View Full Version : Best countries to immigrate to with a record?

01-04-2004, 04:58 PM
I was wondering if anyone knows countries that don't require FBI police records to immigrate there? I am seriously considering leaving the US after I get off supervised release so I can leave my record behind. Thanks for any advice.

01-05-2004, 06:19 AM
I'm not sure about the whole FBI record thing, but England would be easy with regards to not being bothered all the time and only a certain amount of companies ask about criminal record info. I know the construction industry doesnt.

01-11-2004, 06:32 PM
Think Norway is a good country too. It is not easy to immigrate to Norway just like that - would need a job or something to get a stay here, but I don't think a record is a problem. When time is served it is served and people get a new chance. That's the philosophy here...

01-11-2004, 09:44 PM
Hi Calfed

Let's see here. France, Denmark, Greece, Poland, Thailand are among the possibilities. Peace.


01-12-2004, 09:56 AM
Sorry, Joanna, England's got a BIG problem with letting in people from the States with a record. Believe me, I know, because Tony wants to come here once he's exonerated and it's not going to be at all easy, even when we are married. Anyone can get in from Europe no matter what their record but not from anywhere outside Europe.

We may have to go to Spain to live but I have to check their immigration policy out first as they, being part of the EC, may have the same rules governing those from outside the Community.


01-12-2004, 10:09 AM
Well... maybe you can live in Norway, Rose.

01-12-2004, 03:54 PM
That's a good idea, ABP, I think I might suggest that to Tony when I visit in a few weeks.


Phil in Paris
01-12-2004, 06:06 PM

Don't even think about Spain !!! Their immigration policy is getting worse and worse since Aznar has been elected !!! :mad:


01-13-2004, 09:19 AM
Thanks, Phil, that was going to be a last resort but it looks as if that's out, too. Now I'm starting to get worried so I think I'd better take myself off to see an Immigration lawyer, and find out exactly what we are going to face.


01-13-2004, 01:37 PM
what about someone who has a record in the US but is an Italian citizen with an EU passport? COuld they work/live etc, in one of the EU countries? They ahve no record in Italy or any where else in EU

01-13-2004, 02:00 PM
As I understand it with a EU passport, regardless of convictions anywhere else, a person is entitled to work and live anywhere within the EU.

This is something that makes me so angry as I probably won't be able to bring my husband to live with me in the UK because he has a record, but anyone from the EU can come and live here even though they may have convictions as long as your arm. That sounds a bit racist but those who know me will understand it's not and, I hope, realize why I feel so angry about this


01-13-2004, 02:12 PM
Even though I don't know you I understand (((HUGS)))

Phil in Paris
01-13-2004, 04:20 PM
OK, I'm gonna share with you what I know concerning my case, meaning Joey, I and France. Those informations were given to me by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the State Ministry.

Joey and I are allowed to make a common life certificate whether in France or at the French Consulate in Miami (Joey being in Florida). This will give him a french resident card for 5 years, renewable for 10 years. Meanwhile he may apply for the french citizen if he wishes. This is not mandatory. Once he got the french residence card, he is allowed to live and work in France, and in all the countries of the Schengen zone. The name "Schengen" originates from a small town in Luxembourg. In March 1995, seven European Union countries signed a treaty to end internal border checkpoints and controls. More countries have joined the treaty over the past years. At present, there are 15 Schengen countries, all in Europe. The 15 Schengen countries are: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. All these countries except Norway and Iceland are European Union members.

Concerning the European citizens, they can live and work anywhere within the European Union. That is the 15 regular countries
Austria Belgium Denmark Finland France Germany Greece Ireland Italy Luxembourg
Portugal Spain Sweden The Netherlands United Kingdom
and the 10 new ones:
Cyprus Czech Republic Estonia Hungary Latvia Lithuania Malta Poland Slovakia Slovenia

The non European spouse of a European citizen, willing to work and live in a no Schengen country, will need a resident card delivered by the country they want to live in.

Let's take an exemple to make it simpler. Let's say Joey and I want to go live and work in Poland, which is not in the Schengen zone. For me no problem, I go there and work. Joey will need a Polish resident card besides his french resident card. And that's where I don't know what would happen, meaning I don't know what would the Polish government ask from Joey's past. They should normally consider that since he already has a french resident card, he should get a polish one without a big enquiry, but this I don't know for sure. Actually I never asked for this since we haven't planned to go live and work in Poland :D

So Calfed, to answer your question, I think the best and easiest way for you would be to find a E.U citizen to marry or make a common life certificate with. Also, know that as a US citizen, you are allowed to go and travel in Europe for 3 months. You don't need a visa, so no questions about your past. This gives you 3 months to find a lover :)

Rose, are you that sure about Tony and you ?? If you're married, I don't think your government will prevent you from living in your own country with your husband. There is something about this in the European Constitution, you could fight your case at the European Court, you would win.

Bella, since M. has an Italian passport, you won't have any problem to settle down anywhere in Europe. Also remember we have an appointment at EuroDisney !! :)


01-13-2004, 08:17 PM
There are a ton of information about becoming an "expat" on the internet. But nothing I can find in reguards to having a record so far.

Here are the two that I spend a lot of time that has a bunch of FREE info. and

Both have a free news letter sent to you email box. But I'm finding a lot of HYPE comes with the info, like property for sale, conference that cost to attend, tours, ect. Most of this information that I read is more for the well to do, but in fine print LOL some for guys like me.

In a couple of weeks, I'll have a packet of information about Mexico that I bought through International Living. Mexico is just one country I'm looking at myself. The advantage I have is, I won't have to work to survive since I would go as a retiree.

Looking can get addictive :) I find so many interesting things about these other countries along with some photos.

01-13-2004, 11:17 PM
Yes Phil I remember out appointment at Eurodisney We'll be there for sure!!! I was just inquiring in case we went to the UK, somthing we have spoken about doing.

As for your example with Poland...being a 1st generation American of Polish decent I am willing to bet the Poles are to backwards to look into anything :D

Also from what I understand, once these new countries join the EU I could obtain an automatic EU passport by my birth right, through my father (I was told it goes through your father's citizenship) who never gave up his Polish citizenship. This would mean I would not need to get a resident card through M right? I would have EU citizenship on my own.

B-ray, if you move to Mexico I'm coming to visit!!! :D

01-14-2004, 12:56 AM
LOL@Bella I think there would be others too! :eek: :ha:

There's many things running through my head OUCH :) these days.

Might kick some :idea: around at the conference.

01-14-2004, 03:02 AM
Thanks for all the great info people! Sorry I did not post earlier I have been super busy. I am already married so the marriage trick is out. My wife and I were hoping to move to Canada but with all the restrictions that may not happen. They do have some "waivers" for the criminal history thing that is worth looking into. Does anyone know about Sweden? Seems like their immgration website does not even mention poice records as a requirment. They are known to be quite liberal so that may just be the loophole I am looking for.

01-14-2004, 03:15 AM
THANK YOU, Phil. All that has actually made me feel a whole lot better because I was beginning to worry so much about it all.

I am sure about the situation in the UK. Married or not our government won't issue Tony with a residents visa because of his conviction. Only under very special conditions will they let him live with me. Of course, I'm going to play the health card for all it's worth as I have a disability and I also have glaucoma which could, ultimately make me lose my sight completely. I'll argue that my health means I need to stay here for medical reasons, especially as I have to attend the hospital every six months because of the eye condition.

The fight in the European Court is probably the way I will go, but the fact I can do this has brightened my day, thanks. Now I will make an appointment with an Immigration lawyer and learn all there is before I visit Tony in March. I also have a very sympathic Member of Parliament willing to help me so I'd better work for him next election to make sure he gets back in.


Phil in Paris
01-14-2004, 01:16 PM
Yay !!!! We're gonna go on holidays to Mexico for free !!! :p

Bella, if you can get your Polish citizenship, you will be considered a European citizen with the exact same rights as any other European citizen. But you have to be sure that the Polish citizenship is not exclusive and that you must not give up your US citizenship. Some countries don't accept the double citizenship, for instance Germany. I don't know about Poland, but I guess it's easy to find out.

Calfed, from what I know Sweden is a cool country to live in, most of the Scandinavian countries are. :) If you ever immigrate over there, Sweden being in the Schengen zone, you will be able to travel to 15 countires without being controlled. You could fly from Stockholm to Athens the same way you fly from NYC to Orlando.

Rose, I tried to read the European Constitution for you, but it's too long and complicated for my little brain !! :D I know there is something about the European citizens being free of loving and living with whomever they want regardless of citizenship, religion, past, sex and whatever. The European Court of Justice is very much in favor of the citizens vs a country. I guess your lawyer is fully aware of this. :)


01-14-2004, 02:47 PM
Luckily the Polocks did something right for us and they do allow dual citizenship, I know this because my father had duel citizenship Polish/american. So, if what I heard is correct I will be off to the Polish embassy as soon as it goes into effect.

If you or anyone across the atlantic hears any updates on this if you could please let me know I'd truly appreciate it!

Phil in Paris
01-14-2004, 03:07 PM
If you or anyone across the atlantic hears any updates on this if you could please let me know I'd truly appreciate it!

Hear any updates on what sweety ?????

Phil :confused:

01-14-2004, 03:40 PM
That's a very intreesting thread, for it contains information I'm looking for either. In my opinion it shouldn't be too difficult to immigrate to a EU country when one of partners has the EU citizenship. I will use §7 German Constitution, that grants a special protection of the family by the state, to get Dana to Germany. There should also be a corresponding paragraph in the European Constitution.

Phil, one update and one question. To correct your post above: Germany allows the dual citizenship since 1998. Am I correct that a common life certificate is for homosexual partnership only, and you'll have to do it at the French consulate, since there is no equivalent to it in America? Right? In my case a "normal" marriage certificate should be sufficient?


Phil in Paris
01-14-2004, 04:06 PM

In France, a common life certificate is for everybody, straight gay or lesbian couples. Some straight couples don't want to marry, but want a common life certificate (called PACS in France PActe Civil de Solidarité) to protect their interests in case of the death of one of them, or also in case of one of them being a foreigner.

Yes we will do it at the French Consulate because it's a french thing, and it won't be recognized by the US government. For instance, if I wanna emigrate to the US, the fact we have a PACS won't help me at all.

I didn't know the German rules had changed regarding dual citizenship. My German b/f and I broke in 1998.....

If you marry Dana, there shouldn't be any problem. A marriage certificate will be recognized both by the US and German government. :)


01-15-2004, 01:38 AM
Updates on obtaining EU citizenship through your father's birth right

01-29-2004, 10:48 AM
What about Australia or New Zealand? Anybody know about immigrating to them with a felony conviction?

01-29-2004, 12:18 PM
From what I understand Australia is out. They do not accept anyone with a felony conviction. I'm not sure about New Zealand, anyone else have more info?

12-23-2004, 09:52 AM
It's good to know that Thailand, my home country, is thought about. Seriously, I don't think anywhere else in the world can be that easy for ex-prisoners. We welcome just about anyone, as long as you're not "high profile". I don't know if I shoud be happy or sad. Happy I guess since it gives us option if we couldn't get me to the US or we couldn't stay here in the UK then there's always home.

12-23-2004, 10:19 AM
Ok, don't know if this has been touched on already or not, but what if an ex-prisoner from USA renounces his US passport to apply to be a UK citizen or is this also a no-no as far as our government is concerned, with regards to them living here?

12-23-2004, 01:15 PM
I am sure about the situation in the UK. Married or not our government won't issue Tony with a residents visa because of his conviction. Only under very special conditions will they let him live with me. RoseHi Rose.
Speaking from experience... my ex husband was Nigerian. He came over here to the UK after having been incarcerated in Nigeria for a year. When we got married and filed for his application to remain here, they never questioned about any criminal convictions or anything like that at all. He eventually got his British Citizenship!
You may well have been misinformed.

12-23-2004, 01:22 PM
Do the U.S allow dual nationality... British/American? I plan on moving to the U.S. I know that i can live and work there on a Green Card, but i was wondering what the nationality deal was, could i apply to become a U.S. Citizen but still keep my British Citizenship. I am proud to be British and would never want to give up my citizenship ever in life!

12-23-2004, 04:56 PM

Yes, you can hold dual British/U.S. citizenship. In fact, when my ex husband got his U.S. citizenship he was told by the Americans that he officially renounced his British citizenship under U.S. law.

However, a few years later when he decided that he wanted to go back the British Government told him that he still had his British Citizenship and that they do not recognize that he had renounced it when he accepted U.S. citizenship.

I know you want to move to the U.S. for you loved one, however, let me give you a word of warning. My parents were in Germany during the Third Reich, they have said often that they can no longer tell the difference between the U.S. of today, and Germany then.


01-09-2005, 03:55 PM
I am so glad I found this thread!!
I am a Spanish citizen married to a Cuban citizen with a US residency. He wills erve 20 months for non-violent crime in Federal prison. After he gets out, we want to move to Spain because we are SICK of the system here.
Anynone know how difficult that would be? It was my understanding that they cannot barr my husband from living in my country. But of course, I may be wrong...

01-09-2005, 04:06 PM
SkychickFl I don't know what the regs are for Spain; you would have to look into the rules there, but I think those of us in UK are pretty sure that they couldn't come live over here, married or not, so it would be best to check to see how Spain views those with a criminal record. Good luck.

01-15-2005, 07:47 PM
You guys mean immigrating to another country once the person serves parole or....while on parole hoping for a better, restriction-free life??

01-15-2005, 08:14 PM
I'm also curious on this topic. My hubby is adament on moving out of the US and move here with me. I have spoken to he Aussie government/immigartions, etc they have all said that he cannot come here until he has served all time or they have been written off. Even then they will still look into his history and have a character assessment done, mental health, etc. All blood work and physical tests. (there is a lot involved)
But they did tell me that they cannot simply deny his residency here due to his criminal past history. They told me that they have to take into consideration myself (we are married) our children (and what this would do to them if they are without their dad)and if he has any support people here other than myself. (which he has).
It's expensive to try at right around $1,700 aud each time we apply. The total time from application to approval/denyal is around the 8-12 month mark.
If we apply while he is already in Australia he can stay until a decision is made under a bridging visa.
If we apply while in the US we both have to travel to Washington and await a decision this process takes 12-15 months depending on the demand at the time of application.
It also helps if you have letters, photographs, basically anything to prove that you are in a relationship.
Hope this helps someone

01-15-2005, 08:18 PM
Sad Eyes,
I want to move to Spain after he has served all of his time and after he is free from parole. We are just fed up with the system here. We want a new beginning.

Lil too mean - It is my understanding, as other posters have pointed out, that the European constitution states that a citizen's spouse cannot be denied residency in the european country no matter what. If you do decide to fight it in the European court, please keep us posted!

01-16-2005, 03:51 PM
I hope that is so, skychick....It is such a shame that there are so many things to overcome when two people just want to be together......

01-16-2005, 03:51 PM
tell me about it liltoo mean!!

01-17-2005, 02:15 AM
Ok, here's another question which a friend in Uruguay, S. America has asked me to ask. Her fiance gets out this year or next year for sure and he wants to go and live with her there. Will he be allowed entry there if they are married and can he live/work there?

01-17-2005, 01:00 PM
I think your friend has to check with the Uruguayan authorities

01-17-2005, 01:08 PM
Yeah, I know that is what she needs to do, she just can't face him not being able to come there and we can all understand that....

01-18-2005, 04:12 AM
What about an ex-con just wanting to holiday in the UK? I mean, it would kill me and my fiance if we can't come back to Stamford Bridge to see Chelsea again ever!

01-18-2005, 01:50 PM
They're allowed over here on a tourist visa I always thought - hope so anyway!!

Phil in Paris
01-18-2005, 06:52 PM
They're allowed over here on a tourist visa I always thought - hope so anyway!!

Yep, they're allowed anywhere in the EU with a 3 months tourist visa. :)


01-19-2005, 11:33 AM
All they need is a US passport. Thanks to an agreement b/n the EU and the Us, he doesn't even have to get a visa, and he's good for 3 months.

04-08-2005, 08:29 PM
What is a common life certificate? Is this the same as married?

07-23-2009, 03:22 PM
I think having a record is the least of your concerns. I have looked into immigration to various capitalist countries, and most of them require you to be highly skilled, and have a lot of money. You mentioned Canada. They require all immigrants to enter with $10 000 cash. Most countries will require you to show proof that you can support yourself for a full year. They do this to deter those who rely on welfare. Many countries require you to have a university degree. Most of the European union requires employers to prove they can't find a local before they can hire an outsider. They also have to prove they have advertised the job within the EU before they can offer an outsider the job. Immigration is becoming more difficult in the EU because of anti foreigner sentiments as well as a rise in right wing politics. Australia has also tightened its immigration.

10-18-2011, 05:28 AM
Some people who are retired live three months in one country, then they cross a border so as not to overstay a tourist visa. A lot of these countries let them cross right back into the same country on a US passport.

10-18-2011, 05:38 AM
There was a news blurb a year or two ago saying Europe won the right to scrutinize US citizens' whether they could enter the EU for any reason. But as long as someone isn't high profile, or being blackballed by the US authorities, a tourist visa usually is no problem.

12-21-2011, 07:36 AM
What about Australia or New Zealand? Anybody know about immigrating to them with a felony conviction?
sorry but i know thats a defo no-no,its even dificult to visit the country if you have a record!