An Indian Citizen who holds a valid Indian passport and 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 Indian (NRI). Non-resident foreign citizens of Indian Origin are treated at par with non-resident Indians (NRI).

Who is considered the person of Indian origin (PIO) 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,
He or his father or paternal grandfather was a citizen of India by virtue of the Constitution of of India or the Citizenship Act, 1955 (Act No. 57 of 1955).


Overseas Corporate Bodies (OCBs) are bodies predominantly owned by individuals of Indian nationality or origin residing outside India and include overseas companies, partnership firms, societies and other corporate bodies which are owned, directly or indirectly, to the extent of at least 60% individuals of Indian nationality or origin resident outside India as also overseas trusts in which at least 60% of the beneficial interest is irrevocably held by such persons. Such ownership interest should be actually held by them and not in the capacity as nominees. The various facilities granted to NRIs are also available with certain exceptions to OCBs as long as the ownership/beneficial interest held in them by NRIs continue to be at least 60%.

What are the various facilities available for NRIs/OCBs?

NRIs/OCBs are granted the following facilities:
Maintenance of bank accounts in India.
Investments in securities/shares of, and deposits with, Indian firms/companies Investments in immovable properties in India.

I am an NRI. Can i buy property in India?

If you are of Indian Origin and hold an Indian Passport, then you are entitled to buy property in India. If you are an overseas passport holder like a US Passport or a British Passport Holder, then you need to have a PIO Card. This can be applied for at the Indian Embassy or Consulate in your country where you are residing or you could enquire with them for further details. It is sufficient if you have your father's or mother's passport or birth certificate or any other proof of their being an Indian Citizen. It is essential to carry that proof with you.

How can i pay for the property purchase?

There is no restriction or condition on payment while buying property. Normal banking channels are applicable.
FCNR. Foreign Currency Non Resident account in India.
NRE. Non Resident (External) Rupee account in India.
Remittance from abroad through normal banking channels.
NRO. Non Resident (Ordinary) Rupee account in India.
Although the payment could be in rupees or any foreign currency, no repatriation benefits are applicable on these investments.

Can i lease my property in India even thought i stay abroad?

If the NRI's property is lying unused, he can lease it out and earn the proceedings. RBI approval or permission is not required. There are only two restrictions, (i.e.) the proceeds out of this lease is taxable and the proceeds cannot be taken out of India. Also, outright selling of NRI property does not require RBI permission although the profit on sale is liable to capital gains tax.

Can i sell my property?

If an NRI wishes to sell his property and take away the profits, then:
He can take away the proceeds.
Sale is restricted to only two properties
Sales allowed only after three years.
Money must be kept in India.
Any or all can be sold.
Entire proceeds can be transferred.

Can an NRI get home loan in India?

Yes, as an NRI you can apply for a home loan in India. Getting a home loan is as easy for an NRI as a resident Indian. Some lender may, however, ask for a local power of attorney holder.

Is there a limit to the number if investment for acquiring commercial or residential properties in India?

Non Resident Indians are allowed to make real estate investments in India without any cap on the quantity or the number of investments.

Can a non resident Indian gift his residential / commercial property?

Yes, an NRI / PIO may gift residential / commercial property to a person resident in India or to an NRI or a PIO. However, a foreign national of non-Indian origin gifting to another foreign national needs prior approval of the Reserve Bank of India.
Acquisition of property
There are no restrictions on the number of residential / commercial properties that can be purchased by an NRI / PIO under general permission.

(a) NRIs and PIOs can freely acquire immovable property by way of gift either from a person resident in India or an NRI or a PIO. 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.

A person resident outside India i.e. an NRI a PIO and a foreign national of non-Indian origin can inherit and hold immovable property in India from a person who was resident in India. However, a citizen of specified countries (Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan) should seek specific approval of Reserve Bank. A person resident outside India (i.e. NRI or PIO or foreign national of non-Indian origin) can inherit immovable property from a person resident in India a person resident outside India 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.

Repatriation of application money for booking of flat/ payment made to the builder by NRI/ PIO:
Refund of application / earnest money / purchase consideration on account of non-allotment of flat / plot / cancellation of bookings / deals for purchase of residential / commercial property, together with interest, if any (net of income tax payable thereon), is allowed provided the original payment was made out of NRE / FCNR account of the account holder or remittance from outside India through normal banking channels and the authorized dealer is satisfied about the genuineness of the transaction.

Power of Attorney The non-resident Indians who are staying abroad may enter into an agreement through their relatives and/or by executing the Power of Attorney in their favour as it is not possible for them to be present for completing the formalities of purchase (negotiating with the builder or Developer, drafting and signing of agreements, taking possession, etc.) These formalities can be completed through some known person who can be given the Power of Attorney for this purpose.
sell my property ?
An NRI can sell property in India only to:
a) A person resident in India
b) An NRI
c) A PIO

A PIO can sell property in India only to:
a) A person resident in India
b) An NRI

A PIO (with the prior approval of Reserve Bank of India) A Foreign national of non-Indian origin, including a citizen of any of the following countries viz. Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Nepal, and Bhutan can sell property in India with the prior approval of Reserve Bank to:
a) A person resident in India
b) An NRI
c) A PIO