Immovable Property - Rules for Indian Citizen Resident Outside India
.1,01. Acquisition - by Purchase :
NRIs who are Indian citizens can freely purchase any immovable property in India other than agricultural land, plantation or farm house property.
The purchase price ought to be paid out of funds received from abroad or balance held in a Non Resident account maintained with a bank in India.
Payments by way of traveller's cheques or foreign currnecy is not permissible.
No conditions are laid down regarding number of properties one can acquire nor about period of holding.
.1.02. Acquisition - by Gift :
General permission is granted to acquire by way of gift any immovable property other than agricultural land, plantation or farmhouse property ,
As no conditions are laid down re: residential status of the donor etc. it is presumed and understood that gift can be received from a resident or a non-resident.
.1.03. Acquisition - by inheritance :
All kinds of immovable properties otherthan agricultural land, plantation or farm house property can be inherited from a resident or a non-resident who may be an Indian citizen or foreign citizen of Indian origin, provided such person had acquired said property in accordance with the provisions of Foreign Exchange Law in force at the time of acquisition. i.e. FERA, 1973 or FEMA 1999.
Although it seems to be draftmen's error but the provisions are silent about an NRI who is an Indian citizen acquiring agricultural land, plantation or farm-house property by way of inheritance unlike specific permissiblity in case of foreign citizens of Indian origin.
.2.01 Sale or Transfer :
Indian citizens residing abroad can sell or transfer any immovable property other than agricultural land, plantation, farmhouse property) to a person resident in India or an overseas resident being an Indian citizen or a foreign citizen of Indian origin.
Here also no specific provisions are coined as re: gift but as the term "transfer" includes sale as also gift it is presumed and understood that gift can be given to a resident or a non-resident.
.2.02 Sale or transfer of agricultural land, plantation or farm house properties:
General Permission is granted to transfer by way of sale, gift or part with in other way agricultural land, plantation or farmhouse property to a person who is resident in India.
Mode of Payment
.1. The payment for purchase of immovable properties is required to be made from NRI's bank account, being;
.01. Non Resident External Account (NRE);
.02. Foreign Currency Non Resident (B) Account (FCNR)(B),
.03. Non Resident Ordinary Account (NRO), or
.04. Foreign Exchange Inward Remittance from abroad.
.2. It is advisable to retain records of payment made i.e. banker’s certificate.
.3. All incidental expenses such as stamp duty, registration fees etc. should also be paid through bank only.
.4. From Feb.10,2006 ,payment for acquisition of immovable property shall be not be made by traveller's cheque or foreign currency notes or by other mode other than those specifically permitted by this clause
Although FEMA does not specify any regulations in this regard, property can be jointly held by an NRI with another NRI.
Like wise FEMA is also silent about acquisition of immovable property jointly with residents of India. Under the general laws an NRI can purchase properties with close relatives in India.