Immigration to India
Living and Working in India
India, also known as Bharat or the Republic of India (Hindi: Bhārat Gaṇarājya), is located in South Asia, bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south, the Arabian Sea to the west, and the Bay of Bengal to the east. The southern part of India forms a peninsula that extends into the Indian Ocean, flanked by the Bay of Bengal to the southeast and the Arabian Sea to the southwest. India boasts a coastline that stretches for about 4,000 miles (7,000 km) and shares its maritime boundaries with Sri Lanka and the Maldives. On land, India shares borders with Pakistan, Nepal, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and China.
New Delhi serves as the national capital of India and houses all government offices, including the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the President of India. India operates as a Democratic Republic with a Parliamentary system of Government organized in a federal structure. The President holds the position of constitutional head of the country, while the Prime Minister is the effective head of the government. India’s population exceeds 1.4 billion as of April 2023, making it the world’s most populous country. It comprises 29 states and 7 union territories. India is classified as a developing nation and ranks as the world’s fifth-largest economy in terms of GDP.
India’s allure lies in its rich and diverse culture, encompassing a tapestry of rituals and traditions. The people of India have a tradition of welcoming guests and visitors with utmost respect and dignity, often considering them akin to deities. Consequently, foreigners living and working in India are embraced with warmth and hospitality. Many international travelers have aptly described their experiences in India as “Incredible India,” owing to the nation’s captivating landscapes and the warmth of its people. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, India had welcomed approximately 18 million international tourists in 2019, showcasing its global appeal as a travel and living destination.
International Passengers coming to India do not need to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination or a negative test before travel. They will not be required to fill the declaration form on the Air Suvidha portal as well. However, the random COVID-19 testing of 2% of all international travelers over 12 years old upon arrival in India will continue. To enter India visa is required, but it’s very easy to obtain a visa for India and multiple options. The Indian government has made it very easy for citizens from almost 164 countries who can apply for an e-Visa online before traveling, so no need to visit embassies in person. Please click on the following Government of India link to apply for an e-Visa. indianvisaonline.gov.in
The Indian Visa Policy allows the citizens of Nepal and Bhutan can enter India without a passport or Visa unless they arrive from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Maldives, and Pakistan. They can stay and work in India indefinitely. Similarly, Indian citizens can travel to Nepal and Bhutan without a passport or Visa and work there. The citizens of Maldives can visit, live, and work in India for a maximum 90 days without a Visa, except if they arrive from mainland China. If they wish to extend their stay then they have to apply for the visa.
India can be conveniently reached by Air, Sea, Train, and Road.
India can be reached by all major International Airports of the world. India has 34 International Airports located conveniently in the east, west, north, and south of India. The top popular and busiest airports of India are:
- Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) – New Delhi
- Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (BOM) – Mumbai
- Kempegowda International Airport (BLR) – Bangalore
- Chennai International Airport (MAA) – Chennai
- Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport (CCU) – Kolkata
- Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (HYD) – Hyderabad
- Kochi International Airport (COK) – Kochi
- Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport (AMD) – Ahmedabad
- Thiruvananthapuram International Airport (TRV) – Thiruvananthapuram
- Goa International Airport (GOI) – Goa
The Flag carrier of India is Air India, which has international connectivity to major cities in the USA, Europe, Africa, the United Kingdom, Asia, Australia, and the Gulf Countries. There are many international flights arriving in India from various world destinations. Some of the most popular destinations are:
- From the United States – There are non-stop flights from major U.S. cities like New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Newark to Delhi and Mumbai. Airlines such as Air India, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and others provide these connections.
- From Europe – There are flights from major European cities like London, Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Zurich, and Istanbul. Airlines like British Airways, Air France, Lufthansa, KLM, and Turkish Airlines offer these routes.
- From the Middle East – There are numerous flights to Indian destinations from cities like Dubai, Doha, Abu Dhabi, and Muscat. Emirates, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, and others provide these connections.
- From Southeast Asia – Airlines like Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Malaysia Airlines, and others offer flights from Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, and Jakarta to various Indian cities.
- From East Asia – Air China, Japan Airlines, and Korean Air offer flights from China, Japan, and South Korea to India.
Apart from these, there are direct or indirect flights from Australia, Africa, Russia & Central Asia, and neighboring countries like Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Myanmar.
The people of India are known as Indians or Bharatiya. India got its name from the civilization that started near the river Indus around 3300 BCE. It is known as the Indus Valley civilization and is one of the oldest civilizations in the world. The country is also home to an indigenous tribe called Bharata, as therefore also known as Bharat. India has superseded China in Population and is now the most populated city in the world. Unique about India is its diversity that you will notice almost everywhere. For example, in one area you will find people living and working from different states speaking different languages. The people are also identified and separated by the state they belong to or the language they speak. For example A person who is born and brought up in Kerala state is known as a “Keralite”. A person speaking the Gujarati language from Gujarat state is known as a “Gujarati”. Indians are family-oriented and still today two or up to four generations live under the same roof in most of the state. People are mostly religious in nature and are strong devotees to their respective Gods. Religious festivals and celebrations are observed whole year round and Indians in general are tolerant towards all religions. India is dominated by Hinduism, followed by Muslims, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism and Christianity.
Traditional attire varies across regions, with men commonly wearing garments like dhotis or kurta-pajamas, while women opt for sarees or salwar kameez. Indian cuisine is celebrated globally for its exquisite flavors and spices, with staples like rice, lentils, and a plethora of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Indian people are known for their warm hospitality and have a tradition of welcoming foreigners with respect and kindness, often considering guests as akin to deities. This attitude has earned India the reputation of being a hospitable and culturally rich nation, making it a welcoming destination for travelers from around the world.
To learn more about Indian People and Culture, please visit: theculturetrip.com
Job offers in India
There are job opportunities in India for foreigners. The cost of living is reasonable in India except for a few metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai & Kolkata. Still, some areas in those cities may be cheaper to live in. English is very widely spoken in India and used as a communication language, especially in big private businesses and offices. Even government documents as printed in local language and English simultaneously. Many expats and foreigners visit India as a tourist before they decide to look for jobs and live here. There are well-paid jobs as well as average salaried jobs depending on your skills and job requirements. There are opportunities for skilled jobs in the following sectors:
- Financial services
- English Teaching
To get a good job in India, many people find social media the best way. Known people or friends in India are a good source. Remote-worker jobs with an Indian company are perhaps a good way to try, especially in sales & marketing, financial services, and banking. Initially, you join the company from your home country, start work and prove your ability and skills for few months, and then move over to India.
An employment Visa and a work permit is a must to work in India. Work permit requirements are different for Business and Employment Visas. The Employment visa is issued for a year but can be extended on fulfillment of the conditions. It is only granted to senior management employees or highly skilled technical professionals who plan to migrate for work to India. It is not granted for routine jobs for which qualified personnel are available locally in India. The decision in this regard is made by the High Commission of India. granted for routine jobs for which qualified personnel are available locally in India. A decision in this regard will be made by the High Commission of India. The following documents are required by the High Commission/Embassy of India to issue an Employment Visa:
- A passport with validity for one year
- Passport-size photographs, the background of which should be white
- Documentary proof of your employment in the company or NGO where you will work in India
- Documentary proof of your professional expertise and educational qualification
- Registration documents of the Company where the employee will be working
To get the detailed information on Work Permit, Employment & Business Visa and how to apply for, please visit: www.mha.gov.in
Education is cheaper in India as compared with other developing countries. According to the constitution of India education is free for all children in the age group of 6 to 14 years of age. There are many government and government-aided schools in almost every town that come under the local municipal runs these schools are either free or charge very nominal fees. However, the quality of education is better in private schools with qualified teachers. In some states, there are private schools that have special seats for economically poor children and they are provided free education. The caste system in India still prevails, which helps provide free education to special categories (backward-class students). The education offered in India, especially university degrees is recognized the world over which means job opportunities internationally are opened for students who graduated in India. International students also like to learn about India’s rich culture, varied cuisine, and the languages of India. Many Indians migrate to other countries for work and desire that their children also work abroad so they educate them in international schools. There are many international non-resident and resident schools in India that provide education of international standards (world-class). Children of expats working in India prefer to enroll their children in these schools. A few popular international schools in India are:
- Kodaikanal International School – 1st international school in India
- Ecole Globale International School
- Dhirubhai Ambani International School
- Doon School
- Amity International School
- Bangalore International School
- Oberoi International School
- Woodstock School
- Indus International School
- Calcutta International School
- The British School
- The Orchids International School
- Victorious Kidss Educares
- The Lawrence School
You will also find the best universities for International students here. India has been receiving nearly 30000 international students annually and the number is increasing day by day. India’s higher education system is the second largest in the world and can accommodate over 20 million students. Engineering, Medicine Business Management, Technical, Buddhism, and Yoga are the few fields in which India excels. For more details information on International studies and a list of international universities, please visit: globalscholarships.com
Economy of India
India is among the top ten of the largest economies in the world. India’s GDP is estimated to be $3.5 Trillion in the year 2023-24. India accounts for almost 7.2% of the global economy in terms of PPP (purchasing power parity). India dreams to be among the top 3 economies in the next 10 years. It is evident that since the pandemic the Indian Government is taking important measures to boost the economy. The Government is focusing on training people in agriculture and different ways of farming as lately the growth of Artificial Intelligence and Automation has resulted in a reduction of manual work and more people becoming jobless.
Renting and buying of real estate for foreigners
It is not very easy for foreigners to buy land or property in India as there are some legal restrictions. To buy or invest in immovable property in India, non-Indians who belong to the following countries, need to get permission from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
- Sri Lanka
The Property can only be leased out for not more than 5 years. Foreigners who are not residing in India are not permitted to acquire any immovable property in India, except by inheritance. Such property requires RBI’s approval for transfer or selling. Foreigners or expats of non-Indian origin, who are Indian residents are allowed to purchase property in India but have to obtain the approvals and fulfill the requirements if any, prescribed by the concerned State Government and local municipal authorities. They can purchase property under the following three categories:
- NRI (Non-Resident Indian)
- OCI (Overseas Citizen of India). The former POI status (Person of Indian Origin) has been merged with the OCI card scheme.
- Foreign Nationals (with or without residency)
No agricultural Land, Plantation Property or Farm House can be purchased or sold by foreigners in India. It is advisable to hire a legal real estate agent or lawyer as Indian laws are quite detailed and complicated in property matters. Secondly, there has been lots of scam and illegal purchases done in India so it is mandatory to take the help of reputed agencies only. Foreigners can buy property in India for Business purposes by filling out a declaration form IPI with RBI to set up branch offices of a foreign company to carry out business as per applicable laws and regulations. Under the clearance of the Government of India, the Ministry of External Affairs, Foreign Consulates, and Embassies can purchase or sell immovable property used for office purposes only.
To rent a property in India must also be done through a real estate agent to avoid unnecessary hassles. The agent commission is almost equivalent to one month’s rent and other document charges. It is also necessary to hire an agent as you may not be able to understand the local language of the landlord. There are loads of options available in India for rents in all prices range and facilities. Popular websites and English Newspaper specially published on properties are easily available. Single persons especially women will not be welcomed to rent a flat or a house alone, you may have to share accommodations. For buying and renting an agreement is compulsory which is notarized by the local court and is usually made for 12 months and later renewed if required.
For more detailed information on buying or renting property in India, please visit: expatfocus.com
India’s climate varies from region to region due to its geographical diversity, however most of its region experiences hot tropical climate. Some regions experience dry and wet tropical weather. The Northern region which is the Himalayan snowy region has cooler climate. The Southern part of India has tropical humid and dry weather. The coastal regions experiences frequent rainfall and high humidity. There are drastic variations in temperatures, amount of rainfall, precipitation and its amount at the same time is different regions of India. India experiences two climatic conditions namely the tropical and subtropical because the Tropic of Cancer divides India into two regions and it cuts through 8 states. It is good to check the climate of the state you are planning to visit in advance because the climate is India is almost unpredictable.
India ranks 4th in the list of number of living languages spoken. It is estimated that there are more than 400 languages spoken by Indians and immigrants in the country. Hindi is most spoken languages around India is one of the main official language with approximately 52.83 crore speakers. The constitution of India has given official status to 22 other languages. The constitution or Government of India has awarded the distinction of classical language to Malayalam, Kannada, Odia, Tamil, Sanskrit and Telugu. Each state in India has its own language and as mentioned earlier people are often known by the language they speak. English is spoken and understood by almost all educated Indians across India. It is a subject taught in schools and colleges along with Hindi. Each state language is the primary language taught in Schools and is a must to learn. However, English and Hind is common all around India and is used in official business including Government and legal documents. Therefore, Hindi and English are official languages of India and each state has its own official language.
To get the list of official languages of Indian states and union territories, please visit: jagranjosh.com
Indian has the second largest road networks in the world. The metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi have good roads, flyovers and underpass still they experience traffic congestions at peak hours. Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi has always been among the top 10 congested cities of the world. One of the most prominent reasons for traffic jams in India is the number of vehicles running on the roads. It is estimated that on an average 51,000 new vehicles are added each day. According to one source it is estimated that there are 22 cars for every 1000 persons. Road accidents are very common in India and therefore lots of precautions need to be taken if you want to drive in India. Stray Dogs, cats, domestic animals like cows are few unexpected commuters that you may come across almost on any roads in India. Some basic traffic rules are:
- Must have a driver’s License and insurance policy
- Do not drink and drive
- Wear seatbelt while driving car and Helmet while riding a two-wheeler
- Do not use mobile phones while driving
- Do not over speed, follow the speed guidelines indicated on the roads
- Do not jump the red light
The official currency in the Republic of India is the Indian rupee (symbol: ₹, code: INR). The symbol is an amalgam of Devanagari “Ra” and the Roman Capital “R” with two parallel horizontal stripes running at the top representing the national flag and also the “equal to” sign. The rupee is subdivided into 100 paise (singular: paisa). The Reserve Bank of India issues and manages currency in India and derives its role in currency management on the basis of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.
The Indian Rupee in Banknote is available and circulated in the following denominations:
Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 50, Rs 100, Rs 200, Rs 500
The Indian currency in Coins is available and circulated in the following denominations:
1 rupee, 2 rupees, 5 rupees, 10 rupees, 20 rupees
The rupee is known by different names depending on the area of the country like upaya, roopayi, rubai or ropa. It is said that counterfeit Indian notes are easily identified as it has the most security features, and the design is also changed from time to time.
The most popular payment methods in India are Cash, Cards, Mobile wallets, Mobile banking, Internet Banking, UPI, NEFT, Bank Transfers etc. Thanks to the technology, there are various instant payment methods available. Credit and Debit cards are becoming more and more popular across India. Mastercard, Visa, American Express and RuPay provide flexible banking services to the users through multiple channels like online, mobile, banks and call center.
For more detailed information on payments in India, please visit: inai.io
Cost of living in India
The cost of living is cheaper than most of the countries. However, it depends where and how you live in India. Some big cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Surat, Chennai etc. will be very high if you decide to live here in posh societies. For an average standard of living, a person earns around 15000-20000 INR in India. Metropolitan cities offer good salaries and there are many options where you can buy food and clothing as per your income. You will get reasonably cheap vegetables and clothes from the roadside markets and expensive high quality stuff from big shops and malls. So it actually depends on you how you plan your cost of living in India. Local government transport like local trains and state transport buses are very reasonable. In most of the cities there are metro trains which are faster and cheaper compared to private auto rickshaws, Ola, Uber cabs and rental cars.
Here are some products mentioned below, so that you will get a clear idea of the cost of living:
Amount in INR (Indian Rupee)
12 (a dozen)
1 Kg (2 lb.)
Chicken breast boneless
Internet monthly package
Bottle of wine
Cinema International Release
Part-Time household help
Per hour 3-4 hours
Full-time Live-in Maid
For updated and current cost of commodities in India, please visit: numbeo.com
In India there are innumerable options for rents in almost all cities as millions depends on rental housing. The Indian government has initiated many policies to promote affordable demand for housing. Visitors from other countries, students and expats can rent property in India for residence and business purpose. The foreigners must verify their identity and visa status to sign a rental agreement. A foreigner must register with the FRRO (Foreigners Regional Registration Office), if intended to stay in India for more than 180 days.
Its best to hire a real estate agent from the area where you plan to work or study. These agents are aware of legal terms and also the apartment/independent house available for renting. Most of the agent’s work in accordance with other agents, so they are aware of almost all the property available. The rents charged to foreigners is the same as Indian citizens. Usually the agents fee is 2% of the rental cost of the property. The other documentation charges are charged at actual which has to be paid by you. The agent will show take you personally to see the various options, once you finalize they do the legal documentation required.
Renting a luxury house of 2000 sq.ft. approximately in Alipore and Ballygunge cities of Kolkata’s, Hyderabad’s Jubilee Hills & HiTech City, Bengaluru JP Nagar & Rajaji Nagar will cost anywhere in the range from $635 USD (Rs.52000 INR) to $1184 ( Rs.97000 INR). This is also true for some posh localities in Chennai, Delhi-NCR and Pune. Mumbai holds the highest place among the costliest luxury housing. Worli and Tardeo are the most expensive places to live in Mumbai. The monthly rent is 2 lakhs and above in these areas.
The following are popular websites to find the rental property that will suits your budget:
The different types of taxes in India are:
- Service Tax
- Indian Excise Duty
- Value Added Tax (VAT)
- Customs Duty
- Securities Transaction Tax (STT)
- Stamp Duty
- Entertainment Tax
Foreigners or expats residing in India are liable to pay taxes on the taxable income same as Indian residents. Foreign nationals having an income of more than Rs.2.5 lakhs per annum and residing in India must file income tax returns before the 31st of July year. As per Income Tax Act criteria, foreign citizen’s income received, accrued or arisen to him in India or abroad shall be subject to income tax in India.
The constitution of India states that education is a fundamental right of a child. The government of India has made primary education compulsory. There are many government or government aided schools in India providing free education to children especially children of parents living below the poverty line. There are certain tribes and caste in India who are eligible for free education. These schools are conducted in the national language of the state. However, parents can choose private schools for their children with English as its medium. Mostly all schools in India teach Hindi, English and the State Language as mandatory subject. There are many private and international schools in India. Basic schooling has four levels:
- Pre Primary Education starts at age 3 (Pre-nursery, Nursery, KG)
- Primary Education starts at age 6 years (1st class to 5th standard)
- Middle School (6th to 8th standard)
- High School or Secondary School (9th & 10th standards)
Higher Secondary School is of 2 years consisting of 11th & 12th standards. This is known as 10+2 pattern and is followed by almost all the states in India. Here is where a student decides to choose his/her preferred stream or subjects. The choose is between Arts, Commerce or Science.
Health care for foreigners and expats are not free in India. The best treatment they can get are the private hospitals as the standard of public hospitals are very poor and long waiting period. The Doctors in Private hospitals are well qualified and can speak good English. Many private hospital doctors have acquired medical degrees abroad at renowned medical colleges in UK & US.
There are many medical insurance company that offer best health insurance to foreign nationals. Cigna Global Insurance Plan offers a comprehensive coverage at very affordable cost. It covers medical care across the world including India. For citizens of US living in India, the GeoBlue healthcare medical plan is highly recommended. William Russell Health Insurance provides you coverage in the country of residence and the country you will be travelling to.
To get more information on the health insurance company, please visit: internationalinsurance.com
Indira Gandhi International Airport
Delhi 110 037
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport
Mumbai International Airport LTD.,
1st floor, Terminal 1, Santa Cruz East
Phone No. 022 66851010
U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Delhi
New Delhi – 110021
U.S. Embassy Consulate General in Mumbai
Bandra Kurla Complex
Bandra East, Mumbai 400051
No. 6/50G, Shanti Path,
New Delhi 110021
Tel :(0091-11) 44199 199
Website : http://www.india.diplo.de
Level 10, A Wing Crescenzo Building
Opp MCA Cricket Club G Block,
Plot C 38-39 Bandra Kurla Complex
Tel. : + 91 22 6757 4900
Republic of India or Bharat a most fascinating name in the tourism industry. It’s a dream of every tourist to visit India at least once in their lifetime. India is one of the oldest civilizations in the world, rich in various cultures & traditions. There are 28 states and 8 union territories, each with its unique language, culture, religion, food, dress etc. Each state has its own natural scenic beauty, from High snowy mountains to arid desert plains. Name a food product! India has it all…. Rice, wheat, sugar, pulses, groundnut, sugarcane, coconut, fish, poultry, livestock, all kinds of vegetables & fruits. India, basically a Hindu country with over 74% of the population who practice Hinduism. Other major religions are Islam, Christianity, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism. There are small number of Zoroastrianism, also called Paris in India who is believed to have emigrated to India during the British rule in the 19th & 20th centuries. Wildlife is another reason which makes India very popular among tourist. There are around 567 wildlife sanctuaries in India with tropical, temperate and sub-tropical forests. India is home to 80% tigers in the world who are scattered in some 54 tiger sanctuaries around India. India also holds a high position among the richest countries of the world and also in the international trade. People of India are friendly and helpful. There a variety of food items and are affordable. Living cost here is cheaper as compared to most of the countries in the world. Most of the Indian population speak and understand English, which is a medium of education in India. Yes India is worth visiting and a good choice for immigration.
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