Can Felons Leave The Country? Felons tend to lose certain rights once they’ve been convicted. Unfortunately, you’re going to lose these rights for the rest of your life unless the laws change or you restore your rights.
Nevertheless, felons in the United States still maintain many basic human rights. Therefore, you can live a fulfilling life while righting the ship and reclaiming your life.
Many felons have thought about traveling abroad to find new career opportunities. Others are eager to travel so they can find love abroad. If this is something that interests you, it is important to know more about traveling abroad as a felon.
You’re likely looking for a definite, universal answer. Unfortunately, it isn’t clearcut. You can likely visit certain countries, but not others. It will depend on several factors including the country you’re visiting.
Some countries can be entered freely without a visa, but others will check your criminal record. More about this will be provided below.
Can Felons Leave The Country in 2022?
Since felons are locked up in confined spaces for a long time, they’re eager to get outside and spread their wings. Ultimately, this is understandable. Traveling the world can give a felon a new outlook on life.
It could help them find new opportunities are well. The good news is that felons are free to leave the United States although there are some exceptions.
It depends on your current criminal status. If you’re on probation, you probably won’t be able to leave the United States yet.
Felons on probation will need to talk to their probation officers first. With a little luck, your request will be approved. Just remember that you’ll still have to check in with your probation officer.
You can likely do this online. Furthermore, your ability to travel is going to depends on the felony you committed and the extent of the crime.
People convicted of violent murders or sex crimes will have more difficulty traveling the world. Still, there are options for these people.
Can A Felony Get A Passport?
When you decide to travel the world, you’ll have to start by acquiring a passport. You can usually get a passport at your local DMV. Most felons will be able to get a passport without a lot of trouble.
Felons often believe that they’re going to have more trouble in this category. However, it usually isn’t a problem. Even if you have a felony, you should be able to obtain your passport.
However, you may need to wait until you complete your probation or parole period. Furthermore, you cannot be awaiting trial.
Once you’ve completed your sentence and your probation is over, you can get your passport and begin traveling.
Problematic Felony Convictions
When you try to obtain a passport, you will find that the outcome will depend on your criminal record. Although a felony conviction won’t automatically ruin your chances, it could.
The outcome will depend on the type of conviction you have. Certain crimes will make it impossible for you to acquire a passport. If you’re paying child support, your passport application will likely be denied.
Furthermore, you won’t get a passport if you’ve been convicted of financial fraud crimes, drug trafficking, or human trafficking. If your charges are pending, it won’t be possible to get a passport.
You’ll also find that certain countries make it harder for felons to enter. For instance, New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom make it very difficult for felons to enter.
As for others, they will let you in without any resistance. You should start by acquiring your passport. Once you’ve done that, you can begin researching your possible destinations. Find out which countries will accept you and which will be difficult to enter.
Countries That Don’t Require Visas
There is a good chance that you can obtain a passport. Once you’ve received it, you can begin traveling. Just remember that some countries require tourists to have a visa too.
Unfortunately, this creates another complication for felons. Therefore, you may want to simplify this problem by visiting a country that doesn’t require a visa.
The good news is that many countries fit into this category. For instance, an American felon with a passport can visit Caribbean countries without getting a visa.
Furthermore, United States citizens with passports can enter Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Thailand, South Africa, Venezuela, and some European countries without needing a visa.
You’ll need to make sure that your passport is valid for six months. In other words, your passport must remain valid for six months after you leave your home country. However, the extra rules depend on the country that you’re trying to visit.
Where Is A Visa Required?
Some countries are stricter than others. Therefore, it is generally a good idea to carefully research the country that you wish to visit. The rules of the country may be different than those you’ve visited before.
If you don’t meet the requirements, you will not be allowed to enter the country in question. Certain countries require tourists to have a valid passport and visa. When you try to get a visa, your criminal history is going to be checked.
Therefore, your felony conviction could potentially prevent you from getting a visa. In general, China, Japan, Fiji, and Australia will not let United States citizens enter unless they have a passport and visa.
Brazil and India also require pre-entry visas. As a result, there is a risk that your felony conviction is going to prevent you from visiting the country. There is a big difference between some of these countries though.
If you try to visit India and Brazil, you will need a visa. However, your criminal record won’t be checked. Therefore, you can visit these two countries even if you’ve been convicted of a felony. Still, you’ll need a passport and visa.
Probation Travel Restrictions
Felons will have to jump through several hoops to get their lives together. First, you’ll have to finish your prison sentence.
Unfortunately, this is going to be one of the most difficult aspects of becoming a felony. Your prison sentence will dramatically change your life. Once you’re released, you’ll want to return to normalcy.
Just remember that you’ll likely be monitored even after you’ve been released from prison. For instance, you might be placed on probation.
When you’re on probation, you have to stay in touch with your probation officer. You can visit them in person or check in online.
During the probation period, you will face certain restrictions. For starters, you likely won’t be able to leave your district unless you get permission from your probation officer.
It is often best to complete your probation before traveling abroad. Doing so will help you avoid an additional headache.
Restrictions For Felons After Probation
Felons can travel the world once they’ve completed the probation process. However, there could be additional restrictions. Having a felony conviction on your record is going to lead to many issues.
You likely won’t be able to purchase and own a handgun. You can enter Canada without needing a passport if you’re a United States citizen. However, you may need a passport and visa to enter other countries.
Depending on your criminal record, you may not be able to get a visa to enter certain countries. Again, it is a good idea to use the information above to find out what you can and cannot do. Thankfully, there is one way to overcome this problem.
If you want to travel the world freely, it is a good idea to get your criminal record expunged. While this won’t be easy, it’ll prove to be well worth it.
Once you’ve had the conviction expunged, you don’t have to worry about running into these issues again. It is wise to consult with an attorney to get assistance in having the conviction expunged.
Where To Get Your Passport
Before you can begin traveling the world, you’ll need to obtain your passport. Even if you have a criminal history, you can get a passport.
The best way to learn more about getting your passport is by visiting the official website of the Department of State. When you visit the website, you’ll learn more about getting your passport in a hurry.
For instance, you can find out how to expedite your passport by visiting a passport agency. You can also find details about expediting the renewal of your passport by mail. Remember that it may take up to 11 weeks to process your request.
If you expedite the application, it will likely take up to 7 weeks. However, you’ll have to pay an extra fee to expedite the procedure.
What You’ll Need
Finally, you will need certain documents before you can obtain a passport. For starters, you’ll have to get the application. Be sure to complete it and double-check the information. Make sure everything is accurate.
You’ll also need personal documents such as proof of United States citizenship, a photo ID document, a passport photo, and payment. The photo needs to be in color and taken within the last six months. Glasses cannot be worn in the picture.
Robert Gomez was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He currently lives in Northern California with “the wifey,” “the kids,” “the dog,” and “that cat,” 🙁 He is also a former journalist who has interviewed murderers on death row. Felonyfriendlyjobs.org was born to help ex-felons get a second chance in life.