Akshit Shukla asked on 17/02/2023

What is the definition of NRI as per FEMA?

answered on 23/02/2023

NRI as per FEMA

Non-Resident Indian (NRI) as per FEMA or Foreign Exchange Management Act is a person who has gone out of India or stays outside the country for the purpose of employment, business, vocation (occupation for which an individual is trained) or any other circumstances indicating his/her intention to stay outside India for an uncertain period of time (job or assignments where you don’t know when you will return to India).


NRI as per FEMA


“Non-Resident Indian” is also covered under the regulations of FEMA as “A person residing outside India who is either a citizen of India or a Person of Indian Origin (PIO) (a foreign citizen who is of Indian origin e.g. previously held Indian citizenship, or was born in India, or his or her parents were Indian citizens).” 


RBI has also mentioned that students studying abroad will also be treated as NRI under FEMA and will be eligible for foreign investments and NRE/FCNR accounts. (NRE: NRI savings account to manage foreign earnings; 
FCNR: NRI fixed deposit accounts for depositing money earned abroad in foreign currency for a fixed period ranging from 1 to 5 years. Opening an NRE/FCNR account can get you a tax-free interest rate of upto 7.95%*).

Other definitions of NRI:

Who is a Person of Indian Origin (PIO)?


PIO or Person of Indian Origin; is a person with foreign citizenship who has an Indian origin. The factors that define the term “Indian Origin” are:

  1. A person who was born in India
  2. A person who at any time, held an Indian Passport or
  3. An individual who is either a citizen of India or whose father/mother/grandfather/grandmother was/were a citizen(s) of India
  4. The spouse of an Indian Citizen or a PIO

Foreign Citizenship in case of PIO will not include citizens of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Nepal or Bhutan.


PIO is associated with the citizenship of an individual and not his/her residence. On 9th January 2015, PIO Card Scheme (issuing of PIO Cards to PIOs to allow visa-free travel to India) was withdrawn by the Government of India and has been merged with the OCI Card Scheme.


With SBNRI, you can open your NRI Bank Accounts effortlessly while being abroad in the top banks of India. To get specialized account opening advisory from experts, contact us using the button below.


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