International Travel for Convicted Felons
Millions of people travel internationally every year. However, anyone who has been convicted of a felony may not be able to leave the country as easily as non convicts can. Though there are rules and restrictions regarding the international travel of convicted felons, they are still almost always eligible to receive a U.S. passport. There are some exceptions to the rule though, including anyone convicted of international drug trafficking. Other actions that could keep a felon from obtaining a U.S. passport include being subject to a subpoena or a federal arrest on felony charges, having unpaid loans stemming from being a prisoner abroad and being told by a judge that they can’t leave the country. Anyone that owes more than $5,000 in child support will not be able to obtain a U.S. passport whether they are a convicted felon or not. Aside from these exceptions, any convicted felon can still apply for, and receive, a valid U.S. passport.
In most cases involving international travel, it is possible to spend up to 90 days in a foreign country without needing anything other than a passport. Any stay that extends beyond 90 days almost always requires the person to have a valid visa allowing them to stay in the country longer. There are certain countries that refuse to grant a visa to any convicted felon, regardless of circumstances.
Different countries have different rules regarding the allowance of convicted felons to enter the country. For example, a convicted felon cannot enter Belgium for either business or pleasure without possessing a plane ticket for a return flight to the U.S. and a sufficient amount of money available to them as well.
Romania has strict rules for entering their country. If someone intends to stay in Romania for more than 90 days they are required to obtain an extension of stay. It is required that the person also obtains an exit visa in case they end up staying longer than planned after the 90 days have passed. Those who don’t obtain the necessary visas may be subject to expensive fines.
Many foreign countries require proof of either medical insurance or travelers insurance of anyone entering the country that is not a resident there.
Americans who arrive in Slovenia via car are required to have both an international and a U.S. driver’s license. The Slovene authorities are instructed to seize a passport from a foreign visitor if the passport looks like it has been damaged or altered in any way. This can lead to travel delays if someone’s passport is taken by Slovene officials.
The United Kingdom will not allow a foreigner in if they have been convicted of a serious crime, regardless of what country the crime was committed in. A foreigner convicted of any offense that would get them at least 23 months in jail if they had committed the crime in the U.K. is not eligible for entry into the company.
Canada is also very strict when it comes to convicted felons entering the country. Any kind of criminal record can be enough to prevent entry to Canada. Anyone with a criminal record must receive a waiver before they will be allowed into the country.
In Australia, anyone who is deemed of being at risk for committing crimes while they are in the country will be denied entrance. Anyone ever sentenced to life in prison is considered to have a substantial criminal record and is therefore denied entrance into many foreign countries.
International travel is possible for convicted felons as long as they do not violate a country’s individual policies on who they will and won’t allow to enter.