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PAN Card for NRIs: How to apply for an NRI PAN Card and the Required Documents

All you need to know about NRI PAN Card, Documents required & its role in your financial investments/transactions.
9
min read
February 7, 2024
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Contents overview :

1. Introduction to PAN Card for NRIs

2. Why NRIs Need a PAN Card

3. Documents Required for NRI PAN Card

4. NRI PAN Card Application Process

5. Fees Associated with NRI PAN Card

6. Differences Between NRI and Regular PAN Card

7. Common Mistakes to Avoid During Application

8. Conclusion: The Importance of PAN for NRIs

9. FAQ about NRI PAN Card

Introduction to PAN Card for NRIs 

The Permanent Account Number, commonly known as PAN, is a ten-character alphanumeric identifier issued by the Income Tax Department of India. For Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), the PAN card serves as a crucial link to their financial and tax-related activities in India. It's not just a tax document but a vital identity proof that facilitates various financial transactions, from buying property to investing in stocks.

Why NRIs Need a PAN Card

Living overseas might make some NRIs ponder the relevance of a PAN card. Here's why it's indispensable:

Financial Transactions: Be it purchasing a new property, investing in mutual funds, or buying a car in India, a PAN card is often mandatory. For example ->

  • Real Estate: India's real estate market is lucrative. Many NRIs invest in properties, either for personal use or as an investment. The PAN card is essential for property transactions, ensuring transparency and to comply with tax regulations.
  • Investments: The Indian stock market, mutual funds, and other investment avenues offer attractive returns. For NRIs looking to invest, the PAN card is the key.
  • Banking: With digital banking on the rise, NRIs can manage their finances in India with ease. Whether it's transferring money, opening Fixed Deposits, or managing their NRO/NRE accounts, the PAN card plays a pivotal role.

Tax Deductions: The Indian tax system can be complex. For NRIs, with multiple income sources in India, navigating this system can be daunting. The PAN card simplifies this. It helps in filing their taxes, claim refunds, and adherence towards Indian tax laws.  If an NRI has rental income or other income sources in India, the PAN card helps in availing tax deductions and ensures they aren't subjected to higher TDS.

Identity Proof: In the Indian financial landscape, a PAN card is a universally recognized form of identity.

Managing certain transactions from abroad can be challenging, and this is where the PAN card comes into play ->

Documents Required for NRI PAN Card

For NRIs, the process of obtaining a PAN card is streamlined, but it's essential to have the right set of documents. Here's a detailed breakdown:

Proof of Identity: Your passport is the primary identity proof. Ensure it's valid and has clear details. For instance, if Mr. Sharma, an NRI from Canada, wishes to apply, he'd need to provide a copy of his passport, including the pages with his photo, name, date of birth, and address.

Proof of Address: This can be a little tricky. You can provide:

  • Overseas Address: A utility bill (like electricity or water) or a bank statement from your overseas residence, not older than six months. So, if Ms. Priya from the UK is applying, she can submit her recent bank statement or an electricity bill as proof.
  • Indian Address: If you have a residence in India, you can provide a utility bill or bank statement of that address.

Proof of Date of Birth: Your passport is the most accepted document. However, if for some reason that's not available, your birth certificate can be a substitute.

Two Recent Passport-sized Photographs: These should be recent and have a clear view of your face.

NRI Status Proof: A copy of your visa or work permit can be used to establish your NRI status.

NRI PAN Card Application Process 

The digital age has transformed the PAN card application process. What once required multiple visits to the Income Tax office can now be done from the comfort of one's home. The application process, while systematic, requires attention to detail:

Here is a step-by-step guide on the online application process for NRIs:

  • Online Application: Begin by visiting the official website of the Income Tax Department. Choose the option for Form 49AA, which is specifically designed for NRIs.
  • Filling the Form: Ensure all details are accurate. Cross-check with your passport to avoid discrepancies. Remember, even a small error can lead to application rejection.
  • Document Submission: After filling out the form online, you'd need to print and sign it. This signed form, along with the necessary documents, should be sent to the address mentioned on the website. For instance, if Mr. Raj from Australia is applying, he'd need to send his signed form, a copy of his passport, a utility bill, and his visa copy.
  • Payment: The fee varies based on the communication address. If you're providing an Indian address, it's cheaper. For foreign addresses, the fee includes dispatch charges. Payments can be made online using various methods like credit card, debit card, or net banking.
  • Acknowledgment: Once the payment is made, you'll receive an acknowledgment, which is crucial. Keep it safe, as it's required for tracking your application status.
  • Receiving the PAN Card: After verification, if all details are correct, the PAN card will be dispatched to your address. The entire process, from application to receiving the card, can take a few weeks.

Fees Associated with NRI PAN Card

Obtaining a PAN card as an NRI isn't just about the paperwork; there's a financial aspect to consider as well. Here's a breakdown of the costs involved:

  • Application Fee: The base fee for applying for a PAN card for NRIs is slightly higher than that for resident Indians. As of the latest update, the fee for NRIs is approximately ₹1,020 if the communication address is outside India. This fee includes the application charge and the courier fee for dispatching the PAN card overseas.
  • Additional Charges: If you choose to make the payment in a currency other than INR, bank conversion charges might apply. For instance, if Mr. Aman from the USA opts to pay in USD, he might incur a small additional fee due to currency conversion.
  • Re-application Fee: In case there's an error in your PAN card after receiving it or if you lose it and need a duplicate, you'll have to pay a re-application fee. This is usually the same as the initial application fee.
  • Update or Correction Fee: If you need to update details on your PAN card, like a change in address or name after marriage, a nominal fee is charged. This is usually around ₹1,020, similar to the application fee.
  • Mode of Payment: The fee can be paid through various methods, including credit card, debit card, demand draft, or net banking. However, it's essential to note that if you're paying via credit card, additional charges might apply.

Differences Between NRI and Regular PAN Card 

While the PAN card's primary function remains the same, there are specific distinctions when it comes to NRIs. Here's a comparative table to help understand the differences:

differences_between_nri_andregular

Common Mistakes to Avoid During Application 

Applying for a PAN card, especially as an NRI, can be a bit daunting. While the process is straightforward, there are common pitfalls that many fall into. Here's a list of frequent mistakes and how to avoid them:

  • Incorrect Form Selection: Always use Form 49AA for NRI PAN applications. Using the wrong form can lead to application rejection.
  • Incomplete Details: Ensure all fields in the application are filled out. Leaving out essential details can delay the process.
  • Mismatched Names: The name on the application should match the name on your passport. Avoid using nicknames or short forms.
  • Not Providing Proper Address Proof: For NRIs, the overseas address proof is crucial. Ensure you provide a valid address proof like a utility bill or bank statement from your current country of residence.
  • Incorrect Date Format: Always use the DD/MM/YYYY format for dates. For instance, 15th March 1990 should be entered as 15/03/1990.
  • Not Signing the Form: An unsigned form is considered invalid. Ensure you sign in the designated areas.
  • Using Old Photographs: Use recent passport-sized photographs. Avoid using old or blurry photos.
  • Not Checking Application Status: Once you've submitted your application, regularly check its status online. This way, if there's an issue, you can address it promptly.
  • Not Keeping a Copy: Always keep a copy of your filled application form and the documents submitted. It's useful for reference, especially if there are discrepancies later.

Being aware of these pitfalls can make your PAN card application process smoother and faster. Always double-check your application and documents before submission.

Conclusion: The Importance of PAN for NRIs

The PAN card is more than just a tax identifier. For NRIs, it's a symbol of their enduring connection to India. This concluding section will recap the key points discussed in the guide, offering final thoughts on the PAN card's significance in the lives of NRIs.

FAQs 

Q1. What is a PAN card?

A PAN (Permanent Account Number) card is a unique 10-character identification code for Indian nationals, especially for the ones who pay Income Tax.

Q2. Do NRIs need a PAN card?

Yes, if an NRI has taxable income in India or wishes to invest or make financial transactions in India, a PAN card is required.

Q3. How do NRIs apply for a PAN card?

NRIs can apply online through the official Income Tax Department website or through authorized agents.

Q4. What documents are required for NRI PAN card application?

Primary documents include a copy of the passport, overseas address proof, and a photograph. The exact requirements might vary based on the application type.

Q5. Is there a difference in the PAN card for residents and NRIs?

The card itself is the same, but the application process and documentation required for NRIs are different.

Q6. How long does it take to get a PAN card for NRIs?

Typically, after submitting all the correct documents and details, it takes around 15-20 working days.

Q7. Can NRIs use their foreign address for PAN card application?

Yes, NRIs can use their foreign address as the communication address on the PAN application.

Q8. Is there a special form for NRIs to apply for a PAN card?

Yes, NRIs need to fill Form 49AA to apply for a PAN card.

Q9. What is the fee for NRI PAN card application?

The fee might vary based on the communication address (Indian or Overseas) and the service provider. It's best to check the official website or service provider for the exact fee.

Q10. Do NRIs need to be physically present in India to apply for a PAN card?

No, NRIs can apply for a PAN card online without being physically present in India.

Q11. What should NRIs do if they lose their PAN card overseas?

They can apply for a duplicate PAN card online by providing the necessary documents and details of the original PAN card.

Q12. Is PAN card mandatory for buying property in India for NRIs?

Yes, a PAN card is mandatory for NRIs if they wish to buy property in India.

Q13. Can NRIs have two PAN cards?

No, it's illegal to possess more than one PAN card. If an individual has been inadvertently allotted two PANs, they should surrender one immediately.

Q14. How can NRIs track their PAN card application status?

They can track the status online using the acknowledgment number provided at the time of application.

Q15. Is the PAN card a proof of Indian nationality?

No, the PAN card is not a proof of nationality. It's a tax identifier.

Q16. Do NRIs need a PAN card to open a bank account in India?

Yes, most banks require NRIs to furnish their PAN card details to open an account.

Q17. Can NRIs use their PAN card as an identity proof while traveling in India?

Yes, the PAN card is widely accepted as an identity proof in India.

Q18. How can NRIs update or correct details on their PAN card?

NRIs can apply for changes or correction in PAN data by filling the requisite form online and submitting the necessary documents.

Q19. What is the validity of the PAN card for NRIs?

The PAN card is valid for a lifetime. However, the address and other details should be updated as and when they change.

Q20. Can NRIs use their PAN card for financial transactions in other countries?

No, the PAN card is primarily for financial transactions in India. However, it can serve as an identity proof overseas in certain situations.

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Arnav is a dedicated product leader with a passion for finance and fintech. He graduated from IIT Bombay and IIM Calcutta and heads the Product team at Vance. He has extensive experience in the financial sector, with a deep understanding of the cross-border space. In his free time, he enjoys playing the guitar, rock climbing, and training for triathlons.

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