NRIs (Non-Resident Indians) with earnings in India often face difficulties in managing their finances from abroad. It becomes difficult to track bank accounts in a different country, especially when trying to repatriate money to one’s home account. Having a Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) or a Non-Resident Rupee (NRE) account helps with this. Having an NRO account broadly helps in 2 ways: NRIs can send money earned abroad to India at any time, and they can also retain their income from India earned through any assets.
An NRI can access his/her earnings in India through an NRO account, which can be opened in the form of a current account, savings or fixed deposit account. Among other sources of income, these earnings include interest earned, pension, rent, dividends, etc. Hence, with an NRO account, NRIs can deposit and manage their rupee funds without any hassle. The NRO account allows NRIs to receive funds in Indian or Foreign currency. Within certain limits, the repatriation of funds from NRO accounts is permitted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
An NRO account can also be opened jointly with a resident or non-resident. Also, the form to open an NRO account needs to be attested by the manager, in case the signature on the form varies from the one in the passport. Additional charges are generally levied by the bank for the conversion of existing savings/current/FD account to NRO.
Here is how you can open an NRO account;
- If an NRI already has a resident account in India, it can be turned to an NRO account. Otherwise, he/she can open a new NRO account.
- For NRI accounts, documentary proof showing that the account holder is an NRI needs to be provided as per the Indian tax laws.
- If an NRI is changing his/her resident account to an NRO account, a form needs to be filled. It then needs to be signed by all account holders.
- Documents needed include proof of identity, proof of foreign address, NRI status proof, along with 2 photographs.
- For a new account opening, the NRI along with the documents needs to fill up a new account opening form.
- For the ‘Proof of residence abroad’ either student status, employment detail, resident permit in the overseas destination or a dependent visa status can be provided.
- The proof of residence abroad also needs to be attested by the notary, Indian embassy, or branch of an Indian bank with an overseas branch.
- An NRI also needs to provide proof of financial transactions abroad, as most banks ask for it. It can be in the form of credit card statement of the last six months or a cheque drawn on an overseas account.
- For a new NRO account, once the bank receives all the documents and is verified along with the initial amount, the account is opened.
- In case of conversion of resident account, after the documents are submitted and verified by the bank, the existing savings/current FD account is redesignated as NRO account.