FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS) BY NON-RESIDENT INDIAN AND/OR PERSON OF INDIAN ORIGIN

Q.1 Who is NRI ?

A.Non Resident Indian (NRI) is a citizen of India, who stays abroad for employment/carrying on business or vocation outside India or stays abroad under circumstances indicating an intention for an uncertain duration of stay abroad is a non-resident. Non-resident foreign citizens of Indian Origin are treated at par with Non Resident Indian (NRIs)

Q.2. Who is PIO ?

A.Person of Indian Origin (PIO) is a person of Indian origin or ancestry who was or whose ancestors were born in India or nations with Indian ancestry but is not a citizen of India and is the citizen of another country. A PIO might have been a citizen of India and subsequently taken the citizenship of another country.

An Indian-born individuals (and also people of other nations with Indian ancestry) who have taken the citizenship of other countries.

The Indian government considers anyone of Indian origin up to four generations removed to be a PIO, with the exception of those who were ever nationals of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, or Sri Lanka. The prohibited list periodically includes Iran as well. The government issues a PIO Card to a PIO after verification of his or her origin or ancestry and this card entitles a PIO to enter India without a visa.

Non-resident Indians holding Indian passport do not require any permission from RBI for acquiring immovable property for bonafide residential purposes.

Q.3. What documents are required for buying Property?

Following documents are required:

  1. Pan card (Permanent account number)
  2. OCI/PIO card (In case of OCI/PIO)
  3. Passport (In case of NRI)
  4. Passport size photographs
  5. Address proof

Q.4. Who can purchase immovable property in India?

A.Under the general permission available, the following categories can freely purchase immovable property in India:

  1. Non-Resident Indian (NRI)- that is a citizen of India resident outside India
  2. Person of Indian Origin (PIO)- that is an individual (not being a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh or Sri Lanka or Afghanistan or China or Iran or Nepal or Bhutan), who
  1. at any time, held Indian passport, or
  2. 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).

The general permission, however, covers only purchase of residential and commercial property and not for purchase of agricultural land / plantation property / farm house in India.

Q.5. For whom prior permission is required?

A. Prior permission for acquisition or transfer of immovable property in India by citizen of certain countries

No person being a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Nepal or Bhutan shall acquire or transfer immovable property in India, other than lease, not exceeding five years without prior permission of Reserve Bank. Foreign nationals of non Indian origin resident outside India are not permitted to acquire any immovable property in India unless such property is acquired by way of inheritance from a person who was resident in India. Foreign Nationals of non Indian origin who have acquired immovable property in India by way of inheritance with the specific approval of RBI can not transfer such property without prior permission of RBI.

Q.6. Modes of Payment for acquisition of Property?

A. Payment for acquisition of property can be made out of:

  1. Funds received in India through normal banking channels by way of inward remittance from any place of India or
  2. Funds held in any non-resident account maintained in accordance with the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 and the regulations made by Reserve Bank of India from time to time (viz. NRO/ NRE/ FCNR account).

Such payment can not be made either by traveller’s cheque or by foreign currency notes or by other mode than those specially mentioned above.

Q.7. 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?

A. 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.

Q.8. How many residential/commercial properties can NRI/PIO purchase under the general permission?

A. There are no restrictions on the number of residential/commercial properties that can be purchased.

Q.9. Can a foreign national of non-Indian origin be a second holder to immovable property purchased by NRI/PIO?

A. No.

Q.10. Can a foreign national of non-Indian origin resident outside India purchase immovable property in India?

A.No. A foreign national of non-Indian origin, resident outside India cannot purchase any immovable property in India. But, he/she may take residential accommodation on lease provided the period of lease does not exceed five years. In such cases, there is no requirement of taking any permission of or reporting to Reserve Bank

Q.11. Can a foreign national who is a person resident in India purchase immovable property in India?

A. Yes, but the person concerned would have to obtain the approvals, and fulfill the requirements if any, prescribed by other authorities, such as the concerned State Government, etc. However, a foreign national resident in India who is a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Nepal and Bhutan would require prior approval of Reserve Bank. Such requests are considered by Reserve Bank in consultation with the Government of India.

Q.12. Can an office of a foreign company purchase immovable property in India?

A. A foreign company which has established a Branch Office or other place of business in India, in accordance with FERA / FEMA regulations, can acquire any immovable property in India, which is necessary for or incidental to carrying on such activity. The payment for acquiring such a property should be made by way of foreign inward remittance through proper banking channel. A declaration in form IPI should be filed with Reserve Bank within ninety days from the date of acquiring the property. Such a property can also be mortgaged with an Authorised Dealer as a security for other borrowings. On winding up of the business, the sale proceeds of such property can be repatriated only with the prior approval of Reserve Bank. Further, acquisition of immovable property by entities who had set up Branch Offices in India and incorporated in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Nepal and Bhutan would require prior approval of Reserve Bank to acquire such immovable property. However, if the foreign company has established a Liaison Office, it can not acquire immovable property. In such cases, Liaison Offices can take property by way of lease not exceeding 5 years.

Q.13. Whether immovable property in India can be acquired by way of gift?

A. (a) Yes, NRls and PIOs can freely acquire immovable property by way of gift either from

However, the property can only be commercial or residential. Agricultural land/plantation property/ farm house in India cannot be acquired by way of gift.

(b) A foreign national of non-Indian origin resident outside India cannot acquire any immovable property in India through gift.

Q.14. Whether a non-resident can inherit immovable property in India?

A. Yes, a person resident outside India i.e.

Q.15. From whom can the non-resident inherit immovable property?

A. A person resident outside India (i.e. NRI or PIO or foreign national of non-Indian origin) can inherit immovable property from

However, the person from whom the property is inherited should have acquired the same in accordance with the foreign exchange regulations applicable at that point of time.

Q.16. Can NRI/PIO rent out the residential commercial property purchased out of foreign exchange / rupee funds?

A. Yes, NRI/PIO can rent out the property without the approval of the Reserve Bank. Rent received can be credited to NRO, NRE account or remitted abroad. Powers have been delegated to the Authorised Dealers to allow repatriation of current income like rent, dividend, pension, interest, etc. of NRls/PIO who do not maintain an NRO account in India based on an appropriate certification by a Chartered Accountant, certifying that the amount proposed to be remitted is eligible for remittance and that applicable taxes have been paid/provided for. [cf. AP. (DIR Series) Circular No. 45 dated May 14, 2002].

Q.17. Can a person who had bought immovable property when he was a resident, continue to hold such property even after becoming an NRI'PIO?

A. Yes, he can continue to hold the residential/commercial property / agricultural land/ plantation property / farm house in India without the approval of the Reserve Bank.

FAQS RELATING TO HOME LOAN

NRI Home Loan Eligibility

Age

Residential status

Income:

Documents

Personal details documents

Financial details documents: for salaried individuals

Financial details documents: for self employed individuals

Copy of:

NRI Personal Guarantor documents

If you have opted for a NRI Personal Guarantor on your loan, arrange to send the following documents

Repayment

Under the RBI regulations, the repayment of the housing loan by NRIs can only be made by remittances from abroad through normal banking channels or through NRE/NRO account or out of rental income derived from the impugned property. The amount must be payable in Indian Rupees only.

Purpose

  1. Construction/ purchase of new Dwelling Unit
  2. Purchase of Old dwelling Units (Not more than 25 years old)
  3. Purchase of Plot and construction of house thereon (if House to be constructed within 3 years)
  4. Repayment of Housing Loan already availed from Bank/ Housing Finance Company and/ or any other sources provided documentary evidence is provided
  5. For extension of the existing House

Note: The above checklist for home loan is tentative and it may differ from Bank to Bank. For detailed bank-wise checklist, you may visit to the website of bank from which home loan is to be availed

Please refer to the below links for updated information Ministry of External Affairs: http://mea.gov.in/ Indian Income tax: http://www.incometaxindia.gov.in/. RBI (NRI FAQ): http://www.rbi.org.in/scripts/faqview.aspx?id=52

Disclaimer: These are the broad guidelines meant for ready reference with respect to acquisition and transfer of immovable property in India by NRI/PIO/OCI and in each case prospective buyer or seller of property in India must consult his/her own legal/finance/tax advisor and obtain suitable advise for their specific transaction. Ganesh Housing Corporation Limited Limited assumes no responsibility or legal liability for transactions entered into by placing reliance on these FAQs. These guidelines are as applicable as on 1st October, 2016 and are subject to amendment by the regulatory authority. Ganesh Housing Corporation Limited assumes no responsibility for updating these FAQs.