How much Foreign Currency can be carried while Travelling abroad?

Any person residing in India is allowed to carry foreign currency notes upto US $ 3000/- or equivalent currency of other currencies as per Reserve Bank of India Guideline.

So Indian Custom foreign currency limit is only US$ 3000 but in addition to this you can carry addition currency in form of Foreign Currency Forex Prepaid Card and TT/DD So, one can also remit the foreign currency to abroad. The yearly limit on everything is 2,50,000 USD per financial year and over Rs. 7,00,000 within a year a traveller has to pay 5% TCS (Tax Collected from Source) .

Following limits are in inclusive of Foreign currency notes.

FEMA Limits

Basic Travel Quota (BTQ) – For Holidays, Personal visits etcUSD $250,000 per Trip
Business TravelUSD $250,000 per Trip
Immigration – For people who settle abroad in countries like Canada, New Zealand etc.USD $250,000 per year
Employment Abroad – For a person who is going to work abroadUSD $250,000 per year
Medical Treatment – For people who are travelling abroad for treatmentUSD $250,000 per year
Studies Abroad – For students pursuing studies abroadUSD $250,000 per academic year

Purpose of travelling abroad fixes the limit of Forex.

Personal visit or Holiday

Personal Visit or Holiday abroad may require spending in foreign currency for hotel accommodation, tour arrangements, shopping, etc. Under this category, an individual is allowed to draw foreign exchange up to $2,50,000 per Trip in a year for one or more private visits abroad.

Business trip

If you are going abroad for business travel, attending conference or specialized training, you can apply to your bank for release of foreign exchange up to $250,000.

Employment Abroad

RBI has allowed drawing foreign exchange up to $250,000 for taking up employment abroad.

Education – Studies Abroad

You can draw up to $100,000 equivalent per academic year for studying abroad. Studying abroad covers all expenses relating to education including admission fee, tuition fee and purchase of study material. However, if you require funds in excess of $100,000, you need to produce an estimate from the institute you intend to study to the concerned bank.

Medical treatment

An individual willing to travel abroad for getting medical treatment is allowed to withdraw foreign exchange up to $100,000 based on self-declaration of essential details without providing any estimate from a doctor or hospital. However, if the individual wishes to take money over the prescribed limit, she/he will have to provide an estimate from a hospital or doctor. In addition, a maintenance expense of up to $25,000 is allowed.

Emigration facilities

RBI has allowed withdrawal of foreign exchange for Emigration facilities up to $100,000 based on self-declaration or an amount prescribed by the country of emigration.

Liberalized Remittance Scheme (LRS)

In addition to these limits there is a scheme known as Liberalised Remittance Scheme in force since 2004 which allows resident individuals to draw foreign exchange up to a specified limit. The remittance limits under LRS keep changing and under the present limit an individual can draw up to $250,000 per year for the transaction permissible under the scheme. Under this scheme, an individual can freely acquire and hold shares, debentures, units of mutual funds, venture capital funds, unrated debt securities, promissory notes or any other instrument of like nature. Further, the resident can invest in such securities out of the bank account opened abroad under the Scheme. He can also set up a company, enter into joint venture or buy immovable properties abroad provided the law of the host country allows such transactions. Apart from the above, this scheme allows an individual to make remittance as gift or loan to his relative abroad who is a non-resident Indian i.e. an Indian.

Citizen who resides outside India. Further, where an individual has availed of a loan at a time when he was non-resident, he can take the benefit of this scheme to make remittance for repayment of loans.

How to buy Foreign Currency in India?

Foreign exchange can be purchased from any authorised dealer.

Passenger needs Valid passport, Air-ticket and Visa (if visa is not on arrival) to buy foreign currency notes. He can convert foreign currency upto Rs. 50,000/-  in cash per person and more than Rs. 50,000/- he has to pay through cheque.

Maximum limit per person to buy foreign currency notes is equivalent to USDollar 3,000. What does it mean by Equivalent? If USD to INR conversion is Rs. 76.00 per USD, limit to buy other currency is set to buy for INR 228,000/-. So if you are travelling Australia and want to buy Australian Dollar (AUD) @ convertion rate of Rs. 56.00 you can buy AUD 4,000.

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