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As an NRI residing in Singapore, I completed freelance work for an acquaintance in India. Now, I'm seeking advice on the most suitable method to receive payment: Should I use an NRE or NRO account in India or an Indian savings account. Also, can I receive funds directly into my Singapore savings account?

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Deposits into NRE accounts must be in hard (non-Indian) currency; the deposits are then converted into INR and held as INR in the NRE account. So, unless the client has access to US dollars (say) and pays you in US dollars, that money (in INR) cannot be deposited into your NRE account.

Payment in INR can be deposited into your NRO account, or into your ordinary Indian savings account provided that you are eligible to hold an ordinary Indian savings account. By law, if you have been outside India for more than 182 days in a year, you are no longer entitled to hold an ordinary Indian savings account: all such accounts must be converted to NRO accounts.

The process is relatively easy because the banks themselves are liable if they allow you to hold an ordinary savings account when you are an NRI, and so they are eager to help. A first step might need to be to change the current address of the account holder from c/o Mom and Dad, Somewhere, India to your actual address in Singapore.

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