Common NRI PAN Card Questions

by | Nov 2, 2022 | Indian Law, Indian Law Weekly Round-Up, NRI Legal Services, PAN, Taxation

This section provides information for common questions and answers as an NRI or as an NRI who also holds an OCI in relation to PAN application.

Can OCI card holder apply for PAN card in India?

The first of our NRI PAN Card common questions involves an  “Overseas Citizen of India” – OCI.

OCI PAN - NRI PAN - Common QA

Yes you can apply for a NRI PAN Card in India or from abroad using either a representative or company that can assist in their PAN card application OR the OCI holder can apply themselves directly online using one of the two official designated companies as set out by the Income Tax Department Government Of India;

Protean eGov Technologies OR UTIITSL.

If you are applying for yourself, the online application process is self directed in accordance with the guidelines set out. You would need to select between one of the two portals and follow due process.

For example – You are a US citizen who is Indian by origin but resides in the US, you would be a Non Resident Indian (NRI). If you also have OCI status that means you do not require a visa to travel/live within Indian territory each time you travel. You  would apply for a PAN Card as an NRI (ie; PAN Card for NRI – form 49AA online).

Is an NRI and OCI holder the same?

In contrast an OCI holder or OCI status is different from a standalone NRI status in that, the OCI status allows for a person of Indian Origin to travel/live within Indian territory for an indefinite period of time which means the OCI holder does not need a visa each time they go to Indian territory.

Subsequently, an OCI holder can be an NRI but an NRI is not automatically an OCI holder unless they obtain OCI status ie: the OCI card.

Whereas each time an NRI (non OCI holder) visits Indian territory they would require a valid Indian visa.

In both instances where you wish to apply for a PAN Card it should be obtained using Form 49AA online Or through a facilitator (ie; PAN Card would be applied for as an “NRI.”

PAN Card for OCI citizens, what does it mean?

You can apply for PAN card as an OCI holder.

The PAN Card application process for an “OCI citizen” or “OCI holder” would be the same as NRI PAN Card process.  

OCI stands for Overseas Citizen Of India.

Subsequently, an “OCI status” does not automatically provide an individual with an Indian passport. The OCI status allows for a person of Indian Origin (Non Indian Passport Holder) NRI to travel/live within Indian territory for an indefinite period of time. Which means you do not need a visa each time you visit Indian territory.

Further, an OCI holder can apply for their PAN card using either a representative or company OR the OCI holder can apply themselves online using the official designated companies as set out by the Income Tax Department Government Of India; Protean eGov Technologies OR UTIITSL. The OCI holder would need to apply as an NRI using Form 49AA. 

An OCI holder is still an NRI.

Can a NRI apply for PAN Card?

In the same manner, yes, an NRI (Non Resident Indian) can apply for a PAN card in the following ways; using either a representative or company from within or outside of India OR the NRI can apply themselves directly online using the official designated companies as set out by the Income Tax Department Government Of India; Protean eGov Technologies OR UTIITSL. The NRI would need to apply for PAN card using Form 49AA.

Is PAN Card different for NRI?

A PAN card (Permanent account number) is not different for an NRI.

However, an NRI applicant is required to use only Form 49AA when applying for their PAN card.

Form 49AA associates that the individual applying is an NRI along with their supporting documents. Therefore it is important that before applying you ensure that you or your representative uses the correct Form for your PAN Card application as mistakes can be made which can then mean delays and cumbersome process thereafter.

Form 49AA would also apply to an NRI OCI holder.

Under what circumstances would I need a PAN as an NRI, OCI? Below is a common example of when PAN would be required.


Any transaction involving acquisition or transfer of immovable property under these regulations shall be undertaken:
(a) through banking channels in India;
(b) subject to payment of applicable taxes and other duties/levies in India


FEM (ACQUISITION AND TRANSFER OF IMMOVABLE PROPERTY IN INDIA) REGULATIONS, 2018
INCOME TAX DEPARTMENT GOVERNMENT OF INDIA

As described in (a) and (b) of the above, PAN would be required in both instances.

To summarize, NRI, OCI or Foreign Citizen, ie; a person of Indian origin and who is not a resident of India would apply for PAN using 49AA. As per section 6 of the Income-tax Act, an individual is said to be non-resident in India if he is not a resident in India and an individual is deemed to be resident in India in any previous year if he satisfies any of the following conditions:

 1.  If he is in India for a period of 182 days or more during the previous year; or

 2.  If he is in India for a period of 60 days or more during the previous year and 365 days or more during 4 years immediately preceding the previous year.

NRI PAN E-GUIDE
NRI PAN E-GUIDE

What documents are required for NRI PAN Card?

An NRI applicant would need to provide a Proof of Identity (POI) and a Proof of Address (POA).

The acceptable documents for an NRI’s POI AND POA are provided in the documents list section of Protean eGov or UTIITSL.

Commonly as per the acceptable documents list on Protean eGov portal, our clients have successfully submitted; a Copy of their Passport (POI) and a copy of a bank statement (POA) when applying for PAN card or a copy of OCI card for POA.

How long does it take to get a PAN Card for an NRI?

It can take between 10-15 days once your PAN Card application has been received by your selected provider in India. How long does it actually take to obtain NRI PAN?

From the time the application has been submitted which depends on the route the NRI has taken in applying for their PAN Card, as per the official guidelines set out, it can take between 10-15 days for the PAN card to be processed and sent out to the applicant.

Where an applicant has opted for a “physical” PAN card the PAN card will be delivered to the primary correspondence address provided on your application form.

The time frame (10-15 days) is approximate not including any unforeseen delays such as postal delays, force de majeure or any issues that may arise due to applicant error.

However, the Protean eGov portal generally has delivered within the recommended timeframe for our clients.

Where an applicant has opted for an E-PAN card (Electronic Pard Card) the processing time remains between 10-15 days but the applicant would receive their E-PAN via their primary email address provided on the application. The E-PAN once received is ready to use.

Related Services 

Related Links 

We can also assist with the following NRI Services in London:

  • Illegal occupation of property in India
  • Family Settlements and partition of NRI Indian property
  • Ancestral real estate and inheritance advisory under Indian law
  • NRI Property Transfer
  • Possession of NRI Property
  • Recovery of NRI money under Indian Law
  • NRI Succession Certificate in India
  • Injunction against alienation of NRI property in India
  • Developer Claims under the Consumer Protection Act in India
  • NRI property disputes
  • Visas to India
  • Indian Power of Attorney
  • Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI)
  • Inter-Country Adoption
  • Divorce proceedings under Indian Law for parties settled abroad

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