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

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How much currency can I carry to India and out of India - Indian currency notesHow much Indian currency can you carry to India overseas in 2018?

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.

Indian 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.

But…

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 2018.

I was looking for a simple answer to the question: As an NRI, how much cash in Indian rupees can I take 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 out!

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).

Don’t miss: Secret behind booking the cheapest flights to India

Now:

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.

Don’t miss: Best UK to India money transfer deals!

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.

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Don’t miss: Best time to transfer money to India


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 14 Mar 2018.


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. 25000. You can carry higher amounts but you would need to complete 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.

Aman
the authorAman
Aman is the founder and chief curator of Comparism. He loves to write how-to guides and via comparism, he envisions to bring to you the best ways of sending money to India without paying hefty fees in hidden charges and poor conversion rates.

15 Comments

  • Thanks for sharing this information.have shared this link with others keep posting such information..

  • Hi Aman…..Thank you for sharing this post which is explicit an clear. The exact answer to the question I was looking for. Once again Thank you!!

  • Mr. Aman, you have now added a Snippet from a RBI notification, that allows foreign nationals (other than citizens of Bangladesh and Pakistan) to take out of India Rs 25,000/- Indian currency per person. This is obviously based on my previous comment dated 12.2.2018 on this subject, but unfortunately you have not sent me an e mail for pointing out the discrepancy in your earlier write-up, nor have published my earlier comment – and still maintain the sentence that export of Indian currency by foreigners is prohibited! If you dont want to publish my earlier comment, I can understand. However, you accepted the contents of my comments, added a quote from the RBI notification, and still say that foreigners cant export Indian currency.!

    I think if you maintain this attitude to comments, you would not get anyfuture comments from people who want to point out discrepancies in your posts, thus making your articles lose credibility. I am sorry for this criticism.

    Thanks.

    • Hi Rugram,

      The snippet from the RBI source has been on the article since day 1 of it being published and it wasn’t obvious at all that it was added after your comment – it has always been there! 🙂

      Regarding your concern about adding the RBI snippet after your comment, well, I have made no changes to the content between your first comment and the last comment. The only slight change I have done is adding ‘5 words’ to make things clear as I mentioned in reply to your other comment. Thanks again for pointing it out.

      I write these articles and answer all the comments on Comparism to help the community voluntarily and wasn’t able to keep up with a few pending comments in the last week or so.

      My only attitude towards comments is that of openness and help, and criticism is most welcome in your future comments. 🙂

    • Hi Niedu, the limit that you can take out is Rs. 25k (except for while traveling to Pakistan or Bangladesh where you cannot carry any Indian currency).

  • You have mentioned that “Export of Indian currency is prohibited for foreign nationals”. In the ‘Disclaimer’ part, you have copied the Notification RBI/2015-16/310 dated 4.2.2016 which forms the basis for your post. Kindly refer para 2A(b) of this circular which says that barring citizens of Bangladesh and Pakistan, others can take out Rs. 25,000/- Indian currency out of India. May I request you to clarify the source for your statement “Export of Indian currency is prohibited for foreign nationals”, since a plain reading of this Notification expressly permits taking out of India (‘exporting’) Indian currency upto Rs 25,000/- by nationals other than of Bangladesh and Pakistan? Has any subsequent instruction been issured after 4.2.2016 on this subject? Thank you.

    • Hi Rugram,

      Thanks for your comment and for raising this query. I have clarified the statement to read “Export of Indian currency is prohibited for foreign nationals traveling to Pakistan and Bangladesh.”

      The nationals other than of Pakistan and Bangladesh are permitted to carry cash up to Rs 25k but not to Pakistan or Bangladesh.

      See you around.

      Thanks
      Aman

  • Aman Ji, How about OCI card holder, who lives more then 182 days out side India? Can he take Indian Currency outside while travelling from India to his country of residence? If yes then how much?? Thanks

    • Hello Munna,

      As an OCI, you would fall into the category of “person resident outside India” and hence, the same limit of 25k INR applies as per the latest rules.

      Thanks
      Aman

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