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If you’re an Indian resident, or even an NRI living in the US, you might be wondering how to transfer money from India to the USA safely and for a low fee.
This guide covers the facts about how much money you can bring to the USA from India, and offers a few money transfer services to consider.
Whether you’re making a one off payment from India to the US, or you’re planning on setting up a regular remittance, you’ve got a few options.
The most obvious choice may be sending a wire transfer from your regular bank. But in many cases customers can actually save money and get a better exchange rate by choosing a specialist service.
It’s also worth noting at the outset that the rules and limits which apply when sending money from India to the US may vary based on factors like the source of the funds, the reason for the payment, and whether or not you’re an Indian resident or NRI.
Do double check all the details and options available to you before you make any decisions. Here are your key options for transferring money from India to the USA:
Online international transfer services can provide fast, efficient and often low-cost payment services between India and the US.
You’ll be able to fund your payment from your normal INR bank account, and have it deposited in your USD account directly for convenience.
And because sending money overseas is a core service for these specialist providers, the processes are often simpler and more efficient than those in place with a traditional bank, too.
Wise offers secure low-cost international payments to and from India, as well as over 80 other countries.
All transfers are done using the mid-market exchange rate — the one seen on Reuters or Google — and the fees are shown upfront to you when setting up your transaction.
You can make a payment directly from your INR account and could save compared to using a regular bank.
When it comes to transaction limits, you can send up to 250,000 USD in a year, with a maximum of 650,000 INR per educational transfer or 325,000 INR for transactions with other purposes.
|Read further about sending INR with Wise|
Western Union India¹ allows customers to send payments to bank accounts around the world. Transactions of up to 10,000 USD for education, or 5,000 USD for other purposes, up to an annual maximum of 250,000 USD are available.
Fees vary by funding method and payment value, and the exchange rate used will include a markup on the mid-market rate.
BookMyForex² allows customers to send international wire transfers and foreign currency demand drafts. Complete the request form online to see the available exchange rates and book your payment.
You may be able to lock in the exchange rate for as much as 3 days when you set up your payment.
ExTravelMoney³ is one of the largest forex marketplaces in India. Complete the online request form to see which providers can offer the best overall costs for your payment.
You’ll need to create an account and get verified before you can make a payment — but ExTravelMoney may even be able to collect your verification documents from your home or office for convenience.
RemitOut⁴ customers benefit from omni-channel support and can send money conveniently online or by phone. If you have questions you can get help by phone, email, chat and Whatsapp.
Transfers are made primarily for education purposes such as paying tuition fees for a relative abroad. All payments are processed through RBI authorized institutions for safety.
|Make an informed decision, check the comparison table below|
If you’d rather send a payment through your regular bank you can also do that using your online banking service, by phone or in a branch according to your bank’s own processes.
In most cases, bank organized wire transfers take a few days to arrive and will be processed using the SWIFT network. The SWIFT network means that several banks known as intermediaries may be involved in the payment, and can also charge a fee.
That can mean you don’t know in advance exactly what the costs of your transfer will be, and the amount your recipient gets in the end may be less than you expect.
Foreign currency demand drafts can be arranged through regular banks and some specialist currency services.
A demand draft is a pre-paid negotiable instrument which can be issued in different foreign currencies according to your requirements. Getting a foreign currency demand draft can take some time, but it’s often cheaper than initiating a bank wire transfer.
The exact documents you need to send money from India to the USA will depend on the details of the payment and how you choose to arrange it.
|Here are the most common required documents|
Send low-cost international payments from India to the US with Wise. All transfers use the mid-market exchange rate with no hidden fees to worry about. That can mean you save compared to using a regular bank wire transfer.
If you’re planning to send a payment and want to benefit from the best possible exchange rate you can also set a target rate alert. Enter the rate you’d like to send your payment at, and Wise will automatically notify you when that rate becomes available on the market.
Picking the right provider for your payment from India to the US will require a bit of research. Here are a few factors to consider:
The exchange rate you get for your payment can make an enormous difference to the overall costs. That’s because many providers add a markup — and extra fee — to the exchange rate they use for customer payments.
This charge is in the form of a percentage added to the rate, which is not transparent and quickly mounts up in the case of higher value payments.
SWIFT transfers which are favored by traditional banks can take up to 5 business days to arrive. The exact time it takes for your money to land in the US will depend on a number of factors including the processes in place at your own bank.
However specialist services can often use faster payment methods to cut out intermediaries and get you money where it needs to be quickly.
No hidden fees
Don’t get caught out by hidden fees. Extra costs can include exchange rate markups and intermediary fees.
Intermediary fees in particular can be a problem because they’re not always obvious in advance which can mean your recipient gets less than you expect in the end.
|🌐 Sending money overseas? Save with Wise|
Under the Liberalized Remittance Scheme (LRS), residents of India, including children, are able to send the equivalent of 250,000 USD out of the country every financial year.
There are additional rules about what the funds can be used for — common reasons for remittances include paying for education, or supporting relatives who live overseas⁵.
If you’re sending funds to the US you’ll also need to check the US tax implications. Whether or not you must report or pay tax on your transfer to the US will depend on the value and the reason for making the payment.
In many cases, gifts and high value transfers must be reported to the IRS using Form 3520, even if no tax is due. If you’re sending money as a gift, it may be liable for tax assessment.
|Make sure to check all the relevant tax implications with your accountant or tax advisor.|
Before you arrange your transfer from India to the USA, compare a few providers to make sure you get the best available deal. Choosing an online specialist service like Wise can often mean you get a better exchange rate and lower overall cost and a faster service compared to relying on your old-school bank’s wire transfer service.
Sources checked on 01.26.2022
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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