ACSOL’s Conference Calls

Conference Call Recordings Online
Dial-in number: 1-712-770-8055, Conference Code: 983459

Monthly Meetings: April 18 – Phone, May 16 – Phone,
Oct 10 and 11 – Conference (Los Angeles),  June 13 – Sacramento details

Emotional Support Group Meetings 2020 (Phone only)

2020 ACSOL Conference – Ticket Sales Halted

General News

International Travel 2019

We have updated our main International Travel section. It features:

  1. List of Schengen Nations (allowing entry to registrants);
  2. Resources (including a CA DOJ Travel Notification Form); and
  3. User Submitted Travel Reports.

This post is linked from the Main Menu at the top of the site.

1. The 26 Schengen Nations (which allow registrants to visit)

As an agreement, Schengen was signed among the five out of ten countries of the European Union members back then, on the 14th June 1985. Under the Schengen agreement, travelling from one Schengen country to another is done without any passport and immigration controls or any other formalities previously required.

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Czech republic

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Note: US Citizens are visa exempt when visiting the Schengen area for up to 90 days in a 180 day period (List of Countries, Section B or map).  The European Commission is proposing creating a European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) for such travelers, beginning in 2021 – which may or may not take criminal convictions into account. ETIAS Fact Sheet April 2018July 2018

2. Resources

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Old Posts


3. NEW: User Submitted Travel Reports

If you have traveled internationally post-IML we invite you to share your travel experience on the form below. Submissions will be published as a separate post with opportunity for targeted / country specific discussion.

If you have already filled out our previous (unpublished) travel form, please do so again here for publication.

Report your Travel Experience:

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Join the discussion

  1. M. Charles kiser

    I’ve read to Dec 4th so far, but have decided I must come to LA for the meeting in Febuary. I am an SO on lifetime reporting. I have traveled internationally many times, but never since 1998. Becouse I thought I couldn’t. If Martha S. Was turned away at Heathrow, well..what chance I? But reading here, I see I have a chance. And I want to.
    I look forward to the meeting in LAand learning more a about my possibilities and future. I am so grateful to have found this forum.
    New Mexico has a SORT Chapter, but…um, it’s not at the same level as the discussions I’ve been reading here.
    My sincere thanks to you all who have been participants.
    P.S. Any advice on decent hotels near the meeting site is welcome.
    Kindest regards

    • Mike G

      @M. Charles kiser

      Note that you posted in the 2019 forum. You may get more response in the 2020 forum (link at the top of this page).

      P.S. I have traveled to most of the countries in Europe (avoiding Heathrow) in the past two years with no problem – actually, I’m headed to Europe again next week. The rest of the world is trickier but doable.

      • Patrick

        I travelled to London through Heathrow twice in 2017 for work without issue, except minor harrasement upon return to US.

        • M C

          @Patrick, you must not have been green noticed or UK determined it’s a spent conviction Did you give 21 day notice?

          I’ve learned more than about UK more recently and it’s my understanding that a spent conviction is a spent conviction under UK immigration law even for RSO. The more I read about it, it seems, if challenged, they would not be able to deny you entry for a spent offense. At least not for that reason. The key it seems is if you go there and they try to deny entry knowing how that law works can be helpful for talking to their immigration officers. A better option is to get a Visa for UK though because the determination as to it being relevant is made in advance. Don’t apply for Visa though if you would likely be denied under their rules. In that case you would be better to try with Visa waiver and hope to get lucky. If you get denied visa they will know and will know why.

    • David

      @ M. Charles Kiser: You would certainly be welcome at the L.A. ACSOL Meeting on February 8th. Also, I encourage you to join us for the ACSOL Annual Conference on May 29 & 30, 2020 in Los Angeles. It’s extremely informative. Great nationally speakers and excellent presentations, workshops/groups. And, each year, there is a forum/presentation on travel, both domestic and international. I plan to attend both L.A. events.
      ✈️ I travel to Europe each fall (with my “unique identifier marked” US passport.) I will gladly share my travel knowledge & experiences with you. (I haven’t actually checked my status, but I suspect that I – like you – am a lifetime Registrant.) ✈️.
      Best wishes!✈️

  2. Ruben H

    Can we as registrants travel to Catalina Island for a weekend stay?
    My wife doesn’t have papers but permission to work here in the U.S.(since I now have this on my record she can no longer get her citizenship through me now!) can immigration be a problem if traveling to the island for my wife? Is the island U.S. territory or Mexico territory?

    • MLinCA

      Catalina Island is part of California. Los Angeles County Sheriffs are the LE there.
      I’ve went there a few times since my conviction.

    • @Ruben H

      Sounds like your wife is on TPS or an asylee if she has an I-765. Yes, you CAN sponsor your wife for LPR. You just need a good immigration attorney. The immigration law firm I work for has successfully filed petitions where the sponsoring U.S. spouse is a registrant. It is a lot of work (and money) and you need a lot of supporting documents but it can be done.

      Catalina Island is part of California. You’re not leaving the state.

      • PK

        For Panama City or any other Latin American Country, if you fly out of a country other than the United States, you will more than likely be stopped and checked by Agents from Interpol.

      • PK

        @Ruben would there be a way that I could get your contact information regarding the Immigration Attorney that you work for?

    • Greg

      Mexico is out. They just got all new finger print equipment. Here is a list of countries where I have been turned away:
      Costa Rica (even though got married there)
      Panama City
      All told I’ve been set back $13,000.
      France is good (schenghen visa is good)

      • Jason

        I know that flying to Mexico doesn’t work, as I was turned away, but I wonder if you can still walk across from the US, possibly easier at a lesser used border crossing…

        • M C

          @Jason, some people have been able to do this but I have also heard that if you do this and then try and travel around Mexico especially through an airport you will get detained and sent back. You may very well be able to visit border towns without this issue however.

        • AA

          Fairly sure once you fly to mexico and get turned around you have been entered into their system. After that no matter how you go, if you get checked they will turn you around. My personal experience.

          If you dont fly into mexico and get entered into their system as banned, walking across might work.

          Ive heard that once you get into mexico you can fly to other parts of the country, again only if you have never been denied entry from a flight originating in the US.

          There is still the problem of giving notification to your states registry.

      • Rich

        In Panama City where did they turn you away? I need to take a connecting flight on Copa and will only stay in the international transfer area (will not go through customs or immigration). I am worried that they pull you when exiting the plane.

        • Thomas Fritz

          Wow, you really need to ask, what Country wants to tell everyone else what to do?

      • PK

        “They just got all new finger print equipment” they just got new fingerprint equipment where?

      • Daniel

        When did you try and enter Japan? I heard if you weren’t sentenced for over a year you should be fine. Did you mark yes to the criminal record on the immigration card and were you taken in for a interview when trying to enter?

        I have a trip planned in April

    • Cathy A

      Where can a 25 year register sex offender travel to if he is a citizen of the US with a marked passport?

  3. Mike G

    We just returned from 12 days in Portugal including 3 days on the island of Madeira.
    No issues during our trip.
    Upon returning to the US at SFO, I was sent to Secondary, as usual. Slightly different this time. Instead of the customs agent finding someone to hand my passport to, and then have that person stay with me while I retrieved my bags, the customs agent inserted and locked my passport into a plastic case with some kind of RFI device attached to it, and then handed it back to me. She said, “Go and retrieve your luggage, and then take this case to an officer toward the exit. If you try to leave the airport, an alarm will go off.”
    So we retrieved our luggage, and walked over to an agent sitting in front of a computer screen. The agent spent some time opening the plastic case to retrieve my passport, and then scanned it on his computer and stared at the screen for some time. Finally, he said “Do you have your driver’s license?”. I handed him my license, and he said “Is your address correct and current on here?” and I said yes. He then entered my street address into his computer and stared at it some more. He then handed me back my passport, and said “Ok, you can go.”
    That was the first time in several years that my luggage wasn’t searched.
    Also, there was a bit of a parallel with my last return to the country in Fort Lauderdale, where the officer also asked for my home street address, and keyed it into his computer. He also stared at the screen for a while before handing my passport back to me, though he did search our luggage that time.
    I can only speculate that the objective of the officers was to determine if I was current in my registration, and that the main key to that information is my street address.

    Two points I can continue to make:

    After several trips, and visits to over 20 countries, there has still never been any person anywhere in the world (including within the US) that has looked for or seen the marked page in the back of my passport (okay, a little disclaimer: several times I have handed my passport to tour guides or hotel clerks and then retrieved my passport from them maybe an hour or two later – but if anyone did look for or see the marked page, which I doubt, they didn’t say anything).

    I have yet to have any customs, ICE, Border Patrol, or any other government officer, ask if I gave my 21-day advance notice prior to travel, or even mention it in any context.

  4. sg

    Sorry common ground letter was a bit lengthy,
    Maybe you can find a way to post a link to the common ground letter, it is a bit lengthy but if your looking for a good letter with case law it helps get the point across, in a letter to your congressman. The other letter from an ex senator and now lobbyist even though it is all Caps,, lol is being sent to all 535 voting members of congress to plant a seed in their brain , of those who will read it, that possibly what they voted for was not in the best interest of American citizens. Politicians tend to embellish when they can , but it makes sense and gets a point across. it’s just the beginning of a process to encourage change on this bill.

  5. Thomas Fritz

    Nichols v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 1113 (2016)
    Associate Justice Samuel Alito authored a unanimous decision holding that a plain text reading of SORNA applies to a place in which a resident resides, not resided.[2] Because the Philippines is a foreign jurisdiction where SORNA is inapplicable and because the law uses the present tense, Nichols had no obligation under this federal law to update his registration. Under Kansas state law and under the subsequently enacted federal legislation, Nichols does have an obligation to update his registration information.

    So, if you leave, under this Court ruling, and have no plans to ever return, you do not have to give notice. I can’t shepherd this, but that is what it appears.

  6. Looking for Answers

    Curious- when you guys report international travel, does it have to be in person or certified letter? Is there anyone allowed to do it over email?

    • Jm from wi

      In Wisconsin we can send it email to the Department of Corrections. They take care of all notifications to the US Marshals Etc. We are not a sorna state.

    • Warpath

      In Michigan we report our international itinerary to the local sheriff dept. 21 days in advance per federal requirements

  7. David

    In my city in California, I send my 21-day advanced travel notification in via email. However, I am still required to appear in person and sign the paperwork.

  8. Looking for Answers

    Thanks for the info. When my bf tried to report int’l travel with a 21 day notice (before all of this kicked off) he was told that he couldn’t do it over email and he had to do it in person or certified letter, even though he had done it via email to the same agency three times before. I was just curious if that was California law or what, sounds like it depends on the agency.

  9. David

    🤗 Good News for Europe travel fans! 🤗
    ETIAS implementation delayed until mid-2023!!
    Now U.S. Citizens Won’t Need to Register to Travel to Europe Until 2023.

    • E

      Thanks for posting that!

    • Russ

      That’s great news. I get off parole in late 2022. Now I can get a fall European trip in before 2023 sets in. I’ll have a hard time getting in after ETIAS I’ve been in prison for 3 years plus there’s a 10 yr wait after conviction for sex offenses

  10. David

    🛑 I should clarify so there is no misunderstanding: International Megan’s Law has NOT changed and Registrants MUST still provide 21-day Advance Travel Notification before traveling to any foreign country.
    ETIAS is a European Visa-like program that will be required in the future (2023) for nearly all non-Europeans who wish to visit the Schengen European countries.

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