A guide for Indian Australians for exchanging their old Rs.500 and Rs.1000 notes
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Tuesday 8 November that Rs.500 and Rs.1000 notes would no longer be legal currency from midnight.
The move is part of Modi’s anti-corruption measures and is aimed at combatting tax evasion.
For Non Resident Indians (NRI) in Australia, this development raises many questions about how you can convert your old notes.
You have until 30 December, 2016 to exchange the notes at any branch of commercial banks, Regional Rural Banks, Urban Cooperative banks, State Cooperative Banks and the Reserve Bank of India.
The easiest option is to deposit the old notes in your Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) Savings Account, which is a rupee denominated account.
If you have cash in India, you can authorise another person to deposit the notes into your bank account. According the RBI guidelines, “The person so authorised has to come to the bank branch with the Specified banknotes, the authority letter given by you and a valid identity proof (Valid Identity proof is any of the following: Aadhaar Card, Driving License, Voter ID Card, Pass Port, NREGA Card, PAN Card, Identity Card Issued by Government Department, Public Sector Unit to its Staff).”
One of the clearest options, if you are planning a trip to India, or have an upcoming trip scheduled, is to bring the currency notes with you to exchange in person.
However, if you are unable to exchange your bank notes before 30 December, you will still be able to change them up until 31 March, 2017 at specified offices of the RBI, along with the necessary identification and documentation.