Who is a Person of Indian Origin (PIO)?
Any individual who at any time, held an Indian Passport or who's either of the parents or grandparents were citizen of India by virtue of the Constitution of India or the Citizenship Act, 1955.
Are Non Resident Indians (NRIs) & Foreign Citizen of Indian origin (PIOs) allowed to acquire or dispose immovable property in India?
Yes, The Reserve Bank of India has clearly granted permission to all Non Resident Indian's (NRIs) & Foreign Citizens of Indian origin (PIOs) to acquire & dispose immovable property in India, be it Residential or Commercial Property. However the RBI has a restriction on the purchase of Agricultural Land/Plantation Property or Farmhouses in India.
How many residential / commercial properties can NRI / PIO purchase under the general permission?
There are no restrictions on the number of residential / commercial properties that can be purchased.
How can an NRI / PIO make payment for purchase of residential / commercial property in India?
Payment can be made by NRI / PIO out of:
Funds remitted to India through normal banking channels or Funds held in NRE / FCNR (B) / NRO account maintained in India by him/her.
No payment can be made either by traveller's cheque or by foreign currency notes or by other mode except those specifically mentioned above.
Can the immovable property be sold without the permission of Reserve Bank?
Yes, Reserve Bank has granted general permission for sale of such property. However, where another foreign citizen of Indian origin purchases the property, funds towards the purchase consideration should either be remitted to India or paid out of balances in non-resident accounts maintained with banks in India.
Can NRI's/PIO's rent out the residential/commercial properties in India?
Yes. Reserve Bank has granted general permission for letting out any immovable property in India. The rental income received can be credited to NRO / NRE account or remitted abroad. This income is eligible for repatriation based on certain conditions levied by the Reserve Bank.
Can a foreign national who is a person resident in India purchase immovable property in India?
Yes, a foreign national who is a 'person resident in India' within the meaning of FEMA, can purchase immovable property in India, but the person concerned would have to obtain the approvals and fulfil the requirements, if any, prescribed by other authorities, such as, the State Government concerned, etc. The onus to prove his/her residential status is on the individual as per the extant FEMA provisions, if required by any authority. However, a foreign national resident in India who is a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Nepal and Bhutan would require prior approval of the Reserve Bank.
Can NRI's/PIO's obtain loans for acquisition of immovable property for residential purpose from financial institutions and authorised dealers providing housing finance?
Yes, Reserve Bank has granted general permission to certain financial institutions and authorised dealers providing housing finance ex. HDFC, LIC Housing Finance Ltd., etc., to grant housing loans to NRI's/PIO's for acquisition of immovable property for self-occupation subject to certain conditions.
What is the repayment option and tenure of loans from Authorised dealers and Financial Institutions?
The purpose of loan margin money and the quantum of loan will be at par with those applicable to housing loans to residents. Repayment of loan should be made within a period not exceeding 15 years out of inward remittances or out of funds held in the investor's NRE/FCNR/NRO Accounts.
What are the requirements for the purchase of Agricultural Land/Plantation property or Farmhouses in India by NRIs and PIOs?
Any NRI or PIO interested in the purchase of Agricultural Land/Plantation Property or Farmhouses in India would have to send a formal request for the same to The Chief General Manager, Reserve Bank of India, Central Office Exchange Control Department, Foreign Investment Division (III), Mumbai 400 001.
Can an NRI give a Power of Attorney to a person in India for completion of loan formalities on their behalf?
Yes, NRIs can definitely appoint a Power of Attorney to complete all loan formalities towards the purchase of a property in India, considering the fact that an NRI wouldn't be in India for long periods. The stringent formalities followed by Indian banks, only means that the appointment of a Power of Attorney would be ideal.
What are the conditions if the power of attorney is being executed outside India?
The execution of the power of attorney must be done on a stamp paper or plain paper, as the case may be in the country where the power of attorney is being executed.
The signatures of the executants have to be attested by an official of the Indian Embassy, Indian Consulate or Trade Commissioner, in the country where the executants reside.
The signature of the attorney should be verified in India by a Notary, his employer or his banker on a separate piece of paper which should be submitted to SHFL together with the Power of Attorney.
Is it possible for NRIs/PIOs to acquire or dispose off immovable Property by way of gift?
Yes, The Reserve Bank of India has not applied any restrictions on NRIs or PIOs to acquire or dispose immovable property, by way of gifts to other Indian citizens, NRIs or PIOs, unless the immovable property is an Agricultural Land/ Plantation Property or Farmhouse.
How much loan can an NRI or PIO get?
An NRI or PIO can get a Home Loan of up to 85% of the Total Consideration Value of the property.
Are there any Tax implications for NRIs on the purchase, sale and renting of Properties?
There aren't any tax implications for NRIs for the purchase of properties in India; however any income earned from rental of a residential property would be taxable under House Property, in the Income Tax Act of 1961. Income earned out of rental of a commercial property would be taxable under Business Income in the Income Tax Act of 1961 & Income earned from the sale of a property is taxable under Capital Gains of the Income Tax Act of 1961.