NRI Repatriation 101

Learn about the rules and procedures for NRI fund repatriation from India, including restrictions, account types, and documentation requirements. And, stay updated on FEMA guidelines and tax rules.

April 17, 2024
4 mins

If you are an NRI who wants to transfer funds from your NRI accounts back to your country of residence at some point. Then, this blog is for you. 

Let’s understand repatriation nuances that NRIs must know and keep in mind while getting back their money from India.

What is Repatriation?

Repatriation means transferring funds to a foreign country. Once you become an NRI, you must open a Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO), Non-Resident External (NRE), or Foreign Currency Non-Resident (FCNR-B) account in India. 

NRO accounts are for funds earned in India, whereas NRE accounts keep your international income. 

Repatriation is the process of transferring funds from your NRO account to your NRE account or to an account in your country of residence.

Best Savings Account for NRIs

What Income Can NRI Repatriate?

You can repatriate the following - 

  • Inherited assets
  • Sale of assets in India
  • Income earned from investments in India
  • Income earned on such assets/ funds held in India before you move abroad
  • Rental income earned in India
  • Funds that you transferred to India as overseas remittances

How Much Can NRI Repatriate?

You can choose to repatriate from NRE, NRO, or your FCNR account. The repatriation rules and limitations are different for each.

NRE Accounts

You can transfer your current income abroad, if you are holding it in an NRE account. Your current income can be - your salary, business profits, investment gains, and interest payments. You can totally repatriate all funds in your NRE account.

Debt Mutual Fund Information
Type of Income Repatriation Limit
Current Income:
Profits of any business or proprietorship held in an NRE account.
No Limit
Movable Assets:
Balance held in NRO account
Sale revenues from assets acquired in India through inheritance, legacy, or settlement deed.
USD 1 million per F.Y.
Immovable Assets:
Sales proceeds from a residential property you bought in India, according to FEMA.
(FEMA does not allow NRIs to purchase agricultural land, farmhouse or plantation).
USD 1 million per F.Y.

FCNR Accounts

You can freely transfer money from your FCNR account. The FCNR account, like an NRE account, has no repatriation limits because the deposits are from a foreign source.

NRO Account

Unlike NRE and FCNR accounts, NRO account repatriation has several restrictions. 

You can repatriate funds from an NRO account only after paying taxes on the income. The current income in NRO accounts comes from earnings in India and is subject to taxation.

Further, there is a USD 1 million repatriation restriction each fiscal year on income from the sale of any moveable or immovable asset in India. Any income from inheritances, rent from property holdings or property sales will be taxed and then eligible for repatriation.

Also, the repatriation limit depends on the type of income -

FEMA Rules for Repatriation

Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) oversees and regulates NRI repatriation. Here are FEMA’s rules that you need to keep in mind -

  • Income tax applies when repatriating funds.
  • Current income can be repatriated cumulatively at any time -  in that year or the following years.
  • Funds in the NRE account can be repatriated freely without tax limitations.
  • NRO funds must be legitimate earnings, not borrowed money.
  • Sale proceeds from up to two residential homes can be repatriated.

Documents Required for Repatriation

The sets of documentation needed for repatriation vary based on the type of bank account -

NRE/FCNR Account Repatriation

The following are the documents required for repatriating funds from the NRE or FCNR account -

  • Request application form
  • Form A2 or the FEMA declaration form. This form is available on the bank's website.

Duly fill and submit the above forms, and once the bank authorises the documents, the repatriation process will initiated. 

NRO Account Repatriation

The following are the documents required for repatriating funds from the NRO account -

  • Request form to initiate your repatriation procedure.
  • A2 Form.
  • Form 15CA - A self-declaration of your account's payment information.
  • Form 15 CB - An acknowledgement from the chartered accountant that you have paid all taxes owed on the money you are going to repatriate.

Email copies of all necessary documents - self-attested. Upon the approval of the repatriation request, you can repatriate the funds.

Frequently Asked Questions: NRI Repatriation

What is the repatriation limit of NRO accounts?

USD 1 million per financial year is the limit on NRO account repatriation.

Is it possible to exceed repatriation limits?

Yes, with prior permission from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), you can repatriate funds greater than USD 1 million. However, you can transfer higher funds only in the following cases: medical emergencies, the education of your children, or the acquisition of real estate in your resident country.

Is repatriation of funds from India taxable?

Yes, all repatriation transactions are subject to taxes in India.

Do I have to provide evidence of the source of funds for NRO repatriation?

Yes, FEMA may ask for evidence of the source of funds for NRO repatriation. Thus, you should be able to provide proof of funds in your NRO account.

What is NRE vs NRO repatriation?

The funds in NRE accounts are fully repatriable without any restrictions. On the other hand, for NRO accounts, USD 1 million per fiscal year is repatriable after paying taxes.

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