Under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act of 1973, Non-Resident Indians are Indian citizens who stay abroad for employment or for carrying on business or vocation outside India or for any other purpose in circumstances indicating an indefinite stay abroad, or Government servants who are posted abroad on duty with the Indian mission and similar other agencies set up abroad by 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 Organisation (WHO), Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), or *Officials of State Governments and public sector undertakings abroad on temporary assignments or posted to their branches or offices abroad..
The Reserve Bank of India has issued certain guidelines for granting loans to Non-Resident Indians by Housing Finance Company.
The guidelines are:
- The loan amount should not exceed 85% of the cost of the dwelling unit.
- Own contribution, which is the cost of the dwelling unit can be financed, less the loan amount, can be met from direct remittances from abroad through normal banking channels, from the Non-Resident (External) account in India and /or the Non-Resident (Ordinary) account in India.
- Repayment of the loan, comprising of principal and interest including all charges are to be remitted to HDFC from abroad through normal banking channels, from the Non-Resident (External) account in India and /or the Non-Resident (Ordinary) account in India.
Acquisition of immovable property by NRI’s holding Indian passport:
- Non-Resident Indians holding Indian passport do not require prior permission of Reserve Bank of India to buy residential or commercial immovable property in India.
- The purchase consideration may be paid either by remittance of funds from abroad through normal banking channels or out of NRE/NRO/FCNR account.
- Non-Resident of Indian nationality do not require any permission for acquisition, transfer or disposal by way of gift of immovable property which is not a farmhouse or agricultural land or plantation property. Declaration on form IPI-7 for acquisition of commercial property for carrying on any industrial, commercial or trading activity by their property partnership firm in India is required to be filed with RBI within 90 days from the date of purchase.
- Under the general permission to Non-Resident Indians holding foreign passport, the Reserve Bank of India has allowed them to acquire, hold, transfer or dispose of by way of sale or inheritance, immovable properties situated in India.
- A foreign citizen shall be deemed to be of Indian origin, ifhe 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 (57 of 1955).
- Foreign Nationals of Non-Indian origin (whether resident in India or not) are permitted on application to Reserve Bank of India (Form No- IPI 1) to acquire , hold, transfer or dispose of immovable property provided the following conditions are satisfied.
- The purchase consideration is made out of foreign exchange remitted from abroad in any convertible foreign currency through normal banking channels.
- The property to be acquired is only for bonafide residential use.
- The Foreign National of Non-Indian origin will provide an undertaking not to repatriate the sale proceeds at any future date.
- Investment in ready-built house is permitted.
- Investment in vacant plot is not allowed.
- One unit for residential purposes is allowed.
- Consideration will be made on a case by case basis only.
- In the absence of a specific circular, it may be necessary for a foreigner of Non-Indian origin to obtain RBI’s prior permission before letting out the residential premises acquired by him.
- General Permission to Foreign Companies.
- he Reserve Bank of India has given general permission to foreign companies to acquire or hold any immovable property which is necessary for or incidental to any activity carried on in India. The foreign companies engaged in manufacturing or trading activity will be permitted to open branches in India for the following purposes
- To represent the parent company/ other companies in various matters in India. e.g. acting as buying/selling agents in India.
- To conduct research work in which the parent company is engaged provided the results of the research are made available to Indian Companies.
- To undertake export and import trading activity
- To promote technical and/or financial collaboration between Indian companies and overseas companies.
- Permission to let out Immovable Property.
- The Reserve Bank of India has also granted general permission to Non-Resident Indian citizens of Indian origin, to let out their residential properties acquired for their bonafide residential purpose but which on account of their residence abroad, are not required for their immediate residential purpose.
- Sale of immovable property.
- The Reserve Bank of India has granted general permission to Non-Residents holding Indian passports and foreign citizen of Indian origin, whether resident in India or not, to dispose of by sale or inheritance immovable properties situated in India subject to certain conditions. However , such property can be sold to another foreign national of Indian origin provided funds towards purchase consideration are either remitted to India or paid out of balances in NRE/FCNR accounts.
The Reserve Bank of India has allowed general permission to Non-Residents holding Indian passports and foreign citizen of Indian origin to repatriate original investments equivalent foreign exchange in residential/commercial properties after obtaining prior approval subject to maximum of two houses, provided that.
- The residential properties are purchased on or after 26th May 1993.*the properties have been purchase from the remittances from abroad or from NRE/FCNR account in India.
- The properties are not transferred or disposed of by way of sale for a period of three years from the date of final purchase deed or from the date of payment of final instalment where the agreement for purchase so provides.
- Only amount of sale proceeds equivalent to the original investment in foreign exchange, if sold after three years, will be allowed to be repatriated outside India and the balance amount of sale proceeds of the property should be credited to seller’s Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) Account with an authorised bank in India.
- the person intending to repatriate the original investment made in residential immovable properties shall submit it within a period of 90 days of sale of the property an application in Form IPI 8 to the below address:
Exchange Control Department
Foreign Investment Division (III)
Reserve Bank of India