destinations or not. If you have a driver who doesn’t take the most efficient route, you might find yourself running late or dealing with a lot of traffic. That said, if you’re looking for adventure trips off the beaten path, it might not matter how long it takes to get somewhere—you’ll be too busy enjoying all of the sights along the way!
Transportation in India is a study of contrasts. On one hand, it’s not as common or affordable to own a car as it is in many countries, but on the other hand, you can reliably ride a two-wheeler for less than 50 cents.
Driving in India: Owning a Car
Driving in India is a different experience. The roads are not as crowded and there is some space between the vehicles. However, the traffic rules are not followed strictly in India and Indian drivers have very little respect for the traffic rules and they drive with their style. A four-lane road may have all sorts of vehicles—buses, cars, trucks, motorcycles, pedestrians, and animals.
Several inland roads are narrow due to which it becomes difficult for two vehicles to pass each other in some places. Roads are also not maintained properly so driving through potholes can be scary at times. It is better to stay alert all the time while driving on Indian roads but once one gets used to these idiosyncrasies of driving in India, it becomes easy to drive in this country. It is these differences that make driving in India so interesting and adventurous.
On the other hand, there is a great deal of potential for danger when driving in India. Although Indian drivers do tend to be more cautious than American drivers, they are also less accustomed to driving on slick roads. In addition, when an accident occurs, bystanders are likely to swarm the cars, which can lead to further accidents and injuries. In extreme cases, drivers might be held hostage by angry mobs.
India is a country with a lot of contrast. You have some parts that are very modern and have huge skyscrapers, while other parts are still being developed to have schools, hospitals, and shelters. In city life, things are much more modern than in village life. This is why owning a car in India is not always the best idea because you need to be in a specific area to be able to drive comfortably. Most people take public transportation around the country unless they live in an area where it is easier to own a car.
If you live in a big city, chances are that owning a car is an unnecessary luxury. Sure, it can be fun to have the freedom to go wherever you want without having to rely on public transportation or a friend with a car, but if you’ve ever tried to find parking in a crowded city, or dealt with the traffic that comes from driving in a place where most people don’t own cars, you’ll quickly realize how much of an inconvenience it is.
For those who are planning to drive in India, it is important to have a valid international driving license. The driving license issued by any country is universally accepted if it is valid for a year. A person must be at least 18 years old to drive a vehicle and he/she should possess the basic documents such as the registration certificate of the motor vehicle, insurance of the vehicle, and also an affidavit from the owner of the motor vehicle.
India’s massive public transportation options are often a source of curiosity for tourists and expats alike. The country has a wide array of transport options, from trains to buses to planes to auto-rickshaws and beyond. Road transport is mainly handled by buses and cars while the railway system dominates long-distance transport and is essential to the growth of India’s economy. The waterways are used for transporting goods to other parts of the country or nearby nations.
Many private vehicles are also available for hire in urban areas. Mostly privately-owned taxis are available in cities to travel from one place to another. Bus services are provided by both state-operated as well as private operators. Rickshaws (also called tuk-tuks) are the most popular mode for short distances. There are many bus transport services in metropolitan areas and big cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Chennai, which are used by people to travel from one place to another.
Buses are the most common form of transport and come in all shapes and sizes. Some are privately run, some by the government, but almost all of them are crowded beyond belief, especially during peak hours (8 am to 10 am). India is a very large country and as such, it has an equally large public transport system.
The private buses are more expensive than the government buses but they are also generally air-conditioned, have comfortable seating arrangements, are clean, and provide good service. Most of the government buses in India do not have air conditioning and some of them even have no doors! These buses might be cheaper but it is advisable to avoid them because they are not safe to travel in. It is best to avoid traveling by non-air-conditioned buses during summer because it can get extremely hot inside them due to the lack of any sort of ventilation.
The other type of public transport that is used in India is the train service. The Indian Railways is one of the largest railway networks in the entire world, carrying over 20 million passengers every day. Train services in India are generally reliable, safe, comfortable, and punctual and hence people prefer to use them over any other form of public transportation. However, one should always check their tickets before buying them, as sometimes seat reservations have to be made beforehand and these seats are not always guaranteed if they have not been
The Indian public transit system is not very well developed, and a major mode of transportation used by people is the rail services. Train services in India are generally reliable, safe, comfortable, and punctual and hence people prefer to use them over any other form of public transportation.
The country’s railway network, with a length of 67,956 km (42,226 mi), is the fourth largest in the world, behind the United States, China, and Russia (1st, 2nd, and 3rd) respectively. It carries an average of 23 million passengers daily and more than 8 billion every year. The railways are also the main freight carrier, although this role has been largely superseded by the national highway network carried by a growing road network which has now largely replaced the railways as a means of long-distance freight transport within India.
Housing and Accommodation
India is home to 28 states and eight union territories, each with distinct languages, cultures, and ethnicities. The country’s population of more than 1 billion people is served by a network of more than 500 cities, which include some of the largest metropolitan areas in the world.
A variety of rental options are available in India’s larger cities, including apartments, condominiums, townhouses, and duplexes. India has a diverse range of accommodation options, from hotels to hostels, to luxury resorts and serviced apartments. In smaller towns and villages, single-family homes are more common. Homes for rent typically come furnished or unfurnished and can include anything from a small one-bedroom apartment to a sprawling eight-bedroom house with several baths and an attached garage.
Housing in India is characterized by extremes: either over-priced and luxurious or under-priced and squalid. Those who can afford it live in high-rises with all the modern amenities, while those who cannot live in slums with no running water or electricity. Some of the best housing markets are New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Chennai.
Where to Live?
Choosing where to live in India is an important decision, and before you make it you’ll want to consider several factors. Each city is a different experience, with its own attractions and drawbacks.
New Delhi is the capital and home to many government offices. It’s close to the Himalayas and offers plenty of opportunity for sightseeing. Mumbai is a huge and exciting city with a lot of shopping and financial opportunities, but it’s also crowded and sometimes dangerous.
Bangalore has the most IT jobs, is known as the “Silicon Valley of India” by some, but has lesser employment prospects than Mumbai. Chennai is less developed than other cities but more affordable. Goa has a tropical atmosphere but isn’t home to many jobs. Hyderabad has a large job market but is isolated from other cities. There are pros and cons to each place; you’ll just have to decide what fits your lifestyle best!
When you’re thinking about moving to another country, the first big question is where. Do you stay in a big city, or move to a smaller town?
It’s also worth considering your own personal interests and needs when deciding where in India to live. If you like activities such as running or hiking, then maybe living near mountains or along a coastline would be ideal. If you prefer an urban area, then cities like Bangalore might be right for you.
You could also consider how much interaction with other foreigners you want on a daily basis: if you’re planning on traveling around India a lot and want to stay in touch with others doing the same, then living in an area popular among expats could be your best bet.
Deciding on where to live in India is a big decision and one that should be made carefully. A lot of people want to go the easy route and choose one of the major cities like Mumbai or Delhi, but this is a mistake. Many other places in India have just as much to offer as those cities, while also providing you with a new cultural experience and a more relaxed way of life.
But before you grab your passport and start searching for apartments in Delhi, it’s important to take your time when planning where to live in India.
Look Up Where You Plan To Live
It can be hard to plan something so enormous and make sure that you’ve covered all of your bases. It might help if you write down what you’re looking for and what you’re not before even starting your search. This will help ensure that you don’t get distracted by the glittering lights of one residence or another one that isn’t quite right. Make sure that those who are living there now know what you’re looking for and what kind of person would be a good fit. You’ll also want to make sure that when it comes time for the interview, that person is going to be a good fit for your family as well as the community in which they live.
Speak to the locals when visiting
When planning where to live in India, it’s important to speak to the locals. If you’re moving to India and are planning on staying for any length of time, don’t be shy about making friends with the locals. You’d be surprised how much insight you can gain from a person who lives in your building, or the owner of the corner store you shop at every day. When you’re living in a new country, there’s always an element of fear that comes with not knowing what’s going on around you—not just in your immediate area, but around your city as a whole.
Use an agent
When planning where to live in India, remember that the language barrier and cultural differences can make it difficult to find an apartment or house. Even in English-speaking cities like Mumbai, many landlords and real estate agents may not understand your needs.
If you hire an agent in India, make sure that you are clear about what you are looking for. At one end of the spectrum, people who need a furnished apartment with a kitchen or cooking facilities should be clear about their intentions so that they don’t waste time touring places that do not fit their needs.
On the other hand, if you simply want a cheap room with a bed and a bathroom, then that is what you need to tell the agent so that they can quickly point out good options. One option is to find someone who is fluent in English and knows the city well enough to help you get situated on your own.
Best Places To Live In India
What are the best places to live in India as a migrant? That depends on what you’re looking for, but there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing where to settle down.
In metropolitan areas, your work options will be wide-ranging and abundant, but you will also have competition for available jobs. In smaller cities, your options may be more limited to what’s available locally, but it will be easier to find work because there will be fewer candidates vying for those positions.
On a more practical level, expats will find that everything from food to housing costs relatively less in India than in other parts of Asia, which makes it an attractive destination for those looking to make their money go further.
Here are the best places to live in India:
Mumbai is the best place you could live in India. For one thing, it’s filled with delicious food from all over India, ranging from delicious South Indian dosas and North Indian tandoori to classic Mughlai biryani. There are a lot of neighborhoods that are comfortable to live in, many of which have a very community-oriented vibe. The people here are generally friendly and helpful, especially when you’re lost or confused about something.
It’s also a great place to be if you like urban living. You can go shopping at the many malls in the city or just hang out in your neighborhood; there’s plenty to do without having to travel far. Mumbai is also a great place to be if you’re into arts and culture; there are so many places where you can see good dance performances and movies, hear live music and plays, as well as exhibit at museums.
In India, Hyderabad is a major city and state capital of Telangana. It’s a growing city with a lot of IT/ITES companies working here. Because of these companies, there are many jobs in Hyderabad. And because of these jobs, people from all across the country are coming to this city to make a living. It has become one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. So what makes it such a great place to live?
Hyderabad is a vibrant and exciting city, with plenty of things to do and see, and it’s also an excellent place to live. The air is clean and smells like jasmine; the streets are safe, and people are friendly. The city has great public transportation, with buses that run on time, and trains that go everywhere. There are cafes everywhere, where you can get a delicious cup of coffee for less than 50 cents—and most places have free WiFi. Hyderabad is full of museums, art galleries, and theaters.
3. New Delhi
The city of New Delhi is an excellent place to live in because it has a culture that is different from the rest of the world. There are many places to visit and many things to do here. One of the best parts about the city is that is located near many other countries. The crime rate is low and everything works well here.
A young, cosmopolitan city with a large population, many great universities, and booming tech industry, New Delhi is an excellent choice for students and professionals who want to live in India. You can feel safe walking around at night, there are plenty of places to eat out or eat home-cooked meals with friends, and the city has plenty of cultural festivals. There are also many opportunities for volunteering and meeting new people who share your interests.
Bengaluru is a great place to live in for a lot of reasons. First of all, it has a very reasonable cost of living compared to the rest of India, and even the rest of the world. It’s also a cool city because it’s one of the most developed and westernized cities in the whole country. It has an excellent infrastructure: there are state-of-the-art hospitals, schools as good as or better than anything in the U.S., and plenty of food options that rival those in any other city around the world.
Bengaluru is an excellent place to live in. With its booming tech sector, it will create a lot of opportunities for people all across the world. The city has everything that a person would want – malls, restaurants, pubs, movie halls, parks, etc. It also has plenty of job opportunities in all fields. Bengaluru has something for everyone and I think this is what makes it so vibrant. Amazing clubs and parties are happening every night of the week. On weekends you can go clubbing or chill out with your friends at a nice cafe or pub.
Chennai is a very international city with many foreign companies setting up offices here, making it excellent for expats and new businesses. Chennai also has one of the best airport infrastructures in the country, making it easy to fly into the city and start your work or business here. The people are friendly and fond of helping tourists, and the culture is rich and varied.
Chennai is a very international city so there are many things to see and do here; from learning a classical dance to joining one of the many festivals held every year. The food here is famous for its variety and quality, with something for every taste. Chennai has excellent schools and universities, some of which are world-renowned. Overall, Chennai is an excellent place to live.
Kolkata is a city in India that’s been a major cultural, commercial, and political center for centuries. People come to Kolkata from all over the country to study here, and it’s also home to some of the most historical sites in India, including the Indian Museum of Natural History and the Victoria Memorial.
There are plenty of reasons to live in Kolkata. It’s a very friendly city with people who are always ready to help you. The weather is quite pleasant, unlike the scorching heat in Delhi or the unpredictable weather of Mumbai. As the capital of West Bengal, Kolkata is one of the most important cities in India and has a rich history.
Kolkata is a vibrant and exciting city, especially for young people, who will find themselves surrounded by all the culture, nightlife, and career opportunities they could ask for. Kolkata’s culture and history are the perfect backdrops to its thriving economy, with many industries flocking to the city to take advantage of its highly educated workforce and low costs.
Tips That Will Come In Handy When Living In India
India is a diverse country, with a complex history, and extremely rich culture. There’s no single way to experience India. It can be overwhelming to visit this country for the first time, and even for Indians, there’s always so much more to learn about the place we call home. Below are some tips that will help you make the most of your trip.
1. Learn Some Languages
Every country has its slang, and India is no exception. While you’ll want to do your best to learn the basics of Hindi before you arrive in India, India’s linguistic diversity is equaled only by its cultural and religious diversity, and they’re all so intertwined in this country of more than 1 billion people that you can’t fully experience the one without the other. Here are some of the most common ones you’ll hear:
Indians use “Dhaba” as a noun for restaurants. They mean “roadside” or “street corner” and many of these places serve North Indian cuisine (along with a variety of other dishes). The ‘dhabas’ are a great place for tourists to try authentic vegetarian dishes at an affordable price.
Indian English includes using “Namaste” in place of “Hello,” “Goodbye,” or even just as a term of respect when talking to someone you don’t know very well.
It is common throughout India, not only in the cities, to ask someone’s caste. This can be quite uncomfortable for Westerners who aren’t used to being asked this question in casual conversation. Rather than asking what caste they belong to, it would be more appropriate to ask where they grew up, went to school, etc.
2. Brace Yourself for the Road
Driving in India is not for the faint-hearted. The roads are dangerous, traffic is chaotic and rules are rarely followed. Most rural Indian drivers are reckless by nature. So, if you are planning to come to India for a vacation, we highly recommend you brave the driving conditions in India before you come here. Also, we suggest that you hire a driver because it will keep you safe and secure. If you don’t want to do that, then you should at least be prepared for the worst when it comes to the driving conditions in India.
3. Have an Open Mind
Before visiting India, it’s easy to get swept up in the exoticism of the place: the colors, smells, and sounds are unlike anything most people have ever experienced. It’s easy to get seduced by this newness and forget that India is a country, not a theme park.
Many visitors arrive with preconceived notions about what they’ll find, based on what they’ve seen in movies and read in books. These anecdotes whether positive or negative can be helpful as sources of inspiration for your trip, but should never be taken as gospel truth.
4. Be Assertive
In India, it is important to be assertive, which means acting decisively and taking charge of a situation without hesitation. Being assertive shows confidence, strength and self-assurance. At the same time, it is important to avoid being aggressive by establishing boundaries and respecting other people’s rights. Maintaining a balance between these two traits is key to becoming assertive.
It’s commonly known that foreigners (both residents and tourists) spend more money! If you want to avoid being ripped off, you’ll need to learn to be fair – and get ready to negotiate hard if you are looking to purchase something. It’s commonly known that foreigners (both residents or tourists) spend more money! If you want to avoid being ripped off, you’ll need to learn to be fair – and get ready to negotiate really hard if you are looking to purchase something.
5. Have Suitable Clothes for All Season
Before packing for India, give some consideration to the many different seasons that change how you should dress. While it is true that there are only two major seasons in India (summer and monsoon), it is a diverse country, and not everything will be like the one region you visited when you were backpacking in Goa. Dress appropriately for each season and it will make your life so much easier.
In addition to the clothing, shoes are another very important factor to consider when packing for Mumbai. During the monsoon season, it can get very muddy and dirty. Therefore, it is best to have rubber or plastic sandals that can be washed easily.
6. Remember to Have Health Insurance
Since you are now migrating to India, the possibility that you are planning to stay here for a long time is high. So, you must get health insurance coverage before you arrive.
It may be difficult for some foreigners to buy health and medical insurance due to their country’s medical regulations and policies. However, the Indian government has made it possible for foreigners to enjoy medical care in India on similar terms as Indians do.
Please remember that your current health insurance probably won’t work in India. If you are planning to spend a long time there, or if you plan on living and working full-time in India, you must look into the options for Indian medical insurance.
Questions You Should Answer Before You Relocating to India
Are you planning on moving to India? Perhaps you already have a job lined up there, or you’re relocating with your family. Whatever the reason, there are many details to consider, and this is what you need to do before you move to India:
- Is India the right place for me?
- What is the climate like in India?
- What are the best cities to live in India?
- What are the most common health problems in India?
- How can I get a visa to live and work in India?
- How much money do I need to live a comfortable life in India?
- What are some must-visit places in India?
- Do you have an offer of employment?
- What will your job be like?
- How will you get around?
- Will there be an expat community?
- Are you ready for a change?
- Are You Willing to Give Up Your Comfort Zone?
- Do you have a strong support system?
- Are you ready to face challenges?
- Do you want to live in a country where English is not spoken widely?
- What are your financial goals?
- Do you have a plan B if things don’t go according to plan?
- How long will you be staying in India?
- Will you be working in India full-time or part-time?
- What am I going to do when I get there?
- Have I ever lived abroad before?
- What are the visa requirements?
- Can I afford to live in India?
- Does my spouse/partner want to move with me?
- Do we have kids? What about schools and childcare?
- Can I live without my family and friends?
- How much money do I have to spend?
- What kind of lifestyle am I willing to live?
- Am I willing to relocate my family abroad?
- Can I adapt to different cultures and customs?
- How well do I know myself and how well do I know others?
- How do I get around town?
- How expensive is living there?
- Will my spouse be able to get a job after we move?
Visa Types & Application Process For Immigrants
Just like most countries, the process of applying for an Indian visa is tedious. There are different types of visas available and people have to be aware of the requirements in order to avoid rejection. One thing to remember is that most visa applications require applicants to prove their intent to leave India by providing tickets and hotel reservations.
- Tourist Visa: A tourist visa is issued to those who wish to travel in India for tourism purposes only. It allows you to stay in the country for up to 180 days. This type of visa is valid for a year from its date of issue, but it cannot be extended.
- Business Visa: A business visa allows you to visit India on business and meet with clients. This type of visa is valid for six months and cannot be extended or converted into a long-term visa or residence permit
- Student Visa: A student visa allows students from foreign countries who wish to study in India. There are two types of student visas: one with permission to work during their studies; the other without permission to work during their studies.
- Employment Visa: An employment visas will be granted only after you have received an invitation letter from an employer in India. This is because India wants to make sure that people who come here will not overstay their welcome as well as they will not become a burden on the Indian economy (i.e., by taking away jobs from Indians).
- Film Visa: A film visa to India is a special type of visa which is issued to the crew members and artistes who are coming to India for the purpose of filmmaking. The validity period of this visa is 90 days from the date of issue.
- Medical Visa: A medical visa to India is a special type of visa that allows a foreign national to travel to India for medical treatment, or for the purpose of accompanying a relative or a friend who is travelling for medical treatment. A medical visa is valid for 15 days from the date of issue.
- Missionary Visa: A missionary visa to India is a type of short-stay visa issued to missionaries. To get this visa, you must be invited by the religious body or organisation in India. You must also have an appropriate reason for visiting India, such as conducting religious studies or preaching. The Missionary visa is valid for two months and can be extended up to six months, depending on the nature of your work.
One of the first things that you must consider before moving to India is obtaining an employment visa and work permit. You can apply for these yourself as a qualified professional – but most times, your new or future employer would have to apply for these on your behalf and will arrange for you to have them before you arrive in the country. Depending on what type of qualification and experience you have, this process may take anywhere from a week to several months.
Visa applications can be made online, but it’s worth noting that to do this you will need to print out any supporting documents that were submitted along with your online form. These documents should be taken to the nearest Indian embassy or consulate when submitting your application.
The Employment Visa (or E-Visa) is a type of visa that enables you to live and work in India for a specified period – typically 1 year or however long your assignment is for (up to 5 years at a time). To obtain an E-Visa through your employer, you must be earning at least $25,000 per annum – with their business being registered in India. If you are not an employee of a company that has been registered in India, you can apply for a business visa instead. The application process can take anywhere from two to eight weeks depending on your situation and how busy the Indian Embassy is at the time. The cost of this visa is $120 for multiple entry under 12 months, while $80 for 6 months multiply entry.
The Indian government requires all foreign nationals to apply for an E-Visa before entering the country. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Valid travel documents (e.g. your passport)
- Proof of employment with the company/organisation (e.g. a letter on company letterhead)
- Your qualifications/professional certification (e.g. your degree, or a certificate of completion of training)
Indian Immigration Norms: Before and After Arrival Formalities
India has an open-door policy for most countries, except for the ones who are on the list of banned countries. There are some restrictions on foreign nationals coming to India for business or tourism purposes. However, if you wish to stay longer than 180 days in India, you will have to apply for a visa.
The Indian immigration system is fairly simple and not very complicated. The only complication experienced usually is the paperwork and the coordination between various departments within the respective Government organisations. The Indian immigration system has undergone a lot of changes over the years. The Indian work permit system is so unique and different from most other countries that there is no in-country clearance process involved.
Immediately the employer identifies a possible international recruit and is willing to pay the employee relocating to India in excess of $25000 per annum, they are expected to complete an online application at the nearest Indian consulate, ensure all paperwork is completed and submit the physical application for an Employment Visa type – E.
Upon receipt of the completed application, processing can take up to six weeks depending on processing times at individual consulates. Once approved, the applicant is granted an Employment Visa and will be able to enter India as a legal resident.
Expats moving to India with their family members will need to apply for a dependent visa type – X. Usually, these visas would be granted within a week of the application, depending on the country they are applied from and usually valid for one year or the length of the assignment.
The following family members can be included in your application:
- Spouse or Partner (married or unmarried).
- Parents and/or Grandparents (above 60 years old).
Upon arrival, the visa can be extended every year in India. Since this process is also online now, the applicant need not face any administrative and procedural hassles.
After arrival, the family moving to India must register themselves with the local police office to secure a residential permit. With this registration in place can bank accounts be opened.
Immigration Risk: The Little You Need to Know
As the world becomes smaller, people need to travel more frequently. This is especially true for expats who are working in other countries. In addition to the health and safety considerations that arise from frequent travel, there are also immigration issues that must be addressed by those who plan to move around the world.
Delay Registration: Delayed registration is one of the most common pitfalls that new expats face in India. When you’re in India, the law requires you to register with the local police within 14 days of arrival. If you don’t, there are financial penalties for the delay. For foreign nationals who are living in India and want to leave, the exit permit is required. Also, exit from India would not be allowed until the registration has been secured.
Incorrect Visas: It is important to get a visa that suits the purpose of your visit. For example, if you are going on business, then you should apply for a business visa. If you are going on holiday, then you should apply for a tourist visa.
If you do not get an appropriate visa, your trip will be delayed and this may also result in fines or other penalties.
Same-sex partners: Same-sex couples in India are not legally recognized. They cannot register their marriage, adopt children or take care of each other’s health. The Supreme Court has recognized that homosexuality is not a crime and left it to Parliament to amend the law.
In 2018, Indian Supreme Court decriminalized LGBT+ rights to have same sex partners. But the government has still to recognize marriage between same sex partners. Thus, a dependent visa for a same sex partner is yet not possible.
On-time and correct tax filing: When you file your taxes, you are required by law to provide accurate information about your income, assets, deductions and credits. If you intentionally provide false information on your return, you could face serious penalties. Since tax compliances in India are very strict, it is important that you ensure that you do not face any problems at the time of extension of your visa or even while applying for it. The process can be a little tedious as well.
What’s It Like Working in India As an Expat?
Working in India as an expat can be a rewarding, enriching experience. Because of its historical and current cultural and political climate, it can also be very challenging and at times uncomfortable. For any expat, it takes time to adjust to a new culture. This holds in India as well; however, the challenges are magnified when moving to a country that is vastly different from your own.
If you’re moving to India from a Western Country, you may find it a bit of a shock to the system. Full-time expats work an average of 47.7 hours per week, compared to the global average of 43.9 hours. This is in stark contrast to most Western countries, where working long hours is often associated with white-collar jobs, such as in an office or for a company that operates around the clock (such as in the financial sector).
When it comes to female representation in the workplace, India has a long way to go. Women are underrepresented in the Indian parliament and only account for 11% of politicians. This is reflected in the workforce as well, where women account for just 30% of employees. However, there is a growing trend of international businesswomen working in India. They tend to be treated fairly and as equals to their male counterparts.
The biggest challenge expats face when working abroad is building new relationships with people they work with who might not be as open-minded or empathetic as they would like. You should take the time to make small talk when you can.
It’s well worth taking the time to do so, even if you feel awkward or uncomfortable—it’s a great way to build relationships with other people (and trust me, everyone appreciates genuine friendliness here!). So please, don’t be afraid of being too forward. Remember that other people are probably feeling just as nervous about this new culture as you are, so it will help them relax if you act relaxed.
India’s economy is growing, and the demand for skilled workers is growing with it. You can take advantage of this market by finding a job in India as an expat, where there are plenty of opportunities to use your professional skills.
The booming IT industry is the most common destination for expatriates, but there are many other fields with promising opportunities. India’s growing economy means that many sectors are seeing a boom in need for foreign workers: engineering, finance, hospitality, health care, and aerospace are just a few areas with jobs both for those who want to pick up practical experience and those who are willing to relocate.
The booming economy also means that salaries are competitive—especially when compared to offerings in other developing countries. In addition, because the cost of living is low in India compared to places like America or Western Europe, salaries go much further than they would at home. Because of this combination of factors, expatriates living in India find themselves able to save significant amounts of money over time without sacrificing their standard of living.
What to Expect When Living in India As A Foreigner?
The first thing you should know about living in India is that it’s not for everyone. Many foreigners who move to this country for work find themselves overwhelmed by the culture shock, homesickness and general chaos of everyday life.
But if you’re willing to take the plunge and immerse yourself in the culture, there are plenty of benefits to be had — particularly if you’re working at an international company or NGO.
If you’re thinking about making the move, here are some things you should know:
- Lifestyle: The general attitude towards life, as most people in India simply enjoy life, so expats relocating to India could experience a stress-free environment.
- Culture: The culture of India is both diverse and fascinating. The country has four main religions: Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Buddhism. Each religion has its own festivals, traditions and customs that are observed throughout the year.
- Food: The food in India is another attraction for many expats. The cuisine varies from region to region with each area having its own specialties. Indian food is usually very spicy which may take some getting used to for foreigners, but it’s worth it!
- Low cost of living: India has a low cost of living. You can get great food, clothing and furniture at an affordable price.
- Driving: Driving in India can be quite an experience. There’s no such thing as lane discipline on Indian roads; people drive wherever they want, without looking at oncoming traffic. So, if you’re used to driving on highways with clearly marked lanes, prepare for some chaos.
- Poor Infrastructure: A lack of infrastructure is one of the major problems facing India.
- Overcrowding: Some people may find the large crowds overwhelming at first—especially those coming from more spread-out and quiet countries like Canada or Australia—but after a bit of time in India you learn how to work your way through traffic without getting run over by a tuk-tuk or taxi driver who doesn’t see you when he pulls into his lane.
In addition to the problems that plague big cities, India’s large population (1.4 billion) means there’s a lot of noise on the streets. In most busy areas, there is constant honking as drivers try to get as close to each other as possible, which can lead to some nasty accidents if they’re not careful.
The Best Tips on Business & Meeting Etiquette in India
As India is a country of diverse ethnicity, it has different languages, cultures, and traditions. Customs vary from state to state and so does the etiquette. As India is an emerging market, business ethics are not yet strictly defined.
The following are some tips on business & meeting etiquette in India:
- Greetings: Greetings can be done by shaking hands, bowing and touching your feet with the person’s feet with your hands, and saying “Namaste”. Sir or Madam (as well as Mr and Mrs) are two words that are used to address someone when you do not know their name or the situation is formal. It is mandatory to use these words in the workplace, especially when you want to show your respect to someone.
- Meeting: When attending a meeting, it’s common courtesy to address those of the highest seniority first. This means that, if you’re at a company with a lot of people, you should start by introducing yourself to the CEO or another high-ranking executive, then move on to the person next in line, and so on down the chain.
- Socialising: Business socializing can be done at night during the dinner which will be hosted by the company or by a third party. The host usually sends you a formal invitation for the dinner which can be politely declined if you have some prior engagements
- Dress Code: In India, most offices are formal, with a dress code that includes business attire. Business attire includes suits and ties for men and mostly skirts or trousers for women.
- Business Cards: Business cards should be exchanged upon introduction with both parties exchanging their business cards at the same time without being asked.
- Punctuality: Punctuality is a very important aspect of life in India, as it is in most countries. For the most part, people are used to being on time for things and meeting with others at the appointed time. This does not mean, however, that you should plan to arrive at any given place hours before your meeting or appointment.
- Seating Arrangement: It is considered one of the most important parts of an Indian dinner and is done on purpose by seating guests who do not know each other at the same table.
- Seating Order: The eldest person should sit on one side of the table while others should seat themselves according to their respective age.
- Business Language: However, in business situations, the language of choice is English. It’s not a requirement to be fluent in English, but a level of proficiency is expected.
Banking And Finance In India
Banking in India can be a challenge for expats, especially because multiple factors can affect a person’s ability to access banking services. The number one factor is whether or not a bank recognizes an individual’s account when they try to open one. A second factor is the type of account being opened; some banks will only allow certain types of accounts to be opened by foreigners. And finally, if the bank does recognize an individual’s account when they open it, there could still be fees associated with maintaining the account.
An expat might have difficulty with any of these factors, but the first and foremost difficulty is typically getting a bank to recognize an individual’s account at all. This can be due to a lack of proof of identity or lack of proof of address; both are required for a bank to recognize an individual and their funds as legit. Having both pieces of information allows the bank to verify that funds can be traced directly back to the source, which is something banks are very strict about. Without having this information readily available, an individual might have a hard time even opening an account at all.
The most common question about banking in India is undoubtedly how to convert currency from another country into Indian Rupees (INR). The short answer is that you can do this easily by setting up an account at an international bank that has branches in India. A major advantage of using an International bank account is that you can easily convert currency between that of your home country and India Rupees at a good exchange rate.
Can A Foreigner Open A Bank Account In India?
Foreigners are allowed to open a bank account in India, but they are required to be able to prove that they have legally obtained income in India. Even if the funds have been transferred into an Indian bank account, this rule applies.
The requirement for foreigners to show proof of legal income does not apply just to opening bank accounts: it also applies when renting an apartment and buying a car.
How Can I Open a Bank Account in India?
There are plenty of things that you’ll need to take into consideration when deciding on which bank to open an account with. For example, the type of account that they offer can vary widely between banks. Some banks will offer interest-bearing checking accounts while others won’t. The number of branches in your area may also be an important factor since you may want to visit them in person to make changes to your account or deposit checks.
Lastly, the online presence of each bank is worth considering as well. If you’d like to be able to do your banking online or via mobile devices, you should check out what kind of website each bank has and whether they offer apps for smartphones and tablets.
The process of opening an account with an Indian bank is relatively straightforward. The rules and regulations vary between banks, but as a general rule of thumb, the minimum you must provide is:
- Proof of identity – Usually your travel document (e.g. your Passport)
- Proof of address – Such as a tenancy agreement or utility bill.
- Proof of your right to be there – Mostly your visa and residence permit
Is Banking in India Safe/Reliable?
The question of whether or not a bank in India is safe and reliable often arises when considering moving to the country or moving money to or from one. They are very reliable and safe,
When you choose a bank in India, there are many factors to consider. For example, the service and convenience of your location will be a huge factor in determining which one is right for you. In addition to that, though, it would be worth choosing a bank that’s identified and monitored by the Reserve bank of India. Its central bank, the Reserve Bank of India, regulates all banks in India, which are required to keep at least a quarter of their deposits as reserves. India’s banking system is organized into public and private banks
Which International Banks Operate in India?
There are now plenty of international banks established in India, which is a result of the country’s liberalization policies that have attracted many foreign banks wishing to gain access to the Indian market. Some of these banks include:
- Standard Chartered Bank.
- Deutsche Bank
- Royal Bank of Scotland
- DBS Bank
- Barclays Bank
- Bank of America
- Bank of Bahrain And Kuwait
- Doha Bank
Healthcare In India: Understanding The Indian Healthcare System
When considering healthcare in India, it’s important to look at the country as a whole and not just the major metropolitan cities. India’s primary health system consists of several smaller, more localized public health networks that are far more accessible to rural populations. Additionally, over 50% of medical facilities in India are private and typically cater to wealthier individuals. Though these two factors may seem to be at odds with one another, they both speak to the same point: healthcare in India can be quite affordable.
The standard of care also seems to be high, with a generally well-educated pool of doctors who have received advanced training either in India or abroad. However, as with many things in India, there is a lack of national oversight that can lead to inconsistent medical standards across the country. This is reflected by the fact that yoga and homeopathy are considered mainstream medical practices despite having no scientific backing behind them whatsoever.
An important thing to consider as an expat is that not all doctors or hospitals are in the private sector. Some of them are in the public sector and are free for all Indians. There are also privately-owned hospitals and clinics, but they may charge you a fee if you aren’t an Indian citizen. Many people come here with their families, though, so it’s not always easy for them to get healthcare that way.
As an expat, private healthcare can be expensive, but there are several hospitals where you can get everything done. There are also local clinics where you can go to get the basic things done like vaccinations or checkups.
Overall, healthcare in India is affordable and can provide good results for patients who can access quality care from qualified physicians who have been trained adequately. Since there are no shortages of physicians and resources, they can afford to treat all patients regardless of their ability to pay.
The government provides health services through both public and private providers, but most people receive private care due to the differences in quality between the two. There are some problems with the system; sometimes it is hard to get good care if you live too far away from a major city or do not have the money to pay for private services.
The government is working on making the public health system more efficient so that more people receive care. It is also working towards making hospitals more efficient so that they can better serve the public without increasing wait times or costs.
Schools In India: The Educational System in India
The Indian schooling system is segregated into 5 stages: lower primary (Nursery, LKG & UKG), upper primary (grade 1 to 5), high school (grade 6 to 10), higher secondary (grade 11 and 12), and college (university and vocational institutes are included here). The first stage, which lasts for four years, is in elementary school. This stage is free and is regarded as a fundamental right to education by the Indian constitution. After this, students may opt for three years of secondary school or one year of junior college. Admission to either of these requires passing a competitive examination.
After secondary school, students can choose between general degrees (arts or science) or professional degrees (engineering or medicine). The degree they choose will depend on the preference of the student and his/her family. Students who wish to pursue a professional degree will have to sit for another competitive exam after secondary school. The higher education system in India is centralized, with admission requirements set by individual institutes rather than local governments.
Most expat families in India tend to move with young children, as it is difficult to obtain an employment visa for anyone over the age of 16. However, there are also a lot of expat families looking to send their children abroad to study. For these people, some international schools in India can provide a solid secondary education and a good measure of stability for their kids. By the time they graduate from high school, most students will have the option to return home if they choose or to attend university in another country.
Schooling is an important choice for parents who are preparing to move to India with their families. It is important to choose a school that will help the student transition into a new country and culture, while still providing quality education. The considerations of what kind of schooling is best for your child will depend on the overall goal you wish for your child’s life. The main options for schooling in India are international schools, Indian private schools, or public schools.
Are There English-Speaking Schools In India?
Yes, there are many schools that offer an English curriculum. In fact, most of the international schools in India follow the British curriculum and teach all subjects in English. These schools cater to students from all over the world and offer a truly global experience.
The cost of an international school education varies depending on whether it is an IB school or not. At IB schools, tuition fees tend to be higher than non-IB schools because their curriculum is more rigorous and prepares students for college and university life abroad. However, these schools also provide the best quality education – especially when compared with private Indian schools which often lack resources and qualified teachers.
India is a land of contradiction, like most countries it’s it good side and bad side. There are many cities in India and every city has its own unique culture and lifestyle. So, you can’t say that all the cities in India are good or bad places to live.
If you want to live in a big city, then Delhi, Mumbai or Bangalore might be good options for you. These cities are home to many international companies and multinationals. They have excellent infrastructure and facilities like schools, hospitals etc. You can get everything at your doorstep no matter how expensive it is. In fact, if you want quality education at top universities like Harvard or Oxford, then these cities will give you the best option because they offer some of the best universities in the world too.
However, there are also many environmental issues that India is facing today such as air pollution and garbage problems. There are so many people living in each city that their garbage piles up quickly causing air pollution and making the air very dirty for everyone to breathe in every day. This can cause long term health problems for everybody living there if they don’t do something about it soon like moving away from cities or buying masks to wear when they go outside so they don’t breathe in all of the bad air around them all day long.