What are the Documents Required for Opening an NRE Account by a Seafarer?

In India, as per the RBI guidelines, you have to fill out the respective forms and submit the corresponding documents while opening an account in a bank. The entire process is stringent and compulsory for Indian citizens to fulfil KYC compliance in the country.

Indian seafarers are essentially NRIs that work aboard ships and vessels and spend months or even years on the sea, occasionally docking at ports overseas. Since they are outside the country for more than 182 days, they are granted an NRI-status. As such, they need to open an NRE account for their foreign earnings or an NRO account for managing their Indian earnings.

An NRE account is especially important to park their foreign earnings in INR.

However, the banking needs of seafarers is slightly different from a regular NRI. For this, many banks offer seafarer bank accounts specially created to cater to the needs of the sea ‘men and women’. Opening the accounts is fairly straightforward. However, you need to submit a few essential documents for the same.

Document Requirements for Opening a Seafarer Bank Account

Before diving into the details necessary for opening a Seafarer bank account, fulfilment of the below-mentioned eligibility criteria is a must:

  • Indian citizenship as per the three categories, namely NRI( Non-Resident Indian), PIO (Person of Indian Origin), and OCI (Overseas Citizen of India), respectively.
  • Ownership of a valid visa.

The pre-requisites for opening an NRE account include a series of documents. All of the mandatory documents required for ensuring KYC (Know Your Client) compliance are enlisted below:

  • Copy of your valid Passport- A xerox of the first and last four pages of a valid passport is necessary. Please ensure that the previous date of arrival in the country is present. Also, the authorized signature should be legible and a perfect match to the signature on the registration form.
  • Copy of your Valid Visa- You need to furnish a copy of your visa stamp indicating the last date of arrival and the foreign country’s name from where you left for India.
  • Declaration Form: It’s a self-attested declaration stating that you’re an NRI and the employer’s details. Such a form aids in converting a Seafarer’s account to the Resident Foreign country(RFC) account if and when the residency status gets altered.
  • Continuous Discharge Certificate (CDC)– This document is furnished as identity proof and authorized by the Government of India. It is a legal document that indicates the official tenure of being a Seafarer.

Apart from the documents mentioned above, you might be requested to submit additional documents in line with your employment conditions, such as;

  • Permanent Employment- It clearly indicates that you hold a permanent job, and the following supporting documents are essential:
  1. Valid appointment letter
  2. Payment slips of the past six months
  • Contract-basis work – If you’re hired on a contractual basis, you have to submit the following documents:
  1. Valid work contract*
  2. Compensation structure record
  3. Valid CDC with the disembarkation stamp
  • Oil-rig employment– If you’re stationed on an oil rig, then the following documents are mandatory:
  1. Valid work contract*
  2. Valid CDC with the disembarkation stamp

*Exception: An expired contract letter or letter from the previous employer is acceptable if the CDC’s disembarkation stamp is not more than six months old.

A significant point to be noted in this case is that all the KYC documents provided have to be authorized by the signatory. Several banks offer a list of benefits to the seafarers for opening and maintaining the seafarer account. You can go through the prescribed guidelines and open the account, fulfilling all the necessary terms and conditions.