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Foreign Exchange and Travel  
Do same Rules apply to persons going for studies abroad?
          For the purpose of studies abroad, exchange for maintenance expenses is released in the form of
  • currency notes up to US$ 2,000.
  • the balance foreign exchange may be taken in form of traveler's cheques or bank draft payable overseas.

How much in advance one can buy foreign exchange for travel abroad?

           The foreign exchange acquired for any purpose has to be used within 60 days of purchase. In case it is not possible to use the foreign exchange within the period of 60 days it should be surrendered to an authorized dealer.

Can one pay by cash full rupee equivalent of foreign exchange being purchased for travel abroad ?
          

           Foreign exchange for travel abroad can be purchased from banks against rupee payment in cash up to Rs.50,000/-. However, if the rupee equivalent exceeds Rs.50,000/-, the entire payment should be made by way of a crossed cheque/banker’s cheque/pay order/demand draft only.

Within what period a traveler who has returned to India is required to surrender foreign exchange?

           On return from a foreign trip travelers are required to surrender unspent foreign exchange held in the form of currency notes within 90days and travelers' cheques within 180 days of return. However, they are free to retain foreign exchange up to USD 2,000, in the form of foreign currency notes or TCs for future use or credit to their RFC(Domestic) Account without any limit.

On return to India can one retain some foreign exchange?

           Residents are permitted to hold foreign currency up to USD 2,000 or its equivalent or credit to their RFC(Domestic) Account without any limit provided the foreign exchange was

  • Acquired by him while on a visit to any place outside India by way of payment for services not arising from any business in or anything done in India; or
  • Acquired by him, from any person not resident in India and who is on a visit to India, as honorarium or gift or for services rendered or in settlement of any lawful obligation, or
  • Acquired by him by way of honorarium or gift while on a visit to any place outside India; or
  • Acquired by him from an authorized person for travel abroad and represents the unspent amount thereof.

Is one required to surrender foreign coins also to an authorized dealer?

          Foreign Coins. There is no restriction on residents holding foreign coins.

How much foreign exchange can one send as gift / donation to a person resident outside India?

           Any person resident in India can remit up to USD 5,000 in any one year as a gift to a person residing outside India or as donation to a charitable/educational /religious/ cultural organization outside India. Remittances exceeding the limit require prior permission from the Reserve Bank.

Is one permitted to use International Credit Card (ICC) for undertaking foreign exchange transactions?

           Use of the International Credit Cards (ICCs) / ATMs/ Debit Cards can be made for making personal payments like subscription to foreign journals, internet subscription, etc., and for travel abroad in connection with various purposes. Your entitlement of foreign exchange on International Credit Cards (ICCs) is limited by the credit limit fixed by the card issuing authority only. With ICCs you can i) meet expenses/make purchases while abroad ii) make payments in foreign exchange for purchase of books and other items through internet in India. If you have a foreign currency account in India or with a bank overseas, you can even obtain ICCs of overseas banks and reputed agencies. Use of these instruments for payment in foreign exchange in Nepal and Bhutan is not permitted.

While coming into India how much Indian currency can be brought in?

           A person coming into India from abroad can bring in with him Indian currency notes within the limits given below:

  • Up to Rs. 5,000 from any country other than Nepal
    or Bhutan, and
  • Any amount in denomination not exceeding Rs.100 from Nepal or Bhutan.

While going abroad how much foreign exchange, in cash, can a person carry?

           Residents are free to carry the foreign exchange purchased from an authorized dealer or money changer in accordance with the Rules. They are, however, allowed to carry foreign exchange in the form of currency notes/coins up to USD 2,000 or its equivalent only. Balance amount can be carried in the form of traveler's cheques or banker/s draft.

While coming into India how much foreign exchange can be brought in?

           A person coming into India from abroad can bring with him foreign exchange without any limit. However, if the aggregate value of the foreign exchange in the form of currency notes, bank notes or travelers cheques brought in exceeds USD 10,000/- or its equivalent and/or the value of foreign currency exceeds USD 5,000/- or its equivalent, it should be declared to the Customs Authorities at the Airport in the Currency Declaration Form (CDF), on arrival in India.

While going abroad how much foreign exchange can a person carry?

           Residents are free to carry the foreign exchange purchased from an authorized dealer or money changer in accordance with the Rules. In addition, they can also carry up to USD 2,000, or higher amounts representing the unutilized balance of a previous trip, if already held by them (see item13 above) in accordance with the Regulations.

Is one required to follow complete export procedure when a gift parcel is sent outside India?

           A person resident in India is free to send (export) any gift article of value not exceeding Rs. 5,00,000 provided export of that item is not prohibited under the extant EXIM Policy.

How much jewelry one can carry while going abroad?

           Taking personal jewelry out of India is governed by Baggage Rules framed under Export-Import Policy by the Government of India. No approval of Reserve Bank is required in this case.

Can a resident extend local hospitality to a non-resident?

           A person resident in India is free to make any payment in Indian Rupees towards meeting expenses on account of boarding, lodging and services related thereto or travel to and from and within India of a person resident outside India who is on a visit to India.

Can residents purchase air tickets in India for their travel not touching India?

           Residents may book their tickets in India for their visit to any third country. That is residents can book their tickets for travel for instance to London/New York through domestic/foreign airlines in India itself.

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