I have seen a lot of NRIs (non-resident Indians) struggling with paperwork once they land in India. They get frustrated and intimidated. It was during that point I realized I (an ex-NRI) have become accustomed to the system. Probably, because I now have a way to go about it.
This page aims to provide helpful tips for NRIs planning to do paperwork in India. It could be any paperwork or personal work related to banking, property, tax, applying for Aadhaar, PAN, etc. If you haven’t done it before or do it only once in a blue moon when you land in India, the tips provided will help.
Check if the service is available online
India is turning more digital by the day. Many services can be availed online, including opening a bank account.
By checking the availability of the service online, you can save time and avoid the frustration of the long queues at the establishment. Or even worse – finding out the service is unavailable when you arrive at the location.
Here’s how you can go about it. Before visiting a government office or bank branch, check their website or social media for information on their services. A quick Google search will lead you to the concerned site easily. India has a website for every government-related process, including property tax payments. Once you land on the website, check if they offer the service you’re looking for. Some establishments even allow you to schedule an appointment online or check the status of your applications online.
Call and enquire
If the service is unavailable online, the next step is to call the branch and ask for details. If you skip this step and land directly at the unit, be ready for multiple visits.
Preparing and having all the necessary documents and information ready before heading out to the bank or establishment is mandatory in India to avoid wasting time. By making a call beforehand, you can better understand what documents will be required, what the work timings are, and whether or not the service will be available at the time you plan to visit. This can help you avoid multiple trips and save you time and hassle.
While you call the concerned official, it’s important to remember that the employees you speak with on the phone may be busy and unable to provide all the information you need. It’s important to be persistent and ask the right questions to ensure you have all the necessary information.
Some questions to ask:
- What are your work timings?
- I am planning to arrive at this time tomorrow. Will the service be available then?
- What documents should I carry?
Reach out to customer care
Unable to reach the branch by phone or email? The next option is to contact the organization’s official customer care through email or the phone number provided on their website.
Many establishments, like banks, have dedicated customer care teams that can provide information and assistance over the phone or through email. You can get answers to your questions or resolve issues by contacting customer care without having to visit the branch in person. I make it a point to express my displeasure about not being able to reach the local department while I contact customer care.
When you contact customer service, make sure to have your account number or other relevant information handy so that the representative can quickly find your account and assist you. Also, it is good to note the time and date of the call, the name of the representative you spoke with, and any reference number they might have given you. That way, if you need to follow up, you have all information required.
It’s also good to check with the organization’s website or social media page to see if they have any FAQ sections or chatbots that might help answer your questions.
Understand that processing will take time
India’s system is different than other places, so taking note of that will help to deal with the entire process. Sometimes, things might take longer than expected, and it’s better to be prepared mentally for such scenarios.
Following these steps and being prepared can help you navigate the system more efficiently and effectively. Eventually, you will become more familiar with the process, making things much easier for you in the long run. Hope this helps!