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Home >> NRI Services >> FAQs
 
FAQs
 

1) Who is a Non-Resident Indian (NRI)?

An Indian citizen or a person of Indian Origin residing abroad with an intention to stay abroad for an indefinite period.
Employment

Business or vocation or for any other purpose,

Indian citizen working abroad on assignment with foreign Governments, United Nations and its affiliates etc.,

Officials of Central/State Government and Public Sector Undertakings deputed abroad.

Indian crew members of Airlines and Shipping Companies posted abroad.

An Indian student who takes up employment abroad after completion of his/her studies.

Non-Resident Minor represented by his/her natural NRI guardian


2) Who is a Person of Indian Origin?

(a) For the purposes of availing of the facilities of opening and maintenance of bank accounts and investments in shares/securities in India

A foreign citizen (other than a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh) is deemed to be of Indian origin, if, he, at any time, held an Indian passport,
OR

he or either of his parents or any of his grand parents was a citizen of India by virtue of the Constitution of India or Citizenship Act, 1955 (57 of 1955).

Note:
A spouse (not being a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh) of an Indian citizen or of a person of Indian origin is also treated as a person of Indian origin for the above purpose provided the bank accounts are opened or investments in shares / securities in India are made by such persons only jointly with their NRI spouses.

(b) For investments in immovable properties

A foreign citizen (other than citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Sri Lanka or Nepal), is deemed to be of Indian origin if, he held an Indian passport at any time,
OR

he or his father or paternal grand-father was a citizen of India by virtue of the Constitution of India or the Citizenship Act, 1955 (57 of 1955).

3) Who is not an NRI ?

(i) Persons who go abroad for
tourism as tourists
business promotion
training
medical treatment
sports or cultural activities


(ii) Indians or persons of Indian Origin residing in Nepal/Bhutan

(iii) Crew members working for Shipping/Airlines Companies posted in India


4) Can I open an A/c in any bank in India ?

No. Only with Authorized Dealers. Also Banks specifically authorized in this behalf by RBI. Syndicate Bank is one of the Authorized Dealers having branch Network spread across the country


5) What is a Non-Resident Ordinary A/c (NRO A/c) ?

All the accounts of the resident Indians become Non-Resident Ordinary A/cs, the moment they become Non-residents


6) What is a Resident Foreign Currency A/C (RFC)?

This is a Scheme permitting persons of Indian nationality or origin, who have returned to India for permanent settlement (Returning Indians), after being resident outside India for a continuous period of not less than one year, to open foreign currency accounts with banks in India for holding funds brought by them to India and their existing NRE/FCNR(B) deposits

7) How can I open an account?

For opening account, complete the opening form and send to any one of our branches in case of NRO and NRE A/cs along with initial remittance by way of DD/CHEQUE/TT. For opening FCNR(B) or RFC accounts you can send the form to any of our Nominated Branches/Designated Branches.

Apart from the options in Bank Deposits, NRIs also have opportunities in Securities/Shares/Company Deposits. The following questionnaire will give a broad view of facilities and eligibilities.

8) Can I invest in units of UTI?

YES

9) Can I invest in National Savings Certificate

YES


10) Can I invest in Indira Vikas Patra/Kisan Vikas Patra

NO


11) Can I transfer/sale units

YES


12) Can I do so directly

NO, Only through Authorised Dealers or UTI


13) Can I repatriate with interest units/NSC purchased out of funds brought from
abroad


YES


14) Can I repatriate principal value of units/NSC purchased out of NRO funds ?

NO


15) Can I repatriate interest on my units/NSC purchased from NRO A/c ?

YES (subject to certain formalities/conditions)*


16) Can I invest by way of capital in proprietary/partnership concerns on non-repatriation basis ?

YES

17) Do I need RBI permission for this ?

NO


18) Can I do so with concerns engaged in agriculture/plantation/real estate ?

NO

19) Can I make investments in domestic/Private Sector Mutual funds or Money Market Mutual funds floated by Commercial banks and Public/Private sector financial institutions on repatriation basis ?

YES


20) Can I make investment in non-convertible debentures of Indian Companies ?

YES

21) Can I invest in Non-convertible debentures on repatriation basis ?

YES, *Considered on case to case basis by RBI.


22) Can I invest in new issues of shares of Indian Companies on non-repatriation basis ?

YES


23) Do I need RBI permission for this ?

NO, provided the investee company is not engaged in agricultural / plantation activity or real estate business (excluding real estate development i.e. development of property and construction of house) or chit fund or is not a Nidhi Company.


24) Can I purchase existing shares/debentures of Indian co. by Private arrangement ?

YES, *Subject to certain formalities


25) Do I need any approval for holding these securities from RBI on my becoming Non-Resident Indian ?

NO

26) Can I obtain loans abroad against the collateral of shares/debentures of Indian Companies(purchased on repatriation basis) ?

YES, Through our London Branch


27) Can sale proceeds of the shares/debentures be remitted abroad for liquidation of outstandings against such loans/over-drafts ?

YES, Subject to payment of Income tax, Capitals Gains tax etc if any

28) Can I transfer/sell shares/debentures/bonds held on non-repatriation basis to residents freely ?

YES

29) Can I keep deposit with companies in India with repatriation benefits ?

*YES, Subject to certain ceilings/conditions


30) Can I gift shares/debentures to my relatives ?

YES

Opportunities for investment in immovable property

31) Do non-resident Indian citizens require permission of Reserve Bank of India to acquire residential/commercial property in India?

No

32) Do foreign citizens of Indian Origin require permission of Reserve Bank of India to purchase immovable property in India for their residential use?

Yes. However, Reserve Bank of India has granted general permission to foreign citizens of Indian origin, whether resident in India or abroad, to purchase immovable property in India for their bona fide residential purpose. They are, therefore, not required to obtain separate permission of Reserve Bank.

33) In what manner the purchase consideration for the residential immovable property should be paid by foreign citizens of Indian Origins under the general permission?

The purchase consideration should be met either out of inward remittances in foreign exchange through normal banking channels or out of funds from NRE/FCNR(B) accounts maintained with banks in India.

34) What are the formalities required to be completed by foreign citizens of Indian Origin for purchasing residential immovable property in India under the general permission?

They are required to file a declaration in form IPI 7 with the Central Office of Reserve Bank of India at Mumbai within a period of 90 days from the date of purchase of immovable property or final payment of purchase consideration along with a certified copy of the document evidencing the transaction and bank certificate regarding the consideration paid.

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

Yes. Reserve Bank of India 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(B) accounts.

36) Can sale proceeds of such property if and when sold be remitted out of India?

In respect of residential properties purchased on or after 26th May 1993, Reserve Bank of India considers applications for repatriation of sale proceeds up to the consideration amount remitted in foreign exchange for the acquisition of the property for two such properties. The balance amount of sale proceeds if any or sale proceeds in respect of properties purchased prior to 26th May 1993, will have to be credited to the ordinary non-resident rupee account of the owner of the property


37) Are any conditions required to be fulfilled if repatriation of sale proceeds is desired?

Applications for repatriation of sale proceeds are considered provided the sale takes place after three years from the date of final purchase deed or from the date of payment of final instalment of consideration amount, whichever is later.

38) What is the procedure for seeking such repatriation?

Applications for necessary permission for remittance of sale proceeds should be made in form IPI 8 to the Central Office of Reserve Bank of India at Mumbai within 90 days of the sale of property.

39) Can foreign citizens of Indian Origin acquire or dispose of residential property by way of gift?

Yes. Reserve Bank of India 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, provided gift tax has been paid.


40) Can foreign citizens of Indian Origin acquire commercial properties in India?

Yes. Under the general permission granted by Reserve Bank of India 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' NRE/FCNR(B) 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.

41) Can they dispose of such properties?

Yes

42) Can sale proceeds of such property be remitted out of India?

Yes Repatriation of original investment in respect of properties purchased by foreign citizens of Indian Origin on or after 26th May 1993 will be allowed to be remitted up to the consideration amount originally remitted from abroad provided the property is 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. Applications for the purpose are required to be made to the Central Office of Reserve Bank of India within 90 days of the sale of property in form IPI 8.

43) Can the properties (residential/commercial) be given on rent if not required for immediate use?

Yes. Reserve Bank of India has granted general permission for letting out any immovable property in India. The rental income or proceeds of any investment of such income has to be credited to NRO account.

44) Can NRIs obtain loans for acquisition of a house/flat for residential purpose from financial institutions providing housing finance?

Reserve Bank of India has granted general permission to certain financial institutions providing housing finance e.g. HDFC, LIC Housing Finance Ltd., etc., to grant housing loans to non-resident Indian nationals for acquisition of houses/flats for self-occupation subject to certain conditions. The borrower is required to meet at least 25% of the cost by way of foreign inward remittance through banking channels or out of funds held in his NRE/FCNR(B) accounts.

45) Can authorized dealer grant loans to NRIs for acquisition of a flat/house for residential purposes?

Authorized dealers have been granted permission to grant loans up to Rs.10 lakhs to non-resident Indian nationals for acquisition of only one house/flat for self-occupation on his return to India subject to certain conditions. Repayment of the loan should be made within a period not exceeding 15 years out of inward remittance through banking channels or out of funds held in the investor's NRE/FCNR(B)/NRO accounts.

46) 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 passport subject to certain conditions.

47) What is RNOR?

A returning Indian would have RNOR status if he has been a non resident for at least 9 of the previous 10 years or if he had been in India for not more than 729 days in the previous seven years.

48) Is there any tax deducted at source on interest earned on RFC accounts?

Yes. TDS is deducted at 10% on RFC Interest where the depositor does not hold RNOR status.

49) Under liberalised norms, how much money can an NRI remit abroad annually from his NRO a/cs?

He can remit upto US$1 million (or equivalent) per calendar year on production of an undertaking & certificate.

50) Is any prior permission of RBI required?

No, however, NRIs who are citizens of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, China, Afghanistan, Iran, Nepal & Bhutan are not allowed to repatriate assets without prior permission of RBI.

51)Whether I can remit funds from Gulf countries to India?

 Yes,pls click here for details

 
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