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Who is an NRI?

Indian stock markets attract a lot of foreign investors. As an NRI, you can also benefit from various investment options in India. But, let's first understand who is an NRI in India?

Who Is a Nonresident Indian?

An Non Resident Indian (NRI) is an Indian Citizen who resided in India for less than 182 days during the previous financial year or

  • people who live outside India for employment, business, or any other purpose for an uncertain period
  • or
  • An Indian citizen stays in India for less than 365 days in the last four years from the current assessment year and less than 60 days during the previous year

NRIs are people of India who live in other countries. An NRI must hold an Indian passport and have Indian nationality.

Further status determination of NRI is done on basis of PIO/OCI.

A ‘Person of Indian Origin (PIO) is a person resident outside India who is a citizen of any country (other than Bangladesh or Pakistan) and need to comply on the below points to determine as PIO

a)  Who was a citizen of India by virtue of the Constitution of India or the Citizenship Act, 1955 (57 of 1955); or

b)  Who belonged to a territory that became part of India after the 15th day of August, 1947; or

c)  Who is a child or a grandchild or a great-grandchild of a citizen of India or of a person referred to in clause (a) or (b); or

d)  Who is a spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India or spouse of foreign origin of a person referred to in clause (a) or (b) (c)


The Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) Scheme was introduced by amending the Citizenship Act, 1955, in August 2005. The Scheme offers the registration of a person as an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) to all Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) who were either a citizen of India on or after 26th January 1950 or were eligible to become citizens of India on 26th January 1950

*OCIs can also hold a FOREIGN PASSPORT and an OCI Card

Who can open an NRI account?

a)  An individual who is employed or owns a business or practices some form of business outside India for more than 182 days

b)  Indian government employees who hold diplomatic passports

c)  Students studying abroad

d)  Sea Farers

e) Indian employees of an oil rig situated in a foreign country staying outside India for more than 182 days

Types of NRI accounts:

There are two types of NRI accounts

●Non-resident external (NRE) accounts

●Non-resident ordinary (NRO) accounts

1)Non-resident external (NRE) accounts

An NRE (Non-Resident External) Account is a savings account maintained in rupees where you deposit your income earned in foreign country. It can be opened as either savings, current, recurring, or a fixed deposit account. There is no tax levied on the interest earned from this account, and the amount is easily transferable. Funds from NRE account are easily repatriable to foreign country.

2)Non-resident ordinary (NRO) accounts

An NRO (Non-Resident Ordinary) Account is a savings account maintained in rupees where you deposit your income earned in India. It can be opened as either savings, current, recurring, or a fixed deposit account. Tax is levied on the interest earned from this account. An NRO account holder can repatriate only up to $1 million USD per Financial year. This account is ideal for those who have a steady flow of income in India like rent, pension & investments.

Also Read: What are the benefits for NRI in India?

Non-Resident accounts are further categorized into

a) PIS Accounts (Portfolio Investment Scheme)

b) NON-PIS Account

Categorization of the NRI Accounts

NRE-PIS: This allows for transactions under PIS on repatriable basis.

NRE-NON-PIS: This allows for transactions under Non – PIS on repatriable basis.

NRO-PIS: This allows for transactions under PIS on Non-Repatriable basis.

NRO-NON-PIS: This allows for transactions under Non-PIS on Non-Repatriable basis.

Also Read: The complete guide to derivatives trading for NRIs

Above mentioned are the eligibility criteria for NRIs to open accounts in India, depending on their requirement.

Disclaimer – ICICI Securities Ltd. (I-Sec). Registered office of I-Sec is at ICICI Securities Ltd. - ICICI Venture House, Appasaheb Marathe Marg, Prabhadevi, Mumbai - 400 025, India, Tel No : 022 - 6807 7100. I-Sec is a Member of National Stock Exchange of India Ltd (Member Code :07730), BSE Ltd (Member Code :103) and Member of Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd. (Member Code: 56250) and having SEBI registration no. INZ000183631. Name of the Compliance officer (broking): Mr. Anoop Goyal, Contact number: 022-40701000, E-mail address: complianceofficer@icicisecurities.com. Investment in securities market are subject to market risks, read all the related documents carefully before investing. The contents herein above shall not be considered as an invitation or persuasion to trade or invest.  I-Sec and affiliates accept no liabilities for any loss or damage of any kind arising out of any actions taken in reliance thereon. The contents herein above are solely for informational purpose and may not be used or considered as an offer document or solicitation of offer to buy or sell or subscribe for securities or other financial instruments or any other product. Investors should consult their financial advisers whether the product is suitable for them before taking any decision. Certain products and features are restricted for NRI Customers based on local laws applicable to select jurisdictions. The contents herein mentioned are solely for informational and educational purpose.

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