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International Travel 2021

This post is intended as a place for discussions about International Travel ONLY.

For more information and previous discussions on the topic, please see International Travel 2020 and International Travel 2019.

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  1. Worried in Wisconsin

    Passport Update

    As mentioned months ago, I got the dreaded passport revocation letter from the State Department back in October. I finally made contact with someone in the passport office where my passport was issued just 2 years ago to find out what went wrong when my previous passport was issued and why it didn’t have the required IML marking. I was told that the Angel Watch Office simply hasn’t caught up and that yes, I’d have to pay full cost to get a replacement with the marking now.

    I applied in October 2020 for a new passport with the IML marking. After a minor kerfuffle about my photo not being current, I received my new passport this week. Given that all passports processing is slow right now due to Covid things took about as long as expected. The only difference is the notification on pg. 27. Yes, it’s obnoxious that it’s there, but at least the notification is not in bold red letters on the main page.

    My new passport came with the usual notification that my ID documents and current passport would be returned in a separate mailing in about 10 days, so I don’t know at this time if I’ll actually get my old passport returned to me. I applied for this new one before my visa fastened in my passport expired, so hopefully I will get it back. But, since the visa in my passport expired during the time they were processing it, perhaps not. Even though it’s expired, having the old one will make it easier to renew. We’ll see how that goes.

    A couple of things I learned along the way which may be helpful to others. I am not an attorney and all this is based on what I learned talking with passport office staff so please do your own research.

    1) If you have any type of visa or entry permit in your current passport which has not expired, and you know that you will be required to have the IML stamp, you should consider applying for a new passport BEFORE you get the revocation letter. According to the passport office website FAQs, if you apply for a new passport while your passport is valid and before it’s revoked, you should get your current passport returned to you once it’s cancelled. This will enable you to still have the visa to use on future trips.

    2) If you are sending your passport for early renewal because you know that you’ll eventually be revoked, you MUST include a letter specifically stating that you need the IML marking to get it in your passport. Otherwise, it’s likely that you’ll just get another regular passport issued like I did and have to go through this all over again. Don’t assume that your name is on the list for the IML marking until you get the letter. Angel Watch is going through the list very slowly and if you need a marked passport you should consider just getting it now so you don’t get stuck with a revoked passport in the future.

    3) If you have a ‘live’ visa or other type of entry permit in your passport right now and want to get it back after you renewed your passport, you MUST specifically request it. Apparently it’s possible to make this request even if you receive the revocation letter but there is no guarantee. I know that they make it sound like you won’t get your passport returned to you, but after speaking to the staff that actually processes them it appears that they have a mechanism for returning the passport if it contains a live visa. They couldn’t guarantee it will happen in every case, but I was told that for there to be a chance you must request it.

    4) The revocation letter instructs you to immediately return your passport to the address they provide and then to make an in-person appointment to apply for a new passport. After speaking with the passport office I was told to return my current passport with the application for a new one along with a letter about needing the passport returned to me due to the live visa in it. If you don’t have a visa or other document inside your passport that you need back, then this wouldn’t apply to you.

    5) The visa that I have for entry overseas was issued with full disclosure of my registration status. I went through a lengthy legal process to get the visa so that they couldn’t later on claim that I’d hidden my status. For this reason, I don’t foresee any difficulty arising from having the IML stamp on pg. 27. Had I not disclosed this, things would likely be different. If I ever try to gain entry into another country, I also don’t foresee the IML marking making any real difference – countries that care about it already have the information and will likely make the same decision based on what I’ve experienced.

    Hope this helps someone else. If I left anything out, let me know. And no, I won’t go into any detail on the specific visa/entry permit which I obtained other than to say you’re much better off hiring an attorney in the country you are asking to issue you a visa.

    • David⚜️

      @ Worried in WI:. Sorry to say, I certainly did not get my unmarked old passport back again. I have not heard of anyone who received their revoked passport back again.

      • MLinCA

        @David
        They sent my unmarked passport back with 2 holes punched in it.

        • David⚜️

          @ ML in CA: Curious. 🤔 Was that a revoked passport that you had returned to you?? And did the new passport you receive have an IML unique identifier on it??

      • Worried in Wisconsin

        If you received a revocation letter, SOP is for them to not return the old passport. The only exception appears to be if there is a ‘live’ visa in the old passport, and even then only if you specifically request it be returned. There is no guarantee though, and since they have to do extra work to return it I can see how it won’t always happen.

        If you send in a passport for early renewal, before it’s revoked, then you should get it back as a matter of SOP. Of course, in this situation you have to specifically request an IML-compliant passport or you’ll be back to square one again.

        In my situation, when they initially receive my application the visa and entry permit in my old passport were still live and thus should qualify for it to be returned, but since they expired in the covid-related delays in processing I have no idea whether I’ll actually get it back or not. Just in case, I’ve already contacted my attorney overseas to begin the process of getting my new passport number registered with my file there and in getting my visa & entry permit reinstated. With covid, things are slow all around the world right now and I assume that there are going to be thousands of people in many countries having similar problems to sort out once international travel fully opens in the future.

        • M C

          @Worried, did you engage in travel that causes the revocation or was it revoked with no travel? I think it’s been established here generally that it doesn’t get revoked unless you engage in travel first so I’m wondering if that still holds true or not.

      • MLinCA

        @David and Worried in W
        “If you send in a passport for early renewal, before it’s revoked, then you should get it back as a matter of SOP. Of course, in this situation you have to specifically request an IML-compliant passport.”
        That’s what I did as I was trying to go overseas to work and didn’t want it to be revoked while I wasn’t in the US.

      • ExpatRFSO

        They sent my passport back to me also, with holes punched in it.

    • Scotus Save Us Now

      How is it not a lawsuit that they are making you pay twice for the same thing a non RSO would only pay for once, and it’s their fault they sent the wrong one out to begin with.

      Janice how is this not apart of the lawsuit under illegal fines and a violation of equal protection? Any further challenges on IML?

      • Timmmy

        That is not the only issue. They are cancelling passports in violation of the Due Process clause of the Constitution.

        • Worried in Wisconsin

          I believe that a good case could be made against charging us for a new passport when it is their fault that the wrong one was issued the first time. However, it seems that the law is on their side at this point.

        • Timmmy

          The problem is laws are assumed to be legal until challenged in court.

      • BM

        Everyone wants to know when the new process of violation human rights in IML will start ( second punishment, freedom traveling and other issues)

  2. Anklebiter

    I get off probation in 5 months. Will apply for my passport then. My charge. State felony 3rd sexual exploitation of a minor. Well $1500 later and another court hearing, Just got clarification from a 2nd federal judge and have an order that states “this offense is not an offense against a minor.” The order says that word for word and is signed by a superior court judge(two judges agree). Gonna try and apply for the passport and see if I get the stamp or not. Hoping with that order I might actually get to avoid it. I’ll update again come early July.

    • Worried in Wisconsin

      I hear what you’re saying, but the decision on whether or not you get the IML passport will depend on what the Angel Watch Office decides and not on what the judge stated in your case. I believe that they go on a number of factors, including the specific charge and the statute you were convicted of. If the statute is on their list, it may not matter what the judge said, but it might give you cause for future action against them.

      • Anklebiter

        You were probably right. But I got to at least try. I mostly got the order so that those stupid premise restrictions here in North Carolina wouldn’t apply to me. That way I can take my daughter to the park if there’s no ordinance. Or to a museum or to the movies, Hell even just pick her up from daycare. I do have a question though. If your name is removed from the registry after your tenure., And you apply for a passport, will they still stamp it?

        • Worried in Wisconsin

          Couple of thoughts…

          1) The rules for registration and state rules for sex crimes re: residency restrictions are not the same as the rules for who qualifies for an IML passport. There are specific rules that they go by, even when they conflict with specific state rules for similar things. Read up on what convictions IML considers triggering convictions for a passport.

          2) Your conviction can be one which triggers the IML passport, but you still might initially receive a passport without the IML marking. This is even more likely if your case was fairly recent or if the Angel Watch office hasn’t gotten to your file yet. If you apply for a passport and receive a non-marked passport, that doesn’t mean you won’t receive a revocation letter at some point in the future once your file comes up.

          3) My suggestion? Do the research yourself and find out if your conviction qualifies as a triggering conviction for IML. If so, it won’t matter what comments the judge made or what he wrote in the final judgement. If the Angel Watch office decides that the particular statute you were convicted of violating triggers an IML passport you run the risk of having your passport revoked in the future. In my opinion, it’s better to do the research and know where you stand up front.

      • Will Allen

        You make it all sound so legitimate, sensible, and useful. Good stuff.

        Personally, I’ll call them Satan Watch all the time. They deserve contempt and disrespect.

        Our big governments are clearly too big and have way too many resources. Let’s take it from them.

        • Joe123

          You take power from the wasteful and abusive government via two ways:

          1) USE Cryptocurrencies, which is not government money; it’s the people’s money.

          2) Vote for candidates who promote SMALL GOVERNMENT.

          .. And of course donations to lawsuits that challenge the abusive laws.

          That’s it.

        • Worried in Wisconsin

          On an emotional level I can see you point. As a matter of trying to provide information for others in a similar situation it doesn’t really help though. I’ve tried to keep my comments in this conversation as much on the facts and things I’ve observed in an attempt to help others maneuver this maze, not to make an editorial statement. There are lots of other places to do that outside of a thread trying to help people carry on with life in whatever way possible at this time. Hopefully at a point in the near future threads like this will not be necessary.

        • Anonymous

          …and like a cancer, big government feeds only itself. Also, like cancer, it won’t stop growing until it has killed its host. That is how serious we should view the way our current system operates.

      • M C

        Since to be a covered sex offender requires that conviction of an offense against a minor, I would believe that if a judge says specifically in an order that it is not against a minor then it can not be considered against a minor for the purposes of this law. Angel Watch might consider this to be against a minor without some level of proof to the contrary and revoke a passport and require a stamp in it but I would think you could use the mechanism as required in IML to dispute inaccurate information based on the Judge’s order to have a new determination that your passport shouldn’t be stamped.

    • David⚜️

      @ Anklebiter: I would guess that your first passport will not include any IML unique identifier. It’s my belief that they only revoke a registrants passport when it has actually been used for international travel. It is actually travel that triggers the revocation.
      So I suspect that you will get a passport without an identifier on it. You can use that to travel internationally for a couple trips before you receive the revocation letter. That is what I suspect will happen. Thanks is what happened to me.
      (I believe it is impractical for DOS to revoke every passport issued to every sex offender if 80% of them never use it for travel. They only want to focus on those who actually do travel internationally.)

      • JohnDoeUtah

        My opinion is that’s its more nefarious. Most countries require the VISA holder to also hold a valid passport.

        You travel, get a VISA. Two months later your passport get revoked, other country revoked VISA, and you’re back in the USA in a flash.

        I couldn’t think of a better way to screw an SO.

        • Worried in Wisconsin

          I think you give them too much credit. To have some type of nefarious plan would require the ability to coordinate a complicated plan of action across multiple offices in multiple places. They can barely accomplish the most basic task of issuing a passport, let alone put together a coordinated plan.

      • Worried in Wisconsin

        That’s what I thought as well, but it was about 9 months after 4th trip over three years before I got a revocation letter.

        According to what I was told by the person I spoke to at the passport office who works with the IML passports, it has much more to do with when your case file gets processed by Angel Watch than anything else. Once Angel Watch adds you to the list, you’ll get an IML passport.

        If you know you will eventually be on the list, it might be worth just asking for one rather than waiting to be revoked. Unless of course you want to be without a passport for a few months while you go through the process of getting the correct one.

  3. Worried in Wisconsin

    @M C

    I had traveled overseas four times in a three year period of time with no problems. The last two times I arrived at the immigration desk on the other end though it was apparent that my passport was on their watch list, apparently as a result of the notification sent over by the USA.

    From my conversations with the Passport Office it seems that the revocation is not triggered solely by using your passport for international travel. That may start the process sooner for some, but it’s not until the Angel Watch Office actually does the leg work to confirm you meet their qualifications do you get added to the list. What it sounded like to me is that they are slowly working through all the names on the various state registries one by one inspecting each to determine if an IML passport is in order.

    After each of my trips overseas I fully expected to get a letter from the State Department, but mine was almost nine months after my most recent return to the USA.

    Perhaps at the beginning of the IML process the revocation letters were more closely connected with an overseas trip, but it didn’t seem to be the case for me.

    My suggestion for anyone that qualifies for an IML passport who intends to travel out of the USA is to get your passport renewed early with a letter specifically asking for the IML passport. Lots easier to do this as a normal renewal on your own schedule than to have it revoked and have to apply for a new passport. When you apply for a new passport you cannot use your passport as proof of citizenship since it’s been revoked and is no longer valid, and you have to obtain original/certified document(s). Plus, doing it on your own means you are unlikely to get revoked at a time that interferes with your travel plans.

  4. Joe123

    Has anyone been able to travel for vacation to Mexico?

    • @ Joe123

      This subject has been covered too many times here. Mexico does NOT allow registrants to enter. If you somehow get in ( car trip, private plane, etc) and are asked, you will be detained and deported. Look on the matrix of countries. It covers all of this. Asking 400 times will not change the answer.

      • JohnOK

        I question as to the accuracy of this Travel Matrix.

        My gut feeling is that it is out-of-date and it probably hasn’t been maintained in a while.

        • M C

          @JohnOK, its based on reports provided by people who have attempted travel to those places because that is the only way to find out so its only going to be as accurate as those reporting it. Additionally, when someone attempts entry to a country, is turned away, and reports it so it can be added to the matrix other people are not likely to attempt entry because they do not want to spend money only to be turned around on the next plane home. So unless someone (maybe you?) wants to spend money to try, against what is advised by the matrix, so that they can update it, the information is not likely to be updated often.

          Additionally COVID-19 has in many cases virtually halted travel or slowed it way down to all of the countries on the matrix. This is going to make update even less likely.

          Mexico is a special case though. There has been lots of even recent information about Mexico so attempting entry would probably not yield a positive result. When it comes to Mexico, there is also pending legal action in Mexico courts because such denial of entry is probably unconstitutional under the Mexican Constitution. I’m sure this action is still proceeding but that Covid-19 has halted or at least slowed this process. Eventually I think there will be allowed entry to Mexico but you are going to have to wait awhile.

        • JohnOK

          @MC
          “When it comes to Mexico, there is also pending legal action in Mexico courts because such denial of entry is probably unconstitutional under the Mexican Constitution. I’m sure this action is still proceeding but that Covid-19 has halted or at least slowed this process”

          How do you know there is pending legal action in Mexico?

        • JohnOK

          @MC

          “its based on reports provided by people who have attempted travel to those places because that is the only way to find out so its only going to be as accurate as those reporting it.”

          I understand what the RTAG Matrix is for- my contention is that it hasn’t been updated since October 2020.

          Remember that RSO Registration laws are subject to change. That being said, just because a Registrant was allowed entry into (Italy for example) in October 2020, that doth not mean that everything is still the same in 2021, especially in light of the fact that the pandemic started after October 2020.

        • Interested Party

          @JohnOK

          John, appreciate you voicing your gut feeling. Question to you, what can be done about that?

          The travel matrix is updated by that source when they deem fit, but not sure there is any means to force them to do it any other way.

          Everyone would benefit from any ideas on how to improve and distribute information on travel. That said to my awareness the information on domestic and international travel has been done by organizations and individuals working as advocates for people forced to register.

          Also, I guessing it was a typo or an oversight, but for clarity the pandemic started in late 2019 and early 2020. For example California started its statewide shut down in March 2020. If memory serves me correctly the trouble in Wuhan China started in December 2019.

        • M C

          @JohnOKvThere was an RTAG conference call about this prior to the Pandemic.

        • JohnOK

          @Interested

          Question to you, what can be done about that?

          I think they could probably create a form on this website where people can simply submit their information. Then the Matrix could just be a reflection of this data. My guess is that it would need to be moderated in some way.

        • PK

          @JohnOK

          I am also suprised that:
          NO RSO has been denied entry in ANY Country since October 2020.

          Needless to say, with all of the new changes that are going on including Covid, one would definitely need to plan very carefully, any international travel to ANY destination.

          The RTAG Matrix is definitely a good starting point, but since there have been no reports in such a long period of time, I question as to whether this source is up-to-date.

          I would definitely recommend extreme caution. In my view, I think that registration requirements are becoming more strict worldwide with even more registration schemes coming online.

  5. Worried in Wisconsin

    Received the second mailing from the US Passport Office today with the proof of citizenship they were returning to me.

    Not in the envelop? My old passport – the one with the expired visa and entry permit for overseas.

    This is not totally surprising, as I was told the only circumstance under which they normally return a revoked passport is if it contains a live visa. Since mine expired before my new one was issued I was only mildly hopeful I’d get it back. Good thing I have a copy of the visa and entry permit, as they might come in handy when I return to get them renewed.

    Now the work begins having my attorney overseas file the necessary paperwork to get my new passport number linked to my file there, and once the borders open up after Covid I hope to be able to make arrangements to go back and have my visa/permit renewed. Will probably take a while, as there are certainly thousands of others who also got stuck on the wrong side of the border when things shut down due to Covid. At least this is a ‘normal’ immigration problem shared by many and not one due to my status as a RSO.

    Lesson to anyone else holding a visa – apply for a new IML passport before revocation if you want any hope of getting the old one returned.

  6. Anklebiter

    All good stuff. But until someone tries we really don’t know what Hitler watch will do in each situation. Im curious as to if you get off the registry.. while having a iml passport, can you get a new on without the stamp? Because if it’s based off conviction… Than it seems like that the stamp would remain.

    • Interested Party

      @Anklbitter

      If memory serves correctly the IML has 2 triggers and both must be met for the stamp. 1) a conviction for a crime against a child and 2) myopic have to be required to register.

      That said I don’t remember if anyone who has been relieved of bing forced register has applied for a passport and reported back.

      Technically, they should not have the stamp, but we all know how accurate and timely government bureaucracies are at working in our favor.

      • MatthewLL

        This coming July my duty to register in the state of Washington expires (10 years after conviction). I should be considered a tier I Offender under federal SORNA, due to my offense being a misdemeanor (less than a year possible jail sentence). After I confirm I am off the list in Washington, I plan to reapply for a new passport. My current one is expired and I’m trying to avoid the “stamp”. Will report back on that later this fall.

        Has anyone else been relieved from the requirement to register and then applied for a passport? I believe the statute only allows for those who are required to register (covered offender) as defined by 22 U.S. Code § 212b – Unique passport identifiers for covered sex offenders:

        1) the term “covered sex offender” means an individual who— (A) is a sex offender, as defined in section 21503(f) of title 34 ; and (B) is currently required to register under the sex offender registration program of any jurisdiction;

        I assume if SORNA requires registration, it applies even if the state you live in does not. Not sure about that. But since my duty under both state & federal law should expire this summer, my passport should be clean. Will find out.

        • M C

          If you have a passport stamp and are relieved of the registration requirement under both federal and state laws, I think you should have Angel Watch do a re-determination of your status before applying for new passport. It seems the state department receives this information from Angel Watch and once it’s placed on the passport, I’m sure they don’t stop putting it on unless Angel Watch tells them that they determined this is no longer required.

          Also, as we have discussed before, the marking in the passport and being green noticed are two totally separate things. The green notice can be sent even without the passport marking requirement and the green notice seems to be a larger barrier to travel than the passport marking. Its well established that nobody really looks for the passport marking at least not yet.

        • Worried in Wisconsin

          Will the recently proposed changes to SORNA affect your premise?

        • PK

          @MC
          “The green notice can be sent even without the passport marking requirement and the green notice seems to be a larger barrier to travel than the passport marking.”

          I have yet to see an instance where someone was denied entry or refused travel based on an Interpol Green Notice. However there have been 1000’s of people being denied entry based on the Notice that Angel Watch sends. These are completely different types of notices or alerts.

          I’m guessing that you were not referring to the Interpol Green Notice.

        • TS

          @PK

          1000s? Source for that beyond what has been shared here and other similar websites? It is possible and plausible on the angel watch notice being sent but definitely should be documented so it can be used in the fight, especially when it comes to risk assessments and travel. I think Rep Smith (NJ) has shared previously data of those turned back in Thailand. Thx.

        • M C

          @PK,

          I’m not sure what you are saying. While Angel Watch may use other means to notify in some circumstances, its been well established that their primary means of notification to a foreign county of travel is the interpol green notice and people have been turned away based solely on the green notice.

          In any case, my point was that the barrier to international travel seems to be more often whatever notice Angel Watch sends and not the passport marking. In all cases I’m aware of nobody even looks for the passport markings.

      • Jim

        So, to be clear and concise here, with an actual answer and no assumptions, is the only way that Satan Watch does their thing is if you had a conviction with a minor? Is that the only trigger? My “crime” was against my then wife(now ex) and I “pantsed” her. But it was military so I don’t know if that would trigger them or not. There was no minor involved in mine and I only spent about 3 months in the brig. So that being said, there are many of us here that didn’t get a conviction involving a minor, that are also looking for answers. I applied for my passport last year before all the COVID crap and nothing. I want to travel and want to know if I will be flagged immediately or not, due to the Satan Watch folks. Thanks in advance!! God Bless you all and stay safe out there!!

        • David⚜️

          IML states specifically that passports with a unique identifier are for individuals who have been convicted of a sexual offense involving a minor.

        • Worried in Wisconsin

          Not that you’d necessarily want to, but I believe you can contact the Angel Watch office and ask you you’re on the list.

        • Interested party

          @jim

          Per the information you posted, you should not get the mark in your passport.

          That said, if you are required to register you might still run into problems. Many nations have agreements with the US and have access to criminal records and what not.

          If I were in your shoes and wanting to travel there are a couple things to consider. First what are the laws for the country you intend to travel, and also what your conviction would mean in terms of their review.

          It’s definitely frustrating trying to travel internationally with any record, but with a any crime related to sex there seems to be additional hurdles.

          Also, if you specific locations or regions you are interested in traveling to you can post the question about the region/location and see if anyone has experience there.

          Good luck and hopefully happy travels

        • Jim

          Thanks to you all. I was looking at possibly traveling down to Colombia to visit a friend of mine or to Italy to see Venice. I live in Nevada so I think that I have to do the 21 day B.S. I want to thank you all for your reply’s. I will try and travel eventually, but I am getting let go from my job, funding not my status, and I will try and use my G.I. Bill, which is another whole thing being not only a vet with benefits, but an RSO going to college is going to be fun(sarcasm intended). I was thinking about being able to use my G.I. bill overseas to go to school somewhere else other than the judgmental people of our sh*thole country. But Thanks again for all the help. When I do travel, I will give a full update on here and the Travel Matrix page. Be safe all and stay strong!!!

      • John

        Got my passport months ago, no identifiers. Havent attempted a trip but am off the registry and have a romeo juliet case. Thinking will not have a problem with it.

        • CAMO

          You will find out once you land. No one here can answer your question.

          I left the U.S. on February 9th of 2019, and won’t return for another 9 years, when New York State will remove my requirement to register. I was awarded a Level One classification by a NYS Superior Court Judge, which allows me to be removed from the registry 20 years after my release from prison, in my Federal CP Case.

          My advice to everyone who has passed the 10 years mark of their conviction, apply for residency in Germany or Sweden. The European Parliament in Brussels passed a law that states that you are to be considered rehabilitated once you pass that period of 10 years without sexually reoffending!

        • TS

          @CAMO

          Will you cite the source of the parliament decision for all here to read please with a link to it? Thx.

  7. Worried in Wisconsin

    “Green Notice” vs. IML Passport Marking

    I believe that you guys are correct – out of my four recent trips overseas, all were made with no marking on my passport. On one of those trips (before I had the entry visa) they clearly had a red flag on my passport in their system and nearly didn’t let me in.

    I’m not sure, but it’s my understanding that the Green Notices will be sent for everyone on their list, not just those who qualify for an IML passport.

    Does anyone have specifics on who they send a Green Notice out for?

    • Notorious D.I.K. / Kennerly

      The Green Notices are not “sent” so much as they are continuously available to any INTERPOL participating country (pretty much all countries) and alert officials when you arrive. They are distinct from “Angel’s Watch” notifications which are sent individually to countries “Registrant” is planning to visit which is facilitated by “Registrants” filing an IML intention of travel. There’s plenty of redundancy built into this system which makes getting refused entry that much more likely.

      I’ve completely given up on travel and have just resigned myself to never getting out of this goddamned country again. I won’t even bother to renew my long-expired passport. Why on Earth would I carry their message for them? They’ve got it completely stitched-up.

      I consider that the U.S. has, effectively, barred us from travel without having to say so.

      • Worried in Wisconsin

        Good explanation/clarification.

        I’d still suggest traveling if you want to. There are places you can go without issue. Takes research to make it happen smoothly.

        • Notorious D.I.K.ennerly

          Oh, I’ve done all that research, as anyone who has been here as long as I have can attest. I wrote the very first warning about the not-yet-named IML a number of years before it became law. Many thought I was exaggerating or worrying too much but everything I feared has come to pass, and more. Every year prior to that Chris Smith and his allies in the Senate would trot-out their boogeyman legislation and make incendiary and willfully mendacious statements about “pedophiles” in international travel and I wrote about each of these attempts and knew that someday they would likely succeed. It took both Houses flipping to the Republicans to get it done but it finally happened.

          So, I do consider that we HAVE been forbidden to travel by our government. By making us jump through impossible, flaming procedural hoops they have absolutely forbidden us to travel. Saying that we have those procedures and then utterly stacking the deck against us (like sending notices to foreign officials telling them we are travelling to their country to rape their children) is proof-positive that we are being forbidden to leave.

          Europe, long a holdout, is about to bolt the door to those of us it considers to have been locked-up too long and will be joining virtually all of Asia and much of Central and South America. So, please tell me where I can go because I’m not seeing too much. I could get in one, last trip to Europe before they bar the gate, I suppose but I’m way too pissed at them to enjoy the trip. It’s too close to being American now, anyway.

          Oh, and even parts of Africa have jumped on board, such as Morocco. Won’t be going back there.

  8. Worried in Wisconsin

    @Notorious D.I.K.ennerly

    What are you talking about with regard to the EU? Do you have a specific link with information or policy change?

    • MH

      Unless there is something else I am unaware of, I’m presuming Notorious is talking about ETIAS:

      https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/borders-and-visas/smart-borders/etias_en

      (This is an official EU website).

      While I too am somewhat worried about ETIAS, on the basis of what I understand (and I do not claim to be an expert), I think it may be premature to be too pessimistic about it. Unfortunately, until the system is either actually up or closer to being up, we probably will not know much more, but my understanding is that one must disclose certain “serious crimes” committed within the last 10 years. While I have not been able to find a legally precise definition of “serious crime” for this purpose (it may be impossible to have one due to jurisdictional differences), most lists of such serious offenses include “rape”/”sexual assault” and “child sexual exploitation.”

      Now, as we are well aware, the latter is especially vague. It could mean “any sexual offense involving, directly or indirectly, (a) minor(s)”, or it could mean a narrower class of offenses. Even if we assume the broadest possible meaning, my understanding is that disclosing such an offense, as well as pinging one of the relevant database checks, means your application will be reviewed manually – it is not automatic denial. The goal does not seem to be to substantially alter admissions policies per se, but rather to fill in cracks in information. The question, of course, is whether that will lead in practice to substantially different admissions decisions. One could think of the problem as: how much of registrants getting into Schengen was simply a matter of lack of information?

      One reason I have for cautious optimism is that it does not seem travelers from SORNA-compliant states, such that the destination country definitely knows you are coming due to the 21-day notice, have been being turned away from Schengen, suggesting that it may not just be a lack of information allowing registrants to “slip through” who would otherwise be denied. However, again, we probably won’t know until the system is either closer to launch or is operational, so I am worried by the uncertainty.

      I will be talking to some EU immigration lawyers I know about this closer to the rollout.

      • M C

        My research leads me to believe that there may be an issue for entry if there is a sex crime against a child and the person was sentenced to an incarceration period over two years unless a period of 10 years has elapsed after the incarceration without a subsequent offense. If you fall under that category it’s would still not necessarily a complete bar to entry though but it would certainly make it more difficult. Obviously in the end we will have to wait to see how this actually applies.

      • The Truth

        When I went to Germany, I was stopped and questioned, but allowed to proceed on my way after explaining I had a decades old conviction. They were actually surprised the Us sent them something for such an old conviction.

        • JohnDoeUtah

          I keep tabs and have e-mailed Steven (U.S. who went to Germany, now seeking Asylum). To verify much of what he has stated, I paid to talk to a German Immigration attorney. She stated that the offenses are subject to expulsion from Germany and to not lie to cover them up (automatic ban). However, due to the fact they are nearly 20-years old, it would likely not be a bar from entry or obtaining a residence permit.

          If convicted in Germany, sex offenses are automatically expunged (“spent”) after 20-years and cannot be used against a person. However, a foreign conviction can be considered when deciding to issue a residence/work VISA; but, the age of the conviction is a mitigating factor. Also, no subsequent convictions of any type also helps.

          German law requires that they consider all the circumstances of a case. If I were to get denied a VISA I could file a claim against it, and based on the circumstances, would likely succeed. Key is the passage of time and the completion of any treatment offered or ordered in the U.S. and any other mitigating circumstances.

          Also, she stated that not all jobs in Germany require a Letter of Good Conduct.

  9. pnwso

    Western Europe is regularly mentioned as wide open and easy to enter, but does anyone know of a situation where someone was refused entry into countries like Germany, France, Italy, or others in the area?

    I have been planning a big trip over there for the summer of 2022 and I know I overthink things, but wonder if it matters which country I fly into. Everyone mentions Germany, but it would be easier based on some of the loose plans I have to enter France, Spain, or Italy. For any of these countries, does it make sense to contact them in advance about my upcoming entry? Thanks for any feedback.

    • David⚜️

      @ pnwso: A couple years ago, my flight landing at CDG airport in Paris was met by a contingent of French police who very briefly detained me because, according to documents I received from a FOIA Request*, it appears that USDOJ mistakenly sent them notification that I was a fugitive. This was quickly cleared up (in approx. 20 minutes) and I was soon released, actually making it out of the airport before many of the other individuals on my flight (as the police were kind enough to expedite me right through the passport checkpoints to the baggage claim area.) 🇨🇵 Viva la France! 🇨🇵🤗

      *FOIA Request for information about one’s self have a different official name, but, at the moment, I don’t recall what that documented is titled.

      (Bear in mind, that France does not have a legal age of consent law. They are only now in the process of considering one to be set at 15 years old. This is partially due to a number of high profile rape, incest and child molestation cases currently in the French news.)

      • pnwso

        Thanks for the replies David.

        Am I overthinking when I am entertaining the idea of booking my intended flight – let’s say to Paris and because of the possibility of being sent back, also booking a fully refundable flight 1 week later to Berlin and turning 21+ day notices in for both of them. That way, if I am rejected on my first attempt to Paris I won’t have to come back, book a new flight at a higher price, wait 21 days and then try again. I will have a specific time window and want to make sure it happens. This way, I will only have a 1 week wait the second time. My assumption is that a rejection in one place has no bearing on the likelihood of rejection in a second location. Thanks.

        • David⚜️

          @ pnwso: I would be extremely surprised if you were turned back by French authorities. I have not heard of that happening to anyone. It’s certainly your prerogative to also book a flight to Berlin, but I would suggest it may be a waste of your money. But definitely do submit your paperwork at least 21 days in advance…. preferably 30 days in advance. (I believe it was a snafu in my paperwork that caused the Green Notice system to generate an email containing the word “fugitive”.)
          Personally, I never feel more free and more at home than when I’m in France.🇨🇵

      • jm from wi

        My usual “port of entry” is Schiphol Amsterdam. Never had any problems 8 trips in 10 years. I’ve flown out of France once during that time. I’ve always felt having lots of the same countries stamps in my passport would help when ETIAS is implemented.

    • James

      I don’t know if COVID has cooled tourism overseas to the point where they would be more discriminating, but I traveled in 2019 to France and had no issues at all, going or coming from Paris. I did get flagged with the “X”, for screening at a different line at customs in the US, but I think that is the standard procedure for those who have to provide notification of travel under IML.

      I did similar research before going on my trip and the consensus I found on these forums is that France has not turned back individuals from entering. I had a great trip and never felt I was having to walk on eggshells over there like I do over here when traveling. Not being in danger of accidentally violating some vague SO law (tripwire) made the trip so much more enjoyable. I’d much prefer to travel to Europe than anyplace here in the US.

  10. David⚜️

    This news report suggests that ETIAS will not actually go into effect until early 2023:
    EU Reporter: #ETIAS visa waiver postponed until 2022.
    https://www.eureporter.co/frontpage/2020/04/08/etias-visa-waiver-postponed-until-2022/

  11. David⚜️

    @ pnwso: One more thing: I strongly recommend that you take direct flights to wherever you’re going. If you have to have switch flights or switch planes in a foreign country or even just briefly stop over in a foreign country, be absolutely certain that that country will not turn you back. (I lost a cost of a round trip ticket to France because I could not get confirmation from Irish authorities that I would not be turned back on a brief layover at Dublin Airport. Personally, I avoid the national airlines of countries where you’re likely to be turned back, such as Aer Lingus [Ireland] and Air Canada because many of them have stopovers in their home countries where you could be turned back.)
    Good luck and enjoy wonderful Europe!!

    (P. S.: I do have an IML-marked passport, but no one has ever bothered to look at that IML notification in it.)

    • pnwso

      Thanks for the great replies. Makes me feel better, at least for now. My conviction is only 10 years old and I used to read here that around 10 yrs is the magic number now I’m seeing 20. My original plan was to spend the entire summer over there (2022) before the new visa changes go into effect and that still is my plan, but more and more I find myself entertaining the idea of just trying to stay in the region and do the “country dance” moving along to Albania, Georgia, and maybe others before returning to the Schengen zone. The end goal is to find a way to stay over there in some capacity without returning to the US unless absolutely necessary. Just have to find a way to bring in some income. Searches for remote jobs haven’t panned out and I don’t believe teaching English to adults is even an option, but still looking into it.

      • PK

        10 years could be the magic number, but that could also depend in some cases, on the type of conviction that you have.

  12. pnwso

    Do I have to give the IML 21 day notice when not living in US. If I am able to find a way to successfully live outside the US, even if I can’t find a permanent residency situation, but do successfully move around from country to country to comply with tourist visa requirements, what happens when I return to the US for a short stay? If I am still required to register if residing in the US, but don’t currently appear on any registries because I live outside the US, what is required if I return to visit people in a few different locations and don’t trigger any visitor registration thresholds? For my return trip back to wherever (outside the US) I can only notify a state if I am currently registered. Most likely, I would have scheduled my return trip while outside the US for my planned 2-week stay. What happens when I am boarding a plane to depart the US, but haven’t notified anyone, as there is no one to notify?

    Example: Depart state A for France having notified state A 21 days in advance of my planned departure and intention to not return to the US. State A takes me off the registry since they don’t keep registrants on permanently. 1 year later, buy round trip ticket from France to NY and back to France (or wherever) for a 2-week stay. I fly into NY, drive to various states and don’t trigger any visitor registrations, then drive back to NY to depart.

    • MLinCA

      That’s the million dollar question.

    • JohnDoeUtah

      See, Nichols v. United States, 136 S. Ct. 1113, 194 L. Ed. 2d 324 (2016)

      You likely will have to formally deregister prior to leaving. If you give 21-day notice, which includes an itinerary with a return date but you don’t return, you’ll likely get hit with Federal FTR. On top of the itinerary information, they also want an address or contact information. If you leave and fail to register in the state you left, without “deregistering,” when your annual (or six-month) time frame comes up, you’ll likely get hit with Federal FTR. SCOTUS did make clear in Nichols that SORNA does not extend past the jurisdictional borders of the U.S., so as long as you “deregister,” give the 21-day notice, and don’t come back into the U.S. or its territories, SORNA cannot attach to you.

      • Anonymous

        How would SORNA “attach” to him if he does not live in the United States and returns for a visit? He would only have to ensure that he does not stay too long and/or work and/or go to school in any state to trigger the requirement to register. As long as he visits the United States and does not trigger any state registration requirement I do not see how anything of SORNA would come in play.

    • David⚜️

      @ pnwso: This may help with your question. When I fill out my 21-day notification, I only provide the city names where I’m staying (not a hotel name and address, not a VRBO street address, etc) – never a specific address. So, for example, I simply write “Paris, France’ or “Montpellier, France”. That has, apparently, been satisfactory because I’ve never gotten into any difficulties putting just the city name.
      (But, who knows? Maybe it has not been a problem because I am not in a SORNA-compliant state, so it’s almost more of a courtesy on my part that I submit to them my 21-day advance travel notification. So, for that reason, maybe DOS/U.S. Marshals are not terribly picky about the details on my 21-day notices. 🤷🏻‍♂️)
      My apologies for the long-winded answers, but I try to be as clear and detailed as possible.

      • TS

        @David, et al,

        The travel notification you provide appears to be in line with what the SMART office says is required regardless of SORNA or Non-SORNA state: https://smart.ojp.gov/sorna/notice-international-travel

        However, “information about any intermediate stops” could be the catch all statement they’d use where they go looking for more specific details than just the places as you mention. Not saying you are wrong. Just thinking from their side for their “intent”.

  13. leroy

    Has anyone on here attempted to get a criminal rehabilitation from the Canadian government to allow entry to their country? I spoke with a Canadian Attorney this afternoon to see if its possible. just looking for some input before I put out $3,000 for their services as well as the $770 to the Canadian government.

    • C

      I tried this 8 years ago and it was shot down. I came to understand that, while Canadian lawyers will take your money to process the paperwork, the Canadian government will not approve a crim rehab application for anyone with a sex offense. I was particularly pissed to learn the Canadian bureaucrat who denied my application did so right here in LA at their consulate. “So that b*** gets to live in my country enjoying the fruits if my tax dollars while she denies the opportunity to live in her country? The gaul!” But I digress…
      Before spending the money, ask the potential attorney for references of others with similar convictions they successfully helped migrate to Canada. My attorney promised me references and never produced them. I’m happy to provide his name to you, however. 😉
      Good luck!

    • Nick

      Leroy… I made an inquiry about five years ago and spoke with an attorney in Montreal and he told me that it was about $2000… At that time. That is for a permanent residency permit and I also know that there is a temporary residency permit that can be had and I believe it last for three years and it’s noticeably cheaper. When I spoke to some of the officers on the Canadian side in Windsor Ontario they told me that there shouldn’t be any problem at all because my case is 30 years old. I was going to do more checking to see if I could find an attorney closer than Montreal but just haven’t made the attempt yet. You do have to have a reason, like family living in Canada or that you have a job in Canada.

  14. leroy

    Thank you for your comments, I’ll definitely be doing more investigation into the possibility of travel north before I actually hire an Attorney. Travel to Canada is a two fold mission for me. One: I promised my wife and kids before my arrest that We would make the drive through Canada to Alaska to show them the beauty of it all.
    Two: I advocate for R.C.’s rights at a local level, and am looking to establish other precedence such as getting permission to enter Canada. Back before I had learned of the existence of Janice and ACSOL, I worked with a local Attorney recommended by my S.O.T.P. Councilor to convince probation and the courts that Residency restrictions applied to parolees, not probationers. That got me back home with my family after 3 years of supporting two households. After that I worked out a plan with my son’s school Superintendent to be able to attend parent teacher conferences, concerts, and even allowed my Wife and I to help teach a parenting for young adults workshop on the school campus.
    Currently, I am working on a training program to help people in the local S.O.T.P Learn a trade to help them make it through Treatment and then life post treatment. I watched too many people trying to make it through this being kicked out for lack of payment.. almost myself before I started getting accepted back into the community after I was released. We all do what we can do to help each other keep going.

    • JimCrow2

      @leroy: When applying for rehabilitation status under Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, a simple form is used. I didn’t use an attorney, but it if you hire one that works near the immigration office they can easily check on its status and ensure it doesn’t get buried. An attorney shouldn’t cost more than $1,000. If approved, the effect is you are no longer described in A36(1)(b) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act because of the conviction. If you’re young and achieve enough points, you and your family can immigrate for free. If you’re old or otherwise don’t qualify with points you can buy a business and employ a citizen for 1 year to qualify as a permanent resident. The minimum investment needed is $200k for most areas and $100k for rural regions in the cold north.

      They also grant asylum to Americans escaping sex offender persecution. Canada granted asylum to families during the “Wenatchee Witch Hunt” in the 1990’s where a rogue detective went on an accusation spree and got people convicted of fabricated child sex offenses. They also granted asylum to a bail-jumper from Florida who had sex with her son’s minor friend. They’re not liberal, just not evil. Once admitted, there are no laws that require you to report to police. Personally I don’t assert my civil rights in every instance. It’s easy to comply with reasonable requests from local police. They are simply nervous and want to keep their jobs. The freedom and respect you and your family will experience is immeasurable.

      • Will Allen

        Very interesting. How sad that decent countries have to offer asylum to Americans. But America is a special kind of stupid, as we’ve all seen even more clearly in recent years. American “exceptionalism” is not good.

        In America, it is not possible to respect law enforcement. It would be great to live somewhere where a person could.

        I like the “They’re not liberal, just not evil” statement. Registry Supporters/Terrorists are evil. Probably the best label for them.

  15. Detroit

    Leroy:
    I am originally from Detroit just a couple of miles from the bridge and have traveled to Canada for more than 50 years. Any criminal conviction, including a DUI, is a no go. You have made the first step by contacting an attorney in Canada. Make sure you have an attorney that specializes in immigration because Canada is difficult but not impossible for registrants.
    If you travel to Canada prior to your attorney telling you so, you will be turned away and make obtaining residency more difficult. Wait until your attorney tells you to travel to Canada before you go.
    The upside to Canada is that they have already granted political asylum to some registrants. This has been done for several registrants who have had consensual sex with 16 or 17 year olds because the age of consent in Canada is 16 and canadiens don’t view this as a crime. Under 16 is a totally different ball game. As a general rule if your conviction is more than 10 years past, you stand a chance.

  16. IrishResident

    Green Card and worried

    I’m a RSO, currently on supervised release. I was convicted of posession of CP, got 5 years, but was never deported. I never gave up my passport(Irish) and when I was released, I renewed it by mail. So I have a new foreign passport. Can I travel on it without any problems? I’m planning on leaving the US for good, and don’t want to have any trouble with getting stopped when traveling.

    • M C

      @IrishResident,

      You will need to give the required travel notice so you don’t get arrested trying to leave. You might also find that notification of your travel is sent to wherever you go even your country of citizenship which may have its own set of implications. Also, though you don’t plan to come back you may never be able to. Once you aren’t subject to travel notices you should find travel easier otherwise.

    • JohnDoeUtah

      I’m not sure you can while on supervised release. That would be absconding, maybe?

      Otherwise, be sure to reregister in your state. Failure will be a new felony.

      Also, give 21 day notice.

      Or, go to your consulate and see if you can’t get out under some protection as an Irish citizen.

  17. RC Mom

    Hello! Does anyone know about current rules/laws for Portugal? Seems like a great place to move to but I’m having trouble getting current info about SO laws.

    • steve

      Portugal is part of the schengen and you should be fine. Do it. I did France, Germany. Croatia, Bosnia and Czech Republic…no issues.

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