NRI's - FAQ's


An Indian Citizen who stays abroad for employment/ carrying on business or stays abroad under circumstances indicating an intention for an uncertain duration of stay abroad is a non-resident. (Persons posted in U.N. organizations and officials deputed abroad by Central/ State Government and Public Sector Undertakings on temporary assignments are also treated as non-resident) Non-resident foreign citizens of Indian Origin are treated on par with non-resident Indian citizens.

A foreign citizen (other than a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Sri Lanka or Nepal is deemed to be of Indian origin if.
. He held an Indian pass port at any time, or He or his father or paternal grandfather was a citizen of India by virtue of the constitution of India or the citizenship act, 1955 (57 of 1955).

No. NRI's do not require any permission to acquire any immovable property in India other than agricultural / plantation property or a farm house. Permission is required only in the case of transferring of agricultural or plantation property or farm house to another citizen of India NRI or PIO.

• There are no restrictions on the number of residential / commercial properties that can be purchased.
• There is no need to file any documents with the Reserve Bank of India.

Yes, but the person concerned would have to obtain the approvals, and fulfill the requirements if any, prescribed by other authorities, such as the concerned State Government, etc. However, a foreign national resident in India who is a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Nepal and Bhutan would require prior approval of Reserve Bank. Such requests are considered by Reserve Bank in consultation with the Government of India

A foreign company which has established a Branch Office or other place of business in India, in accordance with FERA / FEMA regulations, can acquire any immovable property in India, which is necessary for or incidental to carrying on such activity. A declaration in form IPI should be filed with Reserve Bank within ninety days from the date of acquiring the property. Further, acquisition of immovable property by entities that had set up Branch Offices in India and incorporated in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Nepal and Bhutan would require prior approval of Reserve Bank to acquire such immovable property.

Yes, NRIs and PIOs can freely acquire immovable property by way of gift. However the property can only be commercial or residential. Agricultural land / plantation property / farmhouse in India cannot be acquired by way of gift. A foreign national of non-Indian origin resident outside India cannot acquire any immovable property in India through gift.

Foreign national of non-Indian origin including a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh or Sri Lanka or Afghanistan or China or Iran or Nepal or Bhutan can sell property in India with prior approval of Reserve Bank

NRI / PIO may sell agricultural land /plantation property/farm house to a person resident in India who is a citizen of India with prior approval of Reserve Bank.

In the event of sale of immovable property other than agricultural land/farm house/plantation property in India by a NRI or PIO, the authorized dealer may allow repatriation of the sale proceeds outside India, provided all the following conditions are satisfied: - The immovable property was acquired by the seller in accordance with the provisions of the Exchange Control Rules/Regulations/Law in force at the time of acquisition, or the provisions of the Regulations framed under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999. In case of residential property, the repatriation of sale proceeds is restricted to not more than two such properties.

Authorized dealers can allow remittance up to USD 1 million for any purpose, per calendar year from balances in NRO accounts subject to payment of applicable taxes. The limit of USD 1 million per year includes sale proceeds of immovable properties acquired by the NRI/PIO's while they were resident in India and held for a period of 10 years and above. In case the property is sold after being held for less than 10 years, remittance can be made if the sale proceeds were held for the balance period in NRO account or in any other eligible instruments.

Yes. Reserve Bank has granted general permission for letting out any immovable property in India. The rental income or proceeds of any investment of such income is eligible for repatriation.

Reserve Bank has granted general permission to certain financial institutions providing housing finance e.g. HDFC, LIC Housing Finance Ltd., etc., to grant housing loans to NRI's for acquisition of a house/flat for self-occupation subject to certain conditions. The purpose of loan margin money and the quantum of loan will be at par with those applicable to housing loans to residents. Repayment of loan should be made within a period not exceeding 15 years out of inward remittances or out of funds held in the investor's NRE/FCNR/NRO Accounts.