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Can NRIs and other residents outside India acquire immovable property in India?


Can NRIs acquire immovable property in India?
Non-resident Indians together with Persons of Indian (PIO) origin in accordance with the allowed permissions under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) can acquire immovable property in India. However, the scope of such an acquisition is limited to the purchase of commercial and residential property and purchase or acquisition of farm house, agricultural land etc. are not covered under the provisions.

If the acquisition of the immovable property is made as per the allowed provisions NRIs as well as PIOs are not required to submit any documents with the apex financial institution of the country. Also, there is no maximum cap or restriction with respect to the number of immovable properties that can be purchased or acquired in the country by PIOs or NRIs.

Through which route can NRIs or PIOs acquire property in India?

Free acquisition of only residential or commercial property can be made by way of gift from a PIO or an NRI or a person resident in India. However, foreign national of non-Indian origin resident out of India is not allowed to make immovable property acquisition through gift.

Also, immovable property in India can be acquired by the NRI or PIO citizen as well as non- Indian origin foreign national by way of inheritance from the person resident in India or a person non-resident in India.

For the inheritance to be effected successfully, it is required that the person from whom the property is inherited must have also acquired the property in accordance with the provisions of the FEMA Act applicable at that time.

Foreign nationals resident in India can also transact in immovable property in India

Other foreign national who is a person residing in India is also allowed to purchase an immovable property in India subject to the obtainment of necessary approvals and fulfillment of necessary requirements as specified by authorities including the respective state governments. In a case when the foreign national resident in India is a citizen of either Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan or Sri Lanka prior approval of RBI is required.


Information sourced from RBI website

Story first published: Thursday, November 14, 2013, 14:18 [IST]
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