May I please put in my rupiah's worth here? Several years ago when my "itch" to revisit & possibly "see Goa again" had begun, I enquired at a kiosk-style desk of an agency about Goa & possible residence there.
I enquired via this property company's website about their properties, just out of curiosity, because my wife & I were planning a working retirement around 2010 and wanted to make sure we were doing everything correctly & ensuring we were not conned or left high & dry, also planning financially that we would be able to "begin a new life" but with some money in the bank. We did not want to just sell up and move, we were not 25 years old & have the whole world in front of us, time is of the essense when you plan this sort of thing in your 50's, I am sure you know its only the fool-hardy who will throw good money after an unsure venture without first making enquiries.
So we approached this company (I will give the name to anyone who emails me privately, but I do not wish to get involved in any defamation or libelous action, even on this forum it may well be illegal to name a company when my input is a negative posting), I duely gave them my email and personal details as requested.
I was inundated with so many different schemes to purchase this home. It would be ours, with or without swimming pool, with or without aluminum windows and doors, detached, air con or not, semi-detached and so on.
The prices appeared & looked reasonable to US (but I doubt if a middle-class Goan with a wife and two children would have thought so, as it was not financially relative to his earning power), but at Rs 85 to the ?1 it was certainly ok for us, if we saved for the next 4 years & cut back on certain luxuries and so on, we could well put down a deposit & repay over the agreed time-window.
We discussed it on and off for six months, there was lots of emails back and forth, offers for us to visit Goa (THAT WAS TEMPTING on its own) for a few days, the representative would take us over the places where the plots of land were to be built upon, we would be supplied with a place to stay, tours etc, maps included & we would be picked up at the airport, put into a hotel and so on.
Tempting, all very tempting, but as I said before we were not in our 20's, I was over 50 years old at the time and aware of scams & other "too-good to be true" promotions. As a businessman myself, in the service industry, we have seen our competition use tactics of this sort, we avoided it & we are still in business.
We were to own our own little villa, with a walled garden, swimming pool & lovely mature trees, landscaped gardens & a little vegetable plot for me to potter around, and only less than a mile from the beach...........
or there were other properties, with or without security (24-hr of course, nothing but the best, and ONLY a few hundred rupiah per month service charge)........
This went on and on for these months, so when I spoke to a member of staff of the UK branch of State Bank of India with a view to handling our cash & opening accounts etc, he was very informative. Was I a Person of Indian Origin?
He told me I need to be a PIO if you wish to OWN land in India, any state, Goa included. I said no but my wife was, although a Mauritian, her ancestry is Indian, in fact a Hindu also. He said she could buy but the process would take years.............. I personally would not be able to purchase any land in India (by the way the same rules apply to Mauritius), however this is not something the property developer was intent on telling us, its very wicked of them because this should be pointed out to prospective buyers.
There are hundreds of people who later discover that they have purchased these houses, and are legal owners of it, but they cannot enjoy it forever, they can live there only as per their visa dictates, or live there for X number of years before receiving the chance of becoming citizens eventually but it is not guaranteed. As they do not own the land, they also are not permitted to reside in the houses or villas etc for any longer than their adopted country has permitted them via the VISA.
Once its up, you can apply to extend it, most times it is granted but after a while, say after 2 or 3 times many are rejected and you have to leave, try to come back later, again on a visa.
I would have invested my lifetime savings, my business monies & everything for a working retirement in Goa, but this was not to be. My wife said she would put her name forward but then as a PIO for now, you can own the land, buy, construct & do whatever any other Goan or other State Indian can, in Goa but how long for?
The rules change so often in India that we were concerned our two children, both girls & therefore in this patriarcal society would find inheritance & life in general difficult, even if they married a Goan), we were mortally terrified for their futures and our immediate futures at the same time, we would be shunned by one & all, as residents & our girls (classed in some States of India as chi-chi or half-caste) would not get a hearing, even though they inherited via parents (albeit one, their PIO mother), they would find themselves in some communal, religious or political trouble & lose everything we worked so hard for them to inherit.
No, it was not to be Goa where we would reside for the rest of our lives, bringing in money and business (hiring Goans for the business also), we would be utimately left with nothing & would have to leave the country. Many expats live there, have a business and a home and enjoy their lives, but they had to do it the difficult way, live in Goa first for a considerable amount of years & then invest. Only the foolish would invest & the be turned down, with nowhere to go! Maybe I am being a bit too critical here, but this is way it was some years ago, now I can imagine the rules would be tightened up a bit more, so who is to say in the near future, it would not be tightened even further, suffocating & stressful for all concerned.
A sad fact, that was seven or so years ago when we enquired & this year, after all these years we continue annually (and sometimes several times every year) get emails with promotions from the same company, with more plots being built in Goa, and they are all selling well............ to UK residents as well as USA, Russian, Germany..........
So I wonder who has managed to change the rules to fit these nations in Goa, they are all pretty well off people (no working retirement for them!),
ah!.......... Perhaps its just envy on my part.
But I wished at the time that the company had warned us that even if we bought the house, we did not REALLY own it, perhaps the bricks and mortar but NOT the plot of land. You see you can remove the bricks and mortar by legislation but you cannot take away the land. It is still not inheritable, as you can here in the UK, Germany, USA......... dont know much about Russia, its in its second childhood so rules are meant to be broken over there, so until it reaches adulthood, nobody knows what their rules are. But ANYONE from ANY NATION can buy land in the UK. Certainly my wife can and she originated from 10,000 kilometres away, she can even buy it in India as a PIO.
Certainly I know that any chances I may have had moving to Goa when I am 60 yrs old have NO CHANCE at all, perhaps I will just have to be glad that I am still allowed to visit, albeit on a temporary basis.
My future? Oh its in Mauritius, where we have already bought land a year ago (well, in my wife's name but I am guaranteed via marriage & the a Mauritian notary full spousall rights under Mauritian Law, this was changed to include"non-Mauritian" spouse having equal rights, the same as my wife enjoys with me in the UK, its reciprocated in Mauritius, in agreement with Mauritian Law.
I have also been offered 75% of the cost of construction by a bank in Mauritius, in my name (as I have held accounts with them for many years), without having to resort to having my wife as a co-guarantee etc.
Now that is progress!
I feel very sorry indeed for the people who invested so much, only to lose it all, possibly sell up cheaply and leave their beloved home in Goa. I on the other hand learned from other people's mistakes. I was wrenched from Goa when I was eleven and half years old all those years ago, a second time at my advancing age would have put me on my funeral pyre! I would have been able to handle it the second time!
I wish all the other mistakes I made in my life were as equally easy to learn, although not easy to accept, once must for sake of sanity, move on!
As I mentioned to you above, if you wish to know who the company is that is building for foreigners & in a back-handed way taking money for projects that will not legally belong to the buyers unless they are PIO (even that is not guaranteed under Indian Law if the mood of Parliament changes later), but could be confiscated or sold cheaply & the occupants thrown out of the country if they are not PIO, contact me, privately for the email address and the adddresses I have, in UK & in GOA I will glady supply.
Whether this has anything at all to do with FEMA or not I do not know, but it may be additional to those who broke Indian Laws governing finance, this may have nothing to do with the sale of the properties to non-Indian opr non-PIO buyers. These non-PIO who purchased "land" and a house to go with it, may be a separate issue. In any way, they too lose out, as would we if we had gone ahead with the deals presented to us a 100% genuine offer.
Anyone can offer 100% of anything to anyone, it does not make it true, morally or legally. But there is no clause dictated by the Goan authorities or the Indian Goverment inserted in the sale of the houses & certainly the notaries in Goa are saying nothing to put off the buyers. After all you bought the HOUSE............ but you cant live in it forever, nor will you own the land or pass it onto your children.
.......Tedd and his wife, who came here first in 1991 and settled in 2000, may have to leave their adopted home. ?After three months of putting in our application forms, we were duly told they we weren?t being granted a visa and you have to leave the country......... We have got letters from government to leave the country immediately without any reason. They have refused to extend our visa........... ?We enquired into 460 cases of land deals by foreigners in Goa. There are almost 350 cases where FEMA is violated. We have referred these 350 cases........ The Goa government has far identified 50 cases of foreigners overstaying in Goa without proper documents..........
Sanny de Quepem