How can a foreigner purchase property in India
Foreign Citizena holding OCI (Overseas Citizens of India) can purchase and hold residential and Commercial Properties in India. But they do not have permission to purchase agricultural land, including farmland or any kind of plantation property in India.
Who can apply for Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Card
(a) The following categories of persons (except Bangladesh and Pakistan) are eligible to apply under OCI scheme:
- Who is a citizen of another country, but was a citizen of India at the time of, or at any time after, the commencement of the constitution; or
- Who is a citizen of another country, but was eligible to become a citizen of India at the time of the commencement of the constitution; or
- Who is a citizen of another country, but belonged to a territory that became part of India after the 15th day of August, 1947; or
Who is a child or a grand-child or a great grandchild of such a citizen; or
(b) A person, who is minor child of a person mentioned in clause (a); or(c) A person, who is a minor child, and whose both parents are citizens of India or one of the parents is a citizen of India; or(d) Spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India or spouse of foreign origin of an Overseas Citizen of india Cardholder registered under section 7A, Citizenship Act 1955 and whose marriage has been registered and subsisted for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the application under this section:
Provided that no person, who is or had been a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh or such other country as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify, shall be eligible for the registration as Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder.
How can a foreign national of non-Indian origin, resident outside India purchase immovable property in India.
A foreign national of non-Indian origin, resident outside India cannot purchase any immovable property in India. But if the property is acquired by way of inheritance from a person who was resident in India, the foreign national can hold property.
Can a Foreign National take property on lease in India
A Foreign national can acquire or transfer immovable property in India, on lease, not exceeding five years without taking any permission of/ or reporting to the Reserve Bank of India.
Can a foreigner residing in India purchase immovable property in India
Yes, a foreign national who is a 'person resident in India' within the meaning of Section 2(v) of FEMA, 1999 can purchase immovable property in India, but the person concerned would have to obtain the approvals and fulfill the requirements, if any, prescribed by other authorities, such as, the State Government concerned, etc. The onus to prove his/her residential status is on the individual as per the extant FEMA provisions, if required by any authority. However, a foreign national resident in India who is a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Nepal and Bhutan would require prior approval of the Reserve Bank.
What is the definition of 'person resident in India' as per Section 2(v) of FEMA Act 1999
(v) "person resident in India" means-
(i) a person residing in India for more than one hundred and eighty-two days during the course of the preceding financial year but does not include-
(A) a person who has gone out of India or who stays outside India, in either case-
(a) for or on taking up employment outside India, or
(b) for carrying on outside India a business or vocation outside India, or
(c) for any other purpose, in such circumstances as would indicate his intention to stay outside India for an uncertain period;
(B) a person who has come to or stays in India, in either case, otherwise than-
(a) for or on taking up employment in India, or
(b) for carrying on in India a business or vocation in India, or
(c) for any other purpose, in such circumstances as would indicate his intention to stay in India for an uncertain period;
(ii) any person or body corporate registered or incorporated in India,
(iii) an office, branch or agency in India owned or controlled by a person resident outside India,
(iv) an office, branch or agency outside India owned or controlled by a
person resident in India;
If a person had bought immovable property, when he/she was a resident of India
Is holding of such property is valid even after becoming an OCI card holder?
Yes, a person who had bought residential/commercial property/agricultural land/ plantation property/farm house in India when he was an Indian citizen, can continue to hold that property without the approval of the Reserve Bank after becoming an OCI card holder. However, the property can be transferred only with the prior approval of the Reserve Bank of India.
Is Gifting of Such property is valid?
Yes. He/she may transfer residential or commercial property in India by way
of gift to a person resident in India or to a person resident outside India and
is a citizen of India or to an OCI card holder resident outside India.
Can such property be rent out?
Yes, OCI card holders can rent out their properties in India.