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Going abroad? Take note of forex rules

Suresh Surana | Updated on October 13, 2012 Published on October 13, 2012

The amount that you can carry overseas depends on the purpose of the visit.

Taking a trip abroad this winter? Or going off to college? There could be many reasons for going overseas. Here are a few pointers about foreign exchange rules to help you with your trip.

How much

To start with, the amount that you can carry overseas depends on the purpose. While visiting countries other than Nepal and Bhutan, for tourism, you can obtain foreign exchange up to $ 10,000 in a financial year.

This limit is in place irrespective of the number of visits undertaken during the year. For business trips, the limit is hiked up to $25,000 per visit.

While going for obtaining any medical treatment abroad, an amount of $1,00,000 or its equivalent is permissible to resident Indians on a self declaration basis – that is, without insisting on any estimate from a hospital or doctor whether in India or abroad. Additionally, an amount of $25,000 is allowed as maintenance expenses of the patient going abroad or to a person for accompanying the patient as an attendant.

If you’re going overseas to study, you are allowed $1,00,000 for an academic year, or the estimate provided by your institution or university, if this amount is higher.

In addition, you can avail of an amount of $10,000 for incidental expenses out of which $3,000 can be carried in the form of foreign currency notes while going to study abroad.

You can draw the permissible foreign exchange 60 days in advance. As a resident, you are free to retain any foreign exchange up to $2,000 in the form of currency notes or even travellers cheques, if you foresee its use in the future.

On the other hand, if say, your brother happens to be visiting you here, the rules are different. Persons coming into India from abroad can bring with them foreign exchange without any limit. If the aggregate value of the foreign exchange brought in the form of currency notes, bank notes, or traveller’s cheques exceeds $10,000 and/or the value of foreign currency alone exceeds $5,000, it should be declared to the customs authorities at the airport in the Currency Declaration Form (CDF), at the time of arrival in India.

Investments

A person resident in India is free to hold, own, transfer or invest in foreign currency, foreign security including listed securities 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.

Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) is an additional facility available for resident individuals (including minors) over and above the limits set for travel, studies, medical treatment and so on. Under LRS, an individual can freely remit up to $2,00,000 in each financial year for any permissible current and/or capital account transaction.

The list of such permissible transactions includes bank deposits, purchase of immovable property or securities, donations, gifts, loans to relatives and so on. PAN is mandatory for resident individuals for the purpose of making remittances under LRS. Note that no credit facilities can be availed under LRS. Additionally, LRS facility is not available for remittances to Bhutan, Nepal, Mauritius and Pakistan.

(The author is Founder, RSM Astute Consulting Group)

Published on October 13, 2012
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