Why do NRIs return to India?

Main R2I (Return-to-India) reasons for NRIs abroad

Over the recent  years, a reverse trend is starting to take shape. A large number of overseas NRIs are returning home, and many more are considering the option. The reasons for R2I – return to India – vary from personal to business to emotional; some of the main ones are:

More job opportunities in a booming Indian economy: As Indian economy keeps on growing, year after year; there are more opportunities available in India compared to old days. The IT field continues to expand, creating demand for international professionals. The economic revolution that started in 1991 has reformed India into one of the major players on the world stage.

Slow down in America and other developed countries: The global markets are going through some of the worse economic recessions of all times. The unemployment in USA is at its highest in many decades. The bleak outlook in job markets and uncertain future abroad is one of the reasons for many immigrants to consider returning home.

Going back ‘Home’:The sense of belonging makes a big difference when deciding on the future path. It feels good to be back and going back to the roots. Being a part of our own culture, our own society is a major psychological boost.

Family reasons: Some NRIs go back to India for family reasons. This could be – to take care of the elders who need support in the old age, or to look after the family property etc. Most of the NRIs have some members of family in India – a bond that always has its pull.

Starting a business or Property investment: Many NRIs like to invest in properties back home, or they start their own business. If the business or the investment succeeds, many prefer to spend more time in India than abroad, or ultimately settle back home.

Financial Freedom: The money situation is often the main instrument in deciding the future path. Many NRIs, who have saved/invested enough and no longer feel the financial burden of day-to-day life,  prefer to go back and enjoy the financial freedom. The conveniences such as NRI Banking and modernizing facilities add to the attraction.

Charity or educational work: As a part of ‘giving back’ to the mother land, many NRIs seriously consider going back to help out in one way or another. Doing charity work, working for NGO, educating and helping the poor neighborhoods, contributing to developing Indian infrastructure with the knowledge gained abroad are some of the means toward this noble goal. The ‘brain drain’ is paying back as a ‘brain gain’.

Early Education and Indian language exposure for the kids: Many desi parents find it important to expose their kids to the Indian language and the best way to achieve this is by living in an Indian society. Quite a few NRIs feel a compelling need, at least temporarily, to return to India with their kids to raise them in Indian culture, speaking mother tongue…

Manmohan Singh is calling:The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is welcoming the overseas Indians with open Arms. During his recent visit to America, he made a public call to all NRIs, “Let me take this opportunity to extend an invitation to all Indian Americans and non-resident Indians who wish to return home to India in one capacity or another.”  This is certainly creating a more friendly atmosphere for NRIs returning home.

Food and festivals: Not a single best reason in itself to pack up and head back home just because one misses road-side stalls of authentic food, Diwali or other festivals, but it is certainly a bonus – one more reason to consider while thinking of returning home.

Nostalgia – Home sweet home: Sometimes, the emotional ties and past memories make a big difference when deciding on where to live – home or abroad. The nostalgia has its pull, even though the past is long gone and it is not the same anymore as when we were little kids – not even back home in India. 🙂

A journey that started at home long time ago, makes sense to end at home, sooner or late! 🙂

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13 Replies to “Why do NRIs return to India?”

  1. i am hopping that with very hard work on Affiliate marketing, maybe i would be able to achieve Financial Freedom in 2 years time.*:’


    in case of the NRI’s from USA , immigration has become impossible and giant headache for indian nationals in USA and therefore they HAVE to come back

  3. One MORE reason

    People abroad have inbuilt jealousy toward Indians with many reasons…one cant tolerate it for sooo long!!

  4. Wow, Thank you for your blog about missing home when you live abroad…I’ve been reading your blogs for a few hours and I can’t stop! Great stuff, you validaded my feelings an thoughts…I am not Indian I am a Brazilian-American who feels the same way. The sense of loss is so great that how can you express it? Like a wounded war veteran you need another wounded soldier to understand your pain…you gave voice to my feelings today…you gave a voice to all immigrants that once left thinking only on the good side of that experience nobody ever…ever…told us the sadness the emptness the forever lossssss of everything and everyone…you are not part of that family and here no one makes you part of their family…no matter how educated we are ignored and avoided a death of some kind a zombie with only memories to keep us going…and after 27 years if I would die tommorrow who would be in my funeral? So just like Indians, Brazil is doing much better so for you that just arrived here, finish your degree quickly and go back home before it is too late.
    Thanks again for giving me your voice today… it made me feel validated and alive.

  5. I never wanted to go back. You may find my comment offensive, but my that is my opinion and logic.

  6. Well very nicely written points. But the main fact why people return to India is they cannot make it here in USA. Yes see most of them couldnot file for greencard or their VISa expired and the employer is not ready to do their green card. Yes a few only a few in numbers go back for family reasons.

  7. What is annoying to see for many Indians claiming all things good in India and all bad here is that they are not saying that they could not get their GC done for one reason or another.

  8. Once more with feeling
    If you really liked “The Indian in the Cupboard” you will probably like this sequel. If you’ve never read the first book, this one may leave you a little lost, although Banks tries to introduce enough of a recap to bring you up to speed.

  9. Interesting article.

    I do wonder though that where was the ‘back to root’ feelings by NRIs before the 2008 recession. 🙂

    Plain and simple logic dictates that where there is money flow, activities over there increase and considering how U.S is setting up to be a welfare state, it’s not exactly surprising that lot of NRIs have suddenly started feeling “patriotic” towards their homeland.

    The hypocrisy is unbelievable though, on one hand same NRIs consider India as a 3rd world country while on other hand it is “back to roots” and most of it being visible after 2008.

    Jai Hind.

  10. Job opportunities in India?? You must be seriously joking right. IT sector jobs?? Have even visited India recently There are nearly 10 million engineers alone graduating every year at most 50k formal sector jobs are generated. Heck even my IITian cousin had to settle for an IT job which gives him 3 lacs/annum. (Gen categ). Job opportunities are way better in US. An ivy league graduate can land a 80k job or more easily in valley. You could be AIR 1 in jee andd still wont get the same in India. Seriously I love both countries but India is no where near US in terms of jobs. The avg package of IITian is 4.1 lacs/annum yeah around 7k dollars.

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