Resident Foreign Currency Account (RFC) gives NRIs who have returned to India a good opportunity to earn high returns on the funds they hold in foreign currency without the risk of foreign exchange conversion.
The returning NRIs can credit to their RFC account the entire amount of foreign exchange assets acquired or held while he/she was NRI. This could be in the form of Deposits in Banks outside India, investments in foreign currency, shares and securities or immovable properties situated outside India or investments in business, etc. outside India. It also includes foreign exchange earnings through employment, business or vocation outside India commenced by the NRI while he was resident outside India. Also, all outstanding balances of their NRE/FCNR Accounts at the time of return can be credited to RFC Accounts.
Balances in RFC Accounts can be converted to INR and credited to Resident SB Account of the customer. Also, customer can withdraw INR Cash through Home Branch. The funds in RFC account are free from all restrictions regarding utilisation of foreign currency balances including any restriction on investment outside India.
RFC can be maintained in 3 currencies (USD, GBP, EUR) under Savings Bank variant and in 4 currencies (USD, GBP, EUR, JPY) under Term Deposit variant.
For RFC Fixed Deposit, the minimum tenure is 6 months and the maximum tenure is 3 years.
Benefits of ICICI Bank RFC (D) Account
- Saving in commission charges, as you can withdraw foreign currency when you want without any conversion charges
- Facilitates your payments for foreign travel expenses
- No ceiling on deposits
- Convenient and value-added banking
- Protection to your money from valuation risks due to exchange rate fluctuations
- No ceiling on the maximum amount of deposit in the account
Who can open?
Any NRI, who has returned to India on or after 18 April 1992, can open an RFC account. An RFC account can also be opened by an NRI who is employed abroad and his period of stay is at least one year prior to his return to India. Thus, PIOs (person of Indian origins) or NRIs returning to settle permanently in India can open an RFC account. An RFC account can be converted to FCNR(B) (Foreign Currency Non Resident (Bank) or NRE (non resident external) accounts in case the person becomes an NRI again.
Deposits and withdrawals
You can deposit funds from the following sources in your RFC account:
- Any balances brought from your overseas bank account including foreign exchange earnings through employment, business or vocation outside India taken up or commenced while you were resident outside India.
- Any foreign currency notes you bring from abroad; however, if the value of such notes exceeds $5,000 or the combined value of Travelers’ Cheques and notes exceeds $10,000, then you have to submit a Currency Declaration Form (CDF) to the customs authorities on arrival in India.
- You must produce the Currency Declaration Form for endorsement by the bank when you submit the money for opening/credit to an Account.
- Any foreign exchange that you get on sale of eligible assets abroad; eligible assets include bank accounts, overseas shares and securities, immoveable property and investment in business outside India.
- Any income that you earn from your foreign assets such as dividends, interest.
- You can transfer funds from your NRE or FCNR account into the RFC account once you become a resident Indian; in such cases, no penalty for premature withdrawal will be levied on your NRE or FCNR accounts.
- Pension, superannuation etc. received from employer outside India.
Funds in RFC account can be used for following purposes:
- You can use RFC funds for any remittances or investment abroad.
- You can also use the funds for maintenance of dependents or any personal purposes abroad.
- You can also use these funds for expenses and investments to be made in India.
Documents required for opening RFC account
The following documents are usually needed:
- Photocopy of the pages containing passport details and personal details of all applicants
- Copy of valid visa and immigration stamps showing evidence of foreign stay for at least 1 year
- Your passport photograph
- RFC declaration form