Moving abroad? Don’t forget to open an NRI account

Last Updated 20 November 2020, 12:28 IST

If you need information about opening an NRI premium bank account, this article will walk through the process.

You’ve landed a cushy job in a foreign country and are likely to spend the next few years overseas. Simply put, you have become a Non-Resident Indian (NRI), right? Once your residential status changes, you cannot hold your existing bank accounts. As per the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), it’s illegal and can attract hefty penalties. To manage your finances smoothly in the home country, it’s important to have the right bank account. As an NRI, you can operate a Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO), Non-Resident External (NRE), or Foreign Currency Non-Resident (FCNR) bank account.

A little about NRO/NRE/FCNR accounts:

Both NRO and NRE are rupee designated accounts. The NRO account is akin to the resident bank account and is typically used to route locally sourced income. The interest earned on this account is taxable. And yes, only USD 1 million per year can be repatriated from NRO accounts. The NRE account is perfect to park foreign earnings. It is tax-free and freely repatriable. FCNR bank account is only for fixed deposits. It allows you to save money in foreign currency without any risk of exchange rate fluctuations. FCNR funds are fully transferable, and the entire amount is exempted from Indian income tax.

NRI Premium Account:

You can also opt for an NRI premium account to enjoy an awesome banking experience. The eligibility criterion for the same is generally the maintenance of an Average Quarterly Balance (AQB) of INR 25,000. The account, designed to ensure hassle-free banking operations provide NRIs with exclusive benefits, complimentary banking services, great discounts, preferential services, and greater transactional power. Some of the value-added facilities include the following:

● Preferred exchange rates for currency exchange
● International ATM/Debit Card
● Concierge service
● Benefits for family members in India
● Insurance bouquet
● Access to discounted healthcare
● Higher Transaction Limits
● Free cash withdrawal at ATMs
● 24-hour customer care helpline
● Higher interest rate
● Complimentary net/mobile banking
● SMS & email transaction alert
● Nomination Facility
● Monthly email statement

Simple steps to open an NRI account:

Opening an NRI account in India is easy. Just step into the nearest branch of the bank with copies of all the important KYC documents along with originals for verification. Fill in the application form with the basic details, place your signature, and submit it along with the documents.

List of the documents:

● Photocopy of a valid passport
● Photocopy of Visa
● Overseas or the Indian address proof
● Proof of NRI status
● 2 self-attested passport size photographs
● Copy of Indian PAN Card
● All the documents must be attested by either the Indian bank abroad, notary, or the Indian embassy.
● Your first remittance to fund the account.

An NRI account can also be opened online with a few clicks. Visit the select bank’s website. Navigate to the desired account option and fill the application form as directed. You have the option to upload the scanned copy of the KYC documents or get them picked up by the bank representative.

If there is no discrepancy, your NRI account will become active for transactions within a few days. Once it’s opened, you will receive a welcome kit from the bank with your debit card, passbook, cheque book, PIN, etc.

The Final Say

As you can see, opening an NRI account in India is easy. Just assess your financial needs and decide whether you want a regular or NRI account premium. If still unsure, talk to the relationship manager of the select bank for expert guidance.

This article is part of a featured content programme.
(Published 20 November 2020, 08:00 IST)

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