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PAN Card for Foreign Nationals or NRI

The Permanent Account Number (PAN) card is a 10-digit alphanumeric number that is issued by the Income Tax Department. It is used to track the transactions of individuals including tax payments. Any person, whether an Indian individual or business, or foreign individual or business, can apply for a PAN card.

The following are the types of persons who are required to have a PAN Card -

  • Existing assesses or taxpayers who are required to declare their incomes, even if it is on the behalf of others, must obtain a PAN card.

  • Any individual or entity whose business exceeds a turnover, sales, or gross receipts of Rs. 5 lakhs is also required to obtain a PAN.

  • Any person or entity who is looking to enter into a financial transaction where PAN is mandatory.

PAN can be obtained by foreign citizens. The following are the documents needed -

Form 49AA-

Foreigners/NRIs should sign form 49AA after affixing their photograph to the form. Along with application, a copy of the following documents must be attached:

Proof of Identity - Passport copy duly notarized and appostalised in host country.

Proof of Address - Any two address proofs issued in the foreign country must be notarised and appostalised. Address Proof may be the latest bank statement, driving license or utility bill.

Steps after getting above documents executed:

Once above documents are executed, this has to be submitted through the NSDL PAN facilitation center (

Necessary Govt. fee must be paid for processing this application. The Status of the application can be tracked in the link given below:

Allotment of PAN:

If all the documents are in order, a PAN will be allotted and a hard copy of the PAN will be couriered to the applicant as per given address in the PAN application.

Compulsory PAN for Foreign Directors/NRI:

As per provisions of Income Tax Act, 1961, Director/Managing Director of an Indian company should obtain a PAN in India. It means that any foreign national or NRI, Director of Indian company should obtain a PAN. By having a PAN it is not mandatory to file an Income Tax Return in India. Filing of Income Tax return in India arises only when such NRI/Foreign National has earned any income in India.

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