How to Transfer Money from India to USA

I have a balance of 15 lakhs in my Indian account. I am still in India and I need to transfer it to USA. I can open US bank account only after going there. In this case, how can I transfer money? Can I take a DD on my name, go to US, open an account and deposit the DD in that account?

Money Transfer – India to USA

You have several different options for transferring money to the USA from your account in India:

  • Demand Draft (or Bank Check or Certified Bank Check)
  • Traveler’s Check
  • Wire Transfer
  • Carry Cash in Hand

The option you choose depends heavily upon how much you plan to take with to the US.

If you plan to take just the first semester fees and living expenses, then I would take 2 DD’s with you.

  1. First Semester Fees in the name of the university
  2. Living Expense for 6 months to 1 year in your name.

If you plan to transfer all the 15 Lakhs (about $30,000 USD), I suggest that you use a combination of the above options:

  1. Take a DD for a smaller amount (approximately $5000)
  2. Use this DD to open a bank account once you’ve reached your campus.
  3. Have your parents wire transfer the remaining money to your new account.
  4. You should also have USD in cash on hand (less than $1000) to utilize until your bank account has been opened.

Taking the entire $30,000 in DD is a possibility, but I do not advise that you do that. It is a large hassle and a great source of tensions, especially if you happen to lose the DD.

Travelers’ Checks are not recommended for carry large amounts either.

For large amount, I would opt for DD, Cash and Wire Transfer.

Do you have additional questions about money transfer?

Also, if you have already decided how to carry the money, share your tips below. It will help other students deciding about money transfer.

Next – How Much Dollars to take with you?

14 Comments

  1. Vijay singh on May 19, 2017 at 11:02 PM

    Which documents need to make DD for USA for college fees,,hostel fees and tution fees….

  2. suraj on August 9, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    I once tried sending money to my friend for buying a laptop,to make a DD bank asked for documents like receipt of the laptop which was funny coz if my friend had money to buy laptop why i would be sending him the same:-)

    • munna on September 4, 2012 at 9:49 PM

      well normally banks ask for some reason/documentation to send money abroad as bank draft. you can say its for birthday gift or diwali gift. if you have a copy of his I-20, you can say you are sending for a part of his fees. even for a laptop, make a printout of a quote of laptop model from Dell website or amazon.com or walmart website and show it to bank, it will be enough.

  3. Piyush R on July 30, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    @HSB ~ You say DD. Which banks can we get DDs from? Like can I get a DD from SBI?
    I am assuming DD = Demand Drafts

    • HSB on July 30, 2012 at 4:23 PM

      Yes – DD = Demand Drafts. Typically banks that give your loan will issue DD. If not, go with a bank where you have an account.

      • Piyush R on July 31, 2012 at 12:54 AM

        Thanks,
        And I can issue a DD from the SBI and use it in any bank @US? Should I ask for some special kind of DD or the general one would do?

        • munna on September 5, 2012 at 7:49 AM

          when you say that DD is for USA (international demand draft), bank people know what type of draft they have to make. bank drafts are made for their branch/partner branch and your name. Last time when I made a bank draft from state bank of india, they made it with my name and their partner branch Bank of New york. Now I depositied that draft in my bank account in texas at bank of america. that bank of america will take the money from bank of new york on which draft is made.

  4. Prabodh on July 18, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    Hi HSB,

    I have a tution fee waiver after which my first semester fee and initial expenses (housing and insurance) come around $2000. I am planning to carry Forex card with $2500 in it and $400 cash. After opening the account in US bank I will withdraw remaining amount in the card and deposit into the a/c. I am expecting to receive my first payroll from the TA within a month.

    Do you see any problem with the above method?

    • HSB on July 18, 2012 at 2:48 PM

      Sound perfect. I don’t see any problems. Since, already have the card, then use it. If you are planning to get one, then I would say just get a DD for $2500 and deposit it when you open the account.

      • Prabodh on July 18, 2012 at 3:00 PM

        Actually with Jet Airways ticket that I have booked I got a ICICI travel card voucher for F-1 visa holders that gives a deduction of Rs 0.60 per USD and also Joining fees of Rs 150 is waived off. So I will only pay $1.50 as charge for withdrawl.

        And one suggestion that you could add in your flight booking article is to check for Airlines that give special offers to students like above in my case with Jet Airways I am also getting additional 1pc of baggage (i.e 2 pc + 1 pc) and 20% discount on online shopping of samsonite bags.

        • ANIQUA JAFRI on July 20, 2012 at 1:14 AM

          I FIND JET AIRWAYS QUITE EXPENSIVE AS COMPARED TO OTHER FLIGHTS LIKE LUFTHANSA, ETC..

        • HSB on July 30, 2012 at 8:28 AM

          ATM will charge additional $2 or more fees.

  5. gaurav on July 18, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    How much money is required to open a bank account in USA for students

    • HSB on July 18, 2012 at 12:43 PM

      You can open a checking account with like $10 initial deposit.

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