WHO CAN PURCHASE IMMOVABLE PROPERTY IN INDIA?

Under the general permission available, the following categories can purchase immovable property in India:
• Non-Resident Indian (NRI)
• Person of Indian Origin (PIO)
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.

ARE ANY DOCUMENTS REQUIRED TO BE FILED WITH THE RESERVE BANK OF INDIA AFTER THE PURCHASE?

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 of India .


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 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 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 of India.


CAN A FOREIGN NATIONAL WHO IS A PERSON RESIDENT IN INDIA PURCHASE IMMOVABLE PROPERTY IN INDIA?

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 fulfill 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 of India.


CAN A NON-RESIDENT INHERIT IMMOVABLE PROPERTY IN INDIA?

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.
However, a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Nepal and Bhutan should seek prior approval of the Reserve Bank of India for inheriting immovable property in India.


CAN AN NRI/ PIO/FOREIGN NATIONAL SELL HIS RESIDENTIAL / COMMERCIAL PROPERTY?

(a)NRI can sell property in India to
• A person resident in India; or
• An NRI or
• A PIO
(b) PIO can sell property in India to
• A person resident in India; or
• An NRI or
• A PIO – with the prior approval of the Reserve Bank(c) Foreign national of non-Indian origin including a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh or Sri Lanka or Afghanistan or China or Iran or Nepal or Bhutan can sell property in India with prior approval of the Reserve Bank of India to
• A person resident in India; or
• An NRI or
• A PIO


CAN A NON-RESIDENT OWNING / HOLDING AN AGRICULTURAL LAND / A PLANTATION PROPERTY / A FARM HOUSE IN INDIA SELL THE SAID PROPERTY?

(a) NRI / PIO may sell agricultural land /plantation property/farm house to a person resident in India who is a citizen of India.
(b) Foreign national of non-Indian origin resident outside India would need prior approval of the Reserve Bank of India to sell agricultural land/plantation property/ farm house in India.


CAN NRI / PIO REPATRIATE OUTSIDE INDIA THE SALE PROCEEDS OF IMMOVABLE PROPERTY HELD IN INDIA?

(a) In the event of sale of immovable property other than agricultural land / farm house / plantation property in India by a NRI / PIO, the Authorised Dealer may allow repatriation of the sale proceeds outside India, provided the following conditions are satisfied, namely:

(i) the immovable property was acquired by the seller in accordance with the provisions of the foreign exchange law in force at the time of acquisition by him or the provisions of these Regulations:

(ii) the amount to be repatriated does not exceed:

• The amount paid for acquisition of the immovable property in foreign exchange received through normal banking channels, or
• The amount paid out of funds held in Foreign Currency Non-Resident Account, or
• 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

(iii) in the case of residential property, the repatriation of sale proceeds is restricted to not more than two such properties. For this purpose, repatriation outside India means the buying or drawing of foreign exchange from an authorised dealer in India and remitting it outside India through normal banking channels or crediting it to an account denominated in foreign currency or to an account in Indian currency maintained with an authorised dealer from which it can be converted in foreign currency.

(b) in case the property is acquired out of Rupee resources and/or the loan is repaid by close relatives in India (as defined in Section 6 of the Companies Act, 1956), the amount can be credited to the NRO account of the NRI/PIO. The amount of capital gains, if any, arising out of sale of the property can also be credited to the NRO account.
NRI/PIO are also allowed by the Authorised Dealers to repatriate an amount up to USD 1 million per financial year out of the balance in the NRO account / sale proceeds of assets by way of purchase / the assets in India acquired by him by way of inheritance / legacy. This is subject to production of documentary evidence in support of acquisition, inheritance or legacy of assets by the remitter, and a tax clearance / no objection certificate from the Income Tax Authority for the remittance. Remittances exceeding US $ 1,000,000 (US Dollar One million only) in any financial year requires prior permission of the Reserve Bank of India

(c) A person referred to in sub-section (5) of Section 6 of the Foreign Exchange Management Act3 , or his successor shall not, except with the prior permission of the Reserve Bank of India, repatriate outside India the sale proceeds of any immovable property referred to in that sub-section.