Can NRI Hold a Demat Account in India?Can NRI Hold a Demat Account in India?

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  • 17 Aug 2023

India is one of the globe's swiftest expanding economies, making it an appealing choice for investments, particularly among NRIs seeking involvement in Indian enterprises. An NRI, or Non-Resident Indian, denotes an individual residing outside India.

Furthermore, for an NRI to partake in trading within the Indian stock market, possessing a demat account becomes imperative. Such an account facilitates NRI participation in bonds, stocks, IPOs, and mutual funds trading and extends its utility to encompass various other financial instruments. The question is, can NRIs open demat accounts in India?

NRIs can open Demat accounts in India to engage in equity trading. Nevertheless, establishing a demat account by an NRI mandates adherence to the regulations outlined in the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). NRIs are allowed to initiate both Repatriable and Non-Repatriable demat accounts.

For an NRI to engage in trading within secondary markets, obtaining a Portfolio Investment Scheme (PIS) license from designated banks is essential, allowing them to operate a demat account for making investments in India.

According to guidelines set forth by the RBI, an NRI is restricted to holding a maximum of 5% of the paid-up capital in an Indian company. NRIs can participate in IPOs on a repatriable basis using the NRE demat account. Alternatively, if the investment is made on a non-repatriable basis, the NRO account and NRO demat account are utilized.

However, if an individual possesses a demat account prior to acquiring NRI status, they can convert it to the NRO category for trading purposes after relocating abroad or choose to open a fresh account. Furthermore, any shares previously owned will be transferred from the existing brokerage firm to the new NRO holding account.

1. NRE Demat Account

An NRE Demat account is linked to an NRE bank account. When an individual establishes an NRE account, they aim to oversee funds acquired from overseas endeavors. Consequently, these funds are entirely repatriable, allowing for seamless transfers abroad. The NRE Demat Account is also called a Repatriable Demat Account, as it enables the repatriation of all proceeds generated from the sale of securities to foreign accounts.

2. NRO Demat Account

An NRO demat account operates in conjunction with an NRO bank account, typically established by an NRI to oversee earnings generated within India. Referred to as a Non-repatriable Demat account, the NRO Demat Account has this terminology due to restrictions on transferring all funds abroad.

While the initial investment amount is subject to taxes, the principal investments can be repatriated. Under its regulations, the RBI permits the transfer of up to $1 million abroad during a financial year. Any interest accrued in this account becomes repatriable after the deduction of TDS.

Offline Process

To initiate the process of opening an NRI account through offline channels, NRIs must be physically present in India. They can visit the nearest branch of their broker and complete the necessary account opening formalities with the assistance of the designated sourcing personnel. It is also imperative for them to provide the required documentation in accordance with the Official Valid Documents (OVD) list, the specifics of which are outlined within the account opening form itself.

Subsequently, an official at the Depository Participant's (DP) office will meticulously verify the authenticity of the submitted documents by cross-referencing them with the originals. Once this verification process is successfully concluded, the NRI demat account will be successfully established.

Alternatively, NRIs can visit designated offices located abroad, where they can submit their duly filled account opening form at the nearest service center or branch affiliated with the respective bank or broker.

Online Process

NRIs looking to initiate the process to open demat accounts from overseas can conveniently do so through the online procedure. These NRIs should commence by submitting their account opening request via the broker's official website.

Following the submission, a representative from the online application management team will reach out to these NRI clients, guiding them through the digital completion of the account opening form. The NRIs are required to furnish the necessary documents in accordance with the provided OVD checklist.

As the DP is unable to authenticate the original documents directly, NRIs are advised to have them attested either by their local bank or through the Indian Embassy located in their country of residence. Subsequently, the DP's representative will arrange for the collection of the duly filled account opening form and the attested documents using a courier service. The request is then processed within India, culminating in successfully opening the NRI demat account.

  1. PIS letter issued by the RBI
  2. Scanned copy of PAN card
  3. Overseas address proof of the holder
  4. Copy of Visa and passport
  5. A duly filled account opening form that's signed by the account holders
  6. Passport-size photographs
  7. A cancelled NRE/NRO account cheque

Summing it Up

The Indian stock market presents numerous trading opportunities for investors. Whether you're an Indian resident or an NRI, as long as you hold Indian citizenship, you can initiate a Demat account within India.

In the case of NRIs, there's the option to establish an NRI Demat account. While NRI Demat accounts carry certain limitations, engaging in Indian stock market trading via an NRI trading account is comparably straightforward. Opening a Demat account for NRIs has been streamlined for utmost convenience.

NRI Demat Account FAQs

NRIs can possess two categories of demat accounts: repatriable and non-repatriable. Additionally, they must possess a fundamental PINS (Portfolio Investment Scheme) Account to facilitate the acquisition of shares from the secondary market.

Yes, they can, based on NRE and NRO savings accounts.

NRIs can have two types of demat accounts - repatriable and non-repatriable. An NRE demat account is repatriable, while an NRO account is non-repatriable.

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