Guidelines for NRIs (Non-Resident Indians) Investing through Indian Stock Brokers

How NRI can open a Demat account in India?

How to open nri demat account in india online


NRIs, or Non-Resident Indians, are individuals of Indian nationality or origin residing outside India. They are eligible to invest in the Indian stock market under the regulations laid out by the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

In this article, we will discuss the comprehensive guide on how NRIs can open a demat account and the important guidelines they need to follow while investing through Indian stock brokers.

Understanding Demat Accounts for NRIs

A demat account, or dematerialized account, is a digital repository where securities such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and government securities are held in electronic format. This account eliminates the need for physical share certificates by converting them into electronic form. For NRIs (Non-Resident Indians), having a demat account is essential for investing in the Indian stock market.

Significance of Demat Accounts

Demat accounts have revolutionized the trading and settlement process by providing numerous benefits:

  1. Convenience: Holding securities in electronic format makes it easy to buy, sell, and transfer shares without the hassle of physical paperwork.
  2. Safekeeping: Demat accounts eliminate the risk of loss, theft, or damage associated with physical share certificates.
  3. Faster Transactions: With demat accounts, transactions are executed swiftly and settled within a shorter timeframe.
  4. Nomination Facility: Demat accounts allow investors to nominate beneficiaries who will receive the securities in case of their demise.
  5. Portfolio Management: Investors can easily track their investments and obtain statements that provide detailed information about holdings, transactions, and valuation.

Types of Demat Accounts for NRIs

NRIs have three primary types of demat accounts available to them:

  1. Regular Demat Account: This type of account allows NRIs to hold both repatriable (money that can be taken back to the foreign country) and non-repatriable (Indian income not allowed for repatriation) investments. Regular demat accounts require an NRE (Non-Residential External) or NRO (Non-Residential Ordinary) bank account.
  2. Repatriable Demat Account: NRIs who wish to invest their foreign income in Indian securities on a repatriable basis can open this type of demat account. Repatriable demat accounts require an NRE bank account.
  3. Non-Repatriable Demat Account: NRIs investing their Indian income in Indian securities can opt for a non-repatriable demat account. This type of account requires an NRO bank account.

Each type of demat account has its own features and benefits, catering to the diverse needs and repatriation requirements of NRIs.

It is important for NRIs to carefully consider their investment goals and repatriation requirements before choosing the appropriate demat account type. Factors such as the source of funds, tax implications, and ease of repatriation should be taken into consideration to make an informed decision.

Guidelines for Opening a Demat Account as an NRI

As an NRI, opening a demat account in India involves specific steps and documentation. Here are the guidelines to consider:

Step-by-Step Guide for NRI Demat Account Opening Process:

  1. Choose a Depository Participant (DP) that offers NRI demat accounts. We have listed leading stock brokers in Indian in this post - 3 Best stock brokers in India
  2. Complete the account opening form provided by the chosen DP.
  3. Submit the required documents (passport copy, overseas address proof, proof of Indian address, PAN card, NRI status verification) along with the completed form.
  4. Undertake the in-person verification (IPV) process if applicable.
  5. Once the application is processed and approved, the NRI demat account is opened.
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Documents Required for NRI Demat Account:

  • Passport copy
  • Overseas address proof
  • Proof of Indian address
  • PAN card
  • NRI status verification

Eligibility Criteria for Opening an NRI Demat Account

To open a demat account as an NRI in India, certain eligibility requirements must be fulfilled:

  • Individuals of Indian nationality or origin qualify as NRIs.
  • Compliance with regulations set by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
  • NRIs can open different types of demat accounts based on their repatriation requirements – Repatriable (NRE), Non-Repatriable (NRO), or a combination of both.

These guidelines provide a comprehensive understanding of the process and prerequisites for NRIs seeking to invest in the Indian stock market through dematerialized securities.

Key Factors for NRIs to Consider When Choosing a Demat Account Type

When it comes to choosing a demat account type for NRIs, there are several important factors that need to be considered. These factors will help NRIs make an informed decision and select the most suitable demat account type. Here are the key factors to consider:

1. Repatriation Requirements

One of the primary factors to consider is whether repatriation of funds is required or not. NRIs who want to invest in Indian securities using funds from their foreign income should opt for a repatriable demat account. On the other hand, if repatriation is not required, they can choose a non-repatriable demat account.

2. Investment Objectives

NRIs should also evaluate their investment objectives before selecting a demat account type. If they plan to invest in the Indian stock market for short-term gains and frequent trading, a regular demat account would be suitable. However, if their goal is long-term investment and wealth creation, they can consider a repatriable or non-repatriable demat account based on their repatriation needs.

3. Tax Implications

NRIs should also consider the tax implications associated with different demat account types. Repatriable demat accounts are subject to capital gains tax in India, while non-repatriable accounts may have tax benefits under certain circumstances. Understanding the tax implications will help NRIs make an informed decision based on their tax planning requirements.

4. Ease of Operation

It is essential for NRIs to choose a demat account type that offers ease of operation and convenience. They should consider factors such as online accessibility, user-friendly interfaces, customer support services, and seamless integration with banking facilities. This will ensure a smooth investing experience and efficient management of their portfolio.

5. Brokerage Charges

Another crucial factor to consider is the brokerage charges associated with different demat account types. NRIs should compare the charges levied by different brokers and evaluate the services provided in relation to the charges. It is important to strike a balance between cost-effectiveness and quality of services.

By considering these key factors, NRIs can make an informed decision while choosing a demat account type that aligns with their investment goals, repatriation needs, tax planning requirements, and overall convenience.

Converting Physical Shares into Demat Format: Procedure for NRIs

Significance of Converting Physical Shares

Converting physical share certificates into electronic form is crucial for seamless trading and efficient portfolio management. It eliminates the risks associated with paper-based securities, such as loss, theft, or damage. Additionally, dematerialization facilitates easy monitoring and transfer of shares.

Step-by-step Process

  1. Opening a Demat Account: As an NRI investor, the first step is to open a demat account with a registered Indian depository participant (DP).
  2. Submission of Documents: Provide the necessary documents, including the share certificates you intend to dematerialize.
  3. Verification and Conversion: The DP verifies the documents and initiates the process of converting the physical shares into dematerialized form.
  4. Crediting Dematerialized Shares: Once the conversion is complete, the dematerialized shares are credited to your demat account, ready for electronic trading and management.

This streamlined process enhances accessibility and security while aligning with modern investment practices.

Transferring Money from Demat Account to Bank Account: A Guide for NRIs

Transferring funds from a demat account to a linked bank account is an essential process for NRIs investing in the Indian stock market. Here are some guidelines to follow when transferring money from a demat account to a bank account as an NRI:

1. Linking the Bank Account

Before initiating any transfer, it is crucial to link your bank account with your demat account. This can be done by providing the necessary details and completing the verification process.

2. Initiate the Transfer

Once your bank account is linked, you can initiate the transfer of funds from your demat account. This can usually be done through the online trading platform provided by your stockbroker.

3. Repatriation of Funds

NRIs may repatriate funds from their demat account back to their foreign country subject to certain guidelines. It is important to understand the rules and regulations regarding repatriation of funds, including any limits or restrictions imposed by regulatory authorities.

4. Compliance with FEMA Regulations

The transfer of funds should comply with the regulations set forth by the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). NRIs must ensure that they adhere to these regulations while transferring funds from their demat account to their bank account.

5. Tax Implications

It is essential for NRIs to consider the tax implications of transferring funds from their demat account. They should consult with a tax advisor or professional to understand any tax obligations or exemptions applicable in their specific situation.

Remember, each stockbroker may have its own specific procedures and guidelines for transferring money from a demat account to a bank account. It is advisable to familiarize yourself with these requirements and follow them accordingly.

By following these guidelines, NRIs can smoothly transfer funds from their demat accounts to their bank accounts, ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements and maximizing convenience in managing their investments.

Other Important Aspects of NRI Demat Accounts

Understanding the role and significance of DP ID (Depository Participant Identification) in a demat account

The DP ID is a crucial component in a demat account as it helps in uniquely identifying the depository participant through whom an investor holds the demat account. NRIs can locate their DP ID details by referring to their demat account statement or by contacting their depository participant.

Importance of linking Aadhaar number with a demat account for NRI investors in India

Linking the Aadhaar number with a demat account is essential for NRI investors as per regulatory requirements. This linkage facilitates seamless verification and authentication processes, ensuring compliance with the prevailing regulations. The step-by-step process to link Aadhaar with a demat account involves submitting the necessary documents and forms to the designated authorities.

Significance of adding a nominee to ensure smooth transfer of securities in case of NRI's demise

Adding a nominee to an NRI demat account holds significant importance as it ensures the seamless transfer of securities to the nominated individual in the unfortunate event of the NRI investor's demise. The process involves filling out the nominee addition form provided by the depository participant and providing all requisite details accurately.

By understanding these important aspects related to NRI demat accounts, investors can ensure compliance with regulatory norms and establish mechanisms for smooth management and transition of their investment holdings.

Demat Account Charges for NRIs: Understanding the Cost Involved

When it comes to investing through demat accounts, it is important for NRIs to understand the various charges associated with them. Here is an overview of the demat account charges for NRIs and how they are calculated:

1. Account Opening Charges

This is the fee charged by the stock broker or depository participant (DP) for opening a demat account. The charges may vary depending on the broker and can range from a few hundred rupees to a few thousand rupees.

2. Annual Maintenance Charges (AMC)

These charges are levied on an annual basis for the maintenance of the demat account. It covers services such as record keeping, account statements, and customer support. The AMC can vary from broker to broker and typically ranges from Rs. 300 to Rs. 1000.

3. Transaction Fees

This fee is charged for every transaction made through the demat account, including buying or selling securities. The transaction fees can be a fixed amount per transaction or a percentage of the transaction value. It is important to note that different brokers may have different transaction fee structures.

It is also worth noting that there may be additional NRI-specific charges for demat accounts, such as:

  • Foreign Currency Conversion Charges: If you are transferring funds from your foreign bank account to your NRI demat account, there may be currency conversion charges involved.
  • Remittance Charges: When repatriating funds from your NRI demat account back to your foreign bank account, there may be charges imposed by banks or authorities.

To make an informed decision, it is advisable to compare the demat account charges among different brokers providing services to NRIs. Consider factors such as account opening charges, AMC, and transaction fees while choosing a broker.

By understanding the cost involved in maintaining a demat account as an NRI, you can effectively plan your investments and avoid any surprises in terms of charges.

Benefits and Advantages of NRIs Investing through Demat Accounts with Indian Stock Brokers

Key benefits that NRIs can enjoy by utilizing demat accounts for their investment activities in India's thriving stock market:

  1. Direct access to a wide range of investment opportunities including stocks, mutual funds, and bonds.
  2. Online platforms that facilitate seamless portfolio management for NRIs.

By investing through Indian stock brokers, NRIs can benefit from the growth potential of the Indian securities market. The demat account provides a convenient avenue for NRIs to engage in diverse investment opportunities, enabling them to participate in the dynamic Indian economy. With direct access to a variety of financial instruments such as stocks, mutual funds, and bonds, NRIs can tailor their investment portfolios to align with their financial goals and risk preferences.

Furthermore, online platforms associated with demat accounts offer intuitive tools for portfolio management. NRIs can conveniently monitor their investments, track market trends, and execute transactions with ease. This accessibility empowers NRIs to make informed investment decisions and efficiently manage their holdings from anywhere in the world.

Overall, leveraging demat accounts with Indian stock brokers enhances the investment experience for NRIs, providing them with flexibility, accessibility, and diverse opportunities within the Indian securities market.

Dos and Don'ts for NRIs While Using Demat Accounts in India

Here are some important guidelines for NRIs to keep in mind when using demat accounts in India:


  1. Do conduct regular portfolio reviews: Regularly monitor your investments and review your portfolio to ensure it aligns with your financial goals and risk tolerance.
  2. Do keep contact information updated: Ensure that your current contact information is on record with your broker to receive important notifications and alerts regarding your demat account.
  3. Do stay informed about market trends: Stay updated with the latest market trends and investment news to make informed decisions about your holdings.
  4. Do maintain accurate records: Keep thorough records of transactions, statements, and correspondence related to your demat account for future reference.


  1. Don't share login credentials: Avoid sharing your demat account login details with anyone to prevent unauthorized access and protect your investments.
  2. Don't delay nominee updates: Promptly update the nominee details for your demat account to facilitate seamless transfer of securities in case of unforeseen circumstances.
  3. Don't ignore security measures: Adhere to recommended security practices such as enabling two-factor authentication and using secure networks for accessing your demat account.
  4. Don't engage in unauthorized trading: Refrain from participating in unauthorized or speculative trading activities that could pose financial risks.

By following these dos and don'ts, NRIs can effectively manage their demat accounts while safeguarding their investments.

NSDL vs CDSL: Comparing the Two Major Depositories for NRI Demat Accounts

When it comes to NRI demat accounts, two major depositories in India play a crucial role in maintaining these accounts – National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) and Central Depository Services Limited (CDSL). As an NRI investor, it is important to understand the differences between these two depositories to make an informed decision about which one to choose for your demat account.

Overview of NSDL and CDSL

NSDL and CDSL are both government-registered depositories that offer electronic holding and trading of securities. They facilitate the dematerialization of physical shares, making it easier for investors to hold and trade securities in electronic form.

Role in Maintaining NRI Demat Accounts

Both NSDL and CDSL provide services for NRI demat accounts, allowing NRIs to invest in Indian securities. They ensure the safekeeping of investors' securities and enable seamless transfer of shares between accounts.

Advantages of NSDL

  • NSDL has a larger market share compared to CDSL, making it more widely recognized.
  • It offers a user-friendly online platform with easy access to investment opportunities.
  • NSDL provides efficient customer service and support, ensuring a smooth experience for NRIs.

Advantages of CDSL

  • CDSL is known for its robust risk management systems, ensuring the security of investors' holdings.
  • It offers competitive pricing, making it an attractive option for cost-conscious investors.
  • CDSL provides innovative services such as e-Voting and e-Locker facilities.

When choosing between NSDL and CDSL for your NRI demat account, consider factors such as market reputation, user experience, customer service, pricing, and additional services offered. It is recommended to research and compare the features and offerings of both depositories before making a decision that aligns with your investment goals and preferences.

Remember that the choice between NSDL and CDSL ultimately depends on individual preferences, and either depository can provide reliable services for NRI investors.


  • NRIs have the opportunity to participate in India's stock market through demat accounts with Indian stock brokers.
  • Adhering to the prescribed guidelines for NRIs is crucial for a seamless and compliant investment experience.
  • Understanding the eligibility criteria, demat account types, and necessary documentation is fundamental for NRIs venturing into Indian stock market investments.
  • By following the guidelines, NRIs can navigate the intricacies of investing in Indian markets effectively and ensure compliance with regulations.

Frequently asked questions

What is an NRI Demat account in India?
An NRI Demat account electronically holds your shares and securities in India. No more paper certificates! It lets you buy, sell, and manage your Indian investments remotely.

What are the types of NRI Demat accounts (NRE & NRO)?
  • NRE Demat: For income earned outside India. Investments and profits fully repatriable (sent back home).
  • NRO Demat: For income earned within India. Limited repatriation based on RBI rules.

How can I open an NRI Demat account in India?
  • Choose a Depository Participant (DP) like a bank or broker.
  • Apply online or offline with KYC documents (PAN, proof of address, etc.).
  • Get a PIS account (through a designated bank) for NRE investments.

What documents are required to open an NRI Demat account?
Application form, passport, visa, PAN card, proof of address, bank statements, PIS approval letter (if NRE).

Can I open an NRI Demat account online?
Yes, many DPs offer online account opening for NRIs. Check individual DP websites for details.

Which is the best bank to open an NRI Demat account in India?
There's no single "best" bank, as each offers unique features and fees. Compare factors like service charges, repatriation limits, ease of use, and online features before choosing. I have given the link of fyers in above article. You can register using that link. They will guide you to opne an account.

Should I choose an NRE or NRO Demat account?
Depends on your income source and repatriation needs. If you earn outside India and want full repatriation, choose NRE. If you earn within India or prefer limited repatriation, choose NRO.

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