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What are the RBI guidelines for Forex Facilities?

Forex Facilities for Residents (Individuals) (As on Dec'13)

Private Travel

Foreign exchange up to US$ 10,000 is permissible in any calendar year for tourism or private travel to any country other than Nepal and Bhutan on the basis of self-certification. When traveling to Nepal and Bhutan, you can carry as much Indian currency as you wish, except currency notes with denominations of Rs.100 and above.

Study Abroad / Medical treatment abroad / Employment abroad / Emigration / Maintenance of close relatives abroad

Foreign exchange up to US$ 100,000 is permissible on the basis of self-certification. For students the limit of $100,000 is applicable for each academic year. For medical treatment in addition to $100,000, foreign exchange up to US$ 25,000 can be taken for meeting boarding/lodging/travel expenses of the patient and also for the accompanying attendant on self-certification. Amounts in excess of the limits can be released on basis of documentary evidence of requirement.

Remittance for Miscellaneous Purposes up to US $25000

A.P Master Circular No. 6/2013-14 dated 1st July 2013, remittances can be made up to US$ 25000, for any miscellaneous purpose, without furnishing documents other than the Application Form

Form 15 CA CB Mandatory for FX Transaction

1st October 2013, as per the circular no. 2659(E) dtd 2nd Sept. 2013 from Ministry of Finance, for certain FX and Trade transactions, Submission of Form No. 15CA and CB has been made mandatory in most purposed on Fx transaction - Contact your branch for further details.

International Credit Cards

International Credit Cards can be used for:

  • Meeting expenses or making purchases while abroad without any limit.
  • Making payments in foreign exchange for purchase of books and other items through the Internet.
  • Residents holding a foreign currency account in India or with an overseas bank, are free to obtain ICCs issued by overseas banks and other reputed agencies.

Overseas forex trading through electronic/internet trading portals

As per RBI circular No 46 dated September 17, 2013, it has been clarified that overseas forex trading through digital trading portals, in respect of the margin payments being made by their customer for online forex trading transactions( directly /Indirectly ) through their credit cards / Net Banking is prohibited form of transaction

Surrender of Foreign Exchange on Return

Foreign exchange up to US$ 2,000, in the form of foreign currency notes or travellers' cheques (TCs) can be retained indefinitely for future use. Amounts in excess of $2000 have to be surrendered to a bank within 90 days and TCs within 180 days of return or credited to RFC (D) account. Foreign coins can be retained indefinitely without any limit.

Resident Foreign Currency (Domestic) Account

Residents can open Resident Foreign Currency (Domestic) Account with a bank in India for crediting:

  • Unspent balances after travel abroad
  • Currency ,TCs, bank drafts received as gifts from or for services rendered to non resident while in India
  • Foreign exchange earnings received, through banking channel, as honorarium, consultancy, royalty, for any services or towards exports of goods
  • RFC (D) accounts are NOT interest bearing and there is no ceiling on the balances that can be built up in these accounts. The balances held in these accounts can be used for any purpose for which foreign exchange can be bought from a bank in India.

Click here to know how to open an RFC Domestic account.

Liberalized Remittance Scheme

A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No.138 dated 3rd June, 2014, RBI has increased the limit under Liberalised Remittance Scheme for Resident Individuals from USD 75,000 to USD 125,000.
As indicated in paragraph 13 of the Second Bi-Monthly Monetary Statement, 2014-15, it has now been decided to enhance the existing limit of USD 75,000 per financial year (April-March) to USD 125,000 with immediate effect. Accordingly, AD Category –I banks may now allow remittances up to USD 125,000 per financial year, under the Scheme, for any permitted current or capital account transaction or a combination of both.

Eligibility:

All Resident individuals are eligible to avail of the facility under the scheme. This facility is not available to Corporates, Partnership firms, HUF, Trusts etc.

Purpose:

This facility is available for making remittances up to USD 125,000/- per individual per financial year (April-March) for any current or Capital account transactions or a combination of both.

  • Under this facility, Resident Indians will be free to acquire and Hold shares or any other asset outside India without prior approval of the Reserve Bank of India.
    ## Investment in immovable properties has been enabled basis revised amendment dated 3rd July 2014 under LRS
  • Individuals will also be able to maintain and hold foreign currency accounts with a bank outside India for making remittances under the scheme without prior approval of the Reserve Bank of India. The foreign currency account may be used for conducting transactions connected with or arising from remittances eligible under the scheme.
  • Resident individuals have now been allowed to set up Joint Ventures (JV) / Wholly Owned Subsidiaries (WOS) outside India for bonafide business activities outside India within the limit of USD 125,000 with effect from August 5, 2013 and subject to the terms and conditions stipulated in Notification No.FEMA 263/RB-2013 dated August 5, 2013

Please note that this facility is available in addition to those already available for private travel, business travel, donations, studies abroad, medical treatment etc. as described in the Schedule III of FEMA (current account transactions) Rules 2000.

Remittances for the following purpose are prohibited under Schedule-I mentioned in this scheme:

  • Purchase of lottery/sweep stakes, tickets proscribed magazines etc) or any item restricted under Schedule II of Foreign Exchange Management (Current Account Transactions) Rules, 2000.
  • Remittances made directly or indirectly to Bhutan, Nepal, Mauritius or Pakistan.
  • Remittances made directly or indirectly to countries identified by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as "non co-operative countries and territories"
  • Remittances directly or indirectly to those individuals and entities identified as posing significant risk of committing acts of terrorism as advised separately by the Reserve Bank to the banks.

What are the Forex Exchange limits?

The Retail Foreign Exchange Sale Limits** are as follows:

PurposeLimitDocumentation
Basic Travel Quota (BTQ) - For Holidays, Personal visits etc USD $10,000.00 per financial year Application Form, Form A2 and Self Declaration
Business Travel USD $25,000.00 per Trip Application Form with authorization from the Company, Form A2, Letter from the Company stating that the employee is going abroad on business with details of places of stay
Immigration - For people who settle abroad in countries like Canada, New Zealand etc. USD $100,000.00 per year Application Form, Form A2 and Self Declaration
Employment Abroad - For a person who is going to work abroad USD $100,000.00 per year Application Form, Form A2 and Self Declaration
Medical Treatment - For people who are travelling abroad for treatment USD $100,000.00 per year Application Form, Form A2 and Self Declaration
Studies Abroad - For students pursuing studies abroad USD $100,000.00 per academic year Application Form, Form A2 and Self Declaration
Maintenance of close relatives abroad USD $100,000.00 per year Application Form, Form A2 and Self Declaration
Investments overseas in shares(listed companies), Gifts & Donations etc (under liberalised remittance scheme only) USD 125,000 per financial year Application form, Declaration for purchase of foreign exchange under the liberalized remittance scheme of USD 125,000 and Form A2 (Only for Individual residents a/c holders)

Important points to note:

  • Out of the overall foreign exchange being sold to a traveler, exchange in the form of foreign currency notes and coins may be sold up to the limit indicated below:
  • Travelers proceeding to countries other than Iraq, Libya, Islamic Republic of Iran, Russian Federation and other Republics of Commonwealth of Independent States - not exceeding USD 3000 or its equivalent.
  • Travelers proceeding to Iraq or Libya - not exceeding USD 5000 or its equivalent
  • Travelers proceeding to Islamic Republic of Iran, Russian Federation and other Republics of Commonwealth of Independent States - full exchange may be released.

**Not applicable for travel to Nepal & Bhutan

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