Here are the basic guidelines RBI has specified for foreign exchange transactions in India updated January 20, 2012

Foreign exchange can be purchased from any authorized person, such as Authorized Dealer (AD) Category-I bank and AD Category II. Full-Fledged Money Changers (FFMCs) are also permitted to release exchange for business and private visits.

Authorized Dealer - An Authorized Dealer is any person specifically authorized by the Reserve Bank under Section 10(1) of FEMA, 1999, to deal in foreign exchange or foreign securities (the list of ADs is available on and normally includes banks.

Private Visit Abroad - For private visits abroad, other than to Nepal and Bhutan, viz., for tourism purposes, etc., any resident can obtain foreign exchange up to an aggregate amount of USD 10,000, from an authorized Dealer, in any one financial year, on self-declaration basis, irrespective of the number of visits undertaken during the year.

No foreign exchange is available for visit to Nepal and/or Bhutan for any purpose.

A resident Indian is allowed to take INR of denomination of Rs.100 or lesser denomination to Nepal and Bhutan without limit. Investments in Bhutan are permitted in Indian Rupees as well as in freely convertible currencies.

Business Visit Abroad - For business trips abroad to countries, other than to Nepal and Bhutan, a person can avail of foreign exchange up to USD 25,000 per visit. Visits in connection with attending of an international conference, seminar, specialized training, study tour, apprentice training, etc., are treated as business visits. Release of foreign exchange exceeding USD 25,000 for business travel abroad (other than to Nepal and Bhutan), irrespective of the period of stay, requires prior permission from the Reserve Bank.

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