What would living and working in India on a H1B-equivalent visa be like for a white American male? 🤔

Amazon indian
Jan 8, 2018 40 Comments

I get it, the immigration flow is overwhelmingly in the other direction and India doesn’t seem like a very desirable country for most westerners. Let’s just do this as a thought exercise. The reverse of what so many H1B Indians are doing here.

What would living and working in India on a H1B-equivalent visa be like for a white American male? Would you be accepted by your neighbors and coworkers? What would the standard of living be like compared to what you’re used to? What language would you speak most frequently in the office? Would you get rejected all the time on dating apps like Indian men do with non-Indian women here? Would you hang out exclusively with other Americans like Indians with other Indians here, or would you have to assimilate? Would people make fun of you for bringing smelly western food into the office or wearing stinky deodorant? What would your career and wealth-generating opportunities look like?

Many westerners’ depictions of India include pooping in a street, trash all over the ground, overpopulation, very hot weather, typical Indian food like curries, rape, racist/caste social structure, call centers, arranged marriages, BO, no rights for women and a very much developing country. I am sure those stereotypes can’t all be accurate. So, for those who have a better perspective, what would it be like and how would it compare to the Indian H1B experience in the US?

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TOP 40 Comments
  • Cisco genesiz
    - What would living and working in India on a H1B-equivalent visa be like for a white American male?

    It'll be like living in an alternate universe. Seriously, you don't need another planet for an adventure of a lifetime.
    ---------------

    - Would you be accepted by your neighbors and coworkers?

    Mostly yes, if you are white. For other races, maybe not. Asian is ok.

    Also depends on the city and type of crowd you hang out with. Educated folks in major cities will accept easily regardless of race...mostly because their lifestyle has been similar to yours.

    There are far too many types of Indians to reduce this to a small explanation though.
    -----------------


    - What would the standard of living be like compared to what you’re used to?

    Infrastructure sucks. Period. Bigger cities have 24 hr electricity, water and public transportation...and this is a luxury, unlike the US where we take roads, electricity, water for granted.

    As for stuff, besides imported electronics, cars, everything else will be dirt cheap for an American.

    As a competent American, you'll probably get higher salaries than most. You'll also easily be able to rent a luxury apartment with shared drivers, room service. Healthy food is cheap and tasty.

    If you are incompetent, it depends. They might still have you as the face of the company to appeal to westerners. Being white has its perks.

    America seems to shun talent. India will take talent with arms open but thats only for talent. Because talent generates money. Everyone knows this.
    -----------


    - What language would you speak most frequently in the office?

    English. Mostly because not all Indians know Hindi, so English is a nice common language. In tech, you'll find more educated folks than bumblefucks. That correlates with English usage.
    ------------------

    - Would you get rejected all the time on dating apps like Indian men do with non-Indian women here?

    No. You'll get a lot of matches. Mostly because you are white. A bit more because many women in cities are educated as fuck and not shallow shopping makeup artists. The ones which went to University will be easily friends with you.

    India is also poonland for Indian men with social skills. Indian men lack it a bit, partly due to poverty and cultural upbringing.

    American women are hard to flirt with. They seem to not have a feminine charm that a lot of Indian women have... although that's changing fast. Indian women are becoming equally bitchy and shallow.
    ---------------------------

    - Would you hang out exclusively with other Americans like Indians with other Indians here, or would you have to assimilate?

    Oh man, Indians are social af. They'll invite you to anything and everything. Most of them work to live, unlike silicon valley where everyone constantly measures dick sizes.

    If you are an awkward person in America, you'll come out a changed man cuz you'll get invited so much its crazy.

    For a lot of people there, every weekend is Thanksgiving. No need to wait for a specific weekend.
    --------------------


    - Would people make fun of you for bringing smelly western food into the office or wearing stinky deodorant?

    No. Mostly because they are used to differences in people. Everyone is supposed to be different and that's fine. People might comment but that's mostly out of curiosity or light hearted fun.

    In America, diversity is a joke. Minorities are never celebrated. In Indian cities, most common people will enjoy minorities. But politicians do politicize differences for votes. Media is like Fox vs MSNBC.
    ----------------

    - What would your career and wealth-generating opportunities look like?

    Your career will skyrocket because you can represent that company to American clients. You'll probably be rockstar level of you are good at talking and selling.

    Wealth generation is super fast now because India is growing rapidly. It's maddening to see things change so fast every year. Comes with growing pains bit wealth accumulates faster...if you find a path. Not everyone can find those opportunities.

    And yes, you can even become a model on the side if you look good. No, your h1b equivalent Visa won't restrict your freedom to pursue other opportunities.

    American immigration system is equivalent to slavery. Period.
    ------------------------

    - Many westerners’ depictions of India include pooping in a street, trash all over the ground, overpopulation, very hot weather, typical Indian food like curries, rape, racist/caste social structure, call centers, arranged marriages, BO, no rights for women and a very much developing country. I am sure those stereotypes can’t all be accurate. So, for those who have a better perspective, what would it be like and how would it compare to the Indian H1B experience in the US?

    It exists but is rapidly disappearing. It will never be as good as some westernized countries maybe. Partly because a lot of Indians are literally uneducated (this is what happens when you vote to remove education.... America is getting there)

    No school districting or hiding of inequality like America. You see everything right on your face.

    Streets are still filthy but getting cleaner by the year. Some people still poop on railway tracks but lesser by the year, arranged marriages are the norm but that's changing fast (also arranged marriages are not what they show on TV, they're not as bad, people make mistakes).

    It is overpopulated. Traffic sucks, roads suck. But I cannot in good faith say they aren't changing. It's been 7 years since I left India and honest to God, I don't recognize the country or how people interact. It's way way faster than the US.

    Summers are hot. It's a tropical country.

    Also, the above is for major cities. Things change dramatically in small towns and villages. Infrastructure is worse, toilets, clean water and hygiene are an issue in villages.

    But there is plenty of untouched nature and beauty in many places. There is way too much diversity in geography, climate and weather.

    Life is good. People keep living. The only folks who don't like it there are hypercompetitive folks who don't like human interaction (aka, self selecting people on blind).

    For a curious (or ignorant) American, I would recommend visiting for 2 months. You'll learn 3 things:
    1. What happens in a world that is not centered around America

    2. What do you take for granted in your own country

    3. What happens in a market-knows-all small corrupt govt where politicians are bought by the wealthy. If you want to see what inequality looks like, this is the place.

    India used to be protectionist and they've changed that to make themselves more open. The results are visible. So many people out of poverty.

    America is going the other way. Sad!
    Jan 8, 2018 6
    • Synopsys lOwW45
      I agree with each and every point 👍
      Jan 8, 2018
    • Microsoft
      vdasher

      Microsoft

      PRE
      Amazon
      vdashermore
      Wow, did you type all this on a mobile phone 😲🤔
      Jan 8, 2018
    • Microsoft bonou2
      ^^This....love the balance in every point made...I'm Indian..And everything genesiz told is true about India...
      Jan 8, 2018
    • Intuit sydney
      +1. Now I don't have to type all of these
      Jan 9, 2018
    • Microsoft Bezoos
      @genesiz: You are far too patient to type all this. This is also the most balanced response I have ever seen on Blind!
      Jan 9, 2018
  • Google / Eng
    eYiX63

    Google Eng

    PRE
    Airbnb
    eYiX63more
    A white guy in an asian country will be swimming in poon, part of every elite social/administrative club he's interested in. He will do extremely well in any customer-facing role
    Jan 8, 2018 10
    • Microsoft
      yMcg47

      Microsoft

      BIO
      Amicitiae nostrae memoriam spero sempiternam fore
      yMcg47more
      @eyix63, Asian females only
      Jan 8, 2018
    • Google / Eng
      eYiX63

      Google Eng

      PRE
      Airbnb
      eYiX63more
      Pretty sure that guys want it too, but never get it
      Jan 8, 2018
    • Microsoft
      yMcg47

      Microsoft

      BIO
      Amicitiae nostrae memoriam spero sempiternam fore
      yMcg47more
      I am an asian guy... I don’t get it often at all, but the only times i “get it” are from white people. All my ex gfs have been white, not by choice. Asian women tend to be assuming, condescending, etc. usually i just get the cold shoulder. N of 1 of course.
      Jan 8, 2018
    • Google / Eng
      eYiX63

      Google Eng

      PRE
      Airbnb
      eYiX63more
      Which country are you from? Have you always been in the US?
      Jan 8, 2018
    • Microsoft
      yMcg47

      Microsoft

      BIO
      Amicitiae nostrae memoriam spero sempiternam fore
      yMcg47more
      Not china but southeast asia. I moved here as a child. I speak 2 languages. You can’t tell from my english that I wasn’t born here.

      Asian people have an interesting hierarchy, and my life choices are frowned upon in general...
      If i got an md or jd instead of phd, it would probably work out better.
      Jan 8, 2018
  • Tableau Maduro
    What do you suggest to smoke while having this conversation?
    Jan 8, 2018 1
    • Microsoft
      yMcg47

      Microsoft

      BIO
      Amicitiae nostrae memoriam spero sempiternam fore
      yMcg47more
      Opium is not legal
      Jan 8, 2018
  • Microsoft richardhea
    Overwhelmingly stupid. Next question.
    🍆
    Jan 8, 2018 0
  • Microsoft du0316
    I’m guessing it’s no big deal to be a white guy in India and all the fantasy of being from a western country because almost every Indian has seen / been to the US - looking at the sheer number of them here?
    Jan 8, 2018 3
    • Microsoft TOVk00
      Do you have any clue of the number of people living in India?
      Jan 8, 2018
    • Microsoft du0316
      A zillion 😀
      Jan 8, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng
      godman!

      Amazon Eng

      PRE
      Sabre Corporation
      godman!more
      In US, I'd guess may be 2 million. In India, 1.3 Billion
      Jan 12, 2018
  • Nordstrom / Eng
    xkcd0i

    Nordstrom Eng

    PRE
    Amazon, Intel, Getty Images
    xkcd0imore
    Asian girls love white dudes
    Jan 8, 2018 1
    • Microsoft scot
      good luck
      Jan 8, 2018
  • Adobe Xcf7689
    I am not Indian but I have travelled around. In Asia (China, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand etc), a white guy working for local companies is not migrant worker, he is an expat. They are held in high regards, get the best service in restaurants, hotel etc, has maids, lives in a nice neighborhood, and easily to get dates.

    Exception will be Japan. I think in general, Japanese don’t regard white guys or foreigners in general higher than themselves.

    It’s quite a sad phenomenon. Last time I travelled to Singapore, the hotel remembered my Caucasian coworker’s name and went above and beyond with him. As for me, I got corteous treatment and no, they did not remember my name throughout the duration of our stay.
    Jan 8, 2018 0
  • Cisco yUYw72
    I know quite a bit about this actually. The visa itself isn't hard to get. Your company sponsors you for the visa. There are no labor checks and wage checks about "displacing local workers". Once in India you have to visit the "Foreign Registration Office" within 14 days which is hell. Even children are not exempt. After that you have to get a PAN number (tax ID) and Aadhar (Social), which can be inconvenient. If you're white, everything else is simpler, like renting a place, etc. People are generally nice to you and are accepting of things you do. Even the police go easy on you. People do expect bigger tips or expect higher pay (cleaners, drivers, etc). If you're not white, it could get a little rough.
    Jan 8, 2018 0
  • Intel / Eng Litecoin
    you could probably be a model for hire if you’re young, white, good looking, and 6’1+ (male)... fuck tech, that’s what I’d do in India. Maybe that’s only a China thing?
    Jan 8, 2018 1
    • Microsoft lavida
      Definitely not just a China thing, but an asian thing in general. Most of the beauty or man underwear products use white male models.

      On the other end, for Indian people, they seemed to fantasize about koreans a lot more than white people, at least for girls. When I went with my Korean girlfriend, they wanted selfies with her all the time. I don't know if it's the same for men, but it must be a kpop thing.
      Jan 8, 2018
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Amazon / Eng
      godman!

      Amazon Eng

      PRE
      Sabre Corporation
      godman!more
      Indians aren't as duche bags as you @mdue35 are. Indians are competitive. I'd be proud to have a white guy work for me in India.
      Jan 12, 2018
  • 84.51˚ / Other
    gunnl

    84.51˚ Other

    PRE
    Amazon
    BIO
    Data Scientist
    gunnlmore
    You’d be a rockstar. Not kidding.
    Jan 8, 2018 0
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Amazon indian
      OP
      Assume Indian salary, just like H1B Indians here live on an American salary.
      Jan 8, 2018
    • Google
      jPQI32

      Google

      PRE
      Amazon
      jPQI32more
      If you get American salary back home and per dm or something equivalent whilst you're in India, it can be a pretty sweet setup. I wouldn't recommend it for a local salary though. That is assuming money is sufficiently high up on your list of priorities.
      Jan 8, 2018
  • First Data / Eng
    yMmS51

    First Data Eng

    PRE
    Walmart, State Street
    yMmS51more
    Is “Outsourcing” available on Netflix or Hulu? I’d pick the movie over the sitcom.
    Jan 8, 2018 1
    • Amazon / Eng
      godman!

      Amazon Eng

      PRE
      Sabre Corporation
      godman!more
      You do realize that is not even filmed entirely in India. Right?
      Jan 12, 2018
  • Amazon ABEW25
    Assuming you will earn in INR.

    LIVING STANDARD

    - Luxury cars, electronics, and buying house will become costly.

    - You will be able to rent a luxury apartment. These will usually be at par with $1500-$2000 apartments here. You won't find houses with large yards.

    - You will be able to hire a cook, house keeper/cleaner/maid, washerman, car cleaner, gardner etc. These are not considered bad in India.

    - If you have hobbies like carpentry, electronics, metalworking etc then finding supplies will be difficult and expensive.

    - General infrastructure will be bad. You won't face electricity, water problems in good apartments and localities. Traffic, pollution, and garbage will be on very high side.

    FOOD

    - You will find all kind of cuisines but if you will not adapt to Indian food then it will be costly. As an alternate you can cook at home or hire someone to cook.

    - Beef is a big no. You won't find it in most IT states. Except in few states eating beef can land you in trouble. Read social court.

    ACCEPTANCE

    - Majority of your coworkers will accept you as any other Indian coworker. Some may make extra effort to make you comfortable. You will be invited in various festivals and occasions.

    - if living in apartments don't expect much interaction from neighbours - in general. People will keep to themselves not that they won't accept you.

    - If living in independent houses, expect most of the neighbors to go an extra mile to make you comfortable. You will be treated as family by many neighbors. Actually this has no relation to being white.

    - Expect to feel like an exhibit when out in public. People will stare at you. Don't know why but people will just stare - they won't have any bad intentions though. It may happen that people will approach you to take photos with you.

    - White means tourist. Tourist with lots of money. In the beginning you will be grossly overcharged by auto, taxi, and local food shops.

    - People will talk with you in English.

    - None will be offended or bothered with what food you bring to office or what deodorant you wear. This excludes beef. If you are eating non-vegetarian food then few vegetarian people may not eat with you. This avoidance will be over once food is done. Anyway you will find lots of non-vegetarian people and many vegetarian people who won't mind what you are eating.
    Jan 15, 2018 0
  • Amazon / Eng
    godman!

    Amazon Eng

    PRE
    Sabre Corporation
    godman!more
    Professionally, you'd do well. Specially it you are working for an American company, because of the cultural background, you will be the most influential contributor. You will very likely live in an gereed apartment community where other white folks live so your neighbors are as good as you choose. If you care to learn local languages, you'll do fine with the society, trying to live a normal life.

    You can afford to have a personal chauffeur, chef, maid if that is a thing you'd enjoy. Driving is crazy and you should practice jay walking and once you are successful crossing the road without being cussed at, think of driving.

    With your white skin, taller physique you'd be a god for girls but might not be lucky enough to get married to one.
    Jan 12, 2018 0
  • Microsoft TOVk00
    This question is the topic of American sitcom 'outsourced'. Except the person relocated isn't particularly smart and still you can see how people will try to smooth.
    Jan 8, 2018 0

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