The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued  AP (DIR Series) Circular No. 70, dated June 9, 2011 permitting Authorized Dealer Category – I banks [AD] to re-designate resident accounts of repatriating foreign nationals as Non-Resident (Ordinary) [NRO] accounts. This will enable foreign nationals to receive their bona fide dues even after they leave the country. Prior to this, foreign nationals had to close their resident accounts at the time of repatriation from India.

Key requirements

The RBI has laid down the following conditions that are to be satisfied for accounts to be re­designated:

  • Foreign national to provide list of legitimate dues expected to be received into the account to the AD.
  • The credits to the bank account to be bona fide dues when the foreign national was resident in India. Undeclared credits not to flow into the account.
  • Credits to be repatriated immediately after payment of applicable India income and other taxes.
  • Debits to the account only for repatriation to overseas bank account.
  • USD 1 million per financial year to be the ceiling limit for repatriation.
  • Individual’s bank account to be closed when all the dues are received and repatriated.
  • AD to monitor account and correlate with declaration made by foreign national on legitimate dues and amounts repatriated.

Comments

In a way, this circular may be the answer to the current stalemate over refund of provident fund balance and income tax refunds due to an eligible foreign national since the India bank account can be kept open till all dues are received and repatriated.

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