Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

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India: Currency shortage

Following the removal from circulation of old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes in November 2016, there remains a shortage of currency in India. Old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes are no longer accepted or changed anywhere; small denominations are in short supply and businesses may not be able to provide change in lower denomination notes. 

ATMs are operational but will only issue 2,500 rupees (approximately $50 NZD) per transaction and money changers have limited supplies of the currency. You should expect long queues and may need to visit multiple ATMs to find one with cash. Foreign tourists are able to exchange foreign currency of no more than 5,000 rupees per week into legal tender. For more information visit the Reserve Bank of India website because the rules are continuously changing in relation to the limits as to how much money people can withdraw or exchange.

As there is the potential for encountering issues due to the shortage of currency, we recommend New Zealanders travelling to India pre-pay for as much as possible prior to travelling and bring credit cards with them as the use of credit cards has been unaffected and are accepted in many tourist areas. Consider travelling with other major currencies (such as US dollars) as a contingency measure, however you should be aware banks and money changers may have a limited supply of currency to convert in any event.

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