Money Transfer from Overseas / NRIs to India

money Transfer

Transferring money from outside India is easy on the edge of Digital currency and in this article, we will discuss the money Transfer process from outside India.

Receipt of foreign exchange in India is called Inward Remittance. Apart from exports, there are other transactions, which generate inward remittance. For example, Non-resident, Indian staying abroad may remit foreign exchange to their relatives in India. Inward remittances are usually in the nature of foreign currency notes, foreign currency traveler cheques, foreign currency cheques / foreign currency demand drafts and inward telex transfers.

How can NRI Transfer Money to India?

Among the many methods available for remitting money to India, bank wire transfers and sending money through agents are the most popular ones. Sending money through the agents is a very easy and fast job. However, it is a risky one too. Some of the modes available for transfer of money are as under:

  1. Bank Wire Transfer 

In this method, money is transferred from one bank to another using the electronic medium. The transfer generally takes two working days. The banking codes and routing codes are required for the transfer of funds and also for identifying the branch in India.

  1. Agent-based Transfer

Apart from banking and financial institutions’, third-party agents like UAE Exchange, Western Union possess the ability to transfer the funds. It can be used when sending large sums as the cost o the transaction is usually fixed and it is the slower mode of transaction. One has to locate an agent in their region and submit the cash and needed documents along with the information on the beneficiary account in India.

The agents normally have networks and connections in India and usually, contacts them with the stated amount of transfer within India. Although the process is efficient, accepting the process depends on the urgency. Agent-based services attract fewer people because of high remittance charges and low exchange rate.

  1. Bank Money Orders

Bank Money Orders is similar to postal money orders except that the process is done by a bank. The bank allows one to buy the money order outside India and send the money to India.

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It uses the services of the postal department of the recipient’s country to finally hand over the money, even though the money order is sent by the bank. This is a time-consuming process when compared to other methods.

  1. Foreign Currency Cheques 

The NRI just has to write a cheque and send it to the recipient. (Since the cheque will be in a foreign currency, it is called foreign currency cheques.) The recipient can deposit it into the account and use it.

The main advantage of this method is that the process is very simple. The disadvantage is that it is a time-consuming affair. Usually, 20-25 days’ time is taken for clearance of foreign currency cheques. However, the time constraint can be reduced a little by sending the cheque through courier services.

  1. Foreign Currency Drafts

Foreign currency draft means sending an ordinary bank draft overseas. This method is generally suitable for making payments for business transactions or when the payment is to be made to an unknown person. The usual time taken for encashment of foreign currency drafts is approximately 21 days.

  1. Remittance Cards

A remittance card is a reloadable debit card. The NRI has to purchase the card under the recipient’s name, register and send the remittance. Once the recipient receives the card, he/she can use it at ATMs and stores and the NRI can transfer the money accordingly.

Such services are provided by ICICI, SBI & Axis banks. The main advantages of this method are that the cards can be purchased easily and it is very cost effective.

  1. NRI Bank Accounts

An NRI account is an account opened for NRIs. There are many types of accounts like NRO, NRE, FCNR and NRNR account to select from. It is also very easy to operate. As per the convenience of NRI, one can deposit and withdraw money and one of the advantages of NRI accounts is that they can transfer the money outside India also if needed. 

  1. Online Transfer

Online money transfers are becoming the need of the hour. With the help of this option, one can comfortably send money from their home. However, attention is required while considering the exchange rate, remittance charges, time for completion of the transaction and reputation of the provider. One has to check the details before selecting the best and low-cost deal for transferring money to India.

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Ensure that the provider is registered and authorized to carry out the remittance activity. In addition, inquire about the service and make sure that phone support is available. Many providers claim to offer free services. However, they charge fees in the form of service charges and service taxes. Confirm the details before one begins the transaction. Usually, if foreign banks are good for this when they have tie-ups with Indian banks or else one will not get the best transfer rates.

With so many options to choose from, the NRI can choose any depending on her requirement. Normally NRIs preferred wire transfers and NRI account to other methods for remittances. Which is not only secure but the transfer of money is quick too.

What is the Limit of Money Transfer from NRI to India?

  • There are no restrictions on receiving remittances from abroad through authorized dealers in foreign exchange in India. A reason for that could be to increase the foreign exchange inflows to the country.
  • As NRI/PIO (Non-Resident Indian/Person of Indian Origin), the overseas income and transfers in foreign currency are exempt from Indian income taxes. However, the account in India has to be designated NRE or FCNR. Interest earned on NRE and FCNR accounts is exempt from income taxes.
  • As there is no restriction you can freely send any amount of money to India either to your own accounts or to those of your relatives. It is a fact that one doesn’t need to obtain Foreign Inward Remittance Certificate (FIRC) for any of the remittances to India if they involve your relatives.
  • However, for business purposes, one needs to provide FIRC for getting tax concessions. Thus, if the business is an export business, it is mandatory to have a FIRC for every remittance.
  • The Government can inquire about the remittances if they feel any suspicion about the payments. Hence, it is best to fill the purpose of transfer when one is remitting to India.
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Things one should know about Inward Remittances 

  • It could be possible that if one remit a huge amount to India one may come under the scrutiny of the Income Tax department. Make oneself comfortable in a position to explain the source of the income in such cases.
  • Another thing to note is that if one is giving loan in foreign currency to a close relative or friend in India, the maximum amount must not exceed $ 250,000 and the loan has to be interest-free.
  • For those who work aboard, the greatest happiness lies in the well-being and happiness of their family back home. Government is encouraging inward remittances, hence it’s better to send as much of the hard earned money abroad for the loved ones in India. This helps not only to secure the future but one can also be part of the development of the country.


Transferring of money by NRI to India is no longer a tough task. The number of options available today makes it easy for one to transfer money from any country. The only hardship that one might find is choosing the best provider and the mode of payment. One should look at the exchange rate and service charge to obtain the best deal in transferring the money by keeping a tab on fluctuating rates to send a high amount. With a focus on the exchange rate and service charges, choosing the preferred mode of payment becomes a stress-free activity for NRI.

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