Non-Resident Indian (NRI):
An Indian citizen residing abroad for employment or Business purposes OR pursuing a vocation outside of India or residing abroad for at the least 182 days in a Calendar Year is classified as an NRI. (We need to put here the minimum no of days that a person of Indian Origin has to be out of India to be classified an NRI)
Overseas Corporate Body (OCB):
A corporate body that is predominantly (at least 60%) owned by individuals of Indian nationality or origin who are residents outside of India. It includes overseas companies, partnership firms, societies and other corporate bodies as well as overseas trusts in which at least 60% of the beneficial interest is irrevocably held by such persons residing Internationally.
Person of Indian Origin (PIO):
Individual (not being a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh or Sri Lanka or Afghanistan or China or Iran or Nepal or Bhutan), who has at any time held an Indian passport or whose father or grandfather was a citizen of India by virtue of the Constitution of India or the Citizenship Act, 1955.
Facilities available to NRIs/OCBs:
1. Maintaining bank accounts in India
2. Depositing funds with Indian firms and companies
3. Investing in securities and shares of Indian firms and companies
4. Investing in immovable property in India
Purchasing immovable property in India:
NRIs and PIOs can freely purchase residential and commercial property in India (except in the state of Jammu & Kashmir).
Permission in connection with purchasing immovable property in India:
In accordance with the general permissions granted by the Reserve Bank of India, NRIs can purchase property, other than agricultural land/farm house/plantation property, provided that the purchase consideration is met either by inward remittances in foreign exchange through normal banking channels or by funds from the purchaser’s NRE/FCNR accounts, those maintained in Indian banks and a declaration is submitted to the Central Office of the Reserve Bank of India along with Form IPI 7 within a period of 90 days from the date of final payment of purchase consideration.
Loans in regard to purchasing residential property:
For the purpose of acquiring residential property in India, NRIs can procure loans from certain RBI approved financial institutions (like HDFC, LIC Housing Finance Ltd.) and authorized dealers, subject to certain conditions. The criteria regarding the purpose of the loan, margin money and the quantum of loan are in tandem with those applicable to resident Indians, provided that the repayment of the loan is expected to be achieved in a period not exceeding 15 years, out of inward remittance through banking channels or out of funds held in the investors' NRE/FCNR/NRO accounts.
Selling properties held in India:
NRIs are legally permitted to sell the properties that they hold in India without procuring any special permission from the Reserve Bank of India.