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NRI Repatriation in India: Full Form, Meaning & Types

The complete guide for repatriation and non-repatriation investments with a detailed comparison.
4
min read
February 3, 2024
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Content Overview:
  1. Introduction to Repatriation and Non-Repatriation Investments
  2. What is Repatriation?
  3. Repatriation of Funds
  4. What is Non-Repatriation?
  5. Non-Repatriation Meaning for Your Investments
  6. Comparison of Repatriation and Non-Repatriation Investments
  7. FAQS

When it comes to investing in India, Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) often come across the terms 'repatriation' and 'non-repatriation.'

Understanding these terms is crucial, as they define the financial flexibility NRIs have with the funds and investments they hold in India.

These terms refer to the rules and regulations regarding the movement of funds from India to a foreign country.

In this blog, we explain these concepts in detail and help you understand their implications for your investments as an NRI. 

What is Repatriation?

Repatriation, in the context of investments, refers to converting any India-based earnings or investments, like interest or dividends from your investments, back into foreign currency and transferring it back to the investor's home country.

Example: If you are an NRI living in the USA and have invested in Indian stocks, the dividends you receive from these stocks can be converted from Indian Rupees to US Dollars and transferred to your bank account in the USA. This process is known as repatriation.

Repatriation of Funds

The repatriation of funds involves the following steps:

  1. Conversion of Currency: The funds to be repatriated are converted from Indian Rupees to the foreign currency of the NRI's home country.
  1. Transfer of Funds: The converted funds are then transferred to the NRI's foreign bank account.

Example: If you are an NRI living in the UK and want to repatriate your earnings from your investments in India, you would first convert your earnings from Indian Rupees to British Pounds. These converted funds would then be transferred to your bank account in the UK.

Types of Repatriable NRI Accounts in India

Here’s a breakdown of the primary repatriable accounts that NRIs can consider:

1. Non-Resident External (NRE) Account:

  • Type: Savings, current, fixed, or recurring deposit accounts.
  • Features: Funds deposited in this account, including the principal and interest earned, are fully repatriable. The account is maintained in Indian Rupees.
  • Purpose: Ideal for NRIs looking to maintain savings in India that originated from earnings abroad and need the flexibility to move funds back to their country of residence.

2. Foreign Currency Non-Resident (FCNR) Account:

  • Type: Term deposit account.
  • Features: The deposits are made in foreign currency, thus eliminating the risk associated with exchange rate fluctuations. Both principal and accrued interest are repatriable.
  • Purpose: Suitable for NRIs who want to maintain a deposit in foreign currency and repatriate the funds without converting them into Indian Rupees.

What is Non-Repatriation?

Non-repatriation refers to the funds that cannot be transferred back to the investor's home country. These funds must remain in India and can only be used within the country.

Example: If you are an NRI and have a Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) account in India, the funds in this account are non-repatriable.

You cannot transfer these funds back to your home country and can only use them within India.

Non-Repatriation of Funds 

Non-repatriation can have the following implications for your investments:

  1. Limited Use of Funds: Non-repatriable funds can only be used within India. This limits the use of these funds for the NRI.
  1. Tax Implications: Non-repatriable funds may be subject to different tax rules than repatriable funds.

Example: If you are an NRI and have invested in a non-repatriable fixed deposit in India, the interest earned on this deposit cannot be transferred back to your home country. It can only be used within India.

Additionally, the interest may be subject to tax in India.

 Comparison of Repatriation and Non-Repatriation Investments

Aspect 

Repatriation 

Non-repatriation 

Definition 

The process of converting India-based earnings or investments back into foreign currency and transferring it back to the investor’s home country. 

The funds that cannot be transferred back to the investor’s home country.

Use of Funds 

Funds can be used in India and the investor’s home country.

Funds can be used only within India. 

Tax Implications 

Depends on the tax laws of India and the investor’s home country. 

Depends on Indian tax laws 

In Conclusion 

Understanding the concepts of repatriation and non-repatriation is crucial for NRIs looking to invest in India. While repatriation allows for the transfer of funds back to the investor's home country, non-repatriation means the funds must remain in India.

By understanding these concepts, NRIs can make informed decisions about their investments in India.

FAQs

Q1. What is repatriation in terms of investments?

Repatriation, in terms of investments, refers to the process of converting any India-based earnings or investments back into foreign currency and transferring it back to the investor's home country.

Q2. What does non-repatriation mean for investments?

Non-repatriation means that the funds, once invested in India, cannot be transferred back to the investor's home country. These funds must remain in India and can only be used within the country.

Q3. What is the process of repatriation of funds?

The repatriation of funds involves the conversion of the funds from Indian Rupees to the foreign currency of the NRI's home country and the transfer of these converted funds to the NRI's foreign bank account.

Q4. Can all funds be repatriated from India?

Not all funds can be repatriated from India. Certain types of accounts and investments have non-repatriation rules, which means the funds in these accounts or investments cannot be transferred back to the investor's home country.

Q5. What are the implications of non-repatriation for investments?

Non-repatriation rules mean that the funds, once invested in India, cannot be transferred back to the investor's home country. This can limit the use of these funds for the NRI and may have different tax implications compared to repatriable funds.

Q6. What is the difference between repatriation and non-repatriation investments?

The main difference between repatriation and non-repatriation investments is the ability to transfer funds back to the investor's home country. Repatriation allows for this transfer, while non-repatriation does not.

Q7. Are there any tax implications for repatriation and non-repatriation investments?

Yes, there can be tax implications for both repatriation and non-repatriation investments. These implications depend on the tax laws of India and the investor's home country.

Q8. Can non-repatriable funds be converted to repatriable funds?

In some cases, non-repatriable funds can be converted to repatriable funds, but this usually requires approval from the Reserve Bank of India and may be subject to certain conditions.

Q9. What are some examples of repatriation and non-repatriation investments?

Examples of repatriation investments include dividends from Indian stocks for an NRI, which can be converted to foreign currency and transferred to the investor's home country. An example of a non-repatriation investment is a non-repatriable fixed deposit in India, where the interest earned cannot be transferred back to the investor's home country.

Q10. What is the meaning of 'repatriable' and 'non-repatriable'?

'Repatriable' refers to funds that can be converted back into foreign currency and transferred to the investor's home country. 'Non-repatriable' refers to funds that cannot be transferred back to the investor's home country and must remain in India.

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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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