What Is The Meaning Of NRI Repatriation?
16 Mar 2022

What Is The Meaning Of NRI Repatriation?

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Key Takeaways

Repatriation means the transfer of funds from an Indian account to a foreign bank account. NRI Repatriation follows guidelines set by the Foreign Exchange Management Act. Funds from an NRE/FCNR account can be repatriated without any limitations. Indian earnings are liable for taxation before they can be repatriated through an NRO account.


Indians travel abroad and reside in foreign countries for the purpose of work or education. If you are an Indian living abroad, you are classified as an NRI (Non-Resident Indian). As an NRI, you need to maintain bank accounts in India to manage any funds in India or to transfer funds to India from abroad. Repatriation refers to the process of transferring funds across countries and converting them to a foreign currency. If you are looking to know more about what NRI Repatriation entails, this article is meant for you.

What is NRI Repatriation?

NRI repatriation refers to the transfer of funds from your Indian account to your account in the country of residence. To repatriate money, you as an NRI need to maintain at least two types of accounts, which are the NRO (Non-Resident Ordinary) account and the NRE (Non-Resident External) account. Additionally, you can also have an FCNR (Foreign Currency Non-Resident) account, which you can use to repatriate funds.

An NRO account is the primary account for use by an NRI in India. It is ideal for NRIs who have income sources or investments in India - for instance, income from rent, Loan EMI and insurance payments, and so on. Any income you make in India, you can deposit in the NRO savings account. You can also use the NRO account to withdraw money in Indian currency on your visit to India.

You can use the NRE account to deposit your foreign currency earnings abroad and save them in Indian currency. You can just as easily send money back home with ease by depositing your foreign earnings in the NRE account. The NRE account is highly liquefiable and allows full repatriation of Indian funds to your country of residence.

The FCNR account is an account where you can make a fixed deposit investment of your foreign currency. You can earn tax-free interest on your deposit and also stay protected from currency fluctuations. You can also freely and fully repatriate the funds in an FCNR account.

Thus, NRI repatriation refers to the transfer of funds from an NRE account, NRO account or an FCNR account to an account held by you in your foreign country of residence.

Types of Income Sources for NRIs which can be Repatriated

NRIs can repatriate funds from India. These can include any income made by you in India. Here are the different sources of income in India, which can be repatriated abroad:

  • Funds that you held in India before you moved abroad.
  • Any funds you received in the form of inheritance in India.
  • Income which you made through Indian assets (rent from properties, mutual funds, or any other investments).
  • Funds that you transferred to India as overseas remittances. These funds can include money for investments or money you transferred to India for savings.

NRI Repatriation Limits – What and how much can be Repatriated?

You can opt for an NRE account repatriation, repatriation from an NRO account, or repatriation from your FCNR account. There are repatriation guidelines and limitations for each type of account you hold in India.

  • NRE Accounts

    You can deposit your current income into your NRE account from abroad. Your current income can include your salary, profits from a business, investment earnings and interests received. You are permitted to fully repatriate all the funds in your NRE account(1).

  • FCNR Accounts

    You can freely repatriate funds from your FCNR account. The deposits in the FCNR account are from a foreign source and thus does not have any repatriation limits, just like an NRE account.

  • NRO Accounts

    Unlike NRE account or FCNR accounts, there are certain limitations on repatriation from an NRO account. Repatriation from an NRO account is possible after taxes have been deducted from the income. The current income in NRO accounts is from earnings in India and is liable to be taxed.

    There is a repatriation limit of USD 1 million in a financial year on income from the sale of any moveable or immovable assets in India. Any income from inheritances, rent from property holdings, or the sale of any property will be taxed and then eligible to be repatriated(2).

    Returns in investments made through funds in an NRO account are not permitted to be repatriated.

Open an NRE account with DBS Bank to enjoy higher, tax-free and fully repatriable interest on your NRE savings account.

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FEMA Rules Governing NRI Repatriation

The Foreign Exchange Management Act has put in place rules which govern the process of repatriation. Here are the rules you should know before repatriating your funds from India(3):

  • You will be subject to tax implications in India when you repatriate funds abroad.
  • You can repatriate your current income of a year cumulatively in that financial year itself or repatriate the income in subsequent years.
  • The funds in your NRO account should hold legitimate dues which are receivable. The account should not have only borrowed funds or funds transferred from another NRO account.
  • The yearly repatriation limit of USD 1 million cannot be carried forward to another financial year if not utilised thoroughly.
  • There are no limits on funds repatriable from an NRE account.
  • You can only repatriate funds from the sale of a maximum of two properties in India.

Is It Possible to Exceed The Repatriable Limit?

In case you need to exceed the limits of funds that you can repatriate, you will need to contact the Reserve Bank of India. RBI provides explicit approvals to NRIs to exceed the repatriable limits in some instances. You can be allowed to exceed the limit in cases of medical emergencies, education purposes or property purchases in the country where you are residing.

Documents Required for Repatriation

There are different sets of documents required for repatriation from NRO account and NRE/FCNR account repatriation.

  • NRE/FCNR Account Repatriation requirements(4)

    • You need to fill in a request application to the Indian bank to initiate your repatriation process.
    • An A2 form, also known as the FEMA declaration form, needs to be filled. You can find this form on the bank website. The form is crucial as it is an application for the purchase of foreign exchange.

    Once these forms are filled and sent to the bank, your repatriation process will be initiated and approved.

  • NRO Account Repatriation requirements(5)

    • You need to file a request to your bank to initiate the repatriation process.
    • The A2 form needs to be filled and submitted to your bank.
    • You will also need to submit Form 15CA. This is required in order to self-declare the payment details of your account, which are liable for taxes in India.
    • Form 15 CB is another form that is mandatory to be submitted. This is an affirmation from a Chartered Accountant, confirming that you have cleared all liable taxes on the funds that you want to repatriate.

    You need to e-mail self-attested copies of the required documents to initiate your repatriation process. Once the request is processed, you will be eligible to repatriate funds from your NRO account.

Investment Options in India which are Repatriable

You can make investments in India and earn money that can be repatriated. You can make investments in stocks through a Portfolio Investment Scheme account. Any money earned will be repatriable. There are government investment options too, which also offer NRI repatriations. Some of the investment options include:

  • Government securities
  • Public Sector Undertaking Bonds
  • National Pension System
  • Bonds or units issued by Infrastructure Debt Funds

There are other investment options available for NRIs too. You can also read more about investment options for NRIs in India here.

You can earn tax-free investment on your foreign earnings when you save your money in an NRE account. The NRI repatriation rules in India allows you to easily transfer funds to yourself abroad in times of need. Go through the FEMA guidelines thoroughly before you initiate a repatriation process.

DBS Bank offers great interest rates and exclusive privileges on NRI accounts. Open an NRI account remotely from the comfort of your home. Get started here.

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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.