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Can People With Criminal History Travel Abroad?  
User currently offlineUAL747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 32767 times:

My friend and I were having a debate about this and I wasn't quite sure.

From what I understand, Canada and Mexico are particularly hard to get into with any kind of conviction or deferred sentence, in particular, felonies.

What if someone has a passport already, prior to either a conviction or a deferred judgment, can they travel outside of the US and not be denied entry to a foreign nation?

I ask this because my someone in my extended family actually HAS a felony conviction for a 2nd possession of Marijuana and a conviction on a DUI as well, and he actually travels abroad quite a bit and recently moved and lives in Thailand. So it sort of has me confused.....

Any takers?

UAL

35 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineKYNG2KPBI From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 41 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 32767 times:

I have been wondering the same exact thing. My boyfriend has a record, did his time about 10 years ago and now we want to travel. My sister is getting married in Oct of 09 and the wedding is either going to be in Mexico or Dominican Republic. I would appreciate the feedback also.

User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23148 posts, RR: 20
Reply 2, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting UAL747 (Thread starter):
What if someone has a passport already, prior to either a conviction or a deferred judgment, can they travel outside of the US and not be denied entry to a foreign nation?

If they don't require a visa, how would a foreign government find out about a criminal history? It's not like people have CRIMINAL stamped on their passports.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineUal747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 2):
If they don't require a visa, how would a foreign government find out about a criminal history? It's not like people have CRIMINAL stamped on their passports.

Yes, but aren't passports connected with the FBI which in turn would know any criminal history? Canada and Mexico do not require visas, yet they deny entry to felons and possibly misdemeanor convictions.

Also, is there a difference in a country's standpoint on a "deferred conviction" which is really not a conviction and a "regular" conviction?

UAL


User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 4, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 32767 times:

They can check... the US and Canada and Mexico share very closely. Otherwise, I'd imagine you'd have to be in serious trouble to be listed with interpol.

NS


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23148 posts, RR: 20
Reply 5, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Ual747 (Reply 3):
Yes, but aren't passports connected with the FBI which in turn would know any criminal history?

Not automatically... I'm not a felon, so I have no idea how difficult or easy it is or isn't to gain admission to Canada or Mexico with convictions, but I can assure you that when you get your passport scanned in Namibia or Croatia or Argentina, your criminal record does not pop up on the screen. The NAFTA countries may have a separate agreement governing the sharing of criminal records.

Quoting Ual747 (Reply 3):
Also, is there a difference in a country's standpoint on a "deferred conviction" which is really not a conviction and a "regular" conviction?

Assuming Canada and Mexico are running quick FBI checks on people, the first question is whether it'll show up on an FBI check... that should be fairly easy to answer (and your family member ought to have that information or be able to get it). If the answer is yes, then what the other countries do with it is a different question.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineAllrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 2149 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 32767 times:

I believe that it depends on the country that you want to enter. For example, I know that you must declare any criminal convictions prior to entry into Australia on your entry card. New Zealand passport holders do not normally require a visa to visit Australia (but everyone else does), but if they hold a criminal conviction then they may (must?) apply for a visa.

Yet Indonesia let this person visit Bali despite his extensive criminal convictions and jail time (though he was not listed as a violent offender I guess).

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 2):
If they don't require a visa, how would a foreign government find out about a criminal history? It's not like people have CRIMINAL stamped on their passports.

You may be stopped at the border and interviewed by immigration officials of the country that you are attempting to visit. At that point you may be asked if you have any prior criminal convictions and they may check with your consulate. Remember that they can usually refuse you entry without the same level of evidence as a court of law and without the same rights of appeal.



Applying insanity to normality
User currently offlineVhqpa From Australia, joined Jul 2005, 1477 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 32767 times:

Ive seen a few cases on a documentry about Australian Customs and Immigration where NZ nationals with criminal history have been refused entry to Australia. With Australia only Australian and New Zealand Nationals are able to enter Australia without a Visa or a ETA.





Vhq



"There you go ladies and gentleman we're through Mach 1 the speed of sound no bumps no bangs... CONCORDE"
User currently offlineLuckyone From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 2188 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 32767 times:

That brings up question of my own. I remember reading about how Snoop Dog was not allowed to enter to the UK at LHR and Amy Winehouse never even made it to the states because they were "denied visas." Neither country requires a visa of citizens of the other. What's the deal??

User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23148 posts, RR: 20
Reply 9, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Allrite (Reply 6):
You may be stopped at the border and interviewed by immigration officials of the country that you are attempting to visit.

 checkmark You'd have to be pretty suspicious to incur that level of questioning, though. I've been questioned by border agents in a couple of different countries, and my criminal record did not come up either time.

Quoting Luckyone (Reply 8):
Neither country requires a visa of citizens of the other. What's the deal??

It was an issue of imprecise reporting. They should have said "denied entry." That can happen with or without visas involved.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 10, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Luckyone (Reply 8):
Neither country requires a visa of citizens of the other.

Both countries require work visas.

NS


User currently offlineJuventus From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 2835 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Canada is extremely hard to get into with a criminal record, probably the worst or most strict.

I've got the same name as a criminal, he's a bad dude (I won't go into details). They held me in montreal for 4 hours before they allowed me in. They took my fingerprints, faxed them to the FBI, waited 4 hours for the FBI to fax back a letter saying it wasn't me. Once they held me in Halifax for 3 hours, and in Ottawa they were about to hand-cuffe me and send me back, but they didn't.

I really like Canada, but I'd much rather not go there anymore. I asked my company not to send me there anymore. Never had a problem in Europe or Mexico.

[Edited 2008-12-07 18:18:44]

User currently offlineIowaman From United States of America, joined May 2004, 4416 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

Well, you could always drive across the border to Mexico and you won't ever see an immigration officer.

User currently offlineFATFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2001, 5821 posts, RR: 28
Reply 13, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Canada will stop people from entering with even a DUI conviction or a decades old marijuana arrest.

Here is an explanation.
http://geo.international.gc.ca/can-a.../seattle/visas/inadmissible-en.asp

But if the record is over 5 years old you can apply to enter, basically you are saying you have been rehabilitated.



"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
User currently offlineAirNZ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Allrite (Reply 6):
New Zealand passport holders do not normally require a visa to visit Australia (but everyone else does),

They don't even require a passport.

Quoting Allrite (Reply 6):
You may be stopped at the border and interviewed by immigration officials of the country that you are attempting to visit. At that point you may be asked if you have any prior criminal convictions and they may check with your consulate. Remember that they can usually refuse you entry without the same level of evidence as a court of law and without the same rights of appeal.

No, not quite correct at all as it has nothing whatsoever to do "without the same level of evidence as a court of law", nor does such remotely enter into it at all......an Immigration officer of ANY country can refuse anyone entry entirely at their discretion and without any reason having to be given. There is no right of appeal as such. Also, it is important to note that a pre-held Visa does not give anyone the right to enter any country......it only gives the right to apply at port of entry, and which can be denied as described above.

Quoting Luckyone (Reply 8):
Neither country requires a visa of citizens of the other. What's the deal??

This is completely incorrect, and a popular misconception. Both the UK and US absolutely and unequivocally visa's of every non-national (except any EU national in the case of the UK). These are usually given upon entry, but that is most certainly NOT the same thing as not requiring a visa. Requiring a visa does not mean it has to be obtained before travel.


User currently offlineQslinger From India, joined Apr 2006, 261 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Ofcourse felons can travel!...Michael Jackson does it all the time!


Raj Koona
User currently offlineFlyb From Canada, joined Aug 2006, 692 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Canada defines "inadmissible," as taken directly from the Canadian Embassy's official website:

"Members of Inadmissible Classes include those who have been convicted of MINOR OFFENCES (including shoplifting, theft, assault, dangerous driving, unauthorized possession of a firearm, possession of illegal substances, etc.), or of INDICTABLE CRIMINAL OFFENCES (including assault with a deadly weapon, manslaughter, etc.). As well, those who have been convicted of DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED (DWI) are considered Members of an Inadmissible Class. Driving while under the influence of alcohol is regarded as an extremely serious offence in Canada.


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23148 posts, RR: 20
Reply 17, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Flyb (Reply 16):
convicted

I hate to ask the lawyer question, but how does Canada define "convicted?"



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineMayaviaERJ190 From Mexico, joined Jan 2008, 316 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

As a former passport authority I can answer all of this quite easily (I hope  Smile ) :

1.- If your country has issued or issues you a passport, then you are free to leave your country to the destinations and on the dates listed in your passport, whether you were convicted or not unless it was issued previously to the conviction and only and if it has been rendered invalid at the point of departure. Most passports are valid for worldwide travel during its validity period, unless otherwise specified.

2.- Countries of transit or destination either have a visa program or a visa waiver/point of entry visa or permit program in effect. If your transit or destination countries require a pre-stamped visa, the visa is to be issued at the transit or destination countries' embassy or consulate in the country where the passport is issued so that a security check is ran while in the country of origin and then the visa is granted or denied. If there is a visa waiver/POE visa or permit program in effect as there is for US citizens visiting Mexico, even if convicted, do not expect to be denied entry while bearing your passport and complying with entry rules unless you have been placed on Interpol's Wanted List and your passport is scanned at the point of entry.

3.-If you: Have a valid passport, have a valid visa or a visa waiver program, you are not on Interpol's Wanted List and you comply with other requirements that can vary from country to country and most of the time deal with carrying a round trip ticket and enough spending money, then you are on the safe side as it is always the authority at each countries' point of entry who get the very last word.

Quoting Iowaman (Reply 12):
drive across the border to Mexico and you won't ever see an immigration officer

The above quoted is not always true as both countries, the US and Mexico have secondary checkpoints about 200km away from the border. It was the same for me when I lived in Tijuana, I could easily drive my car into San Diego, but getting past San Clemente or to SAN without a visa... no way. Same happens on the way south, papers will be required as you drive past San Luis Rio Colorado in Sonora state or if you try to board a flight in TIJ or MXL.

Remember, if you enter Mexico while carrying fire arms or illegal drugs, there is no bail out and jail time is mandatory as surprisingly, Mexico has both: The largest community of American Expats and the largest numer of American illegal immigrants/residents in the whole world and we are not fond at all of, at a much smaller proportion though, American fugitives for as much as Hollywood can make you believe.

For specific info try this from the US government: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p...is/cis_970.html#entry_requirements
and these from the Mexican government:
http://www.inm.gob.mx/EN/index.php?page/not_need_visa and
http://portal.sre.gob.mx/usa/index.p...tion=news&task=viewarticle&sid=264

or drop me a line at aztec@mexico.com

Mayavia



My other plane is an A380.
User currently offlineFlyb From Canada, joined Aug 2006, 692 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

It would have to be ruled sentenced.

User currently offlineMilesDependent From Australia, joined Sep 2001, 857 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting AirNZ (Reply 14):
Quoting ...(Reply 6):
New Zealand passport holders do not normally require a visa to visit Australia (but everyone else does),

They don't even require a passport.

 Wow!  redflag 

NZ citizens DO NEED a passport to enter Australia.

http://www.newzealand.embassy.gov.au/wltn/visiting_australia.html
http://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/17nz.htm


User currently offlineAFGMEL From Australia, joined Jul 2007, 744 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting AirNZ (Reply 14):
They don't even require a passport.

Not correct according to this.

However most people need visas for Australia. You can come here if you have a conviction, however it would depend on what it was and they may or may not refuse you at the entry point. A DUI wouldn't be a big deal, but drug conviction with time served would be a big problem for entry.



B 727-44/200 732/3/4/8/9 767-3 742/3/4, 772/3, A319/20/21 332/333 342/3 , DC3/4/10, F28/50/100, ATR72
User currently offlineRobsawatsky From Canada, joined Dec 2003, 597 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 17):
I hate to ask the lawyer question, but how does Canada define "convicted?"

Plead guilty or found guilty upon trial in a court of law. Results in a criminal record.


User currently offlineUal747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting MayaviaERJ190 (Reply 18):
If you: Have a valid passport, have a valid visa or a visa waiver program,

What if the country you are flying to does not require a visa for US citizens? IE Thailand, or UAE, etc.

Oh and the passport was issued before the conviction.

UAL

[Edited 2008-12-07 21:39:32]

User currently offlineBlueFlyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4073 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
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Quoting Ual747 (Reply 23):
What if the country you are flying to does not require a visa for US citizens?

They may still have a law on the books forbidding entrance to criminals (however they define that is also up to them). If you are not required to have a visa to enter the country but are nevertheless not welcome due to a criminal conviction, you will be considered an illegal immigrant and treated as such. Of course, detection is harder if a visa isn't required, but keep in mind that there are more places than just the border/airport where identities can be controlled. For instance, several countries require all hotels to get copy of their guests' ID and turn them over to the local police.

Quoting Ual747 (Reply 23):
Oh and the passport was issued before the conviction.

Passports don't look any different whether issued pre- or post-conviction. If someone is under order not to leave the country, a passport application will be denied and any existing passport will have to be surrendered. There is no such thing as a "criminal's passport", any criminal history is simply tied to any existing passport's unique identifier.



I've got $h*t to do
25 Elite : I know for America you have to indicate you have a criminal history and that you MAY be rejected upon landing, but it is up to the immigrations office
26 Cubsrule : But in many states, you can plead guilty to many of what Canada terms 'minor offences' (and DUI) and enter some sort of diversion program which would
27 AMS : Here in the U.S many (visitors) arriving are sent back or detained; if there is no immediate flight back. When I worked at IAD I saw many visitors sen
28 LAXintl : I remember off KLM/Martinair a regular number of people with prostitute backgrounds, or drug sales(as legal in Holland) are refused entry. -- I've al
29 Burnsie28 : Actually with today's E-passports all that can be updated to computers world wide. Same with scanning your passport, just like sometimes they will st
30 Cubsrule : "Can be" and "is" are two VERY different cups of tea...
31 Elite : I'm sure the U.S. is very strict on updating information like this after 9/11. But again, there is the severely flawed no-fly list...
32 RussianJet : If there is no order or other legal measure prohibiting you from undertaking foreign travel, and you hold a valid passport then there is nothing to st
33 Bbinn333 : As far as I know you can travel up here if you are a fellon.
34 JRadier : Keep in mind, the only place where it is legal to sell drugs in the Netherlands are licensed 'coffeeshops'. P2P sales ARE illegal!
35 Cubsrule : I don't know that the U.S. takes care to get every DUI on the Interpol list... they have better things to do.
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