How to Transfer Money from India to the USA

Updated on April 10, 2024

At a Glance

  • Sending money from India to the U.S. is possible under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
  • The Liberalised Remittance Scheme allows sending up to USD 2,50,000 per year for various purposes.
  • Options for transferring money include online money transfer service providers, foreign currency demand drafts, and wire transfers.
  • Recommended services for sending money from India to the U.S. include TransferWise, Western Union, BookMyForex, ExTravelMoney, and Remitout.

Indians are one of the largest immigrant groups in the United States. They have been migrating to the U.S. since the early 1900s, and often need money sent to them from back home.

Thanks to technological advancement and the ease of business policies between the two countries, transferring money from one country to another is now hassle-free.

In this article, we’ll list some of the best ways to transfer money offshore to the U.S. and some of the things you need to keep in mind.

Can Money Be Transferred From India to the U.S.?

Sending money to another country is slightly different from sending money to someone inside the U.S. When you’re engaged in such a transaction, it is termed foreign exchange or forex. The legal framework for transferring money to the U.S. or any other foreign country is covered under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA). This act came into effect on June 1, 2020, and governs every forex transaction.

According to FEMA, you can use foreign exchange services for the following purposes:

  • Private visit to any country
  • Gifting or donations
  • Visiting abroad for employment
  • Maintenance for a close relative abroad
  • Travel and business
  • Medical expenses
  • Studying purposes

Limits on Transactions

There are also prohibited transactions such as the lottery, trading in FX, capital account remittance, etc.

According to the Liberalised Remittance Scheme, you are allowed to send no more than USD 2,50,000 in a given year. So yes, money can be sent from India to America with no problems if sent for the correct purpose.

Best Ways to Send Money from India to the U.S.

You can send money overseas in various ways. These differ in terms of speed, charges, and simplicity. In this section, we’ll list the top three ways to send money to the USA from India; choose the one that best matches your requirements:

  • Online Money Transfer Service Providers
  • Foreign Currency Demand Draft
  • Wire Transfer

Read on to learn about each option.

Online Money Transfer Service Providers

With the growing need to send money overseas, a number of service providers sprung up to meet the demand. These are dedicated companies that specialize in foreign exchange. They take the complexity out of the equation and provide services like a bank. You walk in and deposit the cash, and they send it overseas on your behalf for a fee. With advancements in technology like high-speed internet and secure end-to-end communication, now you can get the same service sitting from your home. If you like working with the bank, this should be the preferred option.

Foreign Currency Demand Draft

Demand drafts offer simplicity and flexibility when it comes to sending money to someone. The good thing is you can use foreign currency demand drafts for sending money to America from India.

For these, you need to get in touch with your bank and ask to prepare a demand draft. You’ll be asked for the amount and the account holder’s information. The bank will then prepare a demand draft for you, which you can then send to the person in the U.S. The equivalent amount, along with the charges, will be debited from your account.

While this method is simple, one disadvantage is its processing time. You need to send the draft abroad, which takes time. Then he/she will have to carry out any other actions involved with demand drafts.

Wire Transfer

You can wire transfer the amount to the U.S. Most banks, especially private ones, offer you something called “SWIFT transfer.” SWIFT stands for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. This service enables you to send money directly to the person’s bank account in the U.S.

You’ll just have to fill out a form where you’ll be asked for information like the beneficiary’s account number, the bank’s address, and the SWIFT code. Every bank connected to the SWIFT network has been assigned a particular SWIFT code. If you have access to online banking, you can do it from your home. For this, you’ll need to activate the foreign wire transfer feature.

Best Services for Sending Money from India to the U.S.

You can also send money overseas through a company or service provider. They are legally regulated to carry out these types of transactions. Here we’ll recommend some of the best services you can use to send money to the U.S. from India:

  • TransferWise
  • Western Union
  • BookMyForex
  • ExTravelMoney
  • RemitOut

Below, we look at each service in more detail.


TransferWise is a peer-to-peer money transfer service that allows you to send money to someone directly. The company works as an intermediary and charges a small commission for facilitating the transaction. At the time of writing, it supports over 750 currencies, including USD, EUR, GBP, JYP, among others.

The best thing about TransferWire is you don’t have to worry about currency conversion and transfers. It transfers the money to the recipient’s TransferWire account instead of their bank account. This way, it doesn’t need to take conversion rates into account. The recipient has to take care of the charges on his or her end.

Western UnionWestern Union

For years, Western Union was synonymous with foreign money transfers. It is one of the oldest companies to facilitate overseas money transfers and has over 525,000 agents working to enable money transfers worldwide. You just walk into one of their stores and hand over the amount to the agent along with the beneficiary details. The beneficiary can then collect the amount at a Western Union store near him.


BookMyForex is a complete foreign exchange solution. It offers currency exchange, international sim cards, trade remittance, foreign tour guidance, travel insurance packages, and foreign money transfer services. You get access to live exchange rates and can decide when to send the money. So, you’re in total control of the transaction.


With ExTravelMoney, you can buy and sell currency, transfer money abroad, and get the best rates. There are over 4,000 locations across India. Therefore, you’ll have no trouble providing your banking information. You can either issue a foreign currency demand draft or wire transfer.


Remitout offers faster transactions than other services. This is because it has strategic alliance partnerships with some of the leading names like SBI Canada Bank, Transcorp, Coracle, and Orient Exchange. You can also get the lowest rates or freeze live rates, so you don’t have to worry about constantly changing rates. It’s ideal for students to receive money from parents back home in India.

Considerations When Transferring Money From India to the USA

When transferring money from India to the U.S., you need to keep a few things in mind. Those are:

Exchange Rates

Rates keep changing every second. Within a few seconds, rates can shoot up, which will add to the cost. Therefore, look for the best exchange rates and freeze the rate if you find the lowest rate.

Transfer Speed

You need to keep in mind that some transfer methods are faster than others. Services like Wire Transfer and Western Union offer the fastest speed.

Read More

Final Thoughts

In the future, the need and volume of foreign money transfers will increase. To fill the need, there’ll be more and more innovative solutions. Therefore, you should always be up to date on these services.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What Are the Common Methods for Transferring Money from India to the USA?

There are several common methods for transferring money from India to the USA, including bank wire transfers, online money transfer services, and traditional remittance services. Each method has its advantages and fees, so it’s essential to choose the one that suits your needs.

2. Are There Any Legal Requirements for Sending Money Abroad?

Yes, there are legal requirements and regulations governing international money transfers from India to the USA. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has guidelines on the maximum amount you can send abroad annually without providing specific reasons. Ensure that you comply with these regulations to avoid any legal issues.

3. What Information Do I Need to Provide for an International Money Transfer?

When initiating an international money transfer, you typically need to provide essential information, including the recipient’s bank details, such as account number and routing number, your own bank account information, and the purpose of the transfer. Accurate information is crucial to ensure the money reaches its destination.

4. How Long Does It Take for an International Money Transfer to the USA?

The time it takes for an international money transfer to the USA can vary depending on the chosen transfer method. Bank wire transfers may take several business days, while online money transfer services can be faster, often within 1-2 business days. It’s advisable to check with your chosen service provider for specific timelines.

5. What Are the Fees Associated with International Money Transfers?

Fees for international money transfers vary depending on the service provider and the transfer method. Banks and traditional remittance services may charge higher fees, while online transfer services often offer competitive rates. Additionally, exchange rate differences can affect the overall cost of the transfer.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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