In short, the answer is “YES”. Please read on for details…
Q.1. Can foreign tourists open a bank account in India during their short visit?
A. Yes. Foreign tourists during their short visit to India can open a Non-Resident (Ordinary) Rupee (NRO) account (Current / Savings) with any Authorised Dealer bank dealing in foreign exchange. Such account can be opened up to a maximum period of 6 months.
Q.2 What are the documents required for opening such accounts?
A. Passports and other valid identification proofs are required for opening the accounts. Authorised Dealer banks are also required to follow the Know Your Customer norms while opening of the accounts.
Q.3. What credits can be made to such accounts?
A. Funds remitted from outside India through banking channel or those obtained by sale of foreign exchange brought by the tourists to India can be credited to the NRO account.
Q 4. Can the NRO account be used for making local payments?
A. Yes. Tourists can freely make local payments through the NRO account. All payments to residents exceeding INR 50,000 can be made only by means of cheques / pay orders / demand drafts.
Q.5. Can foreign tourists repatriate the balance held in their NRO account at the time of departure from India?
A. Authorised Dealer banks have been allowed to convert the balance in the account for payment to the account holder at the time of departure from India into foreign currency, provided the account has been maintained for a period not exceeding six months and the account has not been credited with any local funds, other than interest accrued thereon.
Q.6. What can be done to repatriate the proceeds of an account that has been maintained for more than six months?
A. In such cases, applications for repatriation of balance may be made on plain paper to the Foreign Exchange Department of the Regional Office concerned of the Reserve Bank through the Authorised Dealer bank maintaining the account.
Q.7.Can foreign nationals resident in India open resident account ?
A. Yes. Foreign nationals resident in India can open and maintain a resident Rupee account in India in terms of Notification No.5/2000-RB dated May 3, 2000 viz., Foreign Exchange Management (Deposit) Regulations, 2000, as amended from time to time.
Q.8. Can AD Category-I banks remit proceeds of such accounts on closure?
A. Yes. But AD Category-I banks should ensure that the funds to be repatriated outside India were either received from abroad or they are repatriable in nature or permissible in terms of RBI notification No. FEMA 13/2000 dated 3rd May 2000, as amended from time to time.