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International Travel 2020

In this International Travel 2020 post, the information is identical to the International Travel 2019 post. We added a new post for 2020 in order to keep the discussion manageable. Please help us by sticking to the topic of International Travel only.


From 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.

Czech republic

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



Older Posts


Join the discussion

  1. Svejk

    Greetings all. I came back from a European trip in 2018 and about 1-1/2 months later got the certified letter from Dept. of State. I never picked it up and let it be returned. Fuck ’em, y’know? About a month after that, I and my state senator succeeded in getting myself removed from the PA registry, where I live. I immediately asked Dept. of State to re-instate my passport, but got a snotty letter in return advising me that, too bad, I had to get a new passport. Did it via the express option, and had the thing in 3 days (!). No stamp, as I am a free man.
    Emailed with the Angel Watch as well, and was informed that they had informed DoS that I was no longer required to have the stamp in my passport, but that it might change if I relocated to a state where I had to re-register. Cool.
    Now, my question is, and perhaps some of you have had this experience and can give a straight answer: Am I now free to travel to Mexico, Central/South America and the UK? Or will Angel Watch or Interpol forever be sending notices about me in advance?
    Thanks folks!

    • TS


      In theory, you are free now to travel to those locations since you no longer have to report travel 21 days in advance. Hopefully you can do so free of any notices. However, based on recent comments here from @M C there may be notices still sent anyway after being freed from the registry and notification.

    • M C

      @Svejk, there is no clear answer to this question. They can certainly send out green notices just for having committed the offense if the offense involved a minor. In practice from what I’ve gathered they do send them most of the time but not all of the time. The problem is that if you try it and they notice you, you may never get to go even years later. For Mexico, unless you need to travel there right away, I’d wait and see what happens with the lawsuits there. I couldn’t tell you about Central America. If your case is old enough you might get in the UK if it would be a spent conviction, and that may be true even if you were a current registrant. In your case if you try going anywhere, please report back the results as this is the only way we learn for sure who is and isn’t able to get into places.

      • Svejk

        Thanks for the info! My case is 27 years old (!) and my sentence (including supervision) was completely discharged in February of 2004. I’m hoping this would be considered spent for UK purposes.

        • Tuna

          The concept of spent conviction in the UK also has an element of how long one was imprisoned. I recall reading that a sentence of over 30 months imprisonment can never be ‘spent’.

        • M C

          If your imprisonment was less than 4 years and 10 years have passed. They can still deny entry though on the basis of “exclusion of the person from the United Kingdom to be conducive to the public good. ” It is my understanding that this is a judgment call and there’s a referral appeals process for this if such discretion is used. The green notice could put you in this category. Without a green notice you are not likely to have an issue

        • M C

          @Tuna. If less than 1yr incarceration, 5 years it’s spent. If between 1 and 4yr incarceration, after 10yr is spent. More than 4yr it’s never spent. Probably need to calculate from end of sentence not incarceration.

        • Austin

          For UK, Keep in mind that it is the sentence, not the term of imprisonment. Also there are several that are never considered “spent”.

        • M C

          @austin, The link you posted is not about spent convictions but rather about DBS checks. That’s for employment related things such as working with children or disabled / vulnerable people etc. The conviction in those cases is still spent it just has to be disclosed because it’s an exception for that specific purpose.

    • Carey

      You are FREE to travel to any country that does not blanket ban all felons! If your case was a misdemeanor, then you can travel to ANY country!

      • Doc Martin

        Any American with a valid passport can travel to ANY country. Whether or not that country let’s you in is up to them. Registered sex offenders with Misdemeanors are often excluded from countries that welcome people with non sex offense felonies. Mexico is a prime example. So being convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony makes little difference.

        • Carey

          I know many former Level One RSOs who waited out their 20 years in New York who have traveled to and were allowed entry into Mexico with no problem!

          Don’t wait ’til you are removed from the registry, though! Just sail down along the coast there, and claim emergency mandatory repairs. They have to let you enter! That works in any country! Usually a hundred dollar bill expedites the matter! They will ask what your intended destination is, and just say Guatemala, whether you are on the Caribbean side, or Pacific one!

          If you don’t know how to sail, take an extensive offshore blue water course (two to three weeks), and watch a lot of Sailing Channels on YouTube!

        • Mike G

          Traveling to Mexico has never been a problem. I’ve been there over 100 times. You just drive across the border – that’s it.

          Or, jump on a cruise ship with a stop in Mexico. I was in Puerto Vallarta in December.
          No one ever asked to see my passport, except when I opened a bank account.

          FLYING in to Mexico is the problem. They will not let you in if you have a sex offense record – misdemeanor or felony – doesn’t matter.

          Of course now, everything has changed. They have closed their border (or so they claim) due to Covid-19. We’ll have to see when or if we will be able to just waltz right in there again.

  2. David

    Well, beside, when you submit the 21-day travel notice, you provide your flight number. If your plan is to book and cancel, you had better keep documentation of that original booking so you can verify that you intended to travel but changed your mind. Otherwise, if you put down just any flight number, it would likely be viewed as intentional deception.

    I am more interested in how we notify the USMS/State Dept. about immediate travel. I’d love to hop a flight to somewhere on short notice (say 2 or 3 days), but where’s the DOJ/USMS form for that? So my travel is certainly hindered – I can’t on-the-spur-of-the-moment, up & fly off to Europe, can I?? 😒

    • M C


      My understanding is that if there is a reason that you have to leave without giving a 21 day notice you can notify as soon as you know that you will have to travel. You would still notify the same people you would notify with the 21 day notice. In that sense, your travel isn’t restricted because you can, in fact go in an emergency situation.

      Where it seems to be restricted is for an impromptu trip going to say Europe because there was a last-minute flight deal and you decided you wanted to go? In this case it was never practical to give a 21 day notice and in this sense your travel is being unconstitutionally restricted. You should be able to walk in the airport one afternoon to the check-in counter and decide to leave for Europe 3 hrs before the flight is supposed to take off. In that situation it wouldn’t really be practical or even possible to give the notice of the travel at all. Constitutionally I think you would have the right to travel in this manner and the IML notification requirement would not be enforceable because you didn’t know of the travel in advance. That said, you might have to get arrested for this first to lack standing to challenge it.

      I’ve kind of wondered, what if you are someone who as access to airline employee benefits. I’m sure none of us can work for an airline but what if a family member does and you qualify under that. As far as giving flight information you could do so, but because you are a standby passenger, it is not unusual to have to wait for the next open flight in order to leave. During busy times or after a bunch of weather cancellations, this can sometimes be a day or more after your originally planned flight. How are you supposed to handle the 21 day notice in that situation?

      • anonymouse

        M C – what is the basis for your “understanding”?

      • Will Allen

        Plenty of People Forced to Register (PFR) work for airlines. Airlines hire people who work all over the place, including on airport tarmacs, guiding planes into gates, etc. There aren’t many children out there for the Registry Supporters/Terrorists/Idiots (RS/T/Is) to fantasize people are molesting. So yep, all you have to do is look at some of the Registries and you will see PFRs employed at airports.

        It is 100% unacceptable that any American citizen not on probation or parole cannot walk into an airport and get a ticket for an international flight that leaves in an hour. Unacceptable. Anyone who thinks otherwise deserves to be shipped out of America permanently, as a MINIMUM punishment. If they don’t like that, there should be other punishments.

        Personally, I think that PFRs can decide to travel internationally, notify some criminal regime to satisfy the 21 day requirement, and then leave within the next hour. And, it’s 2020, if the criminal regimes can get a “warning” transferred over to a destination country before a plane can get there, then they are exactly the pathetic, incompetent morons that I know they are.

        Wage war on RS/T/Is. Every. Single. Day.

        I will this weekend.

        • M C

          @Wil Allen, I’m glad to hear you know of registrants that work for the airlines. I once applied for ramp work maybe 12 years ago or so and was interviewed and told me that they couldn’t hire me as RSO because I wouldn’t pass the federal checks to work at an airport. I just assumed that that must be a blanket rule for airports and RSO because I knew of at least two others working for the airlines that had other felonies and we’re on probation and they worked for that airline. Apparently that’s not correct.

          Not being able to go to an airport on some random day and hop on the cheapest international flight somewhere with no previous plan to travel sounds like ex post facto punishment to me. Everyone else can do it.

      • TS

        @M C

        As long as you notify for your originally intended travel, any changes thereafter beyond your control is beyond your ability to update notification, which isn’t required anyway since it’s not addressed, e.g. govt omission. That’s my legal leg to stand on.

        The other consideration is if your delayed return pushes you into the window of having to register in that jurisdiction which you are stuck in…

      • TS

        There are travel exceptions allowed for <21 day notification as detailed in the Federal Register with authorization given by the Attorney General that we have discussed here a multitude of times previously. The thread can be found in this forum under International travel.

      • David

        A couple years ago, I missed a flight to Europe and was able to catch one the next day. I notified my city’s registering agent via email before the plane departed and she responded, “No problem. I will revise the information.” Apparently she did so and Demon Watch was still able to notify the destination country (which couldn’t seem to care less about my visit!)
        Clearly, the USMS does NOT need a full 21-day advance notice to send out their beloved green notices. In fact, they can do so with less than 24 hours notice. A lot less.

        • E @ David

          The point of my original question about whether updates are required if plans change or the trip is cancelled after giving 21 days notice was specifically because I don’t believe what you did when you emailed them again is required OR a good idea. Don’t let them trick you into letting them track you any closer than the requirement of the law, which is the 21 day notice. By updating your information on an ongoing basis you feed their assumption that you’re effectively on probation checking in with a probation agent and need their permission to do anything. We don’t need permission. We’re required to give notice.

        • TS


          Are you sure your original notification wasn’t showing at your destination and was replaced by a new one from your email update?

        • David

          @ TS: You make a good point. I do not know when the green notice was sent.

    • someone who cares

      We all know, that airline tickets are often a lit cheaper if you book short notice, so why would we not be able to decide spur of the moment to book a flight?

      • David

        How do you do both “spur of the moment” travel and 21-day advanced travel notice simultaneously?

        • TS


          Thus, is that a harm if one cannot do last minute overseas travel for recreation if you have to do 21 day notice and no reasonable exception for less than?

  3. Qigong

    @M C
    Just information:
    I deliver diesel fuel for a company out of the Bay Area. CA.
    I am a 288a. RSO, on my 4.5 yr of 5 years parole
    We provide on site diesel fueling for several construction companies.
    One of our customers is doing construction at SFO airport.
    In order for me to deliver fuel on site, I had to go through criminal back ground
    check, fingerprinting etc. to obtain Security Clearance from TSA, DOJ/FBI
    I passed, I was issued my Badge pass and can enter through the security check points un-escorted.
    I don’t work for the Airport, but I am cleared by TSA

  4. Eli

    How long did the global Entry application take for once submitted? Its been like two weeks, no interview yet.

  5. Carey

    I wish the list was more accurate!

    You know that we can travel to all of the non-UK European Caribbean, but you only list the Dutch ones at the bottom of the the Island Chain -Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao!

    Please list ALL of Europe’s non-UK Caribbean, and Worldwide Territories, because we are indeed allowed to travel to, and enter, every single one of their far flung territories!

  6. Carey

    What countries are we allowed to travel to in Africa, and are we allowed to travel to Russia?

    As to what countries I have been to since leaving the U.S. in early 2019…. Hong Kong twice (maxing out my 90 days both times)… Europe (in between the two Hong Kong stays) – Stockholm for a month (absolutely loved my stay there!), Kobenhavn (for a week), and Napoli (for 7 1/2 weeks)! I have been in Nepal since leaving Hong Kong on January 1st! My 90 days stay will be up on March 30th, but as there won’t be any flights leaving Nepal until, at the earliest, April 8th, immigration told me that all tourist vidas have been extended indefinitely! Oh… And this is one of only a few countries where almost no foreigner wears a mask. The locals are scared you know what, but as there have not been any positive tests announced here in gorgeous Pokhara, we walk around mask free! DEFINITELY look into coming here to Nepal! With the exception of Kathmandu’s dirty air, the rest of the country is MINDBLOWINGLY BREATHTAKING!

    • Russ

      I thought Nepal stopped letting in registered sex offenders after a few high profile cases of western travelers befriending families and abusing their children. Did you give a green notice before you went to Nepal? And I don’t know if you’re a woman. Sometimes customs look at female sex offenders as less of a threat.

  7. CB

    Hello, I’m an intermittent reader of this and other forums, but I’ve never posted anything (until now). Several questions below, so please bear with me. I have 1.5 years supervision time left and then I can travel, and I’ve been making tentative plans for years. Of course, the goalpost keeps moving. I have been to several Central and South American countries in the past and planned to go back, but now that I’m on the registry and have to report my international travel 21 days in advance most of those countries are now a no go as reported in the travel matrix as well as various traveler accounts posted online. Down south it appears as though Guatemala is one of the few countries still letting us in. This has been on my list anyway so I am thinking about it.

    Here are a few questions:
    The international travel requirements for those of us on the registry states that we have to report various details about a planned international trip, including specific dates, destination, itinerary, and so on. If I go to a small Central American country like Guatemala where the neighboring countries are so close, what if I want to go next door to Honduras or Mexico? Do I also have to report this before I leave the US? I wouldn’t be going to Mexico from the US, but from Guatemala, and it would be a land crossing, not by air. Even if I did have to report the crossing before leaving the US, Is the Mexican border control organized enough that when I try to walk across the border at a rural crossing, they will have access to my nasty info when I hand them my passport?
    One last question. Most people report problems when travelling by plane or cruise ship. What if I get down to San Diego or somewhere in Texas and just walk across with everyone else who is commuting by foot? Of course, I would report this 21 days in advance, but would they have the same urgency at the border that they have when you arrive by plane. A friend of mine walked across at San Diego about 10 years ago and he said it was so chaotic and busy that if you were a well dressed American they hardly paid any attention. He said he just went through without showing his passport to anyone. Of course I wouldn’t advocate this, but his example just shows that it is much less organized than when arriving by air. Thank you for any clarifications or travel experiences you can provide

    • Russ

      When I lived in California pre-911, I walked across the border many times with no questions asked. Most times I was just waved on by Mexican customs.They didn’t ask to see documents. 20 years later and now a convicted sex offender with a felony, I might get lucky and be able to walk across the border after I’d given my 21 day notice and IF customs didn’t get the green notice and IF they did get it but IF they don’t check for documentation when I walk across. You see, there’s too many ‘ifs’ Bottom line, Mexico doesn’t want international registered sex offenders inside of their country. People on this forum who tell you otherwise are just plain wrong and don’t know what they’re talking about. Sure,some on here will say they walked across or know someone who has walked across or someone was able to step off a cruise ship at Mazatlan or some shit like that, but in the end, none of those things matter if you still have to duck and hide when you travel around Mexico because you’ll eventually run into some official who’ll ask you for papers, they’ll find your interpol green notice, then they’ll place your ass into some 3rd world shithole jail until they sort things out and send your sorry ass back to the USA. Personally, I don’t want to take my chance with Mexico when there are other welcoming countries in the world to travel to.

    • M C


      I agree with Russ that it isn’t worth the risk. That said, you are supposed to report everywhere you plan to go on the 21 day notice as far as that piece of your question is concerned. If you go somewhere and then decide to travel somewhere else you didn’t originally plan, you may be able to argue that it wasn’t really planned travel and didn’t need to be reported because you were unaware you were going to go there in advance.

    • CB

      Thanks for the comments so far. I guess the walk across the border thing sounded good because at least I wouldn’t be wasting a plane ticket to find out. I could have a backup plan in California so if I got shut down I could just move into plan B. Using the Guatemala example, I guess it would make sense to just tell them in advance I plan to visit these other countries as well.

      Europe poses a different problem. You only have to go through Customs upon entry in Europe and don’t have to keep showing passport at each country border as far as I know. So if I flew to Germany and then decided to take the train here and there I would have to inform in advance also. I guess it makes sense to just say I’m going to Germany, then France, then Austria, then Sweden and so on. Any more thoughts are welcome. Thanks

  8. Getting out ASAP

    RSO here with 1.5 years left on parole. I do plan to move overseas once this is done, INDEFINITELY. From what has been posted here as well as on RTAG, it seems like Hong Kong doesn’t care about RSOs as of now.

    I’m trying to see if my plan is feasible. I’ll give the 21-day notice that I’m leaving for good and only destination I know of for now is Hong Kong. Will they then take me off of the registry, both state (Michigan), and federal lists? I really do intend on never coming back to the USA. If so, will I be able to enter a country that normally turns away RSOs, like South Korea (among others)?

    Only reason I can think of for me to even enter the States is if someone died or got married. Other than that, I don’t ever want to step foot again in this messed up hell-hole of a country. Trying to see if my travel ability will “open” up for the most part when I leave with zero intentions of coming back.

    I’ve lived overseas for over 4 years and I know how nice it is abroad. I want to confirm my avenue to get as much of my freedom back as possible is doable.


    • CB

      Sounds like a noble plan and I as well would love to go to Europe and stay there, but you and I will both be faced with the same problem. We may be able to get in, buy on a tourist visa you are limited to anywhere from 30 to 90 days depending on the country. How will you be able to stay there long term?

      • Gralphr

        He could apply for asylum in some of the European countries. What the Us is doing concerning the registry is looked at as setting peoole up for failure and denying basic civil rights. While I was in Germany, I would talk with natives and they would bring of the differences between here and there. When I mentioned the registry EVERY single one was shocked and taken aback by it. Their only question was how does the citizens allow the government to do something like it and get away with it. All of them said its denying people the right to go on with their lives and to make them productive.

      • Looking for Answers

        Maybe you can get a work visa and get a job right away, or a student visa if you study there?

        • Ray

          A tourist or visitor’s visa is one thing, but most countries require a police clearance for study and work visas. Registered sex offenders with crimminal records need not apply.

        • MLinCA

          Your statement is not correct. Here’s a former registrant who now lives in Germany.

        • Looking for Answers

          But people have done it before. Not all countries look at PRIOR convictions like America or blast you for the rest of your life for something you did years ago. And dont forget Europe voted for a “right to be forgotten” online which would never happen here.

      • Doc Martin

        Currently Americans can stay visa free for up to 90 days inside a period of 180 days in the schengen zone. The zone make the rules on how long you can stay, not individual countries. So if you have trouble staying in or overstayed your welcome in one schengen country, you’ll have trouble inside the entire zone. To get around the 90 day time limit, and some on this forum have brought this up, travel to a non schengen country for 90 days i.e. Bosnia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Albania (where Americans are allowed to stay for up to a year), Romania, Bulgaria, and don’t forget the non EU countries in the region like Turkey,Ukraine, Georgia (which also allows Americans to stay up to a year), Kosovo, Armenia etc. All the non schengen countries can be used as way stations for 90 days until the next 180 day period begins where one is once again elgible for a schengen visit.

      • Notorious D.I.K.ennerly

        Absolutely correct. As for seeking asylum, I have not yet heard of anyone seeking asylum for the purpose of escaping the registry. Some have had luck seeking asylum from the U.S.’ savage criminal sentences but not the consequences of the registry. Asylum from the registry would be a whole, new ballgame. Keep in mind that Europeans are not moving in a good direction on sex laws and are implementing a new regime to block even some foreign visitors with criminal backgrounds. Rose colored glasses for viewing Europe are likely to lead to disappointment. Much has changed there.

    • Blake

      You must have deep pockets if Hong Kong is an option. Even locales can’t afford the real estate prices in Hong Kong being bought out by wealthy Chinese mainlanders. But if you can swing it, the more power to you.

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