Good News! NRIs can exchange old notes till 30 June 2017

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In a decision that would bring some relief to NRIs holding demonetized notes, the Finance Ministry on Friday said that non-resident Indians (NRIs) can exchange and deposit scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes at specified RBI offices till 30 June 2017.

This comes after President Pranab Mukherjee cleared an ordinance criminalising possession of demonetised notes worth over Rs 10,000. Under the ordinance, holding, transferring, and receiving old notes is illegal and a punishable offence.

30 June deadline only for NRIs

The Rs 25,000 limit will also apply to resident Indians who were abroad between 8 November and 30 December, but they will have to turn in the old notes by 31 March at designated offices of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

“For those citizens of India who are not residing in India, this facility (to deposit notes in RBI) would be available till June 30, 2017 in order to allow them adequate time to plan a visit as per their convenience,” the release said.

Maximum limit of Rs 25,000

The rules pertaining to non-resident Indians bringing in cash into the country would be as per Foreign Exchange Management (Export and Import of Currency) Regulations, 2015.

As per these regulations, bringing back such currency into the country is restricted to Rs 25,000 per person.

Old notes have to be declared at airports

While coming back to India, the number and denominations of the Specified Bank Notes (SBNs) would have to be declared to the customs authorities at the airports and other entry points.

The details of the declaration and statements that are required to be submitted along with the SBNs at the time of deposit in RBI issue offices will be later announced by RBI.

NRIs can avail this facility in their individual capacity once during the period on submission of ID documents, such as Aadhaar number, Permanent Account Number (PAN) etc, and on submission of documentary evidence showing they were abroad during the period and, that they have not availed the exchange facility earlier.

  • The facility will be available through Reserve Bank offices at Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, and Nagpur.

The finance ministry said once the deposit period gets over, the liabilities of RBI and the guarantee of the central government towards SBNs will stand extinguished.

After this period, holding, transferring and receiving such notes will attract a fine of Rs10,000 or five times the value of the notes, whichever is higher.

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President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday promulgated the Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Ordinance, 2016 to extinguish the liability of the Centre and the apex bank on demonetised notes.

The ordinance would become a law once passed by both the houses of the Parliament.


-Published on 30 December 2016


  1. “The Ministry of External Affairs” in India handles OCI / PIO Related matters and concerns.
    This also applies for foreign tourists in India. They will address and remedy your concerns.

    All OCI / PIO holders are advised to contact The Minister of External Affairs – Mrs. Sushma Swaraj for all their concerns.
    Twitter may be a good avenue. Also try all other avenues possible.

    The Minister of External Affairs – Mrs. Sushma Swaraj twitter account is:

  2. Good will and trust of OCI / PIO holders needs to be maintained by the Government of India. This move of not allowing OCI / PIO holders to exchange old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes during the 6 month grace period, similar to NRI’s, is short-sighted and unwise. It is not in the best interest of India. India gets a lot of foreign currency remittances, investments in real estate and other securities and business ventures from foreign citizens of Indian origin.
    This move by RBI will create bitterness and mistrust among OCI / PIO holders towards the Government of India.
    OCI / PIO holders can easily move their investments and business ventures to other countries if they feel they will not be treated fairly by the Government of India. There is a lot of competition for these investments and business ventures as other countries would welcome that.
    OCI / PIO holders have an attachment and a bond with India, even after acquiring the citizenship of other countries.
    Business ventures by OCI / PIO holders have a greater chance of success because we understand the culture, language and pros and cons of the legal and business environment.
    The seeds of bitterness and mistrust being sown by the Government of India in OCI / PIO holders by this move is regretful and will prove to us that we will be powerless in the future if we invest or work on business ventures in India, in case the Government of India simply decides to takeover out assets and do not treat us fairly in the future.
    OCI / PIO holders should get to exchange old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes during the 6 month grace period, similar to NRI’s.

  3. I am going to India next week. I have 23000 Indian Rs. with me which I had with me to cover expanses for sudden visit so I don’t have to wait for exchange.
    Could anybody with OCI please share their experience?
    If it is not allowed then it will wasted.
    Or should I give it to some NRI, so they can use it?
    Confused what to do?
    I can’t have another trip in near future to India.

  4. I completely agree, I don’t see a point in this decision of not allowing OCI/PIO card holders, and rather it casts doubt on government intentions. No black money found so far (per RBI) and these foolish (tuglak) decisions over.

  5. These foolish people are turning away OCI card holders from RBI. They don’t have minimum courtesy. Never told us in advance that OCI’s are not going to be treated as NRI’s (though it is written clearly on the OCI card that they are in parity with NRI’s related to financials). Mr Modi doesn’t respond even to multiple requests and tweets over the past 10 days.

  6. besides production of docs like Aadhar card / Bank details etc, you must have NRO a/c for transfer of the money deposited at the RBI. If you do not have NRO a/c, RBI may be requested to allow a fortnight for opening such a/c. You may also try to open NRO a/c, if required, thru inet if you already have a bank a/c in some banks.

  7. Resident Indians who had left the country before Nov.8th and would like to return by six months (as per rule of USA and others), might have some cash left at home or carrying with them.
    It is requested to extend the time bar for them to at least 30th June, as has been extended for NRIs.

  8. By the way, its not easy to open or close accounts in India.On a regular day ,it requires one to stand in line or in a chaotic crowd inside and outside bank, dealing with numerous forms, getting signatures/attestation and showing all kinds of identity proofs etc.

    So those OCIs( myself included) who have no NRO account may not find any proposal by Indian Govt to extend dates for depositing money useful .The only solution for us who have no account and do not intend to open one (due to potential future risks with holding money in India) is to allow exchange of defunct currency for new ones, in local embassy or indian banks abroad . The option of going to India and depositing in RBI( only valid for those who have NRO) does not hold good for the group of OCI without bank account.

  9. Dr Dinesh Agarwal on

    It is really bad and not fully thought through by the Government of India (in the notification by the RBI) that OCI/PIO card holders can’t exchange their old notes until 30th June 2017. I really thought that India is going to be World Class Country in near future under Modi ji, but our Modi ji seems to have stopped short in doing so.
    In my opinion not only NRI, NRO, OCI, PIO should be allowed to exchange old notes until 30th June, but also any foreign nationals who had left over old notes when they toured India before 8th Nov 2016 should be able to exchange their old notes.

  10. I have a question I would like to know as I am in dubai now but as per the law I need to show old currency to the customs inorder to get approval and max limit is 25 k but I dont have anything with me now, all the money which I saved in my safe back home, how I am gonna show the proof to the customs that I have legal and is there any other way that I can show any other apart from airport

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