Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Can NRI deposit old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes into NRE/NRO Account?

One of the frequently asked question by NRI who are traveling to India or currently in India is that whether they can deposit their Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes in their NRE account or not? Some of them have withdrawn the cash from their NRE account itself prior to the surprise declaration of demonetization by the prime minister on the night of 8th November.

The short answer to this question is No, you cannot deposit the INR cash in your NRE account even if you have withdrawn from it and even if it is the old notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000. You can only deposit those notes into your NRO account, which allows you to deposit Indian rupees. If you are not familiar with NRE and NRO account, I suggest you first read some key difference between NRE and NRO account here, which is a must for every NRI or PIO living outside India.

If you don't have an NRO account then You will need to make a request for opening of a NRO account in the same customer Id through the Internet banking logged in the section or by calling our 24x7 customer care or placing a request at the branch in India with your Bank. For example, if you have NRE account with ICICI then you can request to open an NRO account online by logging into your Internet Banking account. The account will be opened within 2 working days. Post which you or your authorized representative may deposit the cash in the NRO account.

Since overseas branches of Indian banks are not accepting old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, the only option left for you to either travel India physically or authorize someone to deposit the cash on behalf of you in NRO account. If you are taking the second option then you must remember to give an Authority letter signed by Account holder to your authorized representative for depositing cash.

Can NRI deposit old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes into NRE/NRO Account?

The authorized representative, which can be your family or friend or anybody you trust, can approach the branch with the following documents:
  1. Copy of the Authority letter signed by the account holder(s)
  2. Copy of the Passport of the account holder which is self-attested by the account holder (Incase the authority letter is a scanned copy)
  3. Valid Identity proof of the authorized representative, which can be Aadhaar Card, Driving License, Voter ID Card, Pass Port, NREGA Card, PAN Card, Identity Card Issued by Government Department, Public Sector Unit to its Staff.

The deadline for depositing Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes into your NRO account is December 30, 2016, by visiting any of the private or public sector bank branches in India e.g. SBI, Bank of Baroda, ICICI, HDFC, Axis Bank, YESBank, Federal Bank etc.

In case it is not possible for you to visit a branch in India by December 30, 2016, an opportunity will be given to you to do so at specified offices of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), along with necessary documentation as may be specified by the RBI but I expect that would require even more documentation, so it's better to deposit the cash before 30th December.

In short, NRIs and PIOs cannot deposit old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes into their NRE account. They can deposit only on their NRO account because NRE account doesn't allow INR deposit. So, if you don't have any NRO account, it's the time to open one and you can do so conveniently by logging into internet banking channel of your NRE account and placing account opening request online. All major public and private sector banks like ICICI, SBI, HDFC, Kotak, YESBank, Bank of Baroda provide this facility.


  1. There comes a new rule that you have to deposit all your old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes in one go, you can't do it in multiple times. Well, this is good but what about NRIs, no practical way for them to deposit their hard earned money, which is going to be wasted in a couple of weeks? Seriously, this is bad execution.

    1. @Anonymous, completely agree, so many rules are introduced but nothing for NRIs.