Living and working in foreign countries is rapidly losing charm for Indian citizens. There're several reasons for that. Already, over 19 million Indians live and work abroad.
Countries such as the USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and to some extent, Portugal rank as a top favorites among Indians to live and work. However, tighter visa rules in most countries make it nearly impossible for even highly qualified Indians to find jobs and work there.
If you're an Indian and wish to live and work abroad, here's my list of emerging destinations and the best countries to live and work in.
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7 Best Countries to Migrate from India to Live and Work
The list of countries below provides excellent opportunities for Indian citizens. Furthermore, some countries are relaxing their visa regulations for Indians to ensure more people from this country land on their shores for work.
Also read: How to Apply Online for US Visa in India
1. State of Qatar
With a Gross National Income (GNI) of US$190,799, Qatar ranks at the top of my list of best countries to live and work for Indians.
There're other reasons for my ranking it at No-1. India and Qatar traditionally enjoy excellent bilateral relations in every sector. In fact, the largest residential community of Qatar consists of expatriate Indians.
About 700,000 Indians work and live in Qatar and make up for one-fourth of the population of the Arabian Gulf nation. Since 2017, the Qatar government has relaxed Visit, Business, and Work visa rules for Indian nationals.
Qatar Airways operates direct flights between Doha and about a dozen Indian cities.
While Qatar welcomes Indian citizens to work, finding a job in this prosperous state isn't easy. The Arabization policies ensure that all top jobs go to highly qualified Qatari citizens.
The cost of living in Qatar is reasonably high. However, expatriate Indians can expect a good salary if they find the right employer.
Qatar is a very progressive Arab nation. Hence, it has an ultra-modern infrastructure. Qatari people are friendly and welcome Indians.
2. United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates has remained a top destination for Indians wanting to live and work abroad since the Gulf Boom of the 1970s and 1980s.
At the time, Indian workers of all types would go to seek their fortunes in Dubai- one of the seven emirates that constitute the UAE. Migration to the UAE, or specifically Dubai, was mainly due to jobs created by the oil industry and its resulting prosperity.
While Dubai remains the top favorite among Indians, UAE as a whole is one of the best countries to work and live in.
The reason? The UAE consists of seven different emirates- Abu Dhabi, its capital, Dubai, the financial center, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah, and Ras Al Khaimah.
While Dubai and Abu Dhabi are world-class cities, the Emirati government is now focusing on developing five of the emirates where upgrades of infrastructure and other facilities are necessary. This is generating lots of jobs for Indians.
The UAE encourages Indians with all skills to come and participate in the country's development. Furthermore, UAE also issues Visit, Business, and Work visas to Indians reasonably quickly.
The country has a large Indian diaspora which makes life there a pleasure. There's no shortage of entertainment avenues. Pay scales compare well with those in Europe and US if you have the right skills.
3. Kingdom of Belgium
Belgium is a beautiful country and member state of the European Union. It is strategically located near the Netherlands, France, Germany, and Luxembourg. The Belgian port city of Antwerpen has a significant diamond bourse that serves the world.
Capital Brussels is the seat of the European Union, EU Parliament, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and various other international organizations.
Currently, over 7,000 persons of Indian origin live and work in Belgium. They constitute the third-largest number of migrant workers, with the first two positions taken by the Dutch and French, respectively.
Getting a work visa to Belgium isn't very easy. The country has to comply with European Union and Schengen Treaty laws while hiring foreign workers from non-EU countries.
However, Belgium is a very liberal society. Hence Indians would generally feel welcome here. Belgium also allows expatriate Indian workers to seek nationality upon meeting specific standards.
The Euro is the official currency of Belgium. Living in Belgium is relatively economical compared to its neighbors, Germany and France.
4. Republic of Singapore
Singapore's small island state is popular among Indians as a tourist destination. At the same time, Singapore is also one of the best countries to live and work for Indians.
Singapore shares the title of Far East Asia's business hub and Hong Kong. Therefore, there's no shortage of jobs for Indians in Singapore.
Indians have been part of Singaporean society for centuries. Indeed, the name Singapore itself traces its origins to two Sanskrit words, ‘singha' or lion and ‘pura' or city.
Hence, Indians will feel very much at home in Singapore. The climate of Singapore is also somewhat similar to coastal India- tropical.
Singapore isn't strictly liberal with work visas for Indian citizens; however, it's fairly easy to land an excellent job in this island nation if you have the right qualifications and skills.
The cost of living is pretty high, but so are salaried. Singapore has world-class facilities. The Geylang suburb of Singapore is home to most expatriate Indians though most are from Tamil Nadu.
5. Federative Republic of Brazil
Till recently, going to Brazil was a distant dream for any Indian. Admittedly, it does involve two long flights, including a transit. In late 2019, the Brazilian government began extending the visa-on-arrival facility for Indian citizens.
That's because India is a member of the five-nation BRICS community. And the country wants to welcome Indians with the right skills to help develop its various sectors.
According to the Indian diplomatic mission in Sao Paolo, there're about 9,500 persons of Indian origin in Brazil. Most of them reside in Sao Paolo, which is also the financial hub of South America.
Additionally, several Indian companies, especially from the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector, are opening operations in Brazil. This would send the number of Indians working and living in Brazil soaring higher than the present figure.
Brazil is a multi-racial, multi-ethnic and liberal country like India. In fact, the majority of Brazilians would think you're their compatriot due to skin color and appearance.
Brazilians are warm and welcoming. Hence, you will enjoy your stay in Brazil. The cost of living in Brazil isn't that high unless you wish to calculate your spending in Indian Rupees. The Brazilian Real fetches a reasonable price against the US Dollar.
6. Negara Brunei Darussalam
Negara Brunei Darussalam, or simply Brunei, ranks as Asia's third most prosperous country. People in Brunei enjoy superb lifestyles. The country prefix Darussalam means ‘home of peace.' And yes, Brunei Darussalam is indeed peaceful.
That's partly because Brunei Darussalam implements the strict Islamic law- Sharia. And secondly, because the people of Brunei Darussalam are fun-loving and friendly.
Actually, Brunei Darussalam has a small population of just about half a million locals. Among these are about 10,000 expatriate Indians.
Since the country has a small indigenous population, it depends heavily on migrant labor to handle some of its core sectors.
Internet Technology and Computer Sciences, medicine, and advanced engineering are some skills that will come in handy if you wish to find a job in Brunei Darussalam.
Salaries in Brunei Darussalam for expatriate Indians are incredibly high. The Brunei Ringitt or Brunei Dollar also fetches a very attractive exchange rate against the American Dollar and other global currencies.
The cost of living in Brunei Darussalam compares well with other Asian nations. Hence you can save a lot of money.
7. Republic of South Africa
Indians are no strangers in South Africa. Indeed, they've been living in South Africa much before the much-hyped tour by Mahatma Gandhi and the launch of the non-violence movement.
The expatriate Indian community in those days was mainly traders and merchants. However, all that is rapidly changing today.
For one, South Africa is a member of the BRICS. And various parts of South Africa are in various stages of development.
While there's no shortage of skilled human resources in South Africa, the country relies on India to provide experts in various fields such as IT and healthcare, among others.
Personally, I would rank South Africa as one of the best countries to live and work for Indians. Most South Africans are friendly and have similar traits such as Indians. This is one of the best countries to live in as it is a multi-racial country.
Hence, you won't feel like the odd person out while in South Africa. The nation's currency, Rand, is relatively strong, while the cost of living is very affordable.
South Africa has had several Multinational Companies (MNCs) operating from its soil for decades. Hence, you can find a job here easily. The country is lovely and a nature lover's delight.
Working Abroad Loses Charm
These seven are the best countries to live and work for Indians for several reasons. The charm of living and working abroad is now fading away for most Indians.
- Traditional favorites such as the USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada have sizeable populations of Indian migrants. Hence, they’re reluctant to issue work visas for Indians. You may find getting a job and work visa challenging as an Indian citizen.
- Most MNCs now operate in India in various sectors. They offer salaries comparable to those in US and Europe or other countries. Hence, highly qualified Indians prefer working and living in India rather than abroad.
- India is an active partner in the global war against terror. Hence, Indians are at higher risk of being targeted by terrorists while abroad. There’re incidences where Indians have been terror targets. Extremist groups also target Indians in various countries.
- Western countries are trying to cope with the flood of migrants from strife-torn parts of the world, such as Iraq and Syria, among other places. Hence, they’re no longer welcoming Indian workers unless absolutely necessary for a company.
- Giant economies around the world are trying to reduce unemployment figures in their own countries. Hence, they focus on giving jobs to their citizens over allowing migrant workers.
Given these and other reasons, most Indian workers, especially those with higher qualifications and experience, shun living and working abroad unless absolutely necessary.
There could be any reason you wish to live and work abroad as an Indian. If that's indeed your case, consider these seven countries where you'll be able to find excellent jobs with relative ease.
There's no point in trying to find jobs in countries that are already overcrowded with migrants looking for jobs. Furthermore, a lot of nations are also tightening rules for granting their citizenship to persons of foreign origin.
The same applies to Indians too. Hence your dreams of acquiring foreign citizenship might not realize so quickly. The best country to live in and work for Indians are ones where you won't face many problems.