Who can remember the Olympics in Brazil? Sitting on the couch and viewing the games was just awesome. Just like some of us did, but can now barely move, some felons can fondly remember the athletic career they once pursued much earlier in their lives.
While they may agree that they weren’t as good as those Olympians, they can however recall the passion and drive they once had for their sport.
Going down memory lane, some ex-convicts watched the game closely, and probably this thought-provoking question had crossed their minds “what would it be like to watch the action live in Brazil?”
The Olympics in Brazil have long gone, but the question remains “can felons travel to Brazil?” After all, Brazil is the motherland of South America, it’s filled with wildlife, and of course the home of football. Just the place for a felon to relax and listen to mother nature speak.
Can Felons Leave the Country?
All felons released from prison in the US are required to meet their terms of the sentence which usually Involves being on probation, reporting to their probation officer in person, or monthly online check-in.
During probation, felons are not allowed to leave the district in which they reside without their probation officer’s consent.
For felons, getting permission from their probation officer to leave the district in which they reside is easier said than done, it’s extremely difficult. There are many factors to take into consideration before permission can be granted. Some of these factors are: length of their criminal history, seriousness of their offense, and other factors.
And if it isn’t obvious, during probation, felons cannot travel outside of the US, at least not until they have met their probation terms entirely. But once the conditions of probation have been satisfied, the chances of travelling outside of the US increases.
This leads to the next question; can felons obtain a passport to travel beyond the US border? Without a passport, felons cannot leave the US border legally, a passport is a form of identification issued by the Federal Government to allow international travel.
Under normal circumstances, felons can obtain a passport, but felonies such as drug trafficking, and treason against the US government may prevent felons from getting a passport. The same holds true for anyone owing a certain amount in child support, and have legal charges pending. Felons under these circumstances will not be granted a passport, neither can they leave the country, any attempt to do so is considered a federal crime. However, with a passport, travelling abroad is quite possible.
Question of a Visa
Each country has its own rules and regulations established to govern who is allowed into the country. For US citizens, travelling to Brazil requires a visa. The Brazilian government has set up a reciprocal rule which requires US citizens coming to Brazil to go through the same procedures of a Brazilian citizen going to the US.
We recommend getting a tourist visa if you’re simply looking to visit Brazil for leisure. There is also a work visa for anyone coming to the country for business, educational, cultural, or artistic reasons. As well, for persons intending to live in Brazil, there’s a permanent visa.
Once a felon presents a valid passport and visa, entry to the country is granted. According to the Brazilian government, there are certain crimes that may prevent you from obtaining a visa, but for persons with misdemeanor convictions, obtaining a visa is easy, considering such persons don’t pose a potential danger to society.
Here are a few felonies that may prevent felons from obtaining a visa to travel to Brazil: carrying weapons, robbery, murder, fraud, and drug trafficking, this according to the Brazilian government. Otherwise, once the terms of probation have been fully completed, obtaining a visa to travel to Brazil isn’t considered difficult.
But if felonies fall in the serious crime bracket, then there is no guarantee of obtaining a visa for those felons.
So, considering that Brazilian officials will conduct a criminal background check on everyone who has served a prison term in the US, it’s in the best interest for felons to have their criminal record expunged before applying for a Brazilian visa. Doing this will increase felons’ chances of obtaining a visa to travel to Brazil.
Living an honest and trustworthy life, while contributing positively to society is the best way to have a felony remove from a felon’s record.
Keeping the Goal of Travelling to Brazil
The legal ramifications to consider before traveling to Brazil can seem quite overwhelming, and if felons aren’t mindful about staying true to their goal of traveling to Brazil, they can become discouraged. But just as those Olympians who stayed focused, keep the dreams, and did not give up until they reached the pinnacle of their sport.
Traveling abroad is a good way of giving felons a different perspective on life, which is an important part of the rehabilitation process. So, at all cost, don’t give up, be persistent. And soon enough that dream of traveling to Brazil will become a reality.
Encouraging Felons going to Brazil
Families play a big role in the rehabilitation phase of a felon’s life. Traveling abroad brings a different perspective on life, this will help to speed up the rehabilitation phase in a felon’s life. So, for family members, a good way to show your support for your loved ones, is by encouraging them to make that trip abroad, in this case, Brazil.
Remind them that once in Brazil to stay away from trouble, but if this is unavoidable, the next best thing is to get a lawyer.
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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.