Whether it is for business or for pleasure, people travel for many different reasons. While traveling internationally is often a positive and relatively pain-free experience, it can be hindered by some things and even prevented altogether by others. One of the primary issues that has the potential to prevent international travel is a criminal history.
Even though there are many criminal convictions that will have no impact whatsoever on an individual’s ability to leave the country or to enter another, there are certain convictions that may limit a person’s opportunities to travel and there are some that may prevent certain types of travel.
What types of criminal convictions can prevent international travel?
Americans generally do not have to concern themselves with their ability to travel around the world, but being convicted of some felonies will prevent travel. Perhaps the most common cause of a felon being barred from leaving the country is because the crime they were convicted of involved international travel.
For example, if a person was convicted of illegally trafficking drugs across an international border, that may be enough reason for the government to prevent them from crossing the border again. However, a more common issue preventing international travel is simply a person’s ability to get a passport.
What can legally prevent a person from getting a passport?
Many felons have trouble obtaining a passport, but this does not mean it is impossible for them to do so. Some things that could prevent them from getting a passport include:
· Being considered a flight risk if they are awaiting trial
· Owing more than $5,000 in child support payments
· Possessing a fake passport
· Having a warrant out for their arrest
· Being on probation
This is not an exhaustive list of things that could prevent international travel. Additionally, there are some nations, like Canada, that will not let some people enter the country if they have a significant criminal record. Canada also has access to the American criminal database, so they can check to see if a person who wants to cross has a criminal record.
If you have a criminal record and you are not sure if it will prevent you from traveling abroad, it is best to check with the United States embassy in the country to which you want to go. They will be able to provide you with current travel restrictions.
If you have questions regarding the legality of your criminal charges or their effect on your ability to travel freely, it is suggested that you obtain the services of an experienced and knowledgeable legal professional.