Non Resident Indian (NRI)

NRI - Non-Resident Indian

Who is an NRI ?

An Indian citizen or a foreign citizen of Indian origin who stays abroad for employment/carrying on business or vocation for 6 months or more or under circumstances indicating an intention for an uncertain duration of stay abroad is a Non-Resident Indian (NRI). Those who stay abroad on business visit, medical treatment, study or such other purposes, which do not indicate an intention to stay there for an indefinite period, are not considered as NRI’s.

What is a PIO Card?

A person of Indian origin (PIO) is a person of Indian origin or ancestry who was or whose ancestors were born in India or other states but have Indian ancestry but is not a citizen of India and is the citizen of another country. A PIO might have been a citizen of India and subsequently taken the citizenship of another country.

A PIO (Person of Indian Origin) Card allows visa free travel and gives several benefits to the card holder. The Government of India has a comprehensive Scheme for Persons of Indian Origin - called the "PIO Card Scheme". Under this scheme, Persons of Indian Origin up to the fourth generation (great grandparents) settled throughout the world, except for
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan or Sri Lanka would be eligible.

The PIO Card will be valid only when accompanied with a valid passport. A PIO card shall be valid for life time subject to the validity of the foreign passport. In other words, the passport must be valid in order for the PIO card to be considered valid. It used to be valid for 15 years. However, Government of India announced that effective September 30, 2014, all prior and future PIO cards would be valid lifelong.

PIO Card scheme has been withdrawn vide Gazette Notification No.25024/9/2014F.I dated 09 January 2015. Exercising powers conferred by subsection (2) of section 7A of the Citizenship Act 1955 (57 of 1955) specified that with effect from 9th January, 2015 all existing Persons of Indian Origin card holders registered as such shall be deemed to be Overseas Citizens of India card holders

What is an OCI?

OCI stands for Overseas Citizenship of India (not a dual citizenship). The Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) scheme was introduced by amending The Citizenship Act, 1955 in August 2005. The scheme was launched during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention at Hyderabad in 2006. Indian authorities have interpreted the law to mean a person cannot have a second country's passport simultaneously with an Indian one — even in the case of a child who is claimed by another country as a citizen of that country, and who may be required by the laws of the other country to use one of its passports for foreign travel (such as a child born in the United States or in Australia to Indian parents), and the Indian courts have given the executive branch wide discretion over this matter. Therefore, Overseas Citizenship of India is not an actual citizenship of India and thus, does not amount to dual citizenship or dual nationality. Moreover, the OCI card is not a substitute for an Indian visa and therefore, the passport which displays the lifetime visa must be carried by OCI holders while traveling to India.

What is an OCB?

Overseas Corporate Bodies (OCBs) are bodies predominantly owned by individuals of Indian nationality or origin resident out side Indian and include overseas companies, partnership firms, societies and other corporate bodies which are owned, directly or indirectly, to the extent of atleast 60% by individuals of Indian nationality or origin resident outside India as also overseas trust in which atleast 60% of the beneficial interest is irrevocably held by such persons. Such ownership interest should be actually held by them and not in the capacity as nominees. The various facilities granted to NRIs are also available with certain exceptions to OCBs so long as the ownership/beneficial interest held in them by NRIs continues to be atleast 60%.

What is Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas (PBD)?

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is celebrated on 9th January every year to mark the contribution of Overseas Indian community in the development of India. January 9 was chosen as the day to celebrate this occasion since it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest Pravasi, returned to India from South Africa, led India's freedom struggle and changed the lives of Indians forever. PBD conventions are being held every year since 2003. These conventions provide a platform to the overseas Indian community to engage with the government and people of the land of their ancestors for mutually beneficial activities. These conventions are also very useful in networking among the overseas Indian community residing in various parts of the world and enable them to share their experiences in various fields.

What is PAN?

NRO - This is non-resident ordinary Rupee account. Any NRI may open NRO account, with authorized dealer or authorized bank, for purpose of putting through bonafide transaction in rupees not involving any violation of Act, rules, regulations made there under.

NRE - This is non-resident (External) Rupee accounts. Any NRI, overseas corporate bodies are permitted to open and maintain these accounts with authorized dealers and banks including co-operative banks authorized by Reserve Bank of India to maintain such accounts. These account should be opened by NRI himself and not by his power of attorney holder in India.

NRNR - This is non-resident (non-repatriable) Rupees account which may be opened by NRI with an authorized dealer. Account should be opened in Indian Rupees out of the funds remitted from outside India, through normal banking channels only. Interest accrued on deposits is repatriable.

FCNR - This is Foreign currency (non-resident) account. NRI and overseas corporate bodies are permitted to open the account with authorized dealer.

What is TDS?

TDS stands for Tax Deducted at Source.

NRIs have been offered a separate concessional tax regime in respect of certain types of income under Chapter XII A comprising section 115C to 115I. The said chapter has been introduced in the Income tax Act with a view to encouraging and inviting Non-residents Indian to invest their foreign earnings in India.

The rate prescribed for TDS from NRI's income is the maximum rate of tax at which relevant Income is taxable in India . However, in majority of the cases of NRI, the actual tax liability is lower than this. However, the higher deduction of tax so made is generally not claimed as refund by filing Return of Income. In order to assist such situation, the Income-tax Act has provided procedure under section 197 whereby a NRI can apply to the Assessing officer (in prescribed form) to issue specific certificate authorizing the payer of income (who normally deducts tax at highest prescribed rate) to deduct tax at a lower rate or nil rate. The NRI should estimate his income, tax liability and likely TDS and then apply for partial or complete Tax Exemption Certificate.

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