Can a Foreigner Open a Bank Account in India

A non-resident Indian (NRI) is an Indian citizen or a person of Indian origin residing outside India. A resident is a citizen who stays in India for at least 182 days in a financial year. NRIs can maintain bank accounts in India in the form of rupee or foreign currency accounts.

Type of Account

Foreign nationals can open FA resident savings or current account with a bank in India provided they furnish requisite KYC documents. Banks usually accept a basic account opening form for opening the account.

These kinds of Bank account maintained by foreigner in India:

Non – Resident External Rupee Account (NRE).
Non- Resident Ordinarily Account (NRO).
Foreign Currency Non-resident (Banks).
Resident Foreign Currency (RFC) Account

KYC documents

The foreign national is required to furnish copies of the following documents to open the bank account:

  • Valid foreign passport.
  • Valid Indian visa ( it should be a longterm visa: valid for more than 182 days).
  • Copy of Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) permit.
  • Overseas address proof.
  • Indian address proof.
  • Passport-size photograph.
  • Copy of PAN card or Form 60.
  • They also need a letter from employer or letter of contract. For business visits, RBI approval may be needed.

Opening an account with a digital wallet

NRI’s who have returned to India can use the e-wallet service just like any resident in India. To use the service, you need a couple of things to operate eWallets in India:

  • A cellphone – this will be required to register the account, get OTP credentials etc
  • Bank account or credit card – you will need to add an amount to your wallet before using it
    NRI’s living overseas will have to find ways to work with two/multi-factor authorization. Depending on the wallet/service provider you may require an Indian phone # (and not an international phone number) to operate. NRIs living overseas may have to pay a charge to continue to operate their Indian phone numbers

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