What is BTQ?

BTQ - Basic Travel Quota is the foreign travel allowance of US $ 10000 that RBI (Reserve Bank of India) entitles an individual to avail every calendar year.

What are the requirements for foreign exchange for travel abroad?

A valid Indian passport
Valid visa of the country you are visiting.
A ticket to the country/countries

How can I request for Foreign Exchange?

We would request you to please fill up and sign the Foreign Exchange request form. After you have filled your requirement on the BTQ request form, our sales team will organise your foreign exchange.

Why should I buy my Foreign Exchange from an RBI authorised Foreign Exchange Dealer?

As per exchange control regulations of RBI, all customers travelling on an overseas holiday have to pay their tour cost out of their Basic Travel quota (BTQ). This necessarily has to be brought either from an Authorised Dealer (Banks) or RBI Licensed FFMC (Full Fledged Money Changer)

What are some of the various purposes for which foreign exchange can be drawn by me?

You can draw foreign exchange for:
Private visits
Business visits
Participation in conferences/seminars
Specialised training, study tour, higher studies, medical treatment or for employment/emigration abroad, etc.

How many days before I travel can I draw foreign exchange?

60 days. The ticket held by you should be for a journey commencing not later than 60 days from the date of your drawal of foreign exchange. i.e. Basic Travel Quota Scheme -60 days.

Can I purchase foreign exchange for travel abroad from FFMC against rupee payments in cash?

Yes, you can purchase foreign exchange for travel abroad against payments in cash if the rupee equivalent payable by you does not exceed Rs.50,000/-. If the rupee value of foreign exchange exceeds Rs. 50,000/-, the entire payment should be made by way of crossed cheque drawn on your bank account or the bank account of the firm/ company sponsoring the visit. Payment will then have to be in the form of bankers cheque/demand draft/pay order. We may add that payment in excess if Rs. 25,000/- cash upto Rs. 50,000/- will necessitate producing of Pan Card.

How much foreign exchange can I buy?

The Basic Travel Quota enables a person to obtain a maximum of US $ 10000 as an allowance once every calendar year. Out of the US $ 10000, you can get US $ 2000 in currency notes and the balance in Travellers Cheques. This is as per the latest RBI regulations.

Can I get foreign exchange in the form of foreign currency notes/ coins for every personal visit (BTQ)?

Yes, Foreign exchange will be released by banks in the form of foreign currency notes up to U.S. $ 2000 or its equivalent in any other currency or its equivalent for every visit abroad.

Is there any exception to this rule?

Yes, if you travel to Islamic Republic of Iran, Russian Federation and other Republics of commonwealth of Independent States, then the foreign exchange can be released in the form of foreign currency notes up to their full entitlement.
Can I, as a resident, hold any foreign currencies with me and take out such currencies held during my visits abroad?
Yes, the Reserve Bank has granted general permission to persons who are resident in India to hold foreign currency upto U.S. $2000 or its equivalent for personal purposes. They are also permitted to take out the foreign currency so held during their visits abroad over and above the foreign exchange purchased for purposes of travel.

When do I have to surrender my unspent foreign exchange?

You will have to surrender your unspent foreign exchange within 90 day from the date of return to India, if it is in the form of foreign currency notes. If it is in the form of traveller cheques, then the time limit is 180 days in case it is above the limit of US $ 2000.

Can I take any Indian currency when I go abroad?

When you leave India you are permitted to take currency notes upto Rs. 5,000/- in aggregate the exception being Nepal and Bhutan. You are also permitted to bring back Indian currency notes not exceeding Rs.5000/- on your return to India.

What are the reasons and conditions for release of foreign exchange and what are the limits?

Foreign exchange can be released under the following conditions:
Private Visit: If you are a resident, you are eligible for foreign exchange during a private visit under the Basic Travel Quota Scheme (BTQ). You can get a maximum of U.S. $10000 per calendar year i.e. from January to December. This amount can be divided between one or more private visits to any country (except Nepal and Bhutan).
Business visit: Foreign exchange can be released upto U.S.$25000 to a person irrespective of the period of stay.
Medical expenses: Exchange can be released by authorised dealers upto the estimate from the doctor/hospital in India or hospital / doctor abroad.
Studies abroad: Exchange for studies abroad can be released by authorised dealers upto the estimates from the institution abroad or U.S.$30000 whichever is higher.