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An NRO account helps you manage your income sources, investments, and expenses in India. You can deposit foreign currency in this account and also earn interest on the deposits. You can either open a new NRO account or convert your Resident Indian account into an NRO account upon assuming NRI status. You may also hold the account jointly with a Resident Indian or another NRI.
Moving abroad is one of the most significant steps to take in life. If you are already living abroad or planning to move outside of India, you must have already investigated the steps required to open a bank account in the country abroad. What should you do about your bank account in India? You can convert your resident bank account in India into an NRO account and enjoy smooth transactions from abroad to India. Read this article to know more about how to convert your resident bank account to an NRO account.
An NRO account refers to a Non-Resident Ordinary account. It is an account that is very helpful for NRIs and PIO to manage any income or deposits which are made in India. From rental income and income from investments to expenses like payment of insurance premiums, loan EMIs and utility bills, you can manage it all from abroad directly through your NRO account.
You can use your NRO account to deposit money in both INR as well as foreign currencies. The foreign currency deposits are converted in INR at the applicable currency conversion rates. As such, all withdrawals are also in Indian Rupees. A critical thing to remember about NRO accounts is that the funds parked in them are non-repatriable outside India. However, you can use it to pay for your expenses and other kinds of investments and transactions whenever you visit India.
A Non-Resident Indian (NRI) is an Indian passport holder who lives abroad for a wide variety of reasons – business, studies, and employment, for instance(1). Such an individual resides outside India for a combined total of approximately 183 or more days in a financial year.
A Person of Indian Origin (PIO) is an individual with ancestral roots in India but a foreign country citizen and holds a foreign passport(2). Any citizen of Bangladesh or Pakistan is not considered PIO, and if they want to operate an account in India, they must seek approval from the RBI.
An NRI has to hold an NRO account mandatorily, and a PIO also has the right to open and operate an NRO account in India. An NRI can also open an NRE account, a fully repatriable account where funds can be transferred and withdrawn easily in India or abroad. If you are an Indian classified as an NRI, you will need to close your existing resident bank account in India or convert it into an NRO account.
Here are the steps to convert your resident bank account into an NRO account:
You can open an NRO account with any RBI-approved bank in India. You need to visit the bank or its website to get the account conversion form. Fill out the form carefully. If you held the account jointly with other holders, they too must sign the form.
Besides the duly filled account conversion form, you also need to submit a few documents such as a copy of your PAN Card, your domestic and overseas address proof documents, a copy each of your passport and visa or work permit. You must also provide a copy of your resident bank account closure form, a FEMA declaration form and a FACTA declaration form.
The funds in your Indian bank account will automatically get transferred to your NRO account once it is operational. You will also need to ensure that you maintain the minimum balance amount required in your NRO account.
Once you submit all your forms and the bank verifies your documents, it will re-designate your Indian bank account as an NRO account. Your bank may also charge a nominal fee to complete the process of converting your resident bank account in India into an NRO account.
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You can open your NRO saving account with another NRI or a residing Indian citizen too. Banks also permit you to register a nominee for your NRO account. If you choose to open the NRO account jointly with a residing Indian, ensure that the joint holder is your close relative(3).
The rate of interest you earn on your NRO account deposits mainly depends on the bank with which you open your NRO account. Currently, DBS bank offers a competitive interest rate of at least 3% for all NRO accounts(4). You have to pay taxes on NRO account deposits if they are from income sources in India. Any money you transfer into the account from abroad is not taxable in India. You can also get tax deductions on your income and investments in India under various Sections of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
Converting your resident bank account in India to an NRO account is relatively simple. It has a lot of benefits and helps you manage your funds in India efficiently. You can also send money back home to your loved ones with ease if you have an NRO account.
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*Disclaimer: This article is published purely from an information perspective and it should not be deduced that the offering is available from DBS Bank India Limited or in partnership with any of its channel partners.
The purpose of this blog is not to provide advice but to provide information. Sound professional advice should be taken before making any investment decisions. The bank will not be responsible for any tax loss/other loss suffered by a person acting on the above.