Right Time To Turn To India

Under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act of 1973, Non-Resident Indians are:


  • Indian citizens who stay abroad for employment or carrying on business or vocation outside India or for any other purpose in circumstances indicating an indefinite period of stay abroad; OR

  • Government servants who are posted abroad on duty with the Indian missions and similar other agencies set up abroad by the Government of India where the officials draw their salaries out of Government resources; OR

  • Government servants deputed abroad on assignments with foreign Governments or regional / international agencies like the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Health Organization (WHO), Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) OR

  • Officials of the State Government and Public Sector Undertakings deputed abroad on temporary assignments or posted to their branches or offices abroad.

A foreign citizen is deemed to be of Indian origin if:


  • He held an Indian Passport at any time or

  • He or his father or paternal grandfather was a citizen of India by virtue of the Constitution of India or the Citizenship Act, 1955. However this does not apply to citizens of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Sri Lanka or Nepal.

Overseas Corporate Bodies (OCBs) are bodies predominantly owned by individuals of Indian nationality or origin resident outside India and include overseas companies, partnership firms, societies and other corporate bodies which are owned, directly or indirectly, to the extent of at least 60% by individuals of Indian nationality or origin resident outside India as also overseas trusts in which at least 60% of the beneficial interest is irrevocably held by such persons.


Such ownership interest should be actually held by them and not in the capacity as nominees. The various facilities granted to NRIs are also available with certain exceptions to OCBs as long as the ownership/beneficial interest held in them by NRIs continues to be at least 60%

  • Investments by NRIs and OCBs are allowed, both, through the RBI route and also through the Government route, i.e., through the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).

  • NRIs and OCBs are permitted to invest up to 100% equity in real estate development activity and civil aviation sectors.

  • Investment, made by the NRIs and OCBs, are fully repatriable, except in the case of real estate, which has a 3-year lock-in period on original investment and, 16% cap on dividend repatriation.

  • For those proposals that do not qualify under the automatic route, Government approval is granted through FIPB.

No, NRI's do not require permission to buy any immovable property in India other than agricultural / plantation property or a farmhouse.

The approved method of sending remittances into India is through normal banking channels.

Residential status and nature of transaction i.e. capital account transaction (e.g. purchase / sale of shares, property) or current account transaction (e.g. remittance of income on shares, property) are the cornerstones of FEMA. Under FEMA, certain types of transactions do not require RBI permission while others either require prior approval of RBI / Government or it is mandatory to inform RBI of the same.


Yes, a person of Indian origin resident outside India may transfer residential or commercial property in India by way of gift to a person resident in India or to a person resident outside India who is a citizen of India or to a person of Indian origin resident outside India. A Person of Indian origin resident outside India may also transfer by way of gift agriculture land / farm house / plantation property in India to a person resident in India who is a citizen of India.

They are required to file a declaration in 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.

Applications for repatriation of sale proceeds are considered provided the sale takes place after three years from the date of final purchase deed or from the date of payment of final instalment of consideration amount, whichever is later.