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NRI: ACCOUNTS AND DEPOSITS

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What are the kinds of bank accounts an NRI can hold in India?

As per FEMA Notification No.5/2000-RB, dated 3rd May 2000, an NRI can have a 'Rupee Account' and/or a 'Foreign Currency Account' in India as described below:
  1. NRE SB account in Indian Rupees
  2. NRE Fixed Deposits in Indian Rupees
  3. FCNR Deposits in US$, £, Euro, Can$ AUD and Jap Yen
  4. Non-Resident Ordinary Account in Indian Rupees

5. I want to know the latest interest rates:

Please visit Interest Rates

6.The difference between NRE and NRO accounts?

Balances held in NRE accounts can be repatriated abroad, whereas funds in NRO account are not generally repatriable. Repatriation of balances held in NRO accounts is allowed subject to certain conditions. Funds remitted from abroad or local funds which can otherwise be remitted abroad to the account holder can be credited to NRE accounts. Funds due to the non-resident account holder which do not qualify, under the Exchange Control regulations, for remittance outside India are required to be credited to NRO accounts. The interest income earned on NRO attracts income tax deduction at source.

7.How do I open an NRI account if I am outside India?

If you want to open the account when you are outside India:
  1. You may visit our website  www.onlinesbi.com/nri
  2. Fill the application form and get it attested by an SBI official or at the Indian consulate. You can have the application form notarized locally.
  3. Submit the application form with a copy of your passport and initial remittance to a branch of your convenience in India. Alternatively, you could also hand over these documents to an SBI branch nearby, if one is available. You need to specify instructions to open an account in India at the branch of your choice.
In case of any query, please write to us along with the SBI branch in India/place where you propose to open the a/c.

8. Can an NRI transfer funds between NRE accounts?

Yes. The funds can be transferred between NRE or FCNR accounts of an account holder and also between NRE or FCNR accounts of two different NRIs, i.e., the funds lying in NRE or FCNR accounts of an NRI can be freely transferred to NRE or FCNR account of any other NRI.

9.Can you transfer funds from an NRE to an NRO account and vice versa?

Itís easy to transfer funds from an NRE to an NRO account. But itís not possible to transfer funds from an NRO account to an NRE account. Once you transfer funds from an NRE to an NRO account, the amount is non-repatriable. Consequently, you cannot transfer it back.

10.What amounts can be credited to NRO accounts?

  • Proceeds of remittances from outside India through normal banking channels received in foreign currency which is freely convertible
  • Any foreign currency, which is freely convertible, tendered by the account holder during his temporary visit to India. Foreign Currency exceeding USD 5000 or its equivalent in the form of cash should be supported by currency declaration form. Rupee funds should be supported by encashment certificate, if they represent funds brought from outside India.
  • Transfers from rupee accounts of non-resident banks
  • Legitimate dues in India of the account holder. This includes current income like rent, dividend, pension, interest, etc.
  • Sale proceeds of assets including immovable property acquired out of rupee / foreign currency funds or by way of legacy / inheritance.

11.Are NRO or NRE account holders eligible for loans or overdrafts against their fixed deposits?

Yes. except for the purpose of re-lending , carrying on agricultural/plantation activities or for investment in real estate business.
Loans against NRE fixed deposits can, however, be utilized for investments in India on non-repatriation basis, in certain specified areas and for acquisition of flats/houses subject to prescribed conditions

12.What is a Resident Foreign Currency Account Scheme?

The Resident Foreign Currency Account facilitates investment of funds for those individuals who have returned to India for permanent settlement (Returning Indians) and attained a residential status of RNOR.

13. Are NRIs permitted to remit funds through Exchange Houses for investment in shares or debentures of Indian companies?

Subject to general or specific permission from the Reserve Bank of India NRIs are permitted to remit funds through Exchange Houses for their investment in shares or debentures.

14.What is the tenure for the various deposits that you offer?

  NRE NRO FCNR RFC
Time Period
for TDR/STDR
Min: 1year Min:15 Days Min: 1 year Min: 1 year
Max:5 years Max:10 years Max:5 years Max:3 years
 

15.Can I convert my Resident Account to NRO account?

Yes. You can convert your Resident Account to NRO Account.According to FEMA guidelines, when an individual changes his residential status from 'Resident' to 'Non-Resident', he must re-designate his resident account as an NRO (Non-Resident Ordinary) account. Along with the NRO account you can open NRE account.To re-designate your Resident account, download the account opening form from  www.onlinesbi.com/nri fill and submit along with the relevant documents to the branch of your choice in India.

16. Is nomination facility available?

Yes. Nomination facility is available on NRE / FCNB accounts. The account holder needs to fill in the requisite form DA1 which forms a part of NRI account opening form. You may also download nomination form and send it to your branch for them to record the same.
 

17. Can I open a joint account?

Type of Account Joint Account with Resident Indians Joint Account with Non-Resident Indians
NRO Yes Yes
NRE No Yes
FCNR No Yes
 

18.Are funds in NRE/FCNR accounts repatriable?

All amounts in the various NRE / FCNR deposits accounts are fully repatriable.

19.Under liberalised norms, how much money can an NRI remit abroad annually from his NRO accounts?

He can remit up to US$ 1 million (or equivalent) per calendar year on production of an undertaking and certificate

20.Is any prior permission from RBI required?

No, however, NRIs who are citizens of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, China, Afghanistan, Iran, Nepal & Bhutan are not allowed to repatriate assets without prior permission from RBI.
 

21.What are the tax concessions available to NRIs on balances or deposits held in NRE or FCNR accounts?

The income from interest on moneys standing to the credit of NRE or FCNR accounts is exempt from Income Tax. Gifts from such accounts are not liable to Gift Tax as the Gift Tax is abolished w.e.f. 30/9/1998. Similar tax concessions however are not available for NRO accounts.

22.Can any person in India be authorised to operate the NRI's account?

Yes, you can either use a letter of authority or give a Power of Attorney. The letter of authority must be duly completed with the signature of the person who is authorized to operate the account. The same must be attested and handed over at the branch when the account is opened

23.Are Power of Attorney Holders allowed to credit proceeds of foreign currency notes, bank notes and travellers cheques to the NRE accounts?

Power of Attorney Holders are not allowed to credit proceeds of foreign currency notes, bank notes and travellers cheques to the NRE accounts.

24. Is interest income on RFC deposits taxable?

Interest income on RFC deposits is taxable when the NRI loses RNOR (resident not ordinarily resident) status and becomes an ordinary resident.

25. Are the balances in NRE or FCNR account permitted to be credited to RFC account? Is the NRI required to satisfy any minimum period of NRI status for the above purpose? How long is the NRI permitted to maintain RFC account once he becomes a resident?

The balances in NRE or FCNR account can be credited to RFC Account on the change of the status of the NRE or FCNR Account holder from a Non-Resident to a Resident. Under the current FEMA regulations the Non-Resident Indian is not required to satisfy a minimum period of stay of one year.

A person can maintain an RFC Account, once he becomes a resident for any length of time as long as he remains to be a resident. If his status changes once again from Resident to Non-Resident, the funds held in RFC account are allowed to be freely remitted abroad or credited to fresh NRE or FCNR account. However the current regulation under FEMA is silent about the above provision.

The treatment of deducting tax at source on interest on RFC Account is similar to Domestic Term Deposits. However it is possible for a person, whose status under the Income Tax Provision is Resident but not Ordinarily Resident to claim that the interest on Term deposits is not liable to tax under the provisions of Section 10 of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The individual should furnish Form 15AA if he does not require the bank to deduct tax at source.

26.I want to give / cancel the standing Instructions?

You may write to your branch or Please log on your onlinesbi account. Under Standing Instructions you may give or cancel the standing Instructions.

27.How can I request for a New Cheque Book?

You can request for a cheque book online. Cheque book can be requested for any of your Savings, Current and Over Draft accounts. You can opt for cheque books with 25, 50 or 100 cheque leaves. You can either collect it from branch or request your branch to send it by post or courier. You can opt to get the cheque book delivered at your registered address or you can provide an alternate address. Cheque books will be dispatched within 3 working days from the date of request.

Just log on to retail section of the Internet Banking site with your credentials and select the Cheque Book link under Requests tab. You can view all your transaction accounts. Select the account for which you require a cheque book; enter the number of cheque leaves required and the mode of delivery. Then, submit the same.

28.Can a person employed in Bhutan or Nepal open NRE/FCNR accounts or Fixed Deposits in foreign currency?

No. Persons resident in Bhutan and Nepal cannot normally open NRE accounts/FCNR deposits except where the funds to these accounts are remitted in free foreign exchange.

Interest earned on these accounts can be remitted only in Indian Rupees to NRIs/ PIOs in Nepal & Bhutan.

29.Can fixed deposits be closed prematurely?

NRE & FCNR fixed deposits with the bank can be closed prematurely. No interest is payable if the deposit is not kept with the bank for a minimum period of one year. If the deposit is kept for over one year, interest will be paid at the rate applicable for the period for which it has run less a penalty of 1%.

30.Will the penalty be waived if the deposit is closed for redeployment in another scheme of the Bank?

No penalty is levied if the deposit is closed prematurely for redeployment in another scheme of our Bank

31.Can an FCNR deposit in one currency be converted to a deposit in another currency?

Yes. However, it would be advisable to do so only on maturity of the deposit so that there is no loss of interest.

32.I have a FCNB account which I want to renew?

These deposits are automatically renewed by the branch in India for the same period. In case you want a change in period or amount you will have to write to your branch in India.

33.I donít want to renew my fixed deposit A/C?

If you do not want to renew your Term deposit receipt, please send the original receipt duly discharged by you along with instructions regarding disposal of proceeds of TDR to the concerned branch of SBI

34. want to know the status of my STDR?

If you want to know status of TDR, you can either contact the branch for the details or you can avail of the Internet Banking facility from the branch with ĒVIEWĒ Rights facility" You can view your accounts any time as per your convenience

35.What is RNOR?

A returning Indian would have RNOR status if he has been a non resident for at least 9 of the previous 10 years or if he had been in India for not more than 729 days in the previous seven years.

36.Is interest income on RFC deposits taxable?

Interest income on RFC deposits is taxable when the NRI loses RNOR (resident not ordinarily resident) status and becomes an ordinary resident.

37.How can I update my Signature on my account?

In case you want to change your signature, you need to contact your branch. You may send a request letter with old signature, to register your new signature in the branch records. (Your NEW Signature should be attested by you with old signature).

38.What is meant by an Inoperative / Dormant account? / What happens if I donít use my savings/current account for a very long time?

Dormant Account Definition: 'Savings' as well as 'Current Account' should be treated as dormant if there are no transactions ('no credit or debit' other than crediting of periodic interest or debiting of service charges) in the account for over a period of one year.

Inoperative Account Definition: 'Savings' as well as 'Current Account' should be treated as inoperative if there are no transactions ('no credit or debit' other than crediting of periodic interest or debiting of service charges) in the account for over a period of two years.

No charge is to be levied for activation of 'Inoperative Accounts'. Interest in Savings Bank accounts will continue to be credited on regular periodicity in Inoperative / Dormant accounts as well.

39.How do I activate my Inoperative / Dormant account?

Please inform the branch with which you maintain your account in writing , the reasons for non-operation and request for account-activation.

Simultaneously, please ensure that one debit or credit transaction takes place in a year. You may also contact the Nodal Officer of Your zone.

40.How can I request for closure of my Savings account?

You will have to send a letter to the Indian branch by regular mail. Please enclose notarized copy of the electricity bill/ telephone bill/ bank statement for current address proof.

41.I want to shift my account from one branch to another?

If you do not want to renew your Term deposit receipt, please send the original receipt duly discharged by you along with instructions regarding disposal of proceeds of TDR to the concerned branch of SBI

42.Can NRE accounts be opened by the power of attorney holder in India on behalf of a non-resident?

No.

43.What amounts can be credited to RFC A/c?

  1. Sale / maturity proceeds of assets held abroad & income on them
  2. Pension received abroad
  3. Currency notes / TCs brought into India at the time of returning to India
  4. Balances in FCNR / NRE a/cs.

44.Can NRE accounts be opened by the power of attorney holder in India on behalf of a non-resident?

Yes. No penalty for premature closure will be levied, for credit to RFC a/cs. However, the deposit so closed will earn interest at the rate applicable for the period for which it has run.

45.Can foreign currency notes be credited into an RFC account?

Yes. If the amount exceeds US$5000 or its equivalent, it should have been declared in the currency declaration form

46.Can Travellers cheques be credited into an RFC account?

Yes. If the amount exceeds US$10,000 or equivalent, it should be declared in the CDF (Currency Declaration form).

47.Can the funds in RFC accounts be used for making local payments?

Yes.

48.Can a returning Indian on going abroad again transfer his funds from RFC to FCNR (B) / NRE A/cs?

Yes.

49.Is the amount in RFC accounts fully repatriable?

Yes.

50.Can RFC accounts be opened jointly?

Yes with another person eligible to open RFC account.

51.For how many years can an RFC accounts be held?

RFC accounts can be held till the status of resident not ordinarily resident (RNOR) is held

52.Is interest income on RFC deposits taxable?

Interest income on RFC deposits is taxable when the NRI loses RNOR (resident not ordinarily resident) status and becomes an ordinary resident.

53.In what currencies are RFC a/cs denominated?

RFC accounts are denominated in US$, Euro and GBP.

54.Is there any tax deducted at source on interest earned on RFC accounts?

Yes. TDS is deducted on RFC interest where the depositor does not hold RNOR status. Top MULTI-CITY CHEQUE BOOK

55.What is multi-city cheque (MCC)?

MCC is one that can be written by the customer in favour of his client and is payable at par at all branches in India of the Bank.

56.What are the charges of multi-city cheque book?

MCC will be issued to NRIs at a cost of Rs. 3/- per leaf and will be debited from the account at the time of issue of the cheque book.

57.Are there any transaction charges?

No. There are no transaction or payment charges.

58.Is there any upper limit for issuance of Multi-city Cheque book?

Yes. MCC are payable at par only upto Rs. 2, 00,000/-

59.What are the eligibility criteria for issue of MCC?

Customers having an Average Quarterly Balance of Rs. 10,000/- (including term deposits) are eligible for MCC.

60.How do I apply for a MCC?

You may please write to your branch. Top ATM/DEBIT CARD

61.How can I request for an ATM/ Debit Card and Pin?

Please fill the application form for ATM / Debit Card and submit the same to the branch with which you maintain your account

62.How can I request to deactivate my ATM/Debit Card?

Please contact our Contact Centre on following numbers
 
  • 1800 11 22 11 (accessible through MTNL/BSNL landline)
  • 080-26599990 accessible through any landline and any mobile line)
  • +91 80 26599990 (outside India)

In case you are not able to contact the Contact Centre for hot listing / blocking your card you can approach any branch of State Bank Group for doing so.

You may give either the account number and branch code/name or the card number to the Contact Centre/branches for hot listing / blocking the card.

63.I have problem with my ATM /Debit card:

Please contact your branch or our Contact Centre. Top REMITTANCES

64.What is SBI Express?

SBI Express enables NRIs to send rupee remittances to India through Exchange Houses / Banks / our branches in Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and UAE.

65.Is there a limit on the number of beneficiaries that I can remit money to in India?

No.

66.What is Instant Transfer?

Instant Transfer is a free real time rupee remittance facility from our branch abroad to your / beneficiaryís account (India) maintained with nearly 15,000 branches of State Bank Group (branches of SBI and associates) on the Core Banking network. If your or beneficiary account is in any of the core banking branches of State Bank Group then provide the core banking account number and avail of this facility.
 

67. What Is Swift?

Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication is a worldwide network for financial messages through which its members (i.e. financial institutions such as banks) can exchange messages related to money transfer for their customers. The messages are sent securely and reliably to the target member financial institution of SWIFT.

68.Where do I get the Swift code?

Please visit  www.onlinesbi.com/nri/remittances  and click Swift enabled branches for the SWIFT Code.

69.What if the branch I want to remit does not have SWIFT facility?

An NRI can select a SWIFT linked branch located close to the beneficiary's home town, which will handle the SWIFT transaction and transfer the funds to your / beneficiary's account.

70.I made remittance, but the amount is not yet credited?

Please check with the remitting bank for non-credit of amount. Please attach a copy of remittance and send it the branch with which you maintain your account or Nodal Officer of the circle to which your branch pertains.
 
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