NRI’s having a tough job for changing their old currency.
On November 08, 2016, India declared that all old 500 and 1000 rupee notes are no longer legal tender, and have to be deposited or exchanged before December 30, 2016. Everybody has some leftover rupees and many of us are not planning to return to India before the deadline.
What are the options available?
If you are unable to travel to India you can give the money to someone else you trust who is traveling to India. Please do remember that the limit on currency a traveler can bring into India without declaring is Rs. 25,000. Passenger can bring up to Rs 25,000 and take out Rs 25,000 in Indian currency, passenger can bring in but has to fill up declaration form if the total cash amount is more than USD 5000 or total is more than USD 10,000.
If somehow that didn’t work, your only choice would be to physically send them to a friend in India. (If you have one you trust enough.) You could send it by mail or courier, using a tracking number. Your friend would then deposit them into their bank account.
Probably you can contact any overseas branch of State Bank of India or any overseas branch of an Indian bank in your country and return the currency for a good exchange, but Foreign branched of Indian banks like SBI, ICICI have informed that old notes can be exchanged only in Indian branches, not in foreign branches.
Also, the option available with the NRIs is approaching the RBI office after 31st December 2016 and you can submit your passport and visa/residence card to prove that you were abroad during this period.
Altogether for NRI’s this is a tough situation Indian Embassies in various countries have assured that they shall take up this issue with the Ministry of External Affairs hoping to get some relief for people who are abroad.