State Bank of India NRI Account: All you need to know

Aman Saxena

SBI offers NRI bank accounts for Indians living overseas, and those thinking of returning to India.

Read on to learn more about the types of accounts, and how they work.

📝 Table of contents

SBI offers NRIs banking relationships to manage personal finances and income from abroad and in India.

There are 2 categories of NRE and NRO accounts, plus additional types of accounts for insurance, foreign currency deposits and also returning NRIs.

Here is a quick table on the bank accounts available at SBI:¹

Type of Account Purpose
NRE Account For income earned abroad and converting it to Indian Rupees
NRE Salary Account For salary earned abroad and converting it to Indian Rupees
NRO Account For earnings in India for NRIs
Non Resident Ordinary (NRO) Salary Account For salary earned in India while an NRI
NRO Tax Saving Scheme Intended to help save on taxes with 80C
FCNRB Account For foreign currency deposits
FCNRB Premium Account For foreign currency deposits and insurance
RFC Account For income earned abroad when resettling in India
NRI Family Card For money transfers for family in India
Demat Account For NRIs wanting to invest in stocks and bonds in India
SBI Capgains Plus Account For NRIs with property sales in India
🔖 Read more: Full guide to NRE/ NRO accounts

How to open an NRI account in SBI

In order to open an NRI account at SBI, you will first have to make sure you are eligible for the account you want.

SBI NRI Account Eligibility

The eligibility criteria depends on if you are an NRI/ OCI/ PIO

Type of account NRI OCI/ PIO
Domestic/ Resident Accounts ❌ No ❌/ ✅ No, unless in India for over 182 days a year
NRO Accounts ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
NRE Accounts ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
FCNRB Accounts ✅ Yes ✅ Yes

All of the accounts can be made into a joint account with a Resident Indian who qualifies as a close relative and as a secondary applicant.²

⚠️ To qualify as an NRI, you must be a resident outside of India for more than 50% of the year

If you are moving abroad, your bank account should be rolled into NRI accounts, and vice versa if you are moving back to India.

To open an account with SBI NRI services isn’t straightforward and depends on the type of account you are opening.

You can create an application online only for NRO and NRE Savings Accounts, more on that in the next section.

Any other accounts need to go through SBI’s representatives. Here is what you can expect from the account opening process:³

  • Identify the account you would like to open at the SBI NRI website
  • Click on Apply Now button under the account type or at NRI Callback
  • Complete your contact details including what country you are currently in
  • Enter in your SBI account number if you have an existing relationship
  • Choose the account you’re interested in from the drop down, and hit ‘Submit’
  • An SBI representative will contact you for next steps

You have the option to enter in your email address and local phone number abroad in this process. SBI will reach out to you through either method for your application.

SBI NRI account opening online

If you are looking to open a simple NRO or NRE Account, you can complete the application online and then mail the forms to the bank.

SBI highlights this as 3 easy steps:

  1. Complete the online application including both the customer information and account information section
  2. Print your application, and have it and your documents attested
  3. Mail the application to SBI
⚠️ There is no direct way to completely apply online for an SBI NRI account

You will have to go through the call-back process or an alternative option is to go to a SBI bank branch either in India or one of the foreign offices.

SBI NRI account opening documents

Here is a list below of documents needed for opening a standard NRE or NRO account at SBI as an NRI.⁴

  • A valid visa or work permit for your country of residence
  • Copy of your Indian passport
  • A copy of a utility bill, employer certificate or government issued ID with your current overseas address
  • Proof of permanent address (it can be overseas or in India)
  • Proof of income through a pay slip, or void cheque from the applicant’s foreign bank account
  • 2 passport size photographs

This list is not comprehensive for all the different types of NRI accounts SBI offers- and for certain accounts, like investments, you may be asked for additional forms.

Check with an SBI representative first if you are applying for any other NRI accounts outside of the NRE or NRO accounts.

The required document list also may vary for OCI or PIO holders.

SBI NRI account minimum balance

These are the minimum balances or deposits required to maintain in an SBI NRI account in order to not be hit with fees.⁵

Type of SBI NRI account Monthly balance/ deposit to maintain to avoid fees
NRE & NRO Accounts- Metro & Urban India ₹1,00,00
NRE & NRO Accounts- Semi Urban & Rural india ₹50,000
FCNRB Accounts 1,000 USD, CAD, GBP, EUR, AUD or 100,000 JPY
RFC Account 1,000 USD, GBP or EUR

These amounts may change so it is best to continue to watch communication from SBI about minimum balance requirements and fees.

Also check with SBI on the balances you need to maintain if you are an existing client of the bank.

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Interest rates for SBI NRI account

Certain SBI NRI accounts accrue interest. This quick table below can give you an idea.

But keep in mind, interest rates are subject to change so check with SBI before your move forward.⁶

Interest rates for SBI NRE & NRO Savings accounts

Savings Accounts Below ₹1,00,000 Above ₹1,00,000
NRE Account 2.70% 2.70% p.a on entire balance
NRO Account 2.70% 2.70% p.a on entire balance

Interest rates for timed deposits below ₹2 crore

Deposits 1-2 years 2-3 years 3-5 years 5-10 years
NRE & NRO Account 5% 5.10% 5.30% 5.40%

Interest rates for SBI RFC accounts:

Currency Deposit 1-2 years 2-3 years 3 years
US Dollars 0.67% 0.79% 0.99%
British Pound 0.69% .94% 1.05%
Euro .01% .01% .01%

FCNR deposits have interest rates that depend on the currency you chose. Learn more about each currency’s yields and time horizons on the SBI FCNR Deposit page.

⚠️ The interest rates you get or the minimum balances you need to maintain can often depend on the depth of your relationship with the bank.

If you are already an SBI client, see what preferential rates and balances you can get by speaking to SBI directly.

SBI NRI account benefits

If you and your family already have familiarity, trust and a banking relationship with SBI, it can be a good idea to look at them for NRI accounts too.

SBI foreign office branches can also be a benefit for Indians living abroad who like to bank in person.

But on the other hand, some NRIs may find that SBI is missing key digital services and accesibility for modern globe trotters.

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SBI NRI account customer care

SBI NRI customer care can be reached online or by phone, in addition to visiting an SBI branch. If you are currently abroad, you can take a look at the SBI global customer care number for close to 20 different countries to contact the bank overseas.

Additionally you can log into your SBI portal for direct help or use the chat feature and contact us feature on theSBI website’s customer care page.

Sources used for this article:

  1. NRI Accounts at SBI
  2. Eligibility
  3. Applying for an NRI account
  4. NRI documents list
  5. Minimum Balance amounts
  6. Interest Rates

All sources checked as of 17 August 2021

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