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RBI Guidelines

Bringing in and taking out of Foreign Exchange

  • Foreign Exchange can be brought into India without limit;
  • Declaration in form CDF necessary if the Amount > USD 10,000 (FC notes + TCs) and / or FC notes exceed USD 5000;
  • Taking out Foreign Exchange other than that obtained from AD/AMC prohibited;
  • Non- residents can take out Foreign Exchange up to the amount originally brought in;

Purchases of Foreign Currency from Public /Foreign Nationals:

  • Purchase from Residents / Non – Residents/foreign nationals FC Notes/ Coins/ TC's subject to submission of CDF (wherever applicable) to be taken;
  • Facility to avail INR against International Credit Cards by foreign tourists
  • Encashment Certificate to be issued in all cases of Encashments;
  • No limit for encashment is prescribed, if declared on the Currency Declaration Form (CDF) on arrival to the customs authorities.
  • No declaration in CDF is required for Foreign Currency with aggregate value upto US 5000 or equivalent;
  • No declaration in CDF is required for FC + TC with aggregate value upto US 10000 or equivalent;
  • For purchase of foreign currency notes and/ or Travellers' Cheques from customers for any amount less than Rs. 50,000/-, or its equivalent, copies of identification documents not required. However, details of the identification document to be furnished by the customer/ to be kept on record by the AMC;
  • For purchase of foreign currency notes and/ or Travellers' Cheques from customers for any amount equal to or in excess of Rs.50,000/-, or its equivalent, documents, as mentioned at (F-Part-II) annexed to the A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No.17 {A.P.(FL/RL Series) Circular No.4} dated November 27, 2009, should be verified and copies retained.
  • Permissible limit for cash payments against encashment:
    a) Foreign Nationals up to -- US $ 3000
    b) Residents up to -- US $ 1000
  • All other cases of encashments, payment to be made by way of Account Payee Cheque or demand draft only.
  • Payment to be made only by Cheque / DD, if purchases are from other FFMC/AD's;

Sale of foreign exchange Private Visits / Business Visits:

  • Sale against application, identification documents and declaration regarding Foreign Exchange availed during the financial year;
  • Private visit- up to USD 10,000 per financial year.
  • .Business visit-up to USD 25,000 per trip for Business / Conference / Training etc.
  • TC issue subject to conditions of TC issuing company;
  • Traveler to sign on the TC in the presence of Authorized official of AMC;
  • Payment in excess of Rs.50, 000 to be received by Cheque / DD;
  • Foreign Currency Notes up to USD 3000 and balance in TC's/Travel cards;
  • Exemptions - Travelers visiting
  • Libya & Iraq up to US $ 5000
  • Islamic Republic of Iran, Russian Federation and commonwealth of Independence States – Entire exchange to be released in FC notes;

Sales against Reconversion of Indian Currency

  • Non-residents are allowed to reconvert unspent INR at the time of their departure subject to production of a valid Encashment Certificate;
  • Non-residents are allowed to reconvert INR up to Rs.10,000 without a valid Encashment Certificate, for bonafide reasons, if departure is scheduled to take place within the following seven days.
  • Facility for reconversion of Indian Rupees to the extent of Rs. 50,000/- to foreign tourists (not NRIs) against ATM Receipts, are allowed subject to submission of the following documents:
    • Valid Passport and VISA
    • Ticket confirmed for departure within 7 days.
    • Original ATM slip (to be verified with the original debit/ credit card).

 

FAQ's

1. Who is a resident?
A 'person resident in India' is defined in Section 2(v) of FEMA, 1999 as:

A person residing in India for more than one hundred and eighty-two days during the course of the preceding financial year but does not include –

(A) a person who has gone out of India or who stays outside India, in either case -
for or on taking up employment outside India, or
for carrying on outside India a business or vocation outside India, or
for any other purpose, in such circumstances as would indicate his intention to stay outside India for an uncertain period;

(B) a person who has come to or stays in India, in either case, otherwise than –
for or on taking up employment in India, or
for carrying on in India a business or vocation in India, or
for any other purpose, in such circumstances as would indicate his intention to stay in India for an uncertain period;
any person or body corporate registered or incorporated in India,
an office, branch or agency in India owned or controlled by a person resident outside India,
an office, branch or agency outside India owned or controlled by a person resident in India;

2. From where one can buy foreign exchange?

Foreign exchange can be purchased from any authorised dealer. Besides authorised dealers, full-fledged money changers are also permitted to release exchange for business and private visits.

3. How much exchange is available for a business trip?
Authorized dealers can release foreign exchange up to USD 25,000 for a business trip to any country other than Nepal and Bhutan. Release of foreign exchange exceeding USD 25,000 for a travel abroad (other than Nepal and Bhutan) for business purposes, irrespective of period of stay, requires prior permission from Reserve Bank. Visits in connection with attending of an international conference, seminar, specialised training, study tour, apprentice training, etc., are treated as business visits.

Incidentally, no release of foreign exchange is admissible for any kind of travel to Nepal and Bhutan or for any transaction with persons resident in Nepal and Bhutan.

4. How much foreign exchange can one buy when traveling abroad on private visits to a country outside India?
In connection with private visits abroad, viz., for tourism purposes, etc., foreign exchange up to USD10,000, in any one financial year may be obtained from an authorised dealer on a self-declaration basis. The ceiling of USD10,000 is applicable in aggregate and foreign exchange may be obtained for one or more than one visit provided the aggregate foreign exchange availed of in one financial year does not exceed the prescribed ceiling of USD10,000 {The facility was earlier called B.T.Q or F.T.S.}. This limit of USD10,000 per financial year can be availed of by a person along with foreign exchange for travel abroad for any purpose, including for employment or immigration or studies. However, no foreign exchange is available for visit to Nepal and/or Bhutan for any purpose.

5. How much foreign exchange can be purchased in foreign currency notes while buying exchange for travel abroad?

Travellers are allowed to purchase foreign currency notes/coins only up to USD 2000. Balance amount can be taken in the form of travellers cheque or banker’s draft. Exceptions to this are (a) travellers proceeding to Iraq and Libya can draw foreign exchange in the form of foreign currency notes and coins not exceeding USD 5000 or its equivalent; (b) travellers proceeding to the Islamic Republic of Iran, Russian Federation and other Republics of Commonwealth of Independent States can draw entire foreign exchange in the form of foreign currency notes or coins.

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

The foreign exchange acquired for any purpose has to be used within 180 days of purchase. In case it is not possible to use the foreign exchange within the period of 180 days, it should be surrendered to an authorised person.

7. 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 authorized person 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.

8. Is there any time frame for a traveller who has returned to India to surrender foreign exchange?

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

9. On return to India can one retain foreign exchange?
Residents have the choice of either holding foreign currency up to USD 2,000 or its equivalent :-
a. while on a visit abroad as payment for services not arising from any business in or anything done in India; or
b. as honorarium or gift or for services rendered or in settlement of any lawful obligation from any person who is not resident in India and who is on a visit to India; or
c. as honorarium or gift while on a visit to any place outside India; or
d. from an authorised person for travel abroad and represents the unspent amount thereof.

10. Is one required to surrender foreign coins also to an authorised dealer?

The residents can hold foreign coins without any limit.

11. 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:
a.  up to Rs. 5,000 from any country other than Nepal or Bhutan, and
b.  any amount in denomination not exceeding Rs.100 from Nepal or Bhutan.

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

A person is allowed to carry foreign exchange in the form of currency notes/coins up to USD 2,000 or its equivalent only. Balance amount as applicable can be carried in the form of travellers cheque or banker/s draft. (In this connection please see item No.11).

13. While going abroad how much Indian currency, in cash, can a person carry?
Residents are free to take outside India (other than to Nepal and Bhutan) currency notes of Government of India and Reserve Bank of India notes up to an amount not exceeding Rs. 5,000/ - per person. They may take or send outside India (other than to Nepal and Bhutan) commemorative coins not exceeding two coins each.
Explanation : 'Commemorative Coin' includes coin issued by Government of India Mint to commemorate any specific occasion or event and expressed in Indian currency.
A person can take or send out of India to Nepal or Bhutan, currency notes of Government of India and Reserve Bank of India notes (other than notes of denominations of above Rs. 100);

14. 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 travellers 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.

 

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