Money matters too...

Money matters too...

Being Mindful

Money matters too...

Information on foreign remittances will greatly benefit students aspiring to study abroad, writes Sudarshan Motwani

Studying abroad is often the most thrilling experience in one’s life. Every Indian parent cherishes the thought of sending his/her child to a top global university.

They spend a lot of time planning and budgeting for this. However, apart from a good score and being prepped enough to handle the pressure of being amongst diverse students of the world, financials are a critical aspect of foreign education. Foreign remittances for tuition, boarding and lodging and other overheads are vital to a seamless experience while studying abroad.

In India, foreign remittances for education form a huge part of the money being sent abroad, as per the latest report by the Reserve Bank of India. According to the HSBC survey,Value of Education Learning for Life report, 88% of Indian parents want to send their children abroad for postgraduation.

This figure stands way ahead of other Asian countries, including Turkey (83%), Malaysia and China (82% each). With these facts in mind, it becomes imperative that while dreaming of making it into a celebrated university abroad, parents and students should also be updated on all the legal and regulatory aspects of foreign remittances for education.

Sending money abroad to one’s dear ones is no longer as complex and intimidating as it used to be. With the emergence of new-age, tech-backed currency exchange marketplaces, you can simply do a wire transfer or send a Demand Draft (DD) from India’s top banks in just a few minutes. Of course, there are a few stipulations that must be followed.

Checklist

Checking your transaction eligibility is a must as is ensuring that all the requisite documentation is in place. The total amount of remittances in a financial year should not exceed USD 2,50,000 as far as education goes. The documents that you need to have include a valid passport and student visa, university offer letter and a pan card. You need to visit the bank branch with the original copies of these documents.

Foreign remittances can be made through a few prescribed methods such as NEFT and RTGS. Cheques are also acceptable but are subject to clearing. Similarly, the payments must be made directly to the partnering bank of the Fintech company that you are using through your savings account only. The bank’s account details are typically provided through an automatic notification upon your reconfirmation of the transaction.

Booking rates for remittances is critical to ensure that you don’t end up blowing your budget. Rates can be frozen with banks until the third working day. Freezing rates require adjustable/refundable advance of only one to two per cent to avoid cancellations or adjust loss due to cancellations. Payments by cheques, on the other hand, are only eligible for open rates.

While these are the most critical aspects of foreign remittances, there are several finer points that also need to be paid attention to. For instance, if the address on your identity proof is not local, the bank may require a local residential proof such as a landline bill or an electricity bill. Similarly, in case of international wire transfers, foreign intermediator banks could levy transaction charges. These are normally deducted from the transaction amount. However, you may choose to pay these charges up front in Indian rupees.

Keeping all of the above aspects of foreign remittances in mind will help you plan better and avoid last-minute stress when the student is set to embark on his/her new journey. With the advent of new-age foreign remittance companies, the parents and students are in for a much easier experience when looking at overseas remittance products. Information is available at a click and so are the services. All you need to do is be mindful of the basics and the rest will follow very conveniently.

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