A friend of mine is moving from US to India - A friend of mine is moving from US to India - Ask the Expert - Fee Only Investment Advisers

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A friend of mine is moving from US to India

Wanted to know the following:

Impact on brokerage accounts opened in US (when the person was NRI ) after the NRI moves back to India and becomes resident and whether after converting to resident from NRI, can he buy further more stocks, ETFs, etc. in that US brokerage account (that he had opened when he was in US as NRI) with the money he has in US bank account (which he has from the time when he was NRI).

Section 6(4) of FEMA permits a person resident in India to hold, own, transfer or invest in foreign currency, foreign security or any immovable property situated outside India if such an asset was acquired, held or owned by such person when he was resident outside India.

The RBI, vide its circular dated 09.01.2014 has also clarified that, “A person resident in India may freely utilise all their eligible assets abroad as well as income on such assets or sale proceeds thereof received after their return to India for making any payments or to make any fresh investments abroad without approval of Reserve Bank, provided the cost of such investments and/ or any subsequent payments received therefor are met exclusively out of funds forming part of eligible assets held by them and the transaction is not in contravention to extant FEMA provisions”.

Hence, making fresh investments purely from funds lying in US is permissible. However, once he becomes,  a resident and ordinarily resident under Income tax, he will have to report his assets abroad and also offer the income from these assets (subject to DTAA provisions).


The objective of this analysis is to understand the motivations behind a relocation specifically of non-resident Indians, from abroad back to India. A non-goal, would be to argue for a move to India. The underlining assumptions are, that living abroad has material comforts and access to more money, making the move back resistance-full.

More than 500 NRI’s (Non Resident Indians) responding to the survey on “Return To India”, while, 90 Already Returned Indians obliged. I got responses from all over the world, but mostly from San Francisco Bay Area. The Returned Indians spent an average of 7.5 years abroad before moving back.