A non-resident Indian (NRI) is a resident of India who possesses an Indian passport and has provisionally emigrated to another country for six months or more for residence, education, employment or any other intention whatsoever. A person of Indian origin (PIO) is a person of Indian origin or ancestry whose ancestors were born in India or nations with Indian ancestry but isn’t a citizen of India, instead residing in another country. A PIO might have been a citizen of India and thereafter become a citizen of another country.

An Indian-born individual (that includes individuals belonging to other nations with Indian ancestry) who has taken the citizenship of other countries.

The Indian government considers any individual to be of Indian origin until the fourth generation uprooted to be a person of Indian origin, except for those who were ever nationals of Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Pakistan or Bangladesh. Periodically, the list also includes Iran as a prohibited country. The government issues a PIO Card to an individual after their ancestry or origin are confirmed, thereby entitling them to come into India without a visa.

NRIs in possession of an Indian passport do not require any permission from RBI for obtaining immovable property for bonafide residential purposes. Non-resident Indians with an Indian passport may pay the purchase consideration either by normal banking channel or through remittance of funds from abroad or out of NRO/NRE/FCNR account.

To receive permission, applications for remittance of sale proceeds should be made in form IPI 8 and sent to the Central Office of the Reserve Bank at Mumbai within 90 days of the sale of the property.

They need to file a declaration in form IPI 7 with the Central Office of the Reserve Bank at Mumbai within a duration of 90 days from the date of purchase of immovable property or final payment of purchase consideration side by side with a verified copy of the document evidencing the bank certificate and transaction related to the consideration paid.

The Reserve Bank has permitted foreign citizens of Indian origin, whether they reside in India or abroad, to purchase secure property in India for their genuine residential purpose. Therefore, it is not required to obtain permission from the Reserve Bank.

The Reserve Bank permits Indian companies or firms to accord housing loans to their employees deputed abroad who are in possession of Indian passports, subject to certain conditions.

With respect to properties of a residential nature brought on or after 26th May 1993, the Reserve Bank considers repatriation of sale proceeds applications for up to the concerned amount transferred in foreign exchange for the procurement of two such properties. The balance amount of sale proceeds, if any, with respect to properties purchased prior to 26th May 1993 will need to be credited to the ordinary non-resident rupee account of the owner of the property.

To fulfill the conditions required for repatriation of sales proceeds, applications will be accepted provided the sale is undertaken three years after the date of final purchase deed or from the final installment payment date of consideration amount, whichever comes later.

The Reserve Bank has given general permission to certain financial institutions like Housing Finance Ltd., LIC, HDFC, etc., and authorized dealers to bestow housing loans to NRIs for obtaining a house for self-occupation subject to certain conditions. The purpose of the loan would be on equal standing with those applicable to housing loans to residents. Reimbursement of loan should be paid within 15 years of receiving the loan through the form of out of funds held in the investors’ NRE/FCNR/NRO accounts or inward remittances.

The Reserve Bank has granted permission for giving out any residential or commercial property in India for rent. The income received from the proceeds of any investment of such a kind are eligible for repatriation.

Yes, the Reserve Bank has granted permission to foreign citizens of Indian origin to do with their properties as they please by way of gift from or to a member of the family who could be an Indian citizen or an individual with Indian ancestry who either resides in India or not, subject to compliance with applicable tax laws.

The Reserve Bank is willing to allow the sale of residential or commercial property. Nevertheless, if the property has been bought by another NRI who originated from India, funds for the purchase consideration should either be transferred to India or paid out of balances in NRE/FCNR accounts.

Yes. General permission has been granted by the Reserve Bank to NRIs belonging to Indian origins to transfer immovable property held by them in India as a gift to relatives and charitable trusts/organizations, provided that the provisions of any other law, especially the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act of 1976, are duly complied with.

The payment for the purchase consideration should be provided for either through normal banking channels or by transfers in foreign exchange or through out of funds from NRE/FCNR accounts maintained with banks in India.

Yes. Under the general permission granted by the Reserve Bank, besides agricultural lands, farm houses and plantation properties, property can be acquired by NRIs who have origins in India. However, the purchase can be paid provided the consideration is compensated either through inward remittances in foreign currency or through standard banking channels or out of funds from NRE/FCNR accounts maintained with banks in India. Alongside that, a form IPI 7 declaration has to be submitted to the Central Office of the Reserve Bank within 90 days from the date of purchase of the property/final payment of purchase consideration.

With a view to allow credit to NRE/FCNR account on return of purchase consideration by the seller owing to the cancellation of bookings/deals for purchase of residential or commercial property, the Reserve Bank has stated that it will be to permit authorised dealers to allow non-residents of India or PIOs to reimburse applications/purchase consideration made by the seller or house building agencies with interest, owing to the non-allotment of flat/plot/cancellation of bookings/deals for purchase of commercial residential property to NRE/FCNR account, on the promise that the original payment was made out of NRE/FCNR account of the account-holder or transferred from outside of India through standard banking channels and the authorised dealer is contented with the genuine nature of the transaction.