What does Repatriation Mean?
In the literal sense, the word repatriation is used to denote the process of either someone returning back to their own country or sending money back to their own country. In the context of this article, this would definitely mean sending money back to one’s own country (country of origin).
Can I Repatriate Money from NRO Account?
Yes, an individual can repatriate money from his/her NRO Account using his/her accounts in prominent banks such as SBI, ICICI or HDFC subjected to the following conditions:
- Repatriation of funds from NRO account is currently limited to $1 MM per financial year per individual
- NRO repatriation request received through Net Banking would take a normal processing time of up to two working days
- The limit applies to the aggregate amount across all categories of repatriation except current income.
When to Repatriate Money from NRO Account?
Repatriation of funds becomes necessary when an individual settled outside India has some immovable assets which he or she would like to dispose and/or returns from some financial assets in India which the individual wants to repatriate. Such an act of repatriation further makes sense when the individual has decided against returning back to India. Thus, the individual needs to monetize his/her immovable assets and move his/her financial assets out of India. Though the same cannot be done at one go without specific permissions, there are ways to make it possible.
In case of NRO account, the repatriation principle does not allow free repatriation of funds like in case of NRE accounts, barring a few specified funds as mentioned in the next section. Most importantly the principal amount deposited in the NRO account cannot be repatriated and can only be used for making local payments.
Which Funds Are Eligible for Repatriation from NRO Account?
- There are certain amounts which can be repatriated from the NRO Account of any individual that too subjected to certain conditions. Such amounts include current income such as Rent, Dividend, and Pension.
- Even while repatriating these amounts, the individual needs to produce appropriate certificates from a registered chartered accountant. Such amounts can be repatriated up to a maximum of USD 1 million or equivalent in other currencies in any financial year subject to the submission of a bonafide purpose and submission of requisite documentation.
- Further, any gifted property can be sold and the amount can be repatriated using the NRO account. The individual can also repatriate the rental income earned from any property easily by using the NRO account.
Reasons for Repatriating money from NRO account
Repatriation ideally signifies transferring the deposits in an individual’s NRO account in India in Indian currencies to some overseas account either in foreign currency or in terms of FCNR deposits or transferring in Indian rupees to NRE accounts.
There might be various reasons for repatriation. One of the most valid reasons would be that the NRI wants to permanently settle down in the foreign country with no intentions of moving back to India. In such a circumstance, then the NRI needs to manage the property and dispose it off prior to settling in the foreign land permanently. Such transactions would most likely require the NRI individual to repatriate his/her sale proceeds. Further, an NRI individual might require repatriating funds in case the individual settled in a foreign land is in an urgent requirement of funds there. There can be other person-specific needs and reasons for repatriation of funds from the NRO account.
Requirements to Repatriate Money from NRO Account
In order to repatriate money from the NRO account of an individual, he /she needs to follow the guidelines as may be specified to him/her by his/her respective banks.
- However, some of the general guidelines include that repatriation of funds from an NRO account is limited only to a maximum of USD 1 million in a financial year per individual.
- Even if an individual holds more than one NRO account, the aggregate limit of all such accounts would be restricted to USD 1 million only.
- In case the NRO account has two or more holders, such limit of USD 1 million exists per user and not per account. Also, such limit of USD 1 million applies for an aggregated amount across all categories of income except the income under the current income category.
Documents for Repatriation from NRO Account
Some documents that are mandatory for repatriating money from the NRO Account include the following:
- The duly filled in NRO Repatriation Application Form
- A2 cum FEMA declaration in the required format
- Form 15 CA and CB (usually Form CB is used to transfer funds from NRO to NRE account)
- Any other supporting documents in order to establish the sources of funds which needs to be repatriated as may be specified by the banks while such requests for repatriations are made.
Repatriate Money from NRO Account Procedure
Repatriation is a normal procedure used by NRI individual settled outside India from time to time. This particular procedure is required in order to transfer funds from India in Indian currency at an Indian bank branch to a foreign bank and branch either in Indian currency or in foreign currency. Such process of repatriation needs to follow the guidelines as may be specified by the government of India since money from India is being transferred to a foreign land. Such guidelines and restrictions are specified by the government of India in collaboration with the Indian banks. Thus it is essential to understand the guidelines as specified by the specific bank and its branch regarding repatriation of funds and the specific steps and procedures which needs to be followed. For example in case an NRI individual wants to repatriate money from his/her NRO account in ICICI bank online, then the following steps need to be followed:
- The NRI individual needs to login to his/her bank Internet Banking account
- Then the individual needs to click on ‘Funds Transfer’ option under ‘Payments and Transfers’ head
- Thereafter the individual needs to select the option of “Transfer funds to ‘An Overseas account from NRE/NRO/FCNR account’”
- Once that is selected, the individual then needs to select the option of ‘Repatriation from NRO SB via Wire transfer’
- Under this option then the individual can transfer funds to his/her NRE account or an overseas account
Similarly, in case the customer wants to repatriate money from NRO account in SBI bank, the customer needs to understand the specific guidelines and procedures specified by SBI in particular.
Just like repatriation of funds from the NRO account, even outward remittance from NRO account can be done easily following the mandated steps and procedures as specified by the banks.
Repatriation from NRO Account Charges
Repatriation of funds from the NRO account of an NRI individual is a service provided by the bank to the individuals. Thus the bank legitimately charges a small amount of money in lieu of providing such services. Such charges may or may not vary from bank to bank. For example, the ICICI bank levies a charge of INR 500 plus applicable GST for providing the services of online repatriation of funds from the NRO savings account of any NRI individual to his/her overseas account. However, the bank does not levy any charges for online repatriation of funds from the NRO savings account of an individual to his/her NRE account with your bank.