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RBI says OCIs don’t need its approval for acquisition or transfer of immovable property in India

While OCI cardholders are permitted to purchase immovable property in India, they are not allowed to buy agricultural land, farmhouse or plantation property.

December 29, 2021 / 05:33 PM IST

Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) do not require prior approval of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for the acquisition and transfer of immovable property in India, the RBI said in a clarification issued on December 29.

"At present, NRIs/OCIs are governed by provisions of FEMA 1999 and do not require prior approval of RBI for acquisition and transfer of immovable property in India, other than agricultural land/ farm house/ plantation property, as per the terms and conditions laid down in Chapter IX of the Foreign Exchange Management (Non-debt Instruments) Rules, 2019, dated October 17, 2019 (as amended from time to time), issued under Section 46 of FEMA 1999," the central bank said in the press release.

Thus, OCI cardholders are permitted to purchase immovable property in India, but are not permitted to purchase agricultural land or a farmhouse or plantation property. They are on parity with NRIs in this matter.

As per the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 - Master Circular on Acquisition and Transfer of Immovable Property in India by NRIs/PIOs/Foreign Nationals of Non-Indian Origin, a Non-Resident Indian (NRI) is a citizen of India resident outside India.

Acquisition of immovable property by foreign nationals is covered under the Foreign Exchange Management (Non-debt Instruments) Rules, 2019.

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In March this year, the government issued a circular delineating the privileges afforded to Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cardholders in the country.

As per the notification, OCI cardholders require a special permit for various activities which includes missionary, journalistic activities, or to visit any place which falls within the Protected or Restricted or prohibited areas as notified by the Central Government.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Dec 29, 2021 05:33 pm
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