How to open an NRI account?

By Remitbee - May 5, 2021

A non-resident India or an NRI can open a bank account with a bank or a financial registered and regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to avail of its services. Here is what you need to know about opening an account with one of them. Please note that if you already have a resident account, it should be reassigned as one of the NRI accounts by the facility.

ICICI NRI Account: You can open the account with the bank online, following some simple steps. Just follow the link After filling up the lead form, submit it. A customer service representative will call at a suitable time to explain the process. The person will also tell you about the documents required to help you with the process of filing it online. After the documents are ready, the representative will arrange a free courier pickup to send the papers at the earliest, at a time convenient for the customer.

SBI NRI account: You can open an account by following some simple and easy steps. Visit the SBI page NRI section. There is a step-by-step illustration. You can do it online, by filling up the form, download and with the attested documents listed, you can send them the same after preliminary verification is done online. Axis Bank NRI Account: You can open the NRI account by visiting the website and choosing the link for the NRI account. You will have to fill up a form and provide the contact details for the banking officials to get back to you, authorizing a callback from them. The details you have to fill in include your name, country of residence, mobile number, and email address.

Documents needed:

ICICI Bank: Identity proof documents for NRIs are the photocopies of the Indian passport with the photocopy of the relevant pages of the passport, where the details like the customer’s name, date of birth, date, and place of issue, expiry date of the passport, photograph, and signature of the applicant are available. The bank account can be opened in the name mentioned in the passport. You will also have to provide a photocopy of the valid work permit/ or employment visa. This is accepted in case of expired visas, with duly acknowledged petitions made to the relevant authorities for a renewal of the visa. It will be accepted as a valid document if the document allows you to stay in the country of residence till the visa is renewed and issued.

SBI NRI Account: For the account, you have to furnish a few proofs. There are proofs required of status, identity, etc.

Proof of status: For this, you could either provide a valid visa or work permit. In the case of NRI with a seafarer's profile, you have to either provide proof of valid job contract, or a continuous discharge certificate (CDC), if the disembarkation stamp on CDC is not more than six months old. You can also submit an expired contract letter (if the disembarkation stamp on CDC is not more than six months old). Or you can also give the last payslip evidencing employment with a shipping company (not more than six months old).

Proof of identity: Photocopies of relevant pages of passport.

Current Address document (Overseas only) (NRIs with seafarer work profile and on the ship, can either give the bank the employer's overseas address or an Indian address): Either relevant pages of the passport (mentioning overseas address), or self-declaration of address with positive confirmation by submitting a copy of a government-issued National Identity Card at the country of residence, or driving license issued abroad, or utility bill (Electricity, Telephone, Gas), or original copy of latest overseas bank account or existing NRE / NRO account statement carrying overseas address, or an employer's certificate, or address proof of the blood relative (spouse, father, mother, sister, brother, and child) with whom you are staying along with the supporting proof of relationship (Passport, PAN Card, Driving License, Voter Identity Card, Aadhaar Card, Marriage Certificate, Birth Certificate).

Proof of permanent address: You can provide any one of the these--- relevant pages of the passport, driving license, Voter Identity Card, Aadhaar Letter/Card, NREGA Job Card.

Axis Bank: You have to provide the following for a prime NRI account-- apart from the copy of a valid Indian passport, you also have to give valid proof of NRI status. For the same, you have to provide one of the mentioned proofs-employment visas, resident visa, student visa, dependent visa copy or work visa, or permit (the visa could be either in the passport, or submitted separately or e-visa).


ICICI Bank: The documents received at Mumbai will be scrutinized. The turn-around time (TAT) for the processing is three days. In about five or seven days, the account will be opened, provided the documents given are in order and meet the requirements. You will be informed about the same via email that you have registered with the bank. You can follow up on the same on their 24-hour helpline available on their website.

SBI Bank: The application process has been divided into parts. You have to fill in the customer information section, in which you have to fill in personal details first. After this, you have to save the form. At this stage, an NRI Customer Reference Number (NCRN) will be generated which needs to be noted. You will require this to edit the form later. Following this, fill in the additional details page after filling personal details page. There will be an email with the NCRN sent to the email address provided by you.

In the account information section, you have to mention the account page first and enter your NCRN to link your customer information section.

After this page is filled and saved, an NRI Account Reference Number (NARN) will be available. You need to note this down for further use. You have to fill in the verification page after you fill the account page.

You will receive an email with the NARN, and further steps will be mentioned in the same. You can follow the procedure on the site in the section provided for steps, after filling the online form. Follow the steps, and before dispatching the documents to the SBI India office, you can upload your documents online for preliminary verification. The verification will be communicated by email. You can follow the necessary corrections, if any, before sending it to the SBI India office. It takes about three or four days to get the account activated.

Axis Bank: To open an NRI account, you can either visit the nearest bank branch while you are in India. But if you are abroad, you can do it online and register the details for the bank to get back to a representative to follow up on the account opening procedure. You can choose between an NRE or an NRO account, depending on your financial requirements. The three steps should be completed within 72 hours of completing the Aadhaar based OTP verification.

NRE Account vs NRO account

NRE or an NRI account are different kinds of account options available for you, and they serve two different purposes. The difference between them is as follows.

NRE account: A Non-Resident External (NRE) account comes in handy when you are working in another country, and you need to send money home for your family and folks regularly. Other than remittances to India, you can also deposit foreign currencies in the account during your visits. You can open the account after providing adequate proof that you are an NRI. Only the account holder has the right to open an account in his or her name. This account type doesn't give anyone else the power of attorney to open the account on another's behalf.

Other kinds of transfers that can be credited to your account include interests earned on funds, sale of FDI, and dividends and interests from other assets. The withdrawals from this type of account include remittances outside India, payment for local investments., transfer to other NRE accounts, purchase of immovable properties, to name a few. More than two persons can jointly own an NRE account, provided they are of Indian origin. Once one of the joint owners becomes a resident of India, their name must be deleted from the list of account holders. Or the account can also be converted into a resident Indian account.

NRO Account: A Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) Savings account is an account opened by an Indian to manage funds in India. The interest earned in this account is taxable, unlike NRE funds. While you can repatriate funds of interest, the principal amount has set limits for repatriation. In the case of an NRO account, it can be jointly owned by an NRI and resident Indian, again unlike NRE that can be jointly owned only by NRIs. The NRO account is not prone to risk and in both cases, income from outside Indian can be parked in them. However, the income from India can be deposited in the NRO account only. The latter is also best for INR withdrawal and deposit, as against NRE, which is subjected to exchange rate fluctuations.

The best account for you can be decided by the source and origin of the income. With the distinctions between the two types of accounts explained above, you can conclude which is the best for you based on the purpose.

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