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.

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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. Joseph edwin on

    next week i will be reaching kerala. then i have to fly to mumbay or Delhi for exchanging my 500 old currency? it is very coastly ! why can´t we do it in RBI office Kerala ?

  2. I agree with Sundararajan that RBI should allow its offices in the states too to accept the junked currency from the NRIs as some of them may have a few hundred or a few thousand rupees for which they are being subjected to go far off, which might not be financially beneficial. If the govt has some love for the NRI money, then, it is obligated to allow its offices in union territories too to accept the defunked notes. I hope that good sense prevails soon ! Jai Hind !!

  3. why not at the airport or our own state,as i am from ranchi and can not go to delhi to exchange 12-1313k to delhi,that itself will cost me 6-7k.requesting govt to allow NRIs to exchange their old currency to their own state

  4. What rubbish… i have to travel all these way to one of these 5 centres to exchange 4k.. govt of india, you can do better!!

  5. Pls do allow as said minimum 25,000 rupees to be exchanged at major airports .This facility for NIR travelling from . abroad Indian govt.should consider.

  6. i am from australia visiting bangalore in mid of january, we come to visit our family and friends and don’t have the time to travel to other cities to exchange old notes. does the government even understand the value of time. will the government stop harassing people(NRIs)and provide some practical solutions like exchanging in the arriving airports or atleast in all the capital cities.

  7. Please allow those settled abroad ,who have no bank account in India exchange the defunct currency(25000 per individual only once) in Indian banks or consulates abroad. Do not allow the money to go waste. Will appreciate if nricafe carries forth this collective message to RBI and Indian Govt.

  8. You can open a NRO account for your son, over here while abroad with ICICI, SBI or when you reach India. No PAN card is required, to open a NRO account.

    You can also apply for a PAN card from here or when you reach India for your son.

    Once you deposit money in the NRO account you can close the account if you want.. Or keep it open.

  9. 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.

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