Why Do NRIs Must Close or Convert Their Indian Bank Accounts?

When your residential status changes to a non-resident, many things change for you; for example, from your bank accounts to property holdings, a different set of rules start administering your personal finances. There’s generally so much to deal with closing the bank accounts, which is the last thing on anybody’s list.

Once you move to a new country, you open new accounts with local banks. Your Indian accounts are left gathering dust.

You look for solutions for closing the account on the Bank’s website, but it’s no use. You then speak to your branch for getting that account closed. That is of no help either. You would lastly be asked to convert those accounts into NRO/NRE accounts.

Let’s see how to make the process simpler and effective.

If you are wondering whether you need to close your bank account when you leave the country, the answer is no. You can live in one country and continue operating a bank account in India. You will be required to inform the Bank of a change in your residence, after which the Bank will suggest you convert the account from INR to NRO/NRE/SNRR.

Suppose you choose to continue operating a regular savings/current account whilst living outside the country. In that case, you will violate the FEMA laws of the RBI wants to track all the accounts where the money is being repatriated.

The best strategy is to close that account if your account is still lying unused or inactive back to your domestic country. There’re cost associated issues with maintaining a bank account and compliance issues in filing taxes with maintaining several accounts, culminating in streamlining your bank accounts.

As you leave your country, you may think if you can close your bank account online. Well, there’s no straight answer to the question. However, with the Covid-19 pandemic, a few banks have embraced digital communications. Therefore, it is clear that digital KYC verification can be used for account opening and upgradation, and it is working equally well for account closure.

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