Some of the guidelines to be followed by NRI / PIO .
India has been one of the hottest destinations to invest and buy real estate for many decades. Ever since the economic boom, many PIOs and NRIs have been coming back to India from abroad.
With that, there has been a huge boom in purchase of real estate in various metropolitan cities. Why, even Indra Nooyi has bought herself a home in Chennai.
There are however some guidelines to be followed, for people who are not residents of India by birth.
Buyers who are not Indian citizens but living in India may still have the legal right to purchase a property in India.
This has been made possible through the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) which regulates the purchase of properties by Non-Resident Indians (NRI), Persons of Indian Origin (PIO), and foreign citizens.
The buyer has to ensure that the land on which the purchase property is built is not an agricultural land or a plantation property, because these types of land can only be purchased by an agriculturist who is an Indian citizen.
NRI and PIO
If someone has an Indian Passport, they can obtain a PIO (People of Indian Origin) card. Also if their parents, grandparents or great grandparents were born in India or are permanent residents of India, and/or if the spouse is a citizen of India or PIO card holder, the person can get a PIO card.
Citizens of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Nepal or Bhutan may not hold PIO cards.
For more information and a detailed list of requirements, please visit http://www.immigrationindia.nic.in/pio_card.htm
An Indian citizen, resident outside India or a PIO does not require any special permission to buy immovable property in India.
However, rules specify that no payment of the purchase price can be made in foreign currency. The buyer has to make the purchase in Rupees through funds received in India via normal banking channels, or funds maintained in any non-resident account under FEMA and RBI regulations.
Any misuse of the law has serious problems, especially if the documents are not in order.
There are also no restrictions on the number of immovable properties an NRI or a PIO may purchase for either residential or commercial purposes.