Is there a difference between PAN application for an Indian National, NRI, Overseas Citizen of India, Foreign Citizen? 

Yes there is.

When applying for your PAN as an NRI, Overseas Citizen of India, Foreign Citizens, firstly you must apply using the correct form. That form is, PAN-Form 49AA.

PAN-Form 49AA is specific. It is to be used only by Individuals not being a Citizen of India/Entities incorporated outside India/Unincorporated entities formed outside India. Simply, if you are an ‘Individual’ and not a Citizen of India then this would apply to you, (assuming you are an Non Indian Citizen and requires a PAN card).

How Does It Apply To You

As stated on the application route – “Individuals not being a Citizen of India” should use Form-49AA.


Two Versions Of PAN-FORM 49AA

There are two options for Form 49AA. When applying for PAN as an NRI either one can be selected, it depends on how you’re applying. The options are; Paper version or Online version.

Firstly, paper option – when making an application in physical form.

Secondly, the electronic option – which would be used if you were applying for PAN online. Either way, if you are an NRI, Overseas Citizen of India, Foreign Citizen you must ensure that at the beginning of your application you use Form 49AA. Else your application will encounter problems.

Paper Form Versus Online Form

Between the two options, the online version, despite the general consensus that, “it is complicated to understand”, is easier to maneuver through. The online form is not completely online however. It does require you to print once completed, add the final instructions and then post to the portal for processing. 

The paper version entails 8 pages. 

In addition, the online version contains areas pre-filled from the start of the application as you would select option; PAN-Form 49AA – “Individual.” Due to this, the application process would be somewhat simpler to continue with. This eradicates any reasonable room for error.

How many sections are on the PAN-FORM 49AA

There are 17 sections (excluding the AO Code segment) to be completed by the applicant when applying as a Non Indian Citizen.

Particular Areas On The Form – Difficulties

Although the PAN application form is not as complicated as some may feel. Nonetheless there are particular areas on the application form that may be deemed as cumbersome.

Firstly, it really depends on what version of the application you decide to apply with. Paper form or Online/Paper version. We have found that a number of our clients after attempting to use the paper version found that areas were not clear to them. Therefore, seeked assistance after giving up.

Here are some areas that you may deem tedious;

  • Affixing photographs and providing subsequent signatures in the correct areas/requirements.
  • A very sticky onethe AO Code.
  • Ensuring your name matches on all documents provided. 
  • Documents to be submitted.
  • Source of Income area.

The paper version would include the above but would be a little more elaborate as per the 8 pages. 

Furthermore, when applying with the online version, you will have to go through a registration process online in order to start your application. Despite the online version of PAN-Form 49AA being comparatively easier to maneuver, some find the registration process a bit of a task. This may be due to a number of reasons, it does depend on the applicant.

The clarity of image on PAN card will depend
on the quality and clarity of photograph affixed on the form.

Thumb impression, if used, should be attested by a Notary Public or an authorized officer in respective country of residence under official seal and stamp.


Where To Obtain PAN-Form 49AA

You can obtain Form 49AA online, on either of the portal sites as well as the Income Tax Department Government of India’s site. For the physical version it can be downloaded and printed. 

The route you decide to adopt in order to obtain your PAN can nonetheless be considered well before you begin.

Our firm offers NRI PAN application services in preparation and submission using the online version of PAN-Form 49AA. We have had a 100% success rate in helping our clients obtain their PAN from abroad.

Lastly, if you are an NRI and need to start a property process in India, you may find our Power of Attorney Services helpful. Our firm can provide assistance from any country. You may be based in the USA, Canada, Australia, UK or any country and we may be able to assist.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use Form 49A instead of Form 49AA?

It depends on who is applying. If you are an Indian Citizen use Form 49A. If you are not an Indian Citizen use Form 49AA only.

Can I affix my photographs with staples?

No, your application may be rejected. Affix photographs with glue in the correct areas as instructed to do so on the form.

Do I have to provide a thumb impression as well as a signature?

No, where you are able to provide your signatures in the designated areas, do so. If you are unable to then provide thumb impression and follow the process thereon.

Can I upload my supporting documents online for Form 49AA?

At present this option is not available unless updated by ITD.GOV.IN. You will need to post across your supporting documents

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
  • NRI PAN  Card
  • Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI)
  • Inter-Country Adoption
  • Divorce proceedings under Indian Law for parties settled abroad

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