Who is a Non-resident Indian (NRI)
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.
Who is a Person of Indian Origin (PIO)?
Any person who was born an Indian Citizen, but over time has chosen the citizenship of another country is considered a Person of Indian Origin (PIO).
Are Non Resident Indians (NRIs) & Foreign Citizen of Indian origin (PIOs) allowed to acquire or dispose 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 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 the 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 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 instalment of consideration amount, whichever is later.
Additionally, the following points also need to be adhered to in this respect:
i. 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;
ii. 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
iii. 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.