One of the first prerequisites for an Indian citizen is to have a PAN Card. A PAN Card or a Permanent Account Number is a 10-digit alphanumeric unique code allotted to each individual in India by the Income Tax Department. It helps the individual to open a bank account, invest, and pay taxes. PAN Card is not just for Indian citizens but for non-resident Indians (NRIs) and foreign citizens of Indian origin who wish to participate in the Indian growth story by investing in it. Read to find out more about PAN cards for NRIs and how to apply for them.
Why is PAN Card necessary for NRIs?
It’s not mandatory for NRIs to have a PAN Card. However, if they wish to do any of the following in India, a PAN Card is necessary.
- Open a bank account, including NRE, NRO, and FCNR accounts.
- Applying for a passport or visa.
- Receive a salary in India that is taxable.
- Opening a demat account.
- Investing in shares and mutual funds.
- Applying for a loan.
- Purchasing fixed assets.
- Receive income in the form of rent, dividends, or interest.
- To file income tax returns in India.
Eligibility Criteria to Apply for a PAN Card
Not all NRIs are eligible to apply for a PAN Card in India. Following are the eligibility criteria for NRIs to apply for PAN cards in India.
- NRIs earn income that is taxable in India.
- The ones who wish to participate in the Indian stock markets through shares and mutual funds.
- Wants to buy a property in India.
- NRIs who want to do any kind of economic transaction in India.
How can NRIs apply for PAN Cards?
The income tax department of India has authorized UTI Infrastructure Technology and Services Limited (UTIITSL) and National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) to issue PAN Cards to NRIs. NSDL and UTIITSL allow you to apply for a PAN Card through online and offline processes. Let's see the detailed procedure for both.
To apply for a PAN Card online for NRIs or as foreign citizen, follow the steps below.
- If you are an Indian citizen, you must complete the online application by filling out 49A. You will find this on the NSDL or UTITSL website. You can check it here : https://www.pan.utiitsl.com/PAN/newAA.html
- Then, you will have to pay the application fee.
- Next, upload the supporting documents like Aadhar and submit your application.
- Upon submitting, you will get an acknowledgement number. You can use this number to track the application status. You will receive your PAN Card within 15-20 days from the date of application.
If you cannot apply for a PAN Card online, you can also apply offline. The following steps will guide you through the offline application process.
- Visit the nearest IT PAN service centre, NSDL, or UTITSL.
- Ask for the relevant application form (49A) and fill the form in black ink and in block letters. Make sure to give the correct information.
- Then attach the photos, and submit photocopies of all necessary supporting documents.
- Submit the form at the facility and pay the fee.
- Upon submitting, you will receive an acknowledgement slip with an acknowledgement number. You can use this to track your application online on the NSDL or UTITSL website. You will receive your PAN Card within 15-20 days from the date of application.
Applying for e-PAN Card
You can also apply for e-PAN Card. However, before applying, you have to meet the following criteria.
- It should be your first PAN Card application.
- You have an Aadhar number which is linked to your mobile number.
- You have the date of birth printed on the Aadhar.
- You’re not a minor.
If you meet the above criteria, you can apply for e-PAN Card.
Documents required to apply for PAN Card for NRIs
Following are the documents required by NRIs to apply for a PAN Card in India.
- Passport size photographs
- Passport or other Indian identification proof like Aadhar or Voter ID
- Address proof – Passport, bank account statement or NRE bank account statement with at least two transactions in the last six months
- Copy of Person of Indian Origin (PIO) or Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card
Benefits of PAN Card for NRIs
A PAN Card has more benefits than just acting as proof of identity. Following are some of the benefits of a PAN Card for NRIs.
- With a PAN, all KYC procedures become hassle-free.
- You can deposit money in your Indian accounts beyond certain limits showing your PAN Card as proof.
- Investing in mutual funds and shares becomes easy with a PAN Card.
- PAN Card makes buying a car, land or any other movable and immovable property simple.
PAN Card for Foreign Citizens
If you are a foreign citizen working in India, it is mandatory that you have a PAN Card. To apply for a PAN Card, you will have to fill out and submit form 49AA. While submitting form 49AA, you have to submit a copy of your foreign passport, a copy of the appointment letter from the Indian firm, and proof of the fee paid to apply for a PAN Card.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to apply for a PAN Card for NRI?
If you are an Indian citizen living abroad and are providing an Indian address for communication, then you will have to pay Rs 110 plus GST to apply for a PAN Card. In contrast, if you are providing a foreign address for communication, you will have to pay Rs 1,020, including the application fee, tax, and postage. The payment is to be made using a debit card, credit card, r through net banking. If you are paying offline, then you can also pay using a demand draft.
How long does it take to get a PAN Card for NRI?
It usually takes around 15 days from the date of application to get the PAN Card at the address provided by you.
Is it mandatory for NRI to have a PAN Card?
No, it is not mandatory for NRIs to have a PAN Card. However, if they are earning income in India and want to participate in any of the economic transactions in the country, like purchasing assets or opening a bank account, a PAN Card is mandatory.
Do I need to be physically present in India to apply for an NRI PAN card?
No, you don't have to be physically present in India to apply for an NRI PAN Card. You can apply for it online. Moreover, you need not have a permanent address in India to apply for NRI PAN Card. You can apply for it using a foreign address.
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