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 Indian passports may pay the purchase consideration either by remittance of funds from abroad through normal banking channels or out of an NRO, NRE or FCNR Account.
As per the recent relaxation, RBI has granted General Permission to Non-resident Indians holding Foreign Passports (i.e. Foreign Citizens of Indian Origin) to acquire, hold, transfer or dispose off by way of sale or inheritance of immovable properties situated in India. If 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 FCNR Special Deposit Account.
The properties must be declared to RBI within a period of 90 days from the date of purchase in Form IPI-7.
The following documents must be submitted along with the declaration:
1. A certified copy of the purchase deed or a certificate from the Co-operative Housing Society or an Association of the apartment owners as an evidence of transfer / registration of the property in the declarant's name.
2. 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 or FCNR Special Deposit Account.
Where a Foreign Citizen of Indian origin wishes to acquire a property, out of funds held in an NRO Account, then the aforesaid general 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 IPI-1.
Any number of properties can be acquired by Non-resident Indians regardless of whether they hold an Indian passport, provided they are required for bonafide residential purposes.