A Guide on How NRIs Can Invest in Mutual Funds in India

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Investing in mutual funds is a popular and effective way to achieve financial goals. India’s mutual fund industry has witnessed significant growth in recent years, and it offers a wide range of investment opportunities for residents and non-resident Indians (NRIs). This guide will explore how NRIs can invest in mutual funds in India, the regulations governing NRI investments, the types of NRI mutual funds available, and the steps to get started.

Understanding NRI Status

Before delving into the specifics of NRI mutual funds investment, it’s crucial to understand who qualifies as an NRI. An NRI is an Indian citizen residing outside India for employment, business, or other purposes that indicate an indefinite intention to stay abroad. NRIs can include persons of Indian origin (PIOs) and overseas citizens of India (OCIs).

Regulations Governing NRI Investments in Mutual Funds

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) have laid down regulations governing investments in NRI mutual funds:

  • Eligible Schemes: NRIs can invest in most mutual fund schemes, including equity, debt, and hybrid funds, subject to certain conditions.
  • Repatriation: NRIs can invest in mutual funds on a repatriable or non-repatriable basis. Repatriable investments allow NRIs to repatriate the principal amount and returns abroad, while non-repatriable investments do not permit repatriation.
  • KYC Compliance: NRIs must complete the Know Your Customer (KYC) process, which includes identity and address verification.
  • Bank Account: In India, NRIs need an NRE (Non-Resident External) or NRO (Non-Resident Ordinary) bank account to manage their mutual fund investments.
  • Taxation: NRIs are subject to tax deducted at source (TDS) on capital gains from mutual funds. The rates may vary depending on the type of NRI  mutual fund and the holding period.

Types of Mutual Funds for NRI Investments

NRIs can choose from a variety of mutual fund categories to suit their investment objectives and risk tolerance:

  • Equity Mutual Funds: These funds primarily invest in stocks, offering the potential for high returns over the long term. NRIs can opt for both growth and dividend options.
  • Debt Mutual Funds: Debt funds invest in fixed-income securities like bonds and government securities. They are relatively less volatile and provide regular income.
  • Hybrid Mutual Funds: These funds combine equity and debt investments, offering a balanced approach to portfolio diversification.
  • Index Funds and Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs): These funds aim to replicate the performance of a specific index or asset class and are known for their low expense ratios.

Steps for NRIs to Invest in Mutual Funds in India

  • Open an NRE/NRO Bank Account: If one does not already have one, open an NRE or NRO bank account in India. This account will be used for all one’s mutual fund transactions.
  • Choose Mutual Funds: Based on one’s financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment horizon, select the mutual funds one wants to invest in.
  • Fill out the Application Form: Obtain the mutual fund application form, which can be downloaded from the company’s website. Please complete it with accurate details, including one’s NRE/NRO bank account information.
  • Submit the Form: Submit the completed application form and the necessary documents to the nearest collection centre or the mutual fund company’s office.
  • KYC Compliance: Ensure the mutual fund house validates one’s KYC before investing.
  • Investment Modes: NRIs can invest in mutual funds offline (physical application form) or online via the mutual fund’s website or a registered online trading platform.
  • Fund Transfer: One should transfer the required funds that are to be invested from one’s NRE/NRO bank account to the designated bank account of the mutual fund company.
  • Track Investments: Once invested, one can track the performance of one’s mutual fund investments online through the mutual fund company’s website or the online platform one uses for investment.
  • Redemption: When one decides to redeem one’s mutual fund units, the proceeds will be credited to one’s NRE/NRO bank account.

Tax Implications for NRIs

NRIs should be aware of the tax implications when investing in mutual funds in India:

  • Capital Gains Tax: The tax rates on capital gains from mutual funds depend on the type of fund and the holding period. Short term capital gains (holding period less than three years) are taxed at regular slab rates, while long term capital gains (holding period more than three years) on equity mutual funds are tax-exempt up to a specific limit.
  • TDS: TDS applies to capital gains earned by NRIs. However, NRIs can claim tax refunds by filing income tax returns in India.


Investing in mutual funds offers NRIs a convenient and effective avenue to engage with India’s dynamic financial markets and work towards their financial aspirations. By familiarising themselves with the prevailing regulations, selecting appropriate mutual funds, and adhering to the requisite processes, NRIs can make well-informed investment choices. Furthermore, keeping abreast of tax guidelines and consulting with financial experts can enhance the efficiency of their mutual fund investments in India. 

For a seamless investment experience and access to a wide range of stock market investments, we recommend the Share India platform, which provides comprehensive support and a user-friendly interface to help NRIs navigate the Indian investment landscape effectively. 

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