Travelling Outside USA if You Have a Criminal Background

For obvious reasons, most of the countries do not welcome people with criminal backgrounds. But what if the person was convicted wrongly or they changed since their conviction.

Isn’t it unfair?

But it’s the bitter truth, like it or not, your chances of getting a visa to get affected by your history. For countries like Canada and the USA, even a small criminal conviction can cause you to be restricted.

Traveling as a U.S. Citizen

Being a U.S.A. citizen if you wish to travel outside the country, then you are lucky. You are allowed in most of the countries even with a criminal background. But it comes with some catches.

You should not have any pending warrants for severe crimes as felonies. Trying to leave the United States with outstanding warrants can result in serious repercussions.

It is advised to research the country that you are traveling, and criminal lawyer Jacksonville can help you out.

Traveling as a Non-U.S. Citizen

On other hands, if you are a non-U.S. citizen and you seek to travel outside the country, you must think twice before reaching any decision.

In general, going out of the U.S.A. will not pose any problem, but you might have to encounter difficulties to re-enter the country.

All the visa holders must have their ID’s scanned and possibly biometrics is taken on re-arrival. And if the record reflects of your criminal history, you might be escorted to jail directly.

The immigration judge will solely decide your fate in the United States.

How Can You avoid Difficulties?

You should contact a criminal defense lawyer long before your schedule traveling outside the U.S.A. Your attorney is bound to send a request to immigration officials and law enforcement to ensure that they have the latest copies of your case.

Also, you might require to submit some more documents and your fingerprints. If the official didn’t find anything unusual then you should be able to travel outside of U.S.A. However, don’t judge these steps as a guarantee of your re-entry in the country without any investigation.

The U.S.A. immigration department works with FBI and local police authorities to obtain the criminal records, so don’t try to fool them.

Also, you should check the laws of the destination country and see if they allow entry of individuals with a criminal record.

Other things you should know About Traveling with a Criminal record:

You might not be aware of the fact that if resident aliens/visa holders contact law enforcement or immigration authorities, there are chances of opening up a criminal investigation. This investigation includes you and any other person affiliated directly or indirectly to you.

Recent changes in visa policies have built a quite strict atmosphere, especially for non-citizen felons in the U.S.A.

Can someone with a Criminal Record Obtain a Passport:

United States of America Passport

As a U.S.A. citizen, there will be no problem in getting the passport. A passport is not proof of committing a crime and doesn’t provide any criminal history records.

They only provide proof that you are a citizen of U.S.A. However, if you have committed a severe crime, the government has the right to withhold it.

That’s all, for now, folks, hope you enjoyed the information.

Jaspreet Kaur

An engineer by profession, blogger by choice and traveler by passion defines me best.

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