Ways to transfer savings from USA to India


I’m currently in USA on H1B status (valid I-797 and I-94, visa expired). My wife is with me on H4 status.

With all the new uncertainty around H1B and H4, I’ve been thinking of how/when to relocate back to India. I’ve been in USA for 8 years now, and have saved a good amount of money in USD, which I’d like to transfer to India before I leave. This money is all after taxes and from my salary/bonus/stock options. Since I’ve been away for so long, I don’t have a savings account in India, but have a joint account with my father, to which I plan to transfer my savings. I had some questions about that, and hoping someone can share their insights

  1. Should I open a NRE account while I’m here and move the money to it? Will I be able to access this from India?

  2. Should I wire transfer my savings to the joint account with my father? Is there any paperwork associated with this?

  3. Should I take out an international draft for the amount and mail it to India?

Please share your thoughts or experiences in this matter.

I suggest to open an NRO and an NRE account.

Move money from US to NRE account. This can be accessed in India too if you need it.

Once you are in India, move money from NRE to NRO and then convert NRO to normal savings account.

You should open NRE account.m.but it’s tax free for 2 years after he loses his NRI status.

Depending on the sum of money it can take months to transfer since there are limits on how much foreign currency you can send per month.

I use remitly.

Can send 30k$ in one go.

Talk to customer representatives of remit companies for large transfer to Indian based accounts.

Nre account is better, you can also access it when you are in India.

The investment through nre account is not taxable but the earnings on nre investments are taxable.

NRE account is the way to go. Once you start transferring, most online services will start allowing larger amounts.

I personally use Zoom for regular transfers…because of speed…but have used Icici for my apartment down payment…they are good…my NRE account is with ICICI…so it was easy

If you do any of the above methods to transfer amount, that amount will be completely secure and litigation free. No questions will be asked and just in case if anyone asks any questions, you would have all the necessary paper work so it will be hassle free.

Coming to large amounts, if its more than 300k-400k, It would be wiser to initiate transfers at least 3-6 months before your depart USA. Advisable to use legit sources.

If you are using anyone of the remittance services like xoom or remitly, its better to call them up and ask them to increase the limits before hand. These services have their accounts with Bank of New York Mellon and this bank is the sole bank for INR conversion. So if you are using these services, ask them for special rates and offer you can directly deposit the amount into their BoNY Mellon account. Sometimes they offer this service and sometimes they don’t depending upon on the amount.

Direct international wire transfer will usually have lesser exchange rate, upto 5% less than what these remittance services offer.

Coming to the type of account whom you want to send, NRE or your father’s savings account or for that matter Jan Dhan account too, it would not matter. Its just the same and once you land in India, you will however have access to these accounts no matter what may.

is it not possible to move your account to india as almost all american banks have branches in india …has anyone tried it or know anyone ?

No, the American banks in India are different entities from their US counterparts. They are just having the same brand name but a different legal entity.

And they abide by the rules of the countries central bank in this case its RBI.

I had asked this once with Standard Chartered, HSBC, ICICI in Bahrain if I can transfer my account to India. They simply do not have that level of jurisdiction to move an entire acccount from one country to another.

All you can do is close your account and request bank to transfer all the funds to the designated bank account in your country.

Within the country you can transfer to any bank branch because they fall under the same legal entity.

1 Like

Thanks for the response. Based on the research I’ve done, I’m planning to open NRE account and start transferring money to that.

Thanks all for your responses. Seems like NRE account is the most popular method, followed by remit services. I’m planning to open a NRE account with ICICI Bank as I see that they offer paperless account opening from USA. Their reviews are so-so on the internet, but can’t find any other bank which provides paperless account opening.

If anyone has other suggestions (Axis, SBI, HDFC) do share.


I have used ICICI and have faced no issue. Had opened Axis and Kotak Mahindra accounts too but had to close them down as things were a bit difficult to manage. ICICI seems to work seemlessly.