There are certain restrictions that foreign nationals have on purchasing property in India. These restrictions have more to do with the country, as also the time period of holding.
Citizens of select countries
Citizens of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Nepal, Bhutan, Macau or Hong Kong, irrespective of their residential status, cannot, without prior permission of the Reserve Bank, acquire or transfer immovable property in India, other than on lease, not exceeding five years.
Diplomats and consulate generals
On the other hand, if one is a Diplomat or a Consulate General, clearance from the Government of India, Ministry of External Affairs is needed for such purchase/sale. It is also important to note that such purchase must be done from all the amount that has been transferred from abroad and of course, it goes without saying that it has to be through the normal banking channels.
a. Foreign nationals of non-Indian origin resident in India (except 10 countries listed at (a) above) can acquire immovable property in India.
b. Foreign nationals of non-Indian origin resident outside India can acquire/ transfer immovable property in India, on lease not exceeding five years and can acquire immovable property in India by way of inheritance from a resident. All other acquisitions/ transfers will require the prior permission of RBI