Q1. What constitutes an NRI?

Any person of Indian origin (Indian Citizen) living abroad for purpose of education, employment or carrying on business etc. for a long duration abroad is a non-resident Indian. Non-resident foreign citizens of Indian Origin are also treated on par with non-resident Indian Citizens (NRI’s) for purpose of certain facilities.

Q2. Do Non-Resident Indian Citizens require permission of Reserve Bank to acquire residential/commercial property in India?

You would need to check with you Charted Accountant on this and based on the current rule of RBI from time to time.

Q3. What payment modes can an NRI use for paying for the property?

There is no restriction or conditions on payment on buying a property. The normal banking channels are applicable. Remittance from abroad through normal banking channels NRO accounts in India (Deposits in dollars opened by residents or non-residents) NRE (Non Resident External Rupee accounts) FCNR (Foreign Currency Non-Resident accounts) in India.

Q4. What are the regulations for purchase of property?

FEMA stipulates that before making a purchase, special form called the IPI 7 needs to be filed with the central office of the RBI along with the title deed or any other certified copy of the document proving that the NRI has executed an agreement to purchase the property within the country within 90 days of the purchase of property along with bank certificate stating consideration paid for the purchase.

Q5. Do foreign citizens of Indian Origin require permission of Reserve Bank of India to purchase immovable property in India for their residential use?

Reserve Bank has granted general permission to foreign citizens of Indian Origin, whether resident in India or abroad, to purchase immovable property in India for their bonafide residential purpose. They are, therefore, not required to obtain separate permission of Reserve Bank.

Q6. Can returns from realty or sale proceeds be repatriated?

FEMA says no matter what the proceeds of the sale may be, the amount for repatriation should not exceed the amount paid for acquisition of the immovable property in foreign exchange received.

Q7. Can NRI’s obtain loans for acquisition of a house/ flat for residential purpose from financial institutions providing housing finance?

The Reserve Bank has granted general permission to certain financial institutions, like HDFC, LIC Housing Finance Ltd., to grant housing loans to non-resident Indian nationals for acquisition of houses/flats subject to certain conditions.