NRI(Non-Resident Indian) FAQ's
Can I use my US-based cellphone in India???
The usual cell phones used in USA are CDMA-based and hence you cannot
use it in India.But if you have the tri-band phones which both AT&T and T-Mobile
are using by default can be used in India if it is a Tri-band
phone.Hence the new handset can be used anywhere in the world where GSM
is used.I personally prefer the GSM technology over CDMA simply because
it is used in more then 170 countries and hence your handset can work
in some many places compared to CDMA which can only work in US and
Currently I use pre-paid cell phone service from .There is no recurring monthly fees,no service charges, and no contract.
Also if you are buying a new cell-phone please consider donating your old cell-phone to Support Network for Battered Woman or Wireless Foundation.
I want to buy/renovate a house in India.Can I get a loan for this???
Here are the banks which can NRI's
State Bank of India
Citibank NRI Housing Loans
What is the best and easy way to send money to India in an emergency???
If you don't have an account like the Citibank NRI checking account
or State Bank of India checking account then there two ways you can do
Western Union.They have
thousands of location in every corner of the world and the money can be
picked up anywhere.The only disadvantage is that it is quite exepnsive
i.e. $39 for upto $3000.Also there is a limitation that you can only
send maximum $2500.
Remit 2 India.This is a Times Of India company.I have not tried it till now.
There is a comparison article on Times of Indias website of Western Union and Remit 2 India.
Of course the comparison is biased and one important thing which
Times of India doesnt mention and is hidden in their faq is that it
takes minimum 3-4 days for the money to be delivered.So to some extent
I feel that Western Union is better as they pretty much guarantee that
the money will be available with 30 mins anywhere in the world.
Which are good/cheap calling cards for India.??
I have started writing about the latest calling cards which i have been using on a separate page
I want to return to India.Is there a site which has information
about various rules and regulations and relocation help for returning
Return 2 India
I would like to invite vistiors to US.While in US they will be
visiting multiple locations by air.Is there any discount facility
available for such kind of visitors??
You can get a VUSA coupon.
We/Our parents are strict vegetarians.We find it difficult to find
vegetarian food at many places.Is there a cooker available which can be
used with an electric outlet so that we can take it wherever we go??
is really very good.We have used it for boiling potatoes,making
khicdis,maggi and so many more things.Instead of buying a rice cooker I
would really suggest this as it can also be used for making rice.You
can buy it online from Target for about $25.Really worth the price.
If you are calling your parents/visitors to US you might want to consider this health plan for visitor Visas.
heard that these folks are pretty good.
The best thing is that all medical claims are settled
in US and you dont have to pay upfront medical costs.
Another new player who has joined this market is Tata-AIG.Their
website doesnt say much but I have heard that they give you insurance
only for 90 days after which you have to renew it.I think it would be
worth taking a look at it.
New India Assurance Company.This
is a company in India which has health coverage for visitors.It is
quite cheap compared to the health Insurance if you buy it in US.
Please Note : To the best of my knowledge no visitor insurance covers pre-existing medical conditions.
I would prefer if someone could accompany my parents while
travelling when they come from India is there any website which can
help me coordinate with other folks ??
Sulekha.com has a page where you can check out for Travel Companions.
We/our kids are citizens of other countries like US,Canada etc but
we were born in India.Is there any way in which we/our children can
still enjoy some benefits like no visa required to travel to
India,ability to buy land in India etc??
PIO cards are meant for this purpose.
Some of the benefits of these cards are
· Visa-free entry into India for fifteen years- revised from the earlier validity period of 20 years.
· Exemption from the requirement of registration at the
Foreigners' Regional Registration Office if the period of stay in India
does not exceed 180 days. In the event of continuous stay for more than
180 days, the PIO card holder will have to register himself/herself at
the concerned FRRO office.
· PIO card holders shall enjoy parity with NRIs in respect
of facilities available in economic, financial and educational fields
except matters relating to acquisition of agricultural/ plantation
properties. The facilities will include the ability to acquire, hold,
transfer or dispose of immovable properties in India (except
agricultural/ plantation properties), open rupee accounts in India,
lend in rupees to Indian residents, make investments in India etc.
· Admission of children in educational institutions in
India in the general category quota for NRIs including Medical,
Engineering colleges, IITs & IIMs.
· Eligibility for various Housing schemes under Life
Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) or Central/State Governments.All
future benefits extended to NRIs would also be available to PIO card
Are there any radio programs online/on-air for Indo-Americans??
Bollywood Beat is transmitted both on-the-air and they also have the show archived so that you can listen to it online.
Garam Chai is transmitted over the air every thursday morning 6am to 9 am.
India FM is a website which also has online radio with various classifications.
is transmitted over the air every thursday morning 6am to 9 am in the bayarea.
Is there a list of Travel Agents which provide competitive prices to India from US.??
Path2USA has a long listing of travel agents all over the US for tickets to India.
Are there any good portals for NRI's which have lists of travel agents, grocery stores, restaurants and other things Indian??
I would like to get politically involved in Indo-US relationships.Are there any organisations sepcially focussed on it??
US India Political Action Commitee is the organization which focuses on Indo-US relationships.
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