Frequently Asked Questions

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Forex Facilities for Residents

If you are a Resident Indian, you can buy foreign exchange without permission from the Reserve Bank of India for :

Private Travel

  • You can avail of foreign exchange upto US$ 10,000 in any calendar year for tourism or private travel to any country other than Nepal and Bhutan on the basis of self-certification.

Endorsement on passport

  • There is no compulsion for you to get your passport endorsed with the foreign exchange purchased for travel outside India. Should you desire to get your passport endorsed, the bank/money changer releasing foreign exchange would do it.

Visit to Nepal and Bhutan

  • You can carry any amount of Indian currency while travelling to these countries, but you are not permitted to take Indian currency notes of denomination of Rs.500 and above or buy any foreign exchange for visit to these countries.

Study Abroad

  • You can buy foreign exchange upto US$ 30,000 or upto the estimate from the institution abroad, whichever is higher, per academic year on the basis of simple documentary evidence indicating the requirement.

Medical Treatment

  • You can buy foreign exchange on the basis of self-certification, upto US$ 50,000 to meet the expenses for medical treatment outside India. Banks are also permitted to release exchange required in excess of US$ 50,000, on the basis of estimate from a doctor or hospital in India or overseas.

  • You can also buy foreign exchange upto US$ 25,000 per person for meeting boarding/lodging/travel expenses of the patient and also the accompanying attendant on self-certification.

Employment Abroad

  • You can buy foreign exchange upto US$ 5,000 on production of letter of employment.


  • You can buy foreign exchange upto US$ 5,000, or amount prescribed by country of emigration on the basis of emigration visa.

International Credit Cards

You can use your International Credit Cards/ ATM Cards/Debit Cards -  

  • while on holidays outside India to meet your expenses.

  • when outside India for purchase of item of import.

  • when in India, for making payment in foreign exchange for purchase of books and other items through Internet.

The use of ICCs by residents while on visit abroad has been made free from all restrictions, without any item-wise limit within the overall ceiling of the credit card itself. The ICCs cannot be used for purchase of prohibited items e.g. lottery tickets, banned or proscribed magazines, participation in sweepstakes, payment of call-back services etc.

Remittance for Miscellaneous Purposes upto US$ 500

  • You can remit foreign exchange outside India upto US$ 500, for miscellaneous purposes, without production of any document provided the rupee equivalent is paid by debit to your account, cheque or by demand draft.

Gifts and Donations

  • You can gift/donate upto US$ 5,000 every year on self-certification.

Foreign Exchange can be purchased :

  • from any bank which is authorised to deal in foreign exchange or full-fledged moneychangers. If the rupee equivalent exceeds Rs.50,000/-, the entire payment has to be made by way of a crossed cheque/banker's cheque/pay order/demand draft only.

  • 60 days ahead of the journey date. In case it is not possible to use the foreign exchange within the period of 60 days, it should be surrendered to a bank/money changer.

Surrender of Foreign Exchange on Return

  • You can indefinitely retain foreign exchange upto US$ 2,000, in the form of foreign currency notes or travellers' cheques (TCs) for future use. Any foreign exchange in cash in excess of this sum, is required to be surrendered to a bank within 90 days and TCs within 180 days of return. Any amount in excess of US$ 2000 can be credited to RFC(D) account.

Resident Foreign Currency (Domestic) Account

  • You can open a Resident Foreign Currency (Domestic) Account with a bank in India and deposit foreign exchange earnings repatriated to India through banking channel. The earnings could be out of export of goods and/or services, royalty, honorarium etc.

  • You can also open/credit the RFC(D) account with currency notes, bank notes and travellers cheques (a) saved from your trip outside India, (b) received as honorarium during your trip outside India, (c) received as gift from persons on visit to India, and (d) received from a person on a visit to India for services rendered to him in India.

  • These accounts are NOT interest bearing and there is no ceiling on the balances that can be built up in these accounts.

  • The balances held in these accounts can be used for any purpose for which foreign exchange can be bought from a bank in India.

Retention of Foreign Coins

  • You can retain foreign coins indefinitely without any limit.

Bringing in Foreign Exchange

  • You can bring into India foreign exchange without any limit. If, however, the value of foreign currency in cash exceeds US$ 5,000 and/or the cash plus TCs exceed US$ 10,000 it should be declared to the customs authorities at the airport in the currency declaration form (CDF), on arrival in India.

Exchange Earners’ Foreign Currency (EEFC) Account

  • You can retain upto specified limits, your earnings in foreign exchange, in an Exchange Earners' Foreign Currency (EEFC) Account with a bank in India.

  • These accounts are NOT interest bearing and there is no ceiling on the balances that can be built up in these accounts.

  • Balances held in such accounts can be used for any purposes for which exchange can be otherwise purchased from authorised dealers in India.

For details of additional facilities available in EEFC account please contact your bank.

ESOP Scheme

  • A resident individual, who is an employee or a director of an Indian office or branch of a foreign company or of a subsidiary of a foreign company or of an Indian company in which the foreign equity holding is not less that 51 per cent, can make remittances for the acquisition of foreign securities under Employees Stock Option (ESOP) Scheme without any monetary limit. The scheme is subject to the condition that the shares are offered at the concessional price. (The facility will be subject to review in June 2003).

Portfolio Investment - Overseas

  • Resident individuals can invest without any monetary limit in overseas companies listed on a recognised stock exchange which have the shareholding of at least 10 per cent in an Indian company listed on a recognised stock exchange in India (as on 1st January of the year of the investment). (The facility will be subject to review in June 2003).

Receipt of dis-investment proceeds/Sponsored ADRs/GDRs

  • Resident shareholders of Indian companies, who offer their shares for conversion to ADRs/GDRs under the Scheme of Sponsored ADRs/GDRs can receive the sale proceeds in foreign currency or credit it to their EEFC/RFC (D) or Rupee accounts in India at their option.

N.B. All the above facilities are available under general permission, i.e., foreign exchange can be availed of from authorised dealers and does not require Reserve Bank's approval.