How NRIs can trade in the Indian stock market

The NRI trading community finds it quite difficult to participate in the Indian stock market for various reasons. The pain point begins with the lack of clarity on how to get started and complications surrounding NRE & NRO account. Due to the lack of awareness on the part of both the stockbrokers and willing traders, the participation has been tepid for a long time. At Fyers, we understand this and we’re doing our bit to make things simple and easy for NRIs to trade. In this post, I will explain all the important things that an NRI needs to know before getting started. To trade in Indian Stock Markets, NRIs should open a savings bank account in India. NRIs often face a situation of maintaining a Rupee account in India.

A glimpse on how an NRI can get started in Indian Stock Markets:

nri trading india

Step 1: Open an NRE/NRO savings bank account
An NRI has an option of opening a Non Resident Rupee (NRE) account and/or a Non Resident Ordinary Rupee (NRO) account. Take note that an NRO account can also be opened by a Person of Indian Origin (PIO) and an overseas citizen of India (OCI).

Difference between NRE & NRO account:
1. Repatriation: NRE account holder may repatriate all the funds along with the interest earned at any point of time without having to pay tax on the interest amount. Any NRI can open an NRE account. While in case of NRO account holders, they can repatriate up to $1 million per year including principle & interest.
2. Tax Treatment: NRE account is Tax free (no Income tax, wealth tax and gift tax) in India. On the other hand the interest earned and credit balances in NRO account are subject to respective income tax bracket and are also subject to applicable wealth and gift tax.
3. Joint Holding: NRE account can be jointly held with another NRI but not with resident Indian. On the other hand NRO account can be held with NRI as well as resident Indian.

Step 2: Getting a PIS letter from the bank
Before getting the PIS letter, it is important to understand what it really means. PIS stands for Portfolio Investment Scheme. NRIs can purchase/sell shares or convertible debentures under portfolio Investment Scheme (PIS). This letter acts as an approval from RBI to the client to invest in Indian Stock Markets. The process of getting this letter will be taken care of by the bank where you open your savings bank account.

Step 3: Open a Trading & Demat account with broker & connect the PIS letter with the same
You can use account opening forms (Trading + Demat account) from our downloads page. When you open an account with us, you have to provide the PIS letter for the link up. Before printing any account opening forms, do get in touch with us.

Procedure to open an account with us:
1. Document ensuring status of entity
a. In case of Indian passport – Valid passport, Place of birth as India
b. Valid Visa – Work/Student/employment/resident permit etc.
c. In case of foreign passport : Valid passport and any of the following
i. Place of Birth as India in foreign passport
ii. Copy of PIO / OCI Card as applicable in case of PIO/OCI
2. Copy of PIS Permission Letter from the respective designated bank
3. Copy of PAN card
4. Overseas address proof – Copy of Driving License/Foreign Passport/Utility Bills/Bank Statement (not more than 2 months)/Notarized copy of rent agreement/Leave & License agreement/ Sale Deed
5. Indian address proof, if any
6. Passport size photographs
7. Proof of Bank account (a canceled cheque leaf of your NRE or NRO savings bank account)

Step 4: Allocate funds to your PIS account
When the trading account is open with us, you can proceed to trade in Indian stock markets. Procedure to take positions:
1. Allocate funds from your NRE/NRO account to PIS account.
2. The amount which you transferred to the savings bank account is updated in your terminal when the bank informs the same to the broker (FYERS).
3. Your PIS account is debited with the amount of buy positions you take & the same is credited to the brokers account.
4. Similarly, your PIS account is credited with the amount you make from selling positions at the end of the day.
5. Note that two separate contract notes are sent for all your buy transactions and sell transactions at the end of every day. The net amount credited/debited to your PIS will be including all charges that appear on the contract note.

Instruments that an NRI can trade:
a. NRI can purchase securities by subscribing to public issue.
b. He/she cannot take intraday transaction in cash segment.
c. NRIs are allowed to invest in futures & options segment of the exchange out of Rupee funds held in India on non-repatriation basis, subject to the limits prescribed by SEBI.
d. NRI cannot trade in Currency derivative segment of the Exchange.

NRI trading at FYERS
Clients who wish to trade with us are requested to open NRO account with Yes Bank as we are associated with them as of now. We shall tie-up with more banks in the future depending on the benefits that each bank provides to NRI clients.

Brokerage Fees:
Our brokerage charges are the cheapest for NRIs in the Indian stockbroking Industry, we charge a flat fee of ₹100 per transaction for all segments. To open an NRI account, please leave your details here. For more help and clarification during the account opening process, do reach us at support@fyers.in.

Things to keep in mind:
1. Stock holding of an NRI can’t exceed 10% in any Indian listed company.
2. Short-term capital gains: 15% on any gain made on stocks sold before 1 year.
3. Any long term gain out of stocks, if held for more than a year are totally exempt for tax.
4. If you wish to map both NRE/NRO accounts with the trading account, you have to take 2 client ID’s with the broker.
5. When you make money in the F&O segment, it is considered as business income as per Income Tax department of India.

Feel free to seek clarifications in the comments section below.

Tejas Khoday

Tejas Khoday

Tejas is the Co-Founder & CEO @ www.fyers.in, the youngest team to get NSE’s broker license. FYERS was started as a mission to enhance the terrain for traders and investors in India. He previously worked at Zerodha, Futures First & has been a professional trader for several years.

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Showing 45 comments
  • Ranjith T
    Reply

    Being an NRI, will I be charged to open an account with Fyers??

  • Anitha
    Reply

    Well written post….Thanksss

  • Bajaj
    Reply

    Does Fyers help me to open the PIS Account?

  • Raj
    Reply

    I am starting as full time future trader,
    I wanted to ask
    Do you consider that stock trading can be banned for general public in future time??
    Just a curious question of job security ☺

  • Divya
    Reply

    I have Demat a/c with HDFC, can i use that to open new one?

  • John
    Reply

    I am in Dubai, can I register to become associate from Kerala or can I do from dubai?

  • Mukesh
    Reply

    How many times margin will i get for NRI account?

  • Manohar
    Reply

    Is there any changes in the brokerage charged or same as normal account?

  • Pooja
    Reply

    How many days it’ll take to open NRI account?

  • Amish
    Reply

    Tejas I am from Manila, Philippines. Can your support exec skype with me @amishalpha92. Would like to invest in India through you

  • Suresh Patel
    Reply

    Hi!! Tejas, this article is just amazing it cleared so many of my doubts and thanks for stating the difference between NRE and NRO accounts and the procedure to open an account.

  • Raj
    Reply

    Hi Tejas,
    Useful article thanks.
    Can you clarify if you support NRO trading through Non PINS route?
    I can open a NRO account with Yes bank if you require me to.
    Can you support good till cancel order for equity delivery?
    Both these could be an advantage for Fyers.

  • Raj
    Reply

    Tejas,
    thanks for such an useful article. I have a few queries:
    1) Does Fyers do proprietary trading for your own profit? There is a view that such practice increases the risk of holding. Do you have any view?
    2) Do you have a plan to offer Valid till cancel or Good till cancel facility for equity trades?
    3) Do you offer NRI non PIS trading? i.e trading through NRO demat account and NRO savings account on non-repatriable basis.
    Thanks
    Raj

  • Rukshar
    Reply

    I want to shift from Zerodha to you.. because of your low charges and their platform issues. Can i continue with my existing HDFC bank a/c or do I need to open seperate account?

  • Sriram
    Reply

    I have an account with HDFC bank and want to use the same NRO account to trade with you. please tell me the procedure.

  • NITIN
    Reply

    Hie Tejas,

    I am having NRE PIs account plus Demat/Trading account with Yes bank which I am using to buy stocks on repatriable basis. Also, I have NRO saving account with Yes Bank which I want to link with some discount broker like Fyers which will be Non-reptriable basis.
    I have following queries-
    1.Can I keep my NRE PIS plus Demat/trading account with Yes bank and at the same same time open another Demat/Trading account with Fyers to link my NRO savings account with it?
    2.What will be the brokerage charges with Fyers incase I open Demat/Trading account linked with my NRO savings account? I believe purchase of stocks thru NRO savings account are non-reptraiable basis and hence does not include additional paperwork like PIS accounts.
    3.Does IPO facility available with Fyres?
    Please advise.

  • Rolling with markets
    Reply

    Very cheap charges.. ICICI charges me .75% for delivery. How long does it take to open an account?

  • ARUN SHARMA
    Reply

    do you allow derivative trading for NRI? if so who is your clearing members?

    Arun

  • Musthafa
    Reply

    Hi Teja,

    I am an NRI, but holding some stocks through normal savings account. Is that okay if I change my normal savings to NRO?

    can I trade through you if I have a NRO account with Axis Bank without groing through the PIS route

    Regards

  • Vamsi
    Reply

    You guys are 50% cheaper than Zerodha for NRI trading.. Good to know! Why is it that you are tied up with Yes Bank instead of HDFC bank? I am currently with Zerodha but want to shift to fyers.

  • Nithin
    Reply

    Do I have to submit FATCA form if I am from philippines?

  • Chandra Kant Mundra
    Reply

    Hi Tejas,

    I am an NRI. I want to exercise below options.

    1) Open PIS with Yes bank and trade with both Yes bank and Fyers thru PIS.
    or
    I want to open both PIS and trading account with you only.

    And

    2) I want to trade without PIS (thru NRE if not possible then NRO)

    Can I keep investing as a resident though I am NRI.

    Please guide.

    Thanks & Regards.

  • Tejas Khoday
    Reply

    Yes, its a part of the account opening process.

  • Tejas Khoday
    Reply

    🙂

  • Tejas Khoday
    Reply

    Raj, this is quite an imaginative question. Stock trading is as old as the hills. It is not likely to be banned and in fact, will be more encouraged because of the following factors:
    1. It is a source of revenue for the governments (State & Center) in the form of taxes (STT, CTT, Stamp Duty, Service Taxes, Cess, STCG etc.)
    2. It incentivizes companies to list their companies on the bourses thereby resulting in market valuations of companies. Without going public, the valuation of companies is not open for the investing public and is likely to remain lower. Lower company valuations reduces the capacity to raise higher capital in the form of FPOs, IPOs, equity divestments and loan pledges.
    3. Equity is a major asset class and a population is not likely to be deprived of investing in it because these qualify as the most high quality investments in comparison to other asset classes.
    4. Short-term traders provide liqudity which is imperative for the market to survive.

    For all the above reasons, it is highly unlikely. Banning will result in a backward development which will not be taken well in general.

  • Tejas Khoday
    Reply

    Well its always better to open a demat account with IL&FS through us and then link your NRI bank account to it. It’ll save you complication.

  • Tejas Khoday
    Reply

    Our processes are standard like it is for any other account. It really depends on the bank which we have signed up with. If all your documents are fine then it shouldn’t take more than 10 days or so. Considering signatures are mandatory on some documents logistics is what takes up most amount of time.

  • Tejas Khoday
    Reply

    Manohar, we charge ₹100 per order for all types of transactions for NRIs. In fact, this is the lowest charge in the Indian stockbroking Industry.

  • Tejas Khoday
    Reply

    John, request you to write a mail to support@fyers.in

  • Tejas Khoday
    Reply

    You’re welcome. Are you an NRI?

  • Tejas Khoday
    Reply

    Yes, do-able. I have forwarded your ID and will get a call right away as you are in a near time zone.

  • Tejas Khoday
    Reply

    Hi Raj, yes you can open an NRO account & trade through Non PIS route too. GTC orders are currently not available as the exchanges don’t allow it. But we have something planned for the future. You can leave your details here for more information: https://www.fyers.in/join-us/

  • Tejas Khoday
    Reply

    Raj,
    1. No, FYERS does not indulge in proprietary trading unlike other stockbrokers. Most serious traders feel that the knowledge of their positions by the broker is being compromised in one way or the other. World over, many stockbrokers practice this and as a result have been accused of taking counter positions against their own clients. We don’t do this and in fact, we haven’t applied for the proprietary trading license either.

    2. Yes we have planned this for the future but not at the moment. VTC is a useful feature and it is on our minds.

    3. Yes, you can open an NRO savings account with our partner bank (Yes Bank) and trade through Non-PIS route. Get in touch with our sales for more info.

  • Tejas Khoday
    Reply

    Hi Rukshar, It is possible to continue with the same bank account. Give us your details & we’ll get in touch you: https://www.fyers.in/join-us/

  • Tejas Khoday
    Reply

    Sure, request you to give us your contact details here: https://www.fyers.in/join-us/

  • Tejas Khoday
    Reply

    Yes you can hold your NRE and PIS account with YESBANK and transact with FYERS. You can open trading and demat account with FYERS and provide your NRO bank account details. As per RBI and SEBI guidelines NRI’s can invest and trade in Indian markets trough NRO-NON PIS.

    So you can use your NRO account for opening account with FYERS. In this case as a broker we should do taxation for your trading account, means Broker should collect capital gain tax from clients and pay to income tax department and produce TDS certificate to client.

    Currently, we are working to develop a mechanism to do taxation for our NRI clients. Until we are live with that taxation process, we recommend you to come trough PIS route and open trading and demat account with FYERS.

    Our NRI brokerage is Rs. 100 per order across all the segments. Currently, IPO services are not available at FYERS, but every soon we will come up with this product as well

  • Tejas Khoday
    Reply

    Hi Arun, yes its possible. Our clearing member is IL&FS.

  • Tejas Khoday
    Reply

    Hi Musthafa, The existing resident demat account cannot be converted to an NRI account. As per the RBI Circular issued by RBI (https://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/notification/PDFs/FM361E7862E2EE31F4CF8A997AD32A0EE11B2.PDF)
    You can map the non-repatriate NRO bank account to trading and demat account and it will be treated as Normal account.

  • Tejas Khoday
    Reply

    Hello Vamsi, We’re tied up with both banks for NRI segment. To get the process started, please leave your details here: https://www.fyers.in/join-us/. Oh and by the way, yes we’re priced lesser but we don’t take pride in that.. We want to be known as the best trading platform in India.

  • prakash
    Reply

    Hi Tejas ,

    I’am an NRI and currently trading with my NRE account through PIS… iam loosing hefty charges through TDS and bank charges .. This restricts me to actively trade . Request your suggestion . I

  • Gajendra
    Reply

    Just saw your email about your new web platform. As an NRI, can I use it too?

  • Tejas Khoday
    Reply

    Hi,
    1. Yes, you can open PIS account with Yes Bank. Open trading and demat account with Fyers and start trading.
    2. Yes, you can map the non-repatriate NRO bank account to trading account. so you can invest as resident.

    Please leave your details here to get started.

  • Tejas Khoday
    Reply

    Hello Gajendra, yes just use your client ID & password to login. All our clients have access. Use this link: https://trade.fyers.in

  • Tejas Khoday
    Reply

    Yes Nithin, it’s a mandatory document to be submitted regardless of your location.

  • Tejas Khoday
    Reply

    Hello Prakash,

    Request you to write a mail to trinadh@fyers.in and mark me in cc at tejas@fyers.in with the details of all charges. We will try to find a solution.

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