An NRI would have assets and bank accounts abroad. Income generated from these assets would be in a foreign currency. A returning NRI has the option of bringing the funds to India by opening a Resident Foreign Currency (RFC) account with a bank here.
The funds in a RFC account are held in foreign currency and can be transferred to NRE/FCNR accounts if the person returns abroad.
An RFC account can be opened by a person ‘resident in India’ with foreign exchange received as retiral proceeds from employer abroad or by converting assets acquired when he was a NRI or inherited from or gifted by a person resident outside India and repatriated to India.
An account can also be opened out of foreign exchange received by resident Indian as proceeds of LIC claims/ maturity/surrendered value settled in forex.
An RFC account opening form must be filled in order to open a RFC account with the authorised bank in India. Funds can be brought from the sources mentioned above or from balances in the NRE or FCNR accounts.
Self attested photocopies of the following documents need to be submitted by ex-NRIs along with duly filled RFC account opening form:
• Current passport
• Expired work permit/ employment visa
• Current Indian address proof from the permitted address proof documents
In case of a PIO, copies of the following documents may be required additionally:
• PIO or OCI card or
• Past Indian passport of self / spouse / parent / grandparent along with a self-declaration about Indian origin or
• Self-declaration for PIO in the prescribed form.
• Indian work visa or resident visa
Point to note
1. An RFC account can be opened with a joint holder who is a resident Indian on a ‘former or survivor’ basis.
2. There is no restriction on when one can open a RFC account so long as one meets the eligibility criteria mentioned above.
(The content on this page is courtesy Centre for Investment Education and Learning (CIEL). Contributions by Girija Gadre, Arti Bhargava and Labdhi Mehta.)