One of my friend had to move to India during the civil war to India and overstayed there. He left his home country when he was 10 and came back after his degree. I am sure he did not intentionally overstay as he was minor and there was civil war. He came back to his country and obtained a new passport and he has travelled to 4 countries 12 times with the new passport and it's been 7 years he obtained the new passport. The new passport does not have any information about the old passport.

Now he is around 30, well settled and working in a very good company. All the time he is worried about whether the history will cause any issue to his job or travel . Also if company asks to migrate will there be any issue as there is no history for education except degree. What should he do in order to make sure there won't be issue ever again while traveling? Should he approach a lawyer? Thanks in advance.

  • The timeline isn't entirely clear. Did your friend leave India when he was 10, and return to India after his degree? Or did he leave his home country when he was 10, and return to his home country after his degree? Commented May 18, 2019 at 14:50
  • He left his country when he was 10 and returned after degree
    – Aks2019
    Commented May 18, 2019 at 14:51
  • Did he leave India voluntarily or was he deported?
    – mkennedy
    Commented May 18, 2019 at 16:07
  • Voluntarily with help of agent I think, he traveled to India again
    – Aks2019
    Commented May 18, 2019 at 16:23
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    @jpatokal. That seems reasonable to me, but I am surely not at all comfortable telling the OP his friend should hide or sidestep his history if asked by any immigration authorities. I do not intend to give offense, but are you confident enough of your assessment to make it an Answer? Commented May 19, 2019 at 14:53

1 Answer 1


As his situation is not standard, getting in touch with an experienced immigration lawyer is likely to be the best. But it needs to be someone who has experience with his kind of situation and the countries involved. Not just the first person who has 'lawyer' on his door.

In principle, overstay as a minor is not counted against the same person as an adult, certainly not if he was a refugee from a war zone at the time. What makes it more complicated is that he stayed till he graduated (which is likely to be after he turned 18, and thus was an adult.) One rule is that the person has left the country while still a minor or shortly after. (And how shortly depends on the country.)

On top of that comes the history of traveling as an adult. If he was never asked, in person or on forms, about a previous overstay or if he answered the full truth about it, that again is not a problem.
But if he has ever lied about his previous (overstay) history, he has made his future travels less straightforward and maybe even impossible. And that is why he needs that lawyer most.

A good lawyer can work with him to sort out most of the problems. But if he lied to immigration officials, there might be a hurdle too high to jump.
Having a new passport does not clear the travel history of a person, that history stays with him for the rest of their life. Having a new passport may make breaking laws and/or lying to immigration officers easier, which may make for a harder clear up period.

It might well be that they can get him cleared for some countries but not for others, or get him cleared for short stays but not for moving to a new country.

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