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Frequently Asked Questions

Foreign exchange for travel abroad can be purchased from an authorized person against rupee payment in cash below Rs.50,000/-. However, if the sale of foreign exchange is for the amount equivalent to Rs 50,000/- and above, the entire payment should be made by way of a crossed cheque/ banker’s cheque/ pay order/ demand draft/ debit card / credit card / prepaid card only.
Permissible foreign exchange can be drawn 180 days in advance by an individual, resident in India.
Travellers going to all countries other than (a) and (b) below are allowed to purchase foreign currency notes / coins only up to USD 3000 per visit. Balance amount can be carried in the form of store value cards, travellers cheque or banker’s draft. Exceptions to this are (a) travellers proceeding to Iraq and Libya who can draw foreign exchange in the form of foreign currency notes and coins not exceeding USD 5000 or its equivalent per visit; (b) travellers proceeding to the Islamic Republic of Iran, Russian Federation and other Republics of Commonwealth of Independent States who can draw entire foreign exchange (up-to USD 250,000) in the form of foreign currency notes or coins.
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 up to USD 2,000, in the form of foreign currency notes or TCs for future use or credit to their Resident Foreign Currency (Domestic) [RFC (Domestic)] Accounts.
The residents can hold foreign coins without any limit.
A resident of India, who has gone out of India on a temporary visit may bring into India at the time of his return from any place outside India (other than Nepal and Bhutan), currency notes of Government of India and Reserve Bank of India notes up to an amount not exceeding Rs.25,000. A person may bring into India from Nepal or Bhutan, currency notes of Government of India and Reserve Bank of India notes, in denomination not exceeding Rs.100. Any person resident outside India, not being a citizen of Pakistan and Bangladesh and also not a traveller coming from and going to Pakistan and Bangladesh, and visiting India may bring into India currency notes of Government of India and Reserve Bank of India notes up to an amount not exceeding Rs. 25,000 while entering only through an airport. Any person resident in India who had gone to Pakistan and/or Bangladesh on a temporary visit, may bring into India at the time of his return, currency notes of Government of India and Reserve Bank of India notes up to an amount not exceeding Rs. 10,000 per person.
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 alone 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.
Under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme, all resident individuals, including minors, are allowed to freely remit up to USD 2,50,000 per financial year (April – March) for any permissible current or capital account transaction or a combination of both. Further, resident individuals can avail of foreign exchange facility for the purposes mentioned in Para 1 of Schedule III of FEM (CAT) Amendment Rules 2015, dated May 26, 2015, within the limit of USD 2,50,000 only. The Scheme was introduced on February 4, 2004, with a limit of USD 25,000. The LRS limit has been revised in stages consistent with prevailing macro and micro economic conditions. In case of remitter being a minor, the LRS declaration form must be countersigned by the minor’s natural guardian. The Scheme is not available to corporates, partnership firms, HUF, Trusts etc.
Individuals can avail of foreign exchange facility for the following purposes within the LRS limit of USD 2,50,000 on financial year basis:
  • Private visits to any country (except Nepal and Bhutan)
  • Gift or donation
  • Going abroad for employment
  • Emigration
  • Maintenance of close relatives abroad
  • Travel for business, or attending a conference or specialised training or for meeting expenses for meeting medical expenses, or check-up abroad, or for accompanying as attendant to a patient going abroad for medical treatment/ check-up
  • Expenses in connection with medical treatment abroad
  • Studies abroad
  • Any other current account transaction which is not covered under the definition of current account in FEMA 1999.
The AD bank may undertake the remittance transaction without RBI’s permission for all residual current account transactions which are not prohibited/ restricted transactions under Schedule I, II or III of FEM (CAT) Rules, 2000, as amended or are defined in FEMA 1999. It is for the AD to satisfy themselves about the genuineness of the transaction, as hitherto.
There are no restrictions on the frequency of remittances under LRS. However, the total amount of foreign exchange purchased from or remitted through, all sources in India during a financial year should be within the cumulative limit of USD 2,50,000. Once a remittance is made for an amount up to USD 2,50,000 during the financial year, a resident individual would not be eligible to make any further remittances under this scheme, even if the proceeds of the investments have been brought back into the country.
The remittances can be made in any freely convertible foreign currency.

For more details refer to RBI’s website:

Money Changing Activities: https://www.rbi.org.in/Scripts/FAQView.aspx?Id=54

Forex facilities: https://www.rbi.org.in/Scripts/FAQView.aspx?Id=66

Liberalised Remittance Scheme: https://www.rbi.org.in/Scripts/FAQView.aspx?Id=115