Who is an NRI?

The definition of an NRI is provided in FEMA be in the Income Tax Act. However, for the purpose of determining eligibility of a person for opening a non-resident account only the FEMA definition is applicable.

1. Non Resident Indian (NRI) – Definition: -

Section 2(v) and Section 2(w) of the FEMA, 1999 defines person resident in India and a person resident outside India respectively. Under FEMA, a person resident in India is defined as a person residing in India for more than 182 days during the course of the preceding financial year (April – March) and who has come to or stays in India either for taking up employment, carrying on business or vocation in India or lot any other purpose, that would indicate his intention in stay in India for an uncertain period. In other words, to be treated as a person resident in India under FEMA, a person has not only to satisfy the conditions of the period of stay (being more than 182 days during the course of the proceeding financial year) but has also to comply with the condition of the purpose / intention of stay.

The Act defines a person resident outside India as a person who is not a person resident in India.

The Foreign Exchange Management Deposit Regulations Act 2000, and Foreign Exchange Management (Investment in Firm or Proprietary Concern in India) Regulations Act 2000, defines a “Non Resident Indian” as a person resident outside India, who is a citizen of India or is a person of Indian origin.

Thus, to qualify as a non-resident Indian, a person should be EITHER

Resident outside India; and A Citizen of India


Resident outside India; and A Person on Indian origin (PIO)

Who is a person of Indian origin?

A ‘Person of Indian Origin (PIO)’ is a person resident outside India, who is a citizen of any country other than Bangladesh or Pakistan or such other country as may be specified by the Central Government, satisfying the following conditions:

a.Who was a citizen of India by virtue of the Constitution of India or the Citizenship Act, 1955 (57 of 1955); or

b. Who belonged to a territory that became part of India after the 15th day of August, 1947; or

c.Who is a child or a grandchild or a great grandchild of a citizen of India or of a person referred to in clause (a) or (b); or

d. Who is a spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India or spouse of foreign origin of a person referred to in clause (a) or (b) or (c)

Explanation: PIO will include an ‘Overseas Citizen of India’ cardholder within the meaning of Section 7(A) of the Citizenship Act, 1955.

Overseas Citizen of India Card (OCI Card)

OCI card is issued by the Government of India to any person who is an PIO as per the FEMA Definition and is wanting to avail this facility by providing the required necessary documents. The major benefit of applying for OCI card is that a lifelong visa is issued to the holder to visit India at any time and for any length of stay.

What are the types of bank accounts available to NRIs by Equitas Small Financial Bank?

The different Deposit Products for NRIs are:

  • Non-Resident External (NRE) (Rupee) Savings Account and Term Deposits
  • Non Resident Ordinary (NRO) Rupee Savings Account and Term Deposits

The other products offered to NRIs are:

  • Investment services in Mutual Funds and Life Insurance
  • General Insurance Products to protect the Assets in India
What is the tenure for the various deposits that you offer?
  • NRE Deposits are offered from 12 months to 5 Years
  • NRO Deposits are offered from 7 days to 10 Years
What are the interest rates on NRI deposits?
What are the minimum amounts for deposits?
  • NRE Savings Account – INR 10,000 for Metro& Urban Branches and INR 5,000/- for Semi urban & Rural Branches
  • Minimum NRE Term Deposit - INR 25,000
  • NRO Savings Account - INR 10,000 for Metro& Urban Branches and INR 5,000/- for Semi urban & Rural
  • Minimum NRO Term Deposit - INR 25,000
Can I open a joint account?


  Account with NRI or PIO Joint Holder Account with Resident Indian Joint Holder
NRE Account YES YES*
NRO Account YES YES*
*Resident Indians are permitted to be a joint holder of NRE/NRO Savings Account under “Former or Survivor” as the mode of operation but a Resident Indian can operate the account only if added as a Mandate Holder/POA.
Which NRI account attracts TDS on Interest Earned (tax deduction at source)?
  • NRO Savings and FixedDeposit Account:Interest earned will attract TDS @ 30% plus 4% Cess (Rate of 31.20%) as per the latest Income Tax Act. The TDS rates are subject to change with the change in Income Tax rules time to time.
  • NRE Savings and Fixed Deposit: No TDS will be deducted on the NRE Interest accrued as NRE interest income is exempted from Indian Income Tax.
What are the rules regarding Debit cards for NRO / NRE Account holders?

NRO Account holders receive a Domestic RuPay Platinum or Rupay Classic Debit Card, which is valid only in India.

NRE cardholders receive a Globally valid Visa Debit Cards that can be used for making purchases and to withdraw funds. Equitas NRI customer can choose Domestic RuPay Debit Card option for NRE Account if they do not wish to have their Debit Card with International validity for security reasons.

The limits for these debit cards are as follows:

Please Note: - The Withdrawal limits are subject to RBI regulation as amended from time to time.

Franchisee Card Type ATM Withdrawal Limit POS Limit
Visa Classic ₹ 25,000 ₹ 50,000
Visa Platinum ₹ 100,000 ₹ 200,000
Visa Signature ₹ 125,000 ₹ 250,000
RuPay (Domestic) Classic ₹ 25,000 ₹ 50,000
RuPay (Domestic) Platinum ₹ 100,000 ₹ 200,000


Debit Card Variant Annual FeesRs. * + GST @18%
International Visa Classic Card 200
International Visa Platinum Card 700
International Visa Signature Card 1000
Domestic RuPay Classic Card 149
Domestic RuPay Platinum Card 550

If you hold an NRE/ NRO Account jointly with your spouse, then the joint holder can also avail the Debit Card facility (Indian residents can be joint account holders in NRO accounts only).

For the Resident Mandate Holder would not get Debit Card but would getonly cheque book facility to operate the account.

What are the admissible debits & credits to NRO / NRE Accounts?

NRO Account

  • Deposit surplus Rupee cash and Rupee earnings into the NRO SB account.

NRE Accounts

  • Debits are allowed freely, however debits for investments in Shares/securities/commercial paper of Indian companies or for purchase of immovable property in India should be covered by general/specific permission of RBI
  • No Rupee Cash Deposits are allowed
  • Proceeds of remittances received from abroad in freely convertible currency through normal banking channels may be credited into NRE Account
  • Interest / Maturity Proceeds of Government securities including National Savings Certificates, dividends of Unit Trust of India, provided these securities were purchased out of funds from NRE / FCNR Accounts
Can I open a Demat account with EQUITAS SMALL FINANCE?

At present, we do not offer Demat and PINS account services.

Who can become a Mandate Holder?

You as a NRI account holder can one of blood relatives authorize an Indian Resident to operate your NRI account with EQUITAS SMALL FINANCE India. You have to fill and submit and Mandate Holder Form along with the ID and Address proof of the Resident POA/ mandate Holder. The form will also be available at your branch of account.

Can I avail Mobile Banking & Internet Banking?

Yes, you can avail Mobile Banking and Internet Banking. These services are available to all customers free of charge and enable you to access your account 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, from anywhere in the world.

Can I open an NRI account without having to come to the branch in India?

Yes, you can open an NRI account online by filling up the form and sending the Account opening form and Documents attested by officials of Equitas Small Finance Bank / Your Banker Abroad/ Notary Abroad / Indian Embassy and Yourself (Self attestation). For more information, please leave your name and contact details. Relationship Executive from our Branch would call and assist in opening the Account.

Can I repatriate money out of balances held in my NRO accounts?

Interest earnings can be repatriated. In addition to this, remittance/s up to USD 1 million per calendar year from balances in NRO accounts subject to payment of applicable taxes is allowed for any purpose up to an aggregate value of USD 1 million: