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NRI


Given the astounding rate of Foreign Direct Investment in India especially from Non-resident Indians, the rules and regulations that govern the acquisition of real estate by NRIs in India have been streamlined over the years. We have listed here some of the most frequently asked questions on the purchase of property by NRIs in India. If you have a specific question on the subject that you would like our expert to answer for you, please feel free to submit it through the Inquiry Form below in order to receive a prompt and accurate response. We will also include your question on our NRI FAqs page the next time this page is updated.

But first a definition:


A foreign citizen and national other than a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Sri Lanka or Nepal, is considered to be a person of Indian origin if:

  • He or she held an Indian passport at any given time, or
  • He or she or their parents or paternal grandfather was an Indian citizen as defined in the Indian Constitution


Q1. Who can purchase immovable property in India?

Under the general permission available, the following categories can purchase immovable property in India:


  • Non-Resident Indian (NRI)
  • Person of Indian Origin (PIO)

The general permission, however, covers only purchase of residential and commercial property and is not available for purchase of agricultural land / plantation property / farm house in India


Q2. Can NRI/PIO acquire agricultural land/ plantation property / farm house in India?

No


Q3. Are any documents required to be filed with the Reserve Bank after the purchase?

No. An NRI / PIO who has purchased residential / commercial property under general permission, is not required to file any documents/reports with the Reserve Bank.


Q4. 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.


Q5. Can a foreign national of non-Indian origin be a second holder to immovable property purchased by NRI / PIO?

No.


Q6. Can a foreign national of non-Indian origin resident outside India purchase immovable property in India?

No. A foreign national of non-Indian origin, resident outside India cannot purchase any immovable property in India unless such property is acquired by way of inheritance from a person who was resident in India. However, he / she can acquire or transfer immovable property in India, on lease, not exceeding five years. In such cases, there is no requirement of taking any permission of /or reporting to the Reserve Bank.


Q7. Can the branch / liaison office of a foreign company purchase immovable property in India?

A foreign company which has established a Branch Office or other place of business in India, in accordance with the Foreign Exchange Management (Establishment in India of Branch or Office or other Place of Business) Regulations, 2000, can acquire any immovable property in India, which is necessary for or incidental to carrying on such activity. The payment for acquiring such a property should be made by way of foreign inward remittance through the proper banking channels. A declaration in form IPI should be filed with the Reserve Bank within ninety days from the date of acquiring the property. Such a property can also be mortgaged with an Authorised Dealer as a security for the purpose of borrowings. On winding up of the business, the sale proceeds of such property can be repatriated only with the prior approval of the Reserve Bank. Further, acquisition of immovable property by entities incorporated in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Nepal and Bhutan and who have set up Branch Offices in India and would require prior approval of the Reserve Bank.

However, if the foreign company has established a Liaison Office in India, it cannot acquire immovable property. In such cases, Liaison Offices can acquire property by way of lease not exceeding 5 years.


Q8. Can a NRI/PIO acquire immovable property in India by way of gift? Can a foreign national acquire immovable property in India by way of gift?

Yes, NRIs and PIOs can freely acquire immovable property by way of gift either from

  • A person resident in India; or
  • An NRI; or
  • A PIO.

However, the property can only be commercial or residential in nature. Agricultural land / plantation property / farm house in India cannot be acquired by way of gift.

A foreign national of non-Indian origin resident outside India cannot acquire any immovable property in India by way of


Q9. Can a non-resident inherit immovable property in India?

Yes, a person resident outside India i.e.

  • an NRI;
  • a PIO; and
  • a foreign national of non-Indian origin can inherit and hold immovable property in India from a person who was resident in India. However, a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Nepal and Bhutan should seek prior approval of the Reserve Bank for inheriting immovable property in India.


Q10. From whom can a non-resident person inherit immovable property?

A person resident outside India (i.e. NRI or PIO or foreign national of non-Indian origin) can inherit immovable property from:

  • A person resident in India
  • A person resident outside India
  • However, the person from whom the property is inherited should have acquired the same in accordance with the foreign exchange law in force or FEMA regulations, applicable at the time of acquisition of the property.


Transfer of Immovable Property in India
Transfer by way of Sale

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