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Traveling Abroad Sucks if You’re an Ex-Con

Going through customs can be unnerving and problematic for everyone. You’ve got to deal with long lines, uncertainty over what’s considered a contraband item, and the possibility of being denied entry to the country you’re visiting. But it can be even worse for ex-cons. Just ask the so-called Hot Felon, ____ ____. He was reportedly denied entry into the UK last month, even though he’d secured a work permit, was scheduled for a series of magazine shoots, and had permission from his parole officer to travel. Full Article

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Speaking of travel…what’s the status on that IML mark that was supposed to be on our passports a year ago?

Did they go forward with informing other countries more than they already were but just not put the mark on yet?

I recently was wondering the same thing.

It’s probably best not to poke the bear. It could also be that career bureaucrats in the State Dept disagree with the idea and are dragging their feet. Trust me, having spent many years intimately involved with a federal agency, I know it happens.

My guess is that it’s going through some meetings, some consultations, some legal checking (perhaps even with DoJ), etc, etc. They may also be trying to figure out how to address something someone else has mentioned before: what do you do about expats that you don’t have current contact info for? From everything that’s been said (as well as common sense, a rarity in governmental systems), notification will come in writing. I’m guessing State would like to fire out all the letters at once with a certain date for people to get new documents. Our world-wandering compadres may end up being some of our best friends!


I not only want to poke the “bear” but I want to kick it in the nuts!

We have rights and them playing games with our lives in the shadows is nothing to take lightly! We must have everything in order and make some noise. We can’t just keep quiet and hope they forget about us…being quiet is what got us in this mess to start with – MAKE SOME NOISE

I am as mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore!

Perhaps those Expats may want to consider just staying where they are, therefore they wouldn’t even need a new passport. Believe me if I got the call, I would be out the door- never to come back.

This bear definitely needs to be poked, and soon!

They are delaying the mark because they know from Janice’s lawsuit that once the mark is there, the case is RIPE to be challenged. As long as they hold off on the mark, all of the other notifications to other countries and expansion of Angel Watch will continue to the point where it will be harder to dismantle. They are also actively getting into agreements with other countries based on IML and those agreements may be impossible to back out of.

The longer the mark is delayed, the harder it will be to dismantle this mess, and they know it.

I think Janice had mentioned she was considering 2 separate challenges.
1- The Notification Scheme
2- The Passport Mark (when that is ripe)

@Tired of Hiding & Chris F

My comment about not poking the bear was simply a statement of “let’s not get them in a hurry to revoke and replace passports.” The larger issue of IML certainly needs poking! What’s holding either of you back from contacting your state’s ACLU and/or the SPLC? If you’re “not going to take it anymore” and think action is needed “and soon,” then step up.

I wonder if someone could sue prospectively, like ACLU-MI did in Snyder. I forget the exact legal term (facial challenge?), but essentially they were able to challenge the law without first complying with/violating it. The actual mark on a passport doesn’t change the intent or effect (Angel Watch activities) of the law, so it seems peculiar that one would need to wait until that event. And that one judge in CA decided it was without merit doesn’t mean all judges feel that way. Though Janice is certainly a capable, tireless (and much appreciated, even by a non-CA resident!) attorney and advocate, her judicial options are limited to CA and the overlying Federal circuits.


I got a new PP recently and there’s no mark on it. I was excited to think I would have it for the next 10 years while giving the courts a shot to rule against it.

But then again, State may revoke the one I have and send me a new bright pink one with huge S.O. tags all over it. I wish I could get one last good vacation in before they screw it up, but I don’t have the funds right now.

Unfortunately even if you HAD the funds there are only a handful of places that you MIGHT manage to get into. In addition to that, even though you might hear that entry is relatively certain to some destination you might be the unfortunate “lucky one” to experience the very first denial of entry to that destination! You just don’t know.

No…let’s face it, we can NOT accept this situation and especially if they do revoke our passports for new marked ones. Why? With the mark you have pretty much a 100% probability of being denied entry…after all why would the US government feel the need to mark ONLY sex offender’s passports unless we are a danger!

The right to explore the world…see wondrous sights…and experience different cultures is a human right and not one that we can allow to be taken away because of something we did or did NOT do in the past. Not only that, but once ANYONE has paid their “debt” to society there is no reason to deny them travel rights OR an unadulterated international travel document!!!!!

No, this is a HUMAN right’s violation and one that is unpresidented except for the Nazi’s marking the Jew’s passports and we all remember how that one turned out. This must be fought for the good of mankind…NOT just for us!

@Chris F
I stumbled across this old post on here regarding passport markings:

The key statement is, “‘unique identifiers’ will be added only to the passports of individuals convicted of a sex offense that involved a minor and who are currently required to register as a sex offender.”
IOW, if your offense involved only an adult -or- you no longer need to register, there will be no mark. I’m guessing this will severely cut back on how many passports get the mark of death.

Nothing in there says anything about Angel Watch and Interpol stuff, of course.


This puts me into a situation where I am stuck in Texas.

If I move, I’ll get put back on the registry and get the mark. If I stay, I’ll be off the registry in a year and no mark.

While crossing the border from a recent trip to our southern neighbor, I was sent to secondary as expected. The Border Patrol officers are, for the most part, very professional and cordial. Not this time however. I had a chip on the shoulder female agent of Hispanic origin that played 20 questions, made me get out of the vehicle, rifled through everything and even frisked myself and the passenger. That was a first! A tactic they use is rapid fire questions, where were you, why were you there, what were you doing, how long were you there, who do you know there, what’s in your bag, etc, etc, but never anything about my record. I’ve crossed the border dozens of times in the past 7 years, always sent to secondary where the check my record out or look for who knows what. Just a little info I thought I’d share.

Did you have any trouble crossing from the US into MX, or were you only hassled on your way back in?

Hassled only coming into the US from Mexico. I’ve never been stopped driving into Mexico at their border. I always follow the notification procedure as it applies to me.

I also have crossed dozens of times in the last several years, and have been sent to Secondary every time since passports were required. Only twice did I (and my wife) get the third degree (out of the car, bags removed from the car, searched, etc.), but not in the last year or so.

My question is, did you give notification before you went in?

I so much want to visit my house down there, but I am afraid of coming back in.

My wife and I have permanent residency (green card?) in MX, but I sure as heck don’t want Angel Watch sending them a warning about me, which will surely happen if I do the notification.

My real question is, if I try crossing back into the US, is “Secondary” going to say “Hmm, we don’t find a record of you notifying us that you were leaving the country, so you are now under arrest for violation of the IML.”

I would really like to visit my home in MX, but is it worth the risk at this point?

Having a house in Mexico puts you in a very enviable position. If I was in your shoes, I’d seriously consider making my next trip to Mexico a one-way trip. I wouldn’t even think of coming back to this police state.

I agree. If it were just me, I’d already be down there. We have a nice place overlooking the ocean.
But my wife hasn’t retired yet (school teacher) so it will be a couple more years.
Until now, we have traveled to Mexico several times a year – now I am afraid to try, until like you say, I make a one-way trip.
Unfortunately, my Spanish isn’t good enough yet to pass the citizenship test. If IML is here to stay, I’m hoping a Mexican passport would allow us to continue traveling the world.
Also, our first grandchild is due in September, so I hate to do the one-way trip too soon.

I’m surprised you actually drove through Mexico. Usually the journey north involves passing several checkpoints within Mexico. I’ve always gone through secondary, but in the last several years, there’s been nothing to it. Instead of risking an uncertain car trip traveling north, there are other ways to return to the United States.

Sorry if I said something that was unclear. We have not traveled through Mexico. We typically stay between Tijuana and Rosarito because that is where our house is, though occasionally we go as far as Ensenada. There are no check-points in that area where they look at ID, but even if they did, we have permanent residency cards, so we should be able to go anywhere in Mexico without problem. It is returning to the US that is the problem, and that 10-year mandatory prison sentence in the IML sounds very scary, especially since I have never been to prison.

I believe the law requires you to notify the authorities if you are leaving the country for more than 7 days. Make your trip 7 days or less, and do not go by airplane (I was detained, denied entry and returned to the US when I flew in to Cozumel with my girlfriend for a scuba diving vacation). I’m happy to hear you can enter MX by driving.

I have a few questions? I plead to a Felony Battery 20 years ago17B/expunged/summary probation. Not child related!

I’ve visited Canada, PI, Costa Rica, DR and etc

I’ve always been stopped coming back. Canada and Florida very professional. LAX rude

Are these countries just banning child related things?

Has anyone tried to get into Germany or any of the other schengen countries?

Hi Paul – I last traveled to Germany (via Denmark) in the fall of 2015 and did not have any issues.

Hi Paul and Mr. D,
I am not sure which countries are Schengen. We traveled to Egypt and Italy in 2015 and early 2016 with no problem, but I was barred from entering Thailand in November, thanks to our friends at Angel Watch.
We are supposed to travel to Denmark at the end of June to start a cruise, so I too would like to know the status in Europe. Hopefully we will learn more at the conference in mid-June, but I would have to send my 21 day advance notice before then. My wife will be upset if she has to cruise alone.

Flew to amsterdam feb. 2017 … no issues in or out. Back in US taken respectfully to secondary in Minneapolis. 10 minute wait, 3 questions. They wanted to establish 21 day notification. I am from sorna non- compliant state, I notified DOC and had proof, i also invested in TSA pre which has to show a degree of prescreening. Not on probation, crime child related from 1995.

I’m Non-Sorna State as well. I returned 10 days ago through the airport, and had no questions whatsoever.

What makes you think that they were checking to see if you established the 21 advance notification?

Did they ask to see your proof?

they asked for my address—- kind of stupid when they have my passport. I told them my address, then said I have proof of my 21 day notice. They said- something like Oh you did that. I gave them an E-mail from DOC which affirmed my notice, I also said “I’M TSA pre- approved- so obviously I’m considered a non risk”. Note TSA pre is not valid internationally. I handed them my TSA paperwork. …… done

Well, this is pretty important for us to know. Did THEY bring up the 21 day advance notice or did you?

Was it apparent to you that you would have had problems with them had you not been able to provide proof of this notice?


It sounds to me like they were just asking to see whatever type document you could produce. It sounds like you actually brought up the 21 advance notice to them.

@JM of Wi.
1) Your address is not part of your passport, unless and until you personally add it (in pencil is the smart and proper way, in case you move).

2) Have you thought of applying for Global Entry? It’s the big brother to TSA Precheck. It costs a bit more, but gives all the perks of Precheck and them some. Many travel bloggers have opined it’s actually a better deal even with the extra $15. ( Heck, there have been a number of times I’d pay someone $15 just to get through faster one time, let alone over and over!


I checked on the GlobalEntry website and it says that those convicted of a crime (or outstanding warrants) may be ineligible for the GlobalEntry program.
You think they would turn me away?

The turned me down…this was several years ago…but I actually fought it….and have a letter saying Never….!…lol

Though I do get TSA Pre-Screened

Good Luck, you may have a different result than I.

Best Wishes, James

I have no idea, honestly. Silly me, I was applying logic to the situation where 1) TSA Precheck is approved and 2) you’ve been in and out of the country with success. One would think the logical extension would to be able to combine the two. But from James’ comment, perhaps not. Perhaps CBP likes to have a little more scrutiny. A shame.



I’m sure these things change all the time so I wouldn’t actually know until I’ve tried it! I lived in Germany many years ago and have been trying to get back there ever since. It seems like Germany is a fairly progressive country to get into, so I may not have an issue…but I won’t know for another 2 years.

Yeah, Global Entry appears a bit more stringent, which makes sense considering it involves international, not domestic, travel. But PreCheck has a “may not be eligible” clause on their website too. I think it’s simply a way for them to have some leeway over cases. I have a hard time believing, “[h]ave been convicted of any criminal offense or have pending criminal charges or outstanding warrants (to include driving under the influence),” is strictly applied. Any? So if I were convicted of shoplifting on my 18th birthday, I’m ineligible for life? Seems a stretch. Note the website says “may not be eligible.” That’s a wholly different phrase than “are not eligible.” I’m sure they have a type- and recency-of-crime formula. But somewhere along that CBP-determined crime continuum is a “no.”


@Paul Global Entry should be the least of our travel issues.

What is DOC? Thanks!

Hi JM,
Thanks for replying. That makes me feel a little better, though we all know how quickly things can change.
If you have time, can you clarify a couple of things? Do I understand that you did give the 21 notice?
Also, I’m not sure how SORNA compliance affects things. I am in California, and I think California is non-compliant also. Is that a good thing or a bad thing in this case?
Several airlines give me TSA precheck (Delta, for example) but I never applied for anything. I just assumed it was because I was flying so much.
Thanks again, and I hope all your travels continue to be successful.
P.S. My bad was also child related and from 1994.

Yes in wi we have compliance officers. Mine has been very helpful. (never met her only e-mail & phone). I e-mailed a notice, got a response I carried a copy of the response. Wi & Calif. are both non-compliant. I would say that it’s a good thing. But get proof of 21 day notice to carry along. I bought TSA pre. They have certain crime exclusions like drug trafficking I think human trafficking, some violence things.

Is pre-screening still available or has our offender-in-chief scrapped that idea?

Would love to know of anyone’s experience having submitted the SORNA form and whether or not they were allowed entry into an EU country (specifically Italy).
We’re in Texas, which is supposedly non-compliant, but this year they told my husband he needed to fill out the form. Now we just have to wait and see what happens at IT border.
We have traveled all over Europe previously with no issues except the UK (denied entry and sent back). We have never previously notified via SORNA b/c he was always told at the registry office that it was not necessary.
Am pretty anxious about it and would love feedback from anyone who has actually submitted the form and traveled afterwards.
Thank you in advance.

PS – Though my husband gave the info for the SORNA form, he was given no documentation to prove that he had complied., i.e., he gave all of his info the police officer but what they did with it after that is anyone’s guess. He didn’t get a receipt or a copy of the form or anything of the sort. In fact, the officer originally told him that he didn’t have to fill out anything, and then on his way home, the officer called and said he was mistaken and that it *did* have to be filled out so he had to go back down there and take care of it.

I think you will be fine in Italy…no flight touching the ground in the UK however!

As to the notification…I am glad your husband has given it, but in the future he should have two copies, one to be time stamped at the station if possible….at least that is my intention if I find the time to get away to Italy this year.

Of course the police may refuse to stamp my notice…I’ve never had to do the before.

Still, I am reasonably confidant that you both will be fine under the circumstances you describe.

Best Wishes, James

PS An Email is time stamped…I would think that eventually this will be the best way to give notice…I hope.

Hi James,
Interesting idea about submitting via email. I actually looked into that but from what I can tell from the SMART / SORNA website, it says that submissions must be made via your local registry office. I do wish they had given him proof of submission, but I am less worried about that and more about whether or not we’ll be turned away. I know that per the travel matrix:
Italy is usually good to go, and like I said, we haven’t had troubles there, *but* this is the first time we’ve had to fill out the form, and I’m unclear as to what happens with that form if the country on the other side, like Italy, doesn’t actually maintain a registry. I have read that Interpol gets notified and a “green notice” is sent out but I don’t know exactly what that entails and it’s the uncertainty that’s stressing me out. Getting sent back at the UK years ago totally sucked (also b/c it wasn’t even our intent to go to the UK – we were supposed to be transiting at Heathrow, our flight got changed day-of due to some weather cancellations and we were re-booked on a flight that required a change on to Gatwick before continuing on to Italy, and they wouldn’t let us in to change airports. B*stards). Anyhow, my husband is level one, his offense was non-contact, it was 19 years ago, and he comes off next year, so I’m hoping that we are just not even on their radar. Just don’t want to get a black mark against us for being turned away (he has a giant x-through on his passport from where we tried to transit through the UK).
Anyhow, thanks for listening and for your feedback.

I’m still interested to hear from anyone who has submitted their SORNA form and then traveled with no problems to an EU country other than Ireland.

Thank you!

Dear Beth:

I know you are stressed…especially after your Gatwick reject….all of this is just astounding, (as was my surprise in being actually jailed in South Korea).

Nothing is certain in life…and by this I mean this is the Existential Quandary of existence…a bus may run us over tomorrow.

There is really no way to know anything for certain; we take a look, gather facts and study experience….and move forward…we do this with everything, not just international travel.

I believe you have done your due diligence…This is all you can do, with anything.


Go enjoy Italy and bring us back a happy report.

Best Wishes, James

Thanks James – fingers crossed that we can do exactly that. 🙂
Appreciate your positivity.
Take care,

Hey James,
Wanted to come back to here to give some good news, and also to generally ask for everyone’s thoughts on the recent news regarding the passport identifier.

We took our trip this summer and had no problems entering Italy, and no problems when we returned via Spain (including an overnight layover there). Upon entering the US we had the usual issues at the border but nothing out of the ordinary. FWIW, we’ve noticed that when we are able to fly directly into our home airport, as opposed to connecting through another US airport, my husband seems get fewer questions. Maybe just coincidence.

In any case, I was catching up on news on the site today and saw the post regarding the State Dept decision to revoke existing passports to replace them with the identifier.

Has this happened to any of you yet? How exactly do they plan to revoke them?

Thanks again for the support all of you on this site have provided.

They have not yet start revoking them as they’re waiting for a list of all our names. Once they do revoke it, they’ll send out notices to all effected that their current passport is no longer valid. I believe they’ll want you to either send back your passport or report it “lost”. Though don’t try to use a passport that you’ve reported lost. That’s an issue all on its own.

beth, there are two or three very recent articles on this site about the IML scarlet letter mark. They all pretty much discuss who it applies to, and how it will be done, so far as we know. I suggest you go read them for more info. You’ll still have questions afterwards.

Basically, the State department will take a list to be compiled by the Department of Homeland Security of all applicable registrants. Then the State department will revoke the existing passports of those registrants.

None of that has happened yet, so no one has yet had their passport revoked, and no one knows for sure what the procedure will be. We all wait with bated breath.

Wait, they jailed you in South Korea?? I had no issues there. The only issue I had was when I had come back to the states and sat in secondary for 2hours in the UAE. Where they ended up asking if I had visited family because it was obvious I was Korean decent

@Sam, How long age did you travel to Korea?

It was the winter of 2015 when I got back was right after they passed IML though. But I had put in my travel notice that I was going there before going since NY required it prior to the whole IML thing.

Dear Sam:

I am very pleased that you had no trouble in South Korea. They most certainly arrested me, put in in the Inchon Airport holding cell until my flight was about to leave.

This left an indelible memory, as you might suspect, (and I was only trying to enter the country to take the Buddhist Temple tour because I had a long layover…but when the swiped my passport, Ding, ding, Ding….they led me away to the holding cell).

Did you actually try to go through Korean immigration and customs, or were you in South Korea on a long layover also?

Also, was this in 2017, 2016 or 2015?

Lastly, upon landing in Los Angeles, there were 4 agents there to lead me off the plane before anyone else….(to ensure I didn’t or couldn’t escape?)

In the secondary inspection area, though in private rooms, there were two forensic experts to go though my cameras, videos and cell phone.

This took hours. And they went though and probably mirrored everything. There were also three very serious looking women watching over me an all of this for the 1st two or so hours….eventually they tired of the game, my natural refusal to confess to anything and they wandered off.

They thought they had a kingpin or some one very dangerous.

I have subsequently traveled to South East Asia, though avoiding South Korea and Japan, but also not after the passing of the IML. It would be Very, Very good news if a Registrant were able to enter South Korea.

As to Beth, this is great news and I am very happy that you had a fine time. I have a wedding to attend in the Spring in Europe and remain hopeful that I can make it.

And congratulations to everyone for keeping their heads up and just going on and living their lives.

This is the best revenge!…;>}}

Best Wishes, James

Wow. That is a ridiculously horrible experience. I had went there to visit family. I had no issues with immigration and just walked through. I had lived there for several months without issue. I had actually left out of the country on several weekend trips again going through Korean immigration several times without anything issue. I may have just gotten extremely lucky though and have not tried to go back since. But this is mostly due to cost as I don’t make as much money here as I did in the US.

I was originally planing to go back next year and apply for my citizenship there or at least my F4 visa because I’m of Korean decent. But I’m holding off on this because of all the recent events

Okay, maybe I can put your mind at ease. I arrived in Hong kong a week ago. A month before travel I went and put in the travel for (in California), non-SORNA state. Police wanted nothing to do with it. Lead officer stated that the Feds didn’t even want them to submit anything because it was redundant anyways. All the information they need to turn us around is sent once we check in for our flight at the airport. I had to patiently explain that I needed some kind of confirmation that i turned in the travel notice. Be sure to emphasize that you need this for coming back into the U.S., so that you showed you complied. I also explained that Janice Bellucci had covered this issue with the higher-uos in Sacramento, and this was the arrangement that had been agreed upon. The police have no kind of time stamp, but the officer was reasonable and gave me a copy of the notice signed by an officer, as well as a business card with their phone number, also signed and dated by hand. I was cautioned however, that my time arriving back in the U.S. should be during their business hours at registration (not just the days they are seeing registrants, but when someone is there). I hadn’t thought about this, but it makes sense in case Feds want to call. But most likely you will never be asked for proof. Only offer your paperwork if needed. Don’t volunteer.
Good luck.
P.S. — remember that submitting the travel notice is not the same as registering out. You still need to do that within 5 days of travel internationally.

Dear Concerned:

Registering out? Five days before leaving? I don’t at all know what this is about and I follow this kind of information fairly closely.

Are your referring to a new address because you are actually temporarily living abroad? (as opposed to vacationing?)

It is good to know that Hong Kong is open to us in that it is a fine and interesting city.

But your last sentence really has me scratching my head.

Other people can chime in on this also if I am just way off base and there is something else out there that I am unaware of.

Thanks for any additional information you might provide, Concerned Registrant.

Thanks in advance!

Best Wishes, James

Yes, I think he was referring to whatever requirements one’s state may have about letting them know if you’re going to be gone from your registered addresses for some specified period of time (apparently, 5 days in this case).

I haven’t been to HK since ’93, but agree it’s a great place. It’s also a good intermediary stop for other destinations that one may have “forgotten” to mention before leaving the US. A flight beyond the initial itinerary which is bought through any number of non-Five-Eyes countries may be prudent.


All great info – thanks to everyone who has chimed in so far, it’s much appreciated.

Let me explain. I am in California. I For about 18 years now, whenever I travel internationally, I do so for one or more months. That is too long to be considered a vacation. Every state probably has a different length of time that is considered beyond a vacation limit. In California, I must “register out” of jurisdiction within five days of departure, and when I return I must “register in” within five days.Whatever state you live in, you should determine the details. For me, registering out and then back in has worked out the best because I get official paperwork showing that I am in compliance. The other point was “giving your 21-eday notice does NOT MEAN you have registered out. You still must register out, if that is what you intend to do.

Are you on Megan’s Law site? I am going to apply for TSA precheck and wanted to ask someone that is on website and if they did get approved. Crime was in 1996

I obtained TSA Pre and have used it extensively. Well worth output. Crime in 95

Hey Mr. D, that sounds very encouraging! I have been wanting to travel to Germany for quite some time now…I realise that it’s not the normal vacation destination, but I have some friends that live there and I’d like to visit.

I’d think the more socially tolerant countries such as the Netherlands, Denmark and (at least historically) France would be good entry points. I’ve been thinking the Dutch colonial islands of the Caribbean might be worth a shot, too. (St. Maarten, though, sounds like it’s a no-go.)


My recent travel experiences to the EU have also been without problem. In March 2016 I entered at Amsterdam, and last November at Venice. On the return, weather forced an unplanned overnight stay at Heathrow (London) where I was admitted for 48 hours without comment. But wait, there’s more! I also traveled by bus from Italy and Slovenia to Croatia (not in the Schengen area) and back again, no problem. So I say go ahead and travel to Europe, but beware of flying to Ireland or the UK — you may get the bum’s rush.

Has anyone here ever tried to study abroad? If so, which country?

I live in Ca. Just registered. I saw nothing regarding the 21 day travel thing? I asked (it’s clerks) regarding the travel notification. They looked confused

you could listen to ACSOL’s Conference Calls; See above recordings on international travel.

When I went for my annual reporting last year (in California) there were signs posted saying that if you plan to travel internationally that you must fill out the form below and send it in at least 21 days before you leave the country. However, no one said anything about it, and it was not added to the long list of things that I must initial and agree to, to stay compliant. I figured I would get notification in the mail, or the “scarlet letter” passport by now, but nothing has happened. I can see how someone could claim ignorance, but if the border patrol people when you returned claimed that was no excuse and locked you up in a federal penitentiary for the mandatory 10 year sentence, that would not be good.

I asked the clerk who performs all of the registrations in San Francisco about notifications for international travel and she asked me “Is there an International Megan’s Law now?”

It appears that many of the registration people are clueless about IML, but of course, they are not the ones that would enforce it. My question is, who is doing the enforcement? I assume it must be ICE when you re-enter the USA. Do we know of anyone who has been violated for failure to notify 21 days in advance?

what’s the possibility of me getting a passport renewed with a hands on offense?

Dear Help:

There should be no problem or concern with you getting a passport now…in fact, I would encourage you to get one even were not to use it for a while. A passport is good for 10 years.

A contact offense will make no difference.

Good Luck,

Best Wishes, James

I agree with James: get that passport ASAP. From what’s come out of the State Dept. (mind you, during the Obama things may be worse now), they’re more likely to issue tainted (my word for the “special designator”) passports once up and running than they are to revoke existing clean ones. Worst case you’ll get one of the tainted ones now versus ten years from now. Just my $0.02.

You could also test the waters by applying for a Passport Card and see if they issue one to you. If so, I’d immediately apply for a passport; if not, expect said passport to be tainted.


I found this today as well, a link from the State Dept press release dated 10/31/17:

Seems to indicate that once off the registry, you can provide proof to “Angel Watch” and have the marker removed.

Geeze, it is nice having you here, Beth, proving all this great research and information!

Thanks for the link.

Were it me, and understanding that March is not that far away, if I could put off the business trip I would….the benefits are obvious and large and enduring.

But it is your call….what would be nice is to know if anyone has very recently renewed their Passport….and received the endorsement or not? (It could still take a month or two for the State Dept to gear up for this….maybe?)

Well, good luck and let us know how it goes

Best Wishes, James

Also, my husband had a good point that hadn’t occurred to me. Even if we were able to get the business trip done, there’s the chance, however small, that the letter revoking his passport might arrive while we’re out of the country… and I hate to think of what re-entry to the US would be like if we returned on a passport that had been canceled. Terrifying.

(It could still take a month or two for the State Dept to gear up for this….maybe?)
In FY2017, over 21 million passports were issued ( Assuming a 2,080-hour work-year, State issued over 10,200 per hour. Further assuming 800,000 RCs, with every single one needing a new passport, State only needs to dedicate about 80 hours to get them all issued. IOW, once rolling, it could happen quite fast.

Curious for everyone’s feedback.
My husband’s passport expires in June 2018.
He will (supposedly) be removed from the registry at the end of March 2018.
We have business travel that would require us to go to Europe in February 2018.
We are considering getting his passport renewed immediately, but worried that it might come back with the mark. We won’t be able to do our Feb travel w/o renewing because his passport won’t have 6 months of validity on it. If you were us, would you cancel the travel and hope that, once he’s off the list, he’ll be able to renew his passport and get a clean one? Do you think passports renewed right now might come back w/o it, or be immediately revoked? Or do you think we’re all pretty much boned regardless, and all of the passports are going to have the mark (even after he’s off the list?)?
I guess it’s all conjecture at this point but would appreciate opinions or feedback.
Thank you.

It is conjecture at this point, and I don’t know any better than anyone else.

If your travel is in February and he doesn’t get off the list until March, then he has to give 21 day travel notice to his registering authority, which means that Angel Watch will be notified, and a green notice will be issued. If your travel is to a country that does not admit registered citizens, then the presence or absence of the endorsement will not make a difference. He will not be admitted. So if this is the case, I would not plan to take the trip, and I would not renew the passport until he is off the list.

If your travel is to a country that admits registered citizens, then the presence or absence of the endorsement will probably not make a difference. So if this is the case, I would go ahead and renew the passport and plan to take the trip. But if the renewed passport has the endorsement, you’ll be incurring the cost of renewing yet again when he is off the list to get an unmarked passport.

I would further add that, since no one knows when passports will start to be revoked, there is the possibility that he might renew his passport, and the very next day it might be revoked with a notice stating that it must be renewed in order to obtain a new one with the scarlet letter.

Yes, we had a similar thought as well. It’s frustrating (don’t need to tell you guys this) and has actual real-world consequences for our business if we don’t make the trip, but at the same time we recognize the wisdom of not poking the bear and just trying to delay everything until it’s all said and done with. We’re so close to hopefully being done with this stage of our lives…. I keep saying hopefully because I can’t quite accept that it will ever be done. Afraid to get my hopes up too high.

CR – we did int’l travel last year to Italy and Spain. He gave his 21-day notice and we had no problems in or out of those two countries. We have, in the past, traveled to Italy and other European countries w/o giving notice (prior to the IML) and, as has been the experience of others on this forum, only the UK was a problem (and sent him back).

I have been wondering about the 21-day notice and the green notices that are (?) issued….
Like I wonder if there is any difference in making a connection in the US – say Houston to New York to Paris – as opposed to a direct flight Houston – Paris, or a flight with a connection in Europe, like Houston – Madrid – Paris.

I have also wondered if it matters if you end up flying out of a place like Florida – like Houston – Miami – Paris. We have connected in Miami before and haven’t ever run into problems, but that was prior to us ever having given notification. We have only done that once. Lately I have been trying to book only direct flights whenever possible, but sometimes those routes just don’t exist or are not financially feasible.

Just want all of you to know that your comments and posts have made us feel less alone in navigating all of this. We have begun donating and have been asking close friends and family that know about my husband’s background to do so as well. We will continue to fight for our constitutional rights and it feels good to know that others are doing the same.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x