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Forex limits in India for Individuals

Liberalized Remittance Scheme
The Liberalized Remittance Scheme is a facility provided by the RBI for all resident Indians including minors, to remit up to USD 2,50,000 per financial year (April - March).
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 microeconomic conditions.

Eligibility:
All Resident individuals are eligible to avail of the facility under the scheme. This facility is not available to Corporates, Partnership firms, HUF, Trusts etc.

Purpose:
  • Private visits to any country (except Nepal and Bhutan)
  • Studies abroad
  • Expenses in connection with medical treatment abroad
  • Going abroad for employment
  • Emigration
  • Maintenance of close relatives abroad
  • Gift or donation
  • 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
  • Any other current account transaction which is not covered under the definition of current account in FEMA 1999


Private Travel Abroad
For private travel abroad (except Nepal and Bhutan), RBI allows any resident Indians to draw foreign exchange up to US$ 2,50,000 in a financial year from authorized dealers or fully-fledged money changers. This limit is applicable irrespective of the number of trips abroad in a financial year, as long as the total forex limit of the resident Indian falls below US$ 2,50,000. Out of this, 3, 000 USD or equivalent can be taken abroad as cash (Currency) per trip. The remaining amount can be carried in forex card and/or traveller’s cheques.
In the case of arranged tours abroad, all tour related expenses including cost of rail/road/water transportation; cost of Euro Rail; passes/tickets, etc. outside India; and overseas hotel/lodging expenses shall be included under the LRS limit. The tour operator can collect this amount either in Indian rupees or in foreign currency from the resident traveller.

Study Abroad For Students
Foreign exchange up to US$ 2,50,000 is permitted by RBI for the purposes of study abroad. Amounts in excess of the limit can be released on the basis of documentary evidence of requirement like estimate received from a university abroad.
The Scheme can be used for outward remittance in the form of a DD either in the resident individual’s own name or in the name of the beneficiary with whom he/she intends putting through the permissible transactions at the time of private visit abroad, against self-declaration of the remitter in the format prescribed.
Individuals can also open, maintain and hold foreign currency accounts with a bank outside India for making remittances under the Scheme without prior approval of the Reserve Bank. The foreign currency accounts may be used for putting through all transactions connected with or arising from remittances eligible under this Scheme.

Medical treatment abroad
A person going abroad for medical treatment is allowed foreign exchange up to an amount of USD 2,50,000 or its equivalent per FY without insisting on an estimate from a hospital/doctor. For amount exceeding the above limit, Authorised Dealers may release foreign exchange under general permission based on the estimate from the doctor in India or hospital/ doctor abroad. A person who has fallen sick after proceeding abroad may also be released foreign exchange by an Authorised Dealer (without seeking prior approval of the Reserve Bank of India) for medical treatment outside India.
In addition to the above, an amount up to USD 250,000 per financial year is allowed to a person for accompanying as attendant to a patient going abroad for medical treatment/check-up.

Employment abroad
A person going abroad for employment can draw foreign exchange up to USD 2,50,000 per FY from an Authorised Dealer in India.

Emigration
A person wanting to emigrate abroad can draw foreign exchange from AD Category I bank and AD Category II money changers up to the amount prescribed by the country of emigration or USD 250,000. Remittance outside in excess of this limit may be allowed only for meeting incidental expenses in the country of immigration. This scheme cannot be used for the purpose of earning points or credits to become eligible for immigration by way of overseas investments in government bonds; land; commercial enterprise; etc.

Gift Remittance / Donation abroad
Any resident individual may remit up to USD 2,50,000 in a Financial Year as a gift to a person residing outside India or as a donation to an organization outside India.
However, gift remittance can only be sent to Resident Indians, NRIs or Overseas Citizen of India (OCI).
A gift to foreigners is not possible under this scheme.

Surrender of Foreign Exchange on Return
Foreign exchange up to US$ 2,000, in the form of foreign currency notes or travellers' cheques (TCs) can be retained indefinitely for future use. Amounts in excess of $2000 have to be surrendered to a bank within 90 days and TCs within 180 days of return or credited to RFC (D) account. Foreign coins can be retained indefinitely without any limit.

Form 15 CA and 15 CB for Forex Transactions
  • Form 15CA and 15CB will be NOT be required to be furnished by an individual for remittance, which does not require RBI approval.
  • Form No. 15CB will only be required for payments made to non-residents, which are taxable and if the payment exceeds Rs. 5 lakhs. Part B and C of Form 15CA has to be filled. Certificate in Form 15 CB required from an accountant.
  • For Payments made below 5 lakhs, Part A of Form 15 CA has to be filled.

Remittance for the following purpose is prohibited:
  • Purchase of lottery/sweepstakes, tickets proscribed magazines etc) or any item restricted under Schedule II of Foreign Exchange Management (Current Account Transactions) Rules, 2000.
  • Remittances made directly or indirectly to Bhutan, Nepal, Mauritius or Pakistan.
  • Remittances made directly or indirectly to countries identified by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as "non-co-operative countries and territories"
  • Remittances directly or indirectly to those individuals and entities identified as posing a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism as advised separately by the Reserve Bank to the banks.

Documentation Required For Remittance
A resident Indian would have to choose an RBI approved money changer or bank through which they want to remit money under LRS. The Form A2 must be furnished at the time of remitting money.
Also, It is mandatory for the resident individual to provide his/her Permanent Account Number (PAN) to make remittance under the Scheme.

Important points to note:
Out of the overall foreign exchange being sold to a traveller, exchange in the form of foreign currency notes and coins may be sold up to the limit indicated below:
  • Travellers proceeding to countries other than Iraq, Libya, Islamic Republic of Iran, Russian Federation and other Republics of Commonwealth of Independent States - not exceeding USD 3000 or its equivalent.
  • Travellers proceeding to Iraq or Libya - not exceeding USD 5000 or its equivalent
  • Travellers proceeding to the Islamic Republic of Iran, Russian Federation and other Republics of Commonwealth of Independent States - full exchange may be released **Not applicable for travel to Nepal & Bhutan