View Full Version : Can a convicted felon leave the country?

Fredjr's wifey
12-15-2006, 10:47 AM
My boss was wanting to know. If he is a convicted felon, but is not on parole or anything. Is he able to leave the country to visit someone?? Someone told him that a convicted felon wasnt allowed to travel outside of his country. It doesnt make sense to me, I know if you are on parole, that that sounds probably right. But if you are free and clear, I wouldnt think it would matter any more...

12-15-2006, 03:35 PM
It shouldn't matter anymore - did anyone take his passport from him?

12-15-2006, 05:06 PM
While it is oftentimes okay for a convicted felon to leave the US, keep in mind that it is often up to the country he/she is visiting if they will allow them to travel there. I know in Japan, for instance, they usually frown upon letting in folks who have committed crimes in the past.

12-15-2006, 05:29 PM
Canada is another country that doesn't allow felons in their country. Before 9-11 my ex husband could travel through, but now he cannot because they are more thorough on their checks. By the way he discharged off of parole in 1990.

12-16-2006, 03:48 PM
A convicted felon who is no longer on parole or probation CAN travel to other countries. One of my felon buds has gone to the Philippines more than once with his wife. They key is gaining permission from the OTHER country.

While on parole you aren't even allowed to leave the STATE you are in.

Fredjr's wifey
12-16-2006, 06:03 PM
No, actually, I dont believe that he has a passport. The country that he wants to go to is Canada. He has a girl over there that he wants to go and see her on New Years. His conviction was done back in the early 90's. and he did go to prison for 4 years. I just dont want him to get to the border, and have them tell him no and he would have to turn around. Who would I call to find out for sure?

12-16-2006, 08:32 PM
I'm not sure who you would call, but Canada is very strict about past or present felons being in their country.

DJB's Wife
12-17-2006, 08:56 AM
The Canadian Immigration Act, in § 19; states:

(2) No immigrant and, except as provided in subsection (3), no visitor shall be granted admission if the immigrant or visitor is a member of any of the following classes:

(a) persons who have been convicted in Canada of an indictable offence, or of an offence for which the offender may be prosecuted by indictment or for which the offender is punishable on summary conviction, that may be punishable under any Act of Parliament by a maximum term of imprisonment of less than ten years, other than an offence designated as a contravention under the Contraventions Act;
(a.1) persons who there are reasonable grounds to believe
(i) have been convicted outside Canada of an offence that, if committed in Canada, would constitute an offence that may be punishable by way of indictment under any Act of Parliament by a maximum term of imprisonment of less than ten years, or
(ii) have committed outside Canada an act or omission that constitutes an offence under the laws of the place where the act or omission occurred and that, if committed in Canada, would constitute an offence that may be punishable by way of indictment under any Act of Parliament by a maximum term of imprisonment of less than ten years, except persons who have satisfied the Minister that they have rehabilitated themselves and that at least five years have elapsed since the expiration of any sentence imposed for the offence or since the commission of the act or omission, as the case may be;

Later, in § 3 of the Immigration Act, there is a provision that permits discretionary entry:

A senior immigration officer or an adjudicator, as the case may be, may grant entry to any person who is a member of an inadmissible class described in subsection (2) subject to such terms and conditions as the officer or adjudicator deems appropriate and for a period not exceeding thirty days, where, in the opinion of the officer or adjudicator, the purpose for which entry is sought justifies admission.

Again, the Canadian Consulate emphasizes that this entry is discretionary, and in the post 9/11 aftermath, officers are more typically exercising their discretion to deny entry than to grant entry. Even if a Canadian Minister (I'm not sure which minister) has approved a client's entry, the border person can still reject the person.

Finally, there is a permit process that requires prior application and may permit an otherwise excludable person to enter Canada. Information on the permit is on the consulate general’s web-site, permits a visit of up to 30 days, and as I understand it, once it is approved, may be re-approved when application is made within a 3 year period. Permit information is at: Canadian Consulate General, Seattle. This process is discussed in the next section.

The website for this information is here (

Fredjr's wifey
12-17-2006, 12:28 PM
Thank you so much for your information. That was extremely helpful. ALthough, it is looking like he pretty much aint going to be going!!! anyways, thank you so much.

12-17-2006, 02:10 PM
This is very difficult for me, too. I am originally from London, England. When my American boyfriend got arrested and put into prison it totally set my plans back. I was going to go to Drama School in London, but I changed my plans. So now I'm waiting for my baby to get out while I am on the East Coast.

My man wants to marry me someday-- I'm gonna fight for his right to come to England with me.

12-17-2006, 08:07 PM
I'm not understanding the going to Canada thing if we are only talking about going to visit for a short period of time not immigrating? I don't recall them ever running my name to see if I had a criminal record before going into the country, I just had to provide an id. Am I missing something?

DJB's Wife
12-18-2006, 09:45 PM
Canada doesn't check the background of everyone that crosses the border. Some with a felony conviction have been forutnate enought to not have their record checked. If the record is checked, they have the option to detain you, even if you are just going for a day visit.

12-18-2006, 10:16 PM
Canada has gotten much stricter and are doing a lot more checking. Right now we don't need a passport to go between the US and Canada, but this is from US State Department website:

The proposed implementation timeline has two phases:

* Beginning January 23, 2007, ALL persons, including U.S. citizens, traveling by air between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda will be required to present a valid passport, Air NEXUS card, or U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document, or an Alien Registration Card, Form I-551, if applicable.

* As early as January 1, 2008, ALL persons, including U.S. citizens, traveling between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda by land or sea (including ferries), may be required to present a valid passport or other documents as determined by the Department of Homeland Security. While recent legislative changes permit a later deadline, the Departments of State and Homeland Security are working to meet all requirements as soon as possible. Ample advance notice will be provided to enable the public to obtain passports or passport cards for land/sea entries.

You can also find information at website ( to help you decide if you can visit Canada.

Lions Heart
12-19-2006, 08:21 AM
Well if they are starting the one on January 23, 2007 then when are they planning on giving ample notice?? It takes some time to get a passport.

12-27-2006, 08:08 AM
Wow, this is interesting. What about Mexico? How strict are they? And do they do background checks when you apply for a passport?

DJB's Wife
12-27-2006, 01:25 PM
There's been a fair amount of communication in the Detroit area papers on the new passport requirements.

Having a felony does not restrict you from obtaining a passport. As far as I know, Canada is the most strict. I know of several people that had felony convictions and visited Mexico. Just be sure to check nothing has changed before making any travel plans.