Is it necessary for a person to obtain permission of the Reserve Bank for undertaking travel abroad ? No, tickets for travel abroad can be freely purchased by residents from any airline/ shipping company or their agents in India.
Is permission of the Reserve Bank required for purchase of foreign exchange for travel abroad ? No, authorised dealers viz., banks authorised to deal in foreign exchange, have been permitted to release foreign exchange for travel abroad for various purposes subject to certain guidelines. For the convenience of the public, persons/firms holding full-fledged money-changer's licences from the Reserve Bank have also been delegated powers for release of exchange for certain limited purposes.
What are the basic requirements for obtaining foreign exchange for travel abroad ? The traveller should possess a valid passport authorising travel to the countries proposed to be visited and a ticket issued for a journey to those countries.
What are the various purposes for which foreign exchange can be drawn by a traveller ? A traveller can draw foreign exchange for private visits, business visits, participation in conferences/ seminars, specialised training, study tour, higher studies, medical treatment or for employment/ emigration abroad, etc.
How many days before the commencement of a journey can a traveller draw foreign exchange ? Sixty days. The ticket held by the traveller should be for a journey commencing not later than sixty days from the date of drawal of foreign exchange.
Can foreign exchange for travel abroad be purchased from banks against rupee payment in cash ? A person can purchase foreign exchange for travel abroad against payment in cash if the rupee equivalent payable by him does not exceed Rs. 50,000. If the rupee value of foreign exchange exceeds Rs. 50,000, the entire payment should be made by way of a crossed cheque drawn on applicant's bank account or the bank account of the firm/company sponsoring the visit. Payment in such cases can also be made in the form of a banker's cheque/ pay order/demand draft, provided such instrument is accompanied by a certificate from the issuing bank that the funds for the instrument have been received by debit to the customer's bank account.
Can a person get the foreign exchange in the form of foreign currency notes/ coins ? Foreign exchange will be released by banks in the form of foreign currency notes/coins up to U.S. $500 or its equivalent and the balance in the form of travellers cheques/ demand draft/ mail transfer/ telegraphic transfer.
Is there any exception to this rule ? Yes, travellers proceeding to Islamic Republic of Iran, Russian Federation and other Republics of Commonwealth of Independent States are released foreign exchange in the form of foreign currency notes and coins up to their full entitlement, if the travellers so desire.
Can a traveller draw any exchange for enroute expenses ? Yes, an outgoing traveller can draw foreign currency notes up to U.S. $ 50 or its equivalent (up to the equivalent of Indian Rs.100 if he is proceeding to Bangladesh) from an exchange bureau at an airport or seaport for his enroute expenses. He can also draw this amount from a city branch/ office of an authorised dealer one month in advance on production of a confirmed journey ticket. This will be in addition to the exchange purchased by him for travel purposes.
Can a traveller remit a part of his foreign exchange entitlement for his hotel accommodation, tour arrangements, etc., without the prior approval of the Reserve Bank ? Yes, out of his exchange entitlement a traveller can send advance remittances up to reasonable limits through an authorised dealer towards his hotel accommodation, tour arrangements, etc., to the countries proposed to be visited by him.
Can a traveller buy tickets in India for surface transportation abroad ? Yes, a traveller can buy tickets in India for surface transportation abroad against payment either in rupees or in foreign exchange from approved agents of overseas rail/ road transport organisations.
Can a traveller buy telephone cards in India to be used abroad ? Yes, a traveller can buy tickets in India for surface transportation abroad against payment either in rupees or in foreign exchange from approved agents of overseas rail/ road transport organisations.
Can residents hold any foreign currencies with them and take out such currencies held during their visits abroad ? Yes. The Reserve Bank has granted general permission to persons resident in India to hold foreign currency/ ies up to U.S.$ 2000 or its equivalent for personal purposes. They are also permitted to take out the foreign currency/ ies so held during their visits abroad over and above the foreign exchange purchased for purposes of travel.
Whether unspent foreign exchange brought back to India is required to be surrendered by a traveller ? Yes. He can, however, retain foreign currency upto U.S.$ 2000 or its equivalent (including foreign exchange, if any, already held by him) for personal purposes, under the general permission given to persons resident in India to hold foreign currency and surrender the balance to an authorised dealer or a money-changer against payment in rupees.
What is the time limit for surrender of unspent exchange ? Unspent exchange brought back to India by a traveller should be surrendered within 90 days from the date of return.
What is the time limit for surrender of foreign exchange already drawn, if the journey is cancelled ? In the event of cancellation of the journey, foreign exchange drawn by a traveller should be surrendered within 30 days from the date on which he comes to know that the foreign exchange drawn cannot be used for the travel.
If the journey is postponed, can a traveller retain the foreign exchange already drawn, for his travel at a later date ? Yes, provided the postponed journey commences within 60 days from the date of drawal of foreign exchange.
Can a traveller take with him any Indian currency when he goes abroad ? A traveller can take with him Indian currency notes and coins while going abroad (other than to Nepal) up to Rs.1000. Persons going to Nepal can take Indian currency notes of the denominations up to Rs.100 and Indian coins without any limit.
How much amount of Indian currency can a traveller bring back while returning from abroad ? Persons returning from Nepal can bring Indian currency other than notes in the denominations exceeding Rs.100 without limit. Persons returning from other countries can bring Indian currency up to Rs.1000 which was taken out by them while going on a temporary visit abroad.
Are there any restrictions to bring foreign exchange by persons visiting India ? No, The Reserve Bank has granted general permission to incoming travellers to bring foreign currency into India from any place outside India without limit, provided they declare to the Customs authorities, on arrival at the airport/ seaport, the particulars of all such foreign currency brought in on the Currency Declaration Form (CDF). The declaration is necessary if the aggregate value of the foreign exchange brought in, in the form of currency notes, bank notes or travellers cheques at any one time exceeds U.S. $10,000 or its equivalent and/ or the aggregate value of currency notes alone exceeds U.S.$ 2,500 or its equivalent.