I will be soon traveling to Pakistan from UK.

I would like to take £8000 with me, based on rules anything below 10,000 euros doesn't need to be declared.

How can I keep documentation other then bank withdrawal of taking this money with me on my holiday? I am a Pakistani national and but will soon be British too in coming years, if it's any relevant. In past I did took money but I have no proof of taking money to PK other than bank withdrawal.

Of course money is legal coming from my salary, but what are outcomes if I declare it (not sure how though)


Why I want to travel with money and send it through banks etc ?

Because I might need same money back to UK so I don't want to convert currency twice or even once to avoid low rates I will get from banks here sometimes with extra fees.

Also I get good convert rates in local market then sending online or through banks.

  • Taking money home from working abroad seems more like an expats question to me -- community opinion? Jul 29 '16 at 8:53
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    @DavidRicherby Anybody might have a reason to travel with a large sum of money. It's not limited to expatriates. And this question is about traveling... Jul 29 '16 at 8:54
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    Also, why take cash rather than make a wire transfer? My UK bank allows me to transfer money to foreign accounts for a fee of, as I recall, £25. OK, that's an annoyingly large amount of money but it's peanuts compared to £8,000 and the risk of losing all that cash. Jul 29 '16 at 8:54
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    What are you seeking to document? What is it that you need to prove?
    – CMaster
    Jul 29 '16 at 9:03
  • @CMaster I don't have any core requirement now, but maybe in future I want to bring money back to UK - I am pretty sure I would need some proof unless I bring it in small chunks, if that makes any sense
    – Change
    Jul 29 '16 at 9:18

At today's exchange rate, that's slightly less than €10,000, but who knows what the exchange rate will be next week? You might have to declare it.

I can tell you what may happen if you need to declare it but do not do so. In the departures area of the airport, you will run across one of the UK's currency sniffing dogs, and it will alert on you. Because you haven't declared it, if it's over the limit, the currency may be seized and you will have to go through a rather annoying process to attempt to get it back. But you could also be fined £5,000, which is more than half of what you're carrying.

If you do fill out the declaration, you drop off a copy of the declaration at a drop box in the airport, and keep a second copy on you. You then show the declaration form if asked. You can fill out this form at the airport, or fill it out online and print two copies before you travel.

You may also find it helpful to carry documentation of the source of the funds, such as salary slips and bank statements, in case there is any question. If customs officers have reason to believe the currency is connected to criminal activity, they may be able to seize it anyway.

  • 2
    Currency sniffing dogs exist?!
    – JonathanReez
    Jul 29 '16 at 18:11
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    @JonathanReez You can train a dog to sniff out almost anything. They exist, but it does have to be a good sized amount of currency. They won't pick up on the usual small amounts people carry. Jul 29 '16 at 18:26
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    I've never seen any type of sniffer dog in the departures area of a UK airport. Jul 29 '16 at 22:09
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    @MartinSmith After you watch this, then you will have. Jul 29 '16 at 22:11
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    I missed the "may" and just saw the "will run across" which certainly seemed overstated. Jul 29 '16 at 22:14

What happens if you carry more than EUR 10,000 and fill in the form as you should is that it will be processed and archived by the authorities and might trigger an investigation into the origin of the funds (in the UK, I believe that HM Revenue & Customs and the National Crime Agency are in charge of this, other countries have similar agencies). If you obtained the funds legally and can document that (e.g. with payslips and bank statements showing that you saved the money over several months/years), this should not be a concern. In many cases, nothing will happen at all and you won't even have to show that (and I suspect that for a single transfer just over the limit, that's the most likely outcome).

Note that the same could happen if you make a large deposit (or a series of medium-large deposits) at a bank, etc. The whole idea behind these rules is to fight money laundering. People who obtained large sums of money from criminal activity or failed to pay taxes as they should will want to somehow get the money back into the regular financial circuit to use it and that's a good occasion to catch them. Restrictions on cash transfers (or, in some countries, cash transactions) are designed to make it harder to do this legally.

But as long as you can show where the money come from, there is nothing illegal about transferring large amounts of money in and out of the country (whether by bank transfer or in cash) and no additional tax implications or anything.

  • 5
    Yes (+1), but note there might (or might not) be separate rules about bringing large quantities of currency into Pakistan.
    – abligh
    Jul 29 '16 at 16:16

Wire transfer. Carrying large quantities of cash by hand anywhere, especially across international borders, is utterly idiotic unless you're doing something illegal with it where documentation would quickly lead to getting caught. But documentation is exactly what you want here. So do a wire transfer, pay the (very reasonable!) fee, and have nice documentation of the transfer on your bank statements on both ends.

  • 1
    If it's possible to do a wire transfer! It might not be. Jul 30 '16 at 4:05
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    @R.. -1 for assuming that the fee is going to be very reasonable.
    – AndrejaKo
    Jul 30 '16 at 10:02
  • @AndrejaKo: Try to find an insurance policy that will cover loss of £8000 cash carried on your person, or an insured courier service that will carry it for you, and compare their prices with the price of the wire transfer. I think you'll find the latter is "very reasonable" in this context. Jul 30 '16 at 14:27

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