India is a diverse and exotic country which provides expats with a different experience of living. It is a vivid and bright country that has eclectic blend of various people and cultures. Currently, India ranks sixth in world’s total population. Irrespective of being one of the densely populated countries in the world, India is relatively small and covers just 2% of total land in the world. Hence, India is a very busy and crowded place.
Quick Facts of India
Total Population – 1.324 billion, as of 2016
Total number of expats living in India – 30000
Most preferred cities for expats – Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata
Currency – Indian Rupee
Languages spoken – There are 24 official languages in the country, out of which Hindi is widely spoken. English is the main language for business, government and education.
Major Industries – Some of the biggest industries are steel, engineering, tourism, textiles, software and pharmaceuticals.
India for Expats Who is an expat?
In older days, expats were those who leave their home country to settle somewhere else. An expatriate or expat is exactly the same in current time. It is someone who lives in a foreign country than the one where they were born and/or raised. Expats are usually those who live in their host nations on temporary basis, with intent to come back home later on. In recent days, there are many expats who left their own country and may or may not return home due to better quality of living and higher living standard.
Why become expat?
There are different reasons for individuals being expats, for example, falling in love with a place or person, work reasons, and others who are still looking for a different life from the one they have been familiar by staying overseas. No matter what the reasons for being expats are, there is something in India for every expat.
India as an Expat Country
India has always been a destination from where people moved away to the west to find wealth and more opportunities for their future. But a reverse trend has been emerging slowly and there are many people leaving their home nation to taste living style in India as an expat.
Currently, over 20,000 to 30,000 expats are living in India. It is still a part of 100,000 foreign residents in China. It is rising on annual basis. There are different types of people in expatriate community in India. The country has been a popular hub among the artists, teachers, and spiritualists along with executives and CEOs of global leaders.
Cost of Living
Most of the Indian cities provide good standard of living for a very low price and most of the expats are enjoying great lifestyles in India. Cost of most of the things like education, entertainment, food and housing is lower as compared to western countries, even in the metro cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad etc. According to the cost of living survey conducted by Mercer in 2012, Mumbai (114) and New Delhi (113) dropped in the list of world’s most expensive cities significantly by 19 and 28 places.
Hindi is the official language of the country, which is spoken by around 30% of population. English is also a major and common language in service and trade sectors. There are other 14 official languages. It means there are 37 languages in total that are spoken across the country and each Indian state has its own official language. Hindi is spoken widely in upper part of the country. But there are only few Hindi speakers and more English speakers in Southern India.
India is a land of diversity which also witnesses diverse weather. Generally, there are two seasons – dry season and rainy season. As a whole, the weather is mild and drier from October to March. Flooding and monsoons are common in rainy season. There are four climatic regions in India –
Tropical – This type of region is very hot and humid in Southern India.
Sub Tropical – It receives cold, dry winters and hot, wet summers in Northern India.
Alpine Zone – It is located on the high altitude of Himalayan ranges. These zones experience different types of climate all the year round due to changes in altitude. Generally, weather has low rainfall and low temperatures.
Arid – It receives low rainfall and high temperatures in Western India.
Career and Job Opportunities for Expats in India
Finding job is a huge challenge in India and those who are looking for a job after entering India may be offered with salaries on local contract that are less than expected. Usually, 25% of what professionals earn in western countries is known to be a good salary in India.
But in recent years, a huge number of expats are living in India as part of assignment from multinational giants. For mid-level positions, more and more Indian companies are demanding experience and skills from overseas. Hence, work must be secured before entering India in both cases.
Personal connections and network are the major means to find the best job opportunities in India, despite being the progressive and high-tech country.
You will need to have FRRO registration (Foreigners’ Regional Registration Office) within 14 days of entering the country if you want to stay in the country for more than 180 days. If you fail to do so, it can cause loss of Indian visa.