Cost of Moving to India from USA

Relocating to India or any other place for that matter can be quite strenuous. After all, you’ve spent a good portion of your life at the now soon to be former residence, bought expensive furniture and set up your house accordingly. Fortunately for you, we’re here to make the relocation process as smooth as possible by educating you on all the costs and expenses that come with moving to India.


First things first, Indian Nationals or foreigners who plan on moving to India can ship their used furniture and other goods duty free if the goods in question have been used for more than a year. You may also shift professional equipment and items as long as you have proof that the equipment is for work purpose.

In case of Electronic items, immigrants can bring a limited amount of equipment. Not everything is duty free, however, as new items, gold, silver, vehicles, cigarettes and alcohol are subject to customs duty.

Even though India has relatively relaxed customs regulations, all items are subject to inspection by officials. Therefore, it is mandatory to make sure you have proof of ownership for all your items. Along with that, pornography, weapons, ammunition, living plants, narcotics and political literature isn’t allowed within the borders. Make sure your shipment is shipped within 30 days of arrival.

What Will Be the Costs?

The costs for moving to India are actually quite variable, depending on the amount of goods you plan on taking with you along with the method of transportation. Generally, airfreight is more expensive as compared to sea freight. It would also depend on whether you plan to insure your shipment or not, as there are certain instances where the shipment may get lost or damaged.

Usually, the shipping rates vary from $10-15 per cubic feet, but this can largely vary depending on what the destination and ship off point is. Most shipping companies will ask you for the cubic feet and weight descriptions of the items before they can provide a quote.

A Good Strategy

It would be wise to ship heavy equipment such as furniture through ocean shipping while trying to limit the amount of air cargo to a minimum due to the price considerations. Another tip for potential movers is to ship loose boxes in order to save costs. Standard shipping companies check the height and weight of the boxes from top to bottom, which means that even unused space would be counted into the statistics. With loose shipping, each of the boxes will be measured separately, which means there would be no extra lengths or widths to take into account.

Points To Take Note Of:
  • The owner of the goods must be present during customs clearance
  • Insurance rates usually vary from around 2-3%
  • The owner should reach India before the goods do in order to avoid container detention charges

Please note that all the information in the article is subject to changes and may be outdated. To get more updated information, contact the shipping company you plan on using.