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A citizen of India who stays abroad for employment/activities outside India or for reasons indicating an unclear duration of stay abroad is regarded as a non-resident. Persons posted with U.N. organizations and officials posted on temporary assignments by national and state governments are also considered non-residents. Non-resident foreign citizens of Indian descent are treated equally to non-resident Indian citizens NRIs for a few reasons.

For purposes of investments in shares/securities in India and opening and maintaining a bank account, a foreign citizen is considered to be of Indian origin, if:

- He has at any time held an Indian passport, or

- As per the Citizenship Act, 1955 (57 of 1955), he or any of his parents or any of his grandparents was an Indian citizen.

Note: Spouses of persons of Indian origin and of Indian citizens, who are not citizens of Bangladesh or Pakistan, are also treated as persons of Indian origin if they open bank accounts or invest in shares/securities just with their NRI spouses.

Whenever a foreign citizen (other than a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, or Nepal) invests in immovable properties, he is deemed to be of Indian origin if he holds an Indian passport at any time, or - he or his father or his grandfather was a citizen of India under the Constitution of India or under the Citizenship Act, 1955 (57 of 1955).


The Reserve Bank of India has issued general permission for foreign nationals of Indian origin, whether they are residing in India or abroad, to purchase immovable properties in India for bonafide residential use. Therefore, there is no prior permission required from the Reserve Bank.

The property must be purchased with funds remitted to India through normal banking channels. Additionally, they can pay the sale consideration with funds held in an external rupee account (NRE), non-resident (ordinary) account (NRO), or foreign currency account (FCNRB).

They are required to file a declaration while filling the form IPI 7 with the Central Office of Reserve Bank at Mumbai within a period of 90 days from the date of purchase of immovable property or final payment of purchase consideration along with a certified copy of the document evidencing the transaction and bank certificate regarding the consideration paid.

Yes. The Reserve Bank has given general permission for the sale of such property. If the property is purchased by another foreign citizen of Indian origin, funds towards the purchase consideration should either be remitted to India or deducted from the seller's NRE/FCNR balance.

Reserve Bank of India considers applications for repatriation of sale proceeds of residential properties acquired on and after 26th May 1993, up to the original investment amount remitted in foreign exchange for the acquisition of two such properties. Proceeds from sales or balance amount of sales proceeds (if any) on real estate purchased before May 26, 1993, must be deposited into the general account in the non-resident rupees account of the owner of the property.

Refund requests are considered based on the condition that the sale is made three years after the last purchase date or three years from the final payment of the consideration amount, whichever is later.

The application for approval to transfer the proceeds of the sale must be submitted on Form IPI 8 to the Central Bank headquarters in Mumbai within 90 days of the sale of the property.

The Reserve Bank has granted general permission for a foreign citizen of Indian origin to gift or give away up to two real estate properties to relatives or relatives who may be Indian citizens or of Indian origin, whether Indian resident or not residing in India, depending on the compliance with applicable tax laws.

Yes. The Reserve Bank has granted general permission to gift real estate held in India by non-residents (foreign citizens) in India to relatives and charitable foundations/organizations under the provisions of other laws, including the Foreign Investment (Regulatory) Act. 1976, as long as they are met properly.

A general authorization granted by the Reserve Bank allows foreigners of Indian origin to purchase property other than agricultural land, farmhouse, and plantation estate. However, purchase rewards must be paid via foreign currency transfers coming through regular bank channels or funds in non-resident (external) rupee account (NRE) or non-resident (ordinary) account (NRO) or non-resident (foreign currency) account (FCNRB) accounts opened with any bank in India. A declaration also needs to be submitted to the Central Office by filling the form IPI 7 within 90 days of the date of purchase or the final payment for the property.


After May 26, 1993, repatriation of the initial investment in real estate acquired by a foreign citizen of Indian origin is permitted up to the initial investment in foreign currency for the acquisition of the property, provided the property is sold after 3 years from the date of last purchase or 3 years from the date of the last refund, whichever is later. Applications for this purpose must be submitted to the Central Bank within 90 days of the sale of the property under IPI 8.

The Reserve Bank has given general permission to lease all real estate in India. Rental income can be deposited into an NRE/NRO account and repatriated

The Reserve Bank has issued general approvals to certain financial institutions that provide housing finance like HDFC, LIC Housing Finance Ltd, etc., and authorized dealers to offer home loans to non-residents of India for the purchase of a house/apartment for independent living under certain conditions.

The Reserve Bank allows Indian firms/companies to provide home loans to employees working abroad, provided they're holding Indian passports and under certain conditions.

Yes. However, in this case, the NRI borrower must pay the margin and repay the loan.