International Travel – China / Thailand

First, I would like to thank everyone for their informative posts regarding the denial of entry of ports of entry. I was convicted of a lewd offense (Indecent Solicitation of a Child; Felony) in July 2003. The offense involved talking about having sex with a person who portrayed to be 14 but was a decoy police officer. My actions were stupid and I paid a hefty price for my poor chatroom sexual conduct. In addition to my sentence, I was required to register as a sex offender for a period of 10 years in accordance to state law. I am no longer a registered sex offender because my 10 year registration period has expired.

Since my conviction, I have traveled internationally extensively to numerous countries as well as done business in China on a special visa without ever having any problems. However, to my big surprise, in July 2014, my visa to continue to live and do business in China was rejected and I was issued an order in my passport to leave by a certain day. I left China on the same because I was already schedule to travel back to the U.S. on the same day I found out my visa renewal was rejected. I applied for a China tourist visa in August to get back to China but that was also rejected. I attempted to travel back to China for 72 hours (visa exempt) with an onward flight to a third country destination (traveling to a third country destination is a requirement to land in China visa exempt for 72 hours) I was denied entry into China and sent back to the U.S. When arriving at the airport in China, my name was called over the airplane’s PA system for me to come to the front of the plane and that they could not deplane until I came to the front of the plane. As I was walking up the isle to the front of the plane as everyone was standing in the isle waiting to get off the plane, 2 Chinese immigration officers were walking towards me down the isle to meet me, which then they escorted me off the plane and into a small room. The officers informed me that I am not allowed to travel to China and I was told that I am being sent back to the U.S. I remained sitting in the small room being watched by 2 officers while other officers rechecked my luggage and checked me into the next departing American Airlines flight. Officers returned to the room with a boarding pass and checked luggage claim tickets and escorted me back upstairs to the departure gate and on to the American Airlines flight. The whole ordeal lasted for about 2.5 hours from the time I arrived at the airport. I was in China for several years and never broke any laws there but now I have been blacklisted from China as result of an INTERPOL Notice provided to Chinese law enforcement authorities.

In less than 7 days after I was sent back to the U.S. from China, I traveled to Bangkok, Thailand where I have traveled on numerous occasions for vacation since my conviction. When I arrived at the airport in Bangkok, there were people standing outside the gate holding up a sign with my name. I approached them which then they presented a police officer badge and had me get on an airport mobile. I was escorted by 4 Thai officers on an airport mobile to a small room. When on the airport mobile, one of the officers sitting behind me showed me the notice which was issued by the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) stating that I am a convicted sex offender and that I am traveling to Thailand with the intent to recommitting a crime against children. I was shocked, humiliated and embarrassed. My photo was taken with a mobile phone by one of the officers and I had to sign a document stating that I was being denied entry into Thailand. The immigration officer put a big denial stamp in my passport. I was then escorted to a detention room where I was going to be locked into a windowless room with steel bunk bed and other inmates. I insisted to call someone that what was happening to me was a mistake. I was only able to speak with an airline representative. After talking with the airline representative for almost 1 hour I was able to book a return flight to the U.S. with my credit card (Full Economy Fare) that prevented me from being put in a detention room. I was scared and totally upset. The airline representative came down to the room with my boarding pass and I was then escorted upstairs to the boarding gate.

I was able to confirm that ICE has office housed in U.S. Embassies around the globe. In addition to INTERPOL issuing notices on sex offenders, ICE is also doing it from their field offices. I talked directly with the officer at the U.S. Embassy ICE office in Bangkok who issued my notice and told me he can do it because the conviction is open source information. The officer also told me that it up to Thai authorities on whether they want to admit me or not. Well..DUH…no country is going to admit a person with derogatory information that was in the notice he provided.

Though I had one run-in with the law in my life, I have good character and I would never intentionally hurt anyone. I don’t even smoke or drink alcohol.

Since my conviction I have been living a fully productive crime-free life as I was before my conviction. These 2 denial of entries have financially set me back as well as created a lot of other unexpected hardships and crisis’ in my life. The law enforcement authorities have just made a fully functional citizen into now a dysfunctional citizen. I can only say that the officers who are sending these notices that claimed I was traveling to recommit a crime are scumbags.

I have retained a lawyer and I am currently determining what, if any, legal remedies are available to sue ICE and/or Homeland Security. From doing business abroad for so long now, most of my assets are in a foreign country that I cannot even get into now. I have made Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to INTERPOL, U.S. Marshall’s Service, ICE and to the Department of Homeland Security.

I would like to get a list of names, email addresses and mobile phone number addresses of convicted sex offenders (registered or not registered) who have been denied entry to countries. I would like to share this information with my lawyer as well as I am thinking of filing a complaint with the American Civil Liberties Union. Only if you like, and feel comfortable, you can leave your first name or nickname and contact information by sending an email to

I am also willing to work with anyone in this forum in researching how to address these sex offender notices on a broader bases to ultimately put a stop to the bad practice. Finally, after already conducting my own extensive investigation on the issue, the culprit entities that are best to contact about these notices are as follows:

1. Secretary of Homeland Security
12TH & C Street SW
Washington DC 20528
(202) 282-8000
This is the headquarters for the ICE field offices that are based in the U.S. Embassies all across the
globe where such notices are originating from.
Go to the following link for a map of ICE field offices, and their addresses and phone numbers:

2. U.S. Marshall’s Service Sex Offender Targeting Center
(202) 282 8000

3. INTERPOL Washington
U.S. Department of Justice
Washington, D.C. 20530-0001
(202) 616-9000
NOTE: INTERPOL Washington does not speak to private citizens about case information, but all sex
offense cases are handled in INTERPOL Washington’s Sex Trafficking Division and there are caseworkers
who handle the cases and send notices to the foreign countries.

This was submitted as a comment under “International Travel” by user “AdvocateVoice”. Deserves it own post…

Also see:

International Megan’s Law / RSO Travel Issues

International Travel

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There is information on this very site about Costa Rica deninng entry!

From one of the replies below the article:

“When I landed in Houston I had no idea what I would face but the immigration officials had no clue what the Costa Rican government was talking about. My passport wasn’t flagged.. I am not nor was I ever under investigation and come to find out Costa Rica passed a law in 2009 that prohibits any US RSO from entry to the country. They lie to you with an official document terrorize you and guard you and then only to arrive back in the US to find out they just don’t want you there… I lost my airfare and 20% of my prepayment for hotel and tours. Plus was humiliated and terrorized. Fortunately my travel companions all knee about my record or I would have benn outed to them as well… Additionally, finding the information about the Costa Rican restriction was not easy so even had I done my own research prior to the trip I may not have found it.”

Actually, I’m less concerned about an alert on me as I am in reading that CR is hooked into Interpol and CR has a specific law banning SO’s.

But I haven’t because, you’re right, I don’t want to draw attention to myself. Also, no offense to our government, even if two dozen US Marshall’s assured me my record was fine with no alerts I’m not sure I’d plan a vacation based on their word.

BE WARNED! I was recently deported after living several years in Thailand. I lost everything. I read the notation on my Thailand immigration computer file which they check at most borders, international airports, and immigration offices when you need to extend a visa. ICE gave my info to the the Thai immigration outlining my conviction. (possession of child pron, ironic as this is not an offense in Thailand) ICE even went to the trouble of described the section of the Thai Immigration Act I was in violation of, Section 12 paragraph 6 and 7. If you are a RSO and wish to travel to Thailand, make it a good trip because you will probably only be able to do it once. After that ICE may forward your info to them. This comes from SORNA AKA The Adam Walsh Act. Get a Thai immigration lawyer to have someone check he Thai immigration database before you go. Same goes for Philippines etc.

This “instant deportation” program was started in the 2009/ 2010 timeframe by DOJ/ SMART office. Laws/ policies that were cited when the program was put in place:


I’m seeing a lot of talk about “former” RSO’s and nothing about those currently still on the registry. When I got out of prison after a 2 yr sentence for having an illegal relationship with a person under 16 (even the D.A. in the court proceedings recognized it to the judge as “consensual” mostly to say it was non-violent), I was out for 2 days (yes, I’m on probation) and I went to get my passport because I had never traveled anywhere outside the USA (minus Canada via car for a concert) and after that prison stint I decided that I WANT TO LIVE MY LIFE AND STOP DAY DREAMING about doing normal things such as traveling and such.
I got my passport, but I had not the money to travel abroad.
In the sex offender group which we all have to take as a requirement of Probation, I brought up the idea of traveling outside the USA. The group leader (or “social worker” as they are best described) said that she has had clients on PROBATION leave the country for either work, vacation with family or foreign relatives. All she said about permission to leave is of course having to discuss it with your individual probation officers. There was no mention of anything regarding the US government stopping us from traveling outside the country while ON PROBATION or the REGISTRY.

What brought about this change? And what is this madness our society has with RSO’s being the equivalent of a damn terrorist that we need to be “flagged”???

They want to stop “Registered” sex offenders and use the excuse that we’d be going to certain countries to commit sex crimes?? Yet their countries age of consent is different (some lower than ours) so I’m curious how they consider that a crime even IF it were what your intent was. Also, while stopping “Registered” offenders, many high class rich snobs with no criminal records are traveling to places like Thailand and the Philippines every day to engage in sex with minors. If someone can ASSUME that a RSO is going to go there to have sex with minors, they may as well assume EVERY OLD MAN WITH MONEY is going there to try to have sex with minors and just BLOCK anyone from entering their precious countries. That way, only THEIR citizens can break the laws and not anyone from abroad. Man, I’m pissed after reading all of this. I work hard to earn my money and my money is just as green as anyone else’s and should not be turned away from being spent as a traveler. This entire world is going straight to hell in a handbag.

I have a fiancé from Thailand and visited there 2 times. I have created a relationship and was at the top of the world until a piece of paper from ICE to Thailand Immigration telling them of my crime. The 3rd time I went to Thailand, I was greeted by 4 immigration officers and detained till my next flight back to USA. Previously to going, I was accepted a 60 day Visa from the Chicago Thai Consulate. I went through TSA in Chicago. NOT EVEN A WARNING THAT I MAY BE DENIED ENRTY INTO THAILAND. ICE never informed me that they warned the country of my crime. I feel that ICE should at least inform us prior to travel so there is no waste of money. I could have cancelled my plans to try to work this out with ICE. I never researched this before I left because I already went there twice. I bought an engagement ring on the second time I went there. My crime was twelve years ago. I am off the SOR. I went there when I was on the SOR. Now I guess I am supposed to forget 3 years of somebody that actually loves me. She knows my crime. I told her everything. I am very depressed with this. I thought I could never have a relationship here do to my status. But now with one piece of paper from ICE assuming I am travelling there for different reasons is depressing. Watching my fiancé cry on Skype is killing me. I don’t think I have any other option than to jump off a bridge seriously. I have nothing to live for anymore. I am 42 living with my parents. The only people who love me for me. I am not a bad person I am not a person that gets up in the morning and says..what child do I want today…THATS NOT ME!!!!!!!! Some people who make it a living to hurt children deserve it. But in my case…I just want to live and move forward. I cannot stop crying typing this. I wish there was some kind of way to get to my fiancé. Please help…

I am a UK RSO and am extremely annoyed about this.

How can they say that we are likely to commit further crimes when we have the lowest rates of re offense?

I have not tested this out yet, I am now afraid to leave my country. I have to give advanced notice to the UK Police if I wish to travel abroad, thus giving them time to inform Interpol who will then send a green notice.

How can these notices be challenged? Surely they cannot be published for everyone?

They are now banning me from international travel.

It is outrageous.

What can I do to help?


Hello, my family and I travel extensively and have a trip planned in December. We have traveled to 4 foreign countries in the past 2 years and have had no problems. Do we think this is just targeted at child offenders? We spent ALOT of money on this upcoming trip and don’t want to travel all the way there to be denied (which has never happened before).

Anyone out there travel abroad this year with no problems?

Thank you for the response. I think it might be helpful to start a new thread with just travelers experiences asking the following questions-

1) date of travel
2) destination
3) issues encountered?
4) child related crime
5) registered or not

This should help a lot of people save time and money.Again I have been to 4 countries in the past 2 years with no issues.

I was pointed here by someone who emailed me. I wrote a whole article about this problem way back in 2008 when they tried to push “International Megan’s Law” through Congress:

The best way to combat this is to tell people who REALLY HATE sex offenders and want them gone about it. Present it sort of like this: “the US government wants to make sure sex offenders can’t move out of your country; do you want the government to make sure sex offenders who don’t want to live next to you can’t move away?”

Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire, and emotionally driven idiocy with the same.

David & all, thanks for the insightful information.

I’m a RSO. Crime was possession of images depicting minors. Completed probation years ago, but still an annual registrant. I have successfully travelled over the past decade, and even since mid 2013 where others seem to be having problems. Since last June, I have been to UK, Germany, China on multiple occasions for work, and Mexico.

Just this past week, I was denied entry into Mexico which came as a complete shock to my wife and I. Wasted money, humiliation, etc. Now I’m concerned about a business trip to China/Japan in first quarter 2015. (I was just there in September last year without issues).

Has anyone either been denied entry in the past 3 months or successfully traveled to China in the past 3 months?
In the eyes of ICE, is possession of images viewed as a lesser offense as a “hands on” crime?

Dear Friends,

A report on international travel for a high risk sex offender.

In March, 2014 I sailed with my family on a week-long cruise of the Western Caribbean. We departed from Galveston, TX

At the port of embarkation Where I checked in for the cruise I was worried that I might be denied entry and turned back before my vacation began. As I checked in and they scanned my passport I was relieved to be given my ships pass and allowed to board.

After spending a couple of days at sea we docked at Roatan Island, off the coast of Honduras. I went ashore looking for a passport control office. Finding none I moved on to the island and asked several locals and even a police officer where I could get my passport reviewed. I was told that if I really wanted a passport stamp I’d have to go to the airport and pay a $40.00 departure fee. I was assured that I could catch a ferry to the mainland, rent a car or take a bus and travel anywhere in Honduras without being asked to show my passport. When I returned to the cruise-ship I had no trouble and we set sail for Belize.

At Belize City I took the long tender ride to the port, again, and, again I had trouble tracking down passport control or traditional immigrations and customs. After walking through town I found car rentals and the international bus terminal and was also told that no would ask for my passport until I transited to another country by land or by air.

The next morning we docked at Cozumel Mexico and again I went ashore looking for someone to examine my passport. After a five mile taxi ride to “downtown” and walking for 10 or 20 blocks I was finally directed to the immigration office. When I tried to enter I was told that they don’t bother with tourist passports and that they were closed. Having spent 6-months in central Mexico last summer I didn’t expect anything different.

Finally a days sail later we returned to Galveston and my return to the US was unique. Everyone else in my party passed through the departure desk on board the ship but when I presented my shipboard pass I was asked to step to the railing and wait for a ships officer. Eventually a cruise ship representative came down and told me she was there to escort me to Customs and Immigration on the dock. She led all eight of us past lines of hundreds of other departing passengers. Once were past all of our shipmates we retrieved our luggage and were then escorted to the head of the immigrations line. Hundreds of passengers muttered and whispered “Who are those V.I.P.s” as we were escorted ahead of everyone else.

At Immigration I was asked to step aside to a small holding room to await a higher level of inspection. Meanwhile my family was passed along through the process without a moments hesitation. After about 10 minutes wait a Customs officer asked me to bring my bags over to an inspection platform. Three officers thoroughly examined each of my bags while a fourth officer asked me to unlock my phone so that he could review my pictures, favorites and e-mails. After only ten minutes everyone was satisfied with only one question about some pictures of my grandsons on my phone.

The process through Customs and Immigration in Galveston was quick, about 20 minutes total, discrete, and professional. If you had been a fly on the wall you would never know why I was singled out for a higher level of inspection.
In 2011, returning by plane from Hong Kong through the Detroit airport, I experienced an even quicker and similarly professional entry through ICE. In the summer of 2013 I moved to Central Mexico for six months and upon returning by car to the US at Laredo Texas my experience took much longer because they had to empty my entire car. Six months of apartment furnishings bedding and kitchen supplies as well as souvenirs. Here they even removed the back seat from my car. Although the auto search took about 45-minutes the agents were, again, discrete and professional.

In the last few years I have visited the following countries without any incidents at their entry ports: Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Cambodia, Mexico, Honduras, and Belize. The only country where I was obviously flagged as a sex offender and my entry was challenged was the Philippines.

Again I traveled to Mexico, for August and September 2014. I had heard about RSOs being turned away at airports so I decided to take the bus. After consulting the local Mexican consulate and being assured I wouldn’t have any problems I headed south. At the Nuevo Laredo border I, along with all foreign nationals, left the bus and was interviewed by immigration officials. The scanned my passport and happily waved me on through.

I have heard horror stories from registrants returning from overseas travel but in the half dozen international trips since I was released from prison, in spite of the requirement to
registrants to a one level higher degree of inspection. I have always been treated respectfully.

Here are some of the things I consider before returning through US Customs.

A minimum of 21 days in advance of international travel I register thru my local sex offender manager with the federal marshals, a new national requirement. (see attached Federal Marshal’s form) I meet with my local sex offender manager and have him sign a copy of my itinerary that I carry with me and he keeps a copy in my file so if anyone comes looking for me for spot residency verification and they don;’t find me my signed itinerary is on file. (see attached Local Travel itinerary form) I never carry a video or still camera (other than on my cell phone), a lap-top, DVDs, thumb drives, or any electronic media. I never carry other “Red-Flag” items, children’s, clothes or toys. (I always mail my grand children’s gifts home from overseas.)
I am always pleasant and cooperative and I keep my mouth shut avoiding chattiness.

I am looking to summer overseas again in 2015 and know to avoid the above listed destinations such as the Philippines, Thailand, Costa Rica, Panama, Argentina, Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UK. Has anyone come up with a definitive list of NO ENTRY destinations? Can anyone suggest destinations in addition to Mexico that they have successfully entered in 2014?

If you have any questions about my experiences, please contact me at

Robert Kim Combs
Arkansas Time After Time
(501) 563-2197

I was also just deported from Thailand while attempting to visit Jan 4th. I had previously visited in October of 2013.

Thai immigration also showed me the letter from ICE stating my offense. It didn’t state anything that said I had intention to offend. They wouldn’t let me take a copy of the letter.

This certainly came as a shock to me when I got off the plane in Bangkok.

Not only did I lose money on the flight I also certainly felt as a prisoner for something I did in 2001 which led to some depressed feelings. I completed all of my probation and treatment requirements and should be able to get off the SOR next year. 15 year requirement.

I understand what I did caused many people great pain. However what I did was directly to my family. We have gone though years of therapy and work to rebuild. I know the effects of my abuse will never go away but things like this certainly do not help myself and my family move forward positively.

I would certainly like some info on where I might be able to travel to because right now I certainly feel quite indefinitely punished if I can’t see anything outside of the USA.

I have just received an inquiry from a corporation in Guangzhou China. They have asked me to fly over and meet with them on their dime. In the past I have flown into Hong Kong and had a local travel agent secure my visa into China with no problem but that was a couple of years ago. Now I am concerned. Does any one know if the sponsoring company requests your services with a letter of invitation and they secure your visa, could I then somehow mitigate China’s immigration prohibition.

Has anyone had any problems entering Hong Kong lately?

I recognize that only those who have encountered problems at points of entry are posting as those who have had no such problems are not motivated to complain therefore this is by its nature a self selecting board featuring only stories of woe. Are there any other success stories any of know of?

I was denied entry into Mexico last week. I was traveling with 4 co-workers for business, our manufacturing plant is there. I was pulled out of the line for immigration. They knew I was coming, and I didn’t even have a chance to scan my passport. Very humiliating and now my job is in jeapardy. I was planning a trip to meet my girlfreind who I love and was hoping to marry. It looks like INTERPOL is the main culprit. They are sending information actively to all nations through tracking system. Please sign me up, we need to fight this on every ground. My conviction was 20 years ago!

Wow this is f’d up. We can’t leave but they let in foreign criminals if they have the cash:–abc-news-topstories.html

This week I was talking to the Little Rock police detective who manages sex offenders and the issue of international travel came up. He said that the only difference he has noticed in the last few months was the fact that lately Federal Marshals he reports international travel itineraries to have begun assigning case managers to each case.

I asked if he had any local sex offenders who traveled internationally recently. As you might expect, in the Little Rock, AR community there aren’t many jet setting registrants, however he did tell me that one gentleman traveled for a week in Brazil within the last month and he had no problems. In fact he had not had a single registrant turned away by a foreign destination since he began informing the Federal Marshals in 2011.

All I have read on this site are stories of those turned away. No one writes about successful travel experiences.

I was denied entry to Thailand on 8/25/16. Similar experience. 4 officers waiting for me. Photographed. Showed me the letter that it was ICE who informed them. Now I’m afraid that I’m banned from traveling overseas. I was convicted in 2011. Finished probation. Level 1 SO (lowest risk in my state). Did rehab and everything asked and beyond. I just want to get back to have a normal life again.

Seeking to study with one (1) freedom-minded individual. Served 8 years in prison. Want to begin a fresh start.

Seeking to establish a lawful usa exit route with legal border crossing documentation.

I am seeking a place to travel through (90 days maximum stay), on a perpetual travel schedule between 4 countries.

Anyone have recent success in exiting usa through Mexican free trade zones?