Expat India

For those looking for a truly exotic and diverse place to live, nothing comes close to India. India is full of culture, exotic foods and clothing and diverse geography. Whether looking to settle down at the foothills of the Himalayas or by the warm, tropical beaches of GOA, India definitely has it all for any adventurous expat.


The climate in India is extremely diverse. You can find many ranges in temperature, from the cold foothills of the Himalayas to the warm beaches on the coast. For the most part, there are two seasons in India, a rainy season and dry season. From October to March, the weather is generally drier and pleasant with temperatures relatively mild. During the rainy season there are possibilities of monsoons and flooding. Temperatures usually range from 40 degrees to 100 degrees throughout India; however most of India has a tropical climate with temperatures that are usually very hot and humid.


The government of India is democratic and relatively stable. The economy in India is one of the largest in the world and is expected to grow sharply in the next couple of decades. India also has the second largest population right behind China and in many cities overpopulation is a fact of life.

For American citizens looking to visit India, you should note that you are required not only to have a valid passport, but also a visa. Visas must be obtained via the Indian Embassy or consulate before arriving. American citizens that arrive in India without a visa will be immediately deported and sent back home. Visas are relatively easy to obtain, especially if you are looking to travel for several weeks to several months, however for long term visas expect additional paperwork and longer wait times.

You can find out more on obtaining a visa at the Embassy of India in Washington D.C. and Embassy of the United States in New Delhi.

Tax System

The tax system in India is categorized as moderate. The top rate for individual income tax is 30%, however there is a 10% surcharge making the rate 33%. For corporate income tax, the tax is higher than many other countries, with the highest rates hitting 30% also including the 10% surcharge totaling 33%. Besides these taxes there are a host of other taxes including a dividend tax, property tax and taxes on insurance contracts.

Medical Care

India has some of the best healthcare available and some of the worst healthcare available, it really depends on where you are located. In rural areas, as well as tropical rainforests, medical care is either less than adequate or non existent. If you are located in major cities and larger towns, you will usually find well trained doctors available. Major facilities are quite good, however some towns are poor and lack infrastructure so it might be touch and go. If you are starting a business or working for a company, purchasing medical insurance is an easy task. For expats that are in India for the short term, your best bet is to purchase travel insurance. Make sure to find plans with medical evacuation so if you are seriously ill or injured, you will be able to be transported back home for proper care.

For those traveling the world, make sure you are up to date on vaccinations and shots before you enter India. India has strict controls on allowing foreigners into the country without the proper shots. Specifically if you have traveled to Sub Saharan Africa before entering India, make sure you comply with India’s disease prevention policies.

Real Estate

Just as India is extremely diverse and varied, so is the real estate. Obviously in big cities and top locations expect to pay high prices for property, however even though these prices are high, they are still considered to be moderate compared to other world locations. For those looking to rent a flat, you will find affordable to moderate prices in the main cities and usually affordable prices in smaller towns. If you are looking to live out in rural areas, rent can be extremely affordable; however do not expect Western amenities or infrastructure.

For those looking to purchase property in India, there is generally no laws that ban foreign ownership. The markets are usually open and available to foreigners. As with all real estate transactions, always consult with a lawyer and learn the laws in the area that you are interested purchasing real estate in. Besides the normal cost of purchasing real estate, expect to pay specific taxes as well as other fees. Foreign investors usually have to provide specific papers including a passport; however the legal hurdles aren’t as bad as other countries and relatively straight forward.


India is legendary for its shopping. No matter what you are looking for from the exotic to the high tech, you can easily find it in most urban areas. With the surge in economy over the years, more shopping malls, luxury boutiques and shops have sprung up all over India. In smaller towns and rural areas there are plenty of markets and wonderful crafts available.

Regarding nightlife, there are plenty of places to see live music enjoy delicious meals and party all night long. Whether in large cities or on the coast there are plenty of places to spend the day relaxing and enjoying culture.

Cost of Living

India is a huge country and depending on your needs and wants will ultimately determine your budget. While India can be extremely expensive, it can also be dirt cheap — it really depends on your lifestyle. However, for many expats looking to spend some time in India and have a low budget, you will find plenty of value for your money.

For those expats looking to live for less than $600 per month, you can do it quite easily. If you have more of a budget, you will be able to take advantage of much more entertainment options, as well as live in higher priced areas and locations.

Extradition from India

India entered an extradition treaty with the United States in 1999.

Map of India