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.


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- Originally Published on 9 November 2016

331 Comments

  1. Are you OCI or PIO , or only NRI ?

    Are OCI and PIO holders included too ? They are foreign citizens with foreign passports.

    Or is it only NRI’s who have an Indian passport and citizenship, who can deposit old junked notes till March 31 or June 30 at the specified 5 RBI offices.

  2. I agree with Tara as I am an NRI will travel to Gujarat in Rajkot and I have 10,000 old Rupees there is an RBI in Ahmedabad, why can’t i exchange my rupees there i can’t go to other 5 centres it will cost me more then 10,00 rupees the Indian government should consider that, we travel to Rajkot every year but this has put us off coming to India on holidays, we have only 2 weeks and can’t afford to make a trip to theses 5 centres.

  3. My parents are British Indians traveling to India next month and need to change the old notes. They are 78 what documents do they need and where exactly do they need to go please as every day the criteria changes.

    Also what are you doing to help the elderly who have traveled long lengths to get to India in the first place.

    Please help the elderly

  4. Illiterate Modi is leading the nation of 1.25 Billion people. Modi government is gang of Thugs. I have 9000 rupees and I am from Bihar remote village working in Dubai. What will happen to my money?????

  5. Hi Marie,

    I contacted RBI, they told me OCI and PIO are not eligible to deposit old notes. So if your parents have British passport and are British citizens, they can’t deposit the notes.

    But if they are just NRI and have Indian passport and Indian citizenship, and no foreign citizenship or passport, they can deposit their money at the 5 designated RBI offices. Note its a deposit and not an exchange of notes. RBI will directly deposit it in your NRO account.

    Plus the money has to be bought from outside and declared at the Customs, when you arrive at the Indian airport . So if the money is already in India, lying in some locker they can’t deposit it .

    So badically they need :

    1. NRO account in India ( not NRE ). Account should be KYC compliant.
    2. Customs declaration form at the airport, which is stamped by them declaring the currency.
    3. RBI form duly filled when they go the 5 designated offices.
    4. Some ID like a PAN card or Aadhaar card might be asked too.

    Extremely complicated process, which changes day by day ! Why OCI, PIO are excluded and only NRI’s are allowed is beyond me :(

  6. If you are OCI or PIO holder, you can’t even do that ! What a foolish rule .

    Only NRI’s who are on Indian Passport with Indian citizenship are allowed.

    Foreign citizens on Foreign passport, with OCI or PIO car are not allowed to deposit

    All OCI and PIO should complain about this ! They want FDI from us, but the same rules like NRI don’t apply to us.

    OCI and PIO are not NRI’s. Lot of people forget that and are confused. OCI, PIO, NRI, Indian resident, so much nonsense and confusion !

  7. OCI and PIO card holders can not deposit Old notes. Only NRI, who are Indian citizen.

    See articles in Times of India and Indian Express today, Jan 10. Google it.

  8. Raj, As a PIO, I like to complain. Do you know where I can complain? What Modi Govt is doing is really very wrong. They have no right to do this.

  9. First of all there is a lot of hassle involved in exchange of 500 and 1000 rupees old notes to new currency – looking at the rules / location set by RBI.
    Then OCI are not even eligible for this. So whatever currency OCI’s have is now garbage.

    I hope one of the rule maker will wake up and make other people’s life easy rather than making it hard at every step.

  10. Saurabh Kamboj on

    Sir I have found rs 5500 in my home old currency notes rs 500 each . Please tell me how I will change these note. This is legal money .I had not change a single rupee in currency change. Please help me.
    Waiting ….

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