Legal Status of NRIs and PIOs

For legal purposes, a Non Resident Indian (NRI) is defined as a citizen of India, who stays overseas for employment, business, government service or other specified purposes with intention to return to homeland after an indefinite period.
Person of Indian Origin (PIO) is a status given to foreign citizens (other than citizens of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Nepal or Bhutan) who once held an Indian passport or whose father or paternal grandfather was a citizen of India by virtue of the Constitution of India or the Citizenship Act, 1955
Non-resident foreign citizens of Indian origin (PIOs) are treated at par with NRIs and persons belonging to both categories are eligible to freely purchase immovable residential and commercial property in India.

Reserve Bank of India guidelines also allow NRIs to acquire or dispose of properties in India by way of gift from or to a relative who may be an Indian citizen or a Person of Indian Origin (PIO) whether resident in India or not.

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