Indian Customs Rules For Carrying Cash (2022 Guide)

Indian Customs Rules For Carrying Cash

With the number of Indians travelling abroad at its highest level, there are many of us who will have to decide how much cash to carry during our international flights. Even though it is safer to carry money as a credit or debit card, there would be some situations where we have to keep some currency notes for our day-to-day expenses.

Indian Customs Cash Limit 2022

There are specific guidelines by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on the maximum limit of cash that can be carried through Indian Airports by travellers including Residents, NRIs and Foreign Tourists.

This article explains the Indian Customs rules for carrying cash as well as the cash limit allowed at Indian airports (Indian Rupees and Foreign Currency) while travelling to and from India.

Cash Limit on Indian Currency At Indian Airports

According to the Central Board of Direct Taxes and Customs (CBDTC) guidelines, a resident of India who is returning from a visit abroad is allowed to bring in or take out Indian currency up to Rs 25,000.

Traveller TypeIndian RupeesForeign Currency
Indian resident returning from a visit abroad Rs 25,000Unlimited (see condition 1 below)
Foreigner coming to IndiaNot allowedUnlimited (see condition 1 below)
Indian resident going broadRs 25,000Unlimited (see condition 2 below)

Condition 1: Passengers carrying foreign currency has to fill up a Currency Declaration Form before the Custom officers in the following cases:

  • Where the value of foreign currency notes exceeds US$ 5,000 or equivalent.
  • Where the aggregate value of foreign exchange including currency exceeds US$ 10,000 or equivalent.
Foreign Currency ValueDeclaration Required
Foreign Currency value less than US$ 5,000No
Foreign Currency value equal to or more than US$ 5,000Yes
Total value of Foreign Exchange equal to or more than US$ 10,000Yes

Condition 2: Foreign currency taken out of India has to be purchased/issued by RBI approved/authorized foreign exchange dealer as per norms.

Foreign Currency Notes

Cash Limit on Foreign Currency At Indian Airports

According to CBDTC, any person (Resident, NRI or Tourist) can bring into India, from a place outside India, foreign currencies without any limit (subject to declaration limit).

Traveller TypeMaximum Limit
Resident, NRI or Tourist bringing Foreign Currency to IndiaUnlimited (see condition 1 above)
Resident taking Foreign Currency out of IndiaUnlimited (see condition 2 above)
NRI or Tourist taking Foreign Currency out of IndiaNot more than what was bought in by them

Passengers can also use the ATHITHI app to file a declaration of dutiable items as well as currency with Indian Customs even before boarding the flight to India.

Currency Limit When Going Abroad From India

Export of Indian Currency is strictly prohibited. However Indian residents going abroad are allowed to take with them Indian currency notes not exceeding Rs. 25,000.

NOTE: Carrying Indian currency notes in the denomination of Rs. 500 to Nepal is prohibited.

Indian residents going abroad are permitted to take with them foreign currency without any limit as long as the same has been purchased or issued by RBI approved/authorized foreign exchange dealer as per the norms.

Tourists or NRIs while leaving India are allowed to take with them foreign currency not exceeding an amount brought in by them i.e. unspent foreign exchange left from the amount declared in Currency Declaration Form at the time of their arrival in India.

Currency Declaration Form India
Currency Declaration Form Sample

Important Tips On Currency Declaration Form

In case a visitor to India does not wish to encash all the foreign exchange declared on arrival they should retain the Currency Declaration Form with them for production to Indian Customs at the time of their departure from India to enable them to take with them the unutilised balance.

No declaration is required to be made for bringing in foreign exchange/currency not exceeding the equivalent of US$ 5,000 in currency notes, or its equivalent or foreign exchange in form of currency notes, bank notes or traveller’s cheque not exceeding US$ 10,000 or its equivalent. Generally, tourists can take out of India with them at the time of their departure foreign exchange/ currency not exceeding the above amount.

Foreign Currency Limit For NRI

An NRI coming into India from abroad can bring foreign exchange without any limit. In case, the total value of foreign currency notes, traveller’s cheques, etc. exceed US$ 10,000 or its equivalent and/ or the value of foreign currency exceeds US$ 5,000 in currency notes or its equivalent, it should be declared to the Customs Authorities at the Airport in the Currency Declaration Form, on arrival in India.

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Reference: CBEC Customs Guide for Travellers, Reserve Bank of India Circular No. 45/2015

Frequently Asked Questions

How much foreign currency can I carry to India?

There is no limit on the foreign currency that you can carry to India. However, you need to file a declaration if the currency value exceeds USD 5,000 or the total foreign exchange exceeds USD 10,000.

How much Indian currency can I carry outside India?

When going abroad, Indian residents are allowed to carry Indian currency notes of up to Rs 25,000.

Do I have to pay any tax on the foreign currency being imported to India?

There is no tax on the foreign currency you are importing to India. You just need to file a declaration if the currency value is above USD 5,000 or foreign exchange is above USD 10,000.

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93 thoughts on “Indian Customs Rules For Carrying Cash (2022 Guide)”

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  1. Purnima Walavalkar

    How much Indian currency can an NRI returning from India abroad can keep without declaring to customs.


    Imp query is not answered in article :
    How much Indian currency can NRI carry when he travels from abroad to India??

    Can this be answered

    1. As the Indian rupee is not fully convertible one will not be able to purchase it in any banks abroad.This means in theory that one should not be in possession of the rupees while travelling to India bearing in mind that the export of the Indian currency is strictly prohibited to non residents.Indian citizens however are permitted to carry with them rupees 25,000.00 while travelling abroad from India which they then can legally bring back when returning to India.

    1. Modi is a right wing extremist
      Who has violated and targeted communal violence between Hindus and muslims
      Anyone who is sincere and truthful not prejudice will most definitely accept this
      India is no longer a democracy but following a Hindutwa policy
      If this continues I fear that this could lead to instability and a backlash where the Hindu communities are a minority in gulf /Arab countries.
      We should always allow minorities to practice their faith in peace
      Winning the hearts of all Indian nationals
      Not just who side with the BJP

  3. Himanshi Dhoundiyal

    Thank you so much. Being a tourism student I really wanted to clarify my concept regarding Forex regulation.

  4. I have a query as one of my friend visting India for short term got stuck up at Kolkata Airport Authority by Custom Department as he was carrying 47 gms of gold jewellery and had no idea of Custom duty fee. Now he did not have much amount to be paid at Custom so I helped him by paying INR 85,000 so the Jewellery will not be seized by custom officials. When I made a contact with an Airport Authority person, Shyamolima Kashyap Dutta, she said the amount paid is all reimbursed to you within 12 hours of payment as they keep it just for security purposes. But I still have no clue for the amount paid as I did not receive any notification so far. Please help….
    Please reply if I will get INR. 85,000 back ??

  5. Does this apply for EACH person within a family? Example, family of 5 traveling to India – is each person allowed 25000 INR (including children)?

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