…if you have any resident bank account in India you need to convert it to an NRO account by the end of the month.
As an NRI, it’s illegal to hold a resident bank account in India:
If you’re an Indian who has stayed outside India for 182 days or more during the preceding financial year, then your residency status in India changes to a Non-Resident Indian (NRI). As per FEMA regulations, when you become a Non-Resident Indian (NRI), you’re required to close your existing resident bank account in India or convert it to an NRO (Non-Resident Ordinary) account. However, still, some of us continue operating it as we may not be aware of the regulation. But, this is strictly illegal according to the law.
Government’s deadline for linking bank accounts with Aadhaar card by 31st March 2018
According to an Indian government notification, all the Indian residents have been asked to link their bank accounts with their Aadhaar numbers by 31st March 2018, failing which the accounts will cease to be operational. However, NRIs or OCIs cannot link their bank accounts to Aadhaar card, as they are not eligible to apply. So, what does this mean to you if you do have a resident bank account in India?
The simple option is to close such accounts to comply with the regulation. However, there is another option: Converting your resident bank account to a Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) account with your bank.
What is a Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) account?
There are three types of Non-Resident Bank Accounts in India for NRIs and OCIs – Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO), Non-Resident External (NRE) and Foreign Currency Non-Resident (FCNR) Bank Account. All of these are exempted from the requirement of linkage with Aadhaar card.
Non-Resident Ordinary Account (NRO Account) and Non-Resident External Account (NRE Account) can be a savings account or fixed deposit in Indian Rupees. You can deposit money into these accounts, by converting foreign currency into Indian Rupees (USD to INR, GBP to INR, AED to INR, CAD to INR, AUD to INR, etc) through a money transfer provider. However, there are few differences between the two:
• You can convert your resident bank account in India to an NRO account only but not an NRE account.
• You can deposit cash in Indian Rupees or allow local receipts (such as rent income, dividend, pension, etc) from other resident bank account or NRO account only into your NRO account but not an NRE account.
• You can transfer money from an NRO account to another NRO account or a resident bank account, but not to an NRE account. However, you can transfer money from an NRE account to another NRE account or NRO account.
• It’s easier to repatriate funds from an NRE account without any documents and there is no limit on the repatriation amount as long as it is from your NRE account. However, the Government of India allows you to repatriate funds from your NRO account (NRO savings account or NRO fixed deposit) up to USD 1 million per financial year abroad. This also requires few documents like a certificate from a chartered accountant in India.
Foreign Currency Non-Repatriable (FCNR) account is very different to NRE or NRO accounts. This is a Fixed Deposit Foreign Currency account and not an Indian Rupee account. Deposits in this account can be made in any of the major currencies like US Dollar, UK Pound, Canadian Dollar, Deutsche Mark, Japanese Yen, and Euro.
We recommend to maintain both NRE and NRO accounts in India – NRE account to manage your payments in India (EMI for your home loan in India, property purchase, family maintenance, insurance, etc) and NRO account to deposit your earnings in India (such as rent income, dividend, pension, etc). Most of the banks add balances in both accounts for the computation of the minimum average balance required to be maintained in these accounts.
How can I convert a resident bank account to an NRO Account:
You need to complete and submit an application form with the bank you maintain your resident bank account. Most banks facilitate completion of the form on their website or a download of the form. If not, then you can contact their call centre. Once you complete the form, you need to attach the following documents and send it to the address mentioned on the form. Few banks offer a free local collection or postage:
• Address proof of your foreign address
• Copy of your passport
• Copy of visa/work permit
• Your OCI or PIO card
• Your photographs
After receiving and verifying the application and documents, your bank will convert the resident bank account to NRO. On the other hand, if you want to open only an NRE account and not an NRO account, your bank will close the resident bank account and open an NRE account.
This is how you can convert your resident bank account to NRO account in India and save yourself from your account becoming nonoperational on 1st April 2018. But don’t forget to do this conversion before 31st March 2018.
We hope you found this information useful. Please do share it with your friends and family if you think they will too.
There have been many recent regulation changes related to getting a mobile SIM in India. It is now mandatory for all Indian residents to link their mobile numbers to their Aadhaar card. However NRIs, OCIs and PIOs are currently not affiliated with or eligible for an Aadhaar card, so, how will it affect your mobile SIM purchase in India? Let’s see here…
Purchasing a mobile SIM card in India:
You can purchase a new SIM card either from a general retailer or directly from a Telecom Service Provider (TSP) like Jio Airtel, Vodafone, etc. While buying a SIM, you will need to submit self-attested copies of the following documents:
• A valid Passport
• A valid Visa/OCI card/PIO card
• Overseas address proof
• Two self-attested photographs
After buying your SIM card, you need to then call your TSP to activate it. The process for verifying a SIM differs if you are an NRI or OCI/PIO.
Verifying a mobile SIM in India as an OCI or PIO:
You will need to visit a TSP terminal, or a TSP representative could come to you. The TSP representative will authenticate themselves through an Aadhaar based e-KYC process. You will then receive a TSP initiated 4-digit authentication code on your new mobile phone to confirm that it is physically with you. After that, the TSP agent will…
• Validate the authentication code you just received.
• Fill out the appropriate information in the TSP’s online Customer Application Form (e-CAF).
• Submit a scanned copy of your passport and visa/OCI card/PIO card.
• Take your picture
After the successful submission of the e-CAF with details, you will receive another One Time Password (OTP) code from the TSP, which you need to share with the TSP representative along with the following declaration:
• The information provided by you is correct.
• This OTP authentication can be treated as your signature.
• You’re the existing user of this mobile number, and its SIM card is in your possession.
The TSP agent will once again authenticate themselves along with the declaration that, “I hereby confirm having seen the subscriber and the details provided by subscriber have been entered in the CAF by me. I have captured the photograph of the subscriber.” On authentication, your mobile number will be successfully verified.
Verifying a mobile SIM in India as an NRI:
The mobile number verification process for an NRI is relatively complicated as compared to an OCI or PIO. As an NRI, you will need to enter the mobile number on the TSP’s website which is applicable for NRIs only and fill out the declaration saying:
1. I am an Indian National, however currently an NRI.
2. I neither have an Aadhaar card nor my mobile number registered with UIDAI.
3. The documents uploaded by me are authentic and if found forged, actions as per the law of the land will be applicable to me.
You will then receive a 4-digit code on your mobile which you will need to enter on the website. If the code matches, an e-CAF will be displayed. On this form, you are required to fill out your personal details, upload a scanned copy of your Passport, foreign visa and a latest colour photograph.
After submitting the e-CAF, you will receive an 8-digit alphanumeric transaction ID which will be valid for 48 hours. You will need to share this ID with a trusted person whose mobile number is registered with Aadhaar. The trusted person can be an Indian citizen. This trusted person uses this ID to initiate an OTP based authentication Aadhaar eKYC process which involves submission of the transaction ID and your phone number on the TSP’s portal. After authenticating the mobile number and the transaction ID, the trusted person needs to enter their Aadhaar number (Note: The trusted person can give approval for a maximum of five subscribers).
The TSP then sends the Aadhaar OTP request to UIDAI. On receipt of e-KYC details from UIDAI, the TSP stores the details in the same e-CAF and a send authorization SMS to you as well as the trusted person declaring “The process has been completed, and we will take 96 hours to verify if the mobile number has been re-verified after checking the all the details and uploaded documents.” In case of discrepancies, you will be informed accordingly via SMS. If the verification is rejected, the entire process has to be repeated.
As an NRI you should note that the whole re-verification process should be done within 96 hours of getting a new SIM.
If you feel like you don’t have a trusted person in India to carry out the verification process, your local retailer from whom you have purchased your SIM could act as the person to execute your OTP-based authentication.
We hope you found this information useful. Please do share it with your friends and family if you think they will too.
The PAN Card (Permanent Account Number) holds a 10-digit alphanumeric number issued by the Indian Income Tax Department to individuals, companies or Hindu Undivided Families (HUF).
You’ll need a PAN card to file tax returns in India, open an NRE or NRO savings bank account, buy property, apply for an NRI home loan, etc. Unlike Aadhaar regulations, NRIs are not exempted from getting a PAN card which could be a relatively easy process.
In this article, we explain how an NRI can apply for a PAN card or modify their PAN details.
Step-by-Step Guide to Apply for a PAN Card
Step 1: Fill In The Application Form Online
NRIs who are currently Indian citizens need a form known as Form-49A. On the other hand, Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs) or People of Indian Origin (PIOs) who have citizenship of another country, need Form-49AA. You can apply either on the UTIITSL (UTI Infrastructure Technology And Services Limited) or NSDL (National Securities Depository Limited) websites. Once you’ve filled in the form, it will need to be dispatched along with some important additional documents.
Step 2: Pay The Correct Fees
The fees depend on whether you want to have your card delivered in India or overseas. If your address is within India, then the fee will be Rs.110, whereas the fee is Rs.1,020, if your address is overseas. It’s inclusive of application fee and dispatch costs. You can pay the fees online using your credit card, debit card, net banking or by DD (Demand Draft). Check if your country is in the list of countries that are eligible for overseas dispatch. There may be additional fees applicable when paying with a debit or credit card and even net banking, please make sure that you have checked the website that you are applying through thoroughly.
Step 3: Download The Form And Attach The Correct Documents
Once you’ve filled out the form successfully and paid the fees, there are additional documents you will have to supply before dispatching it:
• Two recent photos pasted in the space provided in the form.
• A copy of identity proof which could be a Passport, or Person of Indian Origin (PIO) card issued by the government of India, or an Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card, or a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).
• A copy of address proof which could be an Indian Passport, a Person of Indian Origin (PIO) card, an Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card, a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), a recent Bank account statement (it could be either a statement of a foreign bank account or NRE bank account) or a foreign residence permit.
For the detailed list of documents, click here.
Step 4: Dispatch The Form
Your signed application forms along with the required enclosures must arrive at address stipulated on or before the 15th day from the date of your online application. If you choose to pay the fee in the form of a DD (Demand Draft), then your PAN card will be issued only after the release of the funds.
Modifying Your PAN Card Details
The whole process of applying or modifying a PAN card could be very simple if all the above-mentioned steps are followed correctly. If your process is right, you should get your new PAN in just 10 or 15 days.
We hope you found this information useful. Please do share it with your friends and family if you think they will too.
If your family in India is planning a trip to visit you in the United Kingdom (UK), they will need a visa to enter and stay in the country. They can apply for a visa up to three months before the date of travel to the UK. Here are some things to consider through the process.
Step 1: Visa Types:
If your family is planning to visit the UK for a short duration (up to six months), they could apply for a standard visitor visa. If they are planning to visit the UK often over a longer period of time, they could apply for a long-term visa, The duration of these long-term visas would be two, five, or 10 years. Remember, the reason for their visit should be the same over this duration. You can find out the right kind of visa by using this tool on the UK Government website.
The fees for the standard visitor visa is £89, 2 years long term visitor visas is £337, 5 years is £612 and 10 years is £767. For more details, click here.
Step 2: Visa Eligibility Criteria:
At the time of application, they will have to prove that:
- – They will return to India at the end of their visit.
- – There’s enough money available to finance their stay.
- – There’s proof of any business or other activities they want to do in the UK. Please do check the UK Government’s website for visitor rules and further information.
If they are applying for a long-term visa, then they must be able to prove that:
- – They need to visit UK frequently over a long period of time.
- – They will only come to the UK to visit you or other family members or go on a holiday.
- – They will leave the UK at the end of the each visit.
Step 3: Visa Application:
The next step is to apply for a visa online on the UK Government website. The application starts with the creation of an online account. While the applicant can read the questions in English, Hindi, Gujarati, Bengali and few other regional languages, the form must be completed only in English. Once the form is completed, the applicant will need to pay the fees online, print out the form and book an in-person appointment at a VFS visa application centre to present their biometric details. The form requires details like:
- – Type of visa
- – Duration of stay
- – Purpose of visit
- – Travel details
- – Personal details
- – Family information
- – Employment information
- – Travel history
Step 4: Visa Documents:
Applicants for a UK tourist visa must provide the following documents along with their visa application form:
- – Documents confirming their address in India – E.g. A voter ID card or Aadhaar card.
- – They will only come to the UK to visit you or other family members or go on a holiday.
- – Financial statements to demonstrate that they can support themselves during the trip:
- If employed: Bank statements from the last six months, payslips from the last six months (if employed), letter from the employer (if employed for less than three months), proof of other investments, etc. Choose the documents that best demonstrate your financial status.
- If self-employed: Business registration documents confirming the business owner’s name and the date the business started trading, Bank statements from the last 6 months, last 3 years income tax returns, etc.
- If a housewife or retired: Bank statements from the last six months, proof of other investments, etc.
- If a student or under 18 years of age: A birth certificate or legal document (such as adoption papers) showing the relationship between the applicant and the parent or guardian, a letter from the education provider on headed paper confirming the enrolment and leave of absence.
- If financially dependent on you: A sponsorship invitation letter from you containing a declaration that you will bear a part or all of the expenses while they are in the UK. You will also have to show evidence including documents like your UK visa or residency permit, passport copy, last six months of bank statement, last six months pay slips, address proof, etc.
- – Additional documents that may strengthen the application – A PAN card and a covering letter listing the application number, payment reference number of fees and all documents, etc. could be useful.
- – At least two passport size photographs.
Note that, if any of the documents are not in English, a translation in English should be included.
For more details on supporting documents, click here.
Step 5: Visa Interview:
For their visa interview at a VFS application centre, applicants should carry their application form, confirmation of fees paid, and supporting documents required. Upon successful completion of this process, they will be issued with an acknowledgment which has to be presented at the time of document collection. The applicant will be informed about his/her application status within three weeks of filing the application.
Once the visa has been confirmed, your family is free to travel all the way from India to the UK. Note that, they need to have a valid return ticket else their entry at the UK immigration desk may be rejected.
If you’re a Non-Resident Indian (NRIs), Person of Indian origin (PIO) or Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) with immovable assets in India, bought or inherited you may be looking for ways to liquidate those assets and bring the proceeds to where you are currently living, especially if you don’t have plans to go back to India in the near future. In this article, we outline a few key points to consider when selling overseas assets and repatriating the proceeds. For simplicity, we will refer NRI, PIO and OCI as NRI hereafter in the article.
Limits on the repatriation amount:
There are certain restrictions on the amount NRIs can repatriate from the proceeds of the sale of immovable assets in India:
- 1. If you had bought the property using funds from your Non-Resident External (NRE) Account, then you can repatriate funds overseas from your NRE account up to the amount original purchase amount.
- 2. If you had bought the property using funds from your Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) account, or a resident rupee account or acquired by way of a gift, or inherited from a resident Indian, you may repatriate a maximum of $1 million per financial year (April to March). An NRO account is a form of savings account where you can maintain and manage income earned in India.
- 3. In the case of a residential property, repatriation of sale proceeds is restricted to less than or equal to two properties.
Important considerations before initiating the sale of property in India:
Who can buy or sell property in India?
If you are a NRI, OCI or PIO, you are allowed to sell any commercial or residential property you own in India. The buyer could also be an NRI or an Indian resident. However, in the case of agricultural land or a farmhouse, the buyer cannot be an NRI. These properties can only be sold to an Indian citizen
Is there any tax liability on sale proceeds from a property in India?
Capital gain, if any resulted from Selling of a property in India by an NRI is taxable under section 195 of the Income Tax Act, 1961. It is a difference between the sale price of the property and indexed cost of acquisition.
- • If you are selling your property within 2 years of possession, you will be liable to a short-term capital gains tax at 33.99% irrespective of your tax slab.
- • If you’re selling your property after 2 years, then the sale will attract a long-term capital gains tax at 22.66%.
Tax Deducted at Source (TDS):
TDS has been introduced by the Indian government to collect tax at the source from where an individual’s income is generated. Indian resident sellers are supposed to pay a Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) of 1% of sale proceeds from a property u/s 194IA, but it is not applicable for NRI sellers. However, if a buyer buys a property from an NRI, under section 195, irrespective of the amount, the buyer needs to deduct 20.66% as TDS on the sale price of the property if capital gains is long-term capital gains, or 33.99% in case of short-term capital gains, and deposit the TDS with Income Tax Department. Even though the NRI seller is liable to pay tax only on the capital tax portion of the sale, the TDS will be deducted by the buyer on the sale value of the property. So, the NRI buyer needs to claim the refund of the excess TDS paid, which if not claimed may lead to losses for the NRI seller.
Reducing the TDS on the sale of property in India:
There are different options to consider:
- 1. If your country of residence participates in Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA), then you can apply for lower TDS. For e.g., US and UK are part of DTAA. Click here to find if your country participates in DTAA. This requires submission of a tax residency certification from the country of residence, which will certify that you are a tax paying resident in that country and tax on this income is paid in that country.
- 2. If your income in India is less than the basic exemption limit of Rs. 2.5 lakhs, you can apply for a TDS waiver with an Income Tax officer under whose jurisdiction the case will fall.
- 3. If you decide to invest the long-term capital gains in another property or tax-exempt bonds, then you can apply for a Tax Exemption Certificate from the Income Tax Department under section 195 of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
A Chartered Accountant (CA) in India could guide you through the process, help complete the necessary paperwork, and calculate various taxes payable.
The Case Of Mr Agarwal:
Mr Aditya Agarwal* lives in London, UK. He has a property in Pune bought in Jan 2008 for Rs. 25 lakhs, which he wants to sell. He has found a buyer and is planning to sell it in the current financial year 2017-18 for Rs. 50 lakhs. He approaches his Chartered Accountant in Pune who helps him determine his capital gains tax liability.
As the property is more than 24 months old, the capital gains will be long-term capital gains and the capital gains tax rate will be 22.66%. To compute the long-term capital tax liability, the first step is to find the indexed value of the property. To do that, Mr Agarwal’s CA finds out:
- 1. The total purchase price of the flat,
- 2. The year of the purchase,
- 3. Furnishing costs incurred (if any) and the year,
- 4. Additional construction cost incurred (if any) and the year.
Based on this, Mr Agarwal’s CA works out the indexed cost of the property as Rs. 40 lakhs (a hypothetical figure). As Mr Agarwal is selling the property for Rs. 50 lakhs, the capital gains from the sale would be Rs. 10 lakhs, and corresponding long-term Capital gains Tax at 22.66% is Rs. 2.27 lakhs.
If in this case, the buyer decides to deduct TDS at 20.66% (Under Section 195), then TDS will be deducted from the total sale value i.e. Rs. 50 lakhs, which will be Rs. 11.33 lakhs. This is quite high as compared to Mr Agarwal’s long-term capital gain tax liability of Rs. 2.27 lakhs.
Now, Mr Agarwal has two choices – either he is willing to pay capital gains tax or would like to save capital gains tax by reinvesting capital gains.
If Mr Agarwal decides to pay capital gains tax, then based on the capital gains tax calculation Mr Agarwal can apply for a lower tax deduction certificate with the help of his CA. He can then share this original certificate with the buyer for deducting a TDS of only Rs. 2.27 lakhs instead of Rs. 11.33 lakhs
However, Mr Agarwal is looking to save capital gains tax of Rs. 2.27 lakhs by reinvesting the capital gains of Rs.10 lakhs from the sale of his property. So, he needs to apply for a Tax Exemption Certificate with the help of his CA. Based on the assessment by the Income Tax Department, a certificate will be issued to Mr Agarwal. When he shares the original Nil Deduction Certificate with the buyer for his reference, the buyer will not deduct TDS on the sale value, but instead transfer the capital gains amount of Rs. 10 lakhs to Mr Agarwal’s capital gains account and Rs. 40 lakhs to Mr Agarwal’s NRO account.
Now Mr Agarwal can file form 15CA and 15CB online with the help of his CA. After this, the money in his NRO account can be transferred to the UK. He needs to consider that the repatriation of funds during a Financial Year should not exceed $ 1 Mn.
Important Points to Remember:
- • All the aforementioned points are not only applicable to inherited assets but also to assets bought in India when you were an NRI.
- • Assets bought in India as an NRI can be sold as long as they were purchased in accordance with all the foreign exchange laws. However, in such cases, you must note that the amount transferred shouldn’t be more than the amount remitted to India via banking channels.
- • If you had purchased the property on loan, the amount transferred shouldn’t more than the loan repayment amount. Please check Income Tax rules in your country of residence on capital gains out of property sale in India.
As an Indian expat living overseas, you may need to send money to India for different reasons (i.e., sending money to your loved ones, buying a property in India, saving money in your NRE Bank account, etc.). With technological advancement, sending money to India from the USA has become easier and quicker. Once you’ve identified the best money transfer money provider from the USA to India with the help of NriDealExpert’s Rupee Exchange comparison tool at http://nridealexpert.com/money-to-india, you need to register yourself with the provider and initiate a funds transfer. Different providers offer different payment methods to initiate the fund’s transfer – from conventional payment methods to debit or credit cards. However, each payment method has associated benefits and risks which should be considered before initiating a money transfer, as it can directly impact the overall cost and speed of transferring rupees to your beneficiary in India. We have prepared a Dummies guide to help you understand each payment method so that you can choose the right one for a cost-effective and fast money transfer to India.
PayPal is one of the largest online payment processing systems today. With this service, you can send money to the transfer provider’s account without incurring any cost for the transfer.
2. ACH Transfer
This stands for “Automatic Clearing House” transfer and is a kind of e-transfer system. It is regulated by the “National Automated Clearing House Association” that controls the inter-banking clearances of e-payments. If you initiate a transfer to India from the USA through ACH, the money transfer provider will initiate the transfer through its correspondent bank in the US. The correspondent bank then creates a remittance file and transfer it to ACH, which will then transfer the funds to the recipient’s bank in India. The beneficiary in India will receive the funds within four business days. The benefit of ACH transfer is that there are no costs involved and there is no need to visit any bank to initiate this.
3. Online Money Transfer or Account Transfer or NetBanking Transfers
Online money transfer is quite effective if you transfer funds regularly. If you have an internet connection, a bank account, details of the recipient (name and address), name and IBAN or SWIFT code of the recipient bank, you can initiate an online money transfer. With this payment method, you can avoid hefty banking charges and yet carry out the transfer from your home.
4. E-mail Money Transfer
This is a new type of online money transfer. Although it’s quite similar to your bank-to-bank money transfer, the sender need not hold the recipient’s bank information, but just an email-id. Thus, it’s easier than the conventional online transfer process.
5. Wire Transfer
This is one of the most common ways to send money abroad. In this method, once you provide the details of the bank and beneficiary to your money transfer provider (e.g., Western Union or ICICI Bank Money2India), they will generate a deposit slip and share with you. You need to submit that slip to your local bank in the USA to initiate the fund’s transfer to the money transfer provider. Your local bank will initiate the fund’s transfer to the money transfer provider through its correspondent bank. Once your money transfer provider (Western Union or ICICI Bank Money2India) receives the funds, they will initiate the process of transferring money to your beneficiary’s bank account in India. This process may generally take a few business days.
6. Personal Cheque
You can write a personal cheque in US Dollar (USD) to the beneficiary in India. The beneficiary can deposit the cheque to a bank in India. However, not all the banks in India accept foreign cheques. This is considered as the safest option as the cheques written to a person can’t be cashed by anyone else. Thus, there are no possibilities of cheques being misused here. But, you must also note that the cheque cannot be cashed immediately by the beneficiary as bank verification is required and the beneficiary may have to pay an additional fee for the USD to INR conversion.
7. Cash deposit
With some of the money transfer providers, you can directly deposit cash at any of their branches in the USA. Once they receive the cash, they initiate the fund’s transfer to India, through ACH or electronic funds transfer.
8. Debit or credit cards
These days, many money transfer providers have started accepting funds through a debit or credit card at additional cost. Once the transaction is authorised, they initiate the fund’s transfer to India, through ACH or electronic funds transfer. This is one of the fastest ways to transfer money to India.
So, these are the many different payment options to initiate a money transfer from the USA to India which vary in term of speed, convenience and cost. Choose the one which best meets your need.
Disclaimer: Please note that it is our endeavor to provide unbiased and accurate information but cannot guarantee it to be perfect, so please do your bit of research and use the information from this email at your own risk.
Indian TV channels and cricket have always attracted millions of NRIs and People of Indian Origin (PIO) living outside India. Whether it’s Bollywood movies or addictive “Saas-Bahu” TV soaps, or cricket, demand has increased with the increase in the number of Indian expats. To help you choose the right Indian TV package in the USA and UK, here’s an easy-to-follow guide.
Legitimate option for watching Indian TV channels outside India
Buying a subscription from a broadcaster – This is the easiest and surest way to get your favorite Indian TV channels. All you have to do is buy a subscription package from a broadcaster.
Comparing packages of broadcasters offering Indian TV channels
We have listed some of the broadcasters offering Indian TV channels in the USA and UK. Read on for our recommendations and also the costs.
- 1. USA – The top broadcasters which offer Indian TV channels in the USA are:
- a. Sling TV – Sling TV has packages starting at $25 per month ($45 for 3 months), with over 50 Hindi channels. It Is quite similar to Netflix. You can easily pick your desired channels without any fuss. The Sling TV also offers its sling apps on Smart TVs, laptops, iPhone, Desktop and on Xbox.
- b. Dish TV – Dish TV is another popular service among Indian audiences in the U.S.A. It offers over 35 channels and monthly packages range from $19.99 to $44.99 (Includes Willow cricket channel) with many add-ons. Although, you need a set-top box, a core package starting at $59.99 per month and a minimum commitment of 24 months to get this started. Regional India’s TV channel packages start at $19.99 a month.
- c. Yupp TV – Yupp TV offers various south/regional and over 90 Hindi channels to the audiences based in the USA. Its Hindi monthly package starts at $9.99 per month and annual packages at $99.99 which includes YuppFlix movies. Indian regional TV channels monthly package starts at $11.99. It works like a Netflix where you just have to buy a subscription and get started right away.
- d. Hotstar U.S.A – Hotstar, which was initially available only in India has started to expand overseas and has recently begun offering its services in U.S.A and Canada. Its monthly packages start from $9.99 with a one-month free trial. It’s only drawback could be that it only offers Star Channels which means many other popular Indian channels are not available.
- e. My Indian TV – My India TV offers more than 80 Indian Hindi and regional TV channels covering Bollywood movies, songs, daily soap drama series, news, sports etc.for You can either choose a Premium Hindi package (which includes Punjabi and sports channels) for $14.99 per month or any regional package which includes major Hindi channels for $14.99 per month.
- f. Comcast – It is the second largest pay TV company after AT&T, Comcast offers South Asian TV channels but the channels offered are limited. South Asian packages (which includes Indian TV channels) start as low as $11.99 per month
NriDealExpert’s conclusion: For the US audiences, My Indian TV is one of the better services offering Indian channels based on range of channels offered and the cost. You may consider Yupp TV if you prefer more regional content.
- 2. UK – The top broadcasters which offer Indian TV channels in the UK are:
- a. Sky TV – When it comes to Indian channels, Sky TV is top gun among all other broadcasters in the U.K. It offers more than 45 Indian channels which can be viewed online as well. Sky Packages start from £20 per month which includes all Asian channels.
- b. Virgin Media TV – Virgin offers almost all the daily soap channels like Star Plus, Zee, Sony, and Zindagi. It gives its users approximately 15 channels at a cost of £34 per month.
- c. Talk Talk TV – Talk Talk TV is considered quite good for fans of Bollywood movies. It offers over 5 channels including standard channels like Sony TV Asia, Set Max, Zee Cinema, Star Gold, Zee TV, etc. for £27.45 per month.
- d. My India TV – My India TV offers more than 80 Indian Hindi and regional TV channels covering Bollywood movies, songs, daily soap drama series, news, sports etc.for You can either choose a Premium Hindi package (which includes Punjabi and sports channels) for $14.99 (£11) per month or any regional package which includes major Hindi channels for $14.99 (£11) per month.
- e. Yupp TV – Yupp TV offers various south/regional and over 90 Hindi channels to the audiences based in the UK. Its Hindi, Punjabi, and Urdu combo package comes at £9.99 per month or £99.99 per year which includes YuppFlix movies. You can either choose any Indian regional TV channels package for £9.99 per month or a Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and any Regional combo package for £14.99 per month. It works like a Netflix where you just have to buy a subscription and get started right away.
- f. Lebara Play – Lebara TV is highly recommended for those who are looking for Tamil content covering the latest Tamil movies, Tamil news, Tamil serials and lot more. Its monthly package starts at £7.90 and goes up to £9.99.
- g. IPTV – IPTV is also quite popular among Indian audiences based in the UK, mainly because it’s packages are relatively cheaper – £6-£7 per month for 5000+ channels. The only downside is that you can stream the content only on a single device simultaneously. If you need to connect more devices, you have to purchase another account with the same time period and you can’t purchase more than 3 connections.
NriDealExpert’s conclusion: For the UK audiences, Sky TV would be the top gun in terms of providing Indian and local content to its users. However, you need to pay extra for sports channels to watch cricket. The other option close to Sky TV would be My Indian TV as they provide a wide coverage of Indian channels including local and Indian sports channels to watch cricket. The only difference between the two is that Sky TV provides more local channels than My Indian TV does at that price. But if you’re a sports and cricket fan than My Indian TV could be your cheaper option than Sky TV. Lebara TV can also be picked if you have the desire watching Tamil shows and movies.
- 2. Netflix – Netflix has started adding some of the Indian content too. The content basically includes the daily soap drama series of India.
- 3. Official Websites – There are many Indian TV channels that upload their content daily on their official websites namely, Aajtak, NDTV, ABP news, Star Bharat, Sony TV, and many more. This may not be a bad option.
Disclaimer: Please note that it is our endeavor to provide unbiased and accurate information but cannot guarantee it to be perfect, so please do your bit of research and use the information from this article at your own risk.
I conducted a quick poll on Indian expat’s (NRIs, OCIs or PIOs) experience of opening an NRI Bank Account with Indian banks. As per the results, 60% of 30 respondents find the account opening process painful. See the results below. While the process is quite streamlined and digital for Indian domestic residents (thanks to AADHAAR), it is still paper-based, time-consuming and painful for Indian overseas residents. ICICI Bank NRI Services is leading the pack by starting a 100% digital account opening process for US residents, but yet to do something similar for rest of the world. I am having talks with Indian banks to streamline this process.
Indian Rupee exchange rate is one of the most important features to evaluate when you are sending money to India. It is in your best interest to make sure that you get the best Dollar (USD), Pound (GBP), Dirhams (AED) to Indian Rupee (INR) conversion rate possible. However, you may find that while some players offer very good Indian Rupee exchange rates, but they may charge very high fees or vice-versa. So, it is always good to weigh both Rupee exchange rates and fees when sending money to India, by looking at the final amount in Indian Rupees, the money transfer operator will transfer to your beneficiary in India.
For example, on 22nd December 2017, the top 3 money transfer providers as per the best exchange rate from the UK to India for £1000 (after fees) were as follows:
– Western Union (Rs. 85, 800)
– ICICI Bank Money2India (Rs. 85,680)
– Small world (Rs 85,680)
However, after including fees to compute the net amount converted in Indian Rupees (INR), the best value money transfer providers were as follows:
– Western Union (Rs. 85,496)
– Remitly (Rs. 85,310)
– money2home (Rs 85,300)
So, always compare both exchange rates and fees to find the best value money transfer providers. You can visit nriDealExpert.com to fish out the best Dollar (USD), Pound (GBP) or Dirhams (AED) to Indian Rupee (INR) exchange rates along with the comparison of fees and the speed of delivery offered by various money transfers to India operators.