What should the Indians abroad in possession of ?500 and ?1000 notes do if they are not returning till 31 Mar 2017?

Question being asked by a lot of NRIs abroad: I am an Indian living abroad having a ?500 note and some friends of mine have some ?500 and ?1000 notes with them. What should we do with these notes if we do not plan to visit India within the specified time for exchanging the notes?


Check out Garamchai.com’s FAQ on the topic: Indian Government’s decision to do away with 500, 1000 RUPEE NOTES! Impact on NRIs from Garamchai.Com

Also refer to earlier blogs on the topic:


First things first. What will NOT work

  • Panicking about this is not going to help. Unless you have stashed away hundreds of thousands of rupees in 500 and 1000 rupee notes in your bedroom or bank locker overseas, there is no reason to panic.
  • If you had a lot – hundreds of thousands – of currency notes with you while traveling overseas, ask yourself:Has the money had already been taxed in India? If yes, just hold on to the currency till your next trip back to India and follow RBI guidelines (check out Indian Governemtn statement )On the other hand, If the money had not been taxed, or it was a “cash payment” you received, ask yourself if you should just count your losses and walk http://away.As per RBI regulations, Foreigners and Indians are not legallyallowed to carry any Indian notes with them.Although the rule, which is part of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), has been in place for quite sometime now, it is only now that the central bank is trying to enforce it.If you walk into an Indian Embassy or Consulate overseas with a suitcase full of 500 or 1000 rupee notes, you could be in trouble!
  • Branches of “Indian” banks like State Bank of India, ICICI and other banks in the US and Canada operate as local banks. They are not authorized to operate your “Indian” NRI or NRO accounts. Therefore, they will not take your 500 or 1000 rupee notes for deposit.
  • Currency exchange ( money-exchange ) outlets in foreign countries may NOT accept the old 500 or 1000 rupee notes. There are already accounts in media that commercial money exchange outlets overseas have reportedly refused to accept the old 500 and 1000 notes.

Here are a few facts and practical tips for NRIs, left with “some” Indian currency in hand:

  1. Carry the cash with you to India: According to a press release by India’s Ministry of Finance, individuals can exchange the old notes till December 30, 2016.
  2. If you have some money left back in India, you could authorize another person in India to deposit the notes: According to RBI guidelines, if you have old banknotes in India, others may be authorized to deposit the notes into your Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) or Non-Resident External (NRE) bank account. The authorized person should go to the bank branch with the old banknotes and authorization letter from you. He or she should also carry a valid Indian identity proof
  3. Send the rupees back to India with someone you trust. If the person is traveling before end of 2016, he or she can deposit it into your account (similar to step 2)
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