The lure of foreign shores is often compelling. Indians have sought life abroad in droves, be it for a better future for self or for one's children, better work and career opportunities, better facilities to utilise one's skills or for the simple reason of earning big money in dollar, euro or dirham. Some of the money can be ploughed back to your home country for family needs or your own old-age security should you decide to come back later. With their talent, skills and willingness to take up diverse jobs, Indians have made their way into virtually every country.
The Indian diaspora is one of the largest communities living outside their own country. Official figures put it at 2.5 crore. Little wonder that remittances into India have been the highest in the world for several years now. According to the World Bank, India topped with $70 billion remittances in 2013, followed by China with $60 billion. In 2012, India topped with $69 billion remittance, while the previous year too it took the top slot with $58 billion. Are you one of those who are looking out? The world economy is looking up a bit after the 2008 slump triggered by the global financial crisis. The doors may be opened slightly wider by many countries for letting in skilled manpower to power their economies. If they do, Indians will surely be right on top of the preferred list.
If you happen to get an overseas call and are willing to pack your bags, there are a few financial issues you must attend to before you board the flight. How do you go about organising your finances? What do you do with the bank accounts that are operational at home? How do you service the loans that you might have taken? Should you hold on to your stocks and mutual fund investments? Do you need the life and health insurance covers that you purchased? What are the tax implications of the move abroad? And what are the first steps you need to take to organise your personal finance when you land abroad to take up the new job? In our cover story, we bring to you the answers to all these questions. In fact, if you are one of those who are secretly harbouring the desire to seek an overseas opportunity but don't know how to go about it, we also tell you some of the basic steps you need to take to get yourself going and the immigration requirements of some of the countries. However, since every country has different laws and regulations, we have limited ourselves to some of the major markets that Indians generally seek to relocate, including USA, Australia, UK and UAE.
In a globalised world, it is in the fitness of things to have a global dream. Millions of Indians have found homes abroad and you could be one of them. Just make sure you have the loose ends tied before you leave.
SARBAJEET K SEN