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Frequently Asked Questions

How much foreign exchange can one buy when traveling abroad on private visits to a country outside India?
For private visits abroad, other than to Nepal and Bhutan, viz., for tourism purposes, etc., any resident can obtain foreign exchange up to an aggregate amount of USD 10,000, from an Authorised Dealer, in any one financial year, on self-declaration basis, irrespective of the number of visits undertaken during the year. This limit of USD 10,000 or its equivalent per financial year for private visits can also be availed of by a person who is availing of foreign exchange for travel abroad for any purposes, such as, for employment or immigration or studies.
No foreign exchange is available for visit to Nepal and/or Bhutan for any purpose.
A resident Indian is allowed to take INR of denomination of Rs.100 or lesser denomination to Nepal and Bhutan without limit.

How much foreign exchange is available for a business trip?
For business trips abroad to countries, other than to Nepal and Bhutan, a person can avail of foreign exchange up to USD 25,000 per visit. Visits in connection with attending of an international conference, seminar, specialised training, study tour, apprentice training, etc., are treated as business visits. Release of foreign exchange exceeding USD 25,000 for business travel abroad (other than to Nepal and Bhutan), irrespective of the period of stay, requires prior permission from the Reserve Bank.
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.
Investments in Bhutan are permitted in Indian Rupees as well as in freely convertible currencies. If investment is made in freely convertible currency/ies, sale/winding up proceeds are required to be repatriated to India in freely convertible currencies.

How much foreign currency can be taken while buying foreign exchange for travel abroad?
Travellers going to all countries other than (a) and (b) below are allowed to purchase foreign currency notes / coins only up to USD 3000. Balance amount can be carried in the form of 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; (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 in the form of foreign currency notes or coins.

How much foreign exchange is available to a person going abroad on employment?
A person going abroad for employment can draw foreign exchange up to USD 100,000 from any Authorised Dealer in India on the basis of self-declaration.

How much foreign exchange is available to a person going abroad on emigration?
A person going abroad on emigration can draw foreign exchange from AD Category I bank and AD Category II up to the amount prescribed by the country of emigration or USD 100,000. He can draw foreign exchange up to USD 100,000 on self- declaration basis from an Authorised Dealer in India This amount is only to meet the incidental expenses in the country of emigration. No amount of foreign exchange can be remitted outside India to become eligible or for earning points or credits for immigration. All such remittances require prior permission of the Reserve Bank. If requirement exceeds USD 100,000, the person requires to obtain the prior approval from the Reserve Bank.

How many days in advance one can buy foreign exchange for travel abroad?
Permissible foreign exchange can be drawn 60 days in advance. In case it is not possible to use the foreign exchange within the period of 60 days, it should be immediately surrendered to an authorised person. However, residents 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

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 an authorized person against rupee payment in cash only 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/ debit card / credit card / prepaid card only.

Is it permitted to use International Credit Card (ICC)/ATM/Debit card for undertaking foreign exchange transactions?
Use of International Credit Cards (ICCs) / ATMs/ Debit Cards can be made for travel abroad in connection with various purposes and for making personal payments like subscription to foreign journals, internet subscription, etc. The entitlement of foreign exchange on International Credit Cards (ICCs) is limited by the credit limit fixed by the card issuing authority only. With ICCs one 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 the person has a foreign currency account in India or with a bank overseas, he/she can even obtain ICCs of overseas banks and reputed agencies. However, use of International Credit Cards/ATMs/Debit Cards is NOT permitted for prohibited transactions indicated in Schedule -1 of FEM (CAT) Rules 2000 such as purchase of lottery tickets, banned magazines etc.
Use of these instruments for payment in foreign exchange in Nepal and Bhutan is not permitted.

How much Indian currency can a person carry while going abroad?
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. 10,000 - per person. They may take or send outside India (other than to Nepal and Bhutan) commemorative coins not exceeding two coins each.

How much Indian currency can be brought in while coming into India?
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.10,000 A person can take or send out of India to Nepal or Bhutan, currency notes of Government of India and Reserve Bank notes, in denominations not exceeding Rs.100.

How much foreign exchange can be brought in while visiting India?
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.