Non Resident Indian (NRI) is a citizen of India, who stays abroad for employment/carrying on business or vocation outside India or stays abroad under circumstances indicating an intention for an uncertain duration of stay abroad is a non-resident. Non-resident foreign citizens of Indian Origin are treated at par with Non Resident Indian (NRIs).
Person of Indian Origin (PIO) (not being a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh or Sri Lanka or Afghanistan or China or Iran or Nepal or Bhutan), who
(a) Any person of full age and capacity:
(b) A person, who is minor child of a person mentioned in clause (a) Provided that no person, who is or had been a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh shall be eligible for registration as an Overseas Citizen of India. after, the commencement of the constitution, or time of the commencement of the constitution, or after the 15th Day of August, 1947.
Under the general permission available, the following categories can purchase immovable property in India:
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.
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.
There are no restrictions on the number of residential / commercial properties that can be purchased.
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.
Yes, a foreign national who is a ‘person resident in India’ within the meaning of Section 2(v) of FEMA, 1999 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.
(a) Yes, NRIs and PIOs can freely acquire immovable property by way of gift either from
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.
(b) A foreign national of non-Indian origin resident outside India cannot acquire any immovable property in India by way of gift.
Yes, a person resident outside India i.e. i) an NRI; ii) a PIO; and iii) a foreign national of non-Indian origin can inherit and hold immovable property in India from a person who was resident in India.
(a) NRI / PIO may gift residential / commercial property to –
(b) A foreign national of non-Indian origin requires the prior approval of the Reserve Bank for gifting the residential / commercial property.
i) NRI / PIO can mortgage a residential / commercial property to:
ii) A foreign national of non-Indian origin can mortgage a residential / commercial property only with prior approval of the Reserve Bank.
iii) A foreign company which has established a Branch Office or other place of business in accordance with FERA/FEMA regulations has general permission to mortgage the property with an Authorised Dealer in India.
Payment can be made by NRI / PIO out of:
No payment can be made either by traveler’s cheque or by foreign currency notes or by other mode except those specifically mentioned above.
FED Master Direction No. 12/2015-16
January 1, 2016
[Updated as on February 4, 2016*]
1. Acquisition and transfer of immovable property by Indian residents outside India and Non-residents in India is regulated in terms of sub-sections (3), (4) and (5) of section 6 of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) read with 1Notification No. FEMA 7(R)/2015-RB dated January 21, 2016 and Notification No. FEMA 21/2000-RB dated May 3, 2000, respectively. These Regulations are amended from time to time to incorporate the changes in the regulatory framework and published through amendment notifications.
2. Within the contours of the Regulations, Reserve Bank of India also issues directions to Authorised Persons under Section 11 of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999. These directions lay down the modalities as to how the foreign exchange business has to be conducted by the Authorised Persons with their customers/constituents with a view to implementing the regulations framed.
3. Instructions issued on acquisition of immovable property have been compiled in this Master Direction. The list of underlying circulars/ notifications which form the basis of this Master Direction is furnished in the Appendix. Reporting instructions can be found in Master Directions on reporting (Master Direction No. 18 dated January 1, 2016)
4. It may be noted that, whenever necessary, Reserve Bank shall issue directions to Authorised Persons through A.P. (DIR Series) Circulars in regard to any change in the Regulations or the manner in which relative transactions are to be conducted by the Authorised Persons with their customers/ constituents. The Master Direction issued herewith shall be amended suitably simultaneously.
(A K Pandey)
Chief General Manager
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