Purchase of Agricultural Land in India by NRIs – Foreigners

Agriculture land for sale in India


Be Alert when purchasing reconverted agricultural land in India:

  • Foreigners cannot purchase agricultural land in India. This applies to all of India. No state in India allows foreigners to purchase agriculture land.
  • NRI’s cannot purchase Farm Land in India. Yes! All over India as above. Approval is required from the Reserve Bank of India which one can assume is not easily available, and this would depend on various terms and conditions.
  • Furthermore, some State governments in India have rules and policies that allow only farmers to purchase Farm Land in their State and this limits even Indian citizens from buying agriculture land.
  • OCI holders living in India by their OCI status are still foreign citizens and should recognize that OCI grants them visa for life to stay in India but does not give them Indian citizenship. They still hold foreign passports
  • NRIs and Foreign citizens of Indian origin cannot hold agriculture land even by way of gift. They can only hold agricultural land by inheritance.


Know More: Tips for NRIs to buy Property in India


Can NRIs who have obtained foreign citizenship keep Agricultural Land in India?

NRIs with Foreign Citizenship must sell Farm Land they previously owned? This is a question that is often asked by non-residents who already held agriculture land before the change of their residential status.

NRIs who have obtained foreign citizenships are sometimes misleading into assuming that they cannot continue to hold agricultural land because foreigners cannot own farmland in India. This is not true. While foreigners cannot purchase Farm Land, NRIs who acquire foreign citizenship can continue to hold Farm Land or any other property they own in India provided they had obtained them legally before getting foreign citizenship. Check with the authorities before being conned out of your land. Money that is legally yours can now be relocated legally abroad. Don’t fall victim to illegal money transfer schemes.

Warning on buying reconverted agricultural land as land prices escalate in India, the interest in buying Farmland in India has increased over the last few years. Non-resident Indians (NRIs) who left India several years ago are naturally also interested in buying cheaper land within India. Buying Farm Land in India by NRI is one of the questions that I quite often receive on my NRIs FAQ pages. While it is a well-known fact to many NRIs that they cannot legally purchase farmland as per current regulations in India, the feeling that everything is possible in India persists in people minds, some people feel that NRIs can and do purchase agriculture land in India.

A new concept of selling Farmland by some brokers in India is, to tell NRIs that the agriculture land can easily be re-converted to residential land once they have bought it. Some may even let you glance at documents that may tell that the land is already re-converted and this may or may not be true. Here are a few things to keep in mind by those of you who are looking to buy Farm Land in India with the idea of getting it re-converted for residential or business us later.

  • To legally get agricultural land designated as residential is not as easy process as some land brokers impress upon potential buyers. While they may make promises that they will get the paperwork done for you after the purchase, whether you should take their words at face value, we leave that decision to you.
  • Each State has its rule on re-converting  Agriculture Land, Check with the authorities before parting with your money.
  • If you are given an opportunity to buy land that has already been re-converted to residential from Farm Land, check the documentation not only at face value but with the appropriate municipal registration offices.
  • Agricultural Land that is usually converted cannot be sold for a period, and the person who gets the land conversion done must use the converted land for the objective to which the land was re-converted within a given period or the conversion becomes null and void.

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