Your Checklist for Moving Home to India

Moving-back-to-India-Taj Mahal

After years abroad, moving back to India is a major leap. It’s also a transition that a lot of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) are making. With international career experience, moving back to one of the world’s fast-growing economies often just makes sense. 

Indians abroad are not repatriating because things didn’t work out abroad. In fact, just the opposite. Many Indians find that their global experience and skill set makes them primed for success when they repatriate.

Ready to go back to your family and culture while seizing an incredible opportunity? Here is your checklist for moving back to India.

Six Months to One Year Before You Go

  • Set the date: Decide when you are going to move. Of course, some aspects may depend on outside factors, like securing a job, but you still need to have a general idea of your plans. Knowing that you are going to move, for example, in the spring, will give you a working timeline.
  • Look at your contracts: What are the obligations of your work contract? Will you be penalised for leaving you rental lease early? You can save yourself a lot of money and inconvenience by doing some careful planning.
  • Start saving: Make a real effort to double down on your savings. Cut out those little expenses like going out for coffee or ordering a takeaway. Live minimally and just enjoy the simple pleasures of being aboard. You might find you have a new appreciation for your adopted country as you start preparing to leave.

Three to Six Months Before You Go

  • Research your job options: Did you know that working and/or studying abroad for four years increases your earning potential by 50 per cent? When you’re moving back to India, know your worth. Familiarise yourself with your options and don’t sell yourself short. 
  • Start clearing things out: You have probably amassed more things that you might realise. Now is the time to start getting rid of those things that you don’t need on a daily basis. Start selling your stuff on Craigslist and Facebook. Donate items that you don’t need. Try to pare it down to just the basics you would pack for a long holiday.

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Three Months to One Month Before Go

  • Buy your plane ticket: This will get your date set in stone and you can make absolute plans for every aspect of your departure. 
  • Give notice: Talk to your employer, landlord, and anyone else that you have a contractual obligation with. The earlier you can give a clear plan, the better terms you will be able to leave on. 
  • Cancel any paid services: Get in touch with your internet service provider, electricity company, gym, mobile provider, and any other company that you pay monthly. It is surprisingly easy to forget services and lose track of what you have done. That’s one of the reasons that having a physical checklist of moving back to India is essential. Spend the time to go through your bank statement for the last month to see what you pay for each month. Even less obvious things like streaming music or television should be cancelled. Do you have any delivery accounts? Maybe an Amazon Prime account? Cancel them all. Of course, many of these services are available in India but you will want to still cancel them and then create that local account on arrival.
  • Start building your network: Sure, you may have old friends and family still in Indian but you will want to expand your network. Look at NRI and ex-pat groups on Facebook and other forums. Connect with other newcomers to share tips and read advice. From practical information to new friends, it’s a good starting point. You may be finding yourself a bit lost in the middle where your friends abroad don’t understand your life in India while your Indian friends aren’t connected to the side of yourself that you developed abroad.
  • Start packing: Decide what you are going to sell, ship, or bring as luggage. Take the time to research your options. Do keep in mind that the moving day will be chaotic and stressful so if you can avoid having a massive amount of luggage, do it.
  • Find temporary accommodation: If you can stay with friends and family on arrival, you will save yourself a lot of stress. While India is a big country, the cost of domestic flights and train travel remains the most inexpensive in the world so commuting between areas for a short period is doable. If it’s just not a possibility, consider options like an Airbnb or a hotel. Booking abroad is always risky so you want to have some level of service rather than just training something with a property owner.

The Final Month Before Go

  • Doublecheck everything: Go back to that checklist for moving back to India and make sure everything is up-to-date. With countless things to do, it’s all too easy to lose track. Never assume you are going to remember something. Write it down and check it off the list.
  • Cancel local registrations: Be sure that your visa and any local registration numbers are cancelled or frozen. While you may think that your foreign identification documents don’t matter any more, it’s is crucial to avoid leaving them open to fraud.

And, don’t forget to check out our ultimate guide for Moving to India, which includes moving documentation, advice on children, finances, jobs and much more!

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