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Understanding your Forex entitlements as per RESERVE BANK OF INDIA guidelines

A Person can avail foreign exchange up to US$2, 50,000 from Supama Forex Pvt Ltd or any authorized dealer, for a business trip to any country other than Nepal and Bhutan. Prior permission from Reserve Bank is required for release of foreign exchange exceeding US$2, 50,000 for a travel abroad (other than Nepal and Bhutan) for business purposes, irrespective of period of stay. Visits in connection with attending of an international conference, seminar, specialized training, study tour, apprentice training, etc., are treated as business visits. Paper Currency is Limited to 3,000 USD or equivalent amount per visit and the remaining amount can be loaded in Travel Card. Per day Transaction value should not exceed to 25,000 USD or its Equivalent, with the maximum limit of 2,50,000 USD or its Equivalent per financial year.

In connection with holiday trips abroad, foreign exchange up to US$2, 50,000 in any one financial year may be obtained from Supama Forex Pvt Ltd or any authorized dealer. The entitlement of US$2, 50,000 is applicable in aggregate and foreign exchange may be obtained for one or more than one visits provided the prescribed ceiling of US$2, 50,000 is not exceeded in one financial year. This US$2,50,000 (BTQ) can be availed of by a person along with foreign exchange for travel abroad for any purpose, including for employment or immigration or studies. However, no foreign exchange is available for visit to Nepal and/or Bhutan for any purpose. Paper Currency is Limited to 3,000 USD or equivalent amount per visit and the remaining amount can be loaded in Travel Card. Per day Transaction value should not exceed to 25,000 USD or its Equivalent, with the maximum limit of 2,50,000 USD or its Equivalent per financial year.

From any branch of Supama Forex Pvt Ltd all over India or any authorized dealer.

Travelers are allowed to purchase foreign currency notes/coins only up to USD $3000. Balance amount can be taken in the form of Prepaid Forex Card (maximum value USD $2, 50,000). Exceptions to this are

  1. Travelers proceeding to Iraq and Libya can draw foreign exchange in the form of foreign currency notes and coins not exceeding US$5000 or its equivalent.
  2. Travelers proceeding to the Islamic Republic of Iran, Russian Federation and other Republics of Commonwealth of Independent States can draw entire foreign exchange released in form of foreign currency notes or coins.

In case it is not utilized within this period, it should be surrendered to Supama Forex Pvt Ltd or any other authorized dealers.

For the purpose of business travel, foreign exchange can be availed against the company cheques. For BTQ, settlement can be need entirely by cash up to a maximum of Rs.50, 000/- or by cheque/ Bank Transfer/ Demand draft. Part payment by cash / cheque / demand draft is not permitted.

In case of unutilized foreign exchange after the trip

Foreign Exchange up to US$ 2000/- in the form of foreign currency notes or travelers cheques can be indefinitely retained. In excess of this sum, foreign cash needs to be surrendered within 90 days and T/C to be surrendered within 180 days of return. Any amount in excess of US$2000 can also be credited to RFC (D) Account.

Foreign exchange in cash up to US$5000 and or cash plus Travelers Card up to a value of US$ 2, 50,000 can be brought into India. Cash and travelers cheuqes exceeding the above limits should be declared to custom at the airport in the Currency Declaration Form (CDF) on arrival in India.

Dance troupes, artistes, etc., who wish to undertake cultural tours abroad, should obtain prior approval from the Ministry of Human Resources Development, Government of India, New Delhi.

A resident Indian can maintain a Foreign Currency (Domestic) Account and deposit Foreign Exchange acquired from any of the sources approved by Reserve Bank of India, e.g. unspent BTQ, honorarium or gift / payment for services while on a visit outside India or received from a person not resident in India or who is on visit to India in settlement of a lawful obligation etc.

(Forex requirement will be serviced by any authorized dealers)

For medical treatment abroad exchange can be released up to the estimated amount by the doctor in India or hospital/ doctor abroad. If the amount is US$2, 50,000 or less than the same can be released without estimate from doctor / hospital. Reserve Bank approval is required to release exchange exceeding the estimate from the doctor in India or doctor/hospital abroad. Additionally, US$25,000 can be taken for travel of the maintenance expenses of the patient or accompanying attendant for the patient going abroad for medical treatment/check up.

Release of foreign exchange for studies abroad is up to the estimate given by an institution abroad or up to US$ 2, 50,000 per academic year.

A person going abroad for employment can draw foreign exchange up to US$ 2, 50,000 from any authorized dealer in India.

A person going abroad for immigration can draw foreign exchange up to US$ 2,50,000 or the amount prescribed by the country of emigration from an authorized dealer in India. This amount is only to meet the incidental expenses in the country of migration. No amount of foreign exchange can be remitted outside India to become eligible or for earning points or credits for immigration. All such remittances require prior permission of the Reserve Bank.

Any person resident in India can remit up to US$ 5,000 in any one year as a gift to a person residing outside India or as the donation to a charitable/ educational/religious/cultural organization outside India. Remittances exceeding the limit require prior permission from the RBI.