What Foreign Countries Can a Felon Go to With a USA Passport?

Written by alice post | 13/05/2017
What Foreign Countries Can a Felon Go to With a USA Passport?
Convicted felons are still able to travel to most countries. (travel plans image by jmk1111 from Fotolia.com)

Convicted felons are able to obtain U.S. passports under most circumstances. If a country requires only a passport for admittance, gaining entry as a tourist is normally not a problem with some exceptions. Obtaining a visa, however, can be more difficult.


Many countries require a visa either prior to travel or upon arrival for entry. Many visa applications inquire about your criminal record. Countries which ask about your criminal past on visa applications include: China, Japan, Australia and Fiji. If you have a felony conviction, you may be denied entry to these countries. Note that U.S. citizens must obtain pre-arrival visas for travel to India and Brazil, but their applications do not inquire about criminality; therefore, a felon with a valid U.S. passport should not have a problem travelling to either country.

Visa-Free Countries

Dozens of countries do not require visas for U.S. citizens. Thus, if you have a valid U.S. passport, entry should be straightforward and no different than as if you had no criminal record. Some foreign nations which do not require visas for U.S. citizens include: Mexico, all Caribbean countries, all countries in the European Union, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Thailand, New Zealand and South Africa.


Travel to Canada may be possible if you are a convicted felon under special circumstances. According to the U.S. State Department, anyone with a criminal record--including misdemeanours or Driving While Impaired (DWI)--may be barred from entering Canada and must obtain a special waiver in advance of any travel. Visit the Canadian citizenship and immigration website or the Canadian Embassy for information and to apply for a waiver.

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