... back to India

Source/Credit: Most of the text and information on this page is adapted from Americans in Toulouse website and information received from Mr. N. GOGOI

Prepare yourself to return to India (It can be difficult)!!

It is said that to return home from a foreign country is the hardest transition of all. This can be particularly felt by those who stayed in Toulouse/France for more than 12 months. Some may laugh, as they can’t imagine why moving home, back in India would be so difficult when you know the language and all the “rules” of living. However, most data shows that this transition causes the most difficulty, but does not provide the answer as to why.

It may partly be a case of assuming too much knowledge and understanding of your home country, forgetting that you have been away for an extended period of time. Life does go on, everywhere, and you have not been “there” to experience the changes. Thus, you are unaware of exactly what is happening and what is not. Essentially, you are out of touch, even if you have visited home every six months or so. Some problems associated with returning home that you might not think of as being problems:

  • Being out of touch with current news and local activities.
  • You are a different person from the one who left one, two, three or more years ago. Your friends may or may not feel comfortable with you now. Your tales of living in a foreign country may bore some friends, and irritate others, as they may interpret your “story telling” as bragging. You will be seen, perhaps, as being very lucky to have lived abroad and any complaining about your particular circumstances, present or past, will probably be taken lightly. Remember, most people think of living abroad as they would a holiday (having had no experience of it themselves) and this mean hotels and conveniences. Keeping complaints to a minimum, until you have re-established a relationship with someone, helps.
  • You and your family have changed in many ways and the very fact you have been able to live abroad, and adjust to it, for an extended period of time, is intimidating to many. Being patient and understanding, as well as showing interest in other people lives, as you would like for them to be in yours, will help you integrate into your “new/old” home community much more quickly.
  • You may even experience a type of “reverse” home homesickness for the lifestyle you had in France. The pace of life at home may be faster than France and cause you stress. The weather may be very different and not to your liking. Work schedules may vary and friends will have changed or are no longer in the area. Your clothing will be different and you may feel left out when everyone else laughs at a current joke to which you cannot relate. And so on and on. In other words, you will suddenly miss what was familiar to you - the life and friends you have left behind. It is important to remember that this is normal, and it too will pass as you again adjust to your environment, so be patient.

Take the time to learn about your new environment at home, even if it is your hometown, just as you would if you were in a foreign community. You will learn that many things have changed while you were away. Taking notice, and responding appropriately, will be rewarding to all concerned. Give yourself six months to a year to settle, say the experts.

Preparations for returning home

  • DO some research before returning home to prepare yourself for the community in which you will be living. Contact housing agents, schools for children, community organizations. If you are returning to the same city you left, this task will probably be much easier as you may know much of this information already. If you are moving to a new community, try to get as much advance information as possible, as it will help you prepare mentally.
  • ADJUST your expectations to fit reality. This sounds silly, but many people exaggerate the positive side of home and find it very disappointing when they return. Comparing your life in France and your life in India, is also something you should try to avoid. They are two very different experiences.
  • FIND new friends in the community who, like you, have lived abroad. They will readily understand your adjustment phase and may be able to offer valuable help and support.
  • LISTEN and learn from your family and friends who have not been living abroad with you. They will be a valuable resource for current issues and activities in the community, new situations you may not know about other friends or information concerning work opportunities and organizations you may want to join. However, be aware that these people will have also changed in your absence. So prepare yourself to get to know them … as they are now!
  • Book such as "Return to India: One Family's Journey to America and Back" could help you to answer some of the nagging questions as you mentally prepare yourself to return to India.

Administrative procedures

[This section is under construction]

Your departure from France essentially involves the reversal of the paperwork process, both in India and in France, that you performed when you moved to France. This essentially involved writing request letters to different agencies, contacting them by phone and for some services/contract making arrangement for inspections. A prototype of these different letters is made available here. Note that the minimum expected time to complete these administrative procedures is about 27-30 working days.

Proof of residence

Proof of residence from the city council (La Mairie), proving your residency in France, would be required for income tax and passport renewal, etc.

Character certificate

If your employer/regional office in India demands a character certificate you can obtain it from local police. Detailed information is available on this page.

Termination of house contract/lease

  • Accommodation leases normally require a 3-month notice to cancel, unless your company is transferring you, in which case it is one month plus a letter stating you are being transferred.
  • Arrange a date with the leasing agent to inspect the dwelling for damages and to set the conditions of the security deposit refund.
  • Some agents (but certainly not all) will refund your deposit on the day of the inspection, less any amount necessary to cover damages for which you may be responsible. Legally, however, they can hold this deposit for up to two months.

Terminating telephone/mobile phone/Internet services

  • Telephone service can be disconnected by callingthe operating agency.
  • You should request for "résiliation du contrat en cause de déménagement" ("Closure of the contract due to relocation). They will ask you for a new address to send you the final bill.
  • You will be required to send a request letter to the service provider with "Avis de reception/accuse de reception"  (Sample prototype is here.) Attach  a documented evidence to prove that you are relocating outside France. A letter of appointment from your employer in India or latest electricity bill bearing your or your parents name can be used as an evidence.
  • By law the service providers are bound to stop your internet connection/service within ten days of receipt of the letter or the date of your choice. 
  • Meanwhile, you will be asked to return any instruments/set top boxes, etc. provided by the service provider to a specified address by post or in person.

Terminating EDF/GDF services

  • EDF/GDF (electricity and gas) will need to be notified, in advance, to arrange a date for the last meter reading. 
  • You need to call EDF and inform them about your date of departure. On the day of your departure you should report the electric meter value and your address in India to receive your last bill.
  • For termination of GDF contract call GDF client service or  fill out and submit the form available on web site of GDF. A person from GDF will come to check your meter and disconnect the gas line on the day of your departure
  • Final bills most likely will need to be paid after your departure. Some people leave a minimal amount of money in their French bank account to pay closing bills, with any balance in the account being transfered to their home bank account. However you can also pay the bills using on line payment methods such as using credit card.

Terminate your contract with bank/provide authorization

Termination of different insurance contracts

Notify school/club

Notify Income tax department

  • French taxes must be paid up to the date of your departure from France.
  • Notify nearby "Trésor Public " (tax department) about your departure by letter/telephone.
  • You can choose to pay your tax balance before your departure.
    • Take your tax billing to the Trésor Public with a certified bank check for the amount. Personal bank checks will not be accepted. 
  • Since 1 January 2005, it is not necessary to obtain a tax clearance within 30 days prior to the transfer of your home in France to foreign countries (that is to say the balance of tax payable by departure). When you transfer your tax domicile abroad, you are only required to report your address change to the tax department office close to your home.
    More on declaring your income tax for the year of your deparature can be found here: In French , transduction in English

Notify post office

  • The Post Office should be notified of your moving date and given a change of address. To redirect your letters to new address for 6 to 12 months from the date of your departure, French postal service offers a paid service. Further details are available on La Post website

Notify Indian Embassy in Paris

Managing your luggage

House hold items

  • Items that have been part of your French household for over one year are allowed into the India duty free.
  • Please retain and carry all original bills.
  • Details about custom department of India rules, list of allowable and banned items, etc. is available here.
  • Prepare an inventory of everything you will be shipping home: in French for French customs (your shipper may provide this service) and in English for Indian customs. For insurance purposes, include the value for each item, listed in Euros as well as in Rupees.
  • Wine that is to be shipped must be the last item in the container and easily accessible. You will need a permit issued by Government of India to carry alcoholic beverages/liqueur. There are limitations on how much wine can be brought to India. Check with custom officials for details.

Packers and movers

If you have a lot of luggage that you want to take back to India, you may opt for paid service of professional packers and movers, few to mention:
Any packers/movers/shippers that arrive at your home without packing material and claim they will pack your belongings at their warehouse should not be allowed entry into your home.

Most of these packers don't deliver your shipment to your home address in India but to nearest international airport from where you may have to arrange for the local transport.

Air france cargo

This information is provided based on the experience of Mrs.Moumita Das and
Airfrance cargo delivers to Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi. Following are the charges

Bangalore : 45-100 Kgs : Euro 3.25/kg
                  Above 100  : Euro 2.86/kg
                  Less than 45kgs : Euro 3.84/kg

Mumbai    : 45-100 Kgs : Euro 3.12/kg
                  Above 100  : Euro 2.60/kg
                  Less than 45kgs : Euro 3.84/kg

Delhi         : 45-100 Kgs : Euro 3.12/kg
                  Above 100  : Euro 2.60/kg
                  Less than 45kgs : Euro 3.84/kg

In addition one needs to pay 7 Euro + 25 Euro as Custom and other charges.
Note that item sother than books, used clothes and used shoes could be dutiable. 

- How do we contact Airfrance cargo?
You would have to go directly to the Air France Cargo department which is near Blagnac Airport.
(33) 5 62 12 89 62 and mail.customerservice.tls@airfrance.fr

- What is the size limit of carton and weight restrictions, charges ?
There is no limit as such . You can basically use a suitcase or a carton anything for that matter
- Do we need to go there to submit the carton or they have a pick up from home ?
You would have to go to the Air France cargo office and they will make you sign some documents + weigh the carton etc
- Dimensions of box that I can get from Auchan/Carrefour.
None a such. Best is buy cartons since it would not add to the total weight
For more details, please call the cargo centre.

La Poste

La Poste delivers at home. It costs approx 129.00 Euros for 30kgs. Further details are available on this web link

Selling left out household items

  • Selling items prior to your departure can be easily accomplished through the message board of Indians in Toulouse Google Group.
  • You can sell or donate items on community web pages such as Toulouse web, Emmaus etc. See this link for further details.
  • There are also companies like Troc who will come and take anything you want to sell. They will make you a price, pay you, and remove the items..