NRI Full Form

Non-Resident Indian, or NRI for short, is a term that refers to an Indian citizen who resides outside India for a minimum of 182 days in a financial year, but still maintains strong ties to their homeland. With an estimated 30 million NRIs spread across the world, these individuals represent a vibrant and diverse community that spans cultures, languages, and professions.

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Who is an Indian Resident?

  • Individual living in India since birth

  • Individual living for 182 days in the preceding financial year in India

  • Individual living for 60 days in that year specifically

  • Or been here for 365 days straight for the last four years

The above mentioned are the criteria for ‘Indian Resident' and a person who does not fulfill them is a Non-resident Indian and is treated as an NRI for paying the income tax.

What is Non Resident Indian (NRI)?

Let us have some information about NRI meaning and NRI full form:

  • NRIs have strong links to India, encompassing finance, culture, and family connections.

  • They can access insurance policies from Indian insurers.

  • A non-residential Indian (NRI) resides in India for under 182 days in a financial year.

  • NRIs can include those working abroad and individuals overseas for business purposes.

Who is Non Resident Indian (NRI)?

The people living abroad are classified into three major categories, namely Non-resident Indians (NRIs), Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs), and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs). 

Who are PIOs and OCIs?

Any individual with Indian heritage, whether by birth or descent, residing outside India, is commonly referred to as a Non-Resident Indian (NRI). Individuals holding passports from countries other than China, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka were formerly issued identification cards under the Person of Indian Origin (PIO) Card Scheme. However, effective January 15, 2015, the Indian government discontinued the PIO Card Scheme and integrated it into the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Card Scheme.

OCI stands for Overseas Citizen of India, and these are individuals of Indian origin residing in foreign countries, excluding Pakistan and Bangladesh. NRIs holding OCI cards are granted a lifetime visa, facilitating a more seamless connection with their Indian roots.

NRI Definition as per the Income Tax Act of India

Under Section 6 of the IT Act, 1961, an individual who is an Indian Citizen or is of Indian origin, is considered to be an NRI.

If an individual’s taxable Indian income exceeds Rs 15 Lakh then that individual is considered to be a resident, in case the person:

  • Visits India for 120 days or more in the preceding year

  • Has been in the country for a period of 365 days or more in the previous 4 years.

Investment Plans for NRIsInvestment Plans for NRIs

Eligibility Criteria

There are specific eligibility criteria for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders to engage in legal activities in India. The proof of identity is a crucial document for NRIs. Here is the modified criteria list for NRIs and OCI cardholders:

  • Indian Passport: If you are an NRI or OCI cardholder, it is necessary to possess a passport issued by the Indian government.

  • Citizenship: As an NRI, you must be a citizen of India according to the Citizenship Act of 1955. Either you, your parents, or your grandparents should be Indian citizens. In simpler terms, you, your parents, or your grandparents need to have Indian citizenship.

  • Spouse: You should be the spouse of an Indian citizen or a person meeting the criteria mentioned above.

Why should NRIs/PIOs/OCIs Invest in India?

Investing in India can be a lucrative opportunity for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). Here are several compelling reasons why NRIs should consider investing in India:

  • Market Familiarity: NRIs often possess a deep understanding of the Indian market, culture, and regulatory landscape, providing them with a strategic advantage when venturing into investments.

  • Diversification for NRIs: Investing in India enables NRIs to diversify their investment portfolio across borders, reducing risk and mitigating dependence on a single market.

  • High Economic Growth: India stands as one of the world's fastest-growing major economies, offering NRIs the chance to capitalize on the country's robust economic expansion.

  • Demographic Dividend Opportunities: With a large and youthful population propelling consumption and economic growth, NRIs can explore sectors like education, healthcare, and consumer goods tied to India's demographic dividend.

  • Streamlined Investment Process: The Indian government has implemented reforms to simplify investment procedures for NRIs. Special investment schemes such as NRE and NRO accounts streamline the investment process.

  • Tailored Tax Benefits for NRIs: NRIs are eligible for tax benefits on specific investments, including tax-free interest income on NRE and FCNR deposits.

  • Diverse Investment Options: India offers a diverse array of investment opportunities, from stocks and bonds to mutual funds and fixed deposits, allowing NRIs to create a well-rounded investment portfolio.

  • Stability in Banking Systems: India boasts a stable and well-regulated banking system, providing NRIs with a secure environment for managing their finances and investments.

  • Long-Term Wealth Creation Strategy: Investing in India serves as a viable long-term wealth creation strategy for NRIs, with the potential for compounding growth over time.

  • Family and Social Connections: Many NRIs have strong family and social ties in India. Investing in the country not only strengthens these connections but also contributes to the financial security of family members.

  • Currency Risk Hedging: Investing in Indian assets can act as a hedge against currency risk. If the Indian Rupee appreciates against the NRI's home currency, their Indian investments will see an increase in value.

  • Contributing to Economic Development: NRIs, through their investments, play a vital role in contributing to India's economic development, fostering a sense of pride and fulfillment.

  • Network and Business Opportunities: Investing in India opens avenues for business and networking opportunities, potentially leading to collaborations and partnerships across various sectors. NRIs can leverage their connections for mutually beneficial ventures in the Indian market.

It's important for NRIs to conduct thorough research, understand the regulatory framework, and seek professional financial advice to make informed investment decisions in India.

SIP Investment for NRIsSIP Investment for NRIs

What are the Features of NRI/OCI/PIO Investment Plans?

Many insurance companies in India offer their investment plans for NRIs as well. Here are the features of NRI Investment Plans:

  • Global Diversification: NRI investment plans allow Non-Resident Indians to diversify their investments across various asset classes, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, and more. This diversification helps spread risk and maximize returns.

  • Currency Flexibility: NRIs can invest in both Indian rupees (INR) and foreign currencies, giving them the flexibility to choose the currency that suits their financial goals and risk tolerance.

  • Tax Benefits: Some NRI investment plans offer tax benefits, such as tax exemptions on specific types of income or deductions on investments under certain sections of the Indian Income Tax Act.

  • Repatriation: NRIs can easily repatriate their earnings and profits earned from investments back to their foreign accounts. This ensures liquidity and easy access to funds when needed.

  • Banking and Demat Accounts: NRI investment plans often come with the provision to open NRE (Non-Resident External) and NRO (Non-Resident Ordinary) bank accounts and Demat accounts, making it convenient to manage and monitor investments.

  • Automatic Portfolio Management: Many NRI investment plans offer automated portfolio management services, where professionals manage and optimize investments on behalf of NRIs, ensuring their portfolios are aligned with their financial goals.

  • Online Access: NRIs/OCIs/PIOs can monitor and manage their investment portfolios online through secure internet banking and mobile apps, providing easy access and real-time updates on their investments.

  • Risk Tolerance Assessment: Financial institutions often assess an NRI's risk tolerance before suggesting investment options, helping NRIs make informed investment decisions based on their risk appetite.

  • Liquidity Options: NRIs/OCIs/PIOs can choose from various investment products with different liquidity features, ensuring they can access funds when needed without incurring heavy penalties.

  • Regular Income Plans: Some NRI investment plans offer regular income options, where NRIs can receive periodic payouts from their investments, providing a stable income source.

  • Low Minimum Investment: Many NRI investment plans have a low minimum investment requirement, making it accessible for NRIs with varying financial capabilities.

  • Customized Solutions: Financial institutions like Policybazaar offer customized investment solutions based on the specific financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment horizon of the NRI.

  • Hassle-Free Documentation: Many NRI investment plans streamline the documentation process, making it easier for NRIs to invest in India without significant paperwork hassles.

Investment Plans for NRIsInvestment Plans for NRIs

Taxation of Investment Plans for NRIs/OCIs/PIOs

The taxation for investment plans for NRIs/OCIs/PIOs depends on the type of investment and the holding period. Here are some of the key points to keep in mind:

  • Interest earned on NRE (Non-Resident External) and FCNR (Foreign Currency Non-Resident) accounts is tax-free.

  • Dividend income from shares or mutual funds is taxed at 20%.

  • Capital gains on the sale of shares or mutual funds are taxed as follows:

    • Short-term capital gains (holding period of less than 1 year) are taxed at 15%.

    • Long-term capital gains (holding period of more than 1 year) are taxed at 10% unless the gains are more than Rs. 1 lakh, in which case they are taxed at 20%.

  • NRIs can claim exemptions under certain sections of the Income Tax Act, such as Section 54 (exemption on capital gains on the sale of house property), Section 80C (deduction for investments in certain specified schemes), and Section 80D (deduction for medical expenses).


NRIs play a crucial role in the global Indian market, contributing to various sectors such as the economy, culture, and diplomacy. They maintain strong ties to their homeland while embracing the opportunities and challenges that come with living abroad. The NRI community is a testament to the cultural diversity and global presence of India, serving as a bridge between their adopted countries and their country of origin. 


  • Who are NRI students?

    NRI students are Indian citizens who have completed at least three years of their education in a foreign country during the last six years and have passed their qualifying examination (equivalent to 11th and 12th grade) from abroad.
  • Do NRIs pay tax?

    Be it an Indian resident or an NRI (Non-Indian Resident), every individual should file an Income Tax Return (ITR) every financial year if their income exceeds Rs. 2,50,000 annually. NRIs in India are eligible to pay tax only for the incomes earned in India
  • Is PAN Card mandatory for NRI bank accounts?

    PAN Card is not a mandatory document to activate your NRI account. Form 60 is important for an NRI if they want to operate an NRI account in India.

Past 10 Year annualised returns as on 01-04-2024

^Tax benefit are for Investments made up to Rs.2.5 L/ yr and are subject to change as per tax laws.

*All savings are provided by the insurer as per the IRDAI approved insurance plan.

Tax benefit is subject to changes in tax laws. Standard T&C Apply
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