Traveling with a Criminal History

Traveling with a Criminal History

The internet has limited information about traveling with a criminal history. That’s because most countries do not stop people from entering just because they have an antiquated or insignificant criminal history. What’s more, this is a non issue in most countries.

However, there is a certain level of hyper-awareness about this issue in some countries including North America. Canada and the US have measures in place to bar border crossing for people that have a criminal history. That means you will be scrutinized further if the immigration officials and relevant authorities realize that you have a criminal history.

Relevant Information

In most countries where criminal history is an issue of concern, relevant information is readily available. For instance, you will find information on traveling with a criminal history on the website of the immigration agency. Criminals are not welcomed in many countries for obvious reasons. However, the criminal history required to deny someone entry into a nation or the duration that has passed since their last conviction differs radically among countries.

For instance, even a minor conviction for a criminal offense that occurred 50 years ago can make North America deny you entry. On the other hand, there are countries that require criminal conviction to be of a violent nature to deny you entry. For some countries to deny you entry, the crime must be serious.

Common Criminal Offenses

There are common criminal offenses that most countries consider to deny individuals entry. Generally, recent and violent criminal convictions are entry issues in most countries. People in parole or probation are required to follow the strict travel policies that their probation officers have set to the letter. Leaving a country without permission from the probation officer is treated as a violation.


When traveling to a county that considers criminal history, answer all questions asked when applying for a visa truthfully. Also be honest throughout the customs process. That’s because providing false statements will cause permanent or lengthy bar to the country particularly Canada and the US. Nevertheless, a country like United Kingdom has a “spent” conviction concept. Thus, such convictions may not affect you if you meet “spent” convictions conditions.