Enter your search term

Search by title or post keyword

Can Felons Travel to Mexico?

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

Before that conviction, felons were accustomed to traveling as they wanted.  Many journeyed throughout the country as well as into other nations.  Of course that included the U.S. neighbor to the south, Mexico.

After their release from prison, felons’ travel is restricted outside the jurisdiction in which they live while on probation.  Once they have completed their terms of probation, felons are of course allowed to travel freely throughout the U.S.

This is not true when wanting to travel beyond this country’s borders.

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

  • Requiring a Passport to Travel to Mexico
  • Travel into Mexico
  • Being Detained in Mexico
  • Supporting Felons Traveling to Mexico


Requiring a Passport to Travel to 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.

Another blog post discussed how 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 any felon 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.

Travel into Mexico

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.

Being Detained in Mexico

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 Mexico 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 legal difficulties in Mexico will require expert legal assistance.

Supporting Felons Traveling to Mexico

Families of felons who visit Mexico 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 Mexico, 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 Mexico 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 Mexico?  Have you or someone you know traveled to Mexico after a felony conviction?  What was that experience like?   Please tell us in the comments below.

10 thoughts on “Can Felons Travel to Mexico?”

  1. Most felons can go to Mexico. I did so e checking on some people who said they were denied to go into Mexico. Well to tell you that all of them were registered sex offenders. Which all countries have a watchlist for. It’s to protect children from these predators. Most of these felons speaking don’t talk about there offense. Instead complain that they were denied. Well there is a reason to that. Interpol has a sex offender registry. Some countries don’t have this because they are not part of them. Sex offenders are not allowed in many countries because they are barred due to being registered each year. So to answer a straight question. Yes you can go to Mexico as a felon. Just don’t be a sexual predator……

    • My husband is currently on probation for alcohol drinking and driving, he is allowed to have a passport and travel but since he still a felon im afraid to go to Mexico and he gets returned, this is very hard for me because i really want to go since im from there can u assure me he will be ok? He is not a sex offender or a murder he just fucking stupid to drink and drive

    • Can you go to Mexico if you have a second degree battery. That’s the only thing that I have on my record. It’s a felony charge.

  2. My Husband was denied entry into Mexico 08/2018 via air travel per a conviction from the USA 19 years ago! We were devastated-he flew into Mexico from the Dominica Republic

  3. So I have a drug trafficking dismissed but read in but I also just got my passport for the first time. Will I have trouble getting into Mexico?

  4. My husband is a convicted felon. He is not on any probation or parole. The cruise we are going on is 4 days long headed to cozumel. The cruise requires a birth certificate and valid I.d. does he need to have a passport or will these documents surfice for him?

    • I have been on 7 cruises and all going in and out of Mexico Jamaica Honduras beleize and I was perfect on cruise. I can tell you first hand 4 days ain’t enough. But have birth certificates and dl,ready. Y’all we will be fine

      I am 48 and was 17 when I was stupid been off paper for 20 plus years and never had an issue

  5. This is not true. I have a valid passport valid for years. I was turned away from Mexico after flying in for vacation due to my past criminal record in the USA. They put me back on the next plane and sent me home. The sad thing is the law I broke was actually legal in Mexico but they still sent me back. I have been on many cruises and never had a problem at the port, but was told I am not allowed to fly in.

    • Wondering where you are able to travel?? My husband and I want to travel and now mexico is off the list. SO….IF you could share with me your experiences.


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