I am an F-1 student in the US. I am going back to India when my studies get over in a month. I have around 25000 USD in my bank account. I need to carry that amount to India, but I don't have anyone trustworthy enough to whom I could send the money and take it back when I reach there. So, my plan is to carry about 5000 in cash and the rest in cashier's cheque. But I'm worried about the fact that I wouldn't be able to open an NRI account in India since I would not have a proof of foreign residence then. So, I don't want me to carry the cheque and not be able to cash it. Can anyone help guide me on whether I would be able to cash a cashier's cheque in India without an NRI account? If you have any other option that would work in my situation is also accepted. Again I want to carry that amount, so it stays with me, and not to transfer it to someone. Thank you.
You can open a NRE account or a NRO account online before you leave the US and transfer the bulk of your money into it. After returning to India, your tax status will be RNOR (Resident but Not Ordinarily Resident) and you can keep the NRE and NRO accounts for several years (three?) and can do whatever you like with the money in them: transfer the money to ordinary (resident) savings accounts, or reconvert back to US dollars for payment of any outstanding bills (e.g. credit card bills) or US taxes for 2017 etc. Don't forget to close your US bank account before you leave.
Many banks allow opening of NRE and NRO accounts on-line, though some paperwork needs to be sent in (e.g. copies of passport pages, signature cards etc). In most cases, one month is more than enough time to complete these formalities.