A criminal record can be a major impediment to free travel plans but it is not out of the question to go to different destinations if you have been in trouble with the law in the past. The type of visit you have in mind also determines the freedom with which you can travel such as if you are going on vacation or for studying or work etc. 

Any application for a long-term visa such as a work or study visa will be reviewed thoroughly and scrutinized by the immigration authorities and they often ask the home country to share criminal records.

For individuals looking to travel with a criminal record, they will have to make allowance for the fact that each country has different regulations and the best way to get information about the country you want to visit is to look at their embassy or agency website or to consult a legal office there online or on call. 

Applying For A Visa

As an Orlando criminal defense attorney or attorney in another state will tell you during a consultation, applying for a visa for an international destination is tricky. If the country you want to travel to is nearby your own or does not have stringent regulations regarding entry other than asking the traveler to show a valid passport and ID, you should have no trouble getting through the border. In many cases, border checkpoints do not have backup systems of their own to double-check anyone’s criminal background. 

When applying for a visa for international travel it is fairly regular that criminal history will be reviewed by the authorities. For retirement visas, study visas, work visas, and immigration visas, criminal history is looked into as a matter of routine, and offenders of violent crimes (especially of a sexual nature) are likely to be denied.

Once a background check is carried out it might be marked in the paperwork with an apostille which is an international referencing system. Tourist visas especially if they are for a short duration are granted the most easily out of the categories mentioned above. 

When you are making reservations at a vacation or home rental abroad or at an Air BnB for your stay, it is worthwhile to know that many tourist rental property owners manage their bookings through short-term rental software. This means they are unlikely to have access to resources to conduct criminal history background checks for any of their short-term tenants. 

When you are interviewed with regard to your visa application it is important to be upfront and honest about the nature of your convictions because being untruthful can even lead to legal proceedings in some cases.

Furthermore, being less than honest can earn you a black mark permanently making it impossible to enter that particular country for example Canada and the US. Convictions that are old or less serious known as ‘spent convictions’ can go undeclared according to the law in many commonwealth countries and the UK. 

Certain Crimes & Parole 

Some countries like the US or Canada have strict laws about entry with a criminal record even if the offense or conviction is over 50 years old. Some other countries may not be too concerned with convictions that old as long as they are not repeated or upheld by another conviction. Serious crimes, sexual crimes, and severe violent offenses can generally make it hard or impossible to travel internationally, and in some cases, the home country may put out a no-fly order for individuals that have been implicated in specific crimes deemed a major threat. 

Within the US for example you may be able to travel with a temporary paper license without much check and balance between states but it does not apply to international travel of any kind. If as a criminal offender you are serving parole or are on probation you will need to adhere to the instructions you have been given by your probation officer and only travel within those guidelines. 

Visa documentation and forms are also clear about individuals that may have been deported before from any country so as a rule, you will need to avoid traveling to those countries if that is the case. If a criminal offense was carried out in another country and you were brought back to your home country for a trial, it may also be impossible to travel back to the same country. For minor felonies, your chances are rather promising for both domestic and international travel.