How Much Indian Currency Can NRIs and Resident Indians Carry To and Out of India?

How much currency can I carry to India and out of India - Indian currency notes

How much cash (Indian Rupees) can you carry to/from India in 2022? If you have been looking for answers to this question, you have come to the right place!

With technological advancements, things are much better than they used to be.

Sending money to your loved ones in India is just a few clicks away, and the funds reach your Indian account in a few days (or hours, depending on the service you use!).

If you plan to travel to India, to get access to Indian currency you can just use one of the recommended ways to get good rates.

India is still majorly a cash economy, and not all shops/vendors accept cards.

You can opt to withdraw Indian rupees at the airport but what if you cannot find an ATM in need?

And if the cash machine is out of use? Or, there’s a big queue at the ATM?

Imagine queuing up for an hour with your luggage!

In such situations, it is a good practice to carry some cash when travelling to India. Hard cash would help in paying your cab driver, paying for food or anything significant.


How much Indian currency can you take into India?

In this article, that’s exactly what I am going to answer based on the research I did for my recent trip to India…

…the rules and regulations around taking Rupees into India 2021.

I was looking for a simple answer to the question: As an NRI, how much cash in Indian rupees can I carry to India from the UK?

And while I was at it, I also wanted to find out the exact requirements for taking Rupees out of India – how much currency in Indian Rupees can I take carry out of India!

Every country has different rules about how much currency can you bring in or take out when you travel abroad.

The Indian Rupee is a closed currency and the rules around how much currency you can carry to and out of India is a bit confusing.

…not after you read this guide! 😀

Although I have written this guide based on rules when travelling from the UK to India, the same rules apply when travelling to and from US, Canada, Australia and other countries (except Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan).

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Import/export of Indian currency comes under Sections 10(4) and 11(1) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999.

The rules set by the Reserve Bank of India are based on your residency status – whether you are a resident Indian or an NRI.

I don’t prefer carrying wads of cash with me – I carry around ₹5-10k in cash (which is enough for immediate needs when you land in India – buy food/drinks, pay for taxi etc.) and the rest, I wire transfer to my Indian account online.

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I wouldn’t imagine you carrying a massive amount with you in cash to India either.

The reason is: the export of Indian currency in the first place is limited to 25,000 INR (without the need of declaration).

So, unless you have accumulated INR on your trips to India, you shouldn’t have more than 25k with you anyways.

This post is to understand the exact rules around how much Indian currency you can carry to India from UK (and anywhere) without having to declare.

Also, we will look into the rules around how many Rupees you can take out of India.

Let’s jump right in.

How much Indian Rupees can I carry to India?

Resident Indians who travelled abroad for a temporary period, NRIs returning home from a foreign visit and foreign citizens (tourists) of any other country (excluding Pakistan and Bangladesh) can carry up to Rs 25,000 per person when travelling to India without any need of declaration.

Any amount more than Rs. 25,000 needs to be declared.

As a tourist in India, I would assume the only way you have cash is from your last trip to India as you cannot buy Indian Rupees outside India.

Some online sources are outdated and quote this limit as Rs.7,500 or Rs. 10,000 – that limit is as per the old rules of taking Rupees into India. The new regulations updated on 04 Feb 2016 now allow you to carry Rs 25,000 to India.

Here is a snippet of the latest RBI notification:

Any person resident in India…who had gone out of India on a temporary visit, may bring into India at the time of his return from any place outside India (other than from Nepal and Bhutan), currency notes of Government of India and Reserve Bank of India notes up to an amount not exceeding Rs.25,000 (Rupees Twenty Five Thousand) per person.

Any person resident outside India, not being a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh, and visiting India…may bring into India currency notes of Government of India and Reserve Bank of India notes up to an amount not exceeding 25,000 INR (Rupees Twenty Five Thousand) per person

Again, I recommend carrying only the amount you need for immediate needs when you land in India. You can easily transfer funds to an Indian account without any hassles for your living expenses during your stay in India.

Here are some of the best deals to get you started with the best exchange rate, ZERO fees and first-time customer offers.

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How much Indian Rupees can I take out of India?

If you are an NRI travelling back to overseas or a resident Indian going abroad for a temporary period (which means your status stays ‘resident Indian’) or, a foreign citizen (tourist) of any other country (except Pakistan and Bangladesh), the amount of money you can carry with you is ₹25,000.

Export of Indian currency is prohibited for foreign nationals travelling to Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Check below a snippet of the RBI notification on taking Rupees out of India:

Any person resident in India…may take outside India (other than to Nepal and Bhutan) currency notes of Government of India and Reserve Bank of India notes up to an amount not exceeding Rs.25,000 (Rupees Twenty Five Thousand only) per person.

Any person resident outside India, not being a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh, and visiting India…may bring into India currency notes of Government of India and Reserve Bank of India notes up to an amount not exceeding Rs.25,000 (Rupees Twenty Five Thousand only) per person

Disclaimer: I have based the information in this article on the research I did online for my recent visit to India and cannot be considered as legal advice. The latest RBI circular for Foreign Exchange Management (Export and Import of Currency) Regulations, 2015 dated 04 Feb 2016 is available here for your reference online. This post was last updated on 07 Dec 2020.

Conclusion – Indian currency Import/Export Rules

To sum up:

The limit of Indian currency that you can carry into and out of India without declaration is Rs. 25,000. You can carry higher amounts but you would need to complete the Indian Customs Declaration form.

I hope with this quick post you now have a better understanding of how much Indian currency you can take to India from UK/US or any other country except Pakistan or Bangladesh.

I also covered detailed information about how much Indian Rupees can you carry out of India.

If you did find this piece useful, please do me a favour and spread the word about Comparism on Facebook, Twitter, and Whatsapp.

Like it helped you, there is a chance this information could help your friends and family members too.

If you have any additional information from an experience you had while carrying Indian currency in cash to/from India, please do share it in the comments below.

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  1. Hi! Thank you so much for this – I just wanted to check that it is still currently okay to take 9,500 inr into India from Australia (I am an Australian citizen)

    Thank you so much

  2. Hi Aman
    I live in England and my friend is going to India in 2020 to get married.. I want to give him a wedding card with indian rupees in it, where can I get Rupees from in England..

    1. Hi J,

      Thanks for your comment!

      Unfortunately, you cannot buy the Indian currency in the UK. 🙁

      You could give him cash or traveller’s cheque (in pounds) which your friend would need to exchange or withdraw Rupees once in India.