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Can a Felon Travel to England?

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Many felons can recall having the desire to travel back when life was different and simpler, before their felony conviction.

They may have dreamed of traveling abroad before their conviction, and for some this may have been a reality.

This blog post will address the question of whether a felon can travel to England.

  • Travel Restrictions
  • Why England?
  • Traveling to England
  • Requirements to Enter England
  • Encouraging Felons to Travel to England


Travel Restrictions

Upon release, felons must complete the terms of their sentence, which typically involves being on probation, reporting to their probation officer in person or checking in online monthly.

During the probation period, felons are restricted from leaving the district in which they reside without permission from their probation officer.

Of course, travel outside the U.S. is out of the question until the conditions of probation have been satisfied entirely.

Once this is accomplished, travel beyond the U.S. border is possible.

They must obtain a passport, which is a form of identification from the federal government allowing international travel.  Felons are able to obtain a passport.

Being convicted of drug trafficking or a crime of treason against the U.S. may prevent felons from being able to obtain a passport, as well as for anyone owing at least a certain amount of child support.

Having current legal charges pending can also prevent having a passport.  This is because leaving the country will be interpreted as an unlawful attempt to avoid prosecution, which is itself a federal crime.

Traveling to another country with a passport is very possible.

Why England?

Why would felons want to visit England?  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 England is no exception.

England is one of the most frequently visited nations with thousands of tourists every year, including many from the U.S.  England is the nation of some of the best known historical and literary individuals.

It is home to numerous old cities, historical monuments, majestic castles, and famous museums.  It is also the country of origin for many felons’ ancestors.

While England is part of Europe, it is not in the Schengen area, which is a group of 26 countries that have joined together to have a common border for tourists, including felons, who can visit any of those countries with a single passport entry.  However, it is still part of the European Union.

Traveling to England

Flying to England 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.

Going on a cruise is a popular means of travel to England

There are two types of cruises, closed loop and open loop.  A closed loop cruise is one that starts and ends in the same U.S. port while an open loop cruise has different starting and final port city locations.

Felons may sail on either type of cruise, although the requirements for a closed loop cruise are less restrictive than for open loop cruises.

U.S. citizens going on a closed loop cruise can depart and enter the U.S. with only proof of citizenship.  This proof consists of an original or copy of a birth certificate and a government issued photo ID.

Open loop cruises require a passport, regardless of the starting or destination port.

Requirements to Enter England

England 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 England 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 iVisa 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 England 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.

Encouraging Felons to Travel to England

Families of felons who visit England can be helpful to those felons by encouraging them to travel outside the country for a sense of peace and relaxation.  A trip to England can also be a great opportunity to re-connect with their family.

Once the decision has been made to travel to England, 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 England 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 let them be one of those statistics.

So what do you think about this blog post about how a felon can travel to England?  Have you or someone you know been through this experience?  What was that like and were they successful?   Please tell us in the comments below.

4 thoughts on “Can a Felon Travel to England?”

  1. Thank you. This was indeed helpful and insightful to me. I really appreciate your “open-mindedness” regarding ex felons. There actually are some of us that got caught up in sticky situations that weren’t even completely our fault except by association. The stigma attached to people previously convicted of a crime, no matter the cause, affect, or having fulfilled all of their duties to society after enduring their punishment, is unfortunately very close-minded. Just like with any stereo type, it has its reason for existing, but it also has its own set of people that are included that do not portray any of its characteristics. Some of us were absolutely law abiding before and after, and just want to go back to “normal life” and be treated the same way that any other tax paying citizen enjoys. So thank you for providing insight to both ex felons, and “thier families” or persons never convicted of a crime. Just a little nugget to throw in there for people that make judgements; have you ever not put your seat belt on, or driven in excess of the speed limit, lied on taxes, left out information when speaking to a public official, or ever even gotten into a fight that you didn’t want or cause??? If so, then you too have broken a law. And in all honesty can you be honest with yourself and realize that you are defined as a criminal? If you can, then you have absolutely passing judgment on anyone else. Food for thought.

  2. So if someone has been incarcerated for 12 years, completes his 1 year probation and attains a passport he can come and visit England and won’t get turned back by immigration control??

  3. An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who was conducting a little homework on this.
    And he actually ordered me breakfast due to the fact that I stumbled upon it for
    him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanx for spending time to talk about this matter here
    on your internet site.

  4. Some states have different rules for travel while on probation. Here in Montana, you can travel outside of the US while on probation, though you have to go through a lot of paperwork to do so. Most of it is to come back into the US and for the State.


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