SBI NRI Account opening in UAE: All you need to know

Aman Saxena

Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) may be interested in opening NRI accounts for their domestic and international earnings. Here is a step-by-step guide on opening NRI accounts with the State Bank of India if you are in the UAE.

Per the Reserve Bank of India, Non-Resident Indians are Indian citizens who live outside of India for more than 182 days a year. If you become an NRI, it is required that your domestic accounts be converted into NRI accounts.

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Can I open a bank account in SBI NRI account in UAE?

You can open an SBI NRI account from the UAE. SBI has an initiative that allows applicants to open an NRE or NRO account from anywhere in the world.

NRI accounts are convenient banking tools for NRIs to save money and avail tax benefits when residing outside of India. The accounts can come as a savings bank account or a fixed deposit. And whether you hold an NRE or an NRO, your funds will be held in Indian rupees.

The intention with an NRE or NRO account is to have a place to park funds and earn interest for those that intend to return to India eventually. It is not required to return to India however; some use the funds to repatriate to the country they have decided to reside in. Let’s take a look at the difference between an NRE and an NRO account.

NRE stands for Non-Resident External account, which is a type of NRI account that permits funding from outside of India. It is a way to park foreign income and salary and is repatriatable. There are no taxes paid on this income in India and is not subject to income taxes.

NRO stands for Non-Resident Ordinary account. This account is to manage earnings from within India that occur when you are abroad. Such earnings like rental income in India are to be placed in an NRO account when you are overseas. NRO accounts can be held jointly with a Resident Indian and is subject to income taxes.

🔖 Read more: Full guide to NRE and NRO accounts

SBI has additional NRI services such as term deposits, car loans, home loans, education loans, and investment accounts.¹

Documents required to open an SBI NRI account in UAE

If you are looking to prepare your application, you will need to provide documents verifying your NRI status and Indian identity. Here are the documents required to open an SBI NRI account:

  1. Proof of status documents: a valid visa, work permit, or job contract to show evidence of NRI status
  2. Valid Indian passport
  3. A valid current address document showing your non-India address: a utility bill, a foreign drivers license, an overseas government issued ID or overseas bank account statement
  4. Proof of permanent address: relevant pages of passport, driving license, voter identity card, or Aadhaar card
  5. 2 passport-sized photos

If you are not able to go to an SBI branch for opening the account, you will need to provide any of the following:

  1. A cheque from a foreign bank account
  2. A voided cheque from a foreign bank account
  3. Proof of income: a pay slip or tax return

These documents are specifically for NRIs. If you are a PIO or OCI holder, there is a different set of requirements. Also, ensure to follow the directions provided with your application, additional documentation may be required. ²

How to open an SBI NRI account in UAE

There are a few ways to open an NRI account which include online and in-person. Let’s take a look at how to open an SBI NRI account if you are in the UAE.

Opening an SBI NRI account online

SBI has a portal for online applications for NRI accounts. This process is only for setting up new NRI accounts and not for converting an existing Resident Indian account to an NRI account.

Here are the steps:³

  1. Gather your documents
  2. Head to the SBI NRI Online application
  3. Click on Start New under the Customer Information Section
  4. Complete the Personal Details page
  5. Save the form to generate an NRI Customer Reference Number (NCRN)
  6. Note your NCRN to refer to in the next section
  7. Complete the Additional Details page and save
  8. An email with your NCRN and the next steps will be sent to your email address listed on the application
  9. Next, complete the Account Information Section
  10. Fill out the Type of Account page and submit your NCRN
  11. Save the form to generate an NRI Account Reference Number (NARN)
  12. Complete the Verification page next
  13. An email with the NARN and the next steps will be sent to your email address on the application

After completing your online application follow the steps below:

  1. Download your online application
  2. Affix the passport-sized photos for the applicant to the application
  3. Sign and date, and mention the place in Section A, and Section B if there is a joint applicant
  4. Provide attested documents in the Third-Party Attestation section on Page 3
  5. Gather your application and mail it to the postal address mentioned in the emails from SBI

If you would prefer, SBI has a preliminary verification for applications for new applicants who would prefer the bank to scan their documents digitally to make sure they have everything they will need. It requires that your full application be available for upload.

With an online submission, your documents for KYC are required to be attested. You can get the signatures and attestation from:

  • An authorized official at an SBI Foreign Office
  • A notary public
  • The Indian Embassy or High Commission

Your documents should be submitted within 45 days of completing your online application.

Opening an SBI NRI account in person in Dubai

State Bank of India in Dubai is primarily for business and trade operating between India and the UAE. It is recommended to go through SBI’s process of an online application for opening an NRI account or opening the NRI account in person in India.⁴

However, you may want to contact the SBI Dubai representative officedirectly to learn more about their instant NRI account opening procedure. SBI does not provide additional details online about it, but NRI residents in Dubai could get an immediate account number and account activation within 2-3 working days.⁵

Opening an SBI NRI account in person from India

A simple way to open an SBI NRI account, whether you are trying to open a new account or convert an existing one, is to head to your local SBI branch in India.

You can download an application and complete it before heading to the bank branch, or pick a manual application from the bank.

Bring all of your documents and set up a time to open the account with a bank representative. Since you are providing the documents in person at a branch, they will not be required to be attested but they must be originals.

SBI UAE NRI account minimum balance

SBI requires a minimum account balance of ₹1,00,000 for NRE and NRO accounts.⁶

How to send money to the UAE from India?

There are two easy ways to send money to the UAE from India:

  • Outward remittance via bank transfer
  • Money transfer providers

Outward remittance via bank transfer

With international outward remittance bank transfers, you can send money from your local Indian bank account to an account abroad. You can complete the transfer using your bank’s online net banking service or by going to your local bank branch.

Banks charge two main fees: a transaction fee and a hidden exchange rate fee. The first fee is a charge for completing the transaction and differs per bank.

The second fee is hidden in the exchange rate you get from the bank. The banks charge users an exchange rate that is weaker than the real exchange rate that you see on Google or Reuters. And in that difference, the bank can sneak in a hidden fee in every rupee you convert. Although the difference can seem small, it can end up costing your transfer more than you expected.

Money transfer providers

Online money transfer providers are an easy and fast way to send money from India. They can be accessed online or through convenient mobile apps that pull from your Indian bank account and send money overseas.

Money transfer providers like Wise offer the real exchange rate and just one low fee when sending money overseas. And it is totally free to sign up and start using.

Here are the easy steps to send a transfer overseas with Wise:

  1. Register on Wise or through the Android/ iOS app
  2. Sign up with your email address or with your Google, Facebook, or Apple account
  3. Verify your identity with a PAN card and passport or driver's license.
  4. Once you are verified start a transfer by inputting how much you’d like to send
  5. Complete the recipient’s bank details
  6. Choose the reason for the transfer
  7. Pay for the transaction by bank transfer
  8. Once your payment has been completed, your transfer will begin.

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Sources used for this article:

  1. SBI NRI Accounts
  2. Documents
  3. Online application steps
  4. SBI Dubai
  5. SBI Dubai instant NRI account
  6. Minimum balance

All sources checked as of 9 June, 2022

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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