Invest in India

Wherever  you are in the world, Pearl Group makes real estate investment/buying easy for you

Welcome to India! As an NRI, you might have several questions regarding real estate investment in India. In order to make the process of buying a property painless for an ever-growing NRI customer base, we have prepared the following set of questions with relevant answers.

Who is an NRI?

A Non-Resident Indian (NRI) as per India’s Foreign Exchange Management Act 1999 (FEMA), is an Indian citizen or Foreign National of Indian Origin resident outside India for purposes of employment, carrying on business or vocation in circumstances as would indicate an intention to stay outside India for an indefinite period. An individual will also be considered NRI if his stay in India is less than 182 days during the preceding financial year.

Who is a PIO?

A Person of Indian Origin (PIO) means a foreign citizen (except a national of Pakistan, Afghanistan Bangladesh, China, Iran, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Nepal) who at any time held an Indian passport


who or either of their parents/ grandparents/ great grandparents were born and permanently resident in India as defined in Government of India Act, 1935, or the Citizenship Act, 1955.

Who is an OCI?

An Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) is a person who is technically a citizen of another country, but is granted several rights and freedoms enjoyed by Indians. An OCI card then, is a long-term visa available to such citizens of other countries who have familial links to India. It entitles them to a lot of the same benefits as NRIs and Indian citizens.

Who can buy immovable property in India?

The Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) and the Regulations notified by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), regulates the acquisition or transfer of immovable property in India by Persons resident outside India.

According to the RBI guidelines, the following categories can voluntarily purchase immovable property in India.

  1. A Non-Resident Indian (NRI) and a Person of Indian Citizen (PIO)

They can acquire a residential property in India by a way of gift from an Indian or purchase it.  He or she can even acquire residential property by way of inheritance from a person who is a resident of India as per the Provisions of Section 6(5) of the FEMA, 1999. The general permission, however, covers only purchase of residential and commercial property and not for purchase of agricultural land / plantation property / farmhouse in India.

  1. OCIs can purchase immovable property in India except agricultural land/plantation property/farmhouse.

How can a Non-Resident Indian (NRI) and Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) acquire immovable property in India?


Particulars NRI/ OCI (regulation of FEMA 20(R))
Purchase (other than agricultural land/ farmhouse/ plantation, etc from Resident/ NRI/ OCI [3(a)]
Acquire as gift (other than agricultural land/ farmhouse/ plantation etc) from Resident/ NRI/ OCI [3(b)] who is a relative
Acquire (any IP) as inheritance from a. Any person who has acquired it under laws in force [3(c)];

b. Resident [3(c)]

Sell (other than agricultural land/ farmhouse/ plantation etc) to Resident/ NRI/ OCI [3(e)]
Sell (agricultural land) to Resident [3(d)]
Gift (other than agricultural land) to Resident/ NRI/ OCI [3(e)]
Gift (agricultural land) to Resident [3(d)]
Gift residential/ commercial property Resident/ NRI/ OCI [3(e)]


I am a NRI and want to buy immovable property in India. Please guide me about the accepted modes of payments?

The payments for immovable property has to be received in India through banking channels and is subject to payment of all taxes and other duties/ levies in India. The payment can also be made out of funds held in NRE (Non-Resident Rupee)/ FCNR(B) (Foreign Currency Non Resident)/ NRO (Non-Resident Ordinary Rupee) accounts of the NRIs/ OCIs. Payments should not be made through travellers’ cheque and foreign currency notes.

What are the basic documents required for buying property?

  • PAN card (Permanent account number)
  • OCI / PIO card (In case of OCI / PIO)
  • Passport (In case of NRI)
  • Passport size photographs
  • Address proof

For details, feel free to contact our Real Estate Consultant.

Can a spouse of an NRI/ OCI who is not a NRI/ OCI buy property in India?

A person resident outside India, not being a Non-Resident Indian or an Overseas Citizen of India, who is a spouse of a Non-Resident Indian or an Overseas Citizen of India may acquire immovable property (other than agricultural land/ farm house/ plantation property), jointly with his/ her NRI/ OCI spouse subject to the conditions laid down in regulation 6 of FEMA 21(R).

Are there any restrictions on the number of residential properties that can be acquired by an NRI/PIO?

No, there are no such restrictions.

Can NRI’s obtain a loan to buy a flat/house for residential purpose from authorised financial institutions providing housing finance?

  • The Reserve Bank has granted some general permission to certain financial institutions providing housing finance e.g. HDFC, LIC Housing Finance Ltd., etc, and authorized dealers to grant housing loans to NRI nationals for acquisition of a NRI house/flat for self-occupation subject to certain conditions.
  • The quantum of loans, margin money and the period of repayment shall be at par with those applicable to housing finance provided to a person residing in India.
  • The loan amount is not entitled to be credited to Non-Resident External (NRE)/Foreign Currency Non-Resident (FCNR)/Non-Resident non-Repatriable (NRNR) account of the borrower.
  • The loan needs to be fully secured by an equitable mortgage by deposit of title deal on the property proposed to be purchased, and if necessary, also be lien on the borrower’s other assets in India.
  • The installment of loan, interest and other charges, if any, shall be paid by the borrower by remittances from outside India through normal banking channels or out of funds in his Non-Resident External (NRE)/Foreign Currency Non-Resident (FCNR)/Non-Resident Non-Repatriable (NRNR)/Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO)/Non-Resident Special Rupee (NRSR) account in India, or out of rental income derived from renting out the property acquired by utilization of the loan or by any relative of the borrower in India by crediting the borrower’s loan account through the bank account of such relative
  • The rate of interest on the loan shall conform to the directives issued by the Reserve Bank of India or, by the National Housing Bank (subject to the case).

What is the loan sanction process for NRIs and what all documents they require to purchase the property in India?

  • The documents required to be submitted by the NRIs are different from the resident Indians. Non-Resident Indians are required to submit additional documents like a copy of the passport and a copy of the work contract, etc. Also, NRIs need to follow certain eligibility criteria in order to get home loans in India.
  • Power of Attorney is one of the vital documents required while processing an home loan to NRI. Since the borrower is not based in India, the loan providing company/bank needs a representative in place of the NRI to deal with, if needed. Not obligatory, the Power of Attorney is usually drawn on the NRIs spouse/parents/children/close relatives or friends.

Can NRIs buy or dispose of commercial or residential property by the way of gift?

Yes, the Reserve Bank has granted general permission to NRIs to acquire or dispose of NRI India Properties by way of gift from or to a relative who may be an Indian citizen or a person of Indian origin (PIO) whether resident in India or not.

Can NRIs/PIOs rent out their properties if they don’t require it for immediate use?

Yes. NRI/PIOs can willingly rent out immovable property, without seeking any permission from the Reserve Bank of India. The rental income being a current account transaction is repatriable outside India, only if property tax paid or provided for.

Income Tax

Do NRI/OCI/PIO need to file tax returns?

Yes, a NRI/OCI/PIO need to file tax returns if they fulfill the below conditions:

  • If taxable income in India during the year was above the basic exemption limit of INR.1.6 lakh OR
  • If short-term or long-term capital gains were earned from sale of any investments or assets, even if the gains are less than the basic exemption limit.

Please Note: The enlarged exemption limit for senior citizens and women is applicable only to Residents and not to Non-Residents.

Are there any exemptions?

There are two exemptions:

  • If the taxable income consisted only of investment income (interest) and/or capital gains income and if tax has been deducted at source from such income, you don’t need to file a tax return.
  • If you have earned long term capital gains from the sale of equity shares or equity mutual funds, you need not to pay any tax and therefore it is not required to include that in your tax return.

How can a NRI/OCI/PIO file tax returns?

  • You could file your tax return either by giving a power of attorney to someone in India or by sending your form and documents to a tax expert/chartered accountant in India who would then file the return on your behalf.
  • You can also file the Indian tax returns by using the online platform.

What is Power of attorney?

Power of attorney is a legal document in which one person gives authority to another to do something on his behalf. The person on whom power of attorney made act as an agent for the person who made the attorney. The agent may have limited or unlimited powers on behalf of his principal as mentioned under the contract between them.

Pearl Group: Benefits for NRIs

Buying an immovable property associated with Pearl Group can give numerous benefits to NRIs.

  • Top of the class luxury flat/villa at competitive prices.
  • Assistance for renting or re-selling the property.
  • Dedicated counselling in investing to maximise returns
  • All Auto CAD drawings and legal documents shared to the client at the time of dealing
  • Assigned dedicated customer relation personnel
  • Conveyance facility for visiting clients
  • Regular updates via email (if requested) on ongoing projects.
  • Home loan assistance with leading banks.
  • Legal assistance on legal documentation and power of attorney, if required.
  • Reference Available to Cross Check Validation.

You could be surfing in Australia or trekking in South America. You could be skiing in Russia or doing desert safari in Africa. No matter where you go, all you need is to share your query via email, message or call. We will resolve your query at the earliest possible.

Legal Information

For a Non-resident Indian, handling the legalities of a new home purchase can be perplexing.. To make the process smoother, we have compiled the basic legal considerations of purchasing a property in India. Also, feel free to get in touch with us with any specific queries.

  1. If a Non-Resident Indian holds Indian passport, he/she does not need to take permission from RBI to purchase an immovable property for bonafide residential purposes.
  2. Non-Resident Indians holding Indian passports may pay the purchase amount either by remittances of funds from abroad through banking channels or through their NRO/NRE/FCNR account.
  3. Non-Resident Indians need to ensure that the title report of the property does not contain any conditions written in fine print and there are no specific reservations by the State Government.
  4. To ensure you do not stuck with any property that is or have chances to get caught in any sort of dispute, we recommend you to look for specific clearance reports
  • If the project is constructed close to a heritage building, you must check for any heritage reservations for the premises or
  • If the construction is near a seafront, you need to check for a Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance.

Lack of clearance of titles also implies that you will not be able to get home loans.