Which things--hotels, train/airfare must a non OCI foreigner must pay in forex?

#1 Dec 6th, 2018, 12:25
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I have a bank NRO account in India. The funds in the bank came from the funds I had sent to my family and had been converted into INR more than two decades ago.

I would like to use that money to pay for my domestic flights train fares and accommodation in India.

I do have an ATM card, which I believe is also a debit card.

For example, would I be able to pay for flights within India, or to nearby countries such as Sri Lanka or Nepal using my INR without having to show a current receipt of forex conversion?

P.S. I had mistyped NRE instead of NRO
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#2 Dec 6th, 2018, 14:09
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Which things--hotels, train/airfare must a non OCI foreigner must pay in forex?

I'm not aware of anything that has to be paid in Forex, although I vaguely remember some such thing twenty years ago.

Don't know about any banking restrictions on spending money from non-resident accounts. I suppose it must be spendable!
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Last edited by Nick-H; Dec 6th, 2018 at 18:28..
#3 Dec 6th, 2018, 14:26
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Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post I'm not aware of anything that has to be paid in Forex, although I vaguely remember some such thing twenty years ago.

Don't know about any banking restrictions on spending money from non-profit resident accounts. I suppose it must be spendable!
Thanks for your response Nick but Indian bureaucracy never fails to surprise me. I found Train Stuff in India everything you need to know about train travel in India when I searched for Foreign tourist quota on Indian Railways, which, in my recollection, required one to pay for tickets booked under FTQ in forex or proof of having converted forex in an amount not less than the fare. A link link this article took me to a thread by our very own Dave W. I shall go through that thread.

Is non-profit resident account something new? I thought NRO was a non resident ordinary account, which is denominated in INR.

P.S. While I don't plan on using my NRO funds to book FTQ tickets, it leaves open the possibility that if one's hotel/train/airline booking identifies one as a foreigner, one might be be required to pay in forex or INR demonstrably converted from forex.
Last edited by Yaatri; Dec 6th, 2018 at 15:31.. Reason: Added P.S.
#4 Dec 6th, 2018, 15:37
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Please be aware that a lot of info on IM is now out of date. Dave W resigned some 3 or 4 years ago, for example, so threads just don't get updated. (we could do with a new train fanatic/guru... )

I have never had to show any conversion reciepts when paying for Tourist quota train tickets in India, or for hotels, etc.

Hope this helps...?

Ed
#5 Dec 6th, 2018, 15:59
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If you are using your debit card, I don't think there would be any issue.
#6 Dec 6th, 2018, 16:02
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Originally Posted by OldandRambling View Post Please be aware that a lot of info on IM is now out of date. Dave W resigned some 3 or 4 years ago, for example, so threads just don't get updated. (we could do with a new train fanatic/guru... )

I have never had to show any conversion reciepts when paying for Tourist quota train tickets in India, or for hotels, etc.

Hope this helps...?

Ed
You are quite right that die of the information is old but as far as bookimg and payment for FTQ tickets is concerned, please read http://indianrailwaynews.in/2018/05/...ins-new-rules/
#7 Dec 6th, 2018, 16:16
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I think it is reasonable to expect a foreign tourist to be paying with a foreign card when online, especially to access the 365 day advance reservation window.

I imagine yet another attempt to prevent ticket fraud by locals, more than anything?

Buying tourist quota tickets over the counter within the usual 3 months can be paid for with cash, or a local card...

Ed.
#8 Dec 6th, 2018, 18:06
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I have booked domestic flights /bought train tickets (though not in foreign quota) / paid for hotel stays etc with my Indian NRE/NRO account .

I even buy international flight tickets using my Indian account.

On a few occasions ( I think if the bill was over Rs 50k ) they did ask for my PAN card details. However as a foreign citizen , all I need to do is to show my foreign passport and its fine..

The reason I do not want to show my PAN card unless absolutely necessary is that high value transactions are linked to the PAN card and can lead to questions being asked later ( Notice from IT department )

All my Indian Income is tax free in India but they will attempt to hassle unnecessarily as they themselves sometimes do not know the rules..

@Yaatri . Please check if the bank account is still active if it has not been used for a while. .
Do you have access to online banking from your Indian bank account. If you have access to online banking all you need to do is to transfer one rupee from a NRE account to the NRO account every few months ..

This will cause a transaction in NRE and a transaction in NRO and will keep account active for a few note months ( might even be okay for 6 months )

Another thing to note is that if your card is more than a few years old check if it has a chip in addition to a magnetic stripe..The ones without the chip may be withdrawn in a few months as per government rules.

Also carry a few proof of address from your overseas address ( I assume that your NRE account is registered to that address ) and do a KYC on it while you are in India.

Do you have a PAN card ?
#9 Dec 6th, 2018, 18:32
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Originally Posted by Yaatri View Post Is non-profit resident account something new?
Very new. So new that it [probably] doesn't exist yet. I think my phone keypad invented it!

Sorry. Post edited.
#10 Dec 6th, 2018, 20:25
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I have an NRO account with a debit card. I pay for my bookings on IRCTC using this card. Sometimes airline booking sites don't accept it when they realize I am booking from Germany. Then I go via Cleartrip or Makemytrip. They accept the Indian debit card.

BTW, you can also book hotels on makemytrip or cleartrip.
Last edited by Golghar; Dec 7th, 2018 at 01:35.. Reason: afterthought
#11 Dec 6th, 2018, 20:59
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Another thing to note is that if your card is more than a few years old check if it has a chip in addition to a magnetic stripe..The ones without the chip may be withdrawn in a few months as per government rules.
They are in the process of being withdrawn now. Depending on the bank, some of the older cards are already defunct and not usable. (All the banks I deal with sent the new chip cards automatically to my registered address before cancelling the old ones. The old ones get cancelled at some determined date or if you use the new card, whichever is earlier)
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#12 Dec 7th, 2018, 12:13
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In the pre-OCI days, a non-blanco-gringo firener might have been asked for proof of funds being via a conversion of Forex. Now a days its rather moot. Cash machines, Paytm, CCards are ubiquitous !

Use of a non-desi CC is proof enough.

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