The Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) are recognized under the Foreign Exchange Regulatory Act, 1973. Every bank and housing finance companies follow the RBI guidelines to define NRI - "An Indian citizen who holds a valid documents like Indian passport and who stays abroad for employment or for carrying on business or vocation outside India or stays abroad under circumstances indicating an intention for an uncertain duration of stay abroad is a NRI."
Documents required for Resident Indians as well as for NRIs for getting Home Loans are different in some respect. Home loans for NRIs are available for construction of new house / flats, purchase of old house / flat addition / alteration to an existing house and repairs / renovation etc. NRIs can avail of loans by mortgaging an existing residential property. However, for availing home loans, NRIs have to fulfil certain conditions according to provisions of the Income Tax Act. They should have stayed in India for a period of 182 days or more within an assessment year or they should have stayed in India for at least a total of one year or more.
The FDI Policy that permits FDI up to 100% from foreign/NRI investor under the automatic route has boosted NRI confidence. Banks have attractive NRI housing schemes to accommodate the housing needs of NRIs. From the stables of HFCs, NRI housing finance plans with suitable repayment options are available.
Last but not the least, NRIs should take due care while selecting their home loan provider companies or HFCs. Considering the geographical distances involved, it is significant that loan seekers associate with a proactive and responsive HFC.
The eligibility criteria of NRIs differ from Resident Indians based on a few parameters. The parameters include:
Age: The loan applicant has to be 21 years of age.
Qualification: The NRI loan seeker has to be a graduate.
Income: The loan applicant has to have a minimum monthly income of $ 2,000 (although, this criterion may differ across HFCs).The eligibility is also determined by the stability and continuity of your employment or business.
Payment options: The NRI also has to route his EMI (Equated Monthly Installments) cheques through his NRE/NRO account. He cannot make payments from another source say, his savings account in India.
Number of dependants: The eligibility of the applicant is also determined by the number of dependents, assets and liabilities.
An NRI applicant is eligible to get a home loan ranging from a minimum of Rs 5 lakhs to a maximum of Rs 1 crore, based on the repayment capacity and the cost of the property, which although is variable by the priorities of the home loan provider. Also Home Loan Tenure for NRIs is different from Resident Indians.An applicant will be eligible for a maximum of 85% of the cost of the property or the cost of construction as applicable and 75% of the cost of land in case of purchase of land, based on the repayment capacity of the borrower.
However, a NRI can enhance his loan eligibility by applying for home loans with a co-applicant who has a separate source of income. Also, the rate of interest for home loans to NRIs is higher than those offered to Resident Indians. The difference is to the extent of 0.25%-0.50%. Some HFCs also have an internally earmarked 'negative criterion' for NRI home loans. As such, the NRIs who hail from locations that are marked as being 'negative' in the books of HFCs, find it difficult to get a home loan.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has clarified that Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIO), purchasing immovable property in India should pay for the acquisition by funds received in India through normal banking channels by way of inward remittance from outside the country.
The NRIs and Resident Indians can also acquire immovable property in India other than agricultural property, plantation or a farmhouse. It has issued certain directive for sanctioning home loans to Non-Resident Indians. The guidelines provided are:
The repayment option for NRIs as they can pay through the funds held in any non-resident account maintained in accordance with the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999, and the regulations made by the RBI from time to time. As most of the home loan provider companies consider the economical stability of the applicant, home loans for NRIs are quite feasible, because they are well in economic resource.
The documentation required to be submitted by the NRIs are different from the Resident Indians as they are required to submit additional documents, like copy of the passport and a copy of the works contract, etc. And of course NRIs have to follow certain eligibility criteria in order to het Home Loans in India.
Another vital document required while processing an NRI home loan is the power of attorney (POA). The POA is important because, since the borrower is not based in India; the HFC would need a 'representative' 'in lieu of' the NRI to deal with and if needed. Although not obligatory, the POA is usually drawn on the NRI's parents/wife/children.
The documents needed for obtaining NRI home loans are:
List of Classified documents for Salaried and Self Employed NRI Applicants
Salaried NRI Applicants
Self-Employed NRI Applicants
Copy of valid passport showing VISA stamps
Passport copy with valid visa stamp
Copy of valid visa / work permit / equivalent document supporting the NRI status of the proposed account holder
Brief profile of the applicant and business/ Trade license or equivalent document
Overseas Bank A/C for the last 3 months showing salary credits
6 months overseas bank account statement and NRE/ NRO account
Latest contract copy evidencing Salary / Salary Certificate / Wage Slips
Computation of income, P&L account and B/Sheet for last 3 years certified by the C.A. / CPA or any other relevant authority as the case may be (or equivalent company accounts)
Additional documents to be submitted by Person of Indian Origin
Photocopy of PIO card.
If the PIO card is not available, photocopies of any of the following documents:
Q: Do non-resident Indian citizens/ foreign citizens of Indian origin require permission of Reserve Bank to acquire residential property in India?
A: 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.
Q: In what manner the purchase consideration for the residential immovable property should be paid by foreign citizens of Indian origin under the general permission?
A: 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.
Q: 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?
A: 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 alongwith a certified copy of the document evidencing the transaction and bank certificate regarding the consideration paid.
Q: Can such property be sold without the permission of Reserve Bank?
A: 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.
Q: Can sale proceeds of such property if and when sold be remitted out of India?
A: 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.
Q: Are any conditions required to be fulfilled if repatriation of sale proceeds is desired?
A: 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.