Ramifications of a Criminal Record when Travelling Abroad

Travelling internationally with a criminal record.

Ramifications of a Criminal Record when Travelling Abroad

International travel can prove difficult with a criminal record. Many countries have strict laws in place to prevent criminals from other nations crossing into their borders. These are generally countries which require you to obtain a visa in order to visit. Countries which currently prohibit convicted felons from entering are China, Cuba, Russia, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Macau, New Zealand, South Africa, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and United States.

There are, however, some countries that could potentially still allow you to visit. These countries do not require a criminal history as part of entry requirement, but they still have the right to deny you should your criminal history become discovered at any point. These countries include Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, Egypt, Ethiopia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Ireland, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Peru, Singapore, South Korea, and Tanzania.

Some countries provide more specific regulations regarding entering their borders with a criminal history. The following is an example of select nations’ requirements:

Canada: In minor criminal cases, Canada may allow a convicted criminal to enter their country if they submit an application for rehabilitation. This is a long process which requires a great deal of supporting documentation.

European Union: Travelers from visa-exempt countries are generally not required to provide their criminal history in order to visit these countries. Non-European Union travelers with minor convictions should not have an issue being granted access either. Typically, only very serious criminal infractions (terrorism, murder) will be denied entry.

Australia: Australia has a visa process that restricts entry for those with crimes that resulted in yearlong or more sentence. Ability to enter is dependent upon the nature of the crime and the amount of time that has elapsed.

United Kingdom: The UK has restrictive requirements when it comes to entering their country, but if your crime occurred several years in the past and your sentence was less than a year, you may be able to visit.

Caribbean/Africa: Most Caribbean and African nations do not bar entry into their borders regardless of criminal record, but always check requirements for the specific country you are planning to visit.

This information is subject to change. Always check entry requirements for every country you plan to visit before booking travel. Embassies and government websites will be most accurate.



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