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

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NOTE: This article has been updated on 27 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.

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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.


- Originally Published on 9 November 2016


  1. I returned last week from India and found out long lines at the RBI(Delhi) – hundreds of people lined up well before the bank opened. TV crews were there for the coverage because police would come into action as disappointed people would start slogan-bazi against Modi’s govt in view of note-bandi and the unnecessary hardship common folks had to endure. It was not a sight to behold. Once inside the RBI compound, the staff were very helpful and sympathetic and would stay within the stipulated rules to help everyone. From time to time the RBI staff would make announcements for people standing in lines outside : Here are some of the points which I observed and might do good to people who still want to deposit their money (500/1000 rupee bills). ::::::
    a) Only persons with Indian passport allowed to deposit the debunked notes;
    b) One had to get an endorsement from the customs at the airport while flying into India – maximum limit is Rs 25,000;
    c) Person depositing money had to have PAN number, Adhar Card, saving/checking account in one’s own name and a statement from the bank’s branch that no money was deposited into their account during the currency shut-down period; besides the custom’s endorsement and one’s passport was required too. The RBI was gracious enough to make photo-copies of any document they wanted to have a copy.
    d) One could not deposit money in third party’s account;
    e) Any one holding money but a passport of any other country (not indian) had no chance whatsoever to deposit the money – so don’t waste time standing in line. Their only choice is to go back to their country and give the money to their Indian friends with Indian passport, who can go to India and deposit the amount following the protocol.
    f) Persons with money lying in their homes in India and flying in now have no chance except that they get the money in the country they live in and then fly with it to go thru customs to get endorsement. It may not be worth the effort to do it unless one has a huge sum sitting at home.
    Abdur Rehman Ji : You are out of luck now – first, the deadline will be over on 6/30/17 and if you plan to visit India in August, it would be futile to argue that you will get a chance to deposit your money. Yes, the nearest place for you would be Chennai to use.
    There are thousands of NRIs with PIO cards who cannot deposit their legitimate money because they have foreign passports even though they visit their janam-Bhumi quite so often because they have their roots there. It has been a slap on their face not to let them deposit their hard earned money. Shame on the System!!! Lot of people raised this point but none listened. Just take the loss with a pinch of salt. People get disgruntled and avoid spending their dollars in India unless they have to. This will be revisited in 2019…..

  2. I’m too an NRI and this option is for Indian Passport holders only and not for those who have already ditched Indian Citizenship for their benefits…… I myself have few old notes which anyways I cannot deposit but no regret…Few NRI’s are crying on this Forum :-)

    India is a growing economy and it is a time to come back in India and work for our own country…There is nothing left in abroad…..A big salute to Modiji… Jai Hind…

  3. Vinod, What Modi did is wrong. Don’t come here and write all these nonsense here. Think clearly and then write. The reason for demonetization was to stop black money, it has nothing to do with becoming citizen of another country. So before blaming innocent people make sure you know the facts.

  4. Vinod, What Modi did is wrong. Do not come here and write all these nonsense. The reason for demonetization was to stop black money, it has nothing to do with becoming citizen of another country. So what Modi did is wrong. Before blaming innocent people, make sure you know the facts.

  5. mala you are100% right..it is modi’s government does not know what I wrong and right.why can’t any indian change old notes with other than indian passport. they went to india and spent well earned money there.

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