FAQ: Where Will Indians Immigrate to in COVID World? Expert Speaks

Why are Canada, UK & Portugal most preferred immigration options for Indians? Immigration advisor answers queries.

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Video Producer: Hera Khan

Want to go abroad for higher studies, work or business? Which countries do Indians prefer? In which country can you easily get permanent residency?

Global immigration trends have currently come to a halt due to coronavirus. However, before the pandemic struck, Indians were immigrating on a large scale. So, what happens now? Where do they prefer to immigrate? And why?

Paresh Karia, immigration advisor and CEO of Acquest Advisors, speaks to The Quint’s Editorial Director Sanjay Pugalia answering these questions.


What are the people who are looking to shift to other countries looking for?

People are looking at options on the basis of healthcare and educational facilities. They are anticipating business shut downs in India and a likely job loss, forcing them to keep job opportunities also as a priority.

Those who are thinking of shifting base right now are thinking about starting over in a new country and a new system.

Which countries are the most preferred?

Indians mostly want to go to English-speaking countries. While until last year the United States was the most preferred destination, in a COVID world, other countries are likely to be preferred by Indians.

Countries like Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand are emerging as more sought-after destinations.

H-1B visa rejection rate has increased from 3 percent to 12 percent.

What is the impact of H-1B visa ban on Indians?

The impact of H-1B visa right now is difficult to ascertain because no one wants to go anyway. But they have said that they will review the petition after December. This must be closely watched and will have a long-term impact.

The outcome of the US presidential elections 2020 will have a huge role to play in this.


Why are more and more people moving to Canada?

Unlike other countries, Canada has a population of 3.8 crore – a big country with very few number of people. They are welcoming and want people to come and invest in Canada.

The country is not looking at money but at people who can contribute to their economy.

There are three kind of visas that are sought after:

  1. The Express entry system which prefers those with Masters degree, have good English-speaking skills, work experience of more than 3 years in a good company and is less than 30 years of age.
  2. Businessmen who can set up businesses and create employment and contribute to the economy.
  3. Startup visa where Canada aims at attracting talent who can come up with good business ideas and take it on a global level.

What are the best places for Indians to immigrate to?

  • Finland
  • Norway
  • Denmark
  • Switzerland
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Portugal
  • Japan

Why is Portugal a preferred destination among High Net Worth Individuals?

  • It’s easy to get permanent residency in Portugal
  • A person needs to invest in properties in Portugal to get permanent residency
  • They need to spend only seven days a year in Portugal to maintain residency
  • A person becomes eligible for Portugal passport after 6 years of residency, giving them access to entire the European Union.

What is the trend in Gulf countries?

You cannot migrate to Gulf countries. You always have to come back to India. But a lot of Indians in the Gulf would want to settle in other countries like Canada and UK. But right now, due to COVID, Indians are coming back to the country as a result of job uncertainties.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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