Tuesday, January 24, 2017

NRIs can now exchange old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes until 30th June 2017 - deadline extended for Resident Indian and NRI returning from Abroad

In a pleasant surprise in the new year, Government now allows NRIs to exchange or deposit demonetized Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes until 30th June 2017. Earlier the deadline was 31st March 2017 on RBI offices for NRIs but this is now extended until 30th June 2017 to allow NRIs to better plan their trips to India. This is a much-needed relief to NRI community who was very disappointed with the way the government  handles this demonetization exercise as many of them left with old cash ranging from 5K to 25K due to no legal option to convert them at overseas.

So, even though now NRIs or any resident India who  was abroad during 8th November to 31st December 2016 can deposit the specified bank notes into RBI offices, there are some pre-conditions to allow misuse of this extension period:

1) NRIs can only exchange or deposit 25,000 INR per person, which is also the FEMA limit for how much INR an NRI can carry to abroad, see here to learn more about Indian customs limit on carrying fund outside of India.

2) You have to be present to deposit or exchange old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.This means you cannot carry your friend's money to deposit on behalf of him.

3) You must be outside of India from 8th November to 31st December 2016 to avail this facility. This has to be proved by immigration stamp on your passport, so if you have visited India between 8th November and 31st December and didn't exchanged/deposited old currency notes then you cannot avail this facility.

4) You have to declare old currency notes at the airport to the customs authorities and other entry points. The details of the declaration and statements are that are required to be submitted along with the old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes at the time of deposit in RBI issues offices.

5) NRIs can avail this facility only once and in their individual capacity.

6) NRIS are required to submit ID documents such as PAN card, Passport or Aadhar number and documentary evidence showing they were abroad between 8th November to 31st December and they have not availed the exchange facility earlier.

7) The Facility is available through RBI's (Reserve Bank of India) Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Nagpur offices.

8) Once this deposit period is over, holding, transferring, and receiving such notes will be illegal and attracts a fine of Rs 10000 or five times the value of the notes, whichever is higher.

Here are some useful information shared by Central board or Excise and Customs on their twitter channel

NRI demonetization deadline has been extended until 30th June 2017

That's all about the new deadline for NRIs to exchange their old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes. This seems to be the final deadline i.e. 30th June 2017. This is still not the ideal solution but at least it gives you some breathing space as your hard earned money will not turn into a piece of paper.

Other articles on demonetization and their impact on NRIs
  • NRI Demonetization FAQ - What Every NRI should know about demonetization (read)
  • NRIs have finally started sending notes in flight with friends and colleagues (read)
  • Can NRI send Indian currency to India via FedEx or Courier Services? (read)
  • 7 Points Every NRI should remember while depositing cash to NRO account (read)
  • How does NRIs living in Australia, Canada, Singapore, and the USA can exchange SBNs (see here)
  • Can NRI deposit SBNs into NRE/NRO account? (read here)
  • How NRIs can exchange old notes on Abroad (read here)

Thanks for reading this article, if you have found this useful then please share with your family and friends and NRI community in your area. It makes a lot of difference.


  1. Top 5 Income tax Changes from Budget 2017
    Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitely has announced some Income tax reforms, amendemends and relifs for personal income tax payers of India in his budget 2017 speech.

    Professionals earning up to INR 3 lakh will enjoy zero tax liability.
    Individuals earning INR 2.5 – INR 5 lakh a year will now be taxed at 5 per cent instead of 10 percent.
    This would reduce the tax liability of all persons below Rs 5 lakh income either to zero (with rebate) or 50% of their existing liability. If the limit of Rs 1.5 lakh under Section 80C for investment is used fully the tax would be zero for people with income of Rs 4.5 lakhs.

    A single-page income tax return filing form for taxable income under INR 5 lakh to ease tax filing.
    Those with income between INR 50 lakh and INR 1 crore, 10 per cent surcharge will be imposed.
    In order to make good some of this revenue loss on account of this relief, I propose to levy a surcharge of 10% of tax payable on categories of individuals whose annual taxable income is between `50 lakhs and `1 crore. The existing surcharge of 15% of Tax on people earning more than `1 crore will continue. This is likely to give additional revenue of `2,700 crores.

    15% surcharge on incomes above Rs 1 crore will continue.

    Some of the interesting highlights from his union budget speech related to income tax are following:

    Out of 3.7 crore who filed tax returns in 2015-16, only 24 lakh persons showed income above Rs 10 lakh, and
    Of 76 lakh individuals who reported income of over Rs 5 lakh, 56 lakh are salaried.

    There were some more incentives he gives to companies in the corporate tax amendments but that's the focus of this article. The most improtant change IMHO is the single-page income tax return filing for individuals whose income is less than 5 lakhs. This will encourage more people to file income tax returns in India. Also, at one hand the move to reduce tax rate from 10% to 5% for individuals earning less than 5 lakh is a good move, the surcharge of 10% on people whose income is more than 50 lakh is not that great. They were already paying tax in higher band hence surcharge is just additional burden.

  2. Custom officer at Delhi airport did not write up for my husband (NRI -US passport) during his recent visit to India on Jan 20th. He was told that it is only for Indian passport holders, who can deposit money at selected RBI branches. So seems like still problem for NRIs. Someone like us who have been out of India for 30+ years but still travel to India more than once or twice a year. I visited India for 6 days last month and may be going back in early May. I am bit disappointed as many times he stops over in India for weekends and have not way to deposit money. Any suggestions?

  3. I visited India to meet my mother who lives in Hyderabad along with my 12 yrs son in October 2014. To meet my expenses of traveling and other necessary requirements, for a period of 15 days, I withdraw Rs 50,000/- from my bank account in Hyderabad. While returning, Rs 33000/- was left with us. Since, we are a family of three, I kept the money for future return trip back to India. On 15th March 2017 I landed in Kochi intl airport from Dallas and approached customs officer for CDF FOR Rs 33000/-which was with us during our last visit to India. The custom officer refused to issue CDF stating that I hold a British passport.

    I found this rule for NRI does not make any sense because more than 50% of NRI's hold a foreign passport while they visit India regularly due to families and relations living in india. These rules are causing several difficulties to NRIs travelling to India. Now I hold Rs 33000/- in hand which cannot be used. I approached RBI Kochi but of no use. Usually trip to India is for 7 to 10 days of which we spend almost 4 to 5 days travelling and catching up jet lag. How can I further spend the time available to other states RBI to exchange notes and then return back to Dallas without meeting the purpose of my visit to India. Authorities need to permit RBI banks of all states if they really want to solve the exchange problem. Or else, NRIs will suffer.