MAKING INDIA YOUR HOME: PRACTICAL STEPS AND INSIGHTS FOR A SUCCESSFUL RELOCATION
So you’ve decided to take the dive and make India your new home. Congratulations! But behind the magic and wonder also lies a fair amount of chaos and complexity.
Plan Your Move: Essential Preparations and Paperwork
To make India your new home, there are essential preparations and paperwork to handle before you move.
First, apply for the proper visa. You’ll likely need an Employment Visa, Dependent Visa, or Retirement Visa for long-term stays. Work with an immigration lawyer to determine which suits you and handle the application process. You can also visit 99 Math for more information.
Next, arrange your housing. Whether renting or buying, start researching neighborhoods and available properties online. If renting, connect with a reputable real estate agent. They can show you options that meet your needs and handle the leasing process. If buying, learn about ownership laws for foreigners before purchasing.
Then, move your belongings. Decide what to pack, sell, donate, or store. For more oversized items, hire an international moving company to handle packing, transporting, and clearing your goods through customs. Or if traveling light, bring essentials in your luggage.
Remember health insurance. Purchase a comprehensive policy that covers medical evacuation and repatriation of remains. India’s healthcare system is essential, so good insurance is a must.
Finally, open a local bank account. First, transfer funds from your home with carpets and accounts to cover initial expenses. Then, choose a bank that offers foreign accounts to deposit/withdraw money internationally quickly.
With the proper preparations taken care of in advance, your move to India can be smooth sailing. While the initial paperwork and planning may seem daunting, handling the essentials will empower you to embrace this new adventure confidently. So take it step by step, ask questions, and don’t hesitate to seek professional guidance. Before you know it, you’ll be calling India home!
Finding a Place to Live: Key Considerations for Your New Home.
Finding a place to call home in India can be challenging and exciting. There are rare key things to consider as you start your search:-
⦁ Location and amenities. Do you want to be in a central city center or a suburb? Close to public transit or your workplace? List must-haves like markets, healthcare facilities, or entertainment options nearby.
⦁ Type of housing. Flats, apartments, bungalows, row houses – there are many options. Apartments or flats are most common in cities. Homes and row houses usually have more space. Consider your needs and budget to determine what will suit you best.
⦁ Furnished or unfurnished. Furnished homes include basics like beds, couches, and kitchenware. Unfurnished means a space – you provide everything. Delivered is convenient, but unfurnished gives you more control over decorating.
⦁ Budget. Rental prices in India vary widely based on location, size, and amenities. Research current rates in areas that interest you to see a place that fits your budget. Be prepared for annual rent increases and funding accordingly.
⦁ Lease terms. Typical leases are 11 months to 5 years. Shorter leases mean more flexibility, but longer leases often come with lower rent. Make sure you understand all terms and responsibilities before signing a lease.
With an open and adventurous spirit, finding your new home in India can be a fun experience. Do your research, determine your priorities, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. The place meant for you is out there – get it! Welcome home!
Settling In: Adjusting to Life in India
Adjusting to the Culture
India’s culture is vibrant, complex, and steeped in history. As an outsider, cultural differences can be challenging to navigate at first. Be forbearing with yourself as you adjust to the cultural nuances, and maintain an open and curious mindset. Some essential considerations:
⦁ Greetings: Learn the proper greetings like “Namaste” and “Namaskar.” Handshakes are also common, especially in Business settings.
⦁ Dress: Dress conservatively, especially for women. Avoid tight or revealing clothing. At religious sites, modest dress is required. For men, pants and button-down shirts are standard.
⦁ Etiquette: Familiarize yourself with etiquette around eating, gestures, and social interactions. For example, only use your right hand for eating and giving/receiving items.
⦁ Haggling: Haggling or bargaining is expected when shopping. Do some research to determine reasonable prices to avoid being taken advantage of. Politely stand firm on your expense.
⦁ Safety: Be vigilant about your security and belongings. Don’t display valuables, and be wary of pickpockets in crowded areas. As a woman, exercise caution when alone or at night.
Daily Life and Logistics
Getting settled into a routine and navigating the practical aspects of living in India will take time. Here are a few suggestions to help you adjust:
⦁ Transportation: Use ridesharing apps or public transit. Driving yourself can be challenging, so avoid it if possible.
⦁ Help: Be bold and ask for help from new friends or hire an assistant. They can assist with tasks like setting up utilities or finding housing.
⦁ Housing: Look for accommodation in advance. Rentals go quickly, so start searching as early as possible. An apartment in a residential neighborhood may be easier to adjust to than a chaotic city center.
⦁ Healthcare: Purchase health insurance and locate English-speaking doctors before medical needs arise. Carry details of your policy and doctors with you.
⦁ Banking: Open a local bank account to pay for living expenses. Transfer money from your home accounts regularly to avoid running out of funds.
You’ll quickly settle into your new home with an open and patient mindset, embracing the culture and establishing a routine. But don’t hesitate to ask locals or expats for guidance and support. They’ve been in your shoes and can offer empathy and advice for navigating this transition.
Safety in India: What You Need to Know
Healthcare in India
Healthcare in India can differ significantly from what you may be accustomed to. First, familiarize yourself with your area’s major hospitals and healthcare providers before medical needs arise. There are pharmacies where you can purchase over-the-counter medications for minor ailments, but private hospitals are typically the best option for anything serious.
⦁ Carry details of your health insurance policy with you. Most expats rely on private insurance, whether employer-provided or self-purchased.
⦁ Ensure you comprehend what is and isn’t covered under your policy before receiving treatment. Out-of-pocket fees for private care can be expensive.
⦁ Check that the hospitals you may use are approved and accredited. Facilities and standards can vary, so research the reputations and qualifications of doctors as well.
⦁ Get necessary vaccinations before your move and be vigilant about recommended vaccines during your stay. Malaria, dengue fever, and hepatitis are more common in India.
⦁ Register with a medic as soon as possible after relocating. Build a connection with a physician you trust for primary and emergency care.
While India is a fascinating country, it requires additional safety precautions. Be aware of your surroundings, exercise caution, and avoid displays of wealth to minimize risks.
⦁ Only take taxis and rickshaws from authorized areas like taxi stands. Don’t hail them from the street.
⦁ Carry copies of important documents with you and leave valuables in a safe. Petty crimes like pickpocketing can be expected in crowded areas.
⦁ Be careful when crossing streets, as traffic rules are often ignored. Look for pedestrian crosswalks and slow down until you get accustomed to the traffic flow.
⦁ Dress conservatively, especially for women. Avoid tight or revealing clothing that may attract unwanted attention.
⦁ Register with the local embassy or consulate. They can provide emergency assistance for ex-pats if needed.
⦁ Think about getting an air purifier for your house. Pollution levels in many cities are high, especially during winter. An air purifier can help reduce health risks from pollution inside your home.
With the proper precautions taken, many ex-pats find that the rewards of living in India far outweigh any challenges. Take things slowly, be vigilant about your health and safety, and you’ll embrace your new home in no time!
FAQs: Answers to Common Questions about Relocating to India
Do I require a visa to move to India?
You will require the proper visa to enter and stay in India legally. The type of visa you require depends on the purpose of your stay. The most common permits for relocating to India are:
⦁ Employment Visa: For foreigners taking up employment in India. Your employer will require to sponsor your visa.
⦁ Resident Visa: For those looking to stay in India long-term for purposes other than tourism or employment. You will require to provide proof of funds to support yourself.
⦁ Overseas Citizen of India Visa: For people of Indian origin and their spouses and children. Provides lifetime visa and residency rights. It would help if you met eligibility criteria related to Indian ancestry.
⦁ Entry Visa: For short-term stays of up to 6 months for business, medical treatment, or visiting family.
⦁ Tourist E-Visa: For short leisure trips of up to 60 days. The easiest to obtain but does not allow long-term residency.
The process for obtaining an Indian visa, while lengthy, is straightforward. You must submit an online application with documents like a photo, passport, proof of funds, medical clearance, etc. Depending on the visa type, processing times vary from 3 days to 3 months. Applying at least 2-3 months before your intended travel date is best.
Do I need to learn Hindi or the local language?
While Hindi and English are India’s official languages, India has 22 scheduled languages and hundreds of dialects. The dominant languages vary by region, so learning the local language of where you intend to live helps integrate into the community and daily life in India. However, English is widely spoken in cities and business circles, so you can get by without learning a local language.
Many ex-pats find picking up basic greetings, numbers, and key phrases in the local language a good start. You can then choose if you want to pursue further study. There are many resources for learning Indian languages, including apps, online courses, tutors, language schools, and immersion programs. With patience and practice, you’ll be conversing comfortably in no time!