In order to promote tourism and economic growth, India has welcomed the e-Visa system with open arms. This has been done to ensure the welfare of both the foreign tourists and Indian Government. The process makes it easier and quicker for the Indian Government to ensure a speedy application process and also the tourists don’t have to go through the hassle of visiting the embassy to get the visa issued.
If you have ever gone through the visa application process, you must be aware that there is a series of questions asked. There are passport-related questions, contact information, address details, and others. Among all these sections, there is a section where you are asked questions related to your criminal history as you can see in the image below.
The questions asked are as follows:
- Have you ever been arrested/prosecuted/convicted by Court of Law of any country?
- Have you ever been refused entry/deported by any country including India?
- Have you ever been engaged in Human trafficking/Drug trafficking/Child abuse/Crime against women/Economic offence/Financial Fraud?
- Have you ever been engaged in Cybercrime/ Terrorist activities/ Sabotage/ Espionage/ Genocide/ Political killing/ other acts of violence?
- Have you ever by any means or medium, expressed views that justify or glorify terrorist violence or that may encourage others to terrorist acts or other serious criminal acts?
- Have you sought asylum (political or otherwise) in any country?
Those who have a criminal record are worried about if their visa application will be accepted and the visa fees are also non-refundable.
Most of the countries follow this policy of asking the applicant to provide details of their criminal history. They may be even asked to submit the evidence regarding the criminal record.
Can Criminals Travel to India?
Earlier there were no regulations regarding the criminal history of the foreigners; they were not asked to disclose their criminal records in order to obtain a tourist visa. In 2018, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi made it compulsory for applicants to share details of their criminal record. This move was taken in order to stop child sex offenders from entering India. Mostly, children from poor backgrounds and orphanages fall prey to sexual tourism.
So in order to avoid sexual abuse of children, a proper questionnaire will be included in the application form that has to be correctly filled by the foreign nationals. Not only children-related crimes but all other criminal offenses will also be taken into consideration when the visa application form will get accessed.
Traveling to India with Criminal Record
The main question arises if you will be allowed to travel to India with a criminal history. Each application form gets processed separately and the visa is only denied in the case where the crime is more on a serious side and can be a threat to Indian people. You can travel to India even with a criminal record if the circumstances allow so.
The applicants need to provide correct and complete information about their criminal history while filling the application form. If there is a lack of information, the visa can be delayed or even rejected. Also, if the traveler is found lying about his criminal record at the time of filling the visa application form may be penalized later by the Indian Government.
Expiration of Criminal Record
If you are thinking about a criminal record getting expired, it depends on certain factors:
- The type of crime you have committed
- The country where you have broken the law or have been convicted
- It depends on the law prevailing in the country such as state law or federal law