Can I Get a Passport If I Have a Criminal Record?

It is no secret that being convicted of crimes can impact your life. The impact reaches into almost all aspects of your life. In fact, if you have been convicted of a crime, you might find that it is difficult to travel internationally.

Can someone with a criminal record get a passport?

Some people who have a criminal record might be able to get a passport. Drug convictions can make it difficult to get a passport. A person who has a conviction for international drug trafficking is automatically excluded from being able to get a passport.

When can I get a passport if I was convicted of a crime?

You can apply for a passport once you have completed any jail, prison, halfway house, probation or parole sentence. If a court issued an order for you to avoid international travel, that order has to be lifted before you can obtain a passport even if you meet the other requirements.

Can I travel anywhere if I have criminal convictions and a passport?

No, you can't travel anywhere you want. Some countries have entry laws that forbid people with criminal convictions from entering the country. Other countries have specific rules for people with criminal convictions. Belgium won't allow people who have criminal convictions to enter the country unless they have a ticket out of the country as well as funds for the trip.

Fighting against criminal charges might help some people avoid some of the consequences of criminal convictions. While there is no guarantee that will happen, it certainly won't happen if you don't present your fight in a legal manner.

Source: Passport Offices, "International Travel for Convicted Felons," accessed May. 07, 2015

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