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Simple steps to open NRI accounts from overseas

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Since many NRIs find difficult to visit the bank branch in India to complete the account opening formalities, they prefer to open these account at their convenience from their respective countries. In this post, you find the simple steps to open NRI accounts from overseas.

Who is NRI (Non-Resident Indian)?

Non-resident Indian is an Indian national who has gone abroad for the purpose of employment, studies or business and stayed in a foreign country for a period not less than 182 days.

Non-Resident Indians living in overseas countries are permitted to open various deposit accounts namely; Non-Resident External account, Non-Resident Ordinary account, Foreign Currency Non-Resident account, etc., with branches of various banks in India.

In order to open such accounts, they have to submit the following to the bank:

  • The application form as prescribed by the bank for the relevant account
  • Initial deposit amount
  • Proof of address and identity as per KYC guidelines

Application form for NRI account

NRIs can contact the bank branches and get the prescribed application form through friends or by post. Nowadays, the application form can also be downloaded from the bank website. The necessary details are to be filled in and once completed the application form has to be sent to the bank along with proof of address and identity and initial deposit amount. Alternatively, some banks facilitate submission of application by NRIs online and the applicant can use digital signatures also while sending the application online.

Initial deposit amount to open NRI account

All credits to Non resident external account and FCNR account are to be routed  through Foreign Inward Remittances only as detailed below:

  • FITT – Foreign inward telegraphic transfers
  • FDD – Foreign demand drafts issued at any overseas branch and payable at any branch situated in India
  • Foreign currency
  • Foreign currency traveler cheques

Foreign currency and foreign currency traveler cheque can be handed over in person by NRI himself to the bank branches at the time of opening the account. Third parties are not allowed to deposit foreign currency in the accounts of NRI.

Proof of address and identity to open NRI account

The copies of passport are to be submitted along with account opening form. Bankers are expected to verify the entries as available in the passport in regard to period of stay in foreign country.

  • NRIs can send the application along with self attested copies of passport by post or scanned copies online
  • Some banks require the supporting documents namely; copies of passport, Visa etc., to be attested by any overseas bank or Indian Consulate and it can also be notarized by any notary available in foreign country
  • This apart some banks require an additional KYC form to be filled up by the applicant for the purpose of disclosing the tax residency status as per FATCA and CRS guidelines.

Submission of application:

The application form along with the initial remittance in the form of foreign demand draft and copies of the document evidencing proof of address and identity can also be deposited in centers notified in overseas countries by the banks.

Alternatively, they can also be submitted to the overseas branch of the respective banks or their authorized dealers. Since NRIs are non-face to face customers commercial banks are more vigilant when accounts are opened by Non-Resident Indians.

Some banks accept the application forms from NRIs before they leave the country; however, the customer is expected to send the copies of passport with relevant entries in regard to proof of stay in a foreign country and initial remittance once they settle in the foreign country.

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