Do NRI's require permission of Reserve Bank to acquire immovable property in India?
No. NRI's do not require any permission to acquire any immovable property in India other than agricultural / plantation property or a farm house.
Do NRI's require permission of Reserve Bank to transfer immovable property in India?
No. NRI's do not require any permission to transfer any immovable property in India. Permission is required only in the case of transferring of agricultural or plantation property or farm house to another citizen of India NRI or PIO.
Do PIO's require permission of Reserve Bank to purchase immovable property in India for their residential use?
Reserve Bank has granted general permission to foreign citizens of Indian origin, whether resident in India or abroad, to purchase immovable property other than agricultural land/farm house/plantation property, in India. They are, therefore, not required to obtain separate permission of Reserve Bank or file any declaration.
How should the purchase consideration for immovable property be paid by PIO's under the general permission?
The purchase consideration should be met either out of inward remittances in foreign exchange, through normal banking channels or out of funds from any non resident accounts maintained with banks in India.
Can such 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 sale proceeds of such property, if and when sold, be remitted out of India?
In the event of sale of immovable property other than agricultural land/farm house/plantation property in India by a NRI or PIO, the authorized dealer may allow repatriation of the sale proceeds outside India, provided all the following conditions are satisfied: -
The immovable property was acquired by the seller in accordance with the provisions of the Exchange Control Rules/Regulations/Law in force at the time of acquisition, or the provisions of the Regulations framed under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999;
The amount to be repatriated does not exceed (a) the amount paid for acquisition of the immovable property in foreign exchange received through normal banking channels or out of funds held in foreign currency non-resident account or (b) the foreign currency equivalent, as on the date of payment, of the amount paid where such payment was made from the funds held in non-resident external account for acquisition of the property; and
What other facilities are available for repatriation?
Authorized dealers can allow remittance up to USD 1 million for any purpose, per calendar year from balances in NRO accounts subject to payment of applicable taxes. The limit of USD 1 million per year, includes sale proceeds of immovable properties acquired by the NRI/PIO's while they were resident in India and held for a period of 10 years and above. In case the property is sold after being held for less than 10 years, remittance can be made if the sale proceeds were held for the balance period in NRO account or in any other eligible instruments. separate permission of Reserve Bank or file any declaration.
Can PIO's acquire or dispose of immovable property by way of gift?
Yes. Reserve Bank has granted general permission to foreign citizens of Indian origin to acquire or dispose of immovable properties other than agricultural land/farmhouse/plantation property by way of gift from or to an Indian citizen, NRI or PIO.
Can NRI's/PIO's rent out the properties (residential/commercial) if not required for immediate use?
Yes. Reserve Bank has granted general permission for letting out any immovable property in India. The rental income or proceeds of any investment of such income is eligible for repatriation
Can NRIs obtain loans for acquisition of a house/flat for residential purpose or office/showroom for commercial purpose from financial institutions providing housing finance?
Reserve Bank has granted general permission to certain financial institutions providing housing finance e.g. HDFC, LIC Housing Finance Ltd., etc., to grant housing loans to NRI's for acquisition of a house/flat for self occupation subject to certain conditions. 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 guidelines for acquisition of agricultural land / plantation property / farmhouse by NRIs and foreign citizens
of Indian origin?
All requests for acquisition of agricultural land / plantation property / farm house by any person resident outside India may be made to The Chief General Manager, Reserve Bank of India, Central Office, Exchange Control Department, Foreign Investment Division (III), Mumbai 400 001.
For further information please visit the FAQ Section of http://www.rbi.org.in