Help me move to India
August 13, 2006 3:05 AM Subscribe
Thinking of moving to India for an extended period of time - has anyone here done this?
posted by Mutant to travel & transportation around India (10 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I've got a high pressure / high profile banking job, and on top of the work BS I've been taking an Executive MBA which I will finish (except for dissertation) in October of this year.
About six weeks ago I woke up in a hotel room in Warsaw and the first thought in my mind was very lucid and very clear and highly unusual for me : "I should quit my job, rent my flat and move to Bombay for a year." Even stranger, this thought didn't go away and if anything, seems to have strengthened itself in my mind since.
I spent about three weeks in India last year, two in Bombay and one in the jungles to the East. I've spent a lot of time in the developing world, and this was probably the best trip I've ever had bar none.
So here is the umbrella question followed by a lot of drilling down into the details. Has anyone spent a year or more living in India?
Visas: the Indian Embassy here in London will issue me a ten year visa, my last Indian visa was a six month, multiple entry, but I'm getting conflicting (and I fear second hand) information - did you have to leave the country every six months as I've read elsewhere? Is there any legal way to circumvent this requirement? Planning a foreign trip every six months isn't a show stopper for me in terms of budget, however as it does impact my desire for immersion somewhat I'd rather avoid if at all possible.
Health: I've had all the jabs necessary to spend lengthy periods of time in Africa. Off my Health Passport I've had: Yellow Fever (I'm good until 2013), Hep A/Hep A Booster (2014), Typhoid (2006), Polio (2013), Diptheria (2013), Tetanus (2013) - what different jabs, if any, did you get? Also, apparently there is a different form of malaria in India than Africa (where I took Malarone) and it requires a different prophylaxis. Did you take a prophylaxis, or just give in to the inevitable? If you did take a prophylaxis, what were the long term health implications (use of Malarone is not advised for periods of longer than three months), if any?
Eating; while in India I fed myself mostly from street stalls and had only one bad session with the toilet, so am I good to go in terms of intestinal flora?
Living: what did you do in terms of securing a local flat? What are the conventions in terms of deposits and rent? I know some countries (i.e., Japan) will require massive deposits up front - is this the case in India? And what about utilities? Would I be better off purchasing for the year? Do you know any foreigner that has actually purchased?
Insects: I've got arachnophobia, and while in India saw some really large cockroaches that would scare the crap out of a New York roach - but what about spiders? How big and more importantly, if they bite am I gonna die? Or just wish I was dead?
Money: what did you do to avoid money problems, especially fraud when living in India for an extended period? For brokerage / bank statements I'm planning to go "all electronic", but did you find it necessary to establish a local banking relationship before moving there? I'm with HSBC, if that matters. In terms of bringing money into India, what prohibitions did they put into place? Were you taxed? I plan to live off cash flow from US based investments, so I would expect to pay Indian taxes on that revenue stream - at least that's how it would work here in the UK - is this correct?
Timing: I'm tentatively planning this for sometime in Q2 2007, and will be spending another month or so in Bombay again this December. How long in advance did you start to get the ball rolling? I realise that Monsoon Season isn't the best time to arrive, however it works for me.
Staying permanently: When I moved from New York to London I thought I'd stay here permanently, looked into my options and started making plans so I'd be in control. If I really, really like India how does one transition off a long term visa to permanent residence status? I came to London on a work permit, and it was trivial to switch after four years. Have you done this or known anyone who has done this in India?
I'm most interested in hearing from folks that have actually lived in India for long periods, as opposed to people googling about for answers (which I've already done to some extent); not to disrespect anyone's efforts on my behalf, it's just that for this question I'm valuing first hand knowledge higher than stuff I may have already read on the web.
Thanks in advance for any help / tips / pointers you can give me!