The Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) are recognized under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1973. Every bank and housing finance company follows the RBI guidelines to define an NRI – “An Indian citizen who holds a valid document like an Indian passport and who stays abroad for employment or for carrying on business or vocation outside India or stays abroad under circumstances indicating an intention for an uncertain duration of stay abroad is an NRI.”
Broadly categorized, Non-Resident Indians qualifying for NRI housing loans are:
Indian citizens who stay abroad for employment or for carrying on business or vocation outside India or for any other purpose in circumstances indicating an indefinite period of stay abroad
Government servants who are posted abroad on duty with the Indian missions and similar other agencies set up abroad by the Government of India, where the officials draw their salaries out of Government resources
Government servants deputed abroad on assignments with foreign Governments or regional/ international agencies like the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Health Organization (WHO), Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)
Officials of the State Government and Public Sector undertakings deputed abroad on temporary assignments or posted to their branches or offices abroad
Documents required for Resident Indians and NRIs for getting home loans are different in some respects. Home loans for NRIs are available for Purchase of Plits approved by HMDA OR DTCP and RERA, construction of new houses/ flats, purchase of old house/ flat addition/ alteration to an existing house and repairs/ renovation etc. NRIs can avail of loans by mortgaging an existing residential property. However, for availing home loans, NRIs have to fulfill certain conditions, according to the provisions of the Income Tax Act. They should have stayed in India for a period of 182 days or more within an assessment year or they should have stayed in India for at least a total of one year or more.
The FDI policy that permits FDI up to 100% from a foreign/ NRI investor under the automatic route has boosted NRI confidence. Banks have attractive NRI housing schemes to accommodate the housing needs of NRIs. From the stables of HFCs, NRI housing finance plans with suitable repayment options are available.
Last but not the least, NRIs should take due care while selecting their home loan provider companies or HFCs. Considering the geographical distances involved, it is significant that loan seekers associate with a proactive and responsive HFC.