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NRI Corner
 
Non-resident Indians holding an Indian passport do not require any permission from RBI for acquiring Immovable Property for bonafide residential purposes as section 31 of FERA 1973 is not applicable to them.
   
Non-resident Indians holding an Indian passport may pay the purchase consideration either by remittance of funds from abroad through normal banking channels or out of NRO Account or out of NRE Account or out of FCNR Account.
   
RBI has granted General Permission to Non-resident Indians holding Foreign Passport (i.e. Foreign Citizens of Indian Origin) to acquire, hold, transfer or dispose off by way of sale or inheritance immovable properties situated in India provided:
  The property is for the Purchaser's bonafide residential purpose.
  The purchase consideration is met either by remittance of funds from abroad through normal banking channels or out of NRE/FCNR Account or out of FCNR Special Deposit Account.
 
Foreign citizens of Indian origin are however required to declare the properties to RBI within a period of 90 days from the date of purchase in Form IPI 17. The following documents must be submitted along with the declaration.
  A certified copy of the purchase deed or a certificate from the Co-operative Housing Society or an Association of the apartment owners as evidence of transfer / registration of the property in the declarant's name.
  Certificate from the declarant's bankers in India evidencing receipt of inward remittance(s) in foreign exchange through normal banking channel or withdrawal of funds from the declarant's NRE/FCNR account/ FCNR Special Deposit Account and payment of consideration for the property out of those funds.
   
Where a Foreign Citizen of Indian origin wishes to acquire a property, out of funds held in NRO Account then the permission from RBI will be required which can be applied for in Form IPI 1.
   
Where a Foreign Citizen of Indian origin wishes to acquire a property from the sale proceeds of another property, prior permission of RBI is essential and may be obtained by applying in Form IPI1.
   
Any number of properties can be acquired by non-resident Indians regardless of whether they are holding Indian passport provided they are required for bonafide residential purposes.
   
Under Section 29 of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act 1973, the Reserve Bank of India has granted General Permission to Foreign Citizens of Indian origin and Indian citizens residing outside India to let out their immovable properties (Commercial / Residential).
   
The rental income or proceeds of any investments out of such income shall be repatriable outside India subject to Income Tax being paid.
   
The Reserve Bank of India on an application in Form IPI I may consider favourably the acquisition of residential property by Foreign Nationals of Non-Indian origin provided :
  The purchase consideration is met out of funds remitted from overseas
  The property is acquired for bonafide residential use
  The foreign National of Non-Indian origin undertakes not to repatriate the sale proceeds
 
Why India
 
In India's fast-growing economy, real estate has emerged as one of the most appealing investment areas for domestic as well as foreign investors. The real estate sector will continue to derive its growth from the booming IT sector, since an estimated 70 per cent of the new construction is for the IT sector,"a report by Pricewaterhouse Coopers has said.

India, like many other parts of the world is witnessing an unprecented boom in the real estate sector. In India there is a real estate boom in any direction you wish to see. Whether it is Bangalore, Pune, Calcutta or Chennai or Hyderabad or even already sky high Mumbai and Delhi - the story is the same.

Now apartments are more than just houses. They are about lifestyle. So while the first housing colonies had nothing but a security guard, these new housing colonies have a gym (spa, jacuzzi, steam), swimming pool (heated, lined with Italian marble).

The development of real estate in India focuses on two primary areas: retail and residential.
 
The global real-estate consulting group Knight Frank has ranked India 5th in the list of 30 emerging retail markets and predicted an impressive 20 per cent growth rate for the organized retail segment by 2010.
The organized segment is expected to grow from a mere 2 per cent to 20 per cent by the end of the decade, it said.
 
The boom is also attracting interest from foreign players. In recent years, non-resident Indians (NRIs) have played a very important role in transforming the Indian real estate market. Opening-up of the Indian economy provided them with new opportunities and they have shown a great deal of confidence in the changed set up. Since 1994, NRIs have invested a sizeable amount, of which a big chunk has found its way into the property market. Participation by NRIs has brought about a lot of maturity in the market which in the past had solely banked on the actual users.

Overall, the year ahead promises to be a good one for all those involved in the industry- the builders, as well as the consumers. The future of India is set to usher in the gold rush of realty.
 
NRI's FAQ
 
Do non-resident Indian citizens/ foreign citizens of Indian origin require permission of Reserve Bank to acquire residential property in India?
  Reserve Bank has granted general permission to foreign citizens of Indian origin, whether resident in India or abroad, to purchase immovable property in India for their bona fide residential purpose. They are, therefore, not required to obtain permission of Reserve Bank.
 
In what manner the purchase consideration for the residential immovable property should be paid by foreign citizens of Indian origin under the general permission?
  The purchase consideration should be met either out of inward remittances in foreign exchange through normal banking channels or out of funds from NRE/FCNR accounts maintained with banks in India.
 
Are there any formalities required to be completed by foreign citizens of Indian origin for purchasing residential immovable property in India under the general permission?
  They are required to file a declaration in form IPI 7 with the Central Office of Reserve Bank at Mumbai within a period of 90 days from the date of purchase of immovable property or final payment of purchase consideration along with a certified copy of the document evidencing the transaction and bank certificate regarding the consideration paid.
 
Can such property be sold without the permission of Reserve Bank?
  Reserve Bank has granted general permission for sale of such property. However, where the property is purchased by another foreign citizen of Indian origin, funds towards the purchase consideration should either be remitted to India or paid out of balances in NRE/FCNR accounts.
 
Can sale proceeds of such property if and when sold be remitted out of India?
  In respect of residential properties purchased on or after 26th May 1993, Reserve Bank considers applications for repatriation of sale proceeds up to the consideration amount remitted in foreign exchange for the acquisition of the property for two such properties. The balance amount of sale proceeds if any or sale proceeds in respect of properties purchased prior to 26th May 1993, will have to be credited to the ordinary non-resident rupee account of the owner of the property.
 
Are any conditions required to be fulfilled if repatriation of sale proceeds is desired?
  Applications for repatriation of sale proceeds are considered provided the sale takes place after three years from the date of final purchase deed or from the date of payment of final installment of consideration amount, whichever is later.