Retirement to India is extremely attractive for westerners, particularly due to the power of foreign currency in India. With about £500 in your pocket for a month you can be very comfortable. Retirees can have the comfort of financial independence and even be spoilt by easily finding cheap household help.
Each year over 3000 foreigners apply for extensions to stay in the coastal area of Goa, probably one of the most popular tourist destinations because of its idyllic scenery. But the Goa home department have rejecting these applications citing that it is against Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) rules.
As Special secretary Diwan Chand says, “We are acting as per the MEA’s visa manual.” The foreigner’s registration office has even been accused of telling those wanting to retire there to go home.
However many question how this can be legal and as a result India has been labelled as hypocrites by critics. This is because the government constantly vie for easier visa rules for their citizens going abroad but do not reciprocate this when it come to retirement permits.
So what options do people who dream to retire in India have? “Well options are slim for those wanting to purely retire,” says Brian Palmer of www.globalvisas.com, the specialists in global mobility.
“But if you are married to someone of Indian origin or have some Indian ancestry things are easier. Otherwise business, student or employment visas are the other ways to get into India for extended periods,” he adds. However there are still restrictions to these such as time restrictions and the like.
It is the beauty, history and culture that attract people year after year to the land of India. And for some people, it is reasons like this that make it seem an ideal place to spend your final years – this however is difficult to achieve.