After release from prison and completing their terms of probation, felons are of course 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 Chile.
- Restrictions on Foreign Travel
- Why Chile?
- Traveling to Chile
- Entering Chile
- Supporting a Felon Traveling to Chile
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.
Another previous blog post addressed the issue of whether felons could obtain a passport, allowing them to travel outside the U.S.
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 would felons want to visit Chile? Well, for the same reasons anyone wants to travel there. Felons may have served time in prison, but they have the same interests as any other U.S. citizen.
Traveling to Chile is no exception.
Chile is a popular destination for thousands of tourists from the U.S. each year for a number of reasons.
Chile is a long, narrow country on the western edge of South America.
This country contains the world’s driest place on earth, the Atacama Desert.
Traveling to Chile
Flying to Chile shouldn’t pose a problem for felons.
The only restriction for them flying would be if they have a felony warrant outstanding against them.
The other possible issue would be if their name is on what is called the no-fly list maintained by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for those suspected of being terrorists.
There are about 3500 names on this list at any time. So, felons are probably OK for flying.
Chile has several requirements all U.S. citizens, regardless of whether they are felons or not, must meet in order to gain entry.
First, the law in Chile states that they must have at least six valid months remaining on their passport when entering the country.
Those U.S. citizens who stay in the country less than 90 days need to have only a passport. No visa is required.
Any stay by a U.S. citizen of more than 90 days will require a visa, which must be obtained prior to departing form the U.S.
If you’re in a hurry to get your visa or want someone to walk you through the process, I recommend you use this website to help.
Felons would do best if they plan their stay in the country to be limited to less than 90 days in order to not have to be subjected to having their criminal record checked.
For felons especially, their conduct while in Chile is critical. Of course they will want to stay out of legal difficulties.
This would obviously result in significant problems for felons who may find it extremely difficult to gain their release. For those felons ending up in jail, good legal counsel will be necessary.
It is best to strictly obey all laws and be able to leave the country as planned.
Supporting a Felon Traveling to Chile
Families of felons who visit Chile 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 Chile, 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. For this reason and others, they must obey the laws and not draw the attention of the legal authorities to themselves.
Remind them of their commitment to live an honest life and how legal difficulties while in Chile will only defeat these efforts and may result in returning to prison.
Approximately 69% of those released from prison return within the first two years. Don’t be one of those statistics.
So what do you think about this blog post about how a felon can travel to Chile? Have you or someone you know traveled to Chile with a felony? What was that like and were they successful? Please tell us in the comments below.