Grace period to exchange notes doesn’t apply to PIO and OCI: RBI clarifies


Persons of Indian origin (PIO) and Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) left with old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes will not be able to exchange them, Reserve Bank of India has clarified.

The grace period until 30 June 2017 to deposit scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes is available only for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) with Indian passport.

In an updated FAQ list on its website, RBI specifically said that PIOs and OCIs are excluded from the scheme.

The list also states that exchange facility will not be available outside India.


Screenshot from RBI website

According to a report on Times of India, PIOs and OCIs attempting to get their notes exchanged from the central bank are being turned away even though they have not been in India from November 8 to December 31.

Difference between NRI & PIO/OCI

  • NRI is a citizen of India who holds an Indian passport and has temporarily emigrated to another country for six months or more for work, residence or any other purpose.
  • PIO is a citizen of any other country but whose ancestors were Indian nationals at least four generations away.
  • OCI is provided to a foreign national, who was eligible to become a citizen of India on 26.01.1950 or was a citizen of India on or at anytime after 26.01.1950 or belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15.08.1947. His/her children and grandchildren are also eligible for registration as OCI.

Conditions for exchange of old notes

RBI on December 31 designated its five offices – Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, and Nagpur – for NRIs to exchange defunct currency notes post 50-day demonetization period that ended on December 30.

The central bank has also imposed certain conditions for availing extended facility for note exchanges.

NRIs and Indians returning from abroad will have to physically show the junked 500 and 1,000 rupee notes to Customs officials at the airport and get a declaration form stamped before they can deposit the demonetised currency in RBI during the grace period.

There is a limit of Rs 25,000 and a number of documents are needed for submission. You can read more about it here.


Published on 11 January 2017


  1. @Uma
    Thanks for the email addresses
    I have now emailed to all 3 persons . Hope something worthwhile comes out of this.
    I am not on facebook or twitter so will not be able sign the petition.
    Is there another way to sign petition(for those not having social media account)??

  2. SURAKSHA, Thank you so much. You are absolutely right. We should be allowed to deposit/exchange our money in the countries of residence. It’s a shame that Modi Govt did not do anything for us. So many good people give so many email addresses and petitions so I will keep writing to all the email addresses and signing the petitions.

  3. PIO & OCI people are of no interest / attraction to the Indian policial clasess.
    We are not potential vote catchers for them,so it is not in their interest to fight for our rights in India or for that matter abroad.
    Defunct Currenecy exchange exclusion for PIO& OCI is an example.
    All we can do is protest with which ever method we can/choose, and limit the emotional excitement we show them when they come to visit us.

    Live in Hope

  4. I think those of us who are US citizens with OCI card should also write to Richard Verma the US ambassador to India. After all he represents us in India. He is also Indian American and would understand. There is no email listed on US consulate website . Sending a letter may take long to reach. Any thoughts on this option?

    If anyone has his email address please post it here. I plan to contact him for his help.

  5. What has been done, only uneducated idiot person can do. That’s why they say your vote is precious. When you sellect leader like him, you put ax on your own feet. When people do mistakes not only they suffer, alongwith them inocent sensible person gets the burnt too.

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