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Family Members and Marriage for Expats in India

Author: Jim Newham
Submitted: September 2013

Family Members

Ideally, when you immigrate to another country, you are able to bring your partner and children with you at the same time. If this is not financially or otherwise possible, you may need to spend some time working in India, and possibly sending money to your home country to help support your family. Once you have started to familiarise yourself with India, found some suitable family accommodation and perhaps looked into schools and such things, you may find it easier to move the rest of your family into the country.

Health will of course be an important concern for you and your family. You should easily be able to afford to pay for medical attention as and when you need it. However, you will find that the quality of such health care is variable. Hence it is definitely worth considering taking out health insurance. If you are moving to India to work, your company may provide this as one of your benefits. If this is not the case, it is best to shop around in order to find health insurance that matches your needs. You may need to pay a little more to make sure you are guaranteed access to high quality care.

There are some excellent, well-established international schools in the major Indian cities. Though more schools are currently being built, there is still a shortage of places at present. It is therefore best to be ready to apply as soon as you can after arrival. In the meantime, you may have to use a local private school or Indian state school. Note that there is a trade-off between the quality of school and the distance to get there every morning. It may be better to go for a school that is closer by than have to deal with long-distance commute, especially in busier cities where traffic jams are the norm.

In most schools, teaching is in English, though in larger cities you can also find schools teaching in other languages such as French, German and Japanese. The school curriculum will either be the Indian national curriculum or that of the school’s host country. At higher level, the International Baccalaureate is followed in most schools. Enrolment fees range from US$5,000 to $22,000, though in many cases such fees can be covered as part of your salary package. For a list of international schools in India, see this webpage:

https://india.english-schools.org/

 

Marriage

Many people come to India to celebrate their wedding. Alternatively, you may already be resident in India and want to get married there. The western states of Goa and Rajasthan are the most popular destinations. If you are visiting India to get married, you should allow a minimum of 60 days before the ceremony takes place. First, either the bride or groom has to be registered as currently residing in India. For more details on this, see the Registration subsection of ‘Settlement, Residence and Citizenship’. After residing in India for 30 days, the bride or groom can submit a Notice of Intended Marriage to the local registry office.

This notice then has to be displayed in the registry office for a period of 30 days. This is to give time to anyone who wishes to raise an objection to the marriage. Next, before the marriage can be solemnised, the bride and groom must sign a declaration that they are eligible to get married. The wedding ceremony can then take place, either in the registry office or in an approved location nearby. When the ceremony is completed, the couple are given a marriage certificate and are formally married.

 

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