What You Need to Know About the Limits on Cash You Can Bring to or From India

What You Need to Know About the Limits on Cash You Can Bring to or From India

by Travelopod

September 4, 2023

How much money can you bring when traveling from the USA to India? Find out here, along with other important information about currency regulations in India.

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India is calling! But before you pack your bags, check the cash limits.

India is a land of contrasts, from booking your tickets to Mumbai to see the bustling streets of Mumbai or booking flights to Kerala to the serene backwaters. And while there's no limit on how much cash you can carry in your mind, there are restrictions on how much you can bring into or take out of the country.

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Here's the lowdown on how much cash you can bring into India.

Foreigners: You can bring in any amount of foreign currency, but you must declare it if it exceeds US$5,000 in notes and coins, or US$10,000 in notes, coins, and traveler's cheques.

Residents of India: You can bring in up to ₹25,000 in Indian rupees.

Did you know that bringing too much cash into India can have some serious implications?

  • Your cash could be confiscated.
  • You could be fined.
  • You could even be arrested and prosecuted.

You can declare your cash at the customs counter when you arrive in India. Just fill out the Currency Declaration Form (CDF) and be clear and concise about the amount and type of currency you're bringing in. You can also download the form and fill it out ahead of time.

If you are traveling to India from the following countries/regions, you do not need to declare cash or cash equivalents at the border:
  • Afghanistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • Maldives
  • Nepal
  • Sri Lanka
For all other countries, you must declare cash or cash equivalents if the amount is US$5,000 or more in coins and notes, or US$10,000 or more in coins, notes, and traveler’s cheques.

Cash equivalents include:
  • Bank drafts
  • Money orders
  • Traveler's cheques
  • Prepaid credit cards
  • Cheques
All travelers must declare cash when entering India if the amount is US$5,000 or more in coins and notes, or US$10,000 or more in coins, notes, and traveler’s cheques.

This applies to travelers from all countries, regardless of their nationality or visa status. The declaration requirement is in place to prevent money laundering and other financial crimes.

Cash currency exchange can be expensive

When you exchange foreign currency for Indian rupees in cash, you are essentially buying the rupees from a currency exchange service. These services often charge a markup on the exchange rate, which means that you will pay more for the rupees than you would if you bought them directly from a bank or ATM.

Even if a currency exchange service advertises "no fees," they are still likely making money by inflating the exchange rate. This is why it is important to compare exchange rates before you exchange your money.

The cheapest way to get money for your trip is to use your debit card to withdraw cash in the local currency from a local ATM. When you withdraw cash from an ATM, you will typically be charged a small fee by your bank. However, this fee is typically much lower than the markup charged by currency exchange services.
Tip- It is also important to be aware of the risks of carrying large amounts of cash. If you lose your cash, it can be difficult to replace. Additionally, if you are carrying large amounts of cash, you may be a target for theft.
For these reasons, it is generally best to avoid carrying large amounts of cash while traveling. Now that you know the tips, your international travel to India from the USA should be a breeze. Bon voyage!

About Travelopod

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