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Forex Facilities for NRIs/PIOs

If you are a Non-Resident Indian (NRI) or a Person of Indian Origin (PIO), you can avail of the following facilities without permission from the Reserve Bank :

Deposits

  • You can open, hold and maintain following types of accounts with an authorised dealer in India i.e. a bank authorised to deal in foreign exchange.

Non-Resident (Ordinary) Rupee Account – NRO Account

Non-Resident (External) Rupee Account – NRE Account

Foreign Currency Non Resident (Bank) Account – FCNR (B) Account

  • Salient features of the above accounts are as under :

Particulars

FCNR (B) Account

NRE Account

NRO Account

Joint account of two or more NRIs

Permitted

Permitted

Permitted

Joint account with another person resident in India

Not permitted

Not permitted

Permitted

Currency in which account is denominated

Pound Sterling/ US Dollar/Jap.Yen/Euro

Indian Rupees

Indian Rupees

Repatriability –
Principal

 

 


Freely repatriable

 


Freely repatriable

 


Not repatriable

(except current income like rent, dividend, pension etc. and remittances indicated under "Repatriation of NRO Funds")

Interest

Freely repatriable

Freely repatriable

Freely repatriable

Foreign currency risk

Account holder is protected against changes in INR value vis-à-vis the currency in which the account is denominated.

Account holder is exposed to the fluctuations in the value of INR.

Account holder is exposed to the fluctuations, in the value of INR to the extent of interest amount.

Type of accounts

Term deposits only.

Current, Savings, Recurring, Fixed Deposits.

Current, Savings, Recurring, Fixed Deposits.

Period of fixed deposits

For terms not less than 1 year and not exceeding 3 years

For the periods as announced by the deposit taking bank.

For the periods as announced by the deposit taking bank.

Rate of interest

Banks are free to determine interest rates within the ceiling, if any, prescribed by the Reserve Bank

Banks are free to determine interest rates.

Banks are free to determine interest rates.

Rupee Loans in India against Security of the funds held in the account to :
Account holder
Third Party

 

 

Permitted
Permitted

 

 

Permitted
Permitted

 

 

Permitted
Permitted

Foreign currency loans outside India against security of the funds held in the account to :
Account holder
Third Party

 

 

Permitted
Permitted

 

 

Permitted
Permitted

 

 

Not permitted
Not permitted

  • Only account holders can avail of foreign currency loans in India against the security held in FCNR(B) Deposit Account.

Repatriation of NRO funds

  • Authorised Dealers can allow remittance/s upto USD 1 million, of balances in NRO accounts/of sale proceeds of assets on production of an undertaking by the remitter togetherwith a certificate issued by a Chartered Accountant in Annexure A and B as prescribed by the Central Board of Direct axes (CBDT). In the case of repatriation of sale proceeds of immovable property by NRIs/PIOs, ADs can allow repatriation thereof even if the immovable property was held by the NRIs/PIOs for less than 10 years provided the cumulative period of holding of the immovable property in India and retention of the sale proceeds of the property in the NRO Account is not less than 10 years.

Investment in India :

You can invest in :

  • Government Securities/Units with repatriation rights.

  • Company shares/Debentures with repatriation rights.

  • Shares/debentures of Indian companies through stock exchange under port-folio investment scheme with repatriation rights.

  • Indian companies without any limit on non-repatriation basis, freely.

For details please refer to Reserve Bank’s Notifications No.FEMA.20/RB-2000 and No.FEMA.24/RB-2000 dated May 3, 2000 as amended from time to time.

Immovable property

You can acquire –

  • immovable property in India other than agricultural/plantation property or a farm house, if you are an NRI.

  • immovable property other than agricultural land/farm house/plantation property in India out of repatriable funds, if you are a PIO.

You can repatriate –

  • sale proceeds of immovable property acquired in India out of your repatriable funds, without any lock-in period.

  • refund of application/earnest money/purchase consideration made by house-building agencies/seller on account of non-allotment of flats/plots/cancellation of booking/deals for purchase of residential/commercial properties, togetherwith interest, net of taxes, provided original payment is made out of NRE/FCNR(B) account/inward remittances.

N.B. - All persons, whether resident in India or outside India, who are citizens of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Nepal, or Bhutan, require prior permission of Reserve Bank for acquiring or transferring any immovable property in India.

On return to India

If you decide to return to India :

  • You may continue to hold, own, transfer or invest in foreign currency, foreign security or any immovable property situated outside India, if such currency, security or property was acquired, held or owned when you were resident outside India.

  • You may open, hold and maintain with an authorised dealer in India a Resident Foreign Currency (RFC) Account to keep your foreign currency assets. Assets held outside India at the time of return can be credited to RFC account. The funds in RFC accounts are free from all restrictions regarding utilisation of foreign currency balances including any restriction on investment outside India.

N.B. All the above facilities are available under general permission, i.e., foreign exchange can be availed of from authorised dealers and does not require Reserve Bank’s approval.


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