FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

General FAQ’s:

Q 1.  Who is an Authorized Dealer (AD)?

Ans: Authorized Dealer (AD) is any person specifically authorized by the Reserve Bank under Section 10(1) of FEMA, 1999, to deal in foreign exchange.

Q 2. Who are authorized by the Reserve Bank to sell foreign exchange for travel purposes?

Ans: Foreign exchange can be purchased from any authorized person, such as an AD Category-I (bank) and AD Category II. Full-Fledged Money Changers (FFMCs) are also permitted to release exchange for business and private visits.

Q 3. What are the Money Changing facilities presently available in India?

Ans: At present, the conversion of currency notes, coins or traveller’s cheques designated in foreign currency into Indian Rupees and vice versa is possible through AD Category-I banks, ADs Category-II and Full Fledged Money Changers (FFMCs). Further, AD Category –I (bank), ADs Category – II and FFMCs may appoint franchisees (also known as Agents) to undertake purchase of foreign currency.

Q 4. In which forms can I buy foreign exchange?

Ans: You can choose to buy foreign exchange in one or more of these modes:
  • Currency notes
  • Prepaid multi-currency forex cards
  • Traveller’s cheque
Most people prefer to carry their currency in a combination of cash (generally for smaller expenses) and prepaid multi-currency cards which can be swiped at merchant outlets or used to withdraw cash at an ATM.

Q 5. How much foreign exchange can I hold?

Ans: As per RBI regulations, in case of Resident Indians, unspent foreign exchange should be encashed within 180 days of return. An amount of up to USD 2,000 can be retained for future use. In case of Foreigners and Non Resident Indians – visitors to India from abroad can bring foreign exchange without any limit. However, when bringing an aggregate value of the foreign exchange exceeding USD 10,000 or its equivalent and/or foreign currency notes exceeding USD 5,000 or its equivalent, it should be declared to the Customs Authorities at the Airport in the Currency Declaration Form (CDF), on arrival in India.

Q 6. What is the amount of Foreign Currency Notes that can be purchased?

Ans: Reserve Bank of India regulations allows Resident Indian citizens to buy up to US Dollars 3,000 or its equivalent in currency notes per trip, subject to your foreign exchange entitlement. However, for travel to CIS, Russia and Iran, the entire foreign exchange requirement can be taken in the form of currency notes.

Q 7.  What documents do I need to buy Foreign Currency Notes?

Ans: All that you need to buy your foreign exchange is your valid passport, your air ticket, visa, PAN card, LERMS Form and Residence Permit in case of Foreign Nationals.

Q 8. How much foreign currency can be carried in cash for travel abroad?

Ans: Foreign Currency Cash Limits:
  • General Countries – USD 3000 Equivalent,
  • Iraq, Libya – USD 5000 Equivalent
  • Iran, Russia & CIS Countries – Full Currency up to USD 2,50,000
  • Haj/Umrah Pilgrimage – Full amount of entitlement (USD 2,50,000) or up to cash limit permitted by Haj Committee of India

Q 9. How much INR can be carried while travelling outside India?

Ans: However, amounts more than USD 5,000 or equivalent and foreign exchanges in the form or bank notes or traveller's cheques exceeding USD 10,000 or its equivalent must be declared to the customs while going abroad from India. On the other hand, Indian residents can carry up to INR 25,000 in cash while going abroad.

Q 10. Can sale of Foreign Exchange can be done for Travel to Nepal &Bhutan?

Ans: No.

Q 11. How many days in advance can I buy foreign exchange?

Ans: The RBI allows you to buy foreign exchange upto a maximum of 60 days before your date of travel. You can procure your forex from an authorized money changer. In case you’re unable to travel within 60 days then the currency you have purchased should be surrendered to an authorized person.

Q 12. How much Indian currency can be brought in while coming into India?

Ans: A resident of India, who has gone out of India on a temporary visit may bring back at the time of his return to India from countries other than Nepal and Bhutan, currency notes of Government of India and Reserve Bank of India notes up to an amount not exceeding Rs. 25,000. A person may bring into India from Nepal or Bhutan, currency notes of Government of India and Reserve Bank of India notes, in denomination not exceeding Rs.100. Any person resident outside India, not being a citizen of Pakistan and Bangladesh and also not a traveller coming from and going to Pakistan and 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 while entering only through an airport. Any person resident in India who had gone to Pakistan and/or Bangladesh on a temporary visit, may bring into India at the time of his return, currency notes of Government of India and Reserve Bank of India notes up to an amount not exceeding Rs.10,000 per person

Q 13. How much foreign exchange can be brought in while visiting India?

Ans: A person coming into India from abroad can bring with him foreign exchange without any limit. However, if the aggregate value of the foreign exchange in the form of currency notes, bank notes or traveller’scheques brought in exceeds USD 10,000 or its equivalent and/or the value of foreign currency alone exceeds USD 5,000 or its equivalent, it should be declared to the Customs Authorities at the Airport in the Currency Declaration Form (CDF), on arrival in India.

Q 14. Can one pay by cash for foreign exchange purchased to travel abroad?

Ans: Foreign exchange for travel abroad can be purchased from an authorized person against rupee payment in cash below Rs. 50,000/-. However, if the sale of foreign exchange is for the amount equivalent to Rs 50,000/- and above, the entire payment should be made by way of a crossed cheque/ banker’s cheque/ pay order/ demand draft/ debit card / credit card / prepaid card only.

Q 15. Is there any time-frame for a traveller who has returned to India to surrender foreign exchange?

Ans: On return from a foreign trip, traveller’s are required to surrender unspent foreign exchange held in the form of currency notes and traveller’scheques within 180 days of return. However, they are free to retain foreign exchange up to USD 2,000, in the form of foreign currency notes or TCs for future use or credit to their Resident Foreign Currency (Domestic) [RFC (Domestic)] Accounts.

Q 16. Should foreign coins be surrendered to an Authorized Dealer on return from abroad?

Ans: The residents can hold foreign coins without any limit.

Q.17. Who is permitted to hold International Credit Card (ICC) and International Debit Card (IDC) for undertaking foreign exchange transactions?

Ans: Banks authorized to deal in foreign exchange are permitted to issue International Debit Cards (IDCs) which can be used by a resident individual for drawing cash or making payment to a merchant establishment overseas during his visit abroad. IDCs can be used only for permissible current account transactions and the usage of IDCs shall be within the LRS limit. AD banks can also issue Store Value Card/Charge Card/Smart Card to residents traveling on private/business visit abroad which can be used for making payments at overseas merchant establishments and also for drawing cash from ATM terminals. No prior permission from Reserve Bank is required for issue of such cards. However, the use of such cards is limited to permissible current account transactions and subject to the LRS limit. Resident individuals maintaining a foreign currency account with an Authorized Dealer in India or a bank abroad, as permissible under extant Foreign Exchange Regulations, are free to obtain International Credit Cards (ICCs) issued by overseas banks and other reputed agencies. The charges incurred against the card either in India or abroad, can be met out of funds held in such foreign currency account/s of the card holder or through remittances, if any, from India only through a bank where the card-holder has a current or savings account. The remittance for this purpose, should also be made directly to the card-issuing agency abroad, and not to a third party. It is also clarified that the applicable credit limit will be the limit fixed by the card issuing banks. There is no monetary ceiling fixed by the RBI for remittances, if any, under this facility. The LRS limit shall not apply to the use of ICC for making payment by a person towards meeting expenses while such person is on a visit outside India. Use of ICCs/ IDCs can be made for travel abroad in connection with various purposes and for making personal payments like subscription to foreign journals, internet subscription, etc. However, use of ICCs/IDCs is NOT permitted for prohibited transactions indicated in Schedule 1 of FEM (CAT) Amendment Rules 2015 such as purchase of lottery tickets, banned magazines etc. Use of these instruments for payment in foreign exchange in Nepal and Bhutan is not permitted.

Q 18. Is there any category of visit which requires prior approval from the Reserve Bank or the Government of India?

Ans: Dance troupes, artistes, etc., who wish to undertake cultural tours abroad, should obtain prior approval from the Ministry of Human Resources Development (Department of Education and Culture), Government of India, New Delhi

Q 19. Is there a limit for withdrawal of foreign exchange?

Ans: Yes, the RBI has prescribed a limit of USD 2,50,000 per financial year under LRS for drawing foreign exchange in various categories for an individual. This means thatthe total sum of all foreign exchange that can be purchased in one year cannot exceed USD 2,50,000. This applies to different purposes of travel including leisure, business, medical treatment, emigration, employment or education. In case of remitter being a minor, the LRS declaration form must be countersigned by the minor’s natural guardian. The Scheme is not available to corporates, partnership firms, HUF, Trusts etc.

Q 20. Can residents purchase air tickets in India for their travel not touching India?

Ans: Residents may book their tickets in India for their visit to any third country. For instance, residents can book their tickets for travel from London to New York, through domestic/foreign airlines in India. However, the same (air tickets) would be a part of the traveller’s overall LRS entitlement of USD 250,000.

Q 21. Is meeting of medical expenses of a NRI close relative, in India, by Resident Individuals permitted?

Ans: Where the medical expenses in respect of NRI close relative [‘relative’ as defined in Section 2(77) of the Companies Act, 2013) are paid by a resident individual, such a payment being in the nature of a resident to resident transaction may be covered under the term “services related thereto” under Regulation 6(2) of Notification No. FEMA 14(R)/2016-RB dated May 2, 2016.

Q 22. Can a person resident in India hold assets outside India?

Ans: In terms of sub-section 4, of Section (6) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999, a person resident in India is free to hold, own, transfer or invest in foreign currency, foreign security or any immovable property situated outside India if such currency, security or property was acquired, held or owned by such person when he was resident outside India or inherited from a person who was resident outside India. Further, a resident individual can also acquire property and other assets overseas under LRS.

Q 23. What are the Official Valid Documents under RBI guidelines for Forex Transaction?

Ans: An Officially Valid Document (OVD) i.e. Passport, Driving License, Aadhaar Card, Voter Identity Card, Job Card Issued by NREGA duly signed by an Officer of the State Government, Letter issued by the National Population Register containing details of name and address, PAN Card along-with Address Proof.

Q 24. Whether Original Documents required for Forex Transaction?

Ans: Yes, the Original documents need to be presented for verification for forex transaction.

Q 25. Where can I keep track of daily exchange rates?

Ans: You can keep track of daily exchange rates on our website. Please note that while buying or selling foreign exchange, prevailing rates on the day of your transaction shall apply. Rates are subject to change.

Q 26. Is it mandatory for resident individuals to have Permanent Account Number (PAN) for sending outward remittances under the Scheme?

Ans: Yes, in terms of AP (DIR) Series Circular No. 32 dated June 19, 2018, it is mandatory for the resident individual to provide his/her Permanent Account Number (PAN) to make outward remittances under the Scheme.

Q 28. Are there any restrictions on the frequency of the remittance?

Ans: There are no restrictions on the frequency of remittances under LRS. However, the total amount of foreign exchangepurchased from or remitted through, all sources in India during a financial year should be within the cumulative limit of USD 2,50,000.

Q 29. Can remittances be made only in US Dollars?

Ans: The remittances can be made in any freely convertible foreign currency.

Q 30. What are the categories & related documents under which remittances can be processed under LRS?

Ans: Under the Liberalized Remittance Scheme, Authorized Dealers may freely allow remittances by resident individuals up toUSD 2,50,000 per Financial Year (April-March) for all purpose: Purpose of remittance
(A) Private Visits –
Resident Indian:
  • Private Visit form (BTQ) – Annexure B
  • Photo copy of valid Passport and current residential address proof (If customer has changed his residence after receiving passport)
  • Copy of air ticket
  • Form A2 – Application cum declaration – Annexure A
  • The details of remittance and with supporting documents
  • Pan card
  • Visa copy if available
  • (Please note that all KYC documents should be self-attested by the customer in addition to the verification of original documents).

    Foreign National:
    In addition to above documents:
  • Declaration for not availing facilities by way of remittance in Foreign Currency & in terms of FEMA regulations. – Annexure N
  • Photo copy of residential permit.

  • (B) Remittance by tour operator’s / travel agents to overseas agents / principals / hotels –
  • Copy of Overseas Invoice stating amount.
  • Form A2 – Application cum Declaration – Annexure A
  • Declaration cum undertaking from Tour Operator –Annexure J
  • List of passengers with details, such as, names, passport numbers, Foreign Exchange received from each customer for whom this transaction is being undertaken – Annexure K
  • Copies of Air ticket of all the traveller’s
  • Valid Passport copies of all the traveller’s.
  • Pan card
  • (Please note that all KYC documents should be self-attested by the customer in addition to the verification of original documents wherever applicable).


    (C) Business Travel – Resident Indian:
  • Request letter from the corporate on company letterhead signed and stamped by authorized signatory of the company. -Annexure C
  • Photo copy of a valid Passport of the person Travelling – Photo ID and Address page.
  • Copy of Air ticket
  • Pan card
  • Form A2 – Application cum declaration – Annexure A
  • The detail of remittance along with supporting document.
  • (Please note that all KYC documents should be self-attested by the customer in addition to the verification of original documents wherever applicable).

    Foreign Nationals:
    In addition to above documents:
  • Declaration for not availing facilities by way of remittance in Foreign Currency & in terms of FEMA regulations. – Annexure N
  • Photo copy of residential permit.
  • (Please note that all KYC documents should be self-attested by the customer in addition to the verification of original documents wherever applicable).


    (D) Fee for participation in global conferences and specialized training –
  • Copy of valid Passport of all the individuaals - Photo ID and address page.
  • Request letter from the corporate on company letterhead signed and stamped by authorized signatory of the company -Annexure C
  • Documents such as Conference or Seminar Registration Form / Brochure / Invitation Letter.
  • Copy of Air ticket
  • Pan card
  • Form A2 - Application cum declaration -Annexure A
  • Form 15CA/CB
  • Please note that all KYC documents should be self-attested by the customer in addition to the verification of original documents wherever applicable).


    (E) Remittance for participation in international events / competitions (towards training, sponsorship and prize money) –s
  • Form A2 - Application cum Declaration -Annexure A
  • Photo copy of a valid Passport of the person Travelling – Photo ID and Address page. -where applicable
  • Copy of Overseas Invitation Letter for participation in International events / competitions / details of training / details of sponsorship / documentary evidence of the prize money.
  • Copy of Air ticket
  • Pan card
  • Request letter from the customer -Annexure B
  • Form 15 CA/CB
  • (Please note that all KYC documents should be self-attested by the customer in addition to the verification of original documents wherever applicable).

    Note:
  • The international event may be held abroad or in India.
  • Remittance of prize money / sponsorship of sports activity abroad in excess of USD 250000/by a person/s other than International / National / State Level sports bodies would need the approval of Ministry of Human Resource Development (Department of Youth Affairs and Sport), Government of India.

  • (F) Film shooting –
  • Form A2 – Application cum declaration for all the traveller’s – Annexure A
  • Copy of a valid Passport copy of all persons travelling as per the list provided.
  • Application on the company’s letterhead (Refer Format – Annexure D) for release of foreign exchange incorporating details as per the RBI guidelines.
  • Detailed break-up of the cost and List of artists and technicians travelling for the shooting of the film (Refer Format – Annexure E)
  • Copies of Air ticket of all traveller’s.
  • CA certificate – Annexure G
  • Pan card.
  • Form 15 CA/CB.
  • Documents to be kept on record:

    It is mandatory to keep all documents on record. In addition, the Film Company / Ad Agency will have to submit the Statement of Accounts for the shoot. A Chartered Accountant’s certificate confirming that the Statement of Accounts is in order has also to be submitted.

    (Please note that all KYC documents should be self-attested by the customer in addition to the verification of original documents wherever applicable).


    (G) Medical Treatment abroad –
  • Form A2 -Application cum Declaration – Annexure A
  • Photocopy of valid passports and current residence address proof of patient and attendant.
  • TRM 1 if amount applied is below USD 100,000/-or its equivalent. Annexure P
  • TRM 1 & TRM 2 if the amount applied for medical treatment is more than USD 100,000 or its equivalent. Annexure P&Q
  • Copy of air ticket
  • Pan card
  • (Please note that all KYC documents should be self-attested by the customer in addition to the verification of original documents wherever applicable).

    (H) Disbursement of crew wages –
  • Form A2 – Application cum Declaration-Annexure A
  • Wage Certificate from shipping company
  • Client request letter for release of Forex -Annexure B
  • CA certificate -Annexure R
  • Photocopy of a valid Passport
  • Pan card
  • Form 15 CA/CB
  • (Please note that all KYC documents should be self-attested by the customer in addition to the verification of original documents wherever applicable).

    (I) Overseas Education –
  • Photo copy of Form I – 20 is mandatory for students studying in United States.
  • Photo copy of admission letter from overseas university/college indicating the date of commencement of the course, degree / diploma it leads to and the duration of the course,
  • Photocopy of a valid Passport (photo and address page),
  • In case of transaction taken on behalf of the student by Guardian/parents, then ID and address proof of the said person should be verified and copy obtained, If the remittance is being done by blood relative of the customer and the Student Visa is expired Employment Authorization Card (EAD) for students in US can be acceptable
  • Form A2 – Application cum Declaration. Annexure A
  • Students Visa
  • Copy of air ticket
  • Pan card
  • Copy of ID and Local address proof
  • Prospectus of the university indicating the fees for admission form or the course fee structure
  • Request letter for release of Forex – Annexure B

  • (J) Remittance under educational tie up arrangements with universities abroad – Appearing for examination in India
  • Application for Prospectus / Admission Forms from Foreign University
  • Remittance to Foreign University / Institution for examinations held in India
  • Form A-2 - Application cum Declaration – Annexure A
  • Copy of ID and Local address proof
  • Prospectus of the university indicating the fees for admission form or the course fee structure
  • Request letter for release of Forex – Annexure B
  • Travelling to appear for examinations held abroad
  • Valid Passport Copy and Local residential address proof
  • Form A2 - Application cum Declaration – Annexure A
  • Prospectus of the university indicating the fees or details of the course and its fee structure.
  • Request letter for release of Forex – Annexure B
  • Pan card
  • (Please note that all KYC documents should be self-attested by the customer in addition to the verification of original documents wherever applicable).


    (K) Remittance towards fees for examinations held in India and abroad and additional score sheets for GRE, TOEFL etc.-
  • Letter from the institute in India giving relevant details of the amount to be remitted.
  • Documentary from the Universities abroad for the amount to be remitted.
  • Ticket Copy
  • Form A2 - Application cum Declaration – Annexure A
  • Copy of valid Passport of all the applicants
  • Student visa for all the applicants.
  • Pan card
  • (Please note that all KYC documents should be self-attested by the customer in addition to the verification of original documents wherever applicable).


    (L) Employment and processing, assessment fees for overseas job applications –
  • Form A2 - Application cum Declaration -Annexure A
  • Photo copy of Letter of Employment / Invoice from the overseas organization giving relevant details such as a processing / assessment fees, etc.
  • Photocopy of a valid Passport
  • Employment Visa
  • Photocopy of current Residential address proof.
  • Request letter to release Forex -Annexure B
  • Pan Card
  • Form 15 CA/CB
  • (Please note that all KYC documents should be self-attested by the customer in addition to the verification of original documents wherever applicable).


    (M) Emigration and Emigration Consultancy Fees-
  • Form A2 – Application cum declaration – Annexure A
  • Copy of valid Passport and current residential address proof
  • Visa copy with Emigration Visa stamped
  • Boucher Invoice from the overseas organization for emigration consultancy fees.
  • Pan card
  • Form 15 CA/CB
  • Note: An emigrant visa is a mandatory for release of foreign exchange under this category.

    (Please note that all KYC documents should be self-attested by the customer in addition to the verification of original documents wherever applicable).


    (N) Skills / credential assessment fees for intending migrants-
  • Form A2 – Application cum declaration –Annexure A
  • Copy of letter / Invoice from the overseas organization giving relevant details such as a Skill / credential assessment fees, to the migrant.
  • Copy of valid Passport and address Proof
  • Pan card
  • Form 15 CA/CB
  • (Please note that all KYC documents should be self-attested by the customer in addition to the verification of original documents wherever applicable).


    (O) Visa fees-
  • Copy of valid Passport and current residential address proof
  • Form A2 -Application cum Declaration – Annexure A
  • Documentary evidence for VISA fees payable.
  • Pan card
  • Form15CA/CB
  • (Depends on the nature of transaction. If visa is for private visit, Form 15 CA/CB will not be required.)

    (Please note that all KYC documents should be self-attested by the customer in addition to the verification of original documents wherever applicable).


    (P) Processing fees for registration of documents as required by the Portuguese / other Governments, Registration/ Subscription/ Membership fees to International Organizations-
    (Q) Registration / subscription / membership fees to International Organizations-
  • Copy of valid Passport and current residential address proof
  • Form A2 - Application cum Declaration -Annexure A
  • Invoice from overseas organization
  • Pan card
  • Form 15CA/CB
  • (Please note that all KYC documents should be self-attested by the customer in addition to the verification of original documents wherever applicable).


    Q 31. What are the documents required for withdrawal/remittance of foreign exchange for purposes mentioned in para 1 of Schedule III to FEM (CAT) Amendment Rules, 2015?

    Ans: RBI will not prescribe any documentation to be submitted to ADs except Form A2. All other documentation may be done as advised by the AD. For small amounts aggregating up-to USD 25,000 per year, ADs need not obtain any document including Form A-2, except a simple letter from the applicant (containing the basic information, viz., names and the addresses of the applicant and the beneficiary, amount to be remitted and the purpose of remittance) as long as the foreign exchange is being purchased for a permissible current account transaction (not included in the Schedules I and II of FEM (CAT) Rules). AD banks shall prepare dummy A-2 for statistical inputs for Balance of Payment.

    Q 32. Clarification on remittance by sole proprietor under LRS.

    Ans:In a sole proprietorship business, there is no legal distinction between the individual / owner and as such the owner of the business can remit USD up to the permissible limit under LRS. If a sole proprietorship firm intends to remit the money under LRS by debiting its current account, then the eligibility of the proprietor in his individual capacity has to be reckoned. Hence, if an individual in his own capacity remits USD 250,000 in a financial year under LRS, he cannot remit another USD 250,000 in the capacity of owner of the sole proprietorship business as there is no legal distinction.

    Q 33. What is the definition of “Relative”?

    Ans:A person shall be deemed to be a relative of another if, - (a) They are members of a Hindu undivided family; or
    (b) They are husband and wife; or
    (c) The one is related to the other in the manner indicated below
    Sr. No. Companies Act 2013 – Relatives
    1 Father ( including step-father)
    2 Mother ( including step-mother)
    3 Son ( including step-son)
    4 Son’s wife
    5 Daughter
    6 Daughter’s husband
    7 Brother ( including step-brothers)
    8 Sister ( including step-sister)

    Q 34. Can AMCs issue Forex prepaid cards?

    Ans: Authorized Dealers Category-II can issue forex pre-paid cards to residents travelling on private/business visit abroad, subject to KYC/AML/CFT requirements. However, the settlement in respect of forex pre-paid cards has to be effected through AD Category-I banks.

    Q 35. Whether Forex Prepaid Cards can be used at Duty Free Shops located at International Airports in India?

    Ans: Yes. Forex Prepaid Cards can be used in the same manner as foreign currency notes / traveller’scheques.