PPF for NRIs: Rules, Benefits, and New Regulations Explained

Learn about PPF account rules and how NRIs can manage their PPF investments.
min read
February 3, 2024

Contents overview :

1. Introduction to PPF for NRIs

2. Key Benefits of PPF for NRIs

3. Rules Governing PPF Accounts for NRIs

4. New Regulations Impacting NRI PPF Accounts

5. How to Open a PPF Account as an NRI

6. PPF Account Closure Procedures for NRIs

7. Common Misconceptions about NRI PPF Accounts

8. FAQs

The Public Provident Fund (PPF) offers attractive interest rates and tax benefits. But what if you become an NRI after opening a PPF account?

This blog explores the rules, benefits, and recent regulations for NRIs with PPF accounts.  Whether you're considering opening a new account or already have one, this guide will answer your questions!

What is the Public Provident Fund (PPF)?

The Public Provident Fund (PPF) is a long-term savings scheme launched by the Government of India in 1968. It's a popular investment option for its attractive interest rates, tax benefits, and high level of security.  

Managed by the National Savings Institute under the Ministry of Finance, PPF is a good way to build a retirement corpus or save for specific long-term goals.

Key features of PPF:

  • Interest Rates: PPF currently offers a fixed interest rate (reviewed quarterly by the government). You can find the current rate on the official website of India Post [invalid URL removed] or your bank's website.
  • Tax Benefits: Investments in PPF qualify for tax deductions under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. Additionally, the interest earned and the maturity amount are also tax-exempt.
  • Investment Limits: The minimum annual investment in PPF is ₹500 and the maximum is ₹1.5 lakhs.
  • Investment Period: The PPF account matures after 15 years. You can extend the maturity for an additional 5-year block period(s) after the initial maturity.

Key Benefits of PPF for NRIs

Even with changes in regulations, the Public Provident Fund (PPF) offers attractive advantages for NRIs seeking a safe and tax-efficient investment in India. Here are the core benefits:

  • Tax-Free Interest: A major draw is the tax exemption on interest earned. Unlike other investments, the interest on your PPF balance isn't taxed, maximizing your returns.
  • Capital Protection: Backed by the Government of India, PPF offers high security for your principal investment. This makes it a reliable option for NRIs seeking a low-risk avenue.
  • Compound Interest: PPF benefits from compounded interest. The interest earned each year gets added to your principal, and interest is calculated on the increased amount in subsequent years. This snowball effect can significantly boost your returns over time.
  • Flexible Investment Amounts: NRIs can invest as little as ₹500 or as much as ₹1.5 lakhs per year. This flexibility allows you to tailor your contributions to your financial situation.
  • Loan Facility (Limited): While loan options might be readily available overseas, NRIs can access loans against their PPF accounts during the 3rd to 6th year after opening. This can be helpful in unforeseen circumstances.
  • Account Extension: After the initial 15-year maturity, NRIs can extend their PPF accounts in 5-year blocks. This allows them to benefit from the tax advantages and compounding interest for a longer period.
  • Repatriation: Although stricter rules apply to NRIs, both the principal amount you invest and the interest earned can be fully repatriated from India. This makes PPF suitable for those who might eventually return and need access to their funds.

While some limitations exist for NRIs, the tax benefits, security, and potential for growth make PPF a valuable investment option to consider for your financial portfolio in India.

Rules Governing PPF Accounts for NRIs

The Public Provident Fund (PPF) is a popular savings instrument in India, known for its attractive interest rates and tax benefits. However, Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) face specific rules:

  • Account Opening: NRIs cannot open new PPF accounts. If an account was opened while the individual was a resident, it can be continued until maturity.
  • Account Tenure: PPF accounts have a 15-year tenure. NRIs cannot extend the account beyond this period. Once matured, the funds remain locked, earning interest, but no further contributions are allowed.
  • Interest Rate: The interest rate for NRIs is the same as for residents and is set quarterly by the government. However, the interest earned may be taxable in the NRI's country of residence, depending on the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA).
  • Contribution Limits: The annual contribution limit is INR 1.5 lakhs, applicable to both residents and NRIs. NRIs cannot contribute after the account matures.
  • Repatriation: Both principal and interest are fully repatriable, but additional documentation may be required to prove the change in residency status.
  • Account Closure: NRIs can close the PPF account prematurely after completing five financial years if they no longer wish to maintain it due to their residential status change.
  • Loan and Withdrawal: Loans can be availed between the third and sixth financial years. Withdrawals are allowed after the account has been active for at least seven years.

NRIs should be aware of these rules and consult with a financial advisor or their bank to ensure compliance and maximize their investment.

New Regulations Impacting NRI PPF Accounts

Over the years, the Indian government has updated the rules for Public Provident Fund (PPF) accounts held by Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). These rules aim to streamline the investment process and align PPF benefits with the evolving financial landscape. Key regulations include:

  • Change in Residential Status: If a resident Indian with a PPF account becomes an NRI, they can continue the account until maturity but cannot extend it. For example, Priya, who opened her PPF account in 2010 and moved to the UK in 2015, can maintain her account until 2025 but cannot extend it further.
  • Premature Closure: NRIs can now close their PPF accounts prematurely after five financial years, considering their changing financial needs.
  • Interest Rates: The interest rate is the same for residents and NRIs, but the tax implications may differ based on the NRI's country of residence and its Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with India.
  • Repatriation Rules: Principal and interest are fully repatriable, but additional documents are required to validate the change in residency status.
  • Nomination Changes: The nomination process has been simplified for NRIs, ensuring that their investments can be passed on to chosen nominees without legal issues.
  • Online Operations: Provisions for online management of PPF accounts have been introduced, allowing NRIs to handle their investments seamlessly from abroad.
  • Tax Implications: While PPF investments are tax-exempt in India under Section 80C, NRIs must consider the tax implications in their country of residence. For instance, interest earned on PPF may be taxable in countries like the USA.

NRIs should stay updated on these regulations and consult financial advisors to maximize their PPF benefits while ensuring compliance with Indian and international financial regulations.

Can NRIs open a PPF Account?

NRIs can't open new accounts; they can only keep existing accounts that were opened while they were residents.

Maintaining Existing Accounts:

Visit the Bank or Post Office: NRIs visiting India can contribute to their existing PPF account by visiting the bank or post office where it is held. Ensure you carry proof of your NRI status.

Online Contributions: NRIs who cannot visit India frequently can make online contributions by linking their NRI bank account with their PPF account, ensuring they continue to benefit from compound interest.

Documentation: While NRIs cannot open new PPF accounts, they must update their existing accounts with their NRI status. Required documents typically include:

  • Passport copy with visa and immigration stamps    
  • Address proof (overseas and local)    
  • Recent photograph    
  • PAN card copy

Nomination: If a nomination was not made when the PPF account was opened, it's advisable to do so during a visit to India. This ensures that the proceeds are easily accessible to your nominees in unforeseen circumstances.

Interest Rate & Maturity: The interest rate for NRI PPF accounts is the same as for residents and is revised quarterly. Upon maturity, you cannot extend the account but can withdraw the funds or let them remain, earning interest.

Tax Implications: Contributions to the PPF account are tax-exempt in India. However, NRIs should understand the tax implications in their country of residence. For instance, while the interest earned on PPF is tax-free in India, it might be taxable in countries like the USA.

PPF Account Closure Procedures for NRIs

Maturity vs. Premature Closure:

  • Maturity (15 years): NRIs can withdraw the entire balance with interest at maturity.
  • Premature Closure: Premature closure is now an option, but only after 5 years and with a penalty (no contributions after closure).

Closure Process:

  1. Visit Branch/Use Online Portal (if available): Submit a closure form with your ID proof.
  2. Additional Documents for NRIs: Passport with visa stamps, overseas address proof, PAN card copy, and residency change affidavit.

Tax Implications:

  • India: Withdrawal is tax-free.
  • Your Residency: Interest earned might be taxable in your new country.


  • Mature accounts continue earning interest but can't receive new contributions.
  • Inform your bank/post office about your NRI status for a smooth closure.


The Public Provident Fund (PPF) remains a valuable investment option for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) seeking safe and tax-efficient returns.

Despite changes in regulations, NRIs can still benefit from their existing PPF accounts, provided they understand the rules and procedures.

Stay informed and consult with financial advisors to maximise the potential of your PPF account while adhering to both Indian and international financial regulations.


Q1. Can NRIs open a new PPF account in India?

No, NRIs cannot open a new PPF account. However, if they had one before becoming an NRI, they can continue to maintain it.

Q2. What happens to my existing PPF account if I become an NRI?

You can continue to maintain your existing PPF account until its maturity. However, you cannot extend it beyond the maturity period.

Q3. Are the PPF returns for NRIs taxable in their country of residence?

Tax implications vary by country. It's advisable to consult a local tax expert regarding the tax treatment of PPF returns in your country of residence.

Q4. Can NRIs withdraw from their PPF account?

Yes, NRIs can make withdrawals, subject to the standard PPF withdrawal rules.

Q5. Is the interest earned on PPF accounts tax-free for NRIs in India?

Yes, the interest earned is tax-free in India, but it's essential to check the tax implications in the NRI's country of residence.

Q6. Can NRIs deposit in their PPF account from their NRE or NRO account?

Yes, NRIs can deposit in their PPF account from their NRO account. However, deposits from NRE accounts are not allowed.

Q7. What is the current interest rate on PPF for NRIs?

The interest rate for NRIs is the same as for resident Indians and is revised quarterly.

Q8. Can NRIs extend their PPF account after maturity?

No, NRIs cannot extend their PPF account after maturity, even if it was opened before they attained NRI status.

Q9. Is there a penalty for not depositing the minimum amount in the PPF account?

Yes, a nominal penalty is charged if you don't deposit the minimum required amount in a financial year.

Q10. Can NRIs take a loan against their PPF account?

Yes, NRIs can avail loans against their PPF account, subject to the standard PPF loan provisions.

Q11. How is the interest on PPF calculated for NRIs?

The interest calculation for NRIs is the same as for resident Indians, calculated monthly and credited annually.

Q12. Can I transfer my PPF account to another branch or bank?

Yes, PPF accounts can be transferred between branches or banks.

Q13. Do NRIs need to change the status of their PPF account after becoming an NRI?

No, there's no need to change the account status. However, certain features and benefits might be restricted.

Q14. Is a nomination facility available for NRI's PPF account?

Yes, NRIs can nominate beneficiaries for their PPF account.

Q15. What happens to the PPF account if the account holder passes away?

The balance in the PPF account is paid to the nominee or the legal heir.

Q16. Can two NRIs jointly open a PPF account?

No, joint accounts are not allowed in PPF, whether for residents or NRIs.

Q17. Is the maturity amount from PPF repatriable for NRIs?

The maturity amount can be credited to the NRO account of the NRI, from which repatriation is subject to certain conditions.

Q18. Can I change the nomination for my PPF account after becoming an NRI?

Yes, you can change the nomination for your PPF account anytime.

Q19. Are there any restrictions on deposit amounts for NRI PPF accounts?

The deposit limits for NRIs are the same as for resident Indians, with a minimum of INR 500 and a maximum of INR 1.5 lakhs in a financial year.

Q20. Can I convert my regular PPF account to an NRI PPF account?

There's no separate NRI PPF account. If you had a PPF account before becoming an NRI, you could continue it till maturity but with certain restrictions.

Q21. What are the new changes in PPF rules for NRIs?

Recent changes in PPF rules allow NRIs to continue their existing accounts until maturity but prohibit opening new accounts. NRIs can also close their PPF accounts prematurely after five years.

Q22. Can I close PPF account prematurely?

Yes, NRIs can close their PPF accounts prematurely, but only after maintaining the account for at least five years. This is part of the updated PPF premature closure rules.

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Tejas is an accomplished Chartered Accountant with a passion for finance. With a decade's worth of extensive experience in the banking and credit domain, he has a deep understanding of the financial landscape across consulting and start-ups. In his time away from work, Tejas enjoys sharing his knowledge and helping others understand the intricacies of this complex domain.

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