Living abroad
May 18, 2024
Reading Time: 13 min

Top 12 Countries to Migrate From India: Which Countries are Easy to Get PR or Citizenship

About 18 million Indians live abroad. They have moved to other countries to seek better jobs or business opportunities, enrol in a high-grade school or university or improve their families’ quality of life in other ways.

Let’s observe the list of countries with developed economies, good opportunities for entrepreneurship or making a career, and quality education and healthcare. Some of them are easier for Indians to immigrate to because of residency-by-investment programs.

Lyle Julien
Lyle Julien

Listed the countries that may be suitable for migration from India

Best countries to migrate from India in 2023

Top 12 Countries to Migrate From India: Which Countries are Easy to Get PR or Citizenship

Things to consider when moving abroad from India

Some parameters may be crucial when choosing a country to become your second home. There’s a list of valuable indicators to take into account.

Ease of getting residency. To live in another country legally, one needs a long-term visa or a residence permit. In some countries, the requirements to get them are quite soft, and in other ones acquiring a document to relocate can be a challenging task.

Residency-by-investment programs may help you get permits for yourself and your family under favourable conditions without learning a new language or searching for a job to get the right to relocate. All you need to do is to invest in the country’s economy, for example, by purchasing a property or starting a business, and undergo a government Due Diligence check.

Quality of life includes different parameters, such as environment, level of security and freedom, and opportunities to live to the fullest. One can choose a safe country with a good ecological situation, comfortable climate, and easy access to high-grade medical care and schools or universities for children to move there.

Cost of living also matters when choosing a country to relocate to. Some countries, like the UAE, the UK or the US, are quite expensive to live in, while prices in Portugal are relatively low.

For example, a family of four needs about $3,500 in Dubai or nearly $4,000 in Los Angeles or London per month, excluding rent. In Lisbon, Portugal’s capital, the same family will need about $2,500 to cover their everyday expenses.

Taxation is another aspect to consider. In some countries, like the UAE, there are no taxes for individuals, or they’re pretty low. The taxes in the US or European countries are usually higher than those in India.

Property taxes are also important if you wish to buy real estate in the country of residence. Purchasing and owning a home usually leads to additional expenses; however, some exceptions, like Malta and the UAE, don’t imply annual property tax.

Business opportunities differ from country to country. In some countries, registering a company and doing business is quite easy.

New Zealand took first place in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 ranking based on how easy it is to start a business, pay taxes, get a loan, etc. The US and the UK were included in the top 10.

Indian diaspora. A community of fellow citizens abroad may help you adapt to a new country.

According to the UN, about 17.9 million Indians lived abroad in 2020. Most of them resided in the Middle East states and the USA. The UK, Australia and Canada were among the top 10 destinations to relocate from India.

Top 10 countries with the most Indian migrants in 2020:

au-flag 10. Australia — 579,000 migrants.

qa-flag 9. Qatar — 702,000 migrants.

ca-flag 8. Canada — 720,000 migrants.

gb-flag 7. UK — 835,000 migrants.

kw-flag 6. Kuwait — 1.15 mln migrants.

om-flag 5. Oman — 1.38 mln migrants.

pk-flag 4. Pakistan — 1.6 mln migrants.

sa-flag 3. Saudi Arabia — 2.5 mln migrants.

gb-flag 2. USA — 2.72 mln migrants.

ae-flag 1. UAE — 3.47 mln migrants.

The English language is widely spoken in most countries on our list. This makes life easier when it comes to communication with the locals.

Time for getting citizenship may be important only if you’re ready to refuse the Indian passport to get a stronger one. India doesn’t allow its nationals to get multiple citizenships. It’s a punishable law offence to continue using an Indian passport after acquiring citizenship in another country.

However, since 2005, foreign nationals who were citizens of India or were eligible for its citizenship may acquire the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI). It allows one to visit India anytime without registration with the police authorities, but its owners are not entitled to vote or hold government posts.

Some listed countries provide investors with citizenship under government programs, and others require living in the country for a long time to apply for this status.

The common period of residence required for naturalisation in EU countries is 5—10 years, and one must live for 30+ years to apply for citizenship in the UAE.

ae-flag The United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates is an attractive destination to move to. The country has a strong and stable economy, a diverse cultural environment and a good quality of life in general. And the UAE’s tax policy makes it even more attractive for expats: individuals don’t pay taxes on their income, inheritance, gifts or capital gains.

In 2021, the Global Finance magazine named the UAE the second safest country in the world. The risk of natural disaster, crime, terrorism or war was considered.

The Emirates have the largest Indian diaspora. It was about 3.5 million in 2020, nearly a third of the country’s population. That’s why the Emirates is considered the easiest country for Indians to fit into.

More than 80% of UAE residents are foreign expats. That’s why English is the most common language there, although the official language in the UAE is Arabic. Hindi and Urdu are also commonly spoken.

UAE residence visas are available to investors, entrepreneurs, highly qualified professionals, and other foreigners.

The visa is issued for 1 to 10 years, depending on the grounds. For example, if an entrepreneur registers a business there, they can get a 3-year visa. Real estate investors get 2-year visas if they buy properties for AED 750,000 (≈ $204,000) and 10-year visas if purchasing properties for AED 2,000,000 (≈ $545,000).

Individual cost calculation of the UAE Golden Visa

Individual cost calculation of the UAE Golden Visa

us-flag The USA

The United States of America has the second largest Indian diaspora in the world: about 2.7 million migrants live there.

The country is attractive to expats because of opportunities for its residents. Indians can build a career or run a business there. The best universities in the world, like Harvard, Stanford or MIT, are situated in the USA. The country’s hospitals are also on top, especially when it comes to modern methods of treatment.

Additionally, the USA is home to some of the world’s most iconic cities, such as New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, which offer a unique and exciting lifestyle.

Investors from India can participate in the EB‑5 Immigrant Investor Program and get an immigrant visa. To acquire residency, they need to invest at least $800,000 in a commercial enterprise in the US and plan to create or preserve 10+ permanent full-time jobs.

A US immigrant visa allows one to get a green card and apply for citizenship after five years if one wishes.

gb-flag The UK

Reasons to choose the UK to live in include highly developed infrastructure and a strong economy that make it an ideal place for Indians to pursue their career and business aspirations. Also, the UK has a strong cultural connection with India, with a large Indian diaspora in the country and a wide range of Indian restaurants, shops, and cultural events.

The UK offers world-class healthcare and education to its residents. The country is home to famous universities, such as Oxford and Cambridge. In 2020, Ceoworld Magazine named the British education system the most well-developed in the world.

Finally, moving to the UK gives one a chance to have a new exciting experience. Expats can visit a wide range of cultural attractions, from the historic sites of London to the stunning countryside of Scotland, and enjoy a thriving music and art scene, with various festivals and events throughout the year.

Unfortunately, there’s no residency-by-investment program in the UK at the time. One should have particular reasons to move there, like a new job, entering a university or starting a business.

Best countries to move from India — the UK

In 2023, London got the title of the World’s Best City for the seventh year in a row. The city is especially notable when it comes to diversity, including the amount of foreign-born residents

ca-flag Canada

Canada is consistently ranked as one of the best countries in the world for quality of life, education and economic opportunities. According to the United Nations Human Development Index, Canada is among the highest-ranked countries in the world; the index measures achievements in human development, like longevity, health, education and standard of living.

For Indian immigrants, Canada offers a range of economic and educational opportunities. The country has a strong and vibrant economy, a strong social safety net, with generous welfare and healthcare systems.

Canada is also a great place to live due to its diversity. The country is home to a large Indian diaspora, and Indian culture is celebrated and respected. Additionally, Canada is one of the most tolerant countries in the world, with strong anti-discrimination laws and a commitment to human rights.

Migration to Canada is possible in different ways. Highly qualified professionals in some areas, such as medical care or STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), can use the Express Entry route. Also, some regional programs are oriented toward the needs of the local labour markets.

pt-flag Portugal

Portugal is one of the best countries for expats due to its welcoming atmosphere, high standard of living and relatively low consumer prices compared to the UK or the USA. Also, beautiful landscapes and clean and comfortable beaches on the Atlantic Ocean coast are among the reasons to consider Portugal as a place to move to.

The official language of the country is Portuguese. However, most adult residents are good in English: the country took 9th place in the EF English Proficiency Index.

The country has a competitive level of healthcare and a life expectancy of 82 years. Children can get high-quality education; courses at universities are in Portuguese or English.

New tax residents may get the beneficial status of Non-habitual Tax Resident (NHR) in Portugal. It allows one to pay the income tax at a flat rate of 20% instead of using the progressive scale of up to 48%. The flat tax rate of 10% applies to pensions, and there may be no tax on foreign income if some requirements are fulfilled.

Residency in Portugal can be obtained in several ways. These are among the most popular ones:

  1. The Golden Visa is a path for those who purchase real estate, securities or invest in other assets. The minimum investment in real estate is €280,000.

  2. The D7 Visa is designed for financially independent foreigners with a stable passive income from abroad.

  3. The StartUp Visa allows entrepreneurs to get residency if they offer innovative projects and get approval from the Portuguese business incubator and a government agency IAPMEI.

Ojasvat, 36 years old

One of the Indian IT company founders

A Portugal Golden Visa for an Indian entrepreneur

Mahit, Ishir and Ojasvat have an IT company in India. They decided to open a branch in the EU to be established in the European market.

Portugal grants residency by investment to those who open a company and creates ten jobs. The partners considered it a suitable option, and Ojasvat got a Golden Visa with the help of Immigrant Invest.

Learn a case

After five years of residency, one can apply for permanent residence or citizenship in Portugal. An applicant should fulfil some requirements, for example, confirm the basic knowledge of the Portuguese language.

The Portuguese passport is a strong one: it allows one to enter 188 countries visa-free, including the entire Schengen area, the UK, the USA, Canada and Australia. Also, Portugal citizens can settle in other EU countries under a simplified procedure, run a business or work there, and get education and treatment under beneficial terms.

Portugal allows dual citizenship, so it may be possible for former Indian citizens to apply for OCI.

Individual cost calculation of the residence permit in Portugal

Individual cost calculation of the residence permit in Portugal

mt-flag Malta

Malta offers an affordable cost of living, a high quality of life with a high level of security, and an expat-friendly environment. Also, this Mediterranean country has a warm climate, beautiful beaches and spots for diving and surfing.

About 90% of Malta’s residents speak English. The country is even famous for its language schools.

The Maltese healthcare system was the 11th in the world in terms of residents’ access to all necessary services, according to Statista. Education in the country is also pretty good: one can find private schools with programs built based on the UK or US standards and university courses in English.

The Maltese tax system may seem beneficial in comparison with some other EU countries. For example, shareholders may return up to 100% of the corporate tax paid by companies they participate in. Income tax for individuals is up to 35%, which is lower than in some other states.

Also, foreigners can apply for residency in Malta and pay taxes under a special regime; for example, that’s how the Global Residence Programme works.

Malta permanent residence can be obtained by investment; the application processing time is 4—6 months. The status is life-long. Its holders can move to Malta and travel to the Schengen Area for 90 days in 180.

Rajesh, 57 years old

Has a banking business

Malta permanent residence for a large Indian family

Rajesh wanted to get residency in an EU country to raise children in a country with a high standard of living, give them a proper education and get new business opportunities.

The investor chose to participate in the Malta Permanent Residence Programme. He included his spouse and children in the application, including those from his first marriage. Acquiring Malta permanent residence took 8.5 months.

After getting residence permits, Rajesh, with his spouse and two younger children, moved to Malta.

Learn a case

Malta citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services by direct investment may be another option to consider. It requires an investment of €690,000+ and allows one to apply for a passport after a year or three of residence. With a Malta passport, one can get the freedom of movement, a better quality of life for their families and new opportunities for running an international business.

Malta allows dual citizenship, so a former Indian citizen with a Maltese passport may be eligible for OCI.

Comparison of citizenship and residency by investment programs

Practical Guide

Comparison of citizenship and residency by investment programs

au-flag Australia

Australia is a great place to move to, as evidenced by its high rankings in various areas. According to the United Nations Human Development Index, Australia is the fifth-highest country in the world for the quality of life parameters like healthy life, level of education and standard of living. Also, there are a lot of job and business opportunities.

The Australian education system is one of the best globally. The public school system is excellent and well-funded, and universities provide world-class education.

The country has a diverse range of climates, from tropical savanna in the north to moderate Mediterranean in the south. Additionally, Australia has stunning natural landscapes, beautiful beaches, vibrant cities, and unique wildlife.

The Australian Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa is one of the possible routes for relocation. It allows one to run a business in the country and conduct investment activities. The visa has several streams for particular categories of applicants, including entrepreneurs or investors. Most streams require an investment of AUD 1.25—5 million.

nz-flag New Zealand

A developed and stable economy, vast business opportunities, a low unemployment rate and a high standard of living are reasons to move to New Zealand. The country was ranked second in the Global Peace Index 2022, indicating a superior safety level.

In 2020, New Zealand took first place in the Doing Business ranking, which means it’s pretty easy to register and manage a company in the country. Furthermore, the government has implemented a range of initiatives to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship.

The country is renowned for its stunning landscapes, with beautiful beaches, mountains, and forests. It also has a low population density, meaning there is plenty of room to explore and enjoy the outdoors.

Investors can get an Active Investor Plus Visa, which allows them to stay in New Zealand indefinitely. The required investment amount is NZD 15 million (≈ $9.54 million). Other paths are available to those who wish to work, run a business or study in the country.

Best countries to move from India — New Zealand

Wellington, a New Zealand city, is the world’s southernmost capital. It is famous for stunning views, beautiful beaches and vibrant outdoor events

gr-flag Greece

The warm Mediterranean climate, picturesque landscapes, beautiful beaches, a lot of opportunities for outdoor activities, vibrant and diverse culture and delicious food are among the reasons to consider Greece as a country for relocation.

Living in Greece is affordable compared to other European countries, like Germany, France or Switzerland. Residents get access to the country’s education and healthcare systems. English proficiency in Greece is pretty high, so that communication won’t be a problem.

Greece offers a Golden Visa by investment of at least €250,000. The most popular option is the purchase of the real estate. Compared to other EU Golden Visas, Greece offers the lowest threshold of property investment to get residency.

The Golden Visa allows one to live and study in the country and visit other Schengen states for 90 days in 180.

Will you obtain a residence permit in Greece?

Practical Guide

Will you obtain a residence permit in Greece?

cy-flag Cyprus

Reasons to consider Cyprus for relocation include its Mediterranean climate, good environment, quality healthcare and education. Also, the country has a diverse culture and a lot of English speakers: so it may be easy to fit in.

Tax incentives are among the main benefits of living in Cyprus. For example, new tax residents don’t pay a Special Defence Contribution, and capital gains from selling securities are not taxed. The corporate tax is 12,5%, one of the lowest in the EU.

Investors can get a Cyprus permanent residence permit. The minimum investment amount is €300,000: applicants may purchase properties, shares in Cypriot companies or securities. The status is life-long.

Residents may move to Cyprus and apply for citizenship after five years of living there if they wish.

Will you obtain Cyprus permanent residence?

Practical Guide

Will you obtain Cyprus permanent residence?

es-flag Spain

Good quality of life, a high level of security, picturesque landscapes, rich culture and delicious food are among the reasons to move to Spain. Additionally, there are about 320 sunny days a year in Costa del Sol, the country’s southern region. It’s an excellent choice for a vibrant lifestyle.

The Spanish economy is one of the most important economies in Europe, and it’s quite easy to run a business there.

Spain offers a Golden Visa by investment of at least €500,000. The most popular and low-cost option is the purchase of the real estate. The visa allows one to move to the country or create a “safe haven” there, work or run a business and travel to other Schengen states visa-free.

Best countries to move from India — the UK

Barcelona took the 6th place in the World’s Best Cities ranking in 2023. The city has three miles of beaches, iconic architecture and good weather nearly all year round

at-flag Austria

Austria is one of the most developed and prosperous countries in the world. It has a stable economy, a high standard of living, and wonderful education and healthcare systems. It is pretty safe, with a low crime rate and other risks for its residents — that’s why it took 5th place in the Global Peace Index 2023.

The official language of Austria is German; however, about 73% of Austrians speak English.

Stunning architecture and landscapes, good ecology and developed infrastructure, are among the additional benefits one can enjoy after relocation to Austria.

Financially independent foreigners may apply for residency in Austria. They must rent or buy housing, prove they have legal sources of income outside the country and speak German at the A1 level or higher.

Resident permit holders must spend at least 183 days a year in Austria. For example, the remaining time may be used for travelling to other Schengen countries, which are visa-free for 90 days in 180 with an Austrian residence permit.

Sum up: what are the best countries to immigrate from India?

  1. Ease of getting residency, Indian diaspora, quality and cost of living, tax policy and business opportunities are important when choosing a country to migrate from India.

  2. India doesn’t allow dual citizenship, so time and conditions for getting a passport are important only if one is ready to renounce Indian citizenship.

  3. The largest Indian diaspora is in the UAE: 3.5 million Indians live there. Also, the USA, the UK, Canada and Australia are in the top 10 countries popular for migration.

  4. The choice of a country to move to depends on your goals. For example, the UAE, New Zealand, Austria and Portugal are pretty secure places to live, and the USA and the UK provide a lot of opportunities for children’s education and running a business.

  5. Some countries, such as Portugal, Malta, Greece, Cyprus, Spain or the UAE, may be easier to move to than others because of their residency‑by‑investment programs.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for citizenship and residence by investment programs in the EU, the Caribbean, Asia, and the Middle East. Take advantage of our global 15-year expertise — schedule a meeting with our investment programs experts.

Ultimate comparison of Golden Visa programs

Practical Guide

Ultimate comparison of Golden Visa programs

Frequently asked questions

  • What are the best countries to migrate from India?

    The choice of a country depends on one’s goals or desired lifestyle. However, some countries may be a good choice because of their thriving economies, vast opportunities for education and career advancement, and high level of security and quality of life.

    The UAE is home to the largest Indian diaspora. The USA, the UK, Canada and Australia are among the top 10 most popular destinations for Indian migrants. Some other countries, like Portugal, Malta, Greece, Spain, Austria, Cyprus or New Zealand, may be suitable.

  • Which is the easiest country to migrate from India?

    One of the easiest countries to move from India is the UAE: about a third of the country’s residents are Indians. The country grants residence visas to professionals, freelancers, business owners, retirees and investors.

  • Which countries are popular among Indians to migrate to?

    The list of 10 countries with the largest Indian diasporas includes the following:

    1. The UAE.

    2. The USA.

    3. Saudi Arabia.

    4. Pakistan.

    5. Oman.

    6. Kuwait.

    7. The UK.

    8. Canada.

    9. Qatar.

    10. Australia.

  • Which country gives citizenship easily to Indians?

    There are several countries with more convenient terms of getting citizenship than those in most states. For example, in Portugal or Cyprus, an investor may apply for citizenship after five years of residence. Malta grants citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services by direct investment after 1 or 3 years.

    India doesn’t allow dual citizenship, so obtaining another passport will lead to the first citizenship deprivation. That’s why acquiring a residence permit may be a better choice in some cases.

  • Which countries grant permanent residence easily?

    Malta and Cyprus grant permanent residence by investment, without the common requirement to live in the country for five years. The application processing time is several months.

  • Where can Indians get residency or citizenship by investment?

    Portugal, Malta, Greece, the UAE and some other countries grant residence by investment.

    Citizenship-by-investment programs are available for Indians, too. The most popular are those in Turkey, Vanuatu and the Caribbean countries.