Who are an NRI/PIO?

What are the benefits of being an NRI?

• You can get special bank accounts from Indian banks.

• You can continue to own land and real estate in India.

• Your income outside India will not be taxed by the Indian government, provided you have paid tax in your country of residence. Local income in India (interest, rental income) is still taxed.

• A special number of seats in Indian universities are reserved for NRAs.

• You can still vote, but you have to be in India for that.

What are the disadvantages?

• You may need permission to withdraw money invested in India.

• You may not buy farmland or farms.

• You must not have a government job.

• You may not be elected to political office.

How do you become an NRI?

No application form is required. The only official proof that you are an NRA comes on your annual tax return. This status may change from year to year. To open an NRI bank account, all you need to do is notify your bank of your plans.

More benefits of NRI

1. Bank Accounts- The NRI banking industry is very vibrant especially as the Government of India started recognizing this large group of people and offering it numerous facilities and benefits.

2. Insurance Policy- Another benefit that NRAs experience is the fact that they can enjoy tax exemptions on their income, provided they enroll in a tax savings fund, retirement plan, insurance policy, and other certifications. This is because the above options offer great returns to NRAs and thus will provide the expected tax exemptions.

3. Immovable Assets Abroad- Non-resident Indians can continue to hold all their immovable assets outside of India. These types of assets can be rented out as rent or credited to the foreign bank accounts. The properties can then be transferred or sold, with the proceeds of the sale being credited to foreign bank accounts. The best part about this is that any costs related to these assets, such as insurance premiums and maintenance, can be easily offset against the remaining foreign balances.

Who can be a PIO?

“Person of Indian Origin” means a foreign citizen who is not a citizen of Bangladesh, Pakistan or other countries as specified by the Central Government from time to time if;

i. He/she was in possession of an Indian passport at all times; or

ii. He/she either of his/her parents or grandparents or great-grandparents was born in and has had permanent residence in India as defined in the Government of India Act, 1935 and other territories thereafter becoming part of India, provided that no of both were in one of the citizens of India. one of the aforementioned countries (as mentioned above); or

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iii. He/she is a spouse of a citizen of India or a person of Indian descent who falls under (I) or (ii) above.

Advantages of a PIO card:-

(i) PIO cardholders do not require a visa to visit India for a period of 15 years from the date of issue of the PIO card.

(ii) They are exempt from registration with FRRO/FRO if their stay does not exceed 180 days. If the stay is longer than 180 days, they must register with FRRO/FRO within the next 30 days.

(iii) They enjoy equivalence with NRAs in economic, financial and educational benefits, such as:- Acquisition, possession, transfer and sale of real estate in India, excluding agricultural/plantation properties Admission of children to educational institutions in India under general category quota for NRAs, including medical and technical university, IITs, IIMs etc. Using various housing plans from LIC of India, state government and central government agencies Any future benefits that would be exempt from NRIs would also be available to the PIO cardholders. However, PIOs have no employment rights in the services of the Government of India, nor can they hold constitutional office in the Government of India. They require prior authorization to undertake mountaineering, missionary activities, research work and visit restricted areas in India.