The overnight decision to end the circulation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes in India means many NRI's and others holding Indian cash are struggling to deposit their money. As far as we know, no foreign exchange bureaus in the UK are accepting Indian cash, nor can the cash holdings be deposited in the UK. The latest information on this can be found on the Indian High Commission's website here. The best thing we can recommend is sending cash to India through a friend, or speaking directly to the High Commission or your bank.
The average cost of sending money to India in 2015 was 5.95%. But for those using online options, it can be a lot cheaper - for those sending an average of £100 from the UK, you can get rates as little as 1% by comparing beforehand. For higher values, it’s even less!
For most forms of money transfer, you will need the following:
The recipient’s full name and address, and bank details (including IBAN and BIC/SWIFT code) - or the shop they will pick-up from if you’re sending cash
Your own ID and address details and proof. All good money transfer providers in the UK adhere to FCA regulations on money laundering and will take the precautions necessary to ensure your transaction is safe and legal. Having your ID and address details to hand will make this a quick process.
Sending money to India is considerably easy, partly because the Indian government has taken extensive steps to reduce barriers to the process recently, and partly because many new providers have sprung up and brought new innovations to the service.When sending money to India, bank deposits are usually complete within 1-2 days. Cash pickups can be completed within as little as 1 hour. Mobile top-ups are instant.
You must make sure to abide tax laws in the country you are sending money from and in India.
For example, in the USA, if you send more than $14,000 to a person in a year as a gift, you must report it to the IRS and are liable to pay gift taxes. In the UK, if you make a gift payment of more than £5,000 in a year, you must report it too. If you are receiving funds in India as a non-resident, there is usually no tax implication, provided you have paid the applicable taxes in the sending country.
The second limit you must think about is the sending capability of your money transfer provider. Some can only send a limited amount, e.g. up to $10,000, while others can send larger amounts, but not without needing to carry out further checks on identity and source of funds.
If you know you are going to need to make a large transfer – whether it’s a one off or regular – it’s worth discussing with your potential money transfer provider in advance, before you make a decision on how to send the money.