commercial-projects-in-gurgaon
Acquisition and Transfer of Immovable Property by a NRI
Acquisition of Immovable Property in India
Transfer of immovable property in India
The FAQs cover the following topics
Acquisition and Transfer of Immovable Property in India by a Person Resident Outside India
  • Acquiring immovable property in India by persons resident outside India is regulated in terms of Section 6(3) (i) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999 as well as by the regulations contained in Notification issued by RBI viz Notification No FEMA. 21/2000-RB dated May 3, 2000, as amended from time to time. The persons resident outside India are categorized as Non- Resident Indians (NRIs) or a foreign national of Indian Origin (PIO) or a foreign national of non-Indian origin. A person resident in India who is not a citizen of India is also covered by the relevant Notifications.
  • Statutorily, under the provisions of Section 6(5) of FEMA 1999, a person resident outside India can hold, own, transfer or invest in Indian currency, security or any immovable property situated in India if such currency, security or property was acquired, held or owned by such person when he was a resident in India or inherited from a person who was a resident in India.
  • The regulations under the Notification No FEMA 21 dated May 3, 2000 permit a NRI or a PIO to acquire immovable property in India other than agricultural land or, plantation property or farm house. Further, foreign companies who have been permitted to open an office in India are also allowed to acquire any immovable property in India, which is necessary for or incidental to carrying on such activity. This stipulation is not available to entities which are permitted to open liaison offices in India.
  • The relevant regulations covering the transactions in immovable property have been notified vide RBI Notification No.FEMA 21/2000-RB dated May 3, 2000 and this basic notification has been subsequently amended by the notifications detailed below:
  • The restrictions on acquiring immovable property in India by a person resident outside India would not apply where the immovable property is proposed to be acquired by way of a lease for a period not exceeding 5 years or where a person is deemed to be resident in India. In order to be deemed to be a person resident in India, from FEMA angle, the person would need to comply with the criterion for residency as defined in Section 2(v) of FEMA 1999. However, citizens of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Nepal or Bhutan cannot acquire or transfer immovable property in India, (other than on lease, not exceeding five years) without prior permission of the Reserve Bank.
  • NRIs/PIO are allowed to repatriate an amount up to USD one million, per financial year (April-March), out of the balances held in the NRO account subject to tax compliance. This amount includes sale proceeds of assets acquired by way of inheritance or settlement.
  • While the statutory and regulatory provisions are indicated above, we have been receiving several queries from individuals on operational procedures regarding acquisition, holding and transferring of immovable property in India and repatriating/remitting the proceeds arising from sale of such property. In order to clarify these issues, we have attempted a set of FAQs on various issues relating to acquisition and transfer of immovable property in India by a person resident outside India and a person resident in India who is not a citizen of India.In case there are other issues to be resolved, a reference may be made to theChief General Manager-in-Charge
    Foreign Exchange Department
    Foreign Investment Division,
    Reserve Bank of India,
    Central Office
    Mumbai- 400 001.
Acquisition of Immovable Property in India
  • Who can purchase immovable property in India?

    A) Under the general permission available, the following categories can freely purchase immovable property in India :

    Non-Resident Indian (NRI)- that is a citizen of India resident outside India
    Person of Indian Origin (PIO)- that is an individual (not being a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh or Sri Lanka or Afghanistan or China or Iran or Nepal or Bhutan), who
    at any time, held Indian passport, or
    who or either of whose father or grandfather was a citizen of India by virtue of the Constitution of India or the Citizenship Act, 1955 (57 of 1955).

    The general permission, however, covers only purchase of residential and commercial property and not for purchase of agricultural land / plantation property / farm house in India.

  • Whether NRI/PIO can acquire agricultural land/ plantation property / farm house in India?

    A) No. Since general permission is not available to NRI/PIO to acquire agricultural land/ plantation property / farm house in India, such proposals will require specific approval of Reserve Bank and the proposals are considered in consultation with the Government of India.

  • Do any documents need to be filed with Reserve Bank of India after purchase?

    No. An NRI / PIO who has purchased residential / commercial property under general permission, is not required to file any documents with the Reserve Bank.

  • How many residential / commercial properties can NRI / PIO purchase under the general permission?

    There are no restrictions on the number of residential / commercial properties that can be purchased.

  • Can a foreign national of non-Indian origin be a second holder to immovable property purchased by NRI / PIO?

    No

  • Can a foreign national of non-Indian origin resident outside India purchase immovable property in India?

    No. A foreign national of non-Indian origin, resident outside India cannot purchase any immovable property in India. But, he/she may take residential accommodation on lease provided the period of lease does not exceed five years. In such cases, there is no requirement of taking any permission of or reporting to Reserve Bank

  • Can a foreign national who is a person resident in India purchase immovable property in India?

    Yes, but the person concerned would have to obtain the approvals, and fulfil the requirements if any, prescribed by other authorities, such as the concerned State Government, etc 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 Reserve Bank. Such requests are considered by Reserve Bank in consultation with the Government of India.

  • Can an office of a foreign company purchase immovable property in India?

    A foreign company which has established a Branch Office or other place of business in India, in accordance with FERA / FEMA regulations, can acquire any immovable property in India, which is necessary for or incidental to carrying on such activity. The payment for acquiring such a property should be made by way of foreign inward remittance through proper banking channel. A declaration in form IPI should be filed with Reserve Bank within ninety days from the date of acquiring the property. Such a property can also be mortgaged with an Authorised Dealer as a security for other borrowings. On winding up of the business, the sale proceeds of such property can be repatriated only with the prior approval of Reserve Bank. Further, acquisition of immovable property by entities who had set up Branch Offices in India and incorporated in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Nepal and Bhutan would require prior approval of Reserve Bank to acquire such immovable property. However, if the foreign company has established a Liaison Office, it can not acquire immovable property . In such cases, Liaison Offices, can take property by way of lease not exceeding 5 years.

  • Whether immovable property in India can be acquired by way of gift ?

    Yes, NRIs and PIOs can freely acquire immovable property by way of gift either from
    However, the property can only be commercial or residential. Agricultural land / plantation property / farm house in India cannot be acquired by way of gift.
    A foreign national of non-Indian origin resident outside India cannot acquire any immovable property in India through gift.
     1. a person resident in India or
     2. an NRI or
     3. a PIO.

Transfer of immovable property in India

 1. Transfer by sale

 2. Transfer by gift

 3. Transfer through mortage

The FAQs cover the following topics
  • Acquisition of immovable property in India by a person resident outside India i.e. by a NRI / PIO / foreign national of non-Indian origin through -

     1. Purchase
     2. Gift
     3. Inheritance

  • Transfer of immovable property in India by a person resident outside India by

     1. Purchase
     2. Gift
     3. Inheritance

  • Mode of payment for purchase of property in India
  • Repatriation of sale proceeds of property

     1. Purchase
     2. Received as gift
     3. Inheritance

  • Provisions for Foreign Embassies / Diplomats / Consulate Generals
  • Other issues