Best NRI Bonds in India: A Comprehensive Guide to Investing

Understand how NRI Bonds in India work in great detail. Know the list of best NRI Bonds for 2024 with their nuances.
August 9, 2023
min read

Contents overview :

1. Introduction to NRI Bonds

2. Exploring the Different Types of NRI Bonds

3. Best NRI Bonds to Invest in 2023

4. The Process: How to Buy NRI Bonds

5. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


For NRIs, investing in India offers more than just financial returns; it's a chance to partake in India's growing global economic stature. With the Indian economy expected to grow by 6.0% to 6.8% in 2023-24, the nation stands as a beacon of resilience and potential amidst global uncertainty. NRI Bonds emerge as an appealing avenue, promising secure investment opportunities with attractive returns, favorable tax incentives, and the possibility to contribute to India's developmental narrative while diversifying one's investment portfolio and building a robust retirement corpus. 

What are NRI Bonds?

NRI bonds are investment opportunities available exclusively for NRIs in India. When you buy these bonds, you're essentially lending money and earning annual interest on it in return. It's a way to grow your savings while contributing to India's economic development.

Key Features of NRI Bonds

  • Tax Benefits: Some bonds, especially those from NHAI, offer tax-free interest. This means you get to keep more of what you earn.
  • Flexible Duration: You can choose bonds based on how long you want to invest - a few years or a decade.
  • Repatriation: Many bonds allow you to transfer your earnings back to your foreign account, making it convenient for NRIs.

In a nutshell, NRI Bonds are a smart choice for NRIs looking to invest in India. They offer good returns and have the added advantage of being closely tied to India's growth story.

Exploring the Different Types of NRI Bonds

When it comes to investing in India, NRIs have a variety of bond options to choose from. Each bond type has its own features, benefits, and purposes. Let's break them down:

1. Government Bonds for NRIs

What are they? 

These are bonds issued by the Indian government. When you buy one, you're essentially lending money to the government for a set period.

Features: They usually come with a fixed interest rate and are considered safe because the government backs them.

Example: The Government of India Bond is a popular choice among NRIs. It has a tenure of 10 to 30 years and offers an annual interest rate of around 6.5 to 7.5%, depending on the maturity.

2. NHAI Bonds

What are they? 

Issued by the National Highways Authority of India, these bonds raise money for infrastructure projects, especially roads and highways.

Features: NHAI bonds often offer tax benefits. The interest you earn is tax-free, which means you can keep all of it.

Example: If you invest ₹1 lakh in an NHAI bond offering a 7% interest rate, you'd earn ₹7,000 annually, and none of it would be taken away as tax.

3. State Development Loans (SDLs)

What are they? 

These are bonds issued by individual state governments in India. Each state might have its own set of bonds for various projects.

Features: SDLs might offer slightly higher interest rates than central government bonds. However, they might also come with a bit more risk since they depend on the financial health of individual states.

Example: A state like Maharashtra, with its bustling economy, might issue bonds to fund a new metro project in Mumbai. An NRI can invest in these bonds and earn interest over time.

4. Corporate Bonds

What are they? 

Big companies in India sometimes issue bonds to raise money. These are called corporate bonds.

Features: They might offer higher interest rates than government bonds, but they also carry higher risks. Before investing, it's essential to check the company's financial health.

Example: A major company like Reliance might issue bonds to fund a new project. If you invest in these bonds, you're essentially lending money to Reliance, and they'll pay you interest in return.

5. Municipal Bonds

What are they? 

These are bonds issued by city governments or municipalities to fund local projects, like water supply or public transport.

Features: They offer a way for NRIs to invest in the development of specific cities in India.

Example: The city of Pune might issue bonds to fund a new bus rapid transit system. By investing in these bonds, NRIs can contribute to Pune's development and earn interest simultaneously.

NRI Bonds come in various shapes and sizes. Whether you're looking to invest in the entire country's growth through government bonds or in specific projects through corporate or municipal bonds, there's something for every NRI investor.

Best NRI Bonds to Invest in 2024


Please note that the maturity and interest rates provided are approximate and can vary based on market conditions and specific bond issuances.

The Process: How to Buy NRI Bonds

Investing in NRI Bonds is a straightforward process, but it's essential to be aware of the steps involved. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the journey of buying NRI Bonds:

Step 1 - Determine Your Eligibility for NRI Bonds:

Who can buy? Only Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) can invest in NRI Bonds.

Residency Status: Ensure you have a valid NRI or PIO status. This is typically determined by the number of days you've stayed in India in the preceding financial year.

Step 2 - Open an NRI Bank Account:

NRO Account: Most NRIs use an NRO (Non-Residential Ordinary) account to buy bonds. This account allows you to manage your income earned in India.

Vance NRI Account: Vance, powered by Yes Bank, offers a seamless NRI account experience. It offers a superfast account opening process, zero cost, quick KYC, and attractive interest rates. It's the perfect platform for NRIs looking to invest in bonds.‍

Step 3 - Research and Choose the Right Bond

Information Sources: To understand the best NRI Bonds available, visit the bank's official websites and financial news portals or consult financial advisors.

Example: If you're interested in infrastructure development, NHAI Bonds might be a good fit. For a more general investment, government bonds are a safe bet.

Step 4 - Application Process for NRI Bonds

Online with Vance: Vance offers an online platform where you can apply for and buy bonds seamlessly.

Documents: Typically, you'll need your passport, visa, proof of NRI status, PAN card, and recent photographs.

Step 5 - Payment

From NRO Account: Transfer the bond's cost from your NRO account. This account is commonly used by NRIs for bond purchases.

Example: If you buy a bond worth ₹1 lakh, you transfer this amount from your NRO account to the bond issuer.

Step 6 - Receive Bond Certificate 

Once your payment is processed and the application is approved, you'll receive a bond certificate, either in physical form or digitally.

This certificate is proof of your investment and will detail the bond's tenure, interest rate, and maturity date.

Step 7 - Monitor and Redeem

Interest Payout: Depending on the bond, you might receive interest payouts annually, semi-annually, or at maturity.

Maturity: The principal amount will be returned to your NRO account when the bond matures. You can choose to reinvest or use the funds as you see fit.

Investing in NRI Bonds is a seamless process, especially with the digital tools available today. With platforms like Vance, the process becomes even more effortless. Always ensure you're well-informed, consult financial experts if needed, and choose bonds that align with your financial goals.

FAQs about NRI Bonds

Q1. What are NRI Government Bonds?

NRI Government Bonds are debt instruments issued by the Indian government specifically for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) to invest in. They offer a fixed interest rate and are considered a safe investment option.

Q2. How safe are NRI Government Bonds?

They are backed by the Indian government, making them one of the safest investment options available. The principal amount is secure, and there's a guaranteed interest payout.

Q3. Can PIOs (Persons of Indian Origin) invest in these bonds?

Yes, both NRIs and PIOs can invest in NRI Government Bonds.

Q4. How do the interest rates on NRI Government Bonds compare to other investments?

NRI Government Bonds often offer higher interest rates compared to many western countries, making them an attractive investment option for NRIs.

Q5. Are the returns on these bonds taxable?

Some NRI Government Bonds offer tax-free interest, especially when invested through NRE accounts. However, it's essential to check the specific bond's terms and consult with a tax advisor.

Q6. How can I buy NRI Government Bonds?

NRIs can purchase these bonds through their NRE or NRO accounts. Platforms like Vance also offer a seamless online experience for buying and managing these bonds.

Q7. What is the minimum investment amount for these bonds?

The minimum investment amount varies depending on the specific bond issuance. It's best to check the bond's prospectus or consult with your bank.

Q8. Can I repatriate the maturity amount and interest earned?

Yes, the interest earned and the maturity amount from these bonds can be easily repatriated to the investor's country of residence.

Q9. What are the tenures available for NRI Government Bonds?

NRI Government Bonds come in various tenures, from short-term bonds of one year to long-term bonds lasting up to 30 years.

Q10. Can I sell my bonds before maturity?

Some NRI Government Bonds can be sold before maturity in the secondary market, but it's essential to check the bond's terms and conditions.

Q11. How do NRI Government Bonds contribute to India's growth?

When you invest in government bonds, you're lending money to the government for its developmental projects, directly contributing to India's growth and development.

Q12. Are there any hidden charges associated with these bonds?

No, NRI Government Bonds come with no hidden fees or charges. The interest rate mentioned during the purchase is what you get.

Q13. How often will I receive interest payouts?

Government bonds typically provide regular interest payouts, either annually or semi-annually, depending on the bond's terms.

Q14. Can I invest in these bonds through a joint account?

Yes, NRIs can invest in these bonds through a joint account, provided all account holders meet the eligibility criteria.

Q15. How does the interest rate on NRI Government Bonds compare to NRI Fixed Deposits?

While both offer competitive rates, NRI Government Bonds often have a slight edge in terms of interest rates compared to NRI Fixed Deposits. However, rates can vary based on market conditions.

Q16. Can I use the interest earned from these bonds for local expenses in India?

Yes, the interest earned can be used for local expenses in India or can be repatriated based on the investor's preference.

Q17. Are NRI Government Bonds affected by market volatility?

The principal amount of the bond remains secure regardless of market conditions. However, if you choose to sell the bond in the secondary market before maturity, its price may be influenced by market conditions.

Q18. Can I nominate a beneficiary for my NRI Government Bonds?

Yes, while purchasing the bond, you can nominate a beneficiary who will receive the bond's benefits in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Q19. Do I need a demat account to invest in NRI Government Bonds?

While some bonds might require a demat account, others can be held in physical form. It's essential to check the bond's specific requirements.

Q20. How can I monitor the performance of my NRI Government Bonds?

Platforms like Vance offer detailed insights into bond performance. Additionally, the issuing bank or institution will provide periodic statements detailing the bond's performance.

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