Enter your search term

Search by title or post keyword

Can a Felon Travel to Cancun?

Table of Contents

Our website is supported by our users. We sometimes earn affiliate links when you click through the affiliate links on our website

Contact us for Questions

After release from prison and completing their terms of probation, felons are allowed to travel freely throughout the U.S.  This is not the case when wanting to travel to another country.

This blog post will cover whether felons are allowed to travel to Cancun.

  • Restrictions on Foreign Travel
  • Why Cancun?
  • Entering Mexico
  • Encouraging Felons to Travel to Cancun


Restrictions on Foreign Travel

Traveling outside the U.S. to another country after a felony conviction is an interesting question.  There is no set standard for restrictions on felons wanting to visit a foreign country.

It depends on the country they want to visit.

For example, when wanting to travel to Canada, the Canadian laws state that anyone with a criminal conviction of any type, felony or misdemeanor, cannot travel freely across the border.

To attempt to do so will result in being turned back at the border.

This doesn’t mean that all countries are as restrictive as Canada.  Each country is different in their restrictions placed on felons desiring to enter their country.

Felons are able to get a passport with certain exceptions.

Those convicted of a drug related felony who crossed the U.S. border in committing the crime, are subject to federal arrest, or are restricted from leaving the country as part of their sentence or probation cannot obtain a passport.

Felons who have an outstanding warrant, are considered a flight risk, or are viewed as a danger to themselves or others in any country to which they may be traveling also cannot get a passport.

For those felons who already have a passport but who fall under these guidelines, they can have their passport revoked or restricted.

Any felon who applies for and receives a passport with any of these restrictions but who lies about them on the application, can also lose their passport.

Other than that felons may legally leave the U.S.

Guidelines for entering another country are the subject of the visa required by each foreign country.

Why Cancun?

Cancun is a small, barrier island in southeastern Mexico.  It has beautiful, sandy beaches, warm water, and balmy weather.

Cancun is considered to be one of the most affordable vacations in the Western Hemisphere with thousands traveling there annually.

Felons are people too and may want to visit a wonderful travel spot with their family.  In fact, during earlier, more peaceful times, they may have gone to Cancun with their family.

Entering Mexico

Current regulations state that in order to enter Mexico, a passport is required.

Many felons have served that typical long prison sentence.  For those who were free prior to 2004 and recall entering Mexico legally without a passport, their memory serves them correctly.

The events of 9/11 signaled a major change in relationships between the U.S. and other countries.

In an effort to strengthen border security and facilitate entry to this country for U.S. citizens and legitimate foreign visitors, the U.S. instituted the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.

With this, all citizens of the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Bermuda are required to present a passport or other acceptable document to verify their identity and nationality to enter or leave the U.S. from within the Western Hemisphere.

All American citizens are required to have a valid U.S. passport when flying to Mexico in order to have the appropriate document upon returning to U.S. soil.

The U.S. State Department requires U.S. citizens to show a passport when returning to the U.S. by air.

For those driving into Mexico, a valid passport is necessary for entry even though documents may not be checked by border personnel upon entry.

It is still essential to have that passport because there are frequently immigration checkpoints set up at intervals along the roads in Mexico to maintain vehicle and document inspections.

At these areas, valid travel documents and an entry permit is required, which can be obtained at immigration checkpoints along the road.

When traveling to Mexico on a closed loop cruise, technically a passport is not required.  A closed loop cruise is one which originates from and terminates in the same American port city.

However, if a cruise stops in a foreign port either as part of the itinerary or because of an emergency, officials in that foreign port typically ask to see passengers’ passports.  It would become a potential legal issue for felons not to have a passport with them.

If felons have a valid passport in their possession upon entering Mexico, their criminal record will not be an issue.  Border officials in Mexico do not have access to U.S. criminal databases.

Those who do not have such a document can be detained, often resulting in missed flights or other return arrangements.

This is especially troublesome for felons who can expect legal problems if they are held for such a reason.

Being able to enter Mexico may not be problematic, but once detained, the issue of felons’ criminal history can play a factor in their being held, which may necessitate legal counsel.

Of course it is important for anyone visiting Cancun to stay out of trouble and avoid legal problems.   This is especially true for felons.

Already having a conviction record, further legal difficulties could easily result in being required to leave the country, have their passport revoked, and face additional legal consequences upon returning to the U.S.  Getting into any type of legal difficulties in Cancun will require expert legal assistance.

Supporting Felons Traveling to Cancun

Families of felons who visit Cancun can be helpful to those felons by encouraging them to travel outside the country for a sense of peace and relaxation.

Once the decision has been made to travel to Cancun, be supportive of their making the trip.

It is important to remind them that as a traveler to a foreign country, just being there as an American will bring them under more scrutiny.

Remind them of their commitment to live an honest life and how legal difficulties while in Cancun will only defeat their efforts to live that life and may result in their returning to prison.

So what do you think about this blog post about whether felons can travel to Cancun?  Have you or someone you know traveled to Cancun after a felony conviction?  What was that experience like?   Please tell us in the comments below.

9 thoughts on “Can a Felon Travel to Cancun?”

  1. Well I am in Mexico as a convicted FELON. To answer all your questions. I asked and spoke at the Mexico City airport. So for all you CHOMOS AND SEX OFFENDERS. The answer is that you guys get a passport that says your a registered sex person. Now days when you get a passport. You have some rules. Drug trafficking at a high level cannot get a passport. So as of now the Mexican government knows this. So if you can get a.passport now days. You will be able to get a passport. Now if you are a creep. Then you will get a memo on your new passport and be put on a international kiddy porn site watcher. A list of sexual predators. So you won’t be able to come in…….so if you want to hide your offense in life. Then you probably won’t be able to come to Mexico. Simple as that…

    • Hey i was convicted of delivery of a controlled substance in 1996 also in 2001 ive served my sentences and done with probation haven’t had a felony since 2006 or any trouble for that matter. What are your thoughts on me getting a passport and being able to travel to Cancun or out of the US for that matter

  2. Felons cannot enter Mexico any longer, they will be turned back at the airport, you may want to edit this post.

        • Can’t eat red meat on Friday
          Yeah it’s a sin because the people selling fish are going broke
          Felons can’t go to Mexico cuz this guy’s a travel agent and he wants to get you to go someplace that suits his pocketbook

    • Can’t eat red meat on Friday
      Yeah it’s a sin because the people selling fish are going broke
      Felons can’t go to Mexico cuz this guy’s a travel agent and he wants to get you to go someplace else to profit


Leave a Comment

Explore More within Felony Record Hub

Jobs for Felons
Get to work faster with jobs for felons curated for you.
post explore


How we help

This website was created by a few folks who have personally watched their loved ones struggle to get a job due to having a felony.

Your New Life Starts Here.

logo frh no text
Start Here
icon jobs

Jobs for Felons

Get to work faster with jobs for felons curated for you.

icon housing

Housing for Felons

Find housing for felons, listed by state.

icon legal

Legal Help

The legal help you need to put your past behind you

icon rights

Rights For Felons

Learn how you can get your rights back as a felon.

icon companies hiring

Companies Hiring Felons

Finding employment as a felon is tough. That’s why we have aggregated the best jobs for felons in one spot.

View Companies
icon programs

Reentry Programs

Resources to help ex-offenders gain essential life skills for making the right choices in life.

View Reentry Programs