View Full Version : Please help (leaving the US if you are a convicted felon + a citizen of 2 countries)

02-17-2005, 06:16 PM

I have a friend who is looking at possibly getting probation. Unfortunately, that means that he will be convicted of a felony. Here is my question:

My friend is a citizen of a country in the European Union (Poland, to be exact) because both of his parents were born in Poland. However, he himself was born in the United States, making him a citizen of both nations.

If he is a convicted felon, can he leave the United States and go to Poland after his probation? I heard that convicted felons cannot leave the United States. His charge is a crime of moral interpetude (I know I misspelled that).

Basically, he just wants to go and start a new life. Can he do this? If not, can he do it if he kills his US citizenship?

I am confused. I mean, if he is a CITIZEN of that country, can't he just LEAVE the United States or is he stuck here because he's going to be a convicted felon?

If someone has any information on this it would be very appreciated.

P.S. Will Poland give my friend a passport or does he have to leave on his US passport (which he may or may not get back).

02-17-2005, 07:37 PM

Generally, convicted felons cannot leave the country because other countries won't allow them in. Basically, the rest of the world does not want our criminals as we don't want the rest of the world's criminals. However, since your friend is a Polish citizen, I doubt Poland could refuse his entry.

This is, of course, all assuming that he has completed is probation/parole/supervised release and no longer has any "paper." If he has "paper", the terms of his "paper" will require that he remain on US soil.

02-17-2005, 07:39 PM
One other thing, I would have him get the Polish passport cause I find it a little strange that he was born and raised in this country yet he is able to claim Polish citizenship. Maybe he is, but I would check that out and verify it by seeing if Poland will give him a passport. Once they have given him a passport, they can no longer deny that he is one of their own.

02-17-2005, 07:57 PM
Anyone of any country is still eligible to apply to migrate to another country, wether they are or are not a convicted felon.

The person has to complete his parole/paper/PRC in order to leave the US, and not have anything pending awaiting trial.

He would still need to apply to the European Union in regards to migrate there.
He does have a birth right but he still needs to apply for this as far as i know.

I am in the process of getting my son duel citizenship, he was born in Australia and his daddy is an American citizen.

Good luck. I suggest that you call the American Embassy or Immigration office for more information, you can make a anonoymous call.

02-18-2005, 07:07 AM
I'm sure it's very possible for him to get the Polish passport. Some countries like England, state that the child takes on the mothers citizenship at the time of birth. If your mother was a british subject when you were born, you are british regardless of where you were born. You are correct James! I'm no expert but I would think he can probably immigrate with no problem.

02-18-2005, 09:58 AM
If your friend was a citizen of both nation's,he would of been given a dual citizenship passport when he applied for one originally.
Technically,he could apply for Polish citizenship because of his birth right,but if he has never lived in Poland,he is not entitled to it automatically.He would have to follow the same procedures as anybody else wanting to relocate oversea's.

I don't know how hard/easy it is to enter Poland,but to enter UK,it is going to be harder now,(I'd imagine it will be same for whole EU)it is going to run along the same lines as the Australian immigration points system,which makes far more sense to me.You'll have to have a proffession or skill to offer the country you wish to enter,you'll have to have a job and a home before you come over here.

In England you don't take your mother's nationality,you take your father's nationality at birth,but now the law has changed(in 2004)so that you can claim your mother's nationality if you wish to become a British citizen.

It is a long process,but I know this was done for Kenny Richey when the law was changed.
His mother is Scottish,his father American,he was born in Holland,but spent the next 18 years in Scotland,so he has been given dual citizenship,which is only fair,he grew up over here.

As your friend was convicted in USA and will either do time or probation in the USA,he will (I'd have thought)have to abide by their law's and procedures on felons leaving the country.

Your friend would have to consider the fact that if he renounced his US citizenship,he couldn't go back to visit any family he leaves behind.

When you fill in the visa waiver form to enter the USA,you have to admit to everything,even being arrested in UK for anything at all,it can affect you even visiting the USA for a holiday.

I wish your friend luck with his decision,but I'd get some very good advice before I made a move as big as this,once done,it can't be changed.

02-19-2005, 07:48 PM

02-19-2005, 07:54 PM
I can only speak from experience when I say that a member of my family is a British citizen, his daughter was born in California, she has a British passport and American passport and passes freely between both. She got her British passport from the consulate in California. Check with your consulate James and good luck!

02-22-2005, 05:37 PM
Thanks for all of the responses. They helped to alleviate some of my confusion.

From what I've heard, since my friend's parents were both born in Poland, he is a Polish citizen period. I heard the US "doesn't do" dual citizenships...whatever that maybe that's why his passport is an American one. Again, my friend only intends to leave when it is legal for him to do so. Still, he is aware of what it could be like to live life as a convicted felon in the United States. Most of his family actually is in Poland so he wouldn't be leaving too much behind in that sense.

From what I've read, it sounds like it's a matter of obtaining a passport. Do you know when it would be legal for him to start this process?

Thank you again for taking the time to respond.

02-23-2005, 09:29 AM
As far as I know from experience....."dual citizenship" only means having 2 passports. I don't believe you technically apply for duel citizrenship. Your friend is right...he can get a polish passport, he will also have an American passport since he was born here. I would not contact the consulate until he finishes parole, probation or whatever...he can't leave and there's nothing he can do until then anyway. He doesn't want to raise any "flight risk" flags by trying to get the passport to soon. So check out your embassy/consulate web site and see what he needs to get it but for now just focus on getting off parole! Good luck!