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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Converting Resident Savings account to NRO

 

When a person becomes a non-resident Indian, he is required to either close his existing savings account, or convert it to a Non-Resident (Ordinary) or NRO account. NRO accounts can be opened with funds either remitted from abroad or generated in India. These are just like a savings accounts, with certain restrictions on repatriation of proceeds to the foreign country. Here's how to convert an existing savings account to an NRO account.

Form

Banks prescribe specific forms for the conversion of existing savings accounts to NRO accounts. Forms can be obtained from the bank or downloaded from the bank website. All holders are required to sign the form. One form can be used to convert all savings accounts held with the bank against the same customer ID.

Documents

A new account opening form also needs to be submitted to support the conversion request. Address proof of the overseas address must also be provided. Copies of the applicant's passport, valid visa or work permit and OCIPIO card (if applicable) must be submitted.

Funding

If the account in question was a zero balance account before being converted to NRO, it needs to be funded with the minimum balance.

Submission

The documents must be submitted to the bank branch. In case the customer is already outside the country, the form and documents need to be attested by the Indian embassy and sent to the branch.

Re-designation

After the form and documents have been received and verified by the bank, the savings account is re-designated as an NRO account. Re-designation may not change the account number, but it may be flagged off as NRO account in bank records.

 

The bank may levy some charges for carrying out the conversion.

Some banks also offer a PO box facility in foreign countries for dropping off forms and documents for processing.

Interest earned on NRO accounts is fully repatriable after the deduction of taxes, as applicable.

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