According to a statement released by the Indian central bank, Non-Resident Indians and Overseas Indian Citizens do not need prior approval to buy or sell real estate like homes in the country
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has clarified that Non-resident Indians (NRIs) and overseas citizens of India (OCIs) do not require prior approval for buying or selling immovable properties like houses in the country, other than agricultural land, farmhouse and plantation property.
The clarification came following a large number of queries that had been received at various Offices of the Reserve Bank, based on newspaper reports on a Supreme Court Judgement, on whether prior approval of RBI is required for acquisition/transfer of immovable property in India by as Overseas Citizen of India OCIs.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the RBI said, “It is hereby clarified that the concerned Supreme Court Judgment dated February 26, 2021 in Civil Appeal 9546 of 2010 was related to provisions of FERA, 1973, which has been repealed under Section 49 of FEMA, 1999.”
“At present, NRIs/OCIs are governed by provisions of FEMA 1999 and do not require prior approval of RBI for acquisition and transfer of immovable property in India, other than agricultural land/ farm house/ plantation property, as per the terms and conditions laid down in Chapter IX of the Foreign Exchange Management (Non-debt Instruments) Rules, 2019, dated October 17, 2019 (as amended from time to time), issued under Section 46 of FEMA 1999,” it added.
How can a Non-resident Indian (NRI) and an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) acquire immovable property in India?
|Particulars||NRI/ OCI (NDI Rules, 2019)|
|Purchase (other than agricultural land/ farmhouse/ plantation etc) from||Resident/ NRI/ OCI [24(a)]|
|Acquire as gift (other than agricultural land/ farmhouse/ plantation etc) from||Resident/ NRI/ OCI [24(b)] who is a relative|
|Acquire (any IP) as inheritance from||a. Any person who has acquired it under laws in force [24(c)];|
b. Resident [24(c)]
|Sell (other than agricultural land/ farmhouse/ plantation etc) to||Resident/ NRI/ OCI [24(e)]|
|Sell (agricultural land) to||Resident [24(d)]|
|Gift (other than agricultural land) to||Resident/ NRI/ OCI [24(e)]|
|Gift (agricultural land) to||Resident [24(d)]|
|Gift residential/ commercial property to||Resident/ NRI/ OCI [24(e)]|
The RBI has directed that payment for immovable property can be received in India through banking channels and is subject to payment of all taxes and other duties/ levies in India. The payment can also be made out of funds held in NRE/ FCNR(B)/ NRO accounts of the NRIs/ OCIs. Payments should not be made through travellers’ cheque and foreign currency notes.
At present, according to guidelines set by the RBI, foreign nationals of non-Indian origin resident in India, other than Citizens of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Nepal, Bhutan, Macau, Hong Kong and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), can acquire immovable property in India.