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Defination of NRI

An Indian Citizen who stays abroad for employment/ carrying on business or vacation outside India 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.

For Investment in immovable properties

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 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).

Additional Details

Acquisition and Transfer of Immovable Property in India by a person resident outside India.

These FAQ’s have been prepared in order to address various issues relating to acquisition and transfer of immovable property in India by a person resident outside India under the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999. These FAQs seek to cover the broad spectrum of issues relating to acquisition and transfer of immovable property in India by a non-resident Indian (NRI) or a foreign national of Indian origin (PIO) or a foreign national of non-Indian origin as also by a person resident in India who is not a citizen of India.

Question & Answer

Regulations regarding acquisition and transfer of immovable property in India by a person resident outside India have been notified vide RBI Notification No. FEMA 21/2000-RB dated May 3, 2000 as amended vide Notification No. FEMA 64/2002-RB dated June 29, 2002 and Notification No. FEMA 65/2002-RB dated June 29, 2002 and relevant directions issued in the form of A. P. (DIR Series) Circulars. These are available on RBI web site: www.fema.rbi.org.in
One will need a guarantor for a loan mainly for collateral security. The guarantor will have to demonstrate appropriate net worth to cover for the loan. Usually one can have a guarantor in any city where the loan issuer has a branch. Talk to loan issuers they will work something out for NRIs and foreign banks.
Reserve Bank permits Indian firms/companies to grant housing loans to their employees deputed abroad and holding Indian passport subject to certain conditions. Source: Reserve Bank of India.
Authorized dealers have been granted permission to grant loans up to nonresident Indian nationals for acquisition of house/flat for self-occupation on their 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 investments' NRE/FCNR accounts.
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 non-resident Indian nationals for acquisition of houses/flats for self-occupation subject to certain conditions.
Yes. Reserve Bank has granted general permission for letting out of any immovable property in India. The rental income or proceeds of any investment of such income has to be credited to NRO account.
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 within 90 days of the sale of property in form IPI 8.
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' NRE/FCNR 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.
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,provided gift tax has been paid.
Applications for necessary permission for remittance of sale proceeds should be made in form IPI 8 to the Central Office of Reserve Bank at Mumbai within 90 days of the sale of the property.
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 installment of consideration amount, whichever is later.
In respect of residential properties purchased on or after 26th May,1993, Reserve Bank 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.
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.
They are required to file a declaration in form IPI 7 with the Central Office of Reserve Bank 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.
The purchase consideration should be met either out of inward remittances in foreign exchange through normal banking channels or out of funds from NTE/FCNR accounts maintained with banks in India.
Yes. However, Reserve Bank 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.

Acquisition of immovable property in India by way of purchase by a person resident outside India

No. A person resident outside India cannot acquire by way of purchase agricultural land/plantation property/farm house in India.
Yes. A 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 may acquire only residential accommodation on lease, not exceeding five years for which he/she does not require prior permission of Reserve Bank of India.
No. Under section 2 (ze) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 'transfer' includes among others, 'purchase'. Therefore, a foreign national of non-Indian origin resident outside India cannot acquire any immovable property in India by way of purchase.
There is no restriction on number of residential/commercial property that NRI/PIO can purchase under the general permission available.
NRI/PIO who has purchased residential/commercial property under general permission is not required to file any documents with the Reserve Bank.
individual (not being a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh or Sri Lanka or Afghanistan or China or Iran or Nepal or Bhutan), who (i) at any time, held Indian passport; or (ii) who or either of whose father or grandfather was a citizen of India by virtue of the Constitution of India or the Citizenship Act, 1955 (57 of 1955).
General Permission is available to purchase only a residential/commercial property in India to a person resident outside India who is a citizen of India (NRI) and who is a Person of Indian Origin (PIO).

Acquisition of immovable property in India by way of gift by a person resident outside India

With the specific approval of Reserve Bank a person resident outside India may hold any immovable property in India acquired by way of inheritance from a person resident outside India, provided the bequeath or had acquired such property in accordance with the provisions of foreign exchange law in force at the time of acquisition or under FEMA regulations.
Yes. A person resident outside India can hold immovable property acquired by way of inheritance from a person resident in India as per the provisions of Section 6(5) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999.

Transfer of immovable property in India by way of sale by a person resident outside India

A foreign national of non-Indian origin resident outside India would need to seek prior approval of Reserve Bank for transfer, by way of sale, agricultural land/plantation property/farm house acquired in India.
Under the general permission available NRI/PIO may transfer by way of sale his agricultural land/plantation property/farm house in India to a person resident in India who is a citizen of India.
No. A foreign national of non-Indian origin whether resident in India or outside India would need to seek prior approval of Reserve Bank for transfer by way of sale residential/property in India acquired with the specific permission of Reserve Bank to a person resident in India or outside India.
No. He would need to seek Reserve Bank prior approval for transfer by way of sale residential/commercial property in India to a NRI or a PIO.
PIO can transfer by way of sale residential/commercial property in India only to a person resident in India.
NRI can transfer by way of sale residential/commercial property in India to a person resident in India or to a NRI or a PIO.