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FAQ's for NRI's

Q Do non-resident Indian citizen require permission of Reserve Bank to acquire residential/ commercial property in India?

A No. An Indian citizen resident outside India does not require any permission to acquire any immovable property in India other than agricultural/ plantation property or a farmhouse.

Q Where can permission be taken for acquisition of agricultural land/plantation property / farmhouse by any person resident outside India or foreign nationals of Indian origin?

A All requests for acquisition of agricultural land/plantation property / farmhouse by any person resident outside India or foreign nationals may be made to The Chief General Manager, Reserve Bank of India, Central Office, Exchange Control Department, Foreign Investment Division (III), Mumbai 400 001.

Q Do non-resident Indian citizen require permission of Reserve Bank to acquire residential/ commercial property in India? A No. An Indian citizen resident outside India does not require any permission to acquire any immovable property in India other than agricultural/ plantation property or a farmhouse.

Q Who is a Person of Indian Origin?

A A person of Indian origin 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: - At any time, held Indian passport; - Who or either of whose father or whose grandfather was a citizen of India by virtue of the Constitution of India or the Citizenship Act, 1955 (57 of 1955)."

Q Where can one find regulations/directions issued by Reserve Bank for acquisition and transfer of immovable property in India by a person resident outside India?

A 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.

Q Under the extant foreign exchange regulations to whom is general permission available for purchase immovable property in India?

A 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) or who is a Person of Indian Origin (PIO).

Q Is NRI/PIO who has purchased residential/commercial property under general permission required to file any documents with Reserve Bank of India?

A NRI/PIO who has purchased residential/commercial property under general permission is not required to file any documents with the Reserve Bank.

Q Is there any restriction on number of residential/commercial property that NRI/PIO can purchase under the general permission available?

A There is no restriction on number of residential/commercial properties that NRI/PIO can purchase under the general permission available.

Q Can a name of a foreign national of non-Indian origin be added as a second holder to a residential/commercial property purchased by NRI/PIO?

A No.

Q Can a foreign national of non-Indian origin resident outside India acquire any immovable property in India by way of purchase?

A 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.

Q Can a foreign national of non-Indian origin acquire residential property on a lease in India?

A 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.

Q Can a person resident outside India (i.e. a NRI or a PIO or a foreign national of non-Indian origin) acquire agricultural land/plantation property/farm house in India by way of purchase?

A No. A person resident outside India cannot acquire by way of purchase agricultural land/plantation property/farm house in India.

Q Can NRI/PIO acquire residential/commercial property by way of gift under the general permission available?

A Yes. Under general permission available NRI/PIO may acquire residential/commercial property by way of gift from a person resident in India or a NRI or a PIO.

Q Can a person resident outside India (i.e. a NRI or a PIO or a foreign national of non-Indian origin) acquire agricultural land/plantation property/farm house in India by way of gift?

A No. A person resident outside India cannot acquire agricultural land/plantation property/farm house in India by way of gift.

Q Can a person resident outside India (i.e. NRI or PIO or foreign national of non-Indian origin) hold any immovable property in India acquired by way of inheritance from a person resident in India?

A 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.

Q Can a person resident outside India (i.e. NRI or PIO or foreign national of non-Indian origin) hold any immovable property in India acquired by way of inheritance from a person resident outside India?

A 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 bequeathor had acquired such property in accordance with the provisions of foreign exchange law in force at the time of acquisition or under FEMA regulations.

Q Under general permission available to whom can NRI transfer by way of sale his residential/commercial property?

A 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.

Q Under general permission available to whom can a PIO transfer his residential/commercial property by way of sale?

A PIO can transfer by way of sale residential/commercial property in India only to a person resident in India.

Q Can a PIO transfer by way of sale his residential/commercial property to a NRI or a PIO?

A 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.

Q Can a foreign national of non-Indian origin whether resident in India or outside India 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?

A 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.

Q Under general permission available to whom can NRI/PIO transfer by way of sale his agricultural land/plantation property/farm house in India?

A 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.

Q Can a foreign national of non-Indian origin resident outside India transfer by way of sale agricultural land/plantation property/farm house acquired by him in India?

A 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.

By vayaM CS