NRI and PIO, are they similar? NO! NRI is a Non-Resident Indian, a citizen of India who is now residing overseas. PIO is a Person of Indian Origin, usually not a citizen of India, but an individual of Indian descent.
If you’re an NRI, you will have a wealth of opportunities available to invest and grow your money. The one you should not overlook is the option offered by the Indian banking system. Many NRIs want to remit money to India, this is the practice of sending money earned abroad back to your home country. Remittances to India have increased from USD 2.1 billion in 1990-91 to 55.06 billion in 2009-2010 and to 70 billion in 2013-14, out of which 7.16 billion were remitted by NRIs.
It is now much easier to remit money to India. Earlier, it was done either through electronic means or by demand draft. Today many banks offer money transfer facilities which are incredibly useful when you want to remit money to India. The NRI Bank Account is essentially an Indian bank account opened for an NRI. It is a wonderful tool of the Indian banking system for NRIs with banking needs in India and abroad. Most of the NRI who feel this a hurdle hire a professional NRI Service providers that can assist NRIs and make them stress free.
NRI Bank Accounts are of types: NRE (Non-resident external), NRO (Non-resident ordinary) and FCNR (Foreign currency non-resident).
NRE and NRO are rupee denominated accounts.
- NRE account is for those who are looking to remit money to India from their overseas earnings. This is a tax free account for the money earned abroad and not in India.
- The NRO account is to receive the money earned in India from rents, pension, dividend etc. This account is subjected to 30% tax along with surcharge and cess.
- FCNR account is for NRIs only with minimum term of 1 year and maximum up to 5 years. It can be opened in 9 different currencies: USD, GBP, EUR, JPY, CAD, AUD, SGD, HKD and CHF.
As an NRI, saving your money in an NRI Bank Account is a means of diversification as it allows you to maintain funds in India separate from other investments. In addition, the NRI Bank Account can serve as a means of minimizing the risk of fluctuation in currency rate by maintaining some amount in Indian rupees in case of a fall in the value of the dollar. You can compare interest rates in India and in foreign countries, and decide where investment would yield the best returns.
You can also invest your money in deposits in Indian banks. Similar to fully fledged bank accounts, these deposits can be NR(E)RA and FCNR. NR(E)RA deposits are in Indian currency while FCNR is in 9 foreign currencies as mentioned above. Thanks to the watchdog stance of the RBI (Reserve Bank of India), you can be assured your hard earned wealth will be safe in an Indian bank deposit and will suffer a negligible impact from turmoil in foreign economies. Indian banks also won’t be as reckless with your money as a foreign bank, owing to strict regulations in India.