RBI- Guidelines

Ans. Foreign exchange can be purchased from any authorised person, such as Authorised Dealer (AD) Category-I bank and AD Category II. Full-Fledged Money Changers (FFMCs) are also permitted to release exchange for business and private visits.

Ans. Individuals can avail of foreign exchange facility for the following purposes within the limit of USD 2,50,000 only on financial year basis.

i. Private visits to any country (except Nepal and Bhutan)

ii. Gift or donation.

iii. Going abroad for employment

iv. Emigration

v. Maintenance of close relatives abroad

vi. 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.

vii. Expenses in connection with medical treatment abroad

viii. Studies abroad

ix. Any other current account transaction

Any additional remittance in excess of the said limit for the above mentioned purposes shall require prior approval of the Reserve Bank of India.

“Any other current account transaction” as given at (ix) above is to cover any other current account transactions which were available to individuals in the erstwhile Schedule III to FEM (CAT) Rules, 2000 dated May 3, 2000, and which do not appear above/ in Schedule III to FEM (CAT) Amendment Rules, 2015.

However, for purposes such as emigration; expenses in connection with medical treatment abroad and studies abroad, individuals may be permitted to avail of exchange facility for an amount in excess of the overall limit prescribed under the LRS, if it is so required by a country of emigration, medical institute offering treatment or the university respectively.

Ans. For private visits abroad, other than to Nepal and Bhutan, any resident can obtain foreign exchange up to an aggregate amount of USD 2,50,000, from an Authorised Dealer or FFMC, in any one financial year, irrespective of the number of visits undertaken during the year. This limit has been subsumed under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme w.e.f. May 26, 2015. If an individual has already remitted any amount under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme in a financial year, then the applicable limit for travelling purpose for such individual would be reduced from USD 250,000 by the amount so remitted.

The resident individuals shall have to fill Form A2 and ‘Application cum declaration for purchase of foreign exchange under LRS of USD 250,000’ while availing foreign exchange for travelling purposes from AD banks and FFMCs.

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 any limits. For denominations of Rs 500 and Rs1,000, the limit is Rs 25,000.

Ans. A person going abroad for employment can draw foreign exchange up to USD 2,50,000 per financial year from any Authorised Dealer in India on the basis of self-declaration in Form A2 and ‘Application cum declaration for purchase of foreign exchange under LRS of USD 250,000’. This limit has been subsumed under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme w.e.f. May 26, 2015. If an individual remits any amount under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme in a financial year, then the applicable limit for such individual would be reduced from USD 250,000 by the amount so remitted.

Ans. 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 250,000. This amount is only to meet the incidental expenses in the country of emigration. Further, this remittance is not for undertaking any capital account transactions such as overseas investment in government bonds; land; commercial enterprise; etc. No amount of foreign exchange can be remitted outside India to become eligible or for earning points or credits for immigration.

Ans. For business trips to foreign countries, resident individuals/ individuals having proprietorship firms can avail of foreign exchange up to USD 2,50,000 in a financial year irrespective of the number of visits undertaken during the year. This limit has been subsumed under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme w.e.f. May 26, 2015.

Visits in connection with attending of an international conference, seminar, specialised training, apprentice training, etc., are treated as business visits. Release of foreign exchange exceeding USD 2,50,000 for business travel abroad, irrespective of the period of stay, by residents require prior permission from the Reserve Bank.

However, if an employee is being deputed by a company and the expenses are borne by the company, then such expenses shall be treated as residual current account transactions and may be permitted by the AD bank, without any limit, subject to verifying the bonafides of the transaction.

Ans. AD Category I banks and AD Category II, may release foreign exchange up to USD 2,50,000 or its equivalent to resident Indians for medical treatment abroad on self-declaration basis in Form A2 and ‘Application cum declaration for purchase of foreign exchange under LRS of USD 250,000’, without insisting on any estimate from a hospital/doctor in India/abroad. However, a person visiting abroad for medical treatment can obtain foreign exchange from AD banks exceeding the above limit, provided the request is supported by an estimate from a hospital/doctor in India/abroad.

In addition to the above, an amount up to USD 250,000 per FY is allowed to a person for accompanying as attendant to a patient going abroad for medical treatment/check-up.

Ans. 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 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.

For travellers proceeding for Haj/ Umrah pilgrimage, full amount of BTQ entitlement (USD 250, 000) in cash or up to the cash limit as specified by the Haj Committee of India, may be released by the ADs and FFMCs.

Ans. 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.

Ans. 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.

Ans. 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.

Ans. 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.

Ans. The residents can hold foreign coins without any limit.

Ans. Dance troupes, artistes, etc., who wish to undertake cultural tours abroad, should obtain prior approval from the Ministry of Human Resources Development (Department of Education and Culture), Government of India, New Delhi.

Ans. Taking personal jewellery out of India is as per the Baggage Rules, governed and administered by Customs Department, Government of India. While no approval of the Reserve Bank is required in this case, approvals, if any, required from Customs Authorities may be obtained.

Ans. Residents may book their tickets in India for their visit to any third country. For instance, residents can book their tickets for travel from London to New York, through domestic/foreign airlines in India. However, the same (air tickets) would be a part of the traveller’s overall entitlement of USD 250,000