Can an NRI purchase or own a property in India?
20 Sep 2016
A Non-resident Indian (NRI), who wants to buy a property in India, should be aware of the legal provisions pertaining to the purchase of or owning an immovable property in India under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). Let's have a look:
Nature of Property
- According to RBI norms, an NRI can purchase both residential and commercial properties in India.
- However, he/she cannot purchase any agricultural land, farmhouse or plantation property.
- An NRI can purchase a property either as a single owner or jointly with another NRI.
- However, he/she cannot purchase a property jointly with a resident Indian or a person who is otherwise not allowed to invest in a property in India, irrespective of the second holder's contribution towards the purchase.
A Resident Indian after Becoming an NRI
- If an Indian owns a property in India and subsequently becomes an NRI, then he/she can continue to hold the property in his/her name in India.
- An NRI is also allowed to continue to own any agricultural land, plantation property, or farmhouse that he owned prior to becoming an NRI.
- He/she is also allowed to rent out the property irrespective of when it was acquired.
Over the years, Indian laws regarding property buying have become more accommodating making the process fairly easy.