Moving to India


Delivery timescales

Prohibited and restricted items

Every country has its own rules and regulations surrounding prohibited and restricted items. It’s important to be aware of these prior to the move to avoid any delays.

There are certain tax rules regulations to be aware of. While the majority of your items can be imported duty free, there are exceptions.

Please also note that you must be in India throughout the customs process – before your goods arrive, through to clearance.

We can provide further information on prohibited and restricted items should you require it – please get in touch and we’ll be happy to advise.


Moving to India is becoming a more common occurrence for many British expats for a variety of reasons. More and more businesses are beginning to relocate to the country, taking advantage of cheaper living and labour costs – and in some cases British citizens are relocating to the country in order to reconnect with their familial roots and heritage.

Life in India often comes as a culture shock for those initially experiencing it, with sights, sounds and smells vastly different from those in the West. Firstly, simply the vastness of India and the size of its population alone can be overwhelming for those new to the country. Home of the second-most populated state in the world, India is a sensory shock full of exciting experiences.

Although India has adopted many Western traditions, there are certain parts of the Indian culture that will require some getting used to for many expats. In particular, whilst women are generally treated equally within corporate settings there still exists a certain dress code that is adhered to for both tradition and safety. Women moving to India from another country are advised to dress conservatively, particularly in crowded areas such as market places or in smaller towns, to avoid offending anybody or attracting potentially dangerous, unwanted attention.

Wealth and poverty exist alongside each other in extreme levels in India, especially within its bustling cities such as Mumbai and and Bangalore. It is also quite common for the richer citizens to employ servants to help with driving, cooking and cleaning.

The biggest sectors for employment in India are the textiles and agricultural industries, however many expats find work in other sectors such as IT, financial services and pharmaceuticals. English is also widely spoken across India, especially at corporate level so it is relatively easily for expats to find their feet in this sense.

Arguably the biggest challenge faced by those moving to India from abroad is finding suitable accommodation. There is a high demand for good quality accommodation in India, specifically within city locations which is probably where an expat would want to be situated. If possible, obtain help from your employer to navigate the potential pitfalls of finding the best accommodation for your budget. However, the cost of living in India is substantially lower than living in the West with a budget of up to $300 per month (including bills, rent and other living expenses) applying to most locations within India.

Once you have decided to relocate to India shipping your goods overseas is a relatively straightforward process- taking roughly between 7-16 weeks to complete. In order to ship goods to India non-citizens must have a residence or business/work visa and the effects must be shipped within one month of arrival of the owner, who must be in the country before the goods can enter as an original passport is required for clearance.

For more information about moving to India, simply get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.
E: enquiries@squab.co.uk T: 0845 4680 160

Don’t forget to take a look at our handy checklist as a guide to help with organising your move. There’s additional space for you to add your own notes, as every move is different.


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