NRIs have always been opportunistic in terms of investment avenues and returns. The government regularly comes up with new schemes to attract more and more investments from abroad. Real estate is one of the sectors which always grabs the attention of non-residents. As per the general permission issued by RBI, an NRI and a Person of Indian Origin (PIO) can purchase any residential or commercial property in India without any specific permission from RBI. However an NRI is not allowed to buy any agricultural land, plantation property or farmhouse in India without specific permission from RBI.
- + Who is an NRI under the provisions of Foreign Exchange Management Act?
An Indian Citizen who stays abroad for employment or is carrying on business or vocation outside India or stays abroad under circumstances indicating an intention for an non- resident Indian is an NRI. Person who is not resident in India for a period over 182 days is a non -resident Indian. Persons posted in U.N. organizations and officials deputed abroad by Central/State governments and Public Sector undertakings on temporary assignments are also treated as non - residents.
- + Can NRIs and Overseas corporate bodies invest in india?
Yes, NRIs and OCBs can invest in India, through the RBI and 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.
- + Is there a limit to the number of investment in acquiring commercial / residential properties in india?
No, there is no limit on the number of investments can be made in commercial properties in India.
- + Can NRIs obtain loans for acquisition of a house / flat for residential purpose from financial institutions providing housing finance?
The Reserve Bank of India has granted general permission to certain financial institutions providing housing finance. HDFC, LIC Housing Finance Ltd., etc., to grant housing loans to non-resident Indian nationals for acquisition of a house/flat for self-occupation subject to certain conditions.
- + Can NRIs and PIOs gift residential / commercial premises to relatives / registered chartiable trusts / organizations in India?
Yes. General permission has been granted by Reserve Bank to NRIs and PIOs to transfer by way of gift immovable property held by them in India to relatives and chartiable trusts/organisations subject to compliance of the condition the provisions of other applicable laws.
- + Can NRIs and PIOs give residential / commercial premises on rent if not required for immediate use?
Yes. Reserve Bank has granted general permissions for letting out any immovable property in India. The rental income or proceeds of any such income are eligible for repatriation subject to payment of taxes and production of a certificate issued by a chartered accountant with the guidance of an Authorised Dealer such as a bank for completion of formalities.