18 Jun How can Expatriates secure a Mobile phone connection in India?
One of the most common challenges faced by expatriates moving to India is that of acquiring an Indian Mobile number. Applying for a SIM card in India is a tedious process even for local Indians as it involves submitting a lot of documents and identification cards for verification. Those Expatriates who receive a phone number from their employers do not have as much of a challenge as those who wish to take a SIM in their own name.
The individual has a choice of applying for a SIM card from various Telecom companies operating in India and have a choice of multiple data plan packages. There is also an option of seeking a local SIM card with the pre-paid facility or postpaid billing.
We will discuss the process of securing a prepaid plan below.
Foreigners moving to India must ensure complete documentation for quick access to a personal mobile number in India, but first, they must ensure that they possess a mobile phone which will operate in India.
Documents required :
The government of India is tightening the regulations on the sale of SIM cards due to security reasons. The minimum document requirements for a Foreigner to secure a SIM under the prepaid method are :
- Two passport size photographs
- A copy of the passport
- Copy of the Visa
- A copy of the proof of the address in the home country.
- Proof of address within India.
A duly filled form will have to be submitted to the TELCO along with the documents mentioned above. The SIM card can be purchased immediately for a cost of around INR 550 and is usually activated within 24 hours after a verification call is received from the service provider. SIM validity is three months. Once three months elapse, the SIM is required to be revalidated.
- Minimum balance of Rs 250.
- International calls (US/Canada) Rs.7 per minute
- International text messages Rs.5 per message
- Calls to a cell phone in India Rs.1 per minute
- Local text messages Rs.1 per message.