NRI FAQs

Who is Non-Resident Indian?

 

A Non-Resident Indian (NRI) is an individual who is an Indian Citizen but has migrated to another country permanently or temporarily for the purpose of Employment, Education etc. Other terms, commonly used for an NRI are Overseas Indian, Expatriate or Indian Expatriate.

 

Are Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) & Foreign Citizen of Indian origin (PIOs) allowed to acquire or dispose of immovable property in India?

 

Yes! The Reserve Bank of India has clearly granted permission to all Non-Resident Indian's (NRIs) & Foreign Citizens of Indian origin (PIOs) to acquire & dispose of immovable property in India, be it Residential or Commercial Property. However, the RBI has a restriction on the purchase of Agricultural Land/Plantation Property or Farmhouses in India.

 

What are the requirements for the purchase of Agricultural Land/Plantation property or Farmhouses in India by NRIs and PIOs?

 

Any NRI or PIO interested in the purchase of Agricultural Land/Plantation Property or Farmhouses in India would have to send a formal request for the same to The Chief General Manager, Reserve Bank of India, Central Office Exchange Control Department, Foreign Investment Division (III), Mumbai 400 001

 

What method should an NRI or PIO use in order to purchase a property in India?

 

An NRI or PIO can purchase a property either through an inward remittance in foreign exchange through normal banking channels or through the funds available in the NRE/NRO/FCNR accounts maintained in India by the Investor.

 

Do you require permission of the RBI to transfer immovable property in India?

 

No! NRIs and PIOs do not require the permission of the RBI in order to transfer immovable property to any Indian Citizen, NRI or PIO.

 

Can such property be sold without the permission of Reserve Bank?

 

Yes. Reserve Bank has granted general permission for sale of such property. However, where the property is purchased by another foreign citizen of Indian origin, funds towards the purchase consideration should either be remitted to India or paid out of balances in NRE/FCNR accounts.

 

Can the properties (Residential/Commercial) be given on rent if not required for immediate use?

 

Yes! There is no clause by the RBI, which restricts an NRI or PIO to rent the properties acquired by them. The amount received from rentals can also be repatriated back to the country they are residing in, without any restriction.

 

Can sale proceeds of immovable property be remitted out of India?

 

Yes! The sale proceeds of immovable property can be remitted out of India to the home country of the NRI or PIO, up to the maximum limit of the consideration amount originally remitted from abroad to purchase the property. However, the property has to be sold after a period of three years, from the date of the final purchase deed or from the date of payment of final installment of consideration amount, whichever is later.

Additionally, the following points also need to be adhered to in this respect:

  • The immovable property was acquired by the seller in accordance with the provisions of the Exchange Control Rules/Regulations/Laws in force at the time of acquisition, or the provisions of the Regulations framed under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999;

  • The amount to be repatriated does not exceed: The amount paid for acquisition of the immovable property in foreign exchange received through normal banking channels or out of funds held in foreign currency non-resident account(s) or the foreign currency equivalent, as on the date of payment, of the amount paid where such payment was made from the funds held in non-resident external account(s) for acquisition of the property; and in case of residential property, the repatriation of sale proceeds is restricted to not more than two such properties.

  • Finally, application for the purpose of repatriation is required to be made to the Central Office of Reserve Bank within 90 days of the sales of property in Form IPI 8.

 

Can foreign citizens of Indian origin acquire or dispose of residential property by way of gift?

 

Yes. Reserve Bank has granted general permission to foreign citizens of Indian origin to acquire or dispose of properties up to two houses by way of gift from or to a relative who may be an Indian citizen or a person of Indian origin whether resident in India or not, subject to compliance with applicable tax laws.

 

Can an NRI give a Power of Attorney to a person in India for completion of loan formalities on their behalf?

Yes! NRIs can definitely appoint a Power of Attorney to complete all loan formalities towards the purchase of a property in India, considering the fact that an NRI wouldn't be in India for long periods. The stringent formalities followed by Indian banks, only means that the appointment of a Power of Attorney would be ideal.

 

What are the conditions if the power of attorney is being executed outside India?

 

It is advised that the Power of Attorney is preferably a Resident of India. Having said that, there would be certain procedures which have to be followed in order to execute the same:

  • The execution of the power of attorney must be done on a stamp paper or plain paper, as the case may be in the country where the power of attorney is being executed.

  • The signatures of the executants have to be attested by an official of the Indian Embassy, Indian Consulate or Trade Commissioner, in the country where the executants reside.

  • The signature of the attorney should be verified in India by a Notary, his employer or his banker on a separate piece of paper which should be submitted to SHFL together with the Power of Attorney.

 

Can foreign citizens of Indian origin acquire commercial properties in India?

 

Yes. Under the general permission granted by Reserve Bank properties other than agricultural land/farm house/plantation property can be acquired by foreign citizens of Indian origin provided the purchase consideration is met either out of inward remittances in foreign exchange through normal banking channels or out of funds from the purchasers non-resident (external) rupee account (NRE) or non-resident (ordinary) account (NRO) or non-resident (foreign currency) account (FCNRB) accounts maintained with banks in India and a declaration is submitted to the Central Office of Reserve Bank in form IPI 7 within a period of 90 days from the date of purchase of the property/final payment of purchase consideration.

 

Can they dispose of such properties?

 

Yes.

 

Can Indian companies grant loans to their NRI staff?

 

Reserve Bank permits Indian firms/companies to grant housing loans to their employees deputed abroad and holding Indian passports subject to certain conditions.

 

Can authorized dealer grant housing loan to non-resident of Indian nationality where he is a principal borrower with his resident close relative as a co-obligant/guarantor or where the land is owned jointly by such NRI borrower & resident close relative?

 

Yes. However, in such cases the payment of margin money and repayment of the loan installments should be made by the NRI borrower.

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