Traveling to India with a Criminal Record

Updated on Jun 04, 2024 | Online Indian Visa

The Indian Visa Online or Indian eVisa allows travelers visiting India to apply online. This electronic visa has benefitted both tourists and the government of India, simplifying the application process and quick border screening.

The Indian eVisa application requires applicants to fill in personal details like name, date of birth, gender, marital status, passport number, passport issuing and expiry date, contact information, email address, health conditions and criminal record. Applicants are requested to fill the questions accurately.

If you have a criminal record, you must be concerned about your eligibility to apply for the visa. Travelers with past criminal records are requested to inquire before applying for the eVisa, as visa fees are non-refundable.

So, if a traveler is planning to visit India to discover the wonderful places of India, he needs to apply for the Indian Visa Online or the India e-tourist Visa. In case the traveler is visiting India for business reasons with the India e-Business Visa and wants to add some sightseeing places to his itinerary, the immigration authority of India encourages such travelers to apply for Indian Visa Online, instead of visiting the Indian Consulate.

Disclosing Criminal Record for Indian Tourist eVisa

In the past foreign travelers were not required to disclose their criminal history while applying for the Indian tourist visa, however from 2018, under the new guidelines introduced by the Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi, foreign travelers applying for the same are requested to mention their criminal history.

The main aim of this policy was to prevent child sex offenders from entering India, as children from disadvantaged backgrounds like poor families and orphanages are exposed to sexual exploitation. This policy only targets the TCSOs (transnational child sex offenders).

While travelers with other criminal records will also be verified and assessed based on the nature of their criminal history. Disclosure of a criminal record does not mean you cannot apply for the visa or your visa will be rejected, however, it does mean that the information provided will be taken into consideration and verified, the decision entirely depends on the immigration officials.


Travelers who need to visit India in an emergency crisis need to apply for eVisa for emergency or Emergency Indian Visa.If you live out of India and need to visit for an emergency crisis like sudden death of a family member, or attending legal procedures in the court, or someone in your family is seriously ill, then you can apply for the Emergency Indian Visa. Know in detail about the The Emergency Visa to Visit India.

Traveling to India with a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) or Criminal Record

The immigration department of India thoroughly evaluates each and every visa application based on the nature of the crime committed. A DUI (Driving Under the Influence) or any other crime committed in one’s own country, does not mean that the applicant's application will be rejected. The main rejection in the application will be after scrutinizing if the applicant can be a threat to the Indian public or not.

Despite the strict evaluation of criminal history, applicants are requested to provide all the information accurately and complete the application form, failing to provide will lead to delay or rejection of your visa. Providing false information regarding your past criminal records in your visa application form will lead to immediate penalties for foreign travelers.

Travelers can apply for an Indian eVisa with a criminal history, however the decision entirely depends on the immigration officials. But at all times, it is suggested to answer about your past criminal records honestly and accurately in your application form.


The US nationals planning to visit India for certain reasons, the entry has been simplified. To fasten up your visa application process, apply for the Indian eVisa. If you want to know in detail check India Visa Application Process for US Citizens.

Indian Government's Criminal History Inquiry for Visa Applicants

Foreign travelers may be asked a set of questions regarding the past criminal history if they have any, here is a list of few of the questions:

  • Have you ever been connected with activities like drug trafficking, crimes against women, human trafficking, child abuse, or any financial fraud?
  • Have you ever been declared guilty or sentenced in any country by a court of law?
  • Have you ever been associated with crimes like terrorism, genocide, cybercrime, sabotage, political assassination, espionage or any violent crimes?
  • In the past, have you ever been deported from any country or denied entry to any country, including India?
  • Did you ever participate or express opinions that encourage or stir up terrorist violence or any other serious criminal activities?

Applicants filling the form, do not skip any questions, read carefully and answer the questions to avoid any delays or rejection of your visa application process. The foreign travelers must provide accurate information regarding their criminal history, the government of India takes criminal records seriously and uses the information to evaluate the eligibility of the traveler.

Does a Criminal Record Have an Expiration Date?

The answer to this question depends on various factors, and based on that a particular decision is undertaken, for example:

  • The crime committed in which country and where the individual was sentenced
  • The nature or type of crime committed by the person.
  • The laws and regulations regarding erasing the criminal history in that respective country
  • In some countries, even within the same country, the laws and regulations of erasing a criminal history may vary. For example, in the US, state law allows erasing of criminal history, but not federal law.
  • And in some countries, the criminal history of a person is closed for public access, but it cannot be erased completely. In such cases, an attorney helps the individuals in knowing their options for sealing their criminal history.


Travelers planning a trip to India and choosing to apply for the Indian eVisa, the visa type will depend on the purpose of your trip to India. Learn about Online India Visa Information.

Is There International Sharing of Criminal Records?

While it is important for countries to require the applicants to reveal their criminal records, they do not request access to criminal records of the applicant from other countries for tourist visa applications. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide the documents related to their crimes, as the officials depend on them to provide the same.

For sharing of international criminal records, some international collaborations have been made like the Five Eyes and Interpol, however the exchange of information is restricted and limited for specific areas, individuals, and only partial information is provided.

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.