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Traveling to India with a Criminal Record

Updated on Feb 13, 2024 | Online Indian Visa

The electronic visa system in India offers a convenient and speedy way for travelers to obtain visas online. This system benefits tourists and the Indian government, simplifying the visa application process and facilitating quicker border screening.

Like the traditional paper visa application, the e-Visa online application form requires applicants to provide details about their passports, contact information, health status, and criminal history. Applicants need to fill out the questionnaire accurately and completely.

If you possess a criminal record, you may be concerned about your eligibility for a visa. Inquiring about this before submitting your application is advisable, as visa fees are generally non-refundable.

You require India e-Tourist Visa or Indian Visa Online to witness the amazing places and experiences as a foreign tourist in India. Alternatively, you could be visiting India on an India e-Business Visa and want to do some recreation and sightseeing in India. The Indian Immigration Authority encourages visitors to India to apply for Indian Visa Online rather than visiting Indian Consulate or Indian Embassy.

Disclosing Criminal Record for Indian Tourist Visa

Foreign nationals were not previously required to reveal their criminal history when applying for an Indian tourist visa. However, in 2018, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi introduced new guidelines requiring applicants to disclose their criminal records.

The primary aim of this policy change is to prevent traveling child sex offenders from entering India, as children from disadvantaged backgrounds and orphanages are particularly vulnerable to sexual exploitation by such offenders.

While the policy change primarily targets TCSOs, individuals with other criminal convictions will also have their cases assessed individually. It is essential to note that disclosure of criminal history does not automatically result in a denial of entry to India. Still, it does mean that the information will be considered during the visa application process.


Foreigners who must visit India on a crisis basis are granted an Emergency Indian Visa (eVisa for emergency). If you live outside of India and need to visit India for a crisis or urgent reason, such as the death of a family member or cherished one, coming to court for legal reasons, or your family member or a cherished one is suffering from a real illness, you can apply for an emergency India visa. Learn more at The Emergency Visa to Visit India.

Traveling to India with a DUI or Criminal Record

The Indian government evaluates each visa application on a case-by-case basis. A DUI or other criminal offense committed in one's home country does not necessarily result in an automatic rejection of the visa application. The primary factor in the decision is whether the applicant threatens the Indian public.

However, applicants must provide accurate and complete information regarding their criminal history, as failure to do so may result in delayed or denied visas. Providing false information about criminal history during the visa application process may result in immediate penalties for international travelers.

In summary, while traveling to India with a criminal record is possible, the decision ultimately rests with the Indian government's discretion. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information during the application process.

Indian Government's Criminal History Inquiry for Visa Applicants

Foreign travelers seeking to enter India may be asked a set of questions about their criminal history, which may include the following:


If you are a US Citizen planning to visit India, getting an eVisa is the easiest way to fasten your visa application process. Learn more at India Visa Application Process for US Citizens.

Have you ever been convicted by a court of law in any country?

Have you ever been denied entry or deported from any country, including India?

Have you ever been involved in human trafficking, drug trafficking, child abuse, crimes against women, or financial fraud?

Have you ever been involved in cybercrime, terrorism, sabotage, espionage, genocide, political assassination, or other violent crimes?

Have you ever expressed opinions that endorse or incite terrorist violence or other serious criminal activities?

Providing complete and accurate answers to these questions is essential to avoid delays or denials of the visa application. The Indian government takes criminal history seriously and considers such information to assess the eligibility of foreign travelers to enter the country.

Does a Criminal Record Have an Expiration Date?

This answer's suitability varies depending on various factors unique to each particular circumstance, including:

The nature of the offense committed

The country in which the offense was committed and where the individual was convicted

The laws and regulations governing the deletion or expungement of criminal records in the respective country.

In some cases, the regulations governing the expungement of a defendant’s criminal record may vary even within the same country. For instance, in the United States, state law regulates expungement, not federal law.

However, in some cases, it may be possible to have the criminal record sealed from public access, even if it cannot be expunged entirely. An attorney can assist 

individuals in determining their options for sealing or expunging their criminal records.

The type of Indian Electronic Visa you would need based on the reason for your visit to India. Learn more at Online India Visa Information

Is There International Sharing of Criminal Records?

While it is common for countries to require applicants to disclose their criminal history, they generally do not request access to criminal records from other nations for tourist visa applications. Instead, they typically rely on the applicant to provide official documents from their home country, if required.

While there are international collaborations such as Interpol and Five Eyes, the exchange of criminal information is highly restricted and limited to specific cases, individuals, and partial information.

Citizens of many countries including United States, France, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Italy are eligible for India e-Visa(Indian Visa Online). You can apply for the Indian e-Visa Online Application right here.

Should you have any doubts or require assistance for your trip to India or India e-Visa,contact Indian Visa Help Desk for support and guidance.