2017 Guide: How NRIs can change their old 500 and 1000 Rupee notes


NOTE: This article has been updated on 2 January 2017  to reflect the only applicable option and detailed requirements for the same.

The sudden announcement about withdrawal of 500 and 1000 Rupee notes has left many NRIs abroad looking for answers as to how could they get their old 500 and 1000 rupee notes exchanged.

As of 2 January 2017, options such as exchanging currency at foreign branches, exchange houses, airports etc are not applicable any more. The deadline for depositing to NRO accounts was 30 December 2016.

Option available till 30 June 2017: Deposit at RBI office

Now, the only available option is to deposit the money via Reserve Bank of India (RBI) offices.

RBI on 31 December 2016 announced in a notification that it will introduce a facility for exchange of old specified bank notes for Indian residents and NRIs, who were abroad from November 9 to December 30.

According to a RBI notification, Indian residents, who were abroad during November 9 to December 30, 2016 can avail the new facility up to March 31, 2017, while NRIs can avail it up to June 30.

Customs declaration form needed

In order to prevent misuse of this facility, the specified bank notes should be declared to customs officials on arrival at airport.

The passenger has to arrive through Red channel and fill up a one-page declaration form. A stamped document will be issued by Customs official indicating the import of SBNs, their count and value.

RBI office locations

  • The deposit facility will be available only at Reserve Bank offices at Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, and Nagpur. Normal banks will not accept SBNs directly.

Documents required for submission at RBI office

  • Stamped document issued by Indian Customs indicating the import of SBNs with details and value
  • A copy of Passport with immigration stamp as proof of the individual’s absence from the country during the period.
  • Passport in original should be presented at the RBI counter for verification
  • ID document (Aadhaar number, Permanent Account Number (PAN) etc.)
  • Copies of statements of all bank accounts in India evidencing that no SBNs were deposited during November 10, 2016 to December 30, 2016.
  • Declaration that holder has not availed the exchange facility earlier

Other conditions

On fulfillment of the terms and conditions and the genuineness of the notes tendered, admissible amount will be credited to the tenderer’s KYC (know your customer) compliant bank account.

Third-party tender will not be accepted under the new facility, which means you cannot ask someone else to deposit it for you.

The facility will remain open for residents from January 2, 2017 to March 31, 2017 and for NRIs from January 2, 2017 to June 30, 2017.

Indian citizens residing in Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan and Bangladesh cannot avail this facility.

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NOTE: This deposit facility is not available for PIO/OCI card holders. Only Indian Passport holders with bank accounts are eligible.


NOTE : We have noticed several comments on our website with contact details claiming to help transfer or convert your old notes. We try to delete such comments as soon as we spot them. Please do not fall in to such traps and lose your money. NRICafe does not hold any responsibility in such cases.

- Originally Published on 9 November 2016


  1. Who decides unpractical deadlines dates. What about those do not travel every 6 months. Do the RBI or Govt. have no idea about those peoples travel once in a year two year based on their contract? The limit that mentioned is 25000/- A flight costs above that . Does this means somebody has to travel just only to spend flight? Why only some metro RBSI offices? Whast bout normal Indian that could change their notes. Is it such a crime that those having there own money has to be harassed like this? Why none of MPs & MLAs are not responding to this JUNGLE LAW?

  2. Syed yusuf ahmed on

    Yes i agree with u y all the ministers r quite y r there not raising voices atleast give some support to nris we r just helpless

  3. Govt is only needing NRI & OCI to bring hard earned foreign currency money to
    India but Govt in return don’t have any sympathy for hardship NRI & OCI are facing due to unorganized way the Govt has done demonetization of legal money. In future all NRI & OCI need not to trust this Govt of India no more nor Modi who assured that honest people will be treated fairly.
    Can you imagine these regulations issued by Govt without any considerations of hardship NRI & OIC are facing? Trust no more this Govt.

  4. I was of the opinion that notes can b exchanges by anyone at RBI till March 31. I am an NRI. I have money at my place in India and was going to exchange it when I come home. Now with you can only exchange money you brought from overseas and declared at customs, I am caught in no man’s land. Wish there was more clarity from the begining.

  5. Its shame R.B.I /government POLICY no exchange facility in kerala ( compare to any other state more people in overseas from kerala) ,No response for this issue from Prime minister office on my email,letter

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