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05/29/2017

How to open a bank account in India

India,bank account,foreigner,student,tourist,expatriate,funds,repatriation,money transferA few years ago, a foreigner needed an Indian ‘sponsor’ to be able to open an account in India. Apparently things got easier and everyone can open a bank account in India (under certain conditions, of course): tourists, students, expatriates, etc.

There is a plethora of banks in India.

Private local (but good) banks:

  • HDFC - I tested
  • Axis - I tested
  • ICICI

International banks:

  • Citibank - I tested
  • HSBC

India,bank account,foreigner,student,tourist,expatriate,funds,repatriation,money transfer TOURIST

 Principle:

If you travel in India, you can open a NRO (Non-Resident Ordinary) account.

You can deposit money earned abroad in India. The interest earned on this account are taxable in India. You can use this account to make payments in India.

You have to upload documents online (it takes less than an hour) and then it takes 3-4 days for the account to be activated.

Documents for an NRO tourist account:

  1. Passport
  2. Tourist visa
  3. Proof of residence in your country of origin (the Passport is apparently accepted as such, so is the driver license, or a utility bill (electricity or phone) less than 2 months old, a bank statement less than 3 months old)
  4. PAN Card, which you probably won’t have and in this case the Form 60 (here)
  5. FATCA / CRS statement (downloadable from the site of the selected bank)
  6. The CKYC Annexure (downloadable from the site of the selected bank)
  7. The Bank form
  8. 2 photos
  9. All copies self-certified

Transfer funds from your home country to an account in India:

It’s easy.

  • You can do this via your home Bank.
  • Or WesternUnion.
  • Or a Bank in India (ICICI has for example a Money2India module).
  • Or PayPal.
  • A site of transfer and Moneytis can give you a comparison of all the sites

 Repatriate funds from an NRO account to your home country (3):

You can repatriate what’s left on your account within the limit of 1 million dollars a year. Be aware, the account has to be active for a maximum period of 6 months and you must not have put any money earned in India on it (except for the interests) in order to repatriate the balance funds. If you are a tourist and you stay more than 6 months, you will have to ask special permission from the RBI (Reserve Bank of India).

 

India,bank account,foreigner,student,tourist,expatriate,funds,repatriation,money transferSTUDENTIndia,bank account,foreigner,student,tourist,expatriate,funds,repatriation,money transfer

Principle:

If you are coming to study in India, you can open a NRO (Non-Resident Ordinary) student account.

You can deposit money earned in your home country or in India. The interests earned on this account are taxable in India. You can use this account to make payments in India.

You have to upload documents online (it takes less than an hour) and then it takes 3-4 days for the account to be activated.

Rule:

Within 30 days of opening the account, you must deposit at the Bank your address proof in India. Pending verification of address, you can deposit maximum $ 1,000 and withdraw maximum Rs 50,000.

Documents for an NRO account:

  1. Passport
  2. Student visa (or tourist visa with admission letter from the Institute)
  3. Proof of residence in your country of origin (the Passport is apparently accepted as such, so is the driver license, or a utility bill (electricity or phone) less than 2 months old, a bank statement less than 3 months old)
  4. PAN Card, which you probably won’t have and in this case the Form 60 (here)
  5. FATCA / CRS statement (downloadable from the site of the selected bank)
  6. The CKYC Annexure (downloadable from the site of the selected bank)
  7. The Bank form
  8. 2 photos
  9. All copies self-certified
  10. All signed copies

Transfer funds from the France (or abroad) to an account in India:

It’s easy.

  • You can do this via your home Bank.
  • Or WesternUnion.
  • Or a Bank in India (ICICI has for example a Money2India module).
  • Or PayPal.
  • A site of transfer and Moneytis can give you a comparison of all the sites

Repatriate funds from an NRO account to your home country (3):

You can repatriate what's left on your account within the limit of 1 million dollars a year. The RBI (Reserve Bank of India) doesn’t mention any maximum duration for the account to be active, but it is reasonable to assume that it is related to the duration of the visa.

 

India,bank account,foreigner,student,tourist,expatriate,funds,repatriation,money transferEXPATRIATES working in India (employment visa)

It also works for the OCI and non-working foreign residents, I assume.

You can open a Domestic account / Resident, also called a ‘Resident Individuals’ account (which may be a salary account or own account (normal current/saving account)).

Documents to open an account a Resident Individual:

  1. Passport
  2. Employment visa (they might also ask for the contract0
  3. Proof of residency (copy of the FRRO or OCI booklet)
  4. Proof of address in India
  5. PAN Card or the Form 60 (here) if you don’t have a PAN Card (though you might apply as you will need it)
  6. The Bank form
  7. 2 photos
  8. All copies self-certified

NB: The bank usually requires you to send the scan of the renewed visa every year to keep the account active. After 12 months without any transaction, the account is considered as inactive – interests continue to run but you can no longer make any transaction. It is however possible to reactivate an inactive account.

Transfer funds from your home country to an account in India:

A priori you won’t need to do it since you will be working. Otherwise the methods given above for tourists and students work!

Repatriate funds from an Indian account to your home account (3):

To repatriate funds, please note that it is highly regulated and that online transfer solutions may not work.

So you may have to go to the Bank and fill out the ‘foreign remittance’ form. You will have to have in hand the details of the account on which you want to transfer the funds (IBAN and SWIFT). You must also provide the evidence of salary (because you cannot transfer more than your net pay after all the deductions and taxes): salary slips signed (covering the amount you want to repatriate, e.g. 3 months if you want to transfer the equivalent of 3 months of net salary), or the Form 16, or a certificate from the employer.

You can also use Western Union or other agents of the same type, but I have never tried.

 

To sum-up what kind of non-resident accounts can be opened in India:

India,bank account,foreigner,student,tourist,expatriate,funds,repatriation,money transfer

India,bank account,foreigner,student,tourist,expatriate,funds,repatriation,money transfer

05/07/2017

My photoblog is back

In this historical day (for France), I start again my photoblog. A camera problem had forced me to interrupt my series '365 days in India' at 241 pictures something...

I start again with a 'Photo tour of India in 80 days'!

 

Photoblog.jpg

A photo tour of India in 80 days

04/17/2017

Head in the stars (or not)

To make my favorite Indian dream a bit, I decided to surprise him and celebrate his birthday under a starry sky – it has kind of become his thing, stars, since we watched Cosmos on Netflix!

To begin with the beginning, I googled “best places to watch stars in India” and fell upon this:

India,Uttarakhand,Nainital,stars,Observatory,Soulitude

Super excited (especially since this place was somehow accessible), I searched how to visit this thing at night. But they don’t do night visits anymore, only in daytime. It did seem kind of weird to watch stars in broad day light but in India everything was possible (and why else would they have daytime visit?), so my brain didn’t dwell too long on this issue. All the more because my colleague confirmed it was a great place and you could see the stars there!

I had to fill a form online, and be aware, you must do so at least 30 days in advance. Exactly one month before the D day, between two market visits, I managed to do it and good for me because the website stopped operating for the next two weeks! (I visited it regularly to see if my request had been accepted.) 

The next step was to book a room not too far from Nainital. Especially not in Nainital, a small crowded bustling town that is not really charming for my taste. Fortunately there are a lot of ‘boutique hotels’ in the area. Soulitude knew how to seduce me, by its name, by its website mentioning ‘star gazing’ as an activity and by its room which had glass ceilings to see the stars. And there was only one room left when I booked three weeks in advance, I saw this as a sign!

India,Uttarakhand,Nainital,stars,Observatory,Soulitude

Finally the day came to go on our trip. We managed pretty nicely the 9-hour drive separating the mountains of Uttarakhand from Gurgaon. A smooth trip, with baby Samurai quite quiet. Immediately upon arrival we went for a walk; and I was a little worried because the sky was quite cloudy. Okay Indians can do impossible stuff but even if they manage to see the stars with the Sun, I was pretty sure that clouds would be an obstacle!

The next day, the sky is a bit clear and we drive two hours to go to the Observatory. At the time of the appointment, not one living soul in sight. Ah wait, I see a guard. Who, even if he doesn’t seem to understand what we are doing here, tells us that the team is having lunch and that it might take a while because they have no car and that the dining hall is pretty far. So we offer to do the taxi.

The Chief Scientist assigned to us isn't here. Instead we have an assistant computer engineer. Showing us a little video on the history of the Observatory. Then he takes us to the beast. And... voilà! In fact of stars we got to watch a telescope. No comment.

The hotel had no human scale telescope; as activity, they had just a guest coming regularly with his own material to take pictures. But the sky was beautiful, more than in Gurgaon. Even if the end of the winter (mid-February) is not the best season to go, as clouds form with the warming of earth.

And also Soulitude is mostly just a name: it is built between two other houses, and work is ongoing. Nevertheless the hotel is very nice (especially our room a bit away from the main building), the staff helpful and the food very good.

We both love the mountains of this corner of the India, so no regrets, it was a great weekend, one of those who comes with a price (namely a 2 day drive on Indian roads)!

PS: Come to think if it, I must have mistaken between an Observatory and planetarium? 

Kumaon Hills

inde,uttarakhand,nainital,observatory,étoiles,kumaon hills

inde,uttarakhand,nainital,observatory,étoiles,kumaon hills

inde,uttarakhand,nainital,observatory,étoiles,kumaon hills

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