The current U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory at the date of this report's publication assesses most of India at Level 2, indicating travelers should exercise increased caution due to crime and terrorism. Do not travel to the state of Jammu and Kashmir (except the eastern Ladakh region and its capital, Leh) due to terrorism and civil unrest; and do not travel to within ten kilometers of the border with Pakistan due to the potential for armed conflict.
Overall Crime and Safety Situation
The U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai does not assume responsibility for the professional ability or integrity of the persons or firms appearing in this report. The American Citizens' Services unit (ACS) cannot recommend a particular individual or location, and assumes no responsibility for the quality of service provided.
Review OSAC's India-specific webpage for original OSAC reporting, consular messages, and contact information, some of which may be available only to private-sector representatives with an OSAC password.
The Consulate represents the United States in Western India, including the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Goa.
There is moderate risk from crime in Mumbai. Although it is a city with an estimated population of more than 25 million people, Mumbai remains a relatively safe for expatriates. Being involved in a traffic accident remains more probable than being a victim of a crime, provided you practice good personal security. The Mumbai Police force lacks training and are overworked, but seem to do a reasonable job in securing the city. Petty crime or crimes of opportunity have affected expatriates with reports of stolen bags, passports, and other valuables. Most of these crimes occur in a non-confrontational / nonviolent manner. Areas foreigners frequent are less vulnerable due to a generally adequate police presence. Violent crimes do occur in Mumbai, but are generally isolated in more high-density areas such as slums and crowded apartment blocks. While the potential exists for a foreigner to be a victim of both violent or property crime, there are no indications that the expatriate community is being specifically targeted.
Residential theft is a common occurrence amongst the Indian population, normally occurring when the property is vacant. Violence resulting in serious injury or death is relatively rare. Most commonly, residential theft involves household staff either stealing directly from their employer or allowing acquaintances into the residence while the employer is away.
There have been reports of local political organizations pressuring Western companies, particularly in more rural areas, to hire certain workers or vendors. In rare cases, organized crime elements make extortion threats.
While it appears that some criminal groups target lower income Indian citizens and tourists, there have been reports of criminals using the names of actual U.S. diplomats, businesses, or individuals in their fraudulent materials.
The complexity and capability of organizations conducting organized white-collar financial scams and cybercrime continues to expand. Indian authorities report that West African/Nigerian fraud rings are active in Mumbai and Goa.
It is illegal to bring satellite phones into India regardless of whether you are transiting, visiting, or staying in India. Authorities have arrested increasing numbers of foreign nationals, including U.S. travelers, at airports around India for carrying satellite phones. The ban on the use and/or import of satellite phones in India remains strictly enforced.
Other Areas of Concern
Avoid walking in isolated areas alone at any time. Use caution when in high poverty areas of the city, and around large public celebrations. Avoid the Red Light district of Kamathipura.
The Department of State recommends avoiding travel within ten kilometers of the India-Pakistan border. Both countries maintain a strong military presence along the border. The only official India-Pakistan border crossing point for persons who are not citizens of India or Pakistan is in Punjab between Attari, India, and Wagah, Pakistan. The border crossing is usually open; confirm the status prior to travel. A Pakistani visa is required to enter Pakistan. Only U.S. citizens residing in India may apply for a Pakistani visa in India. The Pakistani government requires that U.S. citizens resident in India must first come to the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi to sign an affidavit of intent to apply for the Pakistani visa before submitting their application. Otherwise, apply for a Pakistani visa in your country of residence before traveling to India.
Source: Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC)