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How foreign nationals can open bank accounts in India

It is a good idea for foreign nationals staying in India for a long period to have a bank account. Here’s how they can go about it.

Oct 09, 2017, 06.30 AM IST
ET Online
Foreign nationals can open FA resident savings or current account with a bank in India provided they furnish requisite KYC documents.
Foreign nationals who are staying in India for a long period due to work or business reasons, would need to make and receive rupee payments. It is therefore a good idea for them to have a bank account in India. Here’s how foreign nationals can go about opening a bank account in India.

Type of account
Foreign nationals can open FA resident savings or current account with a bank in India provided they furnish requisite KYC documents. Banks usually accept a basic account opening form for opening the account.

KYC documents
The foreign national is required to furnish copies of the following documents to open the bank account:
  • Valid foreign passport.
  • Valid Indian visa ( it should be a longterm visa: valid for more than 182 days).
  • Copy of Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) permit.
  • Overseas address proof.
  • Indian address proof.
  • Passport-size photograph.
  • Copy of PAN card or Form 60.
  • They also need a letter from employer or letter of contract. For business visits, RBI approval may be needed.

It is possible for foreign nationals to repatriate their earnings in India to their family abroad. To repatriate, the foreign national must fill up the requisite repatriation form, submit his salary slip or income proof, as well as provide a copy of his passport.

The foreign national can convert the account to NRO status when he completes his assignment in India and goes back to his own country.

Points to note
  • To qualify for opening a resident savings account, one doesn't need to fulfill the criteria of having stayed in India for more than 182 days.
  • Foreign nationals who come to India as tourists can open an NRO account which is valid for six months.

Content courtesy: Centre for Investment Education and Learning (CIEL).
Contributions by Girija Gadre, Arti Bhargava and Labdhi Mehta.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are that of the writer. The facts and opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of
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