What are your monthly expenses? (and what's the job market and visa situation like?)

#1 Mar 20th, 2012, 00:10
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  • wbriggs is offline
#1
Hello all,

I'm looking to move to Delhi with my wife this fall for one year. Neither of us is Indian, we dont know anyone there, and we're US citizens.

We want to travel throughout India while renting a flat in Delhi.

While we have enough saved for this trip, wed like to work. Im a freelance writer and can work with my existing clients online, but I was wondering what other jobs ex-pats can get easily? Is there a market for English tutors, for example? Do companies hire folks with tourist visas? Is there under-the-table hiring? And volunteering--is it easy to find a way to help out--or is there red tape?

Also, Id like to know how much living expenses would total. Wed like to live in a cheap apartment in a safe neighborhood, but we dont need anything fancy. How much would that cost per month with all the utilities?

And what do you normally spend a month on food, household supplies, etc. per month?

Most importantly, I know a tourist visa is only valid for 180 days. I know its possible to renew it once you leave India (let's say to Nepal) and come directly back in, but is this practice frowned on? Would we expect any problems going back and forth a few times?

I had to do this song-and-dance when I lived in China for 2 years and, at one point, had to bribe an official. Should I expect the same in India?

Thanks for your time!

PS: We are both well traveled and have lived in various countries, so we are up for the challenge. We're just trying to iron out the logistics.
#2 Mar 20th, 2012, 00:40
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  • nayan is offline
#2
Quote:
Originally Posted by wbriggs View Post Hello all,

Most importantly, I know a tourist visa is only valid for 180 days. I know its possible to renew it once you leave India (let's say to Nepal) and come directly back in, but is this practice frowned on?
This is not possible any more. There has to be a gap of two months between visits.
#3 Mar 20th, 2012, 00:54
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  • machadinha is offline
#3
On your legal opportunities to stay or work there, kindly carefully study

http://www.immigrationindia.nic.in/,
http://www.mha.nic.in/, notably currently its http://mha.nic.in/ForeigDiv/ForeigHome.html,
and for those of Indian backgrounds over the past few generations, http://moia.gov.in/.
#4 Mar 20th, 2012, 00:57
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  • nycank is offline
#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by wbriggs View Post we dont know anyone there, and we're US citizens.

...
...

PS: We are both well traveled and have lived in various countries, so we are up for the challenge. We're just trying to iron out the logistics.
US citizens are given 10 year Tourist visa, but you cannot stay more than 180 days at a time, and a gap of 2 months between visits for folks on Tourist Visa.

One cannot work on Tourist Visa, and normal companies do not hire folks on Tourist Visa. I am sure there is an underground cash only economy where hundreds of thousands of illegals in India participate and contribute to. These are mostly from neighboring countries.

Visa runs are frowned upon, just like it is back home
#5 Mar 20th, 2012, 01:09
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  • paramiyer is offline
#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by wbriggs View Post Im a freelance writer and can work with my existing clients online, but I was wondering what other jobs ex-pats can get easily?

Is there a market for English tutors, for example?

Do companies hire folks with tourist visas?

Is there under-the-table hiring?

And volunteering--is it easy to find a way to help out--or is there red tape?

Also, Id like to know how much living expenses would total. Wed like to live in a cheap apartment in a safe neighborhood, but we dont need anything fancy. How much would that cost per month with all the utilities?

And what do you normally spend a month on food, household supplies, etc. per month?
Here are some answers:

You can certainly 'work' online while India as long as you have a decent net connection.

Yes, but no official ones for those on tourist visa.

No, as there are enough talent without tourist-visa to be hired.

Yes, but might be restricted to low pay jobs with cash only component. Some hiring also happens in film industry (but not so much in Delhi).

Pure volunteering is easy - as long as there is no payment to you involved.

Rent with utilities for reasonable accommodation should come to about 15-30K INR depending on location.

Typical household expenses would be 10-15K INR depending on lifestyle, assuming you are looking at the modest approach.
#6 Mar 20th, 2012, 11:11
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  • dillichaat is offline
#6
Forget about finding a legit job on a tourist visa, it's not possible as others have said. A work permit on another visa type is subject to income requirements that are not easy to meet, unless you're a translator (not English) or a cook.

About expenses: that's very much a personal thing and it depends on your lifestyle. One spends commensurate with what one earns, it's very individual. If you go cheap in India you could find a small flat to live in for about 10k/month (out of the city center and I'm talking Delhi here, not Mumbai). Figure about 15 k/month extra on utilities if you're very frugal and don't need lots of AC (else add another 10 k/month). One factor that is likely to push up the price is your skin color, nothing to do about it.

Same for food: live like a local and do your own shopping/cooking, costs could probably stay below 15-20k/month.

But remember that 'cheap' goes a long way down in India, probably much lower than what you could or would want to take. Things become very expensive very fast if you want western comfort and food. Don't say too quickly that you can do without western food, been there, done that and I can testify that it starts chafing after a while, although I love indian food too. For me, India without ample cash would be no fun at all.
"It is preferable to have a criminal for a servant rather than a fool because a criminal's actions are predictable and you can protect yourself against them, whereas there is no telling what a fool's next move will be.
#7 Mar 20th, 2012, 13:25
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  • Nick-H is offline
#7
Quote:
Things become very expensive very fast if you want western comfort and food.
Most of the food I eat at home is Western. I'm shocked that a chicken, for roasting, is now over Rs.200, and I can spend as much on fish, prawns, etc, for one or two meals. I don't know how it compares with other countries, because I haven't been to a Sainsbury or Tesco in three or four years. My guess is that "Oh my god, we spent 1,500 in the supermarket" is actually not too bad, as my Sainsbury trips seemed to regularly take 50 UK pounds off the bank balance.

However, all this is by the by without taking a long hard look at the visa/immigration situation. India does not want immigrants, and has quickly moved from actually taking not much notice of their coming and goings on visa runs to regulating them with a two-month-between-trips rule. It can only get tougher. It is not on the cards yet, but, how long before India start looking at records, and seeing that a person returns after two months, every six months. As a UK immigration officer told an Indian citizen (my wife happened to get grabbed as interpreter), "You are spending more time here than in India, and that is not what a tourist visa is for, and it is not permitted."

It is not so hard to rent a house for regular visits, and it is probably, if those visits are less than the time spent outside India, ok to do that for the foreseeable future. If this is affordable, and preferred to hotels, then fine, but setting up a home as a primary home is expensive, both in cash and emotion, and people should take a long, cold look at what might happen in the near future before taking this step --- especially if not very rich.
~
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#8 Nov 27th, 2012, 03:52
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  • wbriggs is offline
#8
Thanks all!

I find by far this forum is home to some of the best writers and most level minds out there!

Thanks again!

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