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Non Resident Indians (NRI's)
Matrimonial matters: marriage & divorce;
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Tax matters in India; Investing in India and all others
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Who is an NRI?

Who is a PIO?

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Q: Who is an NRI? Who is a Non Resident Indian?

Answer: A non-resident Indian (NRI) is an Indian citizen who has migrated to another country. 

For tax and other official purpose the government of India considers any Indian national away from India for more than 183 days in a year an NRI.

In common usage, this often includes Indian born individuals (and also people of other nations with Indian blood) who have taken the citizenship of other countries. Other terms with the same meaning are overseas Indian and expatriate Indian.

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Marriage in India

A. Religious Ceremonies

In India, a religious marriage ceremony is considered a legal marriage.  However, for Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists, the certificate issued by the temple or gurudwara may not be legally sufficient for all purposes.  Rather, members of these religions may seek a formal marriage certificate from the Registrar of Marriages.  If one of the parties is a U.S. citizen, the registrar may request a “no objection letter” from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate, and also may request proof of termination of any previous marriages, before a marriage certificate will be issued.

If the parties are married in a Christian, Muslim, Parsi, Jewish, Baha’i or other religious ceremony, the certificate issued by the religious authority (e.g., the church’s marriage certificate, the mosque’s nikah nama, etc.) generally is sufficient proof of marriage, and no certificate from the marriage registrar is necessary.


B. Civil Ceremonies

Parties who do not wish to marry in a religious ceremony can instead opt for a civil ceremony pursuant to the Special Marriage Act.  Again the American citizen who wishes to participate in a civil marriage ceremony may be required to present to the marriage officer a “no objection letter” from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate, as well as proof of termination of any previous marriages.  The parties generally are required to wait at least 30 days from the date of initial application to formalize the marriage so that the marriage officer can publish a newspaper ad allowing for the opportunity for any objections to the marriage to be voiced.

The marriage registrar’s office generally is located in a local community’s court complex or municipal building.


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