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The Simple Guide To NRI Repatriation


India’s population residing abroad is the largest in the world. 

Over 32 million Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) or persons of Indian origin (PIOs) nest overseas as per data from the Ministry of External Affairs.

An Indian citizen is considered as a Non-resident Indian (NRI) if they reside in India for less than 182 days. Anyone who goes out of the country for employment, business, vocation or even education (Indian students going to study abroad) is considered as an NRI.

Bank services for NRIs are very different from that of a resident. Once you have been entitled to the status of NRI, your current savings account will not be valid. You need to convert your existing account to Non-Resident (External) Rupee Account (NRE Account) or Non-Resident Ordinary Rupee Account (NRO Account). 

India has been very welcoming with its policies and regulations for NRIs which facilitated huge overseas remittances into the country. However, when it comes to NRIs repatriating the funds (taking the money out of India), the rules are more stringent and the process long-drawn. 

Here, in this article, we will talk about the complete guidelines for NRI repatriation of funds according to the type of bank account they have. 

NRIs can predominantly opt for 3 types of bank accounts. 

1. Non-Resident (External)Rupee Account (NRE Account)
This rupee-denominated account is used for parking the foreign earnings of the NRI. 

2. Non-Resident Ordinary Rupee Account (NRO Account)
his rupee-denominated account is maintained to deposit all the Indian earnings of the  NRI such as dividends, rents, pensions and other similar incomes. 

3. Foreign Currency Non-Resident Account FCNR Account)
NRIs can save their overseas earnings in foreign currency in this account, unlike NRE and NRO accounts where the money is saved in Rupees.

Now let’s see the repatriation guidelines with respect to different accounts.

Repatriation Guidelines According to NRE, NRO And FCNR Accounts

1. Repatriation from an NRE account

The high point of holding an NRE account is that you can repatriate the entire foreign earnings without any upper transaction limit. The funds in an NRE account in India can be parked without having any tax liabilities, i.e., they are tax exempted resulting in saving money for you. Thus most NRIs prefer to save their money in an NRE account in India. 

Documents Required 

  1. Passport of the applicant (NRI)
  2. PAN Card
  3. Visa / PIO (Persons of Indian origin ) / OCI  Card (Overseas Citizen of India)
  4. Latest bank account statement
  5. NRE Letter from the NRI’s bank (stating that the person is holding an NRE account with that bank)
  6. A2 form– It’s an application form where the remitter needs to fill up the information asked such as the amount of remittance, beneficiary details etc.


Submit the following documents by personally visiting your bank branch – 

  • Passport of the applicant (NRI)
  • PAN Card
  • Visa / PIO (Persons of Indian origin ) / OCI  Card (Overseas Citizen of India)
  • A2 form

RBI mandates that in the case of NRE repatriation, the customer must visit their bank to verify the KYC documents in person. As soon as the verification process is done, the money transfer will be initiated.

Repatriation through banks might cost you a bomb as they impose a very high exchange rate. Also, banks charge excessively high service fees.

NRI Repatriable and Non-repatriable

The money held by NRIs in their bank accounts is classified as either NRI Repatriable funds or Non-Repatriable funds based on their source. 

NRI repatriable refers to funds that can be transferred from India to abroad by an NRI. Usually, funds from NRE and FCNR accounts are repatriable.

Non-repatriable refers to funds that cannot be taken out of India. Usually, this happens in the case of NRO accounts where the funds deposited have been earned from within India (dividends, rent, pension etc). 

However, RBI does allow NRIs to remit up to USD 1 million in a financial year out of NRO balances, subject to certain conditions (more on this in the next section).

2. Repatriation from an NRO account

As we mentioned above, any income an NRI earns in India goes straight to the NRO account. 

There are certain rules to repatriate funds off an NRO account

  • NRO account has been strictly non-repatriable in nature till May 2012. On May 7th 2012, RBI relaxed the rules and permitted the repatriation of funds from NRO accounts.
  • Funds in an NRO account are subjected to tax liabilities. Repatriation from NRO accounts is possible only after deducting tax.
  • If an NRI repatriates less than USD 1 million in a year, the rest of the limit cannot be carried forward to next year.
  • Income earned based on rent, salary, dividend, pension, earnings of the sale of immovable property (such as land, house) are repatriable up to USD 1 million in a financial year.
  • Returns from investments in mutual funds, equity shares etc are non-repatriable when invested out of NRO funds.
Note: NRIs can acquire all immovable properties other than agricultural/plantation properties or a farmhouse in India.

Documents Required 

  1. Application form from foreign account bank of NRI.
  2. Passport of applicant (NRI)
  3. PAN Card
  4. Visa / PIO (Persons of Indian origin ) / OCI  Card (Overseas Citizen of India)
  5. 15 CA/CB certificate- certificate from a chartered accountant that declares the remitter has paid all the taxes incurred.
  6. A2 form
  7. Supporting documents to manifest the source of funds that is to be repatriated.


As a first step, an NRI needs to fill up, sign in and submit 15CA form online, at the official website of the Tax Information Network. This form will have all the relevant information about the remitter like account number, amount to be transferred, details of the overseas account. Also, this form holds the details of the accountant who certifies 15 CB.

Post submission, an acknowledgement will be received. NRI needs to sign in this acknowledgement and submit to the bank along with 15CB and other documents.

3. Repatriation from an FCNR account

FCNR account permits full repatriation of funds at any time. These accounts are maintained as only term deposits*. Interest earned on FCNR funds are tax-free. 

Repatriation of funds from FCNR account is similar to that from NRE account as both accounts are for the earnings from a foreign country. There is no upper transaction limit on repatriation just like in the case of NRE accounts. 

The perk of having an FCNR account is the funds are protected against foreign exchange risk, ie, as the FCNR account carries only deposits in foreign currency and hence no conversion is required. Thus deposits in FCNR accounts are safe from any exchange rate fluctuations.

*Term deposit is a cash deposit for a fixed period at an agreed rate of interest.

Documents Required 

  1. Passport of the applicant (NRI)
  2. PAN Card
  3. Visa / PIO (Persons of Indian origin ) / OCI  Card (Overseas Citizen of India)
  4. Latest bank account statement
  5. Letter from the bank that proves the NRI holds FCNR account 
  6. A2 form


The procedure to repatriate funds from an FCNR account is similar to that of an NRE account. One needs to personally visit their bank to submit all the relevant documents such as:

  • Passport of the applicant (NRI)
  • PAN Card
  • Visa / PIO (Persons of Indian origin ) / OCI  Card (Overseas Citizen of India)
  • A2 form

After the verification of all the documents, the money transfer request is processed.

An NRI can initiate repatriation from NRE, FCNR and NRO account but to have a seamless process, repatriation from NRE and FCNR account is the best.

With no upper transaction limit, no taxes being levied and full repatriability, it’s worth it to hold an NRE or FCNR account. But if you have earnings from the country that is to be repatriated then NRO serves the purpose.

NRI Repatriation Via Third Party (Not Own Bank)

NRIs can also initiate repatriation transactions via third party banks where they do not hold an account.

How? Through!

We have tie-ups with banks to provide wholesale exchange rates to our customers for transferring money abroad. Also, account opening is not required.

The rates offered through our portal are much better than what your bank can give you (average Rs 1-2 difference!). Additionally, you can book the order online through us.

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Considering the complexity of the topic we have answered some frequently asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions


1. How much money can an NRI repatriate out of India?
An NRI can freely transfer without any upper transaction limit from NRE and FCNR accounts. On the other hand, an NRI can remit only up to 1 USD million out of the balances of an NRO account, provided they meet the eligibility criteria.


2. Why is it important to have an NRE/NRO account for an NRI?
Once a person is entitled to the status of NRI, his bank accounts in India need to be converted to an NRE/NRO account. An NRI requires NRE account to save earnings from abroad and NRO account to save income generated in India. Maintaining an NRE/NRO account also helps in getting many benefits such as exemption from tax, repatriation of funds etc.


3. Can an NRI repatriate funds from the sale of property (Immovable)  in India?
An NRI can sell their residential property or commercial property in India. The buyer could be an NRI or an Indian resident. However, to sell an agricultural land or plantation property or farmhouse, the property could be sold to only Indian residents.

If you had bought the property using the funds from an NRE account then you can repatriate the amount spent originally to purchase the property.

If you had bought the property using the funds from NRO account then you can only repatriate up to 1 USD million. In the case of the inherited or gifted property, you can repatriate only up to 1 USD million. These profits gained from the sale of a property are tax liable (Capital Gains* Tax) and such repatriations can be made only after clearing the respective liabilities.

*Capital gains is the profit earned on the sale of an asset.

Also read: NRE vs NRO account for NRIs, What’s the difference & How to choose?