NRI: Frequently Asked Questions

According to the Foreign Exchange Management Act of 1999 (FEMA), a Non-Resident Indian is a person residing outside India for the purpose of carrying out business operations or employment, indicating his/her intention of staying outside the country for an uncertain period of time. As per the regulations, an NRI is a non-resident Indian who is either a citizen of the county or a person of Indian origin. Students who are studying abroad can also be treated as NRIs under FEMA and are accordingly eligible for foreign investment and NRE/FCNR account.

The Foreign Exchange Management Act of 1999 (FEMA), state that a PIO is a person who is a citizen of any country other than Pakistan and Bangladesh, and fall under the following categories: 1. Has held an Indian Passport at any point in time 2. The person in question or his/her immediate relatives were Indian citizens 3. Spouse of an Indian citizen 4. Spouse of an individual who has held an Indian passport 5. Is a spouse of a person who either was a citizen of India, or his parents or grandparents were a citizen of India

By Means of Purchase: Under the general permission granted by RBI, a Non-Resident Indian/ PIO can purchase residential properties in India if the person has a valid poof of address in India or an OCI card. By Means Of Gift: Yes, a Non-Resident Indian/ PIO can acquire a residential property by way of a gift from a person in India or an NRI/PIO By Means Of Inheritance: Yes, an NRI/PIO/foreign national of Indian origin can acquire residential property by way of inheritance from a person who is a resident of India as per the Provisions of Section 6(5) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999. There is also a provision for NRIs/PIOs to acquire residential properties by way of inheritance from a resident outside India by following the guidelines set by the RBI, provided that the bequeather had acquired such property in accordance with the foreign exchange law at the time of purchase.

No, NRIs/PIOs are not required to file any documents owing to the general permission granted by the Reserve Bank Of India.

No, there is no limit set on the number of residential properties that can be owned by NRIs/PIOs.

As per the current guidelines, NRIs/PIOs are allowed to transfer their properties by way of sale.

NRIs/PIOs are only allowed to purchase properties by funds remitted/routed through normal banking channels or funds in NRE/FCNR accounts maintained with banks in India.

As per the Reserve Bank Of India guidelines, NRIs can avail bank loans from only certain financial institutions in the country. The regulations/conditions will be at par with those applicable to Indian citizens. The repayment of the loan must be made within a period of 15 years.

They are required to file a declaration in form IPI 7 with the central office of the Reserve Bank Of India within a period of 90 days from the date of purchase or final payment.

The general permission granted by the Reserve Bank allows NRIs to rent out their properties. The income generated is eligible for repatriation.

Only individuals with Indian Citizenship are allowed to own property in India or they should at least own an OCI Card ( Overseas citizenship of India )

Person of Indian origin who has migrated from India to any other foreign country, can do the registration upon submitting the OCI (Overseas Citizenship Identity) Card Copy.

Income generated by NRI are taxed in the same way as residents. On sale of property it will be capital gains tax which will be at normal rates (i.e. up to 30%) if the asset is held for less than 2 year. Or at a flat 20% if held for more than 2 years( There is nonbasic exemption limit for long term capital gain for NRI's). Also any person making payment to NRI be it rent or sale proceeds will have to deduct 20% TDS.