Guide for Canadians Buying Property in India

Indian Places

Ready to take the leap into property ownership in India? Whether you're an ex-pat or a long-time resident, buying a real estate property in India can be an exciting venture. Let's get started with everything you need to know before making your first purchase.

Buying property in India is an exciting journey, with a wide range of options and potential. From rural idylls to bustling cities, India offers many opportunities to purchase residential or commercial land, at prices that are often surprisingly affordable. Navigating the regulations and understanding cultural norms can be challenging, but doing so successfully will lead to a wonderful investment or home that you can cherish for years to come. The Indian real estate market is immensely rewarding and full of possibilities - no matter what type of property you’re looking for, there’s sure to be something perfect waiting!

Best Places to Buy Property in India

India is one of the most sought-after countries for buying property. The country caters to a wide range of needs and budget levels, making it a great option for everyone looking to buy a property. Here are some of the best places to buy property in India:

Can a Non-Resident Indian (NRI) Buy Property in India?

Absolutely, a Non-Resident Indian is permitted to purchase real estate in India, such as residential land and flats to homes; however, agricultural land, plantation areas, or farmhouses cannot be acquired. An NRI is defined as someone of Indian citizenship residing outside the country's borders.

An NRI has the right to transfer ownership of their property to a variety of people, which includes:

  • Another NRI.
  • An individual living outside India who is of Indian origin.
  • Any Indian citizen located within India.

Indian citizens that are permanent residents of India may purchase agricultural land, plantation property, or farmhouses. For Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) who inherit any of these kinds of properties, it must be transferred to a permanent resident Indian citizen by law.

Documents Required for NRI to Buy Property in India

If you're an NRI looking to purchase a property in India, here's what documents are typically required:

  • For non-Indian passport holders, proof of NRI status is required, including a PIO or OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) card.
  • Permanent Account Number (PAN) Card
  • Power of Attorney - If you're not completing the purchase yourself
  • A valid proof of address and identity will be necessary when you finalize the sale of the property.

Can an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Buy Property in India?

An OCI cardholder can acquire property in India as long as it does not include agricultural land, plantation property, or farmhouse. A gift of real estate from an Indian resident relative is also allowed for the OCI Cardholder - similarly to those with NRI status. As such, when considering buying land in India both the OCI and NRI are treated comparably.

The Foreign Exchange Management Act permits an OCI or any individual living abroad to possess, own and transfer properties they owned while a resident in India or those inherited from Resident Indians.

Process for Buying Property in India as an OCI

An OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) can buy or be gifted real estate in India. Payment for the property is to be done through Indian banking channels and may include different kinds of taxes, duties, and levies depending on location. Funds can come from a bank transfer or an NRI account owned by the OCI. Foreign currency purchases and traveler's cheques are not allowed as payment methods. Additionally, there’s also the possibility of getting home loans with any Indian banks that provide services to NRIs; while they are considered foreign nationals under the law, their rights remain similar when compared to NRIs at most financial institutions like banks.

Documents Required for OCIs to Buy Property in India

To purchase a property in India, an OCI cardholder is required to present the following documents:1

  1. OCI Card
  2. PAN card
  3. Passport and address verification such as utility bills
  4. Work permit or employment contract
  5. Recent income tax forms and salary slips
  6. Passport-sized photo
  7. Bank statement for qualifying NRI accounts.

 If you're located outside of India when the transaction is made, a Power of Attorney may be necessary.

Can a Person of Indian Origin (PIO) Buy Property in India?

The Person of Indian Origin (PIO) card is being transformed into the Overseas Citizen of India card, so everyone should convert their PIO cards to an OCI as soon as possible before December 31st, 2023. From now on, having an OCI will be a necessity for those with Indian background who want to travel and purchase property in India.2

Can Canadian Citizens Buy a Property in India?

Yes, Canadians who are residing in India may purchase immovable property in the country, however they must obtain approvals and satisfy any relevant requirements that have been imposed by governmental authorities such as State Governments. Although there are several restrictions on areas such as agricultural land, plantation properties and farmhouses imposed by the Government of India's Ministry of External Affairs that need to be adhered to prior purchasing any assets.

Why Buy Property in India as a Canadian?

Buying property in India is a wise decision for many reasons. Here are some of the top reasons to consider purchasing real estate in India:

1. Economic Stability:

India has a stable economy and is one of the largest emerging markets in the world, making it an ideal place to invest. The property market in India is expected to continue to grow and appreciate over the coming years, making it a great investment for those looking for long-term growth.7

2. Low Cost of Living:

India has one of the lowest costs of living in the world, making it an attractive option for those looking for a place to call home. The cost of living in India is lower than in many other countries, and you can get great value for money when buying property in India.6

3. Growing Population:

With a population of over 1.3 billion people, India is one of the most populous countries in the world. As India’s population continues to grow, so too does the demand for property. This means potential buyers can be confident of making a good return on their investment.

4. Infrastructure Development:

India has been investing heavily in infrastructure and is now home to some of the world’s most modern cities. This makes India an attractive option for those looking to buy property in the country, as they can enjoy the benefits of new roads and transportation networks.

Overall, India is an attractive option for those looking to buy property. With its economic stability, low cost of living, growing population, and infrastructure development, it is a great place to invest and make a good return on your investment.

Requirements for Purchasing Property in India as a Canadian

Following are the documents required for purchasing property in India as a Canadian:

  • Passport and/or OCI card: Non-Resident Indians are required to present their Indian passport. However, if one is a holder of a foreign passport, they can still purchase property in India with the aid of either an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card or Person of Indian Origin (PIO) Card.
  • PAN Card: This is mandatory for property transactions.
  • Power of Attorney: Non-Resident Indians are required to provide a legally binding and registered power of attorney, notarized if they cannot be in India for the purchase transaction. This specific POA must serve as authorization for executing property transactions specifically; it is not a general legal instrument.

Best Places to Buy Property in India

India is one of the most sought-after countries for buying property. The country caters to a wide range of needs and budget levels, making it a great option for everyone looking to buy a property. Here are some of the best places to buy property in India:

Mumbai

Mumbai

Mumbai is another great place to buy property in India. Mumbai is known as the economic capital of India and also has a thriving cultural scene. It is home to some of the country’s most iconic landmarks, such as the Gateway of India. Property prices in Mumbai are some of the highest in the country, but there are still some attractive deals to be found³.

Delhi

Delhi is the capital of India and one of its most populous cities. Delhi has a vibrant economy and is a hub for corporate and business activity. It also offers plenty of cultural attractions, making it an ideal place to invest in property. Property prices in Delhi are generally higher than in other parts of the country.

Delhi
Goa

Goa

Goa is an increasingly popular place for property investments. This picturesque coastal state is known for its stunning beaches, rich heritage, and lively nightlife. Goa also offers an excellent investment opportunity for buyers looking to benefit from its booming tourism industry. Property prices in Goa are generally more affordable than in other cities, making it a great option for budget-minded buyers..

These are some of the best places to buy property in India. Investing in real estate is a great way to generate long-term returns and build wealth.


Tax Implications for Canadians Buying Property in India

When you purchase a property in India, various local taxes such as stamp duty, registration fees and legal costs will be your responsibility.4 Additionally, if the transaction is made through a realtor, then their fee must also be factored into the cost of buying the property.

If you remain an NRI while buying a property in India, it's likely that the only income tax required is on income earned within India5.

If you become a tax resident in India, your obligation to pay taxes changes. It is advisable that professional advice be taken on how to ensure all necessary tax requirements are met both in India and the country of residence. This will guarantee compliance with relevant taxing laws.

If you are looking to purchase a property in India for either residential or investment purposes, use this guide as your initial resource to become familiar with the necessary steps.

Buying Property in India - Step-by-Step Guide

When buying property in India as a Canadian, it is important to take the following steps.

  • First, engage a local solicitor and notary to handle your transaction.
  • Find a realtor in the area you are looking to buy a property who can assist you with your search.
  • Additionally, if you will not be present in India for the transaction, make sure to arrange power of attorney for your representative.
  • Once you have found a property and agreed on the sale price, your solicitor will complete all due diligence checks and create a sale agreement which needs to be signed either in person or via your representative.
  • Finally, once all documents and payments have been finalized, it is necessary to register the property purchase with the local authorities.

How to Pay for Property Purchases in India as a Canadian?

Transactions for an immovable property must be processed digitally via Indian banking channels, which include payment of all relevant taxes and levies. Additionally, NRIs/ OCIs can also utilize their NRE/ FCNR(B)/ NRO accounts to make these payments. Please note that neither travelers' cheques nor foreign currency notes are acceptable forms of payment in this case.8 However, when buying a property in India, you'll need to convert CAD into INR to pay for property purchase in India as a Canadian.

How to Get the Best Exchange Rate when Buying Property in India as a Canadian?

When buying property, understanding the currency exchange rate between two countries is vital. It can be difficult to comprehend foreign exchange rates when converting one currency for another - especially with constant fluctuations! To get the most advantageous conversion rate on purchasing a property, research and compare providers' exchange rates which will help you avoid any hidden fees and secure the optimum rate while buying real estate in India as a Canadian. By doing your due diligence, you can save a significant amount of money in the long run.

What Ways can be Used by Canadians to Buy Property in India?

When it comes to purchasing property in India, Canadians have two main options – using a bank or a money transfer service provider.

  • Banks are the traditional way used for transferring money. However, they can incur high charges and come with restrictions when making international transactions, including delays.
  • On the other hand, using a foreign exchange service provider offers an efficient and cost-effective solution. It is more secure since payments are guaranteed and there are no hidden costs or fees. Furthermore, it simplifies the entire process from start to finish and ensures that payments remain safe and secure throughout the entire transaction.

Can I Use my Bank to Convert Canadian Dollars to INR?

Yes, Banks can be used when it comes to converting Canadian Dollars into Indian Rupees (CAD/INR). However, it is not the best choice to use bank for currency conversion and money transfer when buying property in India, such as:

  • Unfortunately, the exchange rates they provide are not very competitive.
  • Banks usually charge higher transaction fees.
  • Currency exchange rates can lead to potential delays.
  • Additionally, it is not always possible to easily track transfers or receive immediate funds. 
     
MTFX - the hassle-free way to transfer money for your foreign property purchase

 

Why MTFX is the Perfect Option for International Money Transfers?

MTFX is the perfect choice for Canadians looking to make international money transfers, as it offers:

  • Offers competitive exchange rates.
  • Secure and cost-effective solution.
  • Quick transfer within 1-2 days.
  • Transactions remain safe from potential delays.
  • No hidden costs or fees.
  • 24/7 customer service support.

Open an account today to enjoy simple, secure, and cost-effective international payments to buy property in India with MTFX.

Frequently Asked Questions 
 

What types of immovable property can NRIs/PIOs buy?

NRIs and PIOs can purchase a variety of residential or commercial property in India, as long as they adhere to the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA)8 regulations. Nonetheless, acquiring agricultural land, plantations and related properties will necessitate added authorizations granted on an individual basis.

Is buying property in India a good investment?

According to a report, 77% of the total assets of a typical Indian household are in real estate. Since the demand for real estate is always on the higher side, real estate makes for a great investment option in India. Buying a new home is always a dream come true for Indian households.

Popular related articles;

 Sources

  1. DBS Guide for OCI
  2. POI
  3. Property Prices
  4. Global Property Guide
  5. Tax Summaries
  6. Cost of Living
  7. Economy
  8. RBI

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