A Non Resident Indian (NRI) cannot hold a regular savings bank account in India as is available with persons resident in India. A Non Resident Indian having earnings both abroad and in India can open bank accounts in a both countries which means they can open an account in India and in the country they reside.
The Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) Act, states that all Non Resident Indians are not allowed to hold a regular saving bank account in their name in India. It is mandatory that you convert all balances lying in your savings bank and fixed deposits to a Non-Resident Rupee (NRE) / Non-Resident Ordinary Rupee (NRO) account in India. They are not allowed to use the savings account in the home country and in case it is discovered it can attract a hefty penalty on the NRI’s. Although there is no time limit prescribed in the FEMA Guidelines however every Non Resident Indian must convert there accounts within 90 Days of change in residential status from Resident to Non Resident.
The NRI’s are required to open an NRE or NRO account in any of the banks in India. It can be used to send the money they earn abroad to India at any point of time and they can use the bank account to retain their incomes earned from India such as interest earned on NRI fixed deposit, NRI Rental Income, NRI Investment Income, NRI Capital Gains Income, NRI Property Income and NRI Business Income earned in India.
The Non Resident External Rupee NRE account is an Indian rupee-denominated account in form of savings, recurring deposits, or fixed deposits. The foreign currency deposited by the NRE is converted into Rupee INR on the date of transfer. You can transfer your funds (Principal & Interest amount) to a foreign account from an NRE account without any complications and restrictions. The deposits allowed in the NRE Account is only from Incomes earned outside India. The funds held in an NRE account, along with tax free interest, are freely repatriable. Furthermore, Indian banks offer rather attractive rates on fixed deposits on NRE accounts, and the interest earned is not taxable in India.
The Non Resident Ordinary Rupee Account NRO stands for Non-Resident Ordinary account. It refers to the savings or Fixed Deposit account of a Non-resident Indian in a bank in India and is a savings account held by NRIs in India to manage their income earned in India. The deposits in the accounts are incomes earned in India such as NRI Rental Income from House Property, NRI Interest Income on Fixed Deposits or NRI Investment Income or Any NRI Income earned in India. The account holders can make all payments from NRO Bank A/c for meeting their travel expenses, visit expenses, remittance to family and dependents, EMI Payments, Investment Payments and payments to parties in India. The NRO Bank account allows you to receive funds in Indian or Foreign currency. Although there is no limit on the number of accounts you can hold as a Non Resident but it is advisable that we consolidate all our transactions in one NRO / NRE bank account in India.
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It is most difficult for a Non-Resident Indian or a Foreign Citizen to Choose an appropriate bank in India from his resident country. There are instances when not much support is available from the banks and NRI’s feel stranded. It is uneconomical to visit India for managing their banking transactions. Our team supports non-residents in foreign countries to open bank accounts in India and also helps them to execute the necessary paperwork and documents. Whether it is an bank account opening for NRI or Repatriation of Funds from India to Foreign Country or simple task such as managing bank statements etc. we guide them in all such processes.
While deciding which bank to choose in India for Account Opening we suggest to look out for following key account facilities which would ease your life and smoothen the operation of your NRI Bank Accounts.
With the digital progress in India, a lot of banks especially in the private sector have started opening bank accounts by accepting self-accepted copies of documents. This eliminates the need to travel to India for Bank Account Opening. Sitting in the comfort of your home in your resident country you can open and operate a bank account in India. Many Banks also provide the facility of document collection from your resident foreign country through DHL, FEDEX etc. which can also help you save on courier costs.
Most of the private banks in India can be operated completely on Net Banking. Net Banking eliminates the need to pass on physical cheques or documents or forms for simple tasks such as Fund Transfer, Cheque Book Requests, etc. Sitting anywhere in the world you can access your NRO/ NRE bank accounts in India to do all banking transactions at your convenience.
What is the process of remittance of money from overseas to Indian account and vice versa. A lot of the Indian Banks have dedicated NRI relationship managers who handle the accounts and guide you through the banking processes based on your needs. Many Banks also provide the facility of document collection from your resident foreign country through DHL, FEDEX etc. which can also help you save on courier costs.
The presence of Bank and Its ATM’s can easily be reviewed from a bank’s website. The bank and its branches should be easily accessible from cities you visit during your visit to India. Banks with limited branches and ATM can land in you problems when you run out of cash during your travel visit or if you have to exercise the option of visiting branch for some tasks.
Many banks in India have overseas branches in countries like United Kingdom, USA, Canada, Singapore, Dubai, Australia etc. If you choose a bank that has an overseas branch near to your residence it can resolve many issues for you.
Interest rates on Fixed Deposit and NRO Bank Balance or NRE Bank Balances have always been an attraction for NRI Investors. Alternatively many NRI’s invest in Fixed Deposits in India which gives them a higher return on NRI Investment in comparison to their Resident Foreign Country. It is worthwhile to mention the Interest Earned on NRE Bank Balances and NRE Fixed Deposits are tax-free in India. Therefore, no taxes are deducted at source from NRE Bank Accounts in India.
|Basis||NRE Bank Account||NRO Bank Account|
An account that helps you park your foreign earnings in India, in Indian Rupee denomination.
An Account that helps you park your earnings from India in Indian Rupee Denomination. It is an account of an NRI to manage the incomes earned in India
|Taxability & Tax Deduction at Source||Deposits in NRE accounts are Tax-Free, i.e. the principal amount, and the interest earned thereon, is exempt from tax.||The interest earned in NRO accounts is subject to TDS or Tax deductible at Source.|
|Repatriability i.e. Transferability||Money from NRE accounts is freely repatriable i.e. both the Principal amount and interest earned are freely and completely transferable.||Funds from the NRO Accounts can be repatriated post payment of applicable taxes with a limit of USD 1 million in a financial year.|
|Suitable Conditions||You should opt for NRE Accounts if you want to hold or maintain your overseas earnings in Indian currency. NRE Accounts are also suitable if you wish to keep your savings liquid.||You should opt for NRO Accounts if you want to save your earnings from India in Indian currency itself. These earnings could include NRI rent, NRI Interest income, NRI dividend, NRI Capital Gains on sale of Property etc.|
|Holding Structure||You can open an NRE account with another NRI and close relative Resident Indian.||You can open an NRO account with an NRI as well as any Indian resident.|
|Deposits and Withdrawals||Can deposit in foreign currency, and withdraw in Indian currency||Can deposit in foreign as well as Indian currency, and withdraw in Indian currency|
|Exchange Rate Risk||Prone to risk||Not prone to risk|
|Incomes Originating in India||Incomes Originating in India cannot be deposited in NRE Account
Incomes Originating Outside India can be deposited in NRE Bank Account
|Incomes Originating in India can be deposited in NRO Account
Incomes Originating Outside India can be deposited in NRO Bank Account
|Transfer of Fund between NRO & NRE||NRI can freely transfer funds from NRE to NRO||NRI can transfer funds from NRO to NRE after paying taxes on Incomes. Also Chartered Accountant Certificate is required in Form 15CA and Form 15CB along with other declerations.|
Based on the Status of Account Holder being Non-Resident Indian, Person of Indian Origin and Sea Farer Employed with Foreign Vessel the document requirement are as under
Documents Required for Opening NRO Bank Account for NRI – Non-Resident Indian
Documentation for Person of Indian Origin (PIO) for account opening in India:-
o Copy of Indian passport of spouse OR
o Copy of Indian passport held by self or parents/grandparents at any time OR
o PIO Card OR
o OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) Card
Documentation for Seafarer employed with foreign vessels for Account Opening in India:-
Attestation of Documents for Bank Account Opening in India
The above documents mentioned under 1, 2, 3 and 4 needs to be attested by:
o A signed cheque is drawn in favour of Bank for account opening in India AND
o An original bank account statement (not more than 3 months old) or
o Original credit card statement (not more than 3 months old) or
o Original utility bill (electricity/piped gas/telephone/water – not more than 3 months old)