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Can Felons Travel to Brazil?

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Watching TV one night this week, the Olympics were on.  Viewing the Games, some felons may recall much earlier times in their lives when they were pursuing an athletic career.

While they may not have been at the same level with those Olympic athletes, they may remember fondly the passion they had for their particular sport.

As they watch the competition from their living room, some of them may wonder what it would be like to actually be there in Brazil to see the action live.

The question is whether or not they would have been able to travel to Brazil to watch the competition in person.

This blog post will cover the question of whether felons can travel to Brazil.

  • Can Felons Leave the Country?
  • Question of a Visa
  • Keeping the Goal of Traveling to Brazil
  • Encouraging Felons in Going to Brazil


Can Felons Leave the Country?

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.

Depending on felons’ circumstances, including the length of their criminal history, seriousness of their offense, and other factors, being granted permission to travel outside their district can be difficult to achieve.

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, the travel possibility increases.

Travel beyond the U.S. border can be accomplished.

There is the question of obtaining 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.

Question of a Visa

Each country establishes and maintains its standards for who is allowed to cross their border.

In order to travel to Brazil, a visa is required due to the reciprocal rule Brazil has put in place.  What this means is that basically, Brazil mirrors what the USA makes Brazilian citizens go through in order to enter the country.

If you’re in a hurry to get your visa or want someone to walk you through the process, we recommend you use this website to help.

If you’re simply looking to visit, look into getting a tourist visa to enter the country.

As long as felons present a valid passport and Visa, they will be allowed entry into the country.

Then there is a work visa that anyone coming to the country for business, educational, cultural, or artistic reasons.

Another category of visa that may be required is a permanent visa.  This is a visa for persons intending to live in Brazil.

Those with a misdemeanor conviction are not considered to represent a potential danger to society.  For them, obtaining a visa is not a problem.

According to the Brazilian government, crimes which may pose a problem for those seeking a visa, include, any resulting in a term of confinement or imprisonment.

These are such crimes as carrying weapons, robbery, murder, fraud, and drug trafficking.

Guidelines for felons wanting to obtain a visa, as long as they have fully served the complete terms of their conviction, state that obtaining a visa should not be difficult as long as this condition is met.

A criminal background check will be conducted on anyone who has served a prison term in the U.S.

However, there is no guarantee that felons with any of these or other serious crime on their record can get a visa.

So, it is actually in the best interest for felons wanting to travel to Brazil to have their record expunged before applying for a Brazilian visa to give themselves the best chance possible in being successful in being approved for that visa.

Working hard, getting a job, and additional education can all help in getting that felony off their record.

Keeping the Goal of Traveling to Brazil

It is important for felons to not give up on traveling to a country such as Brazil following incarceration.  Thinking back on their restrictive time in prison can prompt many felons to want to travel.

They may have even dreamed of the day when this would once again be possible.  It is very important to not give up on those dreams, just as those Olympic athletes kept their dreams alive to reach the pinnacle in their sport.

Such dreams are an essential part of the rehabilitation process, the desire to live an honest life and to do the things that others without a felony conviction can do.

Travel outside of the U.S. is certainly an important part of this.

Encouraging Felons in Going to Brazil

For families of felons who wish to travel to Brazil, it is important to encourage them to pursue this.

Don’t let them allow their mistakes from the past stop them from enjoying life again.  Restrictions will be there regardless unless they have their record expunged.

Help them travel to Brazil, assist them in the process, and encourage them to obey the laws of Brazil when they are there.  In case of legal difficulties, they can find a lawyer.

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

5 thoughts on “Can Felons Travel to Brazil?”

  1. No visa is required to visit Brazil. However, the U.S. Embassy shares traveler information and your felony will be discovered quickly. Most likely you will be stopped and denied entry at the airport. On the outside chance you get past immigration, Brazilian federal police will find you and send a team to arrest you with rifles. You will be removed, your belongings will not be brought with you, and you will be taken to the nearest international airport under immigration custody and deported. If you ever return, you will go to Prison. Generally, if you have a felony conviction, you are stuck in the U.S. until you die.

  2. I’m an American and I have have a job offer to work in Brazil. I have been in China for the past 2 years and I am applying for visa to Brazil from China. I was busted with some weed in China about 8 months – I only had to pay a fine but it’s on my police clearance.

    What my chances of getting the work visa?


  3. Hey Q!

    Thanks for the correction here, looks like some things may have changed since we first wrote the article. It has now been updated.

  4. This article is incorrect. In order to visit Brasil, even for a trip of less than 90 days, a visa is required. And you have to get it prior to your trip (they don’t do airport visas). Don’t let this discourage you as Brasil is a beautiful country, but the article is not correct about the visa requirements (for Americans).


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