Thursday, November 8, 2018

Limit of Foreign Currency NRIs or Foreigners can Bring to/from India - Indian Customs Limit for Foreign Cash

In the last article, I told you how much Indian currency NRIs are allowed to take Overseas and in this article, I'll talk about how much foreign currency NRIs are allowed to bring India and then take back while going to Overseas. The discussion is also valid for many foreigners and tourists traveling to India. There is no limit to bring foreign exchange in India from the USA, Singapore, Dubai, UK or any other country, barring the local rules which tells how much foreign currency you take without declaring to Immigration or after declaring to customs.



However, as per the custom laws in India, you have to make declaration to custom if the aggregate value of foreign currency notes are more than USD 5000 or equivalent and the aggregate value of foreign exchange in the form of currency notes, bank notes or traveller's cheques are more than USD 10,000 or its equivalent.

In short, you can carry foreign currency notes (cash) up to 5000 USD without declaring to customs and any amount of foreign exchange after declaring to custom when you arrive in India.

If you are taking traveler's cheque then the limit increased up to 10000 UDS from 5000 US dollars. You must fill the currency declaration form and handover to custom if it exceeds the limit


What are the rules for taking foreign exchange/currency to India?

Any person can bring foreign currency notes and traveler's cheque into India from overseas without any limit. However, declaration of foreign exchange/currency is required to be made in the prescribed Currency Declaration Form in the following cases:

(a) If the value of foreign currency notes exceeds USD 5,000/- or equivalent
(b) If the aggregate value of foreign exchange (in the form of currency notes, bank notes, traveler cheques etc.) exceeds USD 10,000/- or its equivalent

It means if you carry cash in terms of USD, GBP, or SGD or any other freely convertible foreign currency and its total value is not exceeding 5000 US dollars then it's not mandatory to declare it to customs upon your arrival.


For example, Amit is a software engineer working in the UK and he has earned 50,000 GBP in one year. Amit doesn't have NRE account in India and he decided to take that 50K GBP to India with him as cash and traveler's cheque. He has to declare this to custom when he lands in India.

On the other hand, Josh is an NRI who also work abroad in the USA and while returning India just carrying 500 USD notes for exchanging at Airport, he doesn't need to make the declaration in Custom.

How much Foreign Exchange you can Carry Overseas while returning from India

Tourists while leaving India are allowed to take with them foreign currency not exceeding an amount brought in by them at the time of their arrival in India.

As no declaration is required to be made for bringing in foreign exchange/currency not exceeding the equivalent of U.S. $ 10,000, generally tourists can take out of India with them at the time of their departure foreign exchange/ currency not exceeding the above amount.

Indian residents going abroad are permitted to take with them foreign currency without any limit so long as the same has been purchased from an authorized foreign exchange dealer

How much foreign Currency NRIs or Foreigners can carry to/from India



When you need to declare foreign currency to Customs?

Declaration of foreign exchange/currency has to be made before the customs officers in the
following cases :

(a) where the value of foreign currency notes exceed the US $ 5000 or equivalent
(b) where the aggregate value of foreign exchange including currency exceeds the US $ 10,000 or equivalent

You should also remember that as per custom rules, import and export of Indian and foreign currency in excess of prescribed limits are restricted. Foreign currency in excess of 5000 USD in the form of currency notes or equivalent 10000 UDS or equivalent in the form of currency notes, bank notes or traveler's cheque is required to be declared on arrival.

Similarly, foreign currency in excess of the amount legally obtained by authorized money exchangers or authorized foreign exchange dealers is prohibited. In the case of tourists in excess of the amount declared on arrival or in excess of the exempted limit of the declaration at the time of departure is also prohibited.

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