The procedure to obtain a PAN is simple and similar across all categories of individuals except that NRIs need to provide certain documents while applying.
NRIs who are Indian citizens can apply by filling Form 49A, while NRIs who are citizens of other countries need to fill Form 49AA. The forms can be accessed, filled and submitted online through the websites of UTITSL and NSDL.
If the communication address provided by the NRI is within India, fees are Rs.107, and if it is outside the fee is Rs.989. In cases of online applications, fees may be paid through a debit/credit card or through Net banking. A demand draft is also accepted and can be dispatched along with the documents and form.
Two photographs must also be provided and a copy of the passport as well as proof of identity.
The signed form with the required documents should reach the designated address within 15 days of the online application.
NRIs can provide a foreign address as residential or office address if they do not have an Indian address of their own.
PAN card dispatch facilities outside India are available only in select countries, so it is best to check the list before applying.