How NRIs Can Invest in Mutual Funds in India

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How NRIs Can Invest in Mutual Funds in India

Investing in India is now more accessible, even while one is an NRI. Implying this, mutual funds have become a perfect investment channel for NRIs desirous of investing to participate in India’s growth story while staying abroad. Mutual funds' benefits for an NRI make them the best option. It will suit your needs so that you can effortlessly invest in different asset classes like equity, debt, and gold, depending on your risk capacity and objectives. They ensure professional expertise from fund managers leads to a diversified portfolio that meets your needs. This gives you the advantage of low cost coupled with high liquidity as you wish to enter into and come out of funds at will. SEBI provides stringent regulation for India’s mutual funds, enforcing transparency and credibility. As digitisation has become a wellspring of the speediest data exchange, investing has been made more straightforward with all the online apparatuses and applications useable with specific access. Regulation of nonresident Indians' taxation is also simplified. This blog provides deep insights into the investment procedure and includes documentation, fund options, and taxation to empower NRIs for profits derived from mutual funds. Prepare yourself to have correct mutual fund selections that suit your offshore demands and expectations in your capacities as an NRI.

Types of Mutual Funds for NRI's:

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In mutual funds, the types of schemes include capitalisation, investment objective, and asset class.

  • Equity Funds: Mutual equity funds invest predominantly in stocks and shares of companies. It is long-term capital gain—schemes such as large-cap, mid-cap, sector, thematic, etc.
  • Debt Funds: When talking about debt funds, there are reasons that they invest in fixed-income securities, which are bonds, government securities, money market instruments, and so on. It has low volatility over other funds that are equity-based and provide regular income.
  • Hybrid Funds: This is an investment that combines equities and debt. It aims at the stability of debt with capital appreciation via equity exposure. Examples are balanced funds, equity funds, and balanced advantage funds.
  • Index Funds/ETFs: Youth, these are tracker and tracking index. This provides diversification at low costs. Index funds/ETFs could be on equity, debt, and gold indices.
  • Solution-Oriented Schemes: Under these funds, schemes are tailor-made to a fixed financial goal of the investor, like retirement, children's education, etc. Examples are retirement funds and children's gift funds.

Process of Investment in Mutual Funds for NRIs

Here are the key steps for NRI investors to invest in mutual funds in India:

1. Choose a SEBI Registered Mutual Fund

Ensure due reliability and transparency while NRIs invest only through the mutual fund houses that are registered with SEBI. Review financials, track record, and fund management team while selecting the mutual fund.

2. Complete KYC Process

Know Your Customer norms, or KYC, must be done to invest in mutual funds. NRIs can complete KYC through KRA (KYC Registration Agencies) like CVL (CDSL Ventures Limited), NDML (NSDL Database Management Limited ), DotEx International Limited(NSE Data & Analytics Limited), etc. Or one can understand their KYC process by getting in touch with the fund house.

3. Open NRO/NRE Account

Either open an NRO or an NRE bank account in India. Beneficially, interest in this account will be used both for investments of MFs as well as MF proceeds in redemption.

4. Submission of Relevant Documents

Give identity and address proof documents such as passport and overseas address proof to the mutual fund house. NRI investors may also require a FIRC certificate and office address documents apart from the above.

5. Choose the Fund Scheme

Select the right mutual fund scheme matching the investment goal and risk profile. Consider factors like investment objective, past performance, expertise of fund managers, expenses, etc.

6. Investing through Various Modes

NRIs can invest through the online/offline route. Online could be through a direct application, local agent, mutual funds investment platforms, website/app of fund houses, or brokers.

7. Tracking of performance

Periodic monitoring of the performance of investments made into mutual funds. If required, ensure redemption/switch of investments to realign with the set investment targets and risk profile.

Benefits of NRI’s Investment in Mutual Funds

The major benefits which accrue to the NRI investors from mutual funds are listed below: 

  • Professional Management: Management is provided by experienced fund managers who undertake the best care of funds for their investment research, portfolio allocation, and time for buy/sell decisions.
  • Diversification: Mutual funds are investments across a varied range of securities, which enables diversification and thus reduces the overall portfolio risk.
  • Liquidity: Open-ended mutual fund units are redeemed on any business day at applicable Net Asset Value prices and provide easy liquidity for investors.
  • Cost-effective: Management costs associated with mutual funds are comparatively less compared to direct investment costs. Because the firm enjoys economies of scale.
  • Transparency: All the information related to fund investments, performance, fees, the managers involved, and others are explained and given through factsheets, annual reports, etc.
  • Convenience: Online platforms and apps for Mutual Fund Investment provide NRI investors with a convenient technology-enabled investing experience.
  • Systematic Investments: The facility to invest regularly in small amounts every month through the facility of systematic investment plans (SIPs), allowing rupee cost averaging.
  • Regulation: SEBI regulates all the mutual funds, thereby providing investor protection and improving governance.

Hence, mutual funds are a convenient and compliant vehicle by which NRI investors can also be a part of India’s growth story in a hassle-free manner.

Taxes Applicable for NRIs Investment in Mutual Funds

Tax on mutual fund returns for NRI depends on the investment type and holding duration. For investments made in NRE/NRO accounts, Here is an overview:

Equity Funds:

  • Short-Term Capital Gains: Liability on gains at 15% if units are retained for less than one year.
  • Long-Term Capital Gains: At 10% on gains that exceed Rs 1 lakh on units in possession beyond 12 months.

Debt Funds: 

  • Short-Term Capital Gains: As per the regular income tax slab rates.
  • Long-Term Capital Gains: A 20% tax applies to listed units held with indexation and 10% for unlisted units held without indexation past the 36-month threshold, significantly enhancing benefits if indexed.

The investments in ELSS (equity-linked savings schemes) funds offer a tax benefit of Rs 1.5 lakhs in total under Section 80C. It is entirely untaxed in terms of dividends received by an investor from mutual funds. TDS applies to mutual funds if redeemed amounts exceed Rs 1 lakh in a financial year. The income distributed by the mutual funds would be taxable in India.


To sum up, mutual funds provide an easy and orderly route for NRI investors into India's capital markets. With the help of proper fund house and scheme selection, completion of KYC, investing through a convenient channel, and finally tracking performance, an NRI can be provided with an investment solution that helps them meet their long-run investment goals. The taxation of mutual fund returns should also be evaluated before making fund selections. The mutual fund gives an opportunity to NRIs to select from different kinds of funds across asset classes and fund houses, matching their risk tolerance and preferences.