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. im from mangalore and i have 5000 old denoted currencies. to exchange with the new one i need to travel either to mumbai or delhi which will cost the same. fucking shits are happening.

  2. Did any NRI manage to change the 500&1000 rs notes after Dec30 in RBI. Ps respond. What all the doc they asked etc this will help other NRI

  3. I don’t know where to begin but it is pretty obvious that a lot of NRIs (now holding PIO/OCI cards) have questioned the government/RBI about not letting them deposit their defunked 500/1000 rupee notes into the RBI offices. It is very clear that there are thousands of oci/pio card holders who have “white” money which they kept with themselves when they left India as they wanted to use this amount on their next trip to their motherland. These people are not criminals or hoarders. They carried those “few thousand” rupees as a convenience for their next trip back home. One fails to understand the logic of not letting this category of NRIs to be treated on par with regular NRIs (holding Indian passport) and disallowing them to deposit their banned notes. There have been numerous requests (good, bad and ugly) from the OCIs to allow them to avail of the opportunity to deposit the banned notes at the appropriate bank offices but all these sincere words have fallen on deaf ears. The government has shut its eyes and ears and have not even bothered to clarify as to why it is not allowing to accommodate the OCI/PIO card holders to get their notes into the RBI. A lot of folks are querying about this issue hoping that something tangible might have happened in these last few weeks but honestly the people have to learn to live with the election-jumlaas which Modi and Co. threw at them during the last election. The government’s empathy towards common folks is ridiculous. It is here, where the sensible minds in the government should step in and listen to the grievances of the common folks and come up with logical answers to satisfy them as these are the very people who made them sit in those positions of power. They are forgetting John Abraham’s sacred words : government of the people, by the people and for the people”. Someone has to wisper into Modi’s ears about this OCI/PIO apathy and remind him that 2019 is not far off ! Hope that good sense prevails !!!!! Good luck OCI/PIO brethren !!!!

  4. I am Australian, returning to India for a visit. From a previous trip, I have 4 Indian R500/- notes. I arrive on 23 Feb. Can I exchange these anywhere? I have no Indian bank account.

  5. Please dont waste your time to exchange your old notes. I have visited RBI delhi. 17th FEb @ 12.30. There was 100 people in line. i was standing in that for 2 hours line was moving very very slow. every 5 min they allow 2 people to go in. they closed at 2.30 than Saturday is closed. RBI dont want people to deposit there money. they know nri will not come every day and most of people are coming from long distance. I am NRI and went for 2 days wasted 1 day in this only. When they say get stamp from custom so what is need to go RBI. that proof should allow you to deposit in any bank.
    i was having all proof to deposit in RBI but they dont give chance to enter RBI by working very slow it is trick. Only 50 can change all 500 people are going back everyday. that what i show. RBI offer will take in there friends without line.
    It was good learning never trust any one. my 25000 is lost. Just think If they want help NRI than why only 5 RBI branch in whole india. Why they cant exchange or deposit at Airport only. What i show there is all NRI lost trust what they was having before.
    Please understand they dont want NRI to exchange there old notes. It is profit to RBI. I will never never trust indian rupee and not invest any money in india. Only big talk thats it.
    All NRI have some thousand of rupees in 500 or 1000 notes. Just calculate how big profit is for RBI. IT IS BIG SCAM. DONT WASTE TIME AND MONEY TO REACH RBI.

  6. Fran, you are woefully out of luck ! You can’t deposit these 4 notes of 500 denomination (Rs 2000 in all) as only persons with Indian passport are given this option. Might as well give this money to someone (a passenger) at the airport to get it endorsed along with their own money for depositing into the RBI. And if the person is gracious enough to accept your request, he/she should give you Rs 2000 then and there. This is the only way out at this time. Good luck !!

  7. OCI and PIO cannot vote in election so Modi doesn’t care about them. So only NRI can deposit old notes as they can vote in election. That’s all FEKUJI cares about :)

  8. I am travelling to India next month… I thought I can exchange my old currency until June 2017 but Shocked to hear that OCI are not considered as Indian citizen by the RBI

  9. Indian PM does not give a damn about us who has contributed billions of $ into Indian economy. Now we are stuck with useless Indian notes. In future do not bring Indian money with you. A lesson learnt.

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