All you need to know before moving to India



It takes around 12 days for shipments to make their way to India, though those moving from locations farther away can often expect several months of waiting for their goods when moving to India. Here we let you compare different moving services and companies so you can receive your goods as soon as possible for the best price.

India is making giant strides. And the world knows it.

India ranks second among the world's major economies with a consistently outstanding average growth rate of 5.8 percent in the last 20 years. Agricultural, manufacturing, service and foreign trade sectors plus a labor force that is second only to China dominate its market. It is the world's leader in software development, and business process outsourcing with export revenues projected to propel the economy to world domination within the 21st century. The change from early socialist-inspired policies in the 1950's to a market-based system in 1991 is believed to be responsible for the economic surge. As a result, India has become an attractive destination not just for tourists, but also for those who are hopeful of beginning a life in India as an expat.

Surrounded by the Indian Ocean and west of the Arabian Sea lies the world's seventh largest and twelfth most progressive country. It has a unique topography consisting of deserts, rainforests, tropics, cerulean banks and shores, vibrant flora and fauna and mountain ranges including her majesty the Himalayas from Kashmir in the North. Sporadic weather patterns of summers, monsoons, post monsoons, and winters add spice to Asia's sub-continental jewel where scenic rivers such as Godavari, Krishna, and Tapti run through.

Aside from the economic growth that expats can enjoy, there is a strong cultural pull for expatriates.

India's cultural diversity has earned it the title, "Country of Caravans," reminiscent of the Aryans, Chinese, Arabs, Mongols, Turks, Europeans, and other early settlers who christened the Asian subcontinent with a diversity that is now its unique beauty. The people are warm, welcoming, and significantly religious. At least 80.5 percent of the population practices Hinduism, 13.4 percent Islam and 2.3 percent Christianity.

Expats can have a close encounter with Indian heritage by paying attention to the music, dance, and architectural traditions evident in Indias Jain and Islam-inspired Hindu and Buddhist temples and monuments. Its film industry is the largest in the world with close to a thousand film releases each year. Literature is another respected art form that has brought the country honor with the 1931 Nobel Prize for Literature awarded to Bengali writer Rabindranath Tagore, who also penned the Indian national anthem, Jana Gana Mana. 

The richness of the Indian culture is evident in over a million native languages spoken in scattered areas across the nation. Hindi remains India's official language while Sanskrit and Tamil are considered classical. Aside from these, there are 22 other spoken, recognized languages. 

Truly the land of spices, Indian cuisine, is hot with strong flavors in an exciting assortment of dishes from rice and rotis to world famous phall or tindaloo and lamb curries. The national sport is hockey, although a growing fondness for cricket, a bat-and-ball game first played by 16th century Britons, is observed. Many tourist spots are official UNESCO World Heritage Sites including the Ajanta, Elephanta and Ellora Caves, Taj Mahal, Qutub Minar, and the storied churches of Goa. Surely, no expat can say that there is nothing to do in India.

With a population of approximately 1.15 billion people, India is the world's most populated federal democracy, governed by the Indian National Congress since its independence. Its politics are driven by three of its most dominant parties including the INC, the Bharatiya Janata Party, and the Communist Party of India. Its currency is the Indian Rupee (INR), and New Delhi is its seat of government. 

Essential relocation information


There are four things expats should consider for overseas shipping to India. These include documents, duties, taxes and restrictions.

Documents include passports and visas for all family members relocating to India, a detailed inventory in English of all items in shipment, a Declaration Form to be signed in the presence of a Customs Officer and proof of insurance. There are specific items that will never be allowed to enter the country, including weapons and ammunition, illegal drugs, plants, handheld transceivers and all materials with pornographic or politically sensitive content. Those bringing all sorts of vehicles for land and sea can expect very high duties.  

Regulations for removals to India also require that all household items should be in the possession of the shipper for at least a year for them to be allowed duty-free. Otherwise, minimum duties of 50% will be charged. There are items, however, which carry duties of at least 25% whether they are used or unused. These include household appliances such as TVs, air-conditioners, refrigerators, dishwashers, microwave ovens and others. For a complete list, it is best to check the Indian customs website. Expats shipping their goods by air have to be in India fifteen days ahead of shipment and 30 days for goods shipped by sea.   

Movers in India can offer indispensable professional help for all expats who need to import some possessions into the country. These removal companies know the process inside out and as long as all requirements are all complied with, expats should find it easy shipping their goods. 


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How to live like a local 



India is the seventh-largest country in the world with a total land area of 3.2 million square kilometres. Expats who will live in this spiritual renowned country are about to experience an extra-ordinary culture while being surrounded by majestic mountains and a vast desert.

Known to have a diverse terrain and a history of vast empires, it has the most population in the world. It is also a newly industrialised country that can outsource its human resources to other countries while building a strong trading bond and allies. By Western standards, India can be quite chaotic and loud considering that it houses more than 1.3 million people. However, those who love to embrace new challenges and have the courage to embrace this country’s unique identity will be soon rewarded with a one of a kind experience.

Learning while Having Fun

One of the things expatriates consider when planning to move to another country is their children’s welfare. Keeping your kids happy will not be a problem in India because from outdoor activities to mind exercises, this country has it all. In Borivali National Park in Mumbai, for example, they can marvel at lions, macaques, crocodiles and other exotic animal species. They can go climbing granite boulders or the trees on top.

Those who would rather give their minds a good workout can do it in any of the kid libraries such as the Hippocampus library in Koramangala which is also an experience centre where kids can engage in all sorts of enriching activities. Expat parents who want their kids to learn about India’s local culture will not run out of historical attractions to visit such as the world-famous Taj Mahal and the Varanasi which is the oldest living city in the world where the evening Ganga-aarti is performed.

A Taste of India

Indian cuisine is known for using aromatic spices such as haldi (turmeric), tamarind, jeera (cumin), methi, fenugreek, ginger, black pepper, nutmeg, saffron, cardamom and red or green chilli peppers. The Indians also love to use their signature herbs which are mint, bay and curry leaves as well as coriander. Other food staples are lentils, naan/roti (flat unleavened bread and raita (yoghurt mixed with chopped onions and tomatoes).

Food plays a significant role in the Indian culture. All festivals and celebrations in this country usually involve a feast where locals gather to dine. India is a country where expats will not run out of places to buy food. Hotels or the local term used for small eateries are scattered almost everywhere. There are also lots of restaurants, stalls, Food Street and pushcarts that sell authentic and affordable Indian foods. Some of best local foods that all expats must try are tandoori chicken, Baingan bharta, Bhindi Masala, Rogan Josh and Recheado masala fish.

Dealing with Culture Shock

An expat in India will usually find the people warm and very friendly. This makes adjusting to the new country a whole lot easier. Sometimes, Indians can be too nice in that they would rather tell a lie than hurt people. But this is all part of the local culture and should not be taken in a negative light. Among Indians, order is very important. For every group of people, whether it is a family, an educational organization or a company, people always recognize certain individuals as their head or leader.

And then there are other unique things an expatriate in India will find unique about the local culture. For example, people don't like giving or receiving flowers because these are associated with funerals. Hindus will not appreciate receiving gifts made of leather while Muslims would not like anything made of pigskin. When being handed out a gift, it is more acceptable not to open it in the presence of the giver. Gifts, in general, are believed to make things easier for people to move on to the next life.

Moving to India may also require one to take a quick cultural crash course when invited to an Indian home. Entering one must be done with footwear removed and left by the doorstep. And when being invited for tea or coffee, one must refuse the first invitation. This is considered ethics. On the dining table, the guest is usually served first, followed by the men and the children. The women usually prepare and serve dinner and eat last. Food left on the plate after means the person has had a hearty meal while an empty plate means the person is still hungry.


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