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Changes in Indian expatriate dreams: younger generation seeks new attractive settlement destinations

Immigration specialists in India have recognised that, in an ever-changing world, the lives of overseas Indians may undergo significant changes in the future. Experts say new generations are opting new ‘pastures’ regardless of traditional countries.

If language was a barrier in the past, it is not a problem for the new generation. They say that as nations grant visas and residency permits and open their doors to Indians, their expatriate ambitions would grow. Ajay Sharma, president of Abhinav Immigration Services, which has been in the field since 1994, says he is seeing new trends in education, employment, and settlement.

Most NRIs based out of India are from the Middle East or English speaking western world. They work primarily in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar etc. The majority of them are settled in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland. They also have a limited presence in other EU member states. This includes IT professionals and businessmen and executives who manage other Indian-owned businesses.

New settlement destinations

According to Ajay Sharma, while the preference for English-speaking nations remains, there may be an influx of Indian expatriates to other countries as well. He cites Japan, Russia, Germany, France, Italy, Portugal, Greece, South Korea, the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, as well as the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland, as new appealing settlement destinations.

Entrepreneur Ajay Sharma has been one of the founders of Global Mobility in India since 1994. He focuses in start-up emigration consulting, citizenship by investment, and residency by investment visas.

Learning a new language is easier at a younger age

Language has been the main challenge thus far when compared to the Western world. To overcome that, the majority of these countries are offering long-term residency options and citizenship for those willing to learn local languages. Foreign language learning is not a challenge for young people.

Various reasons for ‘foreign love’

According to Ajay Sharma, most Indians between the ages of 25 and 40 are more willing to move, get a job and settle abroad. The signs are already to be seen. Germany, France and Russia are developing various schemes to attract Indian students for higher studies. Learning the local language is not an exception; it is a requirement for students.

Baltic countries attract Indian students in medicine and engineering. Another attraction is that they charge a reasonable fee. Indian professionals, especially in ICT, seem to place a lot of importance on working in these countries.

Even Indian high net worth individuals and business people are attracted by the residency options offered by many of these countries. They are attracted to the residency programs available through real estate investments.

Another advantage for them is that majority of the visa options are dual intent in nature. There are options for converting a non-immigrant visa to permanent residency status. Mr Sharma points out that this trend will become more visible in the next two to three decades.

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