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I am an IT professional with specialization in DevOps. I am offered a permanent position in a German software firm at their Berlin office. They are willing to sponsor my VISA and relocation along with my family.

Now the problem is my criminal history. I am convicted of drunk driving in India around 16 months ago. This was the biggest mistake on my part to drive after drinking and I was caught at a routine checkpoint. My BAC was 0.38 whereas limit in India is 0.3. DUI is a criminal offence in India. I don't have a any other issues and I must say that I've learnt big lesson to not take law of land lightly.

I am not able to find much information around Germany's stand on immigrants with DUI. Can someone please help me understand the possibility of my VISA coming through. In case chances are very low, I'll probably save company's money by rejecting the offer and letting them know that problem is at my part.

  • I have written to embessy with same query. Let's see what do they have to say. – AshuTashu Apr 8 at 17:37
  • I've got a reply from the embassy asking me to apply for the VISA and mention the conviction details. They also suggested that If more documents are needed - they will request it while inviting for an interview. – AshuTashu Apr 25 at 8:22
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I think you mean BAC=0.038% or 0.38‰.

Germany in general doesn't care what might be a criminal offense in another country. Hell, there are countries out there where certain kinds of consensual sex are a criminal offense. – What's important is what is a criminal offense in Germany.

Being drunk at BAC<0.5‰ without driving carelessly or causing an accident isn't even a misdemeanor in Germany. Caveat: if you are under 21 or have your license for less than two years, it's a fineable misdemeanor. Though, both don't affect your visa application.

You still have to tell about your conviction in India so they could check if this was an offense in Germany, too.

  • And what happens when Germany too considers it as an offence? @Janka – AshuTashu Apr 7 at 17:18
  • 0,38‰ isn't a crime. Roughly speaking, you had to be convicted to a prison sentence of >2 years (including paroled times) for a crime that is punishable in Germany. There are some exceptions for human trafficing and related crimes but your drunk driving offense is uninteresting to German officials. – Janka Apr 7 at 17:30
  • Yes, I meant 0.38% – AshuTashu Apr 8 at 12:45
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    0.38% means you had been barely alive. It's 0.38‰. – Janka Apr 8 at 18:06
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    The important things are: German immigration will want to know about, so you tell them about the DUI and the 0.38 per mille. Since this wouldn't have led to any conviction in Germany, they will ignore it. However NOT telling them could lead to significant trouble. – gnasher729 Apr 10 at 22:44
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Germany (and to an extend the whole Schengen area) only cares for crimes that are a serious threat to public safety or security. That means terrorism, drug trafficking, child abuse, being part of a foreign militia or actively hostile army, things like that.

A single DUI, while certainly a crime, is nothing that should stop you.

Looking at it from a European perspective: I have friends whose whole lifestyle would be a long, consecutive record of criminal activities in more conservative and religious countries. I don't care what other countries consider a "crime" under their law. As long as you aren't a danger to the European way of life (see above), we'll judge you by what you do under our law.

  • Thanks, that's assuring. I've started the visa process. – AshuTashu Apr 15 at 14:25

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