Can Convicted Felons Leave the Country?

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Different reasons could come up and make you want to travel out of the country as a Felon. It could be the birth of your sister’s child in Canada or a family reunion in Italy.

Whatever the case, you should understand that your civil liberties are now limited as a felon. You can’t simply pack your bag, get on a plane and fly to another country for business or entertainment.

You’ve probably been denied a passport, and now you’re wondering, “can convicted felons leave the country?” Well, keep reading to get the answer once and for all. Let’s dig in.

Can Felons Leave the Country?

Yes, convicted felons can leave the country. They can get valid passports to travel out of the country. Fortunately, you still have the right to get a passport if you were convicted of a felony.

However, you can only get a passport from the US authority to leave the country under certain circumstances.

First, your sentence must have ended.

Also, you would be denied a passport if there’s a court order restraining you from leaving the country.

Felons convicted of drug trafficking might also find it difficult to leave the country.

But you should know that obtaining a US passport in order to leave the country is just one stage.

The next obstacle is that most countries won’t grant you entry into their country.

Keep in mind that if you’re on probation but need to leave the country out of emergency, you have to inform your probation officer.

Traveling During Probation: Is It Possible?

Yes, it is possible to travel during probation but not in all cases.

With the different types of felonies, a felon can have probation as their sentence. But that depends on the severity of the crime.

When the court places a felon on probation, they always hand out instructions. Part of the instruction is that the felon isn’t allowed to travel out of the country or anywhere far.

The major reason is to ensure they report to their probation officer when they’re supposed to. If they don’t, their probation could be canceled and replaced with jail time.

However, if traveling is a matter of urgency, the felon has to inform the probation officer. Hence, the only time a felon can travel while on probation or parole is when they’ve been granted permission to travel by their probation officer.

Nevertheless, you may be granted permission to travel during probation, depending on some factors. Some of these factors include your criminal history and the severity of your crime.

Can Felons Leave the Country after Probation?

After you’ve successfully served your probation, traveling post probation won’t be the same again. The reason is that several travel restrictions would be put in place.

Suppose you have a clear record as a felon, you can apply for a passport. You just need to submit a federal government validated form and conviction details.

If the form hasn’t been validated by the federal government, leaving the country might be harder than you think. The reason is that you won’t have permission to travel.

You’ll have to go through many processes to be granted permission to travel. These processes and checks are not to discriminate against you. They exist to ensure the safety and security of the general population.

You’ll have a higher and better chance of traveling to a foreign country with a clean criminal history.

On the flip side, if you were charged for crimes like financial fraud, drug, and human trafficking, or you’ve been instructed to give your kids child support, you would be denied a passport.

Possible Reasons Felons May be Denied Visas and Passport

Suppose your felon crime wasn’t severe, but you were still denied a passport. In that case, there are a couple of reasons that happened. We’ve listed a few.

  • You have a criminal history
  • Your criminal charges are still active
  • Security clearance issues
  • You’ve got financial debt
  • You’re providing child support or financial support to your children
  • You’re struck by old age
  • There’s an outstanding warrant for your arrest
  • You’re mentally unstable
  • You’re a juvenile felon
  • You don’t reside in your home country or state
  • You’ve not completed your parole or prison time

Before You Travel: What You Should Know

Felons who are eligible to travel out of the country need to do their research before they travel. Not all countries accommodate felons, regardless of the severity.

Here’s a table detailing the countries felons are accepted in and the countries that are not welcoming to felons:

Countries that Accept Felons Countries that do not accept felons
The United Kingdom Indonesia
India Ireland
China Morocco
Cuba Egypt
Argentina The Dominican Republic
Japan United Arab Emirates
Kenya Brazil
Taiwan Cambodia
Israel Tunisia
Canada Mexico
Macau Hong Kong
Iran The Philippines
Philippines Chile
Mexico Singapore
South Korea

FAQs: Can Felons Leave the Country?

Can a Convicted Felon Leave the Country?

A convicted felon can leave the country if they fulfill certain conditions. First, they must have completed their sentence. Next, there must be no court order barring them from traveling out of the country.

Am I Allowed to Enter Canada With a Criminal Record?

No, people with a criminal record may be denied entry into Canada. It’s all because of the criminal inadmissibility due to past criminal activity. Although there are rehabilitation options for persons that are inadmissible to Canada.

Can I Travel If I Was Acquitted?

Yes, you can travel if you were acquitted. However, your entry into certain countries might be limited. The reason is that not many countries would accept you if you were prosecuted legally for a crime - or worse, convicted. But it’s a game of chance. Some may accept you, but others won’t.

Can You Get a Passport with a Felony?

Yes, you can get a passport with a felony. Nevertheless, getting a passport does not mean you can travel freely to any country of your choice. Some countries generally restrict felons from entering their country.

Do Countries Share Criminal Records?

Yes, countries share criminal records with the help of INTERPOL. Participating countries can dig into your database to check the kind of criminal record you have. You may be denied entry depending on the severity of the felony.

Conclusion: Can Convicted Felons Leave the Country?

Now that you know the answer to the question, “can convicted felons leave the country?” we hope you can wield it in your favor.

It’s important to find out the type of felonies the country you’d like to go to prohibits.

That way, you’ll know how limited your options are and work with what you have. Although felons can leave the country - if certain conditions are met - there are certain travel restrictions placed on felons by other countries that might reject them entry.


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  • " Can Convicted Felons Leave the Country?". Legal Explanations. Accessed on June 13, 2024.

  • " Can Convicted Felons Leave the Country?". Legal Explanations, Accessed 13 June, 2024

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