I am planning to buy an apartment in India. The builder prefers that I make payment in a couple of weeks since the apartment is ready.
I wanted to transfer funds to the builder in a way that they are repatriable - so that say, in 5 years time, if I decide to sell off the property in India, I can move some of the sale proceeds back to the U.S.

To this extent, the simplest approach seems to be to open an NRE account and issue a check to the builder from this account. State Bank of India got back saying it could upto 4 weeks to open the account - but I'd like to pay the builder before then.

The other option I considered was a wire-transfer from my U.S. account to the builder's account in India. I have an existing relationship with ICICI Money2India and they seem to offer competitive exchange rates - much better rates than if I wire-transfered directly to the builder's bank. Hence my question - Are my funds considered repatriable if I wire-transfer to the builder's bank account via ICICI Money2India? Or are they repatriable if I wire-transfer directly to the builder's bank account?

Appreciate thoughts/advice.
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  • For buying/selling a property and other repatriation issues see the RBI FAQs.

    RBI FAQs
  • To repatriate , entire money has to be paid through NRE account. No going around that.
    Banks create NRE account within a day if you are physically present in India or get some one to open up for you only with photocopies of passport / work permit.