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General News

International Travel

In an effort to keep this site organized and the comments on the topic of each post, comments, questions and suggestions regarding International Travel will be moved to this post. Please use this for all further immigration / emigration / customs related contributions.

NEW: International Megan’s Law – International Travel Action Group

Also see:
International Travel – Mexico
Living with 290: Traveling to Cabo San Lucas

Resources for International Travel

DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP)

The Department of Homeland Security Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP) is a single point of contact for individuals who have inquiries or seek resolution regarding difficulties they experienced during their travel screening at transportation hubs—like airports and train stations—or crossing U.S. borders,

Tip from comments:

Go onto the Homeland Security web site and file whats called a Redress (your addressing your being held up or perhaps miss flights/etc due to constantly being stopped when you re-enter the country). Then, when you travel and re-enter the country, hand both the paper (they will email you a very official paper) and your passport to Customs. The first time I did this, the Customs Officer seemed to not know what it was and the Supervisor read it and I was on my way.


Inadmissibility – Reasons for inadmissibility – Overcome criminal convictions – Deemed rehabilitation

Rehabilitation For Persons Who Are Inadmissible to Canada Because of Past Criminal Activity


International Travel for Residents of AWA States – AWA compliant States

Join the discussion

  1. Geezer

    Going On a closed loop cruise in June to Bermuda.Will this present any problems with the new IML. Since its a cruise they cant send me back home but could they prevent me from leaving the ship?

    • Commenter1

      I did one of those a couple years ago and had no issues but it’s hard to say what they might do. Please report back and let us know if you face any issues. At this point it’s not clear how to be in compliance with the notification provision in IML since the US Attorney General needs to publish its time and manner requirements for the advance notice. For now just follow whatever the requirements are in your state law?

  2. Anonymous

    Here is a stupid question regarding travel to Latin American countries: has anyone tried bribing officials in the denying countries to look the other way? I know, I know, it’s dishonest and corrupt, but I’ve also heard that it is commonplace in some of the poorer countries. “Mordida” used to be quite a thing in Mexico; I wonder if you could convince a border guard to let you in by asking him if you can pay extra for a “special” visa?

    And onto another topic completely: has anyone managed to expatriate successfully? If so, to where?

    • mch


      Mordita is alive and well. Last year, late at night in Mexico’s tourist zone, I was stopped by the police and accused of driving drunk. Well, I didn’t drink a thing, but one can’t really argue with three well armed policemen. They wanted to take me to the doctor to get tested which would have been $200.00. I said, “oh, I get it! How much to settle here and not get tested?” They got $60, so everything south of the border is negotiable. I envision just handing my passport over with a Benjamin in it and see what may come of that. With enough money, one could buy citizenship

      • TiredOfHiding

        That is a simple shakedown by a low level policeman. Policemen there as in much of the 3rd world are rarely high school graduates and make nothing at all, hence the bribes and tourist shakedowns.

        Do not assume that border guards of the same caliber or you could end up paying a huge fine or actual jail time.

        In addition, do not assume that if you do manage to cross a boarder that you are home free as you are not. You would still not be a legal citizen of the country and simple an illegal alien and you most certainly will stand out being a gringo.

        Don’t you think that US Marshals and/or Interpol will be looking for you and you will be rather easy to spot.

        “With enough money, one can buy citizenship” rubbish, perhaps it was once true but the sort of actual investor citizenship you are referring too was/is normally an investment of $250,000 cash in some business in the country. Besides that fast tracking a citizenship or new passport you STILL need to provide an FBI background check which would show a sex offence so you would be rejected as a candidate for the investor visa/citizenship scheme you seek.

        DO some actual research and not just read crap online.

    • David Kennerly

      As a Registrant? That’s a really difficult row to hoe. I can’t say that I know of a way to do so legally.

      Every country with which I am familiar requires police reports from the U.S. and any serious felony is invariably disqualifying.

      For the young and adventurous, you can try bakshish (or mordita, as it would be in Central and South America) but realize that you are taking some risks.

      Good luck!

      • PK

        Yes particularly when you are required to submit an application and documents in order to receive any type of permanent residency.

      • anonymous

        I wonder if these new laws might be just the thing to push other, more compassionate countries into accepting RC’s as asylees. I’m at the point where I don’t see any hope in this country, and leaving seems to be the only option for having any semblance of a normal life.

    • Jonathon Merritt

      As far as I know, you can still walk across the border into Nogales Mex from Nogales AZ.
      I did in 2006 when I was laid over there as a trucker. Just take the bus to border and there is a street that you walk down that takes you into downtown Nogales Mex. Its a tourist area so your pretty safe there. when you come back you go down a different path that takes you into a us border office that looks at your Passport and asks if you what you brought back with you.
      Also if you are in El Paso there is an easy way to get across the border.
      You go to the Luvs Truck stop and ask one of the truckers parked there to call for the Jackel on the cb radio. The jackel will take you across the border in his personal car to a cat house for a fee of 45 dollars. this includes all the beer you want to drink. He has an arrangement with the federalies and they leave him and his passengers alone. So for anyone who has a plan to to live in Mexico, Here are two options that will get you across the border.

      • Mike

        When you return you may have a very big problem. First now the law is in effect that RC’s must notify our government 21 days prior to going to Mexico. That includes when and where and how you will cross. When you come back is when the flag will go up as you also have to tell our government 21 days before we cross back into the USA. If you have not done that and present your passport, there may be a big problem.
        If you cross into Mexico and stay for several weeks and then tell our government 21 days before you return, I guess you could say that you have been in Mexico since the first of Feb.

        • PK

          That all depends if you live and are registered in a SORNA State.

    • j

      Not advisable to share such inquiries in public, if you have discovered any remedies, is a private conversation possible?

  3. kelnothiding

    well I see everyones point about this notice of travel thing , just as it would have been in Nazi Germany , but even know this is all in your face unjust , now I will say that I will not even try to pretend that I know a 10th of what many of the people know about all this , but what I know is , is the fact that the US GOV are the best pointing over here and there , and wail we are looking , the Gov is doing the flim flam dance loading there pockets or what ever , but I am seeing that the most affluent people that is fighting against this unjust registry are putting there energy in this travel thing , my self I have never had the money to travel out of the US , and hell if I had and really knew what I was missing I might freak out lol , I understand that the wall has been raised , but we are all still behind that wall , so please don’t for get about all us poor folks that are doing good to stay out from under the bridge and food in the familys belly , and safe from stalkers , hell it would be great to just be able to afford to travel for fun right here in the good old USA with out fear of not having any rights that protect us from this stalker registry , no matter what I am behind you and yours , I care about everyone and thanks to all that have the nuts to stand up , I love to read everyones comments ,thanks if you even took the time to read my little comment , the ol GOV just seems to be trying to separate us by class of crimes and many other things , seems that there stiring things up on to many fronts to make us feel over whelmed , and to costly to fight , yours truly

  4. quint

    Such a strange system. My wife and I and are applying for a spousal visa, and I’m (so far)not rejected by the ministry of justice of immigration to move to country X permanently. I spoke with my SO officer on how this all works. She said give her FIVE days to process paperwork, and I’ll be out of the system. But IML states 21 days…but my officer states that’s for TRAVEL, not relocation. Any thoughts?

    • James

      Quint, you are so close to being legitimately gone and free of this insanity….I’d give the 21 day notice…what is an extra 16 days? But who to give notice too? Maybe just telling your SO is enough…then hang for the 16 days.

      This was suggested to me yesterday when I called my local authorities…some people have said that this is sufficient notice until something is actually put in place.

      I don’t think either of us is important enough to prosecute over this 21 day thing…and I understand your desire to just be gone.

      I have thought of foreign marriage as a way out myself…when you are safely gone, let us know the process if possible.

      Thanks, and good luck,

      Best Wishes, James

    • PK

      Hi Quint,

      Could you explain, what is an SO Officer?

      Also, which country were you referring to with “ministry of justice of immigration” ?

      There should be no harm in revealing this as we are all anonymous here.

    • Timmmy

      Thoughts: that law is illegal and Unconstitutional

    • Commenter1

      IML does not prescribe a 21 day notice. That’s just something in the SORNA supplemental guidelines. IML actually states that the time and manner for the advance notice is to be determined by the US Attorney General. I have no idea how that information will be communicated to us?

      • Joe

        So if your state does not require any advance notice there is no mechanism or recipient for that notice. But you become subject to Federal Law / SORNA requirements when you engage in international travel, meaning the second you leave the US to another country, or actually leave California to another state. Either via ground to Mexico or Canada; Marine Vessel or Airplane to Mexico, Canada or any other country.

        At which point, the very nano-second of border crossing, you must go back in time a minimum of 21 days to give the required notice.

        Am I understanding this correctly?

        Need me one of these:

        • commenter1

          This is what IML says:
          “(c) Time And Manner.—A sex offender shall provide and update information required under subsection (a), including information relating to intended travel outside the United States required under paragraph (7) of that subsection, in conformity with any time and manner requirements prescribed by the Attorney General.”

          It also says this:
          “(b) International Travel Reporting Violations.—Whoever—

          (1) is required to register under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (42 U.S.C. 16901 et seq.);

          (2) knowingly fails to provide information required by the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act relating to intended travel in foreign commerce; and

          (3) engages or attempts to engage in the intended travel in foreign commerce;

          shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.”

          It is entirely unclear how the US Attorney General will make sense of this given that some states do not require the collection of advance travel notices. In my state we have to provide our travel itinerary to our registering agency within 3 days of departure from our registered home(s) when we will be away from our registered home(s) for 3 or more days. If I went to my local PD and gave them my travel itinerary 21 days in advance they would look at me funny and have no idea why I am reporting the information that early. They also would not be likely to forward that information to the U.S. Government since they have no such procedures mandated by my state.

        • Joe

          “In my state we have to provide our travel itinerary to our registering agency within 3 days of departure from our registered home(s) when we will be away from our registered home(s) for 3 or more days.”

          For reals? For a long weekend? How? In person? What if you have no itinerary and just go on a road trip where the wind blows you?

          Which state is this? How is this not exactly like probation, aka punishment?

          Again. Really???

        • got back

          I just got back from a weekend trip to Canada with no issues… So they have not gotten their shit together by any means. However keep in mind, I was never convicted, but had a deferred adjudication case in Texas.. I am not required to register in my current state any longer and have changed my name; so Texas has my old name listed still.. I dont plan on ever providing them my new information.

    • commenter1

      Are you planning to move to Sweden or the UK?

      • David H


        why do you mention those two countries:Sweden or UK? what’s significant of those? I know the UK doesnt want you, but I never heard anything regarding Sweden!

    • j

      Spousal visa for you to go there or her to come here?

  5. Spiff

    I have some interesting updates. In February 2016 I successfully traveled to the Dominican Republic. I was not brought to secondary screening nor questioned. Much different than a year ago when I was still registered and attempted to travel to Mexico. So here is what I know:
    After probably 20 phone calls to every US justice agency, two different FOIA requests, and obtaining a new passport, I was able to travel abroad without issue. Here are the two most important pieces of information I have gleaned:
    1) When I attempted to travel to Mexico in 2015, my FOIA request of Interpol and the US Marshals showed that my registry jurisdiction is actually the agency that initiated my travel notification. It was not initiated from the US Marshals as I assumed it was.
    2) After having multiple conversations with the FOIA people at Interpol it was cryptically revealed to me that maybe there never was a Green Notice sent out on me the first time. Basically I was asked if my FOIA stated anywhere on it that a Green Notice was sent and it did not. To me this means that Green Notices are not automatically sent out on sex offenders. Just a regular email notification can be sent by your registration jurisdiction to the Marshals then forwarded to Interpol. I confirmed this by emailing back and forth with the Marshals at which time they confirmed with me there was no Green Notice at Interpol with my name. Maybe we are all throwing around this Green Notice term a little too loosely when in reality our local registration jurisdictions are really the ones outing us and Green Notices really are only for the worst of the worst. Food for thought!
    I’m not sure I’m out of the woods yet though with this new law. My parents received a letter from their state Senator assuring them that only currently registered citizens will be flagged for travel. I’ll believe it when I see it though.
    I hope this is helpful to someone!

    • James

      Dear Spiff:

      This is really wonderful…and useful information. This may explain in part why Europe was so easy for me in 2014…and except for my detention in S. Korea in 2008….Asia was open to me in 2012. However, this all seems willy-nilly and happenchance…

      There is one thing I did not understand from your post however, where you say:

      “Much different than a year ago when I was still registered….”

      I would expect your travel experiences to be different if you are not Registered…how did you become un-Registered if you don’t mind me asking? This seems like the critical piece of information that is missing, or would help explain your recent travel expierences.

      Thanks for any reply you might give.

      Best Wishes, James

      • Spiff

        Yes I was able to deregister because I had a deferred sentence and yes traveling is easier if off the registry. What I was afraid of was the fact that I had already tried traveling unsuccessfully while registered and I assumed a Green Notice was sent out about me which lasts for 5 years. Because my last travel attempt was successful is why I determined that maybe there never was a Green Notice on me.

      • j

        I too would like to discover IF you had LS and was able to file a petition for removal (after 10 -15 years) or, did you successfully accomplish another legal remedy?

    • Rob


      I’m glad you got into the Dominican Republic.Hope you had a great time!
      I too traveled there but I was denied entry in 2015. Before that i was granted entry into Mexico in 2014.

      – You said it’s our local jurisdiction’s outing us from your example. I would say that in my case that is not what happened. When I flew internationally both times I did not tell my local police department, the state or the 21 days advanced SORNA notice.
      I believe local authorities and my state were mostly in the dark about the Angel watch program and my travels overseas.
      When I arrived they were not waiting for me at the gate but when i went through customs i was flagged and that’s where they printed off the notices. The reason I believe they were not at the gate is because when i left the Miami airport is when ICE sent the notification and it gave the authorities in Dominican not much time to respond to me. I have also talked to immigration and they absolutely denied sending any requests to deny my entry, which i believe is false. They were still keeping this under wraps in 2015.

      • Rob

        “ the worst of the worst”

        This is absolutely FALSE spiff. Who ever is feeding you this information is not feeding you facts.

        I have a class D misdemeanor and I have to register for 1 more year, 10 total. I have passed my ccw background check, T.W.I.C and Hazmat. I’m in college full time. I doubt that would have been the case if my crime was worse. I wouldn’t consider myself the “worst of the worst”. I consider your information to be false, no offense. I appreciate you trying relay information to all of us but I don’t believe anything you said is accurate, including our local jurisdiction’s notifying others to our travels.

        • Spiff

          I’m sorry you feel that way? I spent the last year researching this issue and speaking to every possible government agency and what I reported above are my findings. I have solid evidence in paper documents that show my registering jurisdiction initiated my notification. I am not saying that is the ONLY method in which travel notifications occur. The US Marshals told me that if you are on the active registry that your name will be flagged when you book your trip and they run your name against the databases.

          Regarding the “worst of the worst” comment, I apologize for not clarifying the context of this. It is a complete bullshit statement that I have seen thrown around by US officials. It’s a lie, and I apologize for repeating that language. All I know is there must not be a Green Notice out there on me, so it makes me wonder if that is really what is being sent for the majority of us. Maybe they reserve that specific notice for specific offenders? No clue.

        • Timmr

          Spiff, I can believe you. Often government bureaucracy operates in this haphazard, disjunctive inefficient way. I remember the Government Oversight Committee mentioned this very criticism. I believe this unorganized approach to registrant notification is why they needed the IML, to coordinate between departments and to have a blueprint for how it is to be done. Everything I have heard on this site about people’s travel experiences seems to bear this out. There is not much rhyme or reason to it.

        • Redeemed1

          Rob..just curious, what is a ccw background check? Thanks

        • D

          Rob, curious are you in CA? If so what County if I may ask? I’d like to get a ccw sometime, but doubt the sheriff would approve it.

    • Need to Know

      I agree that the term “Green Notices” is being thrown around loosely here. Notices are being sent to destination countries but they are not Green Notices. Green Notices are system wide notices and stay in place for a 5 year period. Green Notices would follow you around no matter where you travel – so if you fly to Paris and then buy a ticket in Paris to fly to Qatar, every country you enter would know there is a green notice. The notices, as they are now, would only be sent to Paris because US authorities would not know you bought a ticket when you were in Paris. However, with the RC need to provide advanced notification, you cannot use this work around.

      • PK

        Are you an expert on Green Notices?

        If so, you would be the first user on this site, who would appear to have so much information about these Green Notices.

        You said that: “Green Notices are system wide notices and stay in place for a 5 year period. Green Notices would follow you around no matter where you travel”

        You then mentioned: “The notices, as they are now, would only be sent to Paris because US authorities would not know you bought a ticket when you were in Paris.”

        That is to say that these Green Notices that are in place now, are somehow different, and they do not stay in place for 5 years and follow you around wherever you travel.

      • j

        In reference to Paris (Interpol) — once one lawfully exits the usa. One is no longer subject to the jurisdiction, thus — in theory, one can lawfully change their “name by marriage” or other legal methods to begin a new existence?

        Any thoughts on this subject, or experiences? Please, with all discretion.

        • David Kennerly

          I wish that were true. Unfortunately, our government now places extraordinary extraterritorial demands on its citizens with numerous examples available to demonstrate this. One such is the law which holds Americans to U.S. laws regarding the age-of-consent (18) wherever they may go in the world. They’ve taken custody of Americans in other countries (there are many FBI offices around the world in which the U.S. agents perform investigations of Americans), brought them back to the U.S., and prosecuted them in federal courts. So much for being free of American shackles when you leave.

          Changing your identity would, presumably, precede your having received citizenship in another country AND successfully relinquishing your U.S. citizenship? That’s a tall order for a Registrant. I’d like to know how to do that, myself. The alternative would be to fly under the radar of, in this case, France and wonder when you’re going to get scrutinized by French authorities (at which point your French vacation is over and you won’t ever be allowed to reenter). In that case, you would definitely not be able to legally change your name or practically use a U.S. passport (since it would not be issued to your assumed name) and would almost certainly then be prosecutable under U.S. law which, after all, does not allow Registrants to change their names.

          The U.S. has closed virtually every exit door, one-by-one.

        • Timmr

          It used to be under CA 290, that one has to re-register when one changes his or her name. Are you sure we can’t change our names at all now– legally, that is?

        • David Kennerly

          No, I’m not certain but I have read news stories in which Registrants have attempted to change their names and judges have refused to grant their requests, citing the Registrant’s attempt to do an end-run around their rightful (in the judge’s mind) reputational ignominy. I would strongly suspect that such name changes are rarely, if ever, granted given our level of popularity.

        • Timmr

          I understood changing your name was not discretionary, but that you did have to get it recorded, just like a birth or marriage. Since when does one have to get approval to change a name? Say, a registrant marries, and takes the surname of the spouse, judge tells her, nope, you can’t do that, it will confuse law enforcement.

        • David Kennerly

          Timmr, for some reason, the Reply button doesn’t appear alongside your question.

          Here is what I found out about ‘name-change-while-sex-offender’:

          If you are a registered sex offender under California Penal Code Section 290, the court will change your name only if the court determines that granting your petition “is in the best interest of justice” and will not adversely affect public safety. If the court grants your name change, you must notify local authorities of the change within five days [CCP Section 1279.5(d)].

          I have read previously of sex offenders being denied name changes by judges. I don’t remember where.

          I think it very obvious, though, that one would also have to report that to the Sex Registrars who would certainly also update website to reflect new or additional name.

          I suspect that women registrants wishing to adopt husband’s name legally might run into trouble here, too.

        • Timmr

          Unreal. Every day I think I am waking up from a crazy dream, only it’s not a dream.

        • Rob


          Not that I care but I’m curious as you said the U.S holds Americans abroad to the standard of the age of 18 for consent. Were you just generalizing or is the 18 age actually true? I know that in a lot of states the age of consent is 16, 17 in the U.S. You would think you would be held by your own states standard?

        • David Kennerly

          I can’t cite the legislative clarification of this, off the top of my head, but when we (here on CARSOL, as it was previously known) did the digging, we saw that federal standards of AOC applied to international travel by Americans and that age is 18.

          Note: Okay, it was easy enough to find

          Sec. 2423. [Section B. is the pertinent one here]

          (a) Transportation With Intent To Engage in Criminal Sexual Activity. – A person who knowingly transports any individual under the age of 18 years in interstate or foreign commerce, or in any Territory or Possession of the United States, with intent that such individual engage in prostitution, or in any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
          (b) Travel With Intent To Engage in Sexual Act With a Juvenile. – A person who travels in interstate commerce, or conspires to do so, or a United States citizen or an alien admitted for permanent residence in the United States who travels in foreign commerce, or conspires to do so, for the purpose of engaging in any sexual act (as defined in section 2246) with a person under 18 years of age that would be in violation of chapter 109A if the sexual act occurred in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.

        • David Kennerly

          Also, see this:
          Notice to US citizens: Your actions abroad may have serious consequences

          Or is it age 16? Yes, it’s confusing as hell. But, whether 16 or 18, the U.S. enforces its laws on U.S. Citizens wherever they may go.

        • PK

          I would think by marriage, once residency and perhaps citizenship is established, one should be able to change their name, and acquire a new passport from their new country.

        • David Kennerly

          Well, that would be determined entirely by that country. This imagines that marriage, in that particular country, would outweigh all other concerns generally taken for immigration, especially criminal background. I would love to know the policies of individual countries in this regard but I do know, from my research, but without consideration for possible marriage of a national, that the hurdles for those convicted of ‘serious’ crimes (or, in many cases, any crimes at all) appear to be insuperable, perhaps uniformly so.

          What I have found extends no hope to someone like myself who has one conviction resulting in imprisonment for violation of AOC.

      • David Kennerly

        We don’t know this. And I strongly suspect that the per-trip notification is not the extent of U.S. notification to other countries. Further, I believe that U.S. sex offender criminal databases are available continuously, to any foreign country, through Interpol.

        I know that the U.S. is not revealing this ubiquitous and continuous data availability but I have never known it to be forthcoming in such matters.

  6. T

    So spiff who are the wost of the worst. Since megans law puts all registerants in the same barrell. Im my case i completed a deferred sentence and was allowed to petion the court for relief. And the relief was granted. I no longer have to register. Just wondering who they consider the worst of the worst?

  7. Sam

    T when you say you no longer have to register is that just for state and your bound by federal law to register? I hear alot on the news about people saying they no longer have to register or that a state requires you to be listed 10,15 years ect. What everyone fails to see I thing is that there obligated under federal law to register whether your state requires or not.

  8. T

    Well according to the court order im am no longer required to register but think its a state order and have not recieved any noctice to register federal thats why i inquire with another state as to what there laws are before i travel. And if they require me to register i dont go there. Buts thats a good question for my attorney.i only traveled once to new york and had no problems

  9. T

    I think the feds leave it up to the states but i could be wrong.

  10. Sam

    Here’s another question for you T since you don’t have to register in your state is there anything special you did to travel other than inquire in the visiting state whether you had to register. What I mean is did you provide itinerary to anyone? And I take it update your registry didn’t happen either since you don’t have to?

  11. Paul

    I think we use the term “green notices” because every document I’ve seen related to this subject, specifically states that the United States Marshall’s Sex Offender Targeting Center (SOTC) receives information regarding our travels, and sends that information to INTERPOL who, in turn, issues a green notice regarding our travel. That is specifically in every single piece of official literature published.

    I do not believe that the information is flowing from local authorities. For example, California does not have a predeparture notification scheme. So, when I traveled to Mexico in May 2013, I was not required to notify my local authority. 24 hours prior to my flight, I checked in via the airline’s website and entered my passport information (required). Sure enough, when I landed, Mexico knew. I was taken off to a side room and questioned. Lucky for me, after about 20 minutes, I was free to enjoy my vacation there.

    Also, I absolutely know that, regardless of anything else, CBP has our information readily available to them. When I received my very first passport, my wife and I spent a weekend in San Diego and decided to cross over for an afternoon. Upon return, the agent swiped my passport, and immediately sent me off with another agent to be questioned about my afternoon in TJ.

    Worse of the worse? I have a single misdemeanor count of 311.11, which was expunged in May 2010. That is literally the only record I have. Never even received a ticket. No criminal issues prior to that, and none since. So no, I don’t think anything is reserved for the “worse of the worse”….I think every single one of us is hated equally.

  12. T

    Sam no i didnt just inquired and went but i know how u feel my attorney said i can travel just inquire with the state i thinking of going to and if not required to register then im good

  13. Tuna

    For those of you that have mentioned “calling the US Marshals Service”, or “calling Interpol”, is there a specific number or department that you make these inquiries of? Just asking in case I need to do so in the future. Thanks.

    • Spiff

      Of all the times I made phone calls or sent emails, I was never given a name or specific contact or phone number —only generic information I found online. With enough persistent badgering you can sometimes get someone to actually answer your questions though.

    • TiredOfHiding

      Just use your cellphone and say something like this:

      “Hello NSA, could you please inform Interpol that I will leaving (state destination and places staying) until (fill in the blank).”

      You can rest assured that they are listening and will get the message. Hasn’t our trusting government make it easy for us to keep them informed of our every move.

  14. T

    Dear spiff

    Did u have to give the 21 day notice for international travel if u are no longer on the registary. I would like to know as i recieved a deferred sentence and was granted relief from the registary.

  15. Francis

    You guy’s are making it sound like you can’t travel with-in the United States without notifying authorities! The only thing new to me, is traveling abroad!

    • Paul

      You can’t. Each state is different, but you most certainly have to notify authorities once a certain point has been reached. In Nevada, that point is 48 hours. 72 hours in Florida. Hawaii is a bit more complicated (10 days if staying greater than 30 days, I think). Illinois is 72 hours. The list goes on.

      But you absolutely must notify authorities eventually. This is what makes domestic travel so burdensome.

      Let’s say you are traveling to Chicago. You must be aware of the following:

      1) Any federal laws regarding what the definition of “relocating”, or “moving is”.
      2) All relevant state laws.
      3) All relevant county laws.
      4) All relevant city laws.

      For example, Illinois has residency and presence restrictions. This is especially true in Chicago. Violate those, and you’re off to prison.

      • Rob

        I would like to know the Wisconsin criminal code section that requires this. I have researched it, and found nothing. Yes, all states have requirements for notification when visiting, but unless you are sitting in a park taking pictures of people alone or some other suspicious behavior, no one is going to bother or question you. I have been off parole in CA for years, have travelled to MANY states, even driven cross country several times, and have NEVER notified anyone. Please people, just stop allowing them to rule every single aspect of your life, living in fear at every turn. I live alone, in Los Angeles, am friendly with my neighbors and my building manager, have a decent job, friends, and just live my life. Yes, I dread that yearly visit, as we all do, but I tell NO ONE ANYTHING, not work, neighbors, casual acquaintances, NO ONE. Only my CLOSE friends and family know, and that is the way I keep it. If others find out, so be it. Just live your life, it’s too short to worry every moment of every day. Be thankful for Janice et. al, fighting for us every day, and LIVE. I hope to see many of you on the 16th of April in LA. I have amazing news to share, but won’t put it on here. And, yes DONATE, it can only help us all.

        Oh, and I will be in Chicage this spring for my nephew’s college graduation, and I will not let anyone know.

        • Don'tAsk/Dont'Tell

          I travel around the country up to a half-dozen times a year and never tell anyone. Sometimes, I am gone for as long as a month at a time.

          I do get a bit stressed out when I have to drive rental cars at the destination as I know it raises my risk of coming into contact with law enforcement.

          Of course, it appears that I can no longer leave the country which is a huge loss for me but I will continue to live my life as best as I can without becoming a total groveling slave.

          I really think that if we can get a critical mass of registrants organized we should begin to think about civil disobedience.

        • Paul

          Alaska does have a requirement that you notify them in advance. Also, you only have 24 hours to register once you arrive in the state.

        • Guest

          Sorry, but that is simply incorrect. If present in Alaska for less than 30 days (does not say within a year or some such) this form must be submitted (mail / email / fax / in person) before the visit or within 3 days of arriving in the state:

          That is all that is required for stays of less than 30 days. No need to make things more onerous than they already are.

        • Paul

          It changed! Excellent news.

          Thanks for the update.

        • James

          Yes, I don’t think any of us mind being corrected…good information in this (purposeful?) fog of confusion and contradictory laws, is a precious commodity.

          Best Wishes, James

        • PK

          Hi is this forum for International Travel?

        • mch

          We are foreigners within our borders. Immigrants, undocumented and illegal persons have more freedom and rights than the average registered citizen. That’s why we’re foreigners in the land we live. Fact is, we don’t know where we can go, how long we can stay, who we are supposed to tell and who we are supposed to check in with. It is total BS!

        • Don'tAsk/Dont'Tell

          I think it’s a bit worse than being a foreigner. A foreigner is able to leave, mostly.

          No, I think we are now thought of, as all citizens are, as the property of the U.S. Government to dispose of as they wish. In our case, we have been designated as property without rights for whom treatment can never be too harsh.

        • PK

          I think you’re exactly right, foreigners have more rights than citizens.

          The fact of the matter is, if you really wanted to leave this incarceration, you could do it. If so many Mexicans can enter into the US illegally, how difficult could it be to leave?

          Think like a Mexican- it is not that tough.

        • Kevin

          The Wisconsin statue that covers registration is 301.45. There are a few statutes directly after that thst also deal with registration. Wisconsin requires you contact them within 10 days of a change in registered info. Wisconsin is NOT a sorna state so they do not require disclosure of international travel plans in advance (however, they do collect other sorna info to keep you compliant with federal laws). Only if you are somewhere for 30 or more days in a calendar year do you have to register that location.

    • EnemyWithin


      At least one state, Wisconsin, requires ADVANCE notice before you cross the border to that state.

      I have a letter from them stating such, with the threat of arrest if I ever enter the state again without giving advance notice.

      When my father was killed I asked for and was refused a waiver on the advance notice and missed his funeral.

      I do not know about other states and this is an international travel thread, but the way I figure for sex offenders, travel within the US is actually international travel because we are not actually citizens.

      A convicted terrorist does not need to tell a state when he travels, proving that the united States loves terrorists. That’s good, because they are probably going to be getting a bunch of them in the next few years.

      You can take part in the planning of killing three thousand Americans and be treated better than someone who gave a seventeen year old an orgasm.

      Amber Waves of Grain my Ass.

    • Frank

      Francis- Every State is different. It usually depends on how long you plan to be in that particular state. If you plan to visit Nevada for instance, If you will be here more than 48 hours, you must notify the local jurisdiction of your stay.

  16. Spiff

    There should not be any advanced notification if you are not on the registry. I have never heard anything contrary to that.

    When traveling within the US most states still require notification that a registered sex offender is in their state. Every state has different timeline requirements. The only difference from international is that no one can prevent you from traveling domestically.

  17. Stressed out

    What if your offense had nothing to do with a minor? Does anyone know if this has any impact on international travel?

    I am a registered sex offender in CA and a CA resident. My conviction was in 2000 in VA. It was a felony offense that was basically the result of a drunken case of mistaken identity on my part. Blacked out in college and got in bed with a girl’s roommate instead of the intended girl. No force or coercion was used because she thought I was her boyfriend (just as I thought she was a girl I knew well), but there was penetration and police were called, so it was a felony.

    I didn’t go to prison but did do time in county jail and was released from probation early after 3 years.

    In the years since I’ve traveled pretty extensively with no problems – except in Canada. Last year I was making a connecting flight through Toronto on my way to Europe and was turned back. Flew to New York, bought a new ticket to Spain, and entered with no problem. I’ve also had no problems in the UK, France, Russia, Mexico (most recently in 2011), and many other countries. Sympathetic Canadian officials suggested to me that the problem was that their criminal databases are much more tightly integrated with US databases than other nations are.

    My wife and I are now planning a trip to Mexico in May, and I’m here reading these horror stories for the first time. It never occurred to me that I might have a problem, especially because I’ve been there twice before and it was fine.

    Can anyone advise me here? Does the fact that no minors were involved in my case help me at all? Are some people successfully making it into the country, but they’re just not posting here – or is everyone being turned back? Do I need to cancel this trip? Is there anything else I can do?


  18. kirkfromca

    Looking at possibly going to US Virgin Islands next year. As an RSO I see you do NOT need a passport to go there BUT what are the travel restrictions as a US Citizen?

    • Rob

      There are NO travel restrictions to any US territory, like the Virgin Islands. I visit Puerto Rico several times a year and have never had any issue. It’s the same as flying to another state. This does NOT apply to the British Virgin Islands or the Bahamas, ONLY US Territories. You don’t need a passport, only your driver’s license/ID.

  19. Bill Arthur

    Does anyone know the rules on how soon after arrival you have to register when visiting Puerto Rico and St Thomas (USVI) on a vacation or how many days you can stay without having to register. They are not covered in the Registration Laws for All 50 States list. I have tried reading the statues in these territories but they are confusing and don’t really answer the question. I did find this from the most recent 2012 USVI law:

    “The terms “reside” and “resides” mean, with respect to an individual, the location of the individual’s home or other place where the individual habitually lives or sleeps for more than 30 days per year. Moreover, all visitors and individuals who are required to register pursuant to this Chapter and who will be present in the territory for less than 30 days in any given year, must contact the Department of Justice in order to notify the Department of his or her presence in the territory as well as all arrival and departure information.”

    Doesn’t specify how to “contact” the Department (maybe just an email or letter?), and doesn’t exactly say you have to “register” if you are there for less than 30 days.

    I wrote to the USVI DOJ, and received this not helpful reply:

    “You will need to provide a copy of your itinerary. Regardless of the length of stay, you are required to come in within 24hours of arriving in the territory.”

    This does seem to require a personal visit within 24 hours, but I can’t find that anywhere in the law.

    Anyone have any personal experience on these islands?

    • Erwin

      I tried to answer your question yesterday in another thread. But more detailed information about Puerto Rico is found at
      Click on the English button then got to F.A.Q.
      Question number 16 specifically talks about offenders who don’t plan on establishing residence in P.R. They have 3 days to go to a police headquarters to register
      I don’t know about the US Virgin Islands

  20. Jonathan Merritt

    My Wife flew out Tuesday to China to see her parents and friends for one month.
    When she landed on the Mainland she spoke to an immigration official about me coming with her to China. What she was told by this official is that if I am given a visa in Los Angeles,
    They would not turn me around in China. I am not so sure about validity of what the Official said to her. Does anyone have any current info on traveling to mainland China?

    • Steveo

      Applying for a visa before flying to a country is probably a great idea. If you get it, they probably have more reason to let you in than not.

  21. Paul

    Does anyone know what the situation would be if I wanted to visit Germany?

    Follow up question, does anyone know if it’s possible to move to Germany while on the SOR here in the states?

    • brunello

      try as a cheap source of info on German law.
      This web page directs you to a telephone number which will be answered by
      a German lawyer. Hope you can read German.
      I’m not sure that you can do this from the U.S. because they put their
      charge on the phone bill and this may work only with the German telephone
      system. I called them while I was in Germany and got the useful information
      that a misdemeanor offense is no barrier after 5 years have elapsed since
      the conviction. The registry has no bearing on this – only the conviction
      matters. The lawyer will probably be able to speak English.

    • brunello

      A bit more –
      My comment assumed that you would be applying for a residence permit. You can stay
      for 3 months on your automatic tourist visa. As for being turned back at the
      airport there have been some reports in this forum of difficulties at the Frankfurt
      airport. You could fly to Amsterdam, where there have been no reports of trouble, and then travel on to Germany by rail or air.

  22. Notgivingup

    Has anyone traveled to mainland China within the last year? A friend wants to go there with his wife but he is worried about being refused entry. Anyone know the Answer?

    • PK

      RTAG would have the answer to that question.

      But getting the information and finding the information from RTAG doesn’t seem very easy.

      • Notgivingup

        Thank you PK, I will try that, I have been to the site but seems not much info.

    • Jonathon Merritt

      I am in the same boat as your friend is in that I want to go to China in the future and possibly retire there with my wife, living with her parents.

      • Notgivingup

        Jonathon Merritt, I myself have been to China before, it was in 2007 and 2008, had no problems back then. My friend wants to go, he has secured his visa but is still worried he my encounter problems and does not want to risk being banned for life. His wife is Chinese and is also concerned even though she has American citizenship now. When was the last time you were there?

        • C

          I went to China with my wife in 2004 and was flagged coming home through customs at LAX. So naive, I thought they found the bootleg movies in my wife’s luggage.
          They took my passport and told me to wait. 10 minutes later some short guy came out and explains why I had to wait and asked, “You know you have a record, right?” No sh!t, Sherlock. And that was it.
          Returning from a Mexico cruise 2 years later, however, I was nervous about coming back, but nothing happened. If my passport was flagged when they scanned it on re-entry, the cop did not bat an eye.
          No international travel since and not looking forward to it when we do as I’ll feel like one of the nervously sweating characters we’ve all seen in movies as he presents forged papers to the Nazi border guard.

        • Jonathon Merritt

          My wife is Chinese and she has went to China twice since we married in 2012 but I have not attempted to go with her. She spoke to some official at the airport in China about my situation and he told her that if I am given a visa to travel, they would not bother me. Thats all the info I have on going over there. My wife tells me her parents house (as nice as it is) has no AC and its hot in Guonxie and muggy and I cant sleep in high humidity and heat. I may not ever go. unless there is someplace I can stay that is cool and dehumidified.

  23. mike

    The Flat Earth Society. That appears to be the mantra of many of the politicians that ignore data and continue to spout about the serious dangers posed by all of the RC’s on the registry. Ignore the facts and repeat your fears, just like those church officials that persecuted, Galileo, Copernicus and Kepler. For politicians, ignorance and the ability to spend millions of dollars of tax dollars equals reelection.

  24. Jojo

    I just got my passport, having renewed it one year early. It arrived in four weeks, and there is no sign of any indicator that can be seen on it. Yet.
    Before it might be confiscated and branded in 2017, I hope to go with my husband on one more European trip, where I will continue to do what I habitually do here since incarceration: avoid contact with minors like The Plague.

    • Lake County

      I believe most of us here “avoid contact with minors like The Plague” despite popular myths. Most of us are one time offenders that wouldn’t want anyone to even suspect us of wanting contact with a minor. But boogy-man myths have always been popular.

    • PK

      Jojo you should consider just staying in Europe and make a new life there.

      I’m glad to hear that you got your new passport, although I shutter to think what could happen to it once you return to the US.

  25. Joe Mandt

    JoJo, I was just thinking about that early renewal idea yesterday. I have three years left on my passport. Did they give you a “refresh” renewal good until 2026?

    • Jojo

      Yes, my new passport is good until May 2026. I was wondering if there would be anything different about it, but it appears to be just like the ones held by others in my family. After the New Law takes effect, I’m guessing I’ll be required to bring in my passport to the PD for changes or confiscation during my next available registration or compliance check.

      • James

        I also received my renewed passport…I got the 54 page version; an example of hope over experience…

        But I will continue to hope. And I am planning, if possible, being in Oakland on July 27…if possible.

        We will see.

        Best Wishes, James

  26. CD

    There is HOPE!!!

    Travel for work to Canada aprox. 3-4 times a year. Went my first 2 times successfully w no issues. Third time I was turned around at the gates of Canada saying inadmissable. Hired an Canadian Immagration attorney to represent me & apply for “Criminal Rehabilitation” under Canada’s laws. Attorney walked me thru quite a bit of paperwork. After over 18 months of waiting to hear back; e-mail & certificate were send back last week stating it was approved & my past criminality was no longer an issue to travel to Canada.

    Not sure how this will play out w IML gaining steam.

    • C

      This is awesome and I am most happy for you. A few years ago I went through same pocess but was denied because the Canadian person reviewing my case, who enjoys living in my country, is not convinced I’m rehabilitated enough to live in her country.
      But hey, I can apply again. The application fee is only $1000!
      Kidding aside, maybe it would be worth another shot.

    • I can't wait to die

      could you please list your lawyer or law firm that helped you get into Canada please, i’m in the same boat and have lost lots of work due to not being allowed to go into Canada

  27. Bill Arthur

    I have read that Royal Caribbean and Carnival cruises ban registered sex offenders. What about Holland America cruises? The line is registered in the Netherlands, but the company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Carnival Corp. Would the restriction extend to all Carnival owned ships? Does anyone have any recent experience. Needless to say there’s nothing about this on the Holland America website. It would be helpful if RTAG posted cruise ship info.

  28. jeff

    I am going to jamaica next june for my wedding. Has anyone heard of a r.s.o being denied entry. I talked to the head of security and recieved a email saying i will not be denied as long as i am not on probation or parole and have a return ticket and money for my trip. I am just worried that i will be wasting alot of money if they tell me im not allowed in thier country

    • Erwin

      I do remember seeing Jamaica on the travel matrix RTAG put out. RSOs have been turned away. And Jamaica does have it’s own sex offender registry. But you still should check anyways. Have you thought about another island like the Bahamas, Aruba or Barbados? You won’t get the whole Jamaican culture but a similar Caribbean feel.

      • Rob

        I would steer clear of Jamaica and wouldn’t trust a word of the person you talked to. For a wedding the risk is just to great to take. I would go to a place that you would be guaranteed entry into like Puerto Rico, U.S virgin islands etc.

  29. Bill Arthur

    Secret — you can go to the Bahamas (Grand Bahama Island) without using a password. Only need a certified birth certificate and drivers license on a ferry from Fort Lauderdale called Bahamas Ferry Express. Once you’re there, you can go to other islands within the Bahamas with no problem. I haven’t done this, but their website is very explicit about it. If anyone does accomplish this, please let the group know that it works. This is one of the only nations I have found where a US citizen can visit without a passport.
    Just be careful not to stay in Florida so long before you leave that you have to register there. Read carefully the details on the CRSOL state-by-state US Sex Offender Registration Laws.
    I’d still love to hear about any new cruise updates (denied/allowed boarding). From my experience with cruises in the past, you don’t need a password for a closed-loop cruise (leave/return same US destination on a Caribbean itinerary) and you can leave the ship in any port with your ship ID and not have to go through customs with a passport. This sounds like a great work-around.

  30. jeff

    Thanks erwin. Trip is paid for. But i do have travel ins. I have not read any stories online about r.s.o bieng turned away so im hoping its only happned a handful of times and i will have the letter from the head of security from the jamaican consulate with me saying i will not be turned away but they can do whatever they want when i am at customs so i guess all i can do is pray it doesnt ruin the trip for my wife. My crime was in 03 and i was 18 and she was 15

    • 4sensiblePolicies

      Hi Jeff. Congrats on the pending wedding. Your comment about travel insurance interested me. I looked at a couple travel websites, and I am doubtful that being refused entry due to IML would be considered an insurable event for a travel insurance claim. I read that they generally won’t cover things like travel that is cancelled due to a denied visa or such things.

      I Would advise you to be very cautious about counting on getting a reimbursement if they turn you back. As others have said, I worry you could end up having a wedding disaster thanks to our esteemed (oh, I mean idiot) congress.

      I want to think positive, but you have to plan for the worst. If you want to try Jamaica, more power to you. But I’d have a plan B. You don’t say if you are having a large guest list, or if it’s just you and the fiance. If you can regroup quickly if denied entry, it might be worth a shot. But I don’t know if it’s wise to put a bunch of people and money into a place you may well not be able to get to. If you do really need to do this in Jamaica, your letter from a high ranking official assuring your entry may be helpful to show the airport customs agent. I wish you the best.

      • Rob

        I was denied entry into the Dominican Republic. I used Travelocity to book my trip and all I can tell you is GOOD LUCK trying to reclaim any amount of money from them. They make it almost impossible no matter how determined you are. You will be on hold for an hour and once you get through to a rep, they will be nice and make it seem like they will reimburse you or they will say they will connect you to the correct rep immediately. Either they will hang up on you or you will transferred which will take at least another hour in which you will repeat the process from earlier. Either way they will probably not reimburse you for the cost of the flight even with travel insurance because you took the flight.
        If I were to use to travel insurance I would go through a 3rd party or a different company.
        Make sure you pay for your trip with a credit card and not a debit card. We contested it through our discover card and let them deal with Travelocity.
        We were reimbursed for the cost of our hotel stay but not for our flight which they are correct we did use. We had a packaged flight/ hotel deal so we go a little more then half back.
        Also since our when we were denied entry and put on the same plane going back to Miami, our bags stayed in the Dominican Republic. Eventually we go out bags back 5 days later but they were completely ransacked. I would recommend strong locks. I’m sure security notified the whoever was doing bags and told them to go for it. Good thing is we were reimbursed for our stolen goods eventually.

    • Harry

      if you have the money and time, do a short test trip.

      • PK

        A Test Trip wouldn’t work, because if you get in today, that doth not mean that you would get in tomorrow.

      • James

        What Harry says…you have time to find a cheap test fare…btw, apparently Belize is good for RSO’s.

        For something as important as a wedding, you really need to find out before hand, and even then I would be wary.

        See the Travel Matrix:

        Good Luck, James

        • Hiding in plain sight

          James, I have been skimming through these int’l travel posts and your is the first comment I’ve seen about Belize. I am currently on parole but will be discharged early next year and I am trying to make vacation plans. I was wondering where you got the information about Belize. I have seen the RTAG matrix and feel it is too general and lacks references. Do you have any new information about this country?

        • mike

          I wonder what it would be like to live in Belize. It seems very small with the two larger cities not being all that safe. However, almost anywhere beats the USA.

        • James

          I used to travel quite a bit, it is difficult to know what to say about here or there now….because people really don’t know anymore.

          I didn’t like Cancun much so I picked up a cheap rental car and drove South explore to all the jungle great Pyramids…to be atop one you almost understand why they were built…you can see over the jungle that stretched away to the horizon like a great green sea.

          But they speak English in Belize, the beaches are great as are the mountains around San Ignacio on the Guatemala border, (apparently Guatemala is good to go for us also)…a lovely place to visit…but also can be dangerous, this is where John McAfee (internet security) got in bad trouble.

          The were selling passports at one time ($25k)… it is expensive to do this now I understand.

          But for a Caribbean vacation…very lovely and interesting.

          What the hell? some nice place to go…airfare isn’t too bad, food is cheap and plentiful.

          Best Wishes, James

          PS I am fairly skeptical if any place will accept us….without marring a native female…but let us know what you find out….I liked the place a lot and didn’t find it dangerous at that time…nothing like Brazil…! That’s dangerous.

        • PK

          “I wonder what it would be like to live in Belize”

          Just ask John McAfee

        • David Kennerly

          I recall hearing that Belize had adopted policies refusing SO’s from emigrating there. I don’t know about tourist visas, however. Obviously, these are different issues and I know of no country that will allow legal residency/emigration to those with serious felonies. Searching now, I find this statement: “Hulse also indicated that the new restrictions and procedures should also reduce the incidences of sex offenders and other criminals fleeing to and settling in Belize.”

  31. jeff

    Thanks for the feedback. We have a few ppl that booked already but the resort company we are going thru has locations in bahammas. Im sure that its pretty simple to change locations but my wife was realy set on jamaica. I am however second guessing it due to the comments. Soes anyone have a link to where sex offenders have been denied into jamaica thanks

    • Rob

      I found this on this forum Jeff hope this information is helpful. I would still be wary of traveling to Jamaica and the amount of stress in not knowing if you will allowed to enter wouldn’t be worth it to me.

      January 27, 2016 at 12:09 pm
      1. Destination Country: Jamaica via a cruise
      1a.Does this country require a Visa?: No
      1b.If Visa required, was the application denied (reasons):
      2. Date of Travel: Jan 2016

      3. Issues: None, including none upon return
      3a.If denied, was there a reason given?:

      4. Currently registered: yes
      4a.If yes, on public web site: no
      4b.If no longer required to register, reason for termination: *** Expiration / Court Order / Other ***

      5. Offense child related: Yes

      6. Offense Level: Misdemeanor, Class A
      7. Conviction expunged or dismissed: no
      8. State of registration (current or former): New York
      Note: traveled via birth certificate and license as closed loop cruises of the Caribbean allow

      June 8, 2016 at 5:28 pm
      well I’m in Jamaica now I came a few months ago flew into montegobay and got questioned for like 1-2 hours. this time came in through Kingston used kiasch machine. Not sure this was a difference but no questions. I don’t know if they looked me up and saw I came before or not. On another site just last year a guy posted that he flew from other countries to Philippines and other off limit countries and got in. Another off note I think it would be funny if we got 5,000 or more so to fly to mexico on the same day and see what they do. I think that if we got flight insurance u might get reimbursed either way it would be worth the money to send a point.

  32. Timmr

    Too bad someone isn’t doing a documentary on registants attempting to travel and being turned away from countries. Weddings cancelled, savings down the drain. No child saved but many lives disrupted because of ot all. That should be on tape, if not to convince the boneheads to change the laws, at least to show future generations how stupid this country was.

  33. F0rsak3n

    My (future) wife is constantly asking me to just chance going down to Mexico for the weekend to visit her family. I have so far refused. However, a family member of hers — who just got off parole last month for a sexual offense — has obtained his passport this week and is planning to leave shortly to go to Taiwan for a week. He obviously has not notified anyone 21 days in advance.
    This has led to some headbutting in my life, because why won’t I do the same? I know SOME countries will still permit me to enter. Question is: How do I go about doing all that? I don’t even know the correct people to notify, etc. I’m not willing to chance just HOPING no one messes with me either coming or going. What’s the process for travelling?

    • jo

      You can’t go to Mexico. Period. Be a hero, take her to Paris or Spain or Italy. But you will be turned away for Mexico. No exceptions.

    • mch


      Your travel into Mexico is somewhat dependent on where you go. I know of registered citizens that drive into Mexico at San Ysidro border crossing and stay only in tourist zones, and have had no problem either coming or returning to the US. Our border cops always send him to secondary for additional screening (hassling), but when it is expected it becomes no surprise. He did say that this trip, driving through the Mexican border crossing, that they have their cameras activated and flashing as he crossed. All I can say about going into Mexico is enter at your own risk.

    • O..A.R.

      Not to change subject, but your significant has two loved ones in her life carrying this social stigma. It won’t be long before everyone knows someone who is a registry sufferer. Sounds awful familiar……. (LGBT).

    • Erwin

      Even if you do make it into Mexico, just remember they have a law on the books banning international sex offenders from their country. You don’t know what Mexican authorities might do if they find out what you are. You better have a ton of cash for bribes. Or plan on being a gringo spending some time in a TJ prison. The locals will just love you!

      • 4sensiblepolicies

        Do you have any specifics about this Mexican law you mentioned banning sex offenders? I can’t seem to find it specifically. I would be surprised to find they have put such a law into writing since Mexico itself doesn’t even have a registry. My impression is that they are just denying RSO’s because it makes papa u.s.a. happy (keeps funds coming in). Once inside, I don’t know why anyone would care.

        It’s worth it to me and my Fiance’ to take a chance and be turned back, but if there is actually a risk of being apprehended and dying in a Mexican prison, I’d rather not. If I’m going to rot in a prison, I’d rather it be u.s. federal, where they can spend a few hundred thousand taking care of me because I didn’t spell out my travel itinerary to their liking.

        • Mike

          There is a policy in Mexico call something like Operation Guardian Angel. That policy denies sex offender entry into Mexico. The problem is compounded by the Green Notices sent by Interpol on behalf of the US Government, which states that this person is likely to commit a crime. You really can not blame the Mexican government for denying entry with a notice like that. What is a shame is that to my knowledge, no one challenged that policy by our government prior to the passage of IML.
          There is another problem with crossing into Mexico. You can probably enter Mexico by walking across the border. However, the IML which is now law, required a RC to inform our government 21 days prior to entering Mexico. Also before you return you have to give a 21 day notice. So if you walk across and then return and present your passport, they will quickly see that you did not give your 21 day notice before you entered.
          Now it is a very serious crime.

        • Erwin

          Sensible, there’s certainly a lot of personal accounts of rcs being denied entry into Mexico and it’s safe to say it’s their official policy. Is there a law on the books? Well, I remember reading about it in another RSO support forum. So I decided to dig it up again for you. It’s talked about in the Collateral Consequences Resource Center.

          It’s more of a “indirect” law covered under guidelines for entry into the country. So I admit I hyped it up a little when I responded to you HOWEVER the Mexican Federal Code on Criminal Proceedings gives immigration officials the right to refuse entry of individuals convicted of a serious offense. Most sex offenses involving minors are covered under the federal code. Examples include corruption of minors; child pornography; exploitation of minors.

          Now I don’t know the nature of your offense, but if it’s considered a “serious offense” under Mexican law, that would give me reason enough to avoid that country. Yes, you’ll probably get into the country easily by walking across the bridge at San Ysidro (I did it a few times in the past) and not being thoroughly checked. But it doesn’t mean the federal police won’t stop you somewhere else & find out your status. Remember, basically Mexican law considers a person guilty until proven innocent. Add to that lots of corruption and limited constitutional protections. Personally I wouldn’t chance it.

    • F0rsak3n

      Thank you guys for the responses. Yeah, it’s definitely scary to see how many people are being caught up in the web. When we bought the house we now live in, I informed two neighbors so there wouldn’t be any surprises. Each one of them said no worries, they have a friend/family member on “the list.” Main difference between brother and I is my conviction was more severe. His was “attempted.”

      As for the travel, for the little town she wants to visit (with her family), she has family / friends who are law enforcement there — so she insists it’s not a problem (I’m not convinced.) Her brother made it to Taiwan, zero issues with zero delays. Now for the fun part of coming back.

      However, my main question at the end went unanswered: what is the actual process required for travel out of CA? Do I have to give 21-days notice? To whom? I would prefer NOT to sneak in or out; because, frankly, I’m not much of a gambler for life.

      • Erwin

        Kudos for having the courage to take a proactive approach and inform your new neighbors. You’d done something that I never heard mentioned by others but it has crossed my mind before. The usual approach for an rc moving into a neighborhood is to stay low key and hope no one finds out. And when they do, you go into defense mode to fend off the barrage of hostility. But is honesty in the beginning a good approach? I don’t know but you seem to have proven it. From what people say, giving the 21 day notice depends on if you live in a SORNA AWA compliant state. California is not one of them but you better make sure anyways about giving notice.

        • F0rsak3n

          Honesty has worked out well for me. When I was first released, I tried to be low key. I didn’t tell anyone, and neighbors in the apartments greeted me cordially… Then one day I caught them tucking their kids behind them out of the corner of my eye. No one spoke to me.

          Someone had saw me online, printed it out, and passed it around. Even the corner liquor store owner — a little old Asian lady — knew. She was the one who told me what was happening, but didn’t become hostile toward me. The manager told me they were going to kick me out. My PO had to request they let me stay, and they did, grudgingly. But life there degenerated.
          Moved into a new apartment upon discharging parole, and did the same thing. And when my lease agreement was up one year, they refused to renew it. Someone found out again, and a posse stormed the office demanding my removal. I was lucky enough in that situation that the owner of the property was there the day they told me I had to leave. I remained calm and respectful; and the owner was more impressed with me than with the other people. He told them that they are not to treat respectful, paying tenants like that… So I got to stay. But this time, a neighbor actually asked for my story — and then helped calm the others. By the time my girlfriend and I bought the house, we were treated well by people who’d come to view me as a person. The downside of being low-key is that people are free to make their own assumptions of the evil you represent, and MOST won’t ask for an explanation.

          This time, I tried to prevent the panic by not letting them get blind-sided. Unfortunately, it’s situational, at best, if honesty is the better option. My conviction was from when I was 17. It’s still bad, but people are a little easier on me than most, I feel. They are willing to forgive a teenager far quicker than an adult. I don’t feel it’s fair, but I can bet it’s part of the reason honesty hasn’t backfired on me…yet.

        • Erwin

          Wow, I like your story. It only takes one busy body to spoil everything. I never thought apartment living would be such a challenge. But I’m pleased that you are now a homeowner and your neighbors are comfortable having you around

  34. Lake County

    The only problem with telling people about why you’re a 290 is that at some point it gets tiring to keep bringing up your past mistake. By always having to explain it, you are acknowledging that it defines your entire life.

    • F0rsak3n

      I agree it’s tiring; but I would argue that in this era it DOES define our lives. It affects where we can go, what we do, who we’re comfortable with, where we live, and how we spend our birthdays. Trying to keep it hidden is just as defining, in a sense. It becomes a web you must constantly weave to keep hidden. Both sides have drawbacks and benefits. I don’t introduce myself to most people with “Hi, I’m your nearby RC.”

      We’re getting off topic, though, so I’ll shaddup. Hahaa

  35. F0rsak3n


    He made it there without issue, enjoyed his one week stay, and came back into LAX without trouble, save for a short detour to special-processing — in which he was not bothered or separated from his wife — where he had a 1-minute “interview” of: Why did you go? What do you both do for a living? Are you carrying money, and how much?

    • PK

      He made it where without issue?

      • F0rsak3n

        He went to Taiwan. Got his passport, flew a few days later, and came back a week after that. No issues

  36. WantingtoSeeWhiteHouse

    Planning a possible trip with wife and son next year that includes a visit to DC. They want to see the White House but know you have to go through a ‘check’ before a tour. While I have to register, my counts were expunged 2 years ago. Does anyone know if there would be any issue?


      Public tour requests must be made through your member of Congress and submitted up to six months in advance and no less than 21 days prior to your visit to allow the Secret Service to complete a FULL background check on every visitor. If there is a tour slot available during your visit to DC, you will be given a specific date and time to arrive and be instructed on where to check in. All guests over 18 years old will be required to present a valid, government-issued photo ID upon check-in. It really might not be worth the attempt for registered citizens due to the embarrassment of possibly being turned away at the last minute.

      The White House and Secret Service does not officially list who is not allowed into the White House grounds. However Brian Leary, a spokesperson for the Secret Service, told VICE, “Every visitor to the White House Complex undergoes a comprehensive security check prior to the scheduled visit. There are many considerations taken into account in making a final determination before allowing an individual access to the White House Complex. Every visitor is subjected to a thorough security screening procedure upon his/her arrival, prior to entering the White House Complex.”

      After looking at many articles on the internet, there seems to be many past felons who have been denied entry into the White House without prior notice, even some invited quests.

      • 72 FLH

        those gangsters in the white house don’t want thinking humans in there smelling up their fear mongering home , no they want starry eyed fans that are still brain dead from all the crap they put in our our water , maybe visit to the local strip club , and you can meet capital hill gangsters , then wait in line , and if your lucky you will get to see them at feeding time, you could look at it like an orgy at the zoo , but the zoo would wood be safer because at least your not on the menu lol just kidding I hope anyone that would go there would have a good time lots to look at in DC history of a by gone day would be worth the trip for sure

  37. Quint

    Everyone, I successfully moved out of the country. Two days ago, I moved permanently to Japan–I have a visa, residence card, everything. There were a lot of questions asked, documentation requested, and interviews conducted, but in the end I was admitted with no issues whatsoever. Thank God.

    • Punished for Life

      I’m so happy for you. I do hope that Japan will give you the freedom that we once had in the United States. Not sure if I’ll live long enough to see this country realizing that they made a huge mistake taking away the god-given freedom that the Registered Citizen’s deserve after serving their sentence for the mistakes made.


      • Quint

        Thank you Frank. This process took almost two years, and I finally feel like I have a fresh start. I feel so betrayed by the US.

    • Lake County

      Congratulations! It would sure be helpful if you provided us with some information on how you accomplished this. I would love to live in Japan more than any other country.

      • Quint

        Japan has no law forbidding sex offenders from entering the country. Their rules for landing permission are pretty basic: ANY drug offense, anything violent, prostitution or human trafficking, or any crime that resulted in a punishment of one year or more is out. Other than that, you can get in. Actually moving here is really tough and requires finesse and creativity. I’d be more than happy to help anyone move to Japan; feel free to contact me for specifics on how, but feel uncomfortable on throwing it all out there publically:. blankb4 at mark aol dot com..

        • robert m

          i am more interested in moving to the philippines if possible, anyone know if thats possible or not? and who and where would i start?? any and all help would be great

        • Kris Klein

          But I am curious to know what they mean by crimes that resulted in punishment of more than one year because most sex offenses in America fall into that category. Maybe they mean punishment of more than one year if that same crime was committed in Japan

        • O.A.L.

          Congrats. You are officially part of the human race again. Don’t make the second mistake of your life and ever come back. Good luck and may the rest of your life be blessed with good fortune.

  38. Quint

    The actual sentence can’t be more than a year. I was sentenced to less than that. When you arrive in Japan, you have to fill out a disembarkation card that asks if you have been convicted of a crime in Japan or the US. Japan is not ‘hooked into’ some Batman database, and although they do fingerprint and photograph you upon arrival, it’s an internal system for immigration. While I’m not an immigration attorney and can’t really give legal advice, I do know that your criminal history is self-reported on that card, so if you don’t tell them, they won’t know. I was emigrating, so I had to disclose and explain everything.

    • Erwin

      If that’s the case, Japan doesn’t have a smart landing policy. Some registrants (like my son) did 3 years in Wisconsin for possession of cp whereas he most likely would’ve gotten probation in California that is more lenient on sex offenses. So Japan is saying it’s okay to let in some registrants, but exclude other registrants who committed the exact offense but did more time. At least Canada’s landing policy looks at a “comparable” offense & jail time in Canada.

      Think about it. Japan’s policy would admit the Sanford student who recently got sentenced to 3 months for attempted rape over some registrants convicted of looking at dirty pictures of minors online. Plus due to international pressure, Japan just got around to making possession of cp illegal and the penalties are still light.

      Another thing. Japan started a couple years ago sharing fingerprint criminal database with the US. Quite a few articles are out there on that subject. So they can find your record if they fingerprint you. I definitely wouldn’t lie on the disembarkation card

      • Tuna

        Agree there have been a number of what seem to be anecdotal claims that Japan has access to US fingerprints and/or criminal database(s), but I dont recall seeing anything that I would consider authoritative. If I have missed something and someone could repost a link, that would be great. Thanks.

    • PK

      Perhaps it would be a good idea for any RSO who travels to Japan to carry with them, their documentation. This should include Certificate of Disposition that shows the actual conviction and sentence, as well as, their criminal record, notarized and apostatized.

    • anonymousmaineiac

      Quint. When you say, “actual sentence.” Does that include time from a suspended sentence? I got sentenced to two years, but only spent 3 days in jail. Does consider time spent on probation the same as prison/jail time?

  39. Thomas

    Anyone find any luck moving to Germany?

  40. 72 FLH

    dang! everyone lookin to scram ? where is the love ? lol , under the bus we go

  41. j

    Anyone exit USA without passport going to the free trade zone recently as a temporary intransit point.

    Any experiences shared greatly appreciated.

  42. Quint

    If the US is not made aware of travel, is a green notice still generated?

    • David Kennerly

      Let’s review what we know:

      When a Registrant returns to the U.S. through Customs, his passport number automatically generates a “sex offender” notice to Agents and we are usually/almost always, pulled-over for additional harassment.

      We know, then, that the passport number links to databases detailing past criminal offenses.

      That same passport number, when scanned by immigration authorities in another country, can also link to criminal conviction databases which that country may have available to them either directly from the U.S. or through Interpol or perhaps even through third-party databases collected on American citizens. We don’t know what procedural safeguards are built into the U.S./Interpol system and what countries enjoy free access to their databases. It can be argued that it is not in the interest of the U.S. government to publicize this level of cooperation and so we would be foolish to trust what it says in this regard. They lie all of the time.

      Whether or not a ‘Green Notice’ as such is generated or if notification is received simply as a function of the foreign immigration receiving an immediate criminal status report, is not clear to us. We know that our government is not forthcoming in these matters and is motivated to portray its system as congruent with safeguards and due process but we have every reason to doubt its assertions in regards to our privacy rights (as American citizens).

      This is an area of inquiry which might be pursued by our legal team challenging IML. I would think it essential to unmasking the pre-existing (to passage of IML) practices of notification of foreign countries by the U.S.

      As I have said earlier, I think that IML simply codifies policies already in place to provide a legal basis for what they were already doing (probably illegally), funds a new investigative division, provides a level of redundancy to ensure that Registrants don’t have a chance of getting through their elaborate nets and escaping the clutches of the U.S., and criminalizes our travel itself in the absence of government notification thereby putting more of us back in jail. All very attractive things, from their perspective.

      Now, are these ‘Green Notices’? Well, regardless of the agency and what they call their notifications, the U.S. and Interpol and a number of other countries are all working hand-in-glove to keep us from leaving.

      • Erwin

        David, you probably know about EU countries ignoring green notices sent out by the US
        Suppose the new passport identifier law prompts EU countries, as well as others to turn away registrants to the point where 90% of the countries of the world are turning away folks. Wouldn’t that be enough to violate the US freedom of movement law as well as the universal declaration of human rights? I understand the American govt is not saying registrants can’t travel, but they’re putting up barriers thru false information sent to foreign jurisdictions. Kind of like the literacy tests imposed on my grandparents in North Carolina. Sure they could vote, but they had to do this and that first

        • David Kennerly

          Yes, Erwin, I became familiar with the indifference of the Europeans to the alerts during the past year. Before that, I had not wanted to risk traveling anywhere until I knew more of what to expect. I was not terribly surprised that Amsterdam appears willing to let us enter since I have always found their immigration to be extremely relaxed. As it turns out, it looks like all of Western Europe (except for U.K. and probably Ireland) has decided to not take the hysterical bait which the U.S. offers them. I have considered going back to Europe while I still can, perhaps for the last time and for old times’ sake. It’s now been four years since I’ve been there.

          I’m not sure that the passport identifier will make much of a difference nor paid any greater heed by the Western Europeans (since I don’t believe we have gotten any recent feedback about Eastern Europe) than it is now. Only time will tell if they move further along the path of misplaced paranoia, as the U.S. and U.K. have done or not.

          This will be a country-by-country response I believe although the EU may well be a decisionmaker in this mix of considerations.

          The bigger issue with the marked passports will, I believe, be in checking into hotels where the passport is required.

          Re: ” Wouldn’t that be enough to violate the US freedom of movement law as well as the universal declaration of human rights?”

          Well, that would certainly help to form a defensible case in our favor but one which will have to be adjudicated in the courts. The Universal Declaration may not hold much weight in the U.S., certainly less than the U.S. Constitution and case law.

          ‘Freedom of movement outside of the U.S.’ was, disastrously, left out of the Bill of Rights because they thought it to be too obvious a right and unnecessary for inclusion, although it had been in the Articles of Confederation. Past SCOTUS decisions declared that we do possess such a right but those opinions may be too easily dispensed with by our current Court.

          We face a very uncertain future, I’m afraid. Anything could happen but I am guardedly optimistic that the long term may hold some relief. Realistically though, we have to eliminate all forms of unjustified alerts by the U.S. to foreign countries. We need to have that as our goal and to insist upon it. These notifications must not be construed to be reasonable international data exchanges performed in good faith when they are provided at the expense of American citizens.

          I am concerned that a number of our fellow Registrants discern within this practice, not only an inevitability but a legitimacy. These are illegitimate practices because they are destructive of the rights of U.S. citizens. We must not tolerate them or compromise our rights in any way.

    • Exiled by Choice

      what would happen if a RSO submits passport for renewal now?
      State department said new rules effective immediately, but yet there has been no implementation of the “Mark” yet, I think it says it has to go back to congress? will a passport be denied? revoked?
      “The rules incorporate
      new provisions for denial and revocation of passport books that do not contain
      conspicuous identifiers for covered sex offenders as defined in 42 U.S.C. 16935a. The
      rule provides for denial of passport cards to these same covered sex offenders, as passport
      cards are not able to contain the unique identifier required by 22 U.S.C. 212b.

      • Exiled by Choice

        I have not seen reports of any passports being denied/revoked online

      • Quint

        I submitted mine TODAY. (October 1st) I have one year left on my passport, but I want to try to get it done while the confusion is still high. I simply took my old passport, the forms, and dropped in into the mail. I have my residency card here, so I’m legal. I called Tokyo embassy anonymously and spoke with the head of the passport division. She was encouraging but ‘we won’t know about your individual case until we submit the forms to the state department.’ But she was fully aware of the new law. When I asked her about denial or an identifying mark, she said: “If something is in the system we go from there.” She wasn’t more specific than that. I don’t have to register anymore, simply because I’m not in the US. So I assume I’m clear… I’ll keep everyone posted.

        • Exiled by Choice

          Please do, I too am not in a “jurisdiction” at the moment, but I am paranoid to send off my PP

          Thx for responding

        • PK

          Quint, so I’m guessing you didn’t need to go through Immigration of Japan? I think it’s good that you already have your Japanese Residency, but I’m not sure what you’re trying to get now in Japan.

          I know that in my case, I actually need to go through the Immigration Institute of my new Country, with an Attorney of Course. Then they will request an in-person interview, whereby they theoretically detain me, and begin deportation proceedings. Hence the reason for a Immigration in that Country by my side at every moment! At some point, they will want to verify my US Passport.

  43. AngryFrustrated

    Hi Everyone,

    I am new to this board and forum. I was drawn here because of what happened to me a few weeks ago. I wanted to share and seek advice as well.

    I am a RSO in California (not published on any websites) and my offense happened over 17 years ago. I have been traveling internationally pretty regularly for the past 4 years without incident with my partner of 5 years. We have been to Japan, Taiwan (3 times), Hong Kong (twice), Dubai, France, UK and Panama (more on this one in a second), all without incident.(Unless you count me being harassed every time at Immigration)

    So, several months ago we planned a trip to Panama to celebrate our 5th Anniversary. We get there, and immediately someone is waiting for me, asks to see my Passport. After several hours, and much humiliation, (searching luggage and phone) I am informed that I am being deported due to Article 50 of the Panamanian Constitution. Need to say I was upset since I had already been there before without incident, but nothing I could do.

    So first question to the group, has anyone else experienced this in Panama before?

    Secondly, and understandably, I am now extremely paranoid about our upcoming trips. I am hoping to receive some clarification, information or help on the below questions and scenarios.

    We are traveling to Singapore, Bali and Taiwan. Singapore is a 24 hour layover, Bali is several days as well is Taiwan. It will be my fourth time in Taiwan, and we will be visiting my partner’s family.

    So based upon my initial research on this board, it looks like connecting through Singapore might cause me not to be admitted and screw up our trip. So based upon the opinion of the group, should I risk going through Singapore, or should we reroute our trip?

    Now, on to the bulk of my question. I have read elsewhere that Taiwan is very tough on RSO’s and do not allow us in. Since I have been there 3 times without incident (most recently in January), can I expect to be allowed back in this time? Is this actually happening? Does anyone know? Obviously this is one part of the trip we cannot change..
    Can anyone clarify? Point me in the right direction?
    Much appreciated,

    • David Kennerly

      I’m afraid I cannot offer more encouraging news on any of those three countries.

      Taiwan has explicitly announced that Registrants will not be allowed in. This has been a particular hardship for me as my company has facilities there and I have previously been there, as well as Singapore and Indonesia, many times.

      Singapore and Bali (Indonesia) are reportedly turning away Registrants, too.

      It’s too bad you were turned away from Panama. We have reported similar Panamanian experiences going back several years.

      • AngryFrustrated

        Hi David,

        Thanks for your input. Do know you when Taiwan announced they were turning away registrants? I was just there in January and entered without a problem.
        Does any one have links or places I can get more information?



        • David Kennerly

          I made a decision, some three years ago, to not travel further until these issues were sorted out not wanting to accumulate entry refusals in my travel records. The only country I’ve ever been refused entry into was Mainland China.

          It is interesting that you were not refused entry into Taiwan so recently.

          However, in reviewing Taiwan’s immigration regulations now, I see that entry does not appear to be permanently blocked by a conviction:

          “Having a criminal record of sexual exploitation, sexual assault, sexual obscenity, or has pedophilia, or has engaged in any sexual transaction with children or juveniles or sex tourism, shall be banned from entry for 10 years. Nevertheless, an alien will not be banned from entry for consensual sex or obscenity at 18 years of age or under.”

          So, considering that my conviction was more than a quarter-century ago, perhaps I would be allowed to enter.

        • AngryFrustrated

          Hi David,

          Thanks for this information. YOu are correct. It does not appear to deny me entry. It only says since the conviction date. And it has been over 10 years for me as well.

          Thanks again!

    • Robert

      I am.registered here in New York. I am a Level 1 and I go to Singapore about 3 times a year. I have never had any problems at all entering. On the disembarkment card Singapore does not ask if you have been convicted of a crime. You say you are planning to go to Bali?? No I also go to Indonesia. Never had any problems to enter. When you land in Densapar airport you will buy your Visa at Immigration. The cost is US $25. There are no forms to fill out. You buy the sticker and the Immigration officer will put it in your passport and stamp it. But if you go to Bali make a seperate flight from Singapore to Bali. I use Air Asia. That way the US wont see it. But make it a good vacation in case you can never go back again. My lady and I take the ferry fron Tannah Merah ferry Terminal to Bintan Island Indonesia. At immigration on Bintan you dont need a visa if less than 30 days. I was just in Singapore and Indonesia back in August and had no problem. The Philippines I am blacklisted from entering thanks to our Wonderful caring government. Good Luck!!

      • AngryFrustrated

        HI Robert,

        Thanks for the vote of confidence. I am just trying to cover my bases after the humiliation of Panama. I do not want this to happen for our vacation.
        I just don’t remember what level I am, after all it has been 17 years!!!!

        I think we are using Singapore Air for our SIN to DPS leg and back.

        Does anyone suggest reaching out to an attorney in either place for more guidance?



        • Jason

          The noose has been tightening steadily around the world for past few years.

          Is your partner a citizen of another country? If so, get married (unless you already are) and expedite your citizenship process in the other country.

        • Robert

          I am going to Singapore on Dec 12. My lady and I are also going to a resort on Bintan Island in Indonesia. It is a 50 minute ferry ride from the Tanna Merah ferry terminal in Singapore. I have never had any trouble getting into Singapore or Indonesia. I am level 1 in New York. When will you be going to S’pore?? Will let everyone know what happens

  44. Austin

    AF, did you successfully travel to those countries yet?

    • AngryFrustrated

      Hi Austin,

      No, not yet. I’m planning on going in January. I reached out to an attorney in Singapore and he provided me some hope. Unfortunately, so much is unknown is really difficult. One true option to resolve this would be to approach the Consulate of each country and ask them for a judgement. Sadly, that could be a lengthy process and open myself up for all sorts issues.

      Just not sure.


    • Robert

      Yes. I usually go 3 to 4 times a year for the last 7 or 8 years. I have never had a problem getting into Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong or Malaydia, Maccau. I usually get second screened coming back into San Francisco. But am not there more that 5 minutes. Then I get my bags checked and the CBP officers are really good people there. CBP in LAX are assholes. From what my County Sheriff told me was that when you travel overseas an alert gets sent to the Angel Watch Center and they make a decision if you are going to be a threat or not

  45. AngryFrustrated

    Hi Everyone,

    A question for the group. As I mentioned in a previous post, I got deported from Panama a few months ago. My question is this, from what I have been able to gather, Airlines do not conduct background checks. If this is indeed the case, how did Panama find out about me? Do they have the resources to scan each landing passenger? As far as I know I am not on any Do Not Fly list, altho I am pulled aside for extra checking each time I return. Any insight into this would be greatly appreciated.



    • Quint

      @Angry Frustrated

      If you didn’t give 21 days notice:

      Your name gets checked against the National Sex Offender Database. Simple as that. So even if nobody ‘tells’ Panama you’re coming, the passenger list will get checked. Sorry.

      • AngryFrustrated


        As far as I have been able to tell, since I live in California, I am not required to notify a Marshall 21 days prior.

        ALso I am not on the California Registered Sex Offender website. I seemed to have dodged that, but I still have to register yearly.

        Now to check the National One…



    • David Kennerly

      Actually, yes the airlines do conduct a kind of limited background check on you in that they forward your passport number to the U.S. Government and then receive instructions on such things as whether or not you are on a ‘Do not fly’ list.

      That’s not the end of it, however and it’s not so much that the airlines are performing background checks on you as that the system of alerts required by the U.S. government makes them a mandatory reporter of your identity and travel plans to the U.S. government.

      After 9/11, the United States adopted a system in which the airlines’ method of identifying you to its own system for the purpose of handing you off to connecting flights and matching you with your bags, known as the Passenger Name Record, or PNR, became a data element that they required airlines to share with them. Airlines were thenceforth compelled to provide identifying personal data of those preparing to fly to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. When you buy a ticket either to or from or transiting through or entirely within the U.S. (as well as a number of other locations WITHOUT U.S. end-points) you must provide a passport number from whatever country you are a citizen. You will be aware of this if you have bought any international airline tickets for the last fifteen or so years. For domestic flights within the U.S. (and within other countries?) then other forms of identification, such as driver’s licenses and credit card numbers will be provided to the U.S. government. Criminal or investigative information is then retrieved as a result of matching your passport number (or driver’s license, credit card number, et al) with an unknown number of databases, including those of both the U.S. and INTERPOL and is then instantly available to the U.S. and an unknown number of other countries. NCIC is definitely one of those databases, the FBI’s massive criminal records database. The U.S. will know who you are and that you are on your way into the U.S., or simply traveling within the U.S., before you arrive. Similarly, they will know before you leave the U.S. that you are on the way out. And, just for the hell of it, they alert the U.S. about travel completely outside of the U.S. when they can obtain that data, too.

      The ostensible purpose is to identify terrorists or those suspected of being, or having connections to, terrorists. The thing is, the same DHS that is alerted to terrorist travel is the same department that wants to know about traveling “sex offenders.” I don’t think that you have to be terribly cynical or overly suspicious to imagine that this ostensibly anti-terrorist mechanism will also be put to use in the war against “us.”

      One of our challenges is to better understand the scope for the dissemination of this data, including identifying those governments cooperating in its distribution as well as the mechanisms which facilitate it.

      I think it is worth noting that this same system, since it also matches you even if you are traveling entirely within the U.S., could be used to keep track of your movements for the purpose, conceivably, of knowing if you should be registering at locations other than your home.

      Also, Europe is very reluctant to provide PNR data to the U.S. and this is an ongoing debate within the EU.

      Could this be why we are getting into the EU?

      • John


        Are you saying that buying a flight from Moscow to Paris on a non-US passport (second citizenship) could have data passed to the US if it was bought on a US credit card?

        • David Kennerly

          Yes, that was revealed some years back. The unknown is whether the EU is blocking that transfer of information.

        • David Kennerly

          But I should have added that the credit card does not need to be one issued in the U.S. So, the U.S. is attempting to impose a reporting regime in which it is aware of all ticketed passengers no matter where their flights originate or end. Of course, they’re not going to get all of that data but that is not for want of trying. This has been a bone of contention in other countries, as we might well imagine.

      • Paul

        You’re absolutely correct. I travel domestically on a frequent basis and I’ve never, not once, had an issue. But I always wonder if the day will come when some local cop meets me at the arriving airport to inform me of my duty to register in whatever state it is I’m in.

        • David Kennerly

          Or registration authorities receive notification of your travel and attempt to find out where you are staying, which can be included in PNRs when you book both a flight and a hotel room together on something like Orbitz. Then, based upon that location information and the duration of your trip, which can be understood from your return flight information, determine whether you have registered at the appropriate police station within the time limit.

          No, I haven’t heard of this happening yet but I think that we can well imagine such a scenario.

        • T

          Sir I have some questions, what is the point for a registrant to do the 21 day notification? Because when a registrant does the notification and flies to that destination and after arrival and passport scanned, he is denied by immigration of that country and then sent back. Has any registrant who has complied and did the 21 day notification made it through without any problems and getting turned back? will there still be a lawsuit against the IML?

        • David Kennerly

          The point is to not go to prison. The government has criminalized our travel without alerting them to our intentions before hand. I still have trouble, even now, wrapping my mind around it but that is the extraordinary thing which has been done to us.

          Well, some people are getting to their intended destinations either because their destinations don’t care about their criminal conviction history (much of Europe, it would seem) or perhaps because their history is deemed by that country to be non-qualifying for exclusion or may have happened so long ago that they’re not so concerned.

    • PK

      On that point, I’m even more curious about how Mexico is able to get information about an RSO simply crossing the Otay Messa by foot?

      • HOOKSCAR

        Facial recognition. Been a “trial run” there for a while.

      • David Kennerly

        Because there is more than one method of obtaining that information.

        These are some of the ways that we are able to identify but not necessarily confirm:

        INTERPOL makes the information continuously available to any or all member states so that when you pass through any border, immigration agents are alerted to your status as a result of crossing your passport number with its databases.

        The U.S. alerts foreign immigration of your status as a result of: a) a PNR alert from the airlines (or trains) or b) the 21 day advance notice.

        The foreign countries’ own access to U.S. sex offender registries. There’s nothing to stop them from doing this.

        So, crossing the border on foot means that the PNR method or 21 day advance notice is not available to them but INTERPOL and the Registry are.

  46. Austin

    @AF, can we talk in email? My partner and I have some questions. We thought the 21 days notice is federal now so even California needs to do that now.

  47. AngryFrustrated

    Not yet, I’m afraid I don’t know much more than anyone else here. I only found this website in September/October when I was refused entry into Panama. I had traveled successfully to Europe as recently as June. Needless to say when Panama hit, I was quite disturbed and upset. Especially given my upcoming plans.
    Says we have not implemented many parts of SORNA. This whole thing is very
    I also found something on the prison legal news regarding California and SORNA.

    I’m quite nervous and scared about everything. Even more so now given the recent election results.


  48. AngryFrustrated

    Hi Everyone,

    I somehow wonder, given all the information that I have read on here and elsewhere, if I have slipped through the cracks.

    I am not listed on the California Sex Offender Website, nor the National One.

    I am regularly pulled aside for extra examination upon returning to the US, but nothing more than that. I never had an issue until Panama in September.

    Maybe because I am not any websites, I have slipped through some of the proverbial cracks. Perhaps now it is coming back to haunt me.

    Should I hire an Attorney to find out if I am required to notify the Marshall’s regarding my travel plans? Or is that kicking the bee’s nest?



  49. Justfortoday

    Does anyone have any experience traveling to Australia? I live in California. I know I need a passport and a VISA.


    • Paul

      Unfortunately, that won’t happen. Australia is well known for turning us away.

      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

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