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Q. 1: What is an "NRI account"?
A.1: "NRI account" is a popular connotation for Indian accounts opened for NRIs. The types of accounts that an NRI can open in India are NRE (Rupee Repatriable) FCNR (Dollar, Pound, Euro, Yens, Can dollars & Aus Dollars) & NRO (Rupee Non Repatriable). US residents may bear in mind that these account are not FDIC insured, the income may be subject to US Federal Income Tax and balances in excess of $10,000 may need to be reported annually to the the US Department of the Treasury.
Q. 2: Am I eligible to open an "NRI account"?
A. 2: Yes, if you are an NRI
or a PIO
Q. 3: What are NRE, FCNR and NRO accounts?
A.3: NRE account is a Rupee denominated account which is fully repatriable. Funds into this account will have to be received from outside India. You can open either a SB account (liquid account provided with a check book) or a Fixed deposit. The minimum period for an NRE fixed deposit is 12 months.
FCNR accounts can be opened in five different currencies viz., US dollar, Pound Sterling, Euro, Jap Yen, Canadian Dollar & Australian Dollar. They are in the form of fixed deposits only and the minimum period of deposit is 12 months.
NRO account is a Rupee denominated account which is not repatriable. This account is basically for your rupee funds generated in India. You can open either a SB account (liquid account provided with a check book) or a Fixed deposit.
Q. 4: Can I open NRE, FCNR & NRO accounts in joint names?
A. 4: Yes, you can open NRE & FCNR jointly provided the other person is also an NRI. These accounts cannot be jointly held with an Indian resident. NRO accounts can be jointly held with an Indian resident.
Q. 5: What are current interest rates on NRE, NRO & FCNR accounts?
A. 5: Please visit the website of Indian operations (www.statebankofindia.com
) and click on the box "Interest Rates" located at the bottom left hand corner of the home page.
Q. 6: Can I open an NRI account in New York , Chicago or the branch in Los Angeles ?
A. 6: Regrettably no. NRI Accounts are not managed or serviced by offices in USA. As such they cannot be opened with our offices in USA .
Q. 7: How and where does one open an NRI account?
A. 7: NRI accounts (NRE/FCNR/NRO) are accounts held by offices in India . They are neither managed nor serviced by offices in USA . In order to open an account, the Account Opening Form
duly filled in must be sent to a branch of your choice in India. To know a branch located in your city in India, please go to "branch locator" on the top left hand corner of the home page of the bank's Indian website www.sbi.co.in
Please note the following:
a) Attach 2 photographs (one signed and affixed on the form)
b) Enclose copy of passport attested by an authorized official of the Indian Embassy / Consulate or a Notary Public or an officer of our bank. Indian citizens need to enclose copy of the current visa page or green card
c) The same official to verify your signature on the account opening form
d) It is advisable to ask the branch in India to open a `zero balance' account and on receipt of account number fund the account (pl see Q- 9 below for funding options)
Q. 8: What are the various modes of operation?
A. 8: a) Accounts opened in only one name
Mode of operation: Single
b) Account opened in two names:
Either or survivor – Account owned equally by the two account holders and for transactions / issuing instructions only one of the two needs to sign.
Both or Survivor – Account owned equally by the two account holders but for transactions / issuing instructions both will have to sign
Former or Survivor - Account owned only by one person (the first applicant). The second applicant does not have any rights to transact / operate the account.
Latter or Survivor - Account owned only by one person (the second applicant). The first applicant does not have any rights to transact / operate the account.
c) Acccount opened in three names:
Anyone or survivor(s) - Account owned equally by all the three applicants and and for transactions / issuing instructions only one of the three needs to sign.
First or survivor(s) - Account owned only by one person (the first applicant). The 2nd and 3rd applicants do not have any rights to transact / operate the account.
Q. 9: How do I fund my NRE account?
A. 9: You can fund by sending us – New York office, a check. For details please visit www.statebank.com/remittance.asp
In addition to checks, you can also effect the remittance thru an ACH authorization, charge to your debit/credit card or vide a wire transfer to SBI New York. The charges are as follows:
||below $ 2500
|| $ 2500 & above
Our India office offers an online remittance service – SBI Express Remit – to India. For details visit www.onlinesbi.com/gls
. Please note that this service is provided by our India office and as such US offices will not be in a position to assist you in any manner with regard to this service.
Q. 10: I have registered for remittances with SBI Express Remit or initiated a remittance using this service. Who should I contact for follow up queries / info rmation on status?
A. 10: Express Remit is a service provided by our office in India . Contact particulars are given below:
Q. 11: Can I authorize my father (or any other close relative) to operate my NRE SB account in India?
A. 11: Yes, you can authorize a close relative (father, mother, brother, sister or wife) to operate your NRE SB account (only your NRE SB account and not any other type of 'NRI account'). The Letter of Authority form will have to be signed by you and the relative before it is handed over to the branch in India. You can ask the branch to hand over the ATM card linked to the NRE account to this relative. Please bear in mind that the letter of authority holder does not become an account holder but is only your authorized representative .
Click here to download Authority form
Q. 12: How do I renew my NRE / FCNR / NRO fixed deposit?
A. 12: These deposits are automatically renewed by the branch in India for the same period. In case you want a change in period or amount you will have to write to the Indian branch.
Q. 13: How do I close an account in India ?
A. 13: You will have to write to the Indian branch. If the deposit is either a NRE or an FCNR account and you wish to bring the amount to USA, you can ask the Indian branch to either send you a check or directly credit your account with any US bank by providing the routing number. The Account Closure Form
duly filled in should be sent to the Indian Branch
Q. 14: My mailing address has changed. How do I inform the branch?
A. 14:You will have to send a letter to the Indian branch by regular mail. Please enclose notarized copy of the electricity bill/ telephone bill/ bank statement for current address proof.
Address Change Request form.
Q. 15: Can I add the name of my spouse to my account ?
A. 15: Yes, you can send the Indian branch a fresh account opening form
signed by both of you accompanied by a letter from you asking for inclusion of your spouse in the account. Your spouse' passport should be attested as given in Q- 6 above.
Q. 16: What is the benefit of nomination?
A. 16:Nomination is a facility that is provided for under banking rules in India. An account holder is permitted to nominate one person who will receive the money of his account after his life time. We strongly recommend that nomination be registered in respect of accounts in India in order to avoid legal hassles in settlement of balance later when the account holder is no more. Remember, each account requires separate nomination. Before your send the Nomination Form
to the branch in India please ensure that it is witnessed by a friend, relative or colleague. This is important. Normally a `will' would take care of your estate. However a will registered in USA may run into procedures while being enforced in India. Hence it is advisable to have nomination registered in respect of each of your accounts even if you have drawn a `will' in USA. We recommend that you study the regulations concerning probate in both the US and India or that you seek legal advice before deciding on a course of action.
Q. 17: As heirs to a close relative who passed away intestate how do we proceed to get the balance lying in his accounts in India settled in our favor.
A. 17:You will have to contact the branch in India who will advise you the procedure to get the settlement. You may also contact the Nodal officer for NRI services
of your branch for assistance.
Q. 18: I wish to have online access to my account. What are the benefits and how do I proceed?
A. 18: The online banking facility offers the following features:
- View account information
- Generate account statement
- Verify check status
- Transfer funds to own SBI accounts across the country
- Transfer funds to third party (beneficiary) SBI accounts across the country
- Issue demand drafts
- Pay utility bills
- Make mobile payments
Send the Registration form for internet banking
to the branch in India. You will get the user-id and password, by mail, sent from India.
Q. 19: Can I withdraw funds in USA from my NRE account in India ?
Q. 20: I am registered for internet banking but have forgotten my password.
A. 20: You will have to approach the branch in India for assistance. You may also email firstname.lastname@example.org
Q. 21: I can access my accounts online but am not able to do any transactions.
A. 21: You will have to approach the branch in India for assistance. You may also email email@example.com
Q. 22: Are NRE and FCNR interest income tax free?
A. 22: Interest on NRE and FNCR deposits are exempted from tax in India . However US residents are advised to consult their tax advisor for implications of tax in USA .
Q. 23: I get my pensions through an account with a bank in India . Can I bring this money to USA ?
A. 23: Yes. All you have to do is to write to the branch in India along with a certificate from a Chartered Accountant that the income tax thereon has been paid / provided for.
Q. 24: Can I get my rental income, dividend income repatriated into my USA account?
A. 24: Yes, you can. The certificate from the CA will be necessary as mentioned in
Q. 25: I have sold / am in the process of selling my immovable property in India. Can I have the sale proceeds repatriated to USA ?
A. 25: Yes you can. Sale proceeds not exceeding US$ 1 million per calendar year (Jan to Dec) can be repatriated subject to production of documentary evidence of inheritance / purchase of property accompanied by a chartered accountant's certificate to the effect that all taxes including capital gains tax have been paid. Prior permission of the Reserve Bank of India would be required for citizens of Pakistan, Bangladesh , Sri Lanka, Afghanistan , China or Iran. This facility is not available for citizens of Nepal & Bhutan. We recommend that you seek advice from a tax advisor regarding the US Federal Income Tax regulations relating to the sale of property if you are a permanent resident of the US .
Q. 26: Is there any restriction on repatriation of sale proceeds of residential property purchased by an NRI/PIO?
A. 26: Yes. Repatriation is restricted to sale proceeds of not more then two residential properties.
Q. 27: Can refund of application money / purchase consideration by the vendor on account of non allotment of flat together with interest be credited to NRE a/c?
A. 27: Yes, provided original payment was made by inward remittance or by debit to NRE / FCNR a/c. No permission of RBI is required.
Q. 28: Can agricultural land / plantation property / farm houses be acquired by a person resident outside India?
A. 28:No person resident outside India can acquire such property.
Q. 29: Does SBI extend home loans for NRIs for property purchases in India?
A. 29: Yes. The SBI Home loan (in India ) is one of the most popular and best loans in the market.
Q. 30: For what purposes can I avail the loan?
- Purchase/ Construction of new House/ Flat
- Purchase of an existing House/ Flat
- Purchase of a plot of land for construction of House
- Extension/ repair/ renovation/ alteration of an existing House/ Flat
- Purchase of Furnishings and Consumer Durables as a part of the project cost
- Takeover of an existing loan from other Banks/ Housing Finance Companies
Q. 31: I wish to know the eligibility criteria, interest rates, processing fee, different types of home loans offered in India.
A. 31: For details please visit www.sbi.co.in
and click on NRI services.
Q. 32: Is there a pre-payment or a pre-closure fee?
A. 32:There is no prepayment penalty as long as the repayment is done out of your own funds and not refinanced by other financial institution.
Q. 33: As an NRI am I eligible for a car loan in India?
A. 33: You can buy a car for the use of a close relative in India. Under the 'NRI-Car Loan' the Borrower (owner of the car) will be the close relative who is the resident Indian and you, the sponsoring NRI, would be the Guarantor. For details please visit www.sbi.co.in
and click on NRI services.
Q. 34: Can an NRI invest in SBI's Mutual funds.
A. 34: Yes, you can. These transactions take place outside of the US and therefore US securities laws and investor protection do not apply. Details of the various schemes are available at www.sbimf.com.
Q. 35: Can I invest for SBI's Mutual funds online and if so how?
A. 35: You can invest in SBI's Mutual funds online provided you have internet banking access to your NRE account with SBI. Before you may go ahead, you will have to get for yourself a Mutual Fund Identification Number (MIN) which is mandatory for all mutual fund investments in India wef 1.1.2007. Once you have the MIN (for this visit www.amfiindia.com
) choose the scheme you wish to invest in at www.sbimf.com
. The rest is simple. All you have to do is to ensure that you have funds in your NRE SB account and that you remember your userid and password to access this account. These transactions take place outside of the US and therefore US securities laws and investor protection do not apply.
Q. 36: How do I open a Demat (book entry) account with SBI?
A. 36: Applying for Indian Income Tax Permanent account number (PAN) number is a precondition for a Demat account. To get your PAN number please visit www.incometaxindia.gov.in
. Once you have your PAN number, please send the Application form for Demat accounts
with a branch at the city of your choice. (Not all branches are authorized to open Demat accounts). To know if your branch is authorized, please contact your branch or contact the Nodal officer for NRI services
of your branch. These transactions take place outside of the US and therefore US securities laws and investor protection do not apply.
Q. 37: Will New York , Chicago or the branch in Los Angeles issue life certificate for pensioners?
A. 37: Yes, we will be glad to be of assistance. Please visit any of our offices in USA along with your passport for the certificate. Alternatively Life Certificates
can be issued by an official from the Indian Embassy/Consulate. It can also be issued by a notary public in USA. However, please contact your pension paying branch before getting a notary to issue your life certificate.
Q. 38: On return to India, can an NRI retain his assets abroad?
A. 38 : Yes, on return to India , NRIs need not surrender their foreign currency assets and the income earned thereon.
Q. 39: On return to India, can NRIs hold funds acquired overseas in foreign currency accounts in India?
A. 39 : Yes. They can be held in RFC (Resident Foreign Currency ) Accounts. For details visit www.sbi.co.in
and click on types of accounts under NRI services on the home page.
Q. 40: What amounts can be credited into a RFC A/c?
A. 40 : Sale / maturity proceeds of assets held abroad & income on them
Pension received abroad Currency notes / TCs brought into India at the time of returning to India Balances in FCNR / NRE a/cs.
Q. 41: Can the proceeds of NRE / FCNR deposits be credited to RFC a/cs by premature closure?
A. 41: Yes. No penalty for premature closure will be levied, for credit to RFC a/cs. However, the deposit so closed will earn interest at the rate applicable for the period for which it has run.
Q. 42: Can a person who returns to India after a short assignment abroad open an RFC a/c?
A. 42: Yes.
Q. 43: Can the funds in RFC accounts be used for making local payments?
A. 43: Yes.
Q. 44: Can a returning Indian on going abroad again and regaining his NRI status transfer his funds from RFC to FCNR / NRE a/cs?
A. 44: Yes.
Q. 45: Is the amount in RFC accounts fully repatriable?
A. 45: Yes.
Q. 46: For how many years can an RFC accounts be held?
A. 46: RFC accounts can be held for any number of years.
Q. 47: In what currencies are RFC a/cs denominated?
A. 47: At present RFC accounts can be opened in US$ only with SBI.
Q. 48: Is interest income on RFC deposits taxable in India?
A. 48: Interest income on RFC deposits is taxable when the NRI loses RNOR (resident not ordinarily resident) status and becomes an ordinary resident in India. However US citizens and Green Card holders are advised to consult their tax advisor for implications of tax in USA.
Q. 49: Who is an RNOR?
A. 49: A returning Indian would have RNOR status if he has been a non resident for at least 9 of the previous 10 years or if he had been in India for not more than 729 days in the previous seven years.
Q. 50: I have a foreign travel card (Vishwa Yatra card) issued by a branch of SBI in India. Can I come to the New York , Chicago or the branch in Los Angeles and draw cash against this card.