Meaning Of NRI

Non-residential Indians, or NRIs, as we are all aware of the term, are typically Indian parents’ first choice when looking for a marriage for their daughter.
Except for the Income Tax Act and the FEMA Act, no Indian law adequately defines or explains the term “NRI.”

According to Section 6 of the Income Tax Act, a person is considered to be a non-resident of India if he does not now reside there, and he is considered to have been a resident of India in any prior year if he meets any of the following criteria:

  1. If he spent 182 days or more in India the year prior; or
  2. Should he have spent at least sixty days in India in the preceding year and 365 days or more during 4 years immediately preceding the previous year.

According to a Ministry of External Affairs report, as of June 2023, 870000 people had renounced their citizenship, making 32 million NRIs and POIs living outside of India.

NRI Marriages

The official or legally recognised union of two individuals as partners in a personal relationship is the general definition of marriage. Marriage between an Indian citizen and a non-resident Indian (NRI).
The same legal standards apply to NRI marriages as they do to any other marriage in India. To marry, a couple must be of any legal age, and there must be no legal restrictions of any type.

In addition, the union needs to be officially registered within 30 days following the wedding date.
NRI marriages might take place domestically or overseas. The closest Indian embassy or consulate must register a marriage that is consummated overseas.

Laws That Governs NRI Marriage

The following laws govern NRIs regarding marriage, divorce, maintenance, and custody of NRI marriages:

  • The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
  • The Special Marriage Act, 1954
  • The Foreign Marriage Act, 1969
  • Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956
  • The Divorce Act, 1869
  • The Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act, 1939
  • Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936
  • The Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872

Issues In NRI Marriage

NRI marriage is becoming more and more popular these days, but there are additional problems for Indian brides when they marry an NRI bridegroom. When getting married abroad, several problems and difficulties come up, including the following:

  • Cultural Difference: Couples getting married in NRI frequently come from diverse backgrounds, which might cause miscommunication and conflict.
  • Communication Issue: NRI couples frequently struggle with efficient communication due to time zone variations and other factors.
  • The bride frequently feels uneasy and alone while she is separated from her family and friends, which can make it challenging to handle marital issues.
  • Sometimes, to get married, NRI husbands fabricate information about their socioeconomic standing.
  • She is occasionally even sent overseas to work as a maid and even kept in a room, where she is harassed both physically and psychologically.
  • The bridegroom takes advantage of the fact that there are two distinct legal systems, and she battles on foreign land to get maintenance for both herself and their child.
  • In an attempt to avoid paying support, the husband uses those grounds to obtain a divorce under foreign law.

Importance Of NRI Bill 2019

A significant piece of legislation, the Registration of Marriage of NRI Bill 2019 attempts to shield Indian women who marry NRIs from harassment and exploitation.

This law gives the passport authority the ability to confiscate the passport of any non-resident Indian (NRI) who fails to register their marriage within 30 days of being married.

The bill is important for the following reasons:
It will facilitate the keeping of a record of all NRI marriages and make it simpler for the bride to obtain legal assistance.
  • It will be simpler to stop NRIs from ignoring or abusing their spouses because they will be aware that there may be legal repercussions for them.
  • Given that their parents’ marriage would be legally documented, children born out of NRI marriages will have their rights better safeguarded.
  • Additionally, it will lessen the amount of bigamy and fraud surrounding marriages to NRIs.

The bill is praised by organisations that support women. However, some critics argue that the measure is unduly harsh and that it would discourage and have an impact on NRI weddings.

Legal Repercussions:
Depending on the countries involved, an NRI marriage may have complicated legal ramifications.

Jurisdiction: Identifying the court with jurisdiction is the first thing to do.
This will rely on several variables, including:

  • Nationality of the spouses
  • The country where marriage is performed
  • Residence of the spouses

In general, if either partner is an Indian citizen or the marriage was consummated in India, Indian courts will have jurisdiction over the marriage. However, the Foreign Court also has jurisdiction if one spouse resides abroad or is married abroad. Relevant Law:
The legal framework in India governs marriages between non-resident Indians and Indian citizens alike. This implies that the parties’ respective personal laws—such as the Christian Divorce Act, the Muslim personal law, or the Hindu Marriage Act—will be in effect. Legal Responsibilities and Rights:
NRI spouses have the same rights and responsibilities under the law as spouses who reside in India. This implies that NRI spouses are entitled to inheritance, children, maintenance, and alimony.

Solution And Legal Help:

  • Before marrying an NRI, it’s crucial to confirm.
  • Get a copy of the following paperwork about your Indian spouse who is living abroad, and save a copy for yourself and your parents:
    1. Number on Passport
    2. Evidence of Address in a Foreign Nation
    3. status of permanent residency
    4. Social Security number
  • Documentary evidence such as marriage photos, the wedding invitation, a copy of the husband’s passport, a driver’s licence, a P.R. or visa for a foreign nation, and any other identification provided by the foreign nation should be kept.

Do’s in Overseas Marriages Are As Follows:

  • Save a copy of the certificate of marriage registration.
  • Before your spouse departs India, have them help you with all the paperwork needed to obtain a visa and other procedures.
  • Ask the prospective Indian bride or groom living abroad for an affidavit attesting to their single status.
  • Obtain a comprehensive health insurance policy before travelling to another country.
  • Bring at least one copy of your passport with you when you enter the other nation.

What to Do After Reaching Abroad:

  • Create a bank account there so you may be financially independent and take out cash in an emergency.
  • Learn about the laws of the foreign nation and your rights there, particularly concerning protections against domestic violence, abuse, and neglect, as well as how to obtain a residency card.
  • After getting married, stay in contact with friends and family who live abroad by phone and email.
  • Learn the language of the foreign nation you are residing in, if at all possible.

How To File Case Living Over Seas:

  • Through NGOs that are accredited and legal organisations that have an Embassy or Consulate, the Ministry of External Affairs runs a programme to provide legal and financial support to Indian women who have been abandoned by their Indian or foreign spouses living abroad.
  • The USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Gulf nations of Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, KSA, and UAE offer this kind of support through their embassies and consulates.
  • Under the initiative, abandoned Indian women can receive up to USD 3,000 in industrialised countries and USD 2,000 in developing countries per instance. For more information, please get in touch with the Indian Community Officer or the Welfare Officer at the relevant Indian Embassy or Consulate.

How to Apply for Indian Ministry’s Legal and Financial Assistance

You may see the guidelines; complete the form available on the website of MEA. ( applications for providing legal aid received by the Indian Missions/Posts are examined by the Mission/Post on a case-to-case basis and approved by the Mission/Post before they are sent to the Ministry.

The applicant has to submit the completed form and relevant documents such as:

  1. a copy of the marriage licence
  2. Indian passport photocopy
  3. Statement of annual income
  4. A statement that the applicant is not the subject of any pending criminal cases
  5. Verification that the applicant’s passport is exclusively Indian
  6. Information about the filed case’s current status can be transmitted, if completed, to the relevant Indian Embassy, Mission, or Post, or the Ministry of External Affairs’ Overseas Indian Affairs II Division.

The Joint Secretary (Overseas Indian Affairs-II), Ministry of External Affairs, E Block, Central Secretariat, New Delhi, is the address to which the completed applications should be addressed. 011-24676210 by phone; 011-26882431 by fax; [email protected] via email

When Husband Abonons Wife And Children Overseas

Make contact with your friends, family, and relatives in India and abroad and ask for their support, guidance, or assistance.

The Indian Mission can help in filing a case, contacting family, getting legal assistance, and providing refuge for a few days through their affiliated non-governmental organisations and local community welfare associations.

An online list of NGOs, attorneys, and Indian associations that have registered or been authorised to operate in other countries can be found on the MIA website. you can reach out to them for assistance.

What are the rights of women against exploitation in the context of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act enacted in 2005?

  • Right to be free from sexual and physical abuse (498A IPC)
  • S. 125 of the CrPC: the right against economic exploitation
  • Remuneration for desertion (1994 6 SCC 641).
  • right to retain mother custody of children under five years old.
  • Right to support gifts given to spouses.
  • Right against the dowry.
  • Right against abuse, physical threats, torture, etc.
  • Prohibition of domestic abuse

Role of the National Commission For Women (NCW)

The Indian government’s highest national organisation, the National Commission for Women in New Delhi, is the nodal authority and is tasked with safeguarding and advancing the status of women.

Depending on the nature of the complaint, they take the following actions:

  1. The opposing party or parties, or the relevant authorities, are served with notices or summonses requesting them to respond to the complaint they have received or to appear in NCW and address the complaint.
  2. When an investigation is ongoing or there is a failure on the part of the police authorities to take proper action, complaints are referred to them for action-taken reports.
  3. Indian Embassies overseas receive complaints and take appropriate action on their end.
  4. To expedite the serving of summonses, warrants, or any orders issued by the relevant courts of law, complaints are sent to the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, and Ministry of Law and Justice.
  5. Regarding issues with passports, complaints are sent to the Passport Authorities.
  6. Complaints may be sent, if required, to the employers of the respondent-husband to take necessary action against him.

Depending on the particulars of each case and situation, the legal ramifications of an NRI marriage can vary greatly. But it’s crucial to understand the fundamental legal considerations that apply to all NRI weddings, such as jurisdiction, as well as the particular legal concerns, including child custody, divorce, and maintenance.

If a person intends to marry an NRI, they should be informed of the legal ramifications, their rights, the hotline number, and other crucial government requirements. Even if many people can aid and situations can be handled, one must be strong and use caution. The most important thing is to make sure you are aware of your rights and obligations.

Adv. Khanank Sharma (D\1710\2023)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This field is required.

This field is required.


The following disclaimer governs the use of this website (“Website”) and the services provided by the Law offices of Kr. Vivek Tanwar Advocate & Associates in accordance with the laws of India. By accessing or using this Website, you acknowledge and agree to the terms and conditions stated in this disclaimer.

The information provided on this Website is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice or relied upon as such. The content of this Website is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Firm. Any reliance on the information provided on this Website is done at your own risk.

The Law Firm makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, completeness, reliability, or suitability of the information contained on this Website.

The Law Firm disclaims all liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this Website or for any actions taken in reliance on the information provided herein. The information contained in this website, should not be construed as an act of solicitation of work or advertisement in any manner.