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Old 02-12-2010, 14:45   #1
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Sailing with a Felon

The title says it all. My friend did about two years in the states on a financial crime. So he's a low grade felon. This was about 10 years ago. We're thinking about cruising the Caribbean maybe more so there would be a lot of different countries. Anybody have any experience with this? I just don't want to pull into port only to be turned around. BOB
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Old 02-12-2010, 14:56   #2
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Is he eligible for a passport? If not, there's no issue ... he can't go. If he is, then I don't see an issue... a US passport doesn't list previous crimes and misdemeanors, does it?

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Old 02-12-2010, 14:56   #3
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I think thats a problem pretty unique to 'over there'... I've never known it to be applied in Europe... and a fair few Islands are still tied into European countries in one form or the other... so I think you'll be fine...
We have the attitude you've done the time... you've paid for the crime... might affect certain job applications but thats about it...
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Old 02-12-2010, 15:11   #4
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Is he eligible for a passport? If not, there's no issue ... he can't go. If he is, then I don't see an issue... a US passport doesn't list previous crimes and misdemeanors, does it?

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Actually it's quite common for immigration officers to ask if you've ever been convicted of a crime. MANY Americans are instantly excluded from visiting Canada because of their prior Drunk Driving convictions. It's the number one reason Americans get turned around at the Canadian border. If you lie, and the conviction turns up on their routine entry into the computer - then you can be charged with a crime and officially deported (although normally they simply have you sign a voluntary departure order and agree not to attempt to return.)

Th best advice for the OP is to have your friend apply for an expungement in the jurisdiction where he was convicted. As long as it's been 8 years or more, and he hasn't been in any other trouble, the expungement will be granted. Even then, it's smart for him to carry that expungement paperwork with him, and to honestly answer the prior crimes question when asked by immigration.

As a matter of expediency, it's best to have all adults aboard retrieve a copy of their prior 10 year criminal histories from their local police - when planning to visit multiple countries (some countries will actually require it and it can be an expensive, and seemingly insurmountable, endeavor if you tempt to retrieve such histories after departure).

The expungement will help your buddy in more ways than just simple travel expediency. Again, as long as he hasn't continued in criminal enterprise, the expungement is basically just paperwork.
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Old 02-12-2010, 15:13   #5
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I would think he'd just fit right in...


On the other hand he could avoid them looking too closely at old history...

just wear a checked towel on his head and carry a black bowling ball with a string out the finger hole...
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Old 03-12-2010, 08:01   #6
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If he has a passport he's fine.
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Old 03-12-2010, 09:09   #7
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If he has a passport he's fine.
it's not always enough to have a passport. Some countries require application for a visa prior to entry, and many of those countries tend to be reluctant to allow felons to enter.
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Old 03-12-2010, 10:12   #8
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citizens of the U.S.A,Canada and the E.U do not require a visa or get scrutinized by Immigration or Customs from Caribbean countries.
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Old 03-12-2010, 14:10   #9
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it's not always enough to have a passport. Some countries require application for a visa prior to entry, and many of those countries tend to be reluctant to allow felons to enter.
You sir, are right.
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Old 03-12-2010, 14:32   #10
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citizens of the U.S.A,Canada and the E.U do not require a visa or get scrutinized by Immigration or Customs from Caribbean countries.
never once when i was in usvi and bvi did they ask about crimes or criminal activity as we checked in. may be a decent place to start.

might want to check noonsite for updates-- they may have info--is a good site.
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Old 03-12-2010, 14:41   #11
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So it's just canada that aggressively tries to keep out the ex criminals? I too have talked to people denied entry to canada because of drunk driving convictions
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Old 03-12-2010, 14:52   #12
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yeah--usa lets in jack the ripper and canada sends them --and wont let them go back.. we dont let ours out lol.. go figger...we have ours playing pro football..
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Old 03-12-2010, 15:15   #13
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Former boss had a felony pot conviction from the eighties. US citizen. Traveled all over Europe, Bahamas, VI, etc with no problem. His experience, any country that admits US citizens without a visa he was not asked, had no problem.

Countries that required a visa might be a problem. Some ask, some don't. Australia for example, if you have a criminal record you have to fill in extra forms with full information on your conviction and submit it with your visa request. He never tried so don't know if they would have granted the visa or not.
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Old 03-12-2010, 15:23   #14
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An old pot conviction would not have been a problem in Australia. Recent and major convictions for drug sales or violence would probably be considered by immigration. It's interesting that you refer to your friend as a "felon". In the US, it appears that his old pot conviction characterises him in that way. The word "felon" in Australia is old Engish and was used in the 1700s and 1800s to describe people convicted of crime -even petty crime. It's not used in Australia. The nearest is "criminal" but that appelation tends to be applied to people with a career on the wrong side of the law and who have been convicted on a series of serious crimes. Even then, it's mainly law enforcement agencies who use it. There are lots of people in Australia with old pot convictions. Nobody even thinks about it, let alone labels them for their conviction many years hence.
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Old 03-12-2010, 15:32   #15
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It's interesting that you refer to your friend as a "felon". In the US, it appears that his old pot conviction characterises him in that way. The word "felon" in Australia is old Engish and was used in the 1700s and 1800s to describe people convicted of crime -even petty crime. It's not used in Australia.
In the US they categorize minor crimes as "misdemeanors" and more serious crimes as "felonies". Today in the US in most states possession of a small quantity of marijuana is a misdemeanor. Larger quantities, sales or harder drugs usually a felony. His conviction was back during the days when pot was considered more dangerous and possession was almost always a felony. Plus he was caught with more than a couple of joints, hence his designation as a felon. He always wanted to go to Australia to dive the barrier reef but figured his record would keep him out.
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