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The below content is purely for informational purposes and is not intended to constitute advisory of any kind. Please note, these are in-depth articles that are best viewed on large screen devices like laptops, desktops and tablets. The position reflected in this article has been updated as of January 15, 2024.
 

As a Non-Resident Indian (NRI), holding a joint account with a resident Indian can be a convenient way to secure the financial well-being of your family in India. In this article, you will understand the need, benefits and documentation required for holding an NRI joint account.

Under the prevailing Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) guidelines, when you relocate abroad, your status will change to an NRI.  Accordingly, you will mandatorily need to either close or convert your existing resident savings account into a Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) account. You can also open new NRO/Non-Residential External (NRE)/Foreign Currency Non-Resident Bank (FCNR (B)) accounts, if you wish to.

FEMA regulations permit an NRI to:

  • Hold a joint NRE/FCNR (B) account with a resident relative (parents including stepparents, son including stepson, son's wife, daughter, daughter's husband, sibling including stepsibling and children) or

  • Have a joint NRO account with any resident Indian

The accounts can be held on a former or survivor basis. In all such accounts, the NRI has to be the primary account holder. This means that only he/she (NRI) can operate the account. The joint holder can operate the account only in the event of the demise of the primary account holder.

The primary account holder can designate any resident Indian including the joint holder, to operate the account on his/her behalf by granting a Power of Attorney (PoA) or appointing them as a mandate holder. A PoA or a mandate holder can withdraw cash or issue cheques to make local payments and manage other financial needs.

You can appoint a joint account holder to your existing NRI bank account at any time you wish

 

Documentation for NRI joint accounts

You will need the below documentation for the joint account holder (resident Indian):

  1. Duly filled joint account holder form
  2. Identity proof: Valid passport/Driving license etc
  3. Address proof: Driving license/Voter's ID/Aadhaar Card etc
  4. Relationship proof: Valid passport/PAN card/Marriage certificate, etc
  5. Recent passport-size colour photograph

To know the documentation requirement for the primary account holder please click here

The documentation may vary across banks. You may reach out to your bank for more details.

 

Similar to a regular savings account, you can either:

  • Open a new joint account altogether
  • Add a joint account holder to your existing NRI bank account later
Conclusion

Joint NRI accounts help secure the financial well-being of your family in India. You can add a resident Indian as a joint holder to your NRO account and a resident Indian relative to your NRE/FCNR (B) accounts on a former or survivor basis. The resident joint holder can only operate the account as a PoA or a mandate holder during your lifetime.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, NRIs can open a joint NRE/NRO/FCNR (B) account with other NRIs.

Can an NRI be a joint holder in a resident savings account?

Residents in India are allowed to add NRI close relatives (relatives as defined in section 2 (77) of the Companies Act, 2013) as joint holders to their resident savings bank accounts under the either or survivor arrangement with the following conditions:

 

  1. The account will be considered as a resident savings account, and all regulations applicable to resident savings accounts will apply.
  2. Cheques, remittances, cash, funds, or any other proceeds belonging to the non-resident close relative, will not be eligible for credit to this account.
  3. The non-resident close relative shall operate such an account on behalf of the Indian resident only for domestic payments.
  4. An NRI close relative who becomes a joint account holder with multiple Indian residents must be a close relative of all the resident joint account holders in that account.

 

In all such accounts, the resident relative has to be the primary account holder. In the event of demise of the primary account holder (resident Indian), the joint account holder (non-resident) becomes the survivor of such resident savings account. This account will then be categorised as an NRO account under the prevailing regulations.

The tax liability on the interest earned on the joint resident savings account will be on the primary account holder.

Who is liable to pay the taxes which arise on the NRI joint accounts?

The tax liability on the interest earned on the joint NRO account will only be on the primary account holder only. The interest earned on NRE and FCNR (B) accounts is exempt from tax.

Disclaimer:

The contents of this article/infographic are meant solely for informational purposes. The contents are generic in nature and are not intended to serve as a substitute for specific advice on any matter whatsoever. The information is subject to updation, completion and verification and the applicable norms may keep changing materially from time to time. This information is also not intended for distribution or use by any person in any jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to applicable laws or would subject ICICI Bank Limited/its affiliates to any licensing or registration requirements. ICICI Bank Limited/its affiliates and their representatives shall not be liable for any direct or indirect losses or liability incurred arising in connection with any decision taken by any person on the basis of this content. Please conduct your own due diligence and consult your financial advisor before making any decision. Terms and conditions of ICICI Bank and third parties apply. ICICI Bank is not responsible for third party services. Nothing contained herein shall constitute or be deemed to constitute an advice, invitation, or solicitation to avail any products/services of third parties.