Being the most remote countries in the world, Australia is one of the more exciting places to travel to. It’s a desired destination to visit. However, for those who were convicted with a felony, this might prove to be an impossible thing.
Fear not, however, as it’s still possible, in some cases, to travel abroad even if you’ve been previously convicted with a felony.
This blog post will go over the cases where this is possible along with the procedure necessary.
After being released, felons are required to follow through with the terms of their sentence. These terms usually involve being on probation, reporting to one’s probation officer directly, or checking in online on a monthly basis.
While on probation, felons are restricted from leaving the district they live in. That leaves traveling abroad entirely out of the question until the requirements of the probation are met.
After having satisfied the requirements and travel outside the U.S. border is allowed, another question will arise. And that is the question of how to obtain a passport, which is basically a form of identification from the federal government allow those who carry one to travel internationally.
With that said, not all felons are allowed to get a passport. Some of these cases would be if the felon had been convicted of treason against the U.S., of drug trafficking, or if they still owe a certain amount of child support. Such individuals are not allowed to obtain a passport.
It’s also important to note that having any pending legal charges can also prevent one from getting a passport. In the case that they decide to leave the country with pending charges will be considered as an attempt to avoid prosecution.
Recommended: Can a Convicted Felon Travel To Bermuda?
What Makes Australia Such A Great Travel Destination?
Being a somewhat secluded country, seeing how far away it forms the rest of the world, Australia can be seen as the perfect place to get away to.
Australia is also one of those hiking and backpacking havens that offer fantastic scenery and memorable places. Not to mention the fact that it is home to one of the most famous reefs in the world, the Great Barrier, which makes for a great tourist attraction.
Requirements to Enter Australia
The law in Australia dictates that all visitors to their country obtain a visa for recreation or to visit family and friends, felon or not.
Tourists from the U.S. can obtain an ETA or Electronic Travel Visa, which is basically an electronic form of a visa linked to their passport, allowing them access to Australia be it for leisure or work.
On another requirement for those who intend to visit is to pass a test called character test which is designed as a way to protect the welfare and safety of the Australian community
According to the Australian law, a character requirement test is a number of prerequisites used to determine whether or not applicants are of “good character.’
Some of these requirements are as follows:
Applicants must not have a substantial criminal record. This means that those who have been sentenced to prison for a period of at least 12 months on one charge or a combination of charges resulting in a total of more than 12 months, including sentences served concurrently. Prison time also includes detention and court-ordered residential drug rehabilitation.
- Those acquitted of an offense because of unsoundness of mind do not pass the test.
- Applicants found by a court not to be fit to plead to an offense but have been found to have committed it.
- Applicants sentenced to death or life imprisonment.
- Persons judged to be a significant risk to engage in criminal activity while in Australia.
- Felons convicted of a sex offense involving a child are prohibited.
After having read that, you might think that these requirements exclude all felons from entering Australia. However, this is not the full story.
The Australian law also states that the decision of letting felons pass the character test is made by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Their guidelines also say that the decision is made after considering all of the circumstances of a case.
Above all that, the law also states that it is a felon’s responsibility to show that they are of good character.
This opens up the opportunity for felons to prove that they’re upstanding citizens who deserve a chance to visit Australia.
For this reason, it’s essential for felons who want to travel abroad to have their records expunged before they follow through with their decision. This will highly increase their chance of having their request accepted and getting a visa.
The best way for a felon to show that he’s an upstanding citizen and that you’re worthy of a chance to go to Australia is to work hard and pursue additional education or to get a job. It can go a long way to show that they’ve changed for the best.
They can also apply for a re-entry program to further improve their chances.
Felons can make their case for being of good character by presenting the evidence to the Australian Department of Immigration.
It is also crucial for felons to not give up or give in to their doubt when deciding to travel to a country such as Australia after they’ve been incarcerated.
Encouraging Felons To Visit Australia
When it comes to encouraging felons to travel to Australia, their families play a crucial role in providing moral and in some cases, even financial support.
No enemy is more threatening than our own selves, and the case couldn’t be made clearer for felons as their previous mistakes can haunt them and make them live the rest of their lives with significant weight on their backs.
It’s important to keep in mind that we’re only humans after all, and all of us make mistakes in varying degrees of gravity. Thus it’s crucial to support each other no matter our past for a better society.
It’s easy to dismiss a felon for being a horrible person and to ruthlessly judge him. The hard part is trying to help him reintegrate into society thus preventing him from becoming bitter and hateful inside.
While applying for a visa to travel to Australia, the applicants sign the Australian Values Statement in which they agree to obey the Australian law and respect the Australian values. It’s essential to encourage felons to honor the commitment they’re making so they don’t fall into the same traps they once have fallen into.
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.