Know about NRIs linking Aadhaar to Bank accounts in India

As per the amendment in PMLA rules by the Government, all bank accounts should be linked with Aadhaar before 31st Mar 2018; failing which the accounts will become inoperative till the time the Aadhaar number is submitted and linked to the accounts.

So, what about NRIs who are not having Aadhaar number?

I am getting calls from NRIs seeking an answer to the above question. This can be answered in two parts

a) Should NRI obtain Aadhaar? As per the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, only a resident who has resided in India for a period or periods amounting in all to 182 or more in the 12 months immediately preceding the date of application for enrolment is eligible.

The application for Aadhaar asks a question ‘are you residing in India for more than 182 days?’ and if it is no, then you are not eligible to obtain Aaddhar.

If Aadhaar can’t be obtained by NRIs, then how can they link it to the bank account?

b) Can NRIs hold Savings Bank account in India?

As per the guidelines issued by Reserve Bank of India, the individuals who become Non-Residents, have to convert their regular Savings Bank account to Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) account. This means NRIs are not allowed to hold and operate the regular Savings Banks account in India.

Aadhaar is not mandatory for NRO accounts

NRE and NRO accounts are not subject to linking with Aadhaar. To sum up, NRIs are not eligible to obtain Aadhaar number and they are not supposed to operate regular Savings Bank account. Their NRE and NRO bank accounts needn’t be linked to Aadhaar.

Those individuals who have no idea of NRO account and holding regular Savings Bank account will have the problem. What’s needs to be done?

  • Ask your banker to convert regular SB account to NRO account
  • If you have obtained Aadhaar (by mistake), you can link aadhaar to your SB account for immediate relief. But, at the earliest possible time, you can convert or close regular SB account and move the funds to NRO account.
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About B E Kumar Prasad

B E Kumar Prasad
He is a Practicing Chartered Accountant in Bengaluru, India. He has 28+ years of experience in income tax, business setup, and NRI matters. He is also an Insolvency Professional, Registered Valuer (F&SA) and Social Auditor.Prasad welcomes your comments and questions. Please email him at

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2024 years ago

For all my NRI friends

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