India > Moving

How To Move To India - The Definitive Guide

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Apply For A Visa
Find A Job
Rent Property
Buy Property
Register For Healthcare
Open A Bank Account
Learn The Language
Choose A School

Apply For A Visa

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Tourist E-Visas

You will find many websites offering e-visa processing. However, all but one of these are scams and must be avoided. Assertions that they can get a visa application processed faster than the standard route are false.

The official site, Indian Visa Online, is the ONLY site you should use for your tourist e-visa application.

How much an e-visa for India costs will depend on your country of citizenship. US visitors pay almost a tenth of the fee demanded from UK visitors, for example, and Canadian people pay even less.

The length of time you are allowed to stay as a tourist with an e-visa also depends on which country you call home. This might reach up to 90 days in any 12-month period, but UK citizens can only stay for a maximum of 60 days.

You can find out more about tourist e-visa costs and the length of stay permitted on the Travel Supermarket website.

If you want a multi-visit tourist visa, you can apply for one which lasts up to five years.

Foreigners’ Regional Registration Officer

If you arrive in India with a long-term visa and intend to stay for 180 days or more, you must legally register your presence in the country. You do this by filing the necessary paperwork with the Foreigners’ Regional Registration Officer.

Most people must complete the registration process within 14 days of their arrival in India, although different rules apply to citizens of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Children under the age of 16 are not required to register, and nor is anyone intending to leave before 180 days.

However, everyone else must register before the deadline, irrespective of the type of visa they hold. This means that whether you have arrived as a student, to take up employment in the country, to undertake research or to receive medical treatment, the registration rules apply to you.

Further information about the process can be found on the website for the Indian Bureau of Immigration.

Entry Visa (X)

The entry visa is usually issued to a person of Indian origin. It is also used to give migrant spouses of Indian nationals the legal right to enter and stay in India.

Sometimes the entry visa is also used to allow expats the right to stay for a specified time if the purpose of their residence is not relevant to the other visas available. For example, if an individual is accompanying a foreign spouse for the period of their university studies, then the entry visa will expire on the same date as the student visa of the principal visa holder.

The embassy in your home country will conduct a visa interview. Fees vary according to the country in which the embassy is based.

The evidence required to support an application for an entry visa will depend on the reasons for the application. However, a typical list of documentary requirements includes:

● Passport with six months’ validity

● Passport size photographs

● Photocopy of passport

● Copy of online filled form

● Copy of the principal visa holder’s passport and visa

● Proof of relationship with principal visa holder

● Birth certificate with parent’s Indian passport

● Marriage certificate

Obtaining An Employment Visa For India

Before starting work in India, you must obtain an employment visa. This would typically be received before you arrive in India, after making an online application and attending an interview at the nearest Indian Embassy in your home country.

Employment visas are usually issued for just one year, and the job should start on the day the visa is issued. If the contract of employment is for a shorter period, the employment visa will expire when the contract does.

However, you can apply to extend the employment visa once you are living in India. Depending on your profession, you may be allowed an overall stay of two, three or five years.

You need to demonstrate that you have high levels of skill, qualifications and training for a specified role, which must involve technical or managerial specialist skills. Your application will be rejected if your income will be less than US $25,000 per year, or if you are trying to obtain a routine position which could be filled from the local workforce.

Typically, you will receive an employment visa if you have been contracted to work for a business or organisation registered in India. Highly skilled professionals may, however, apply for an employment visa so that they can work on a self-employed basis in their field of expertise.

The fees for the employment visa vary according to which Embassy processes the request. You will need to provide the following documentary evidence to support your application:

● Passport with six months’ validity

● Passport size photographs

● Photocopy of passport

● Copy of online filled form

● Appointment letter

● Contract letter

● Resume of applicant

● Organisation registration

● Tax liability letter

● Project details

● Sponsor letter from organisation in India

● Justification letter from employer

We discuss employment issues further in the Finding Employment section of this country guide.

Student Visa

If you have received a place at an officially recognised educational institution in India, you must obtain a student visa to stay in the country legally during your course of study. This applies across the board, from undergraduate degrees at established universities to industrial summer courses and internships as well as the study of Yoga or Vedic culture.

You will need to provide evidence of enrolment on the course, and will have to convince the immigration authorities that you can be privately financially supported throughout your studies.

The visa will last for the duration of the course and remains valid as long as you continue to pursue your studies on the specified course. However, there is a maximum time limit of five years.

The cost of a student visa will again depend on which country you live in and make your application from.

Your application for a student visa must be supported by a number of documents and supporting items. These will typically include:

● Passport with six months’ validity

● Passport size photographs

● Photocopy of passport

● Proof of residential address

● Copy of online filled form

● University admission letter

● University details

If you want a spouse or dependent children to join you in India during your studies, they must obtain an entry visa, which will expire at the end of your studies.

Film Visa (F)

The film industry is a culturally and financially important element of Indian society. Fans of Bollywood can be found across the globe, not just within the communities of Indian diaspora.

The government recently introduced this new F visa so that feature films and TV commercials could bring in actors or crew required during projects. It is hoped that this will encourage production companies to bring their projects to India, which will in turn provide local employment in a wide range of ways.

Each film visa will be issued for a limited amount of time, ending with the film project.

Other Types Of Visa

In addition to those discussed above, the Indian government also issues visas under the following categories:

● Business

● Research

● Intern

● Conference

● Journalist

● Missionaries

● Emergency

● Medical

● Transit

● Permit to re-enter within two months

You can find further information about these visas, along with links to the online visa application portal, on official Indian Visas Online website.

Find A Job

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Everyone who enters India must arrive using the correct visa for the purpose of their visit and their intended length of stay. Migrants are allowed to work in India, but only if they have an employment visa (known as the E visa).

In order to obtain an employment visa, you need to make a formal application, pay the non-refundable application fee and provide all required supporting documentation. Ideally, this would be done via the Indian Embassy in your home country before you arrive in India.

Employment visas are only issued for jobs which have a salary in excess of $25,000 per year, and which require a high level of specialist skill and expertise. For example, this means that a doctor or a senior manager would be accepted subject to all conditions being met, whilst an administrator would not.

You can find out more about this subject in the Visas section of this country guide.

What Types Of Jobs Are There In India?

The ExpatFocus article ‘Moving To Bangalore? Learn What Makes It Such A Great Expat Destination’ explains that the city offers job opportunities in the fields of accent training in call centers, translation, real estate, banking, biotechnology, aviation, animation, gaming and automotive manufacturing. There are plenty of companies in Bangalore that employ expats in management positions.

The better paid jobs – for which you will need your Employment visa – will be located in cities. They may involve travel to rural areas depending on your specific job role, but cities are where head offices and major facilities are located.

A second ExpatFocus article, ‘Will India’s Smart Cities Plans Bring More Expats To The Country?’, discusses India’s Smart Cities development plan, which hopes to modernise 100 mid-size and satellite cities across the nation with modern infrastructure and technology at its heart. Expertise in everything from water and sewerage systems to clean energy and transport design will be in demand.

Teaching Jobs In India

There is demand for English teachers in India. However, if you don’t have teaching qualifications, you will find it difficult to secure paid work. Instead, a number of companies can place you in volunteer roles, although payment from you is typically required for these positions. The website Go Overseas lists a number of examples of these projects.

International Schools in India are popular. They employ a mix of Indian and international staff, who are paid for their services, and may have their accommodation arranged by the school.

To be employed by the school, you need to hold good general qualifications and be a qualified teacher. Some school vacancies are filled through job recruitment companies, while other schools will recruit from the applications sent direct to the headteacher.

We take a further look at the education system in the Education and Schools section of this country guide.

Other Aspects To Consider

Before heading off to an exciting opportunity in India, consider the kind of environment you want to live in and any other issues that will affect your quality of life there.

Canadians Deborah, Jon and Myles moved from their expat home in London out to Bangalore. They told ExpatFocus about their reasons for moving, demonstrating the importance of family and friends in the decision to relocate.

“Deborah had been director of a campaigning charity in London and was looking for more opportunities to build something ‘on the ground’ rather than fighting politicians. Jon had recently received an MA in Creative Writing and was craving time to write on a full-time basis. Myles was old enough to appreciate living abroad and young enough to move without too many home ties.

“We chose Bangalore (after many other considerations) because it offered Deborah the most opportunities and was affordable enough to allow Jon to write. Also, we have a very good friend here who made our transition much smoother than it would otherwise have been.”

Eli, an expat from Norway, moved to Mumbai with her teenage children so her husband could take up a job there. The company helped them with many practical aspects, such as finding an apartment. However, Eli told ExpatFocus that finding a new set of interests was important to her as she suddenly became a spouse without a job.

“For me, leaving behind a life where I worked full time, to being ‘just’ an expat wife and mum was a huge change of scenery. However, there are a lot of activities to join in in Mumbai, and it is an exciting city to explore. The difference between rich and poor is huge, and that reflects my life here. I am a volunteer in an NGO and work with education for kids from low-income families, and I also do activities like yoga, writing, tours, dancing and so on.”

Elizabeth Huesing moved to Chennai following a visit to an ashram in Southern India. As a divorced mother of two who had travelled widely, finding a job that financially supported her but also allowed her to strengthen her spiritual path was the key aim. However, hers was a move that also brought a surprising and romantic result.

“I am a former suburban soccer mom and technical writer from Boulder, Colorado who has plunged headfirst into a dizzying new life and high-tech career in the chaotic city of Chennai, but I am managing to keep one foot in the ashram that brought me here in the first place.

“I have also met and married my new husband, who is British, writes books on Indian saints and has lived near the ashram I initially visited for the past 36 years.”

These real-life expat experiences in India are a good reminder that seeking work is only part of the equation. Work brings in income, and the right job will strengthen your skill set and CV. However, have a think about what your overall aims are, and how all the other members of your family will be affected. If you understand what you are looking for, you have a better chance of your new job and life working out well.

Understand Local Etiquette

In some Indian states, you can face a prison sentence of up to 10 years for the possession or consumption of alcohol. Others allow expats and non-resident Indians to buy a 30-day alcohol license.

Furthermore, alcohol often cannot be sold during elections, major religious festivals and national holidays.

This means that you shouldn’t assume that all your colleagues or employees want to enjoy a drink after work, or that a bottle of wine is the best gift when attending a private dinner party. Even if the household is not Muslim, the consumption of alcohol is not to be assumed.

Recreational drugs are illegal in India. If you are caught in possession of a small quantity for personal use, you will spend at least six months in an Indian jail cell. For a larger amount, you will face up to 10 years in prison. To make matters worse, you could spend years in detention before your case even gets to court. Your case will not be fast-tracked, or the sentence reduced, just because you are a migrant or the important employee of an Indian company. At the end of your sentence, you would be immediately deported.

Homosexuality has recently been decriminalised in India. However, many people still hold conservative values, especially outside the big cities.

You might join a group of colleagues on a trip to the cinema one evening as part of a work social outing. Since November 2016, it has been a legal requirement for every cinema to play the national anthem at the end of each film screening. All members of the audience will stand when this happens, so don’t get caught out sitting down!

Talk To Other Expats

Finding a new job in India, negotiating the visa system and checking out what life is going to be like is a nerve-wracking experience that even experienced expats can find difficult. Why not reach out for advice, help and support for specific issues you have?

You can start a new thread on the ExpatFocus forum for expats in India.

Alternatively, if you use Facebook, you can join the ExpatFocus Expats In India Facebook Group and ask hundreds of other group members for their advice about your plans.

Rent Property

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Before you begin looking for rental property in India, start with some reflection on what you can comfortably afford, what location you are looking for, and the most essential or desirable aspects you want from a property.

The first thing to do is ensure that you’re staying in India legally and have the right visa for the purpose of your stay. You can find out more in the Visas section of this country guide.

Your visa is likely to be for a specific time period, which will impact how long your rental agreement will be.

Secondly, check the pages of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office to see which areas of India you should avoid. There are a number and range of political and religious tensions in the country and ongoing of terrorist attacks have killed many people, including migrants.

Where To Live In India

Have you thought about the area you want to settle in and why? For many people, moving to an upmarket city district popular with expats and near the office is an easy decision. For Norwegian expat Eli, the assistance of an employer made the process straightforward. “We got a lot of help from my husband’s job. They were really helpful and assisted us with all practical issues, like renting an apartment,” she told ExpatFocus.

Other people want to experience genuine Indian life or be near a particular religious or cultural site. Canadian expats Deborah and Jon moved with their 11 year old son Myles to Bangalore with the aim of experiencing the local lifestyle. As they told ExpatFocus: “Occasionally we meet another expat in our neighbourhood but most of the expats live on the other side of town in a series of gated communities and shopping malls. We chose to live closer to central Bangalore – and close to our friend – because our agenda included experiencing the local lifestyle. Otherwise it seemed like a pointless exercise coming here.”

For those wanting a city location, it can take time to get used to the streets being clogged with traffic, the crowds of busy people everywhere, and the incongruity of the very rich on streets where destitute children are begging or selling items. On the upside, it’s easier to find modern, comfortable homes in the cities, close to international schools and private medical facilities, with plenty of beautiful places to shop and eat.

Rural locations have restricted access to services and accommodation is likely to be more basic. However, a quieter way of life and cheaper rent may be a draw for you.

Indian Toilets

In many countries, having clean, piped water and a private bathroom are essentials that you would not even think to include on your accommodation wish-list. However, if you’re arriving in India on a tight budget, you’ll soon see that for some people, these essentials are actually luxuries.

Somewhere between 63 million and 75 million people in India do not have access to clean drinking water, according to various recent estimates. In addition, the World Bank states that about a fifth of India’s communicable diseases are spread by inadequate sewage systems.

Some urban accommodation blocks for India’s poor offer mattresses on the floor in rooms shared by dozens of strangers. One or two squat toilets in the floor of the basement will be used by the residents of the whole building. Many villages in the countryside don’t have piped water or toilets, so people wander out into the fields to answer the call of nature. In towns and cities, the filth on many pavements gives you a clear idea why shoes are taken off at the door of every home.

As an expat, it is unlikely you will ever see these desperate conditions. You’ll be presented with the choice of a squat toilet, or a Western-style sitting down toilet, in a private bathroom. Traditional Indian homes don’t use toilet paper, but a jug of water which is used by the left hand only. Modern adaptations offer a shower-head mechanism to allow a more hygienic wash. If you want to buy toilet paper though, you can easily find it in the local store.

Piped water is a normal feature of expat homes but remember to ask about accessing hot water. You will normally find it available, but you don’t want to move in just to discover that it isn’t there. Many people in India buy buckets of hot water, but this isn’t something that is quaint or fun, especially for those who have never had a choice.

You cannot rely on the cleanliness of any of the piped water unless you have boiled it. Drink only bottled water, which you should also use for brushing your teeth.

Cooking And Kitchen Facilities

Indian cooking does not require an oven, so few homes have one and you may have difficulty locating rented accommodation with an oven already provided. If you decide to buy one and have it fitted, only do so with the landlord’s permission. They may insist on the services of a particular electrician, but you can assume the installation bill is yours. Therefore, get all costs agreed in writing beforehand, and agree what will happen when you leave. You may need to pay for disconnection and related tidy up, or the landlord may be happy to keep the oven in place for the next tenant.

The 2016 India’s Citizen Environment (ICE) 360° survey found that only 30 percent of Indian households own a fridge. That percentage goes up to 60 percent for the richest 20 percent of households, for whom the price of a fridge is no barrier to ownership.

These figures can be explained by the status of women in India. More than seven in 10 Indian women do not work outside the home. Their bargaining power in male dominated homes is limited. In wealthy households, daily shopping for fresh goods falls on the low paid domestic maids.

However, there is also an issue about electricity supply, upon which fridges have a continual reliance. Some households do not have electricity at all, even in urban areas, and many have an erratic supply. Power cuts are part of daily life for many people. This is something worth asking about when you view your accommodation.

Expat Prices In India

For those coming from countries where the price label tells you what should be paid, Indian haggling can be a daunting process that applies to everything from the price of the rickshaw to work in the morning to the catering for a large party in the evening. Savvy locals know the price is nearly always negotiable, and landlords know that expats can usually afford to pay a higher price.

When Dave and Jenny moved from New York to Delhi in November 2007, they found a real estate agent through Craigslist. They explained to ExpatFocus what happened next:

“He found a terrific place in Hauz Khas Market at a ridiculous price, but then he negotiated the rent down on our behalf. It took us a few months before we realised that the landlord and the broker had clearly established the target price ahead of time. But we were quite happy, so we chalked it up to our naivety.”

Internet sites have blossomed across India since then, not least because IT and technology skills have been enthusiastically acquired by millions of Indian people keen to do business online. As a result, you have some time to acquire knowledge about the advertised rates in the areas you would consider. However, how far these can be negotiated will depend on your skills or those of the real estate agent you employ.

Don’t forget that apartment blocks will have a lot of additional costs. Security, maintenance and grounds maintenance are all paid for by the tenant and not the landlord, as are utility costs. You should obtain a schedule of these costs before you agree to a tenancy, as later complaints about what you were or were not told will be confidently dismissed.

State Laws Affecting Tenancies

Everyone renting a property in India should insist on a written contract signed by both parties.

There are a variety of national and state laws applicable to the property rental industry. They provide protection to landlords and tenants regarding length of lease, fair rental fees, and the eviction process. If you seek court redress, your contract will be considered alongside applicable laws to come to a decision.

Verbal promises would be included as part of a law case, but it is hard to prove what someone said if it is disputed by the other party. If there is an important agreement in the negotiation stage, make sure it is written down and included as part of the contract.

Finding Accommodation Through Expat Recommendations

Finding your first home in India can be a daunting affair. Why not seek help from other expats who have been through this process? You can start a new thread on the ExpatFocus forum for expats in India. Alternatively, if you use Facebook, join the ExpatFocus Expats In India Facebook Group and ask hundreds of other group members for their recommendations.

Buy Property

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Indian property purchases by Non-Resident Indians (NRI), Persons of Indian Origin (PIO), and international citizens are regulated by the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEAM) 1999.

Citizens from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Nepal and Bhutan who are resident in India can only buy property in India if they have permission from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

All other migrants may purchase residential and commercial property in India subject to State Laws. However, no foreign person or overseas company is allowed to buy agricultural land or property built on agricultural land, such as farmhouses.

Migrants are classed as a resident if they have been living in India for at least 182 days during the preceding financial year. They must be there for employment, business or vocational reasons that suggest they will remain in India for an indeterminate time.

People who do not live in India cannot buy property or land there under any circumstances. They can, however, inherit property in India. They may also take out a property lease for up to five years without the permission of RBI.

In addition, international companies cannot purchase property in India unless they have a registered business there.

Agricultural land, plantation land and farmhouses may only be purchased by Indian citizens, or by NRI and PIO who have received permission from the RBI.

How Does A Non-Resident Indian Buy Property In India?

Indian citizens who live elsewhere are referred to as non-resident Indians (NRI). They, along with PIO, may buy any residential or commercial property of their choosing as long as it is not on agricultural land.

So, for example, an NRI living in the USA may purchase an apartment in India without special permission, but a citizen of the USA living in India must obtain permission from the RBI before purchasing an identical apartment.

An NRI must obtain permission from the RBI to buy agricultural land or farmhouses in India. They do not require permission to purchase any other type of residential or commercial property. An NRI can also buy the property in their name alone or jointly with another NRI. They cannot make a joint purchase with a resident or a non-resident foreigner.

A number of documents are required for an NRI to buy property in India. During the purchasing process, they will need to supply their passport, a recent photograph, proof of their current address and a Permanent Account Number (PAN) card.

Mortgages In India

It is not possible to purchase property located in India using foreign currency. The financial transaction can only be made in India’s official currency, the rupee.

Both migrants living in India and NRIs can apply for a mortgage. The bank that provides the loan must be registered with the National Housing Bank specifically to provide mortgages to NRI for the purposes of buying property in India.

The bank will make a number of checks and ask for a wealth of evidence about your identity and income. The interest rate on the loan may be higher than average to cover the additional element of risk that the bank has taken on by lending money to someone who is either out of the country or may leave at short notice.

The mortgage funds, paid in rupees, will be transferred to the developer’s or seller’s bank account, usually via the solicitor.

Expats living in India will pay back the loan using their Indian bank account. NRI usually run a non-resident’s ordinary account or fixed deposit foreign currency account and will make their repayment from there.

The amount of taxes you will pay in relation to your property purchase will depend on the citizenship and residential status of the person you are buying the property from. For example, stamp duty for non-residents is higher.

Property Scams

Dibakar Banerjee’s Bollywood film Khosla ka Ghosla! (Khosla’s Nest) tells the story of a man buying a piece of land for his dream home, only to discover he has been cheated by a con-man. There follows a comic turn of events as his sons come up with schemes to get the money back. Unfortunately, in real life, the con-man disappears and the victims are left without their life savings.

Sometimes agents convincingly sell a piece of land, reportedly on behalf of the owners. They claim the local villagers have agreed to sell a piece of common land, or that a busy or absent owner is selling land they don’t need. However, once the land has been paid for and the agent has disappeared, the real owner begins court proceedings. The Indian legal system is notoriously slow and inefficient, so land disputes take decades to work their way through each stage.

Problems can even arise over the sale of a new apartment purchased directly from the developer. Cases have been reported where a developer or another party offers to sell the property cheaply and without stamp duty in return for a cash payment. Meanwhile, the apartment’s title is sold to another buyer who has correctly followed the legal procedure.

Other buyers are left disappointed and out of pocket when a builder fails to complete a development or walks away from poor workmanship.

In October 2018, the High Court in Chennai ordered an investigation into the state of land registration documents in Registrar Offices across Tamil Nadu. The suspicion is that land mafia gangs are identifying target pieces of development land, arranging the destruction of land registry documents and having new ones issued to their benefit. The lack of digitisation and poor security of official records in a country where bribery is frequently encountered causes concern.

A Good Solicitor Should Protect Your Money

To avoid any of these scams, purchase your property through a qualified and correctly licensed firm of solicitors. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have provided a useful online list of English-speaking solicitors in India. This list includes a brief introduction to each firm’s specialisms and associations, along with contact details. There is also an FCO feedback form should anyone experience a problem with one of the listed firms.

Make sure you know what official checks your solicitor has completed and be aware of any issues they may have identified in respect to the property you are purchasing or the neighbourhood.

Never pay a cash deposit to anyone. All payments must be made via your solicitor through the client account. Reject all suggestions to avoid taxes and charges, and alert your solicitor if the scheme suggested involves a property you have agreed to buy.

Speak To Other Expats

Investing your hard-earned money into property can be a life changing experience. To find a good lawyer and ensure your purchase is legally sound, why not ask other expats in India for their recommendations?

You can start a new thread on the ExpatFocus forum for expats in India. Alternatively, if you use Facebook, join the ExpatFocus Expats In India Facebook Group and ask hundreds of other group members for their advice on your plans.

Register For Healthcare

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QUICK LINK: India health insurance

People living below the poverty line in India can access public healthcare free of charge. Improvement of public health was a duty set out in the Indian Constitution.

In practice, the majority of patients who receive free healthcare are women and the elderly, as these are the individuals most likely to be living in desperate poverty.

Unfortunately, public healthcare is funded well below the levels of investment it needs. Rural areas in particular lack adequate facilities and equipment, which makes well-educated medical staff reluctant to work there. Furthermore, different states approach the funding and management of their public healthcare services differently, which leads to a huge variation in the services provided to patients.

As a result, families try to access private healthcare wherever they can, and many drive themselves into unaffordable debt trying to cover the costs.

Meanwhile, the government is attempting to increase the quality and quantity of provision throughout the country, but much of this growth actually occurs in the private healthcare system.

As an expat, you will almost certainly use private healthcare services should you need them. The public healthcare facilities and equipment will not match the level of resources you take for granted back home.

Private Healthcare In India

In major cities, healthcare provision in the private sector is generally modern and well-resourced. Some doctors have spent time in the UK and US, or may even have trained there, meaning they have high standards of knowledge and skill.

Well-educated medical staff in India will be fluent in English, meaning that communication with your doctor and other hospital professionals will be simple.

Some of the services on offer are of a high enough standard to attract patients from overseas. As ExpatFocus reported in the article ‘Moving To Bangalore? Learn What Makes It Such A Great Expat Destination’:

“There are some hospitals in Bangalore that have begun to offer specialised treatments for conditions such as heart disease and spinal problems, which draw many patients from overseas.”

The Indian government issues medical visas to facilitate these services.

If you live in a rural area, you may need to transfer to a city centre service to get the treatment you need.

Unfortunately, no regulatory body ensures that all public and private doctors are appropriately qualified and competent. This means that seeking recommendations is important. You may find that the higher the costs, the more you can rely on getting the best care from the best qualified staff, but the situation is far from ideal.

The Cost Of Private Healthcare In India

Whilst the cost of living in India is generally lower than in Western countries, complex medical services are expensive. In addition to the costs of accessing highly skilled professionals and well-equipped treatment facilities, you must cover the costs of expensive medicines as well as the accommodation and catering costs of a private room.

If you have ongoing issues, the costs may eat into your savings. Even if you are financially secure right now, a car accident or sudden stroke can change your household finances overnight.

Therefore, a private medical healthcare insurance plan is a good investment. Read the terms and conditions carefully to ensure your policy covers all the aspects of care and treatment you may need. Exclusions will help keep annual policy costs down but do make sure you consider the implications carefully rather than just chasing a cheap quote.

Look After Your Health In Hot Weather

In the Climate and Weather section of this country guide we discuss the varied climates and seasons across India’s vast and diverse terrain.

In summer, temperatures across much of the country soar. Even local people find it difficult to cope with this heat. Every family who can afford it will install air conditioning, especially to get a good night’s sleep.

At this time of year, it is important to stay hydrated. That means drinking a lot of clean, bottled water. Check that the seal has not be tampered with to avoid drinking from an empty water bottle that has been topped up with cheap water. Also, learn the signs of dehydration so you take appropriate action before developing heat exhaustion, which can become fatal.

Wearing a wide-brimmed hat and plenty of sunscreen will also keep your skin protected if you are outside. Fair skin will burn quickly and easily under the Indian sun.

Floods are a frequent calamity for Indian communities, washing away roads, homes, crops and agricultural animals. Unfortunately, these waters also spread sewerage and disease. Obtaining clean drinking water and hot, uncontaminated food is essential at all times but becomes critical under these conditions. Be aware that people walking in and out of the infected areas will pick up disease on their shoes, clothing and hands for several days, if not weeks.

Poisonous Snakes In India

India is home to 270 species of snake, 60 of which have venomous bites that cause a reaction, long-term disability or even death.

According to the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, roughly 46,000 Indian residents die from snakebite each year. This means almost half of the world’s deaths from snakebite occur in India.

Four particular snake species cause the majority of snakebite-related deaths. They have come to be known as the ‘Big Four’.

● The various species of cobra enjoy hunting around the edge of villages and in nearby fields.

● There are 12 species and five sub-species of the deadly krait. Although kraits prefer to live in the jungle, they kill more people than any other type of snake on earth.

● The Russell’s viper is only four feet long, and its brownish grey body can be difficult to spot on the ground.

● The saw-scaled viper can only reach two feet in length, but its aggressive nature and inconspicuous burrowing habits make it deadly.

If you are bitten and then given prompt anti-venom treatment, your chances of recovery are good. Unfortunately, poor training and a lack of anti-venom treatments means many snakebite victims in India are not so lucky. Problems with inefficient ambulance services often prevent patients being transferred to units which can help them in time.

Other Deadly Creatures In India

Scorpion bites in India are painful and can be dangerous. The Red Indian Scorpion joins a host of other scorpion species which can kill. Shake out your shoe or boot before you put it on and keep the dark corners of your home well swept.

There was a report in 2012 that a village in Assam was attacked by deadly spiders which killed two people. Investigators were unable to find any evidence supporting these rumours. Whilst there are venomous spiders in India whose bite causes a reaction, there are no confirmed deaths recorded.

Bengal tigers sometimes attack humans for food, and wild elephants kill people who get in their way. Both species are under pressure as their territory shrinks due to human development. More than four hundred people are killed by a tiger or an elephant in an average year in India.

Rabies In India

India suffers from a rabid dog problem. Bites kill thousands of people each year, because rabies has a 100% death rate for people who do not get an injection before the first symptoms appear. If any dog or animal bites you, seek medical attention without delay.

Check Your Vaccinations

In many Western countries, vaccinations are a useful way to protect yourself against the small risk that you come into contact with someone carrying a deadly infectious disease.

In India, your chances of coming into the proximity of someone suffering from a disease that can make you ill, or even cause death, are high. It only takes one cough from a passing TB sufferer for you to breathe an infected droplet into your lungs. Measles is so contagious you will almost certainly catch it if you have any contact at all with an infected person, unless you have received both parts of the measles vaccination.

In addition, the country is home to more than 400 species of mosquitoes. The female Aedes mosquito is responsible for spreading a range of serious illness to humans including malaria, Dengue fever, Chikungunya fever virus and the Zika virus.

This means that making sure you have had all necessary vaccinations is vitally important for your continued good health.

About eight weeks before you are travelling to India, make an appointment with your family doctor to have a health check and receive any vaccinations that need to be done.

Open A Bank Account

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Department stores, hotels and upmarket restaurants in India all accept credit cards and debit cards.

You will be asked to enter your PIN number when making a credit or debit card transaction. However, Visa contactless payments are now available at some leading retailers including Starbucks, McDonald’s, Big Bazaar and some outlets of Costa Coffee. The maximum amount you can spend in one contactless transaction is ₹2000.

Some vendors will allow you to pay with your credit or debit card using a magnetic swipe machine. Take care not to let your card out of your sight during this process, as this will guard against fraud.

If your credit or debit card was issued abroad, you will incur exchange rates that may not be optimal, and you will get charged a foreign exchange fee for each transaction. If you are going to live in India for more than six months, there is a clear financial benefit to obtaining a card issued there, providing you meet the financial criteria for applicants.

It is important to remember that most of Indian society operates as a cash-based economy. Many families have too little income or live too far from branches to operate a bank or post office account. These families rely entirely on cash.

This means that if you need to pay a rickshaw fare, buy something from a small store or pay for a cheap meal, you’ll definitely need cash. Haggling may be required too! As American expat Elizabeth Huesing told ExpatFocus from her home in Chennai:

“There’s the morning haggle with a rickshaw driver over ten rupees too much or too little in fare. I usually cave in and pay the extra fare as it’s not much for me but a few more rupees for the driver’s family.”

Bringing Cash To India

The Indian government maintains strict control over the amounts of cash and jewellery that can be brought into or removed from the country.

Visitors and tourists may not bring any Indian cash with them. Instead, you must obtain Indian rupees from an ATM or foreign exchange bureau after you have arrived in the country. There are also limits on how much foreign currency can be brought into India.

Residents are allowed to bring in rupees, but the amount is controlled. Check with the Reserve Bank of India to see what rules apply to you at the time of travelling.

What Currency Is Valid In India?

The official currency of India is the Indian rupee. The currency code for the rupee is INR, with the symbol ₹. Each rupee is worth 100 paise.

The rupee trades in the USD/ING currency market under a regime known as a managed float. This means exchange rates continually fluctuate, but central banks buy and sell currencies in an attempt to keep their national currency’s exchange rate within certain parameters. If you are staying in India for the short to medium term, or you have investments abroad, the strength and expectations of the rupee will be important for your financial decisions.

In November 2016, the BJP government announced the withdrawal of ₹500 and ₹1000 banknotes to crack down on forged currency. Between them, these notes represented 86 percent of the cash in circulation. The time scale for withdrawal caused long queues at banks and worries for expats about how to exchange the notes, particularly from outside the country. ExpatFocus examined these events in the article “What The New Money Laws In India Mean For Expats”.

New notes have been issued which meet better security standards. The current legal tender now consists of:

● Banknotes: ₹1, ₹5, ₹10, ₹20, ₹50, ₹100, ₹200, ₹500 and ₹2000

● Small Coins: 10 paise, 20 paise, 25 paise, 50 paise

● Rupee Coins: ₹1, ₹2, ₹5, ₹10.

A number of commemorative issues of coins have also been released, several as ₹10 coins. They were released in limited numbers and, whilst being legal tender, they are not designed for regular circulation.


If you live in an Indian city, you will be able to locate an ATM easily. In rural areas, they are harder to find.

You will need to input your four-digit PIN to proceed with an ATM transaction.

Normally ATMs are reliable sources of cash. However, following the withdrawal of the old ₹500 and ₹1000 banknotes and the issue of the new ₹500 and ₹2000 notes, long bank queues developed and people experienced problems withdrawing cash from ATMs. During the first 13 days of April 2018, currency in circulation suddenly increased by $7bn, immediately followed by a shortage of cash able to be issued at ATM and bank branch counters in several Indian states. The reasons behind the April events are unclear, although money hoarding for tax avoidance purposes was suggested as part of the problem. Roughly one percent of the population pays personal taxes.

It is not anticipated that this problem will last long or become more widespread. However, it is a reminder that Indian systems and society can sometimes throw up unexpected problems.

Bank Accounts In India

India has a thriving IT sector offering outsourced technology services to companies around the Western world. In India, banks have long understood the benefits of offering online banking for their customers, and such technology is available.

However, while some bank customers eagerly sign up to these new ways of banking, uptake has wavered. In the aftermath of the banknote crisis of late 2016, mobile banking use climbed significantly, but then dropped back down in mid-2017. As an expat, this should not cause you a problem as your bank will offer you the chance to use the online services you are used to.

There are a number of banks you can choose from when opening a new account. All of the banks listed below employ English speakers.

State Bank of India

Bank of Baroda


Punjab National Bank

Bank of India

HDFC Bank Ltd

Yes Bank

Barclays (India)

DBS Bank (India)

HSBC (India)

Standard Chartered Bank (India)

Citibank (India)

You will need to prove your identity and legal right to stay in India. The bank will also want to check your source and level of income as part of the application procedure.

Theft And Fraud

India has great deprivation and poverty in a significant portion of its population. While this causes obvious and distressing hardship, it also provides an environment where individuals may learn to accumulate what they can by any means, regardless of whether they actually live in those conditions or simply wish to avoid doing so.

Being the victim of theft, fraud and scams can happen wherever you live. You should always be alert to the risks whatever your location. However, the unfamiliar noise, weather and chaos of India may make it harder to spot potential trouble, especially in an environment where you want to be pleasant and friendly.

The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has been informed about train travellers being drugged and then robbed as they sleep. They advise you not to accept any friendly offers of food or drink from strangers.

The FCO also warns of a confidence trick prevalent in Goa, Agra and Jaipur involving jewellery. You will be asked to take jewellery abroad and promised a significant cash payment when you deliver the items. In return, all you need do is pay a cash deposit - which is substantial. You later discover that the jewellery is worthless and there is no delivery to be made. But your cash deposit has gone.

Finally, have a look at the ExpatFocus article “Five Things To Avoid Doing When You Move To India”. This includes advice about your conduct around beggars. Many of them are part of a begging gang, including the children, and as heart-breaking as it can be to walk past someone in obvious need, your money is better spent supporting a local charity which works with destitute people.

Learn The Language

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India has a vast terrain of 3,287,263 square kilometres (1,269,219 square miles). By area, it is the seventh largest country in the world. With many different environments across the land, India can boast six climate zones and four distinct seasons, which we explore in the ’Climate and Weather’ section of this country guide.

Its population of 1.2 billion people is one of the largest on earth, second only to China. In addition, India shares borders with modern day Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Myanmar and China. Its 15,106.7 kilometres (9,387 miles) of land border is almost double the borders of US, Canada, Alaska and Mexico combined. The country also has a coastline of 7,516.6 kilometres (4,671 miles).

Throughout India’s history, waves of migration and invasion have shaped communities, culture, religion and language. The country has seen the rise and fall of empires in different states, religions have been established or forced upon particular populations at various times, and city cultural developments have often followed a different path to that experienced in rural communities.

The British colonial rule of India, which occurred firstly through the East India Company and then directly by the British crown, is well known. The British Raj, as it was known, had a profound influence on the country’s history and many sectors of local society which continued even after the 1947 Independence Act.

Other European nations were also active in India in recent centuries. The British East India Company employed Indian troops to battle against small armies influenced by the French East India Company in a number of areas. Goa was a Portuguese colony up until 1961, while formalities to transfer control of Pondicherry from France to India were not completed until 1962.

122 Languages Are Used In India

Given the size of India’s terrain, its complicated history and the community identities that develop independently in rural areas, it’s not surprising that a huge variety of languages are spoken in India today.

According to the Indian Constitution, there is no national language of India. This is because identifying a national language would increase ethnic and religious tension.

However, the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution gives official recognition and status to a list of 22 identified languages. A further six were given official status as classical languages due to their rich heritage in the country.

However, the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution gives official recognition and status to a list of 22 identified languages. A further six were given official status as classical languages due to their rich heritage in the country.

A further 1599 other languages and dialects are spoken by smaller populations of less than 10,000 people.

Which Language Is Mostly Spoken In India?

Today, Hindi is the most commonly spoken language in India. However, its influence is strongest in the Northern and Central areas of India.

The Southern states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu experienced anti-Hindi agitations in the 1960s. Government pressure to make Hindi the dominant language rather than a combination of Tamil and English had to be abandoned. Tensions between the southern states and the northern-based government still exist today, and language forms an important part of cultural identity.

English In Indian Society

The British East India Company first came to India as a trading company, but from the 1740s onwards, it sought to obtain and control territory there. It essentially ruled large parts of India through the use of private armies, who were instructed by English commanders. Indian citizens in some other professions also learnt English, but this was a fairly limited group.

Much of India was ruled directly or indirectly by the British crown between 1858 and 1947. During that time, the use of English became widespread. Ever-increasing numbers of Indian people were employed in the civil service and other professions, where a sound grasp of English was required. The education system was dominated by teaching in the English language, especially in cities and in Higher Education establishments.

As a result, in many places in India, English is seen as a route to better employability. This is especially true in a globalised world, where doctors and computer programmers can take their high levels of skills and training to any country in which they can speak the native language. Equally, competent English speakers can work in India doing a range of jobs for global companies. Outsourced work from UK and US companies for IT projects and telesales are good examples of this.

Many schools today in India teach in English, especially in the private sector. Academic programmes in Indian universities are rarely taught in any language other than English. Well educated people are therefore always fluent English speakers, which in turn drives demand for English language skills for those who will work in local professional environments.

Many schools today in India teach in English, especially in the private sector. Academic programmes in Indian universities are rarely taught in any language other than English. Well educated people are therefore always fluent English speakers, which in turn drives demand for English language skills for those who will work in local professional environments.

Working In English In India

English speakers will usually find it easy to communicate with co-workers, suppliers and customers. You will notice differences in grammar which are different to that used in the UK or US, but they will not interfere with your understanding of what is being said.

If you are a native English speaker and want to teach the language in schools or colleges, you have a number of options depending on your qualifications. We discuss this topic further in the ’Finding Employment’ section of this country guide.

Many government processes will be in English or will employ people who speak the language fluently. That should help enormously when you are trying to get projects off the ground, although bear in mind that Indian bureaucracy does have a reputation for plenty of red tape.

Keeping up to date with local and international news will be easy. There are plenty of radio stations and newspapers around the country available for English speakers, and online news sites offer a further choice of sources.

A Common Language But A New Culture

Canadians Deborah and Jon left their expat home in London to live in Bangalore. Along with their 11-year-old son Myles, they found the local Indian culture fascinating, showing that a common language still leaves plenty of cultural discoveries to make. As they explained to ExpatFocus:

“To describe the cultural differences between India and the UK would require an entire book. There is no short answer. India changes people. It teaches us that there is no one way to do things but that people can be happy and fruitful anywhere. It teaches us about ingenuity, about patience, personal space, humour, humility, respect, just to name a few things. Indians love their music and art and literature; they love their families and friends. But the way they express these feelings is deep and complex. We’ve been here for six months and have barely scratched the surface in learning about the fascinating and inspiring culture.”

Choose A School

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One in every five children and young people under the age of 25 alive today is based in India. Despite this, the state education system in India leaves a lot to be desired.

State Schools In India

According to the Indian Constitution, every child in India has a fundamental right to receive education from the age of six until they are 14. This entitlement was reinforced by the Right to Education Act 2009.

Thanks to high rates of enrolment, there are 260 million children and young people learning each day in India. Unfortunately, literacy rates and achievements in maths and science for state school pupils fall well short of their counterparts in the Western world.

Funding for schools comes from national and state government departments. To a certain extent, the low level of funding causes an issue for the education system, but this is only part of the problem. With 40 percent of state schools reportedly not having access to electricity, smart boards and educational software are out of the question. Old textbooks don’t use modern child-friendly teaching methods or focus on the skills and knowledge required today.

Teaching skills and experience also contribute substantially to the problem. Roughly a third of all teachers in India do not hold a degree. Very few have any idea of the teaching practices used in Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Canada, Estonia, Finland or any of the other countries scoring highly on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests for pupil attainment in reading, maths and science.

Finally, there is also an issue about mismanaged resources. For example, teaching absenteeism rates are high, and even when present, teachers are often engaged in activities other than teaching. A study by Kremer et al. (2005) included three unannounced visits to 3,700 schools in 20 states during 2003. Some 25 percent of teachers in primary schools were absent, and only half of the teachers in the building were actually teaching.

Private Schools In India

Thanks to India’s strong social class divisions, the high cultural value placed on education, and the widespread lack of good provision across the state education system, just about anyone who can afford to do so sends their children to private schools. These range from local neighbourhood schools with low fees and basic facilities to large boarding schools with private rooms and great sports provision.

As an expat, you are likely to have a clear view of the differences between typical private schools and international schools. The latter usually have a teaching and student body made up of many nationalities, as well as an overseas curriculum and exam system. However, there are some allegedly international schools which have few of these elements.

Conversely, some private schools which are not called international schools offer the International Baccalaureate (IB). The Banyan Tree School, found in six locations, is one such example.

There has been some controversy over the Islamic international school in Mumbai. Stories like these are a reminder to parents that India is a country where careful checks must be done before investing your child’s future or your money in one institution. Make sure you visit every school you are considering, get recommendations from other parents and sources, and understand the school’s board and funding model.

The article ‘30 Top And Best International Schools’ is a good place to start your search. We have also listed a selection of international schools, with quotes from their websites, which you may wish to investigate further.

International Schools In New Delhi

American Embassy School

“The American Embassy School (AES) is located in the heart of the diplomatic community of New Delhi. AES serves pre-kindergarten through grade 12 students from the United States and other nations. We provide an exceptional American education with an international perspective.”

The British School, New Delhi

“The British School is an international, not-for-profit school located in the heart of the diplomatic area of New Delhi. The 54-year old school offers high quality education to expatriate and local families by drawing on the best facets of a rich and culturally diverse community. We offer the national curriculum of England adapted to an international context, the IGCSE and the IB diploma programme. With students from nearly 60 nationalities, the school provides student-centred education in a safe, stimulating and multicultural environment.”

German School, New Delhi

“Our school is situated in the quiet diplomatic area of New Delhi. We provide education for kindergarten, elementary and high school students, leading to completion of the Abitur (general qualification for university entrance). As a recognised German school abroad, we tackle changing societal requirements and develop our school together with our students, parents and teachers. Transparency and participation are key to our school philosophy.”

Lycée Français Internationale de Delhi

“The Lycée Français International de Delhi is part of a network of schools under the Agency for French Education Abroad (AEFE). The school was established in 1962 and currently enrols over 350 students from over 40 countries in classes from pre-k (toute petite section for two-year-olds) up to 12th grade (terminale).

“Teaching corresponds to the French curriculum. Within this framework, the Lycée Français International de Delhi promotes the values of French educational system in addition to its regular role defined in the school charter. All certificates at the primary level are bilingual (French and English). The school has a resolute objective to focus on learning languages, excellent exam results and openness to the Indian culture.”

Amity International School, Saket

“The school stands true to Amity’s philosophy of ‘where modernity blends with tradition’. Garnering the best from Indian traditional values and international education systems, the school has developed a pattern of holistic education. While Amitians develop an appreciation of human values like tolerance, brotherhood, respect for elders, patriotism and sanskaras, they also excel in leadership summits, MUNs, national and international competitions and more.”

Russian Embassy School, Delhi

All website content is in Russian.

Japanese School, New Delhi

All website content is in Japanese.

Excelsior American School, Gurgaon NCR

“The Excelsior American School is one of the best international schools, located in the heart of Gurgaon. It is a 9-year-old day boarding school in Gurgaon which offers the international curriculum from the Cambridge international examinations, University of Cambridge, UK for pre-nursery through grade 12. It is not only considered one of the best residential schools in India but a lot more than this. Excelsior American School’s mission is to develop in its students a strong sense of self-worth and responsibility to prepare them to become life-long learners and responsible citizens of the society. We bring this difference by incorporating international pedagogy and innovative teaching practices in our curriculum to invoke in our students the inherent curiosity and love for learning. We proudly say that in just nine years, we are among best residential schools in India.”

American Montessori Public School, Gurgaon, NCR

“American Montessori Public School was established in 1995 in DLF City Phase-II to impart quality education, including philosophy and methodology along with traditional education. It is a co-educational English medium school affiliated to CBSE and running systematically on the 10+2 CBSE pattern. The school is located in a picturesque locality close to the Delhi-Jaipur highway, thus being easily accessible to students from South Delhi, DLF and Gurgaon areas.

“American Montessori Public School is spacious, offering a warm intimate environment combined with modern day facilities for students emerging in to rapidly changing world. The Wing is situated at Cassia Marg, DLF City Phase-II and the Senior Wing is located at L-Block, DLF City Phase-II.”

International Schools In Mumbai, India

American School Of Bombay

“The American School of Bombay is a college preparatory, co-educational independent day school from Pre-K through Grade 12.”

DBS International School, Mumbai

“DSB International is the only school in Mumbai which provides the national curriculum of England and the German curriculum of Thüringen. Students can enter early years at our vibrant primary school from the age of three. At secondary, students progress from the Cambridge IGCSE to the IB Diploma, preparing them for university anywhere in the world.”

Ecole Mondiale World School

“Ecole Mondiale is an authorised International Baccalaureate World School for the IB primary years programme (PYP), middle years programme (MYP) and the diploma programme (DP).”

Edubridge International School, Mumbai

“The only IB School in South Mumbai authorised to teach the three IB programmes: PYP, MYP and DP. A co-educational school, Edubridge uses the best practices available in International Education.”

Japanese School Of Mumbai

All content on the website is in Japanese.

L’Ecole Française Internationale de Bombay

“EFIB welcomes students and teachers of different nationalities. The school stresses the importance of learning the English language from pre-primary school. Support classes are offered for both French students with little English knowledge and non-French students with little French background.

“The school follows the educational programs, as set by the ‘Official Guidelines for the French National Education’, which guarantee its students the possibility of continuing schooling in France in all public or private institutions and in all other recognised French schools abroad. Furthermore, the French diploma ‘Baccalaureat Français’ is recognised almost everywhere in the world.”

Singapore International School, Mumbai

“Singapore International School (SIS) is located in the midst of nature, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Mumbai life. With state-of-the-art infrastructure, it is the only co-educational institution in Mumbai that provides term, monthly, weekly and day boarding facilities. SIS offers a comprehensive programme structured in four levels. From kindergarten through grade 6, learning is anchored in the Singaporean curriculum. The Reggio Emilia approach has also been used within the framework of the IB primary years programme.”

International Schools In Other Areas Of India

ERA International School, Andhra Pradesh

“ERA International School believes in nurturing globally-minded scholars who take pride in embracing Indian values.”

Oakridge International School, Andhra Pradesh

“Oakridge is dedicated to nurturing responsive and motivated students through a dynamic and success-oriented education program. The program empowers students to gain an indigenous as well as global perspective on various aspects. With its world-class campuses in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Visakhapatnam and Chandigarh, Oakridge is regarded as one of India’s top international schools with its high standards of teaching methodology, technology collaboration, and global culture in every aspect of learning.”

Bivha International School, Bihar

“Bivha International School (BIS) offer classes from play school to graduate level. BIS delivers an International Primary Curriculum (IPC) for years one to six, and students in years seven to 13 are taught through a UK based curriculum with an international flavour, preparing them for IGCSE, AS and A Level. It also provides CBSE and ICSE curriculum along with IB and IGCSE.”

Ahmedabad International School, Gujarat

“Flexibility in curriculum choices allows our students to pursue the college of their choice. Up to grade seven, all students follow the IB-PYP. For grades eight to 10, students can choose between CIE-IGCSE and Gujarat State Board SSC. Grades 11 and 12 students choose from IBDP, CIE AS & A Levels, and the Gujarat State Board HSC.”

Universities In India

There are more than 700 universities and institutions of equal status across India offering degrees to a primarily domestic student body. Almost 50,000 further colleges and institutions also offer a huge range of courses including affiliated degrees. Between them they have more than 20 million enrolled students.

The different types of institutions offering higher education courses in India are:

● Central universities

● State universities

● Private universities

● Deemed universities

● Institutes of national importance

The QS World University Rankings 2016/17 included only seven of India’s higher education institutions. All of them are institutes of national importance with an emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) education. They are:

● Indian Institute of Science Bangalore (152nd)

● Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (185th)

● Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (219th)

● Indian Institute of Technology Madras (249th)

● Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (302nd)

● Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (313th)

● Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (399th).

Another 360,000 Indian students are studying at universities in the US, UK, Germany, Australia, Canada and New Zealand in a trend for international study which is rapidly gaining momentum. Many Indian families who can afford the high student fees and living costs of the Western world feel it is a good investment for their young person to access the skills and opportunities that may not be on offer locally.

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Cigna Global

Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.

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