Charlotte Miller


Who is an NRI as Per Indian Law? Citizenship, Taxation and Benefits Clarified

Nowadays, people often travel across countries for diverse reasons, like working or studying. For expatriate Indians, being aware of their legal status, taxation duties, and benefits is imperative. The term NRI or Non-Resident Indian is the centre of such issues, bringing with it a myriad of legal, financial and social implications. Let us explore what an NRI is in the Indian context and its role in citizenship, taxation, and benefits.

What Do You Mean by NRI Status?

Who is NRI? The Indian law states that an Indian citizen is regarded as an NRI if their stay during a financial year does not exceed one hundred and eighty-two days. Notably, this criterion is the key to determining taxation status and other legal matters. Note that the one-eighty-two-day rule is not the only determining aspect. There are other parameters like reasons for staying and more.

Understanding Citizenship for NRIs

NRI status is not a matter of that individual’s citizenship. Their nationality is still Indian, whether they live in the country or abroad. Nevertheless, they might face certain restrictions when understanding their rights. Dual citizenship is not accepted in India. So,  NRIs cannot have dual citizenship in some other country. Notably, they must give up their Indian citizenship to get citizenship in another country.

Comprehending Taxation

Taxation is one of the major issues for NRIs since their income generated both in India and abroad may be liable to tax. The Indian government charges individuals with income tax depending on their residential status. NRIs are required to file taxes on income earned or accrued in India, such as salary from an Indian employer, rent from Indian property, capital gains on Indian assets, and so on. On the other hand, income earned outside India is normally not taxable in India for NRIs.

The main purpose of the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and many other countries is to protect the income of a Non-Resident Indian (NRI) from being taxed twice, as it is simply once in the country of residence. Native Indians may benefit from this by taking advantage of the different deductions, exemptions, and benefits accessible under the Indian Income Tax Act to reduce their tax obligations to the minimum.

What are the Prime Benefits for NRIs in India?

The benefits that come with being an NRI are especially financial. NRIs are entitled to access several bank accounts in India like the following:

  • NRE (Non-Resident External)
  • NRO (Non-Resident Ordinary) accounts

While an NRI account helps them transfer money conveniently to India, NRE accounts convert the amount into Indian rupees. So, anyone searching for an NRE account meaning now knows the benefits.

These accounts enable them to manage their finances and investments in India effectively. These accounts have certain facilities where foreigners can transfer their money abroad without experiencing much difficulty. Entities like IDFC FIRST Bank offer wire transfer services for domestic and international purposes.

Furthermore, NRIs can enter India’s capital market by investing in India. They can also obtain insurance policies and invest in retirement programs (pension plans) specifically designed for NRIs.

Taxation is the third complex field. Being conscious of tax rules in India as well as the host country, making sure you conform to the reporting requirements, and maximizing tax benefits by following the right strategies involve detailed planning.

Final Words

Being an NRI is all about both opportunities and challenges that you will face in your new life. Cultural and social adaptation, transnational family ties and homeland bonds, and long-distance-legal and administrative procedures present many difficulties to a person who immigrates. Along with these, the NRIs may also face confusion concerning property management and planning.