It has been reported that the Indian government is working on a revised visa application form to capture a foreign applicant’s criminal history including cases of child abuse, and so on. The Minister of State for Home Affairs, Mr. Kiren Rijiju has been reported to have said that in the existing visa application forms, there are no provisions requiring declaration of any prior criminal record or prosecution in spite of the visa manual stating that persons convicted of criminal offences should not be allowed to enter India. The visa manual the Minister refers to is not in the public domain so the author was unable to verify its contents.
Most application forms for visas to countries like U.S. and the U.K. have sections requiring a sworn declaration of any prior criminal record or history. This helps authorities weed out undesirable visa applicants that could pose a security risk to their citizens or be harmful in other ways.
It is not clear as to when this proposed revision to Indian visa application forms will be implemented, but if and when this revision occurs, it will certainly be a helpful step in filtering out unwanted and suspicious visa applicants.
Resource: The Economic times at
Zeenat Phophalia, Esq., Senior Associate