R2I Guide

Meenal and I returned to India at the end of October, 2010 and moved into our apartment in Gurgaon, Delhi 2 weeks later.

Here are R2I tips in 5 sections – before R2I, shipping to India, after returning to India, working in India and final thoughts about our R2I experiment.

Before R2I / Return to India

July 4th in Washington DC

  1. Why did we return to India (R2I)?
    • Why and when did we return to India
    • The heart-to-heart with the spouse deciding to return to India
    • The talk with family after deciding to return to India
  2. Uncle Sam, can I come back to USA if I stop enjoying curry?
    • US Citizenship before R2I
    • US permanent residency/green card – Get I-131 re-entry permit before R2I, maintenance requirements after R2I
    • Indian permanent residency – Get Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) visa before R2I
  3. R2I expectations – what will it take to make us like India?
    • Money and personal finance goals after we return to India
    • Material things after R2I
    • Health and sports after we return to India
    • Relationships after we return to India
    • Working in India after R2I
    • Intellectual stuff and hobbies after R2I
    • Emotions and wisdom (touchy feely stuff) after R2I
  4. Your stuff in America – minimize before returning to India
  5. Financial – personal finance before you return to India
    • Banking – U.S. bank accounts, Indian bank accounts (NRE or NRO), linking US and Indian bank accounts
    • Credit and Debit cards – charges, exchange rates, setup for international transactions before you return to India
    • 401 K – Adjust deductions early in the year to maximize contributions, move money to traditional IRA 1 month after quitting work
    • Vacation balances – use them or cash out before you return to India?
  6. Work
    • Talk to your current employer about an internal move – pending promotions, yearly salary increase, etc. before setting a date to return to India
    • Network with Indian employers months before you return to India
    • Interview with Indian employers 30 days before you return to India
  7. Healthcare
    • U.S. health insurance and coverage after you return to India
    • Physical and dental exams before you return to India
    • Local health insurance in India
  8. Other
    • Get an international driving license before returning to India (Go to AAA with someone who is a member)

Shipping TO INDIA, CUSTOMS DUTY in India, to-dos before flying out

Flying out of Logan with 7 Israeli military bags

  1. Work
    • Leaving your current employer before R2I – final expense reports, backup work computer, cancel corporate credit card, return laptop and other equipment
    • Goodbye emails at work before R2I
  2. U.S. healthcare to-dos before R2I
    • Get maximum allowable Rx (including birth control pills) before you return to India
  3. Closing apartment in USA
    • U.S. home utilities before R2I
    • U.S. postal mail forwarding to your new address in India
  4. Things to carry to India – shopping list for R2I
  5. Flying out – last steps before you return to India

AFTER R2I – first 60 DAYS SETUP

Meenal painting a hideous green

  1. After R2I – How is our quality of life?
  2. Shopping after R2I – get ready for sticker shock and not in a good way
  3. After R2I – Internet, news & media
  4. Legal matters after you return to India
    • OCI visa holders – relax, no need to register with Indian Police
    • Foreign passport holders – register with your local consulate
  5. Healthcare
    • Buying local health insurance after you return to India
    • Gym costs and sports facilities after you return to India
  6. Financial – money matters after our return to India
    • Banking after R2I – Moving money between USA and India, declaring Indian bank accounts with U.S. treasury, getting a salaried account through your employer
    • Foreign and Indian credit cards after you return to India
    • Cash is king after you return to India (sometimes)
    • Income tax after our return to India – US IRS and Indian tax laws, PAN number in India (equivalent of social security number)
  7. Work
  8. Socializing after our return to India
    • Refreshing old relationships after our return to India
    • Making new friends after our return to India
      • Expat organizations to meet other world citizens after our return to India
      • Local organizations to meet fellow Indians after R2I
    • Keeping in touch with friends in U.S.A. after our return to India
    • Using Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogging (Delhi Ledger), etc. to keep in touch after R2I

AFTER R2I RETURNING TO INDIA – living and working in Gurgaon

  1. What’s life like 60 days after our return to India?
  2. Social
  3. Work in India

FINAL Verdict ON OUR R2I EXPERIMENT

  1. The heart-to-heart with the spouse
  2. The joint press release of Ms. Bagla and Mr. Jeloka – You are all invited