Forex For Study Abroad Students, Explained.

Forex For Study Abroad Students, Explained.

What Is Forex?

Foreign Exchange (forex or FX) is the trading of one currency for another. Foreign exchange transactions take place on the foreign exchange market, also known as the forex market which is an electronic network of banks, institutions, and individual traders. Forex for students going abroad is very important as Forex transactions allow students to pay for their expenses without worrying about currency or cash issues.

In simple terms, a 100 Rupee note is valid only in India, but if you were to go abroad, you’d need to buy the currency of that country. Each country decides the exchange rate of its currency, which is called the mid-market rate. Forex rates are constantly fluctuating and it is important to find the best time to make a transaction.

Forex For Students: The Different Types Of Services

Different Forex services serve different purposes, such as:

  • Wire transfer/Remittance: Money transfer from a domestic account to international account or vice versa is a remittance. Considering you are in India, an outward remittance is money transfer from an Indian account to an international account and the opposite is termed inward remittance. It is primarily used for University fee payment or bank account to bank account money transfer.
  • Forex card: In the absence of an international account, students use a forex card which allows them to convert the currency at a fixed rate & load into a card. This card can then be used as a debit card, although, it doesn’t help in building a credit history. It is widely used for personal expenses.
  • Currency notes: A maximum of USD 3000 can be carried in the form of currency notes. Bank & forex brokers convert the currency and hand over the amount in cash to you.

Key Forex Service Providers

  • EbixCash
  • BookMyForex
  • Wall Street Forex
  • WISE
  • ICICI Bank

Tips to find the best deals

There are many forex organisations and choosing the best one can seem daunting.

Here’s a handy checklist you can use to evaluate all your options.

Find out:

  • Is exchange for relevant currency available?
  • What is the markup fee?
  • Other charges apart from the exchange rate?
  • What is the process to book an order for a remittance/Forex card?
  • What are the documents required?
  • Turn around time for wire transaction completion?
  • Is forex card home delivery available? & what is the TAT?
  • How much time does the card activation process take?
  • What are the ATM withdrawal/POS/E-commerce transaction charges on a forex card?
  • Can tax be exempted for your transaction?

Forex For Students: FAQs

Is there a limit to how much Forex I can carry?

The total amount of Foreign Exchange utilized by a student both in terms of Forex cards & Wire transfers, in a financial year must not exceed USD 250,000 for educational purposes.

My brother is studying abroad. Can I use his card for my use?

No, Forex is highly regulated and KYC compliant. If you don’t have valid proof of Forex purchase, your entire Forex amount is liable to be confiscated.

What are the benefits of a Forex Card over Debit/Credit Card?

  • Little to no issuance fee.
  •  $2 or its equivalent in other currency is charged per withdrawal vs upto $500/$1000 for international debit/credit cards.
  • No Merchant Service fee.
  • Frozen exchange rates.
  • No additional conversion charges.

Where can I send a Wire Transfer / Purchase a Forex card from?

  • Banks
  • Online Sites
  • Local Vendors

What documents are required for different Forex services?

Remittance (Wire Transfer):

  • Passport front & back
  • PAN Card
  • University offer letter
  • Student Visa
  • Cheque
  • A2 form (Provided by forex agent)
  • Form 26AS (if applicable)

Forex Card:

  • Passport front & back
  • PAN Card
  • Student Visa
  • One way air ticket
  • Form 26AS (if applicable)

Currency Notes:

  • Passport front & back
  • PAN Card
  • Student Visa
  • One way air ticket

When is the ideal time to find the best exchange rates?

The forex market closes by 5:00 pm every day. 10:00 am – 1:00 pm is an ideal time to make a transaction. Towards the end of business hours, the rates tend to increase. Avoid transactions on weekends as holiday charges will be applicable.

Is there an annual limit to utilize forex?

A total of USD 250,000 can be transferred for education purposes. This limit is inclusive of wire transfer, forex card & currency notes. A maximum of $3000 can be carried in the form of cash.

What are the other charges applicable?

Most forex agents charge as follows apart from the forex rate:

  • Conversion charges/Service charges (ranging from INR 200 – INR 500)
  • GST @ 0.1%
  • Tax (as applicable)

But the charges may vary based on the agent that you choose. Please check with your agent before you go ahead.

Can my Forex card be home delivered?

Most banks do not have a home delivery service. However, some forex brokers provide home delivery service for forex cards. 

When should I really buy a forex card?

You can buy a forex card within 60 days of the travel date. However, it is recommended to order the card at least a week before your travel date. This will ensure you have sufficient time for card delivery & activation.

What are a few market practices to look out for?

Here are a few unhealthy practices that are common in the market:

  • Hidden transaction charges.
  • Unclear communication on required documents.
  • The unclear status of transaction.
  • Forex card delivery issues.
  • Poor TAT on Forex card activation.
  • Poor customer service.
  • Unreasonable exchange rate.
  • Unlicensed agents.

Forex For Students: Why GradRight Is A Good Option?

GradRight’s additional services, GradOns, brings you the best in town partners for safe & fast transactions. But why choose GradOns for your Forex?

  • Compare rates of multiple partners on the same page.
  • Freeze rates for upto 3 days.
  • Forex card available at your doorstep.
  • Verified & licensed forex agents.
  • Better rates.
  • Guaranteed Cashback on completion of a transaction.

Click on GradOns to get started!

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