This is the best time for NRIs planning to buy a property in India. With a price correction in real estate in recent years, buying property in India has become an attractive option for all buyers. However, the process of buying a property in India for NRIs is different from that for residents. Here are five must-know things for NRIs buying property in India.
Can NRI Buy Property in India?
Yes, NRIs can buy property in India. As per the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), NRIs can buy certain types of properties in India. There are no restrictions on the number of properties NRIs can purchase and own in India. However, there are some guidelines regarding the types of immovable properties NRIs can buy in India.
Five Must-Know Things for NRIs Buying Property In India
NRIs don’t need special permission to buy immovable property in India. NRI investment in real estate in India is treated on par with investment made by resident Indians with some exceptions as follows.
Type of Property
NRIs are allowed to buy all types of immovable residential and commercial properties in India, except agricultural land, plantation property and farm houses. RBI and government approval is compulsory for acquiring agricultural land, plantation property and farm houses.
Power of Attorney (PoA)
Non-Resident Indians can give Power of Attorney to their relatives to complete the process of property purchasing in India on their behalf. You can give general or specific rights in the PoA to your representative.
Just like resident Indians, NRIs can also obtain home loans for buying residential property in India. Most Indian lenders offer home loans for NRIs. The NRI home loan is disbursed in INR and has to be repaid in it only.
TDS on sale of property by NRIs is applicable at the rate of 20% for properties held for more than 2 years. For properties held less than 2 years, TDS will be as per the income tax slab rates of the seller. Surcharge and cess would also be applicable on top of the applicable TDS.
Payments in Rupees Only
NRIs can’t purchase a property in any currency other than Indian Rupee (INR). They need to make the payment using rupee through funds received in by the means of normal banking channels. The fund needs to be maintained in an NRI account in compliance with FEMA and RBI guidelines.
Repatriation of Funds Back to the Country of Residence
NRIs who wish to repatriate the proceeds from the sale of property to their country of residence need to follow certain guidelines.
- The property must have been purchased in compliance with FEMA guidelines.
- The amount to be repatriated can’t be more than the original amount paid for the purchase of the property, if the property was bought through foreign exchange remitted via normal banking channels or funds held in an FCNR account.
In the following cases, the NRI seller can repatriate a maximum of USD 1 million per financial year:
- If the property was purchased using balance deposited in the NRO account or funds sourced in India.
- If the property was gifted, the sale proceeds must be credited to the NRO account before repatriation.
- If the property was acquired through inheritance from a resident Indian, funds may be repatriated after the submission of documentary evidence proving the same, an undertaking by the NRI, and a certificate from authorized person like chartered account in the formats prescribed by the CBDT.
- For residential property, repatriation of sale proceeds is restricted to less than or equal to two properties.
- A foreign national can transfer the sale proceeds even if the property was acquired through inheritance from a person outside India. However, he/she must get prior approval of the RBI.
Wrapping It Up – NRIs Buying Property In India
NRIs who wish to invest in commercial properties or residential properties in India can ask any question related to NRI investment in India. You can download SBNRI App from the Google Play Store or App Store. You can also use the SBNRI app for investment in stock market/ mutual funds, Pre-IPO, Asset Finance, Indian Startups Funds, NRI account opening, etc. To ask any questions, click on the button below. Also, visit our blog and YouTube channel for more details.