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General NewsInternational Travel

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.

In this International Travel 2021 post, the information is identical to the International Travel 2020 post. We added a new post for 2021 in order to keep the discussion manageable. Please help us by sticking to the topic of International Travel only.

====

From 2020: 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.

Austria
Belgium
Czech republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Iceland
Italy
Latvia
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta
Netherlands
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland

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 sometime in 2021 – which may or may not take criminal convictions into account. ETIAS Fact Sheet April 2018July 2018

2. Resources

Forms

Publications

Older Posts

 

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If an RSO is living overseas for years and travelling between schengen and non schengen and their passport nears expiration, can they renew at a US Embassy without returning to the states ? Thanks.

@mario

In theory, yes, you can renew overseas at a US Embassy or Consulate, but consult either one for specific processing.

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/have-passport/renew.html

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/need-passport/outside-us.html

thanks for the reply.

Just wanted to inform that my husband and I got back from a short trip to St. Martin and he gave his notice and had no issues. It was a wonderful trip- beautiful island and friendly people.
He got pulled into secondary upon return but the officers were nice and expeditious. That was in Dulles.

This is really great news, and Thank You very Much….but also Yikes! Things I didn’t know:

The 87-square-kilometre (34 sq mi) island is divided roughly 60:40 between the French Republic (53 km2, 20 sq mi)[1] and the Kingdom of the Netherlands (34 km2, 13 sq mi),[2] but the two parts are roughly equal in population. The division dates to 1648. The southern Dutch part comprises Sint Maarten and is one of four constituent countries that form the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The northern French part comprises the Collectivity of Saint Martin and is an overseas collectivity of the French Republic. As part of France, the French part of the island is also part of the European Union.[3]

************************
The airport is apparent located on the Dutch side of the Island…I suppose you found no trouble on either side, but entry and exit should have been under Dutch control.

Interesting.

Thanks again & Best Wishes, James I

Hi James I!
Yes, that is correct- the main airport is on the Dutch side. We went all over the island (there is no checkpoint or anything, just a French flag to signify the change). There appears to be a smaller airport on the French side as well, but it may be island hoppers and such. Incredibly friendly people on the entire island. Interestingly, the French side takes mostly Euro (but a lot took US dollar as well) and they had a curfew at 8 for Covid. Dutch side took mostly Dollar and would have Dutch Guilder listed as well on pricing but if you paid with it they would give you US Dollars in change. The Dutch side had no curfew and the roads were slightly better on that side. Also a little cheaper for hotels on the Dutch side,
It wasn’t crowded at all (but then again we went in the off season).
Lots of fun- highly recommended.

And I should point out that both entry and exit from the airport in Sint Maarten was a breeze. Absolutely no issues and not treated any differently from anyone else.
The secondary inspection was in Washington Dulles but he said they were some of the nicest officers he’s ever dealt with.

I was convicted state of one misdemeanor count of cp and am about to get off the registry. I should be clear of sorna requirements as well due to a clean record. I know I can get an unmarked passport once off my question is, does anyone know if warnings are still sent out even though I don’t have to give 21 days notice? And will I still get secondary whenever I come back to the US?

@Moe, this has been discussed many times. I haven’t traveled since IML and was off the registry before IML however my experience had been that I was sent to secondary when I was still registered but once no longer on the registry I was not sent to secondary any longer and was granted entry like everyone else. I believe others experiences reflect that there has generally not been secondary after no longer being on a registry however they can send someone to secondary for any reason they want to come up with whenever. I would familiarize yourself with your rights at the us border as a us citizen. You may wish to refuse to do anything if ever sent to secondary that violate those rights.

As far as travel notices go, it’s not really clear if notices are sent out. IML clearly seems to authorize a notice to be sent in this circumstance but also doesn’t require that a notice be sent. That means that it might vary somewhat by individual. It seems like there’s a mixed bag as to people’s experience with this. If you don’t want to spend money and potentially be turned away and since you don’t have to give the 21 day notice, your best bet is to travel where registrants have generally not had issues with entry and then travel from there to the final destination using a foreign airline that does not cross back over a us border. While that is also no guarantee it reduces the chances of an entry denial.

If you travel I can not emphasize enough to please share your experiences here. There doesn’t seem to be a huge amount of I formation in your (and my) circumstance because most people here are on a registry and because most who are not on a registry any longer no longer care to report especially when they had no issues with travel.

Put this in General, but likely belongs here.

Quote of the day describing IML…”…an irrational and costly system holding U.S. citizens prisoners in their own country.”

Lee, G. (2021), Prisoners in their own country: A cultural criminological study of International Megan’s Law and its impacts on U.S. registrant mobility (Masters thesis, Utrecht University, Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance)

Thanks for posting this. Sadly, people like G. Lee are not the ones who make or enforce the laws. I doubt that there are any persons who have studied Megan’s Law, IML, Jessica’s Law, etc. and think they just and fair, unless they are politically motivated or emotionally attached. The kind of people who immediately hate you when they find out you are registered, couldn’t care less about the laws or what you actually did to be governed by them.

I will preface this by saying I am not trying to argue with David, whose comments I appreciate in general even though until recently I have mostly been a lurker. I just want to expand on ETIAS since I have seen a lot of fearmongering about it elsewhere that is not borne out from what is known so far, and there are a lot of third-party unofficial websites out there which extrapolate far beyond EU policy or what can be justifiably claimed at this point.

First, as the article quotes:

“The ETIAS travel authorization will be a necessary and small procedural step for all visa-exempt travelers, which will allow them to avoid bureaucracy and delays when presenting themselves at the borders,” the EU memo says.

This is important. It is not a change to EU admission policy. Rather, it is a streamlining of the system given existing policies. On the one hand, this could in principle mean that some people who have been lucky to slip through the cracks do not. It also might mean added annoyance if anything flagged for a sex offense automatically goes to human review, which delays things. On the other hand, however, this could possibly be a benefit to many of us, as ETIAS pre-clearance could significantly reduce uncertainty, anxiety, and the possibility of interviews at the border. Consider the fact that if you are already subject to the 21-day requirement and have successfully traveled, they know damn well not only that you are coming but what your offense is.

Of course, I understand the anxiety born of uncertainty by any change to immigration regimes given our situation – I have it myself regarding even this. But until the system rolls out and we see what the questions are and what gets flagged for review, we won’t know, and there is otherwise no reason to panic given any existing EU policy or law. Definitely don’t let random third-party websites get to you.

Relatedly, even though ETIAS is not a visa, ironically it may be worth investigating a visa under certain circumstances if you are worried about ETIAS. At least some Schengen countries offer medium- (usually 3-6 months, usually tourist) and long-term (usually a year, renewable, all categories) visas that do not care about crimes committed outside of Europe unless they are something like organized crime or terrorism, in which case EUROPOL well knows about it anyway. This is at the very least true for US citizens arriving from the US. If you have a visa, you are exempt from ETIAS. Bear in mind, of course, that unlike ETIAS, visa requirements will depend on the country so long as those policies conform with the baseline(s) set by Schengen policy and EU law.

Now, this is anecdotal so you should not even take my word for it without speaking to immigration attorneys in the destination country, but I can say that from support networks there, long-term visas and residence permits have not been a problem in at least France and Germany.

@M H:
Nice work and thank you for posting this.

Are there any RSO’s that are travelling on non-US passports? What has your experience been?

If you are a US citizen you must use your US passport when you leave and enter the United States. You could travel on your non-us passport once you reach your first destination. You would likely have that first destination notified of your arrival. You are also required under the 21 day notice to name all the places where you will be going so notices would be sent there about your potential arrival and you may possibly then still be identified through your non-us passport depending on that countries procedures once notified. You could violate the 21 day notice requirements at your own peril and would likely be allowed to enter places on your non-us passport without issue in that case.

I don’t have a US passport at all. I am not a citizen and when the time comes I probably won’t be returning to the US

Last edited 1 month ago by irishman

No problem getting around, but I would not go to a country that takes fingerprints or biometric data upon entry. No doubt they’ll cross-reference it with the US database of people who’ve already served their time.

I find it hard to believe that a country not in North America that does take biometrics, would run an Irish passport against US data, just on the off chance that they’d catch someone. Hopefully there’s someone here that can shed some light on that?

I tend to agree. I found out recently that Japan fingerprints everyone who enters the country. But since it takes at least 24 hours for the FBI to look up a fingerprint, I’m pretty sure that Japan can’t instantly run prints through the U.S. database. In the case of Japan, I am pretty sure that they only query their own database, unless they have some reason to be suspicious.

Mike, it does not (have to) take twenty-four hours for the FBI or any law enforcement agency to look up a fingerprint. From what I have seen, it is, essentially, instantaneous. In San Francisco, when I go in for my annual degradation, I am no longer asked to show my I.D. but, rather, I place my thumb on a reader. They then know immediately who I am. Fingerprints are converted into unique numbers which can be searched against a nationwide database in milliseconds.

I agree with @NDIK on the fingerprint turnaround being instantaneous. Your fingerprints (and DNA too for that matter) are on file with the FBI back east and are easily retrievable by those who want it. BTW, 5 Eyes allows for instantaneous access.

When you do an FBI background check on yourself to see what is on file for you with them, e.g. what they have for your conviction on file, you must submit fingerprints to prove to them you are actually requesting their data, not someone else acting on your behalf.

As for biometric scanning (iris is just another evolution of it), here is what the CBP says about it and why it is being done under the name of safety for the nation:

Okay, I guess the 24 hours I read about was when they were in no immediate hurry. This is what I found: “Once the photographed print is entered into the system, the process takes just a few minutes. “It can take as little as 15 to 20 seconds or it can take 15 to 20 minutes,” Shultz said

I found the post that threw me off:
Fingerprints
How do I submit fingerprints? For more information and to learn how to submit electronic fingerprints, refer to the Criminal Records GAPS/COGENT Instructions.
How long does it take to get results back from GBI/FBI? On an average, it takes 24-48 hours to receive a response from the GBI and FBI. 

Thinking about it, I guess it is possible that Japan, U.K., Canada, Australia, etc., could query the U.S. Sex Offender database in close to real time, since it is a much smaller database. So even with an Irish passport, a fingerprint check could cause a problem. The last couple of International flights I took out of SFO (before Covid), they did an iris scan on everyone boarding the flight. Not sure what that was about…

I would think having an Irish passport would give you thr right to be there. I think Ireland only gives passports to those who are citizens. They will not turn away their own citizens.

From my research the US shares criminal data with: the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand. Canada though, only does a US background check if they know you are an American. If you were to use a different passsport I think you’ll be ok.

Hello … I am about to secure a Canadian lawyer to complete the Application for criminal rehabilitation to enter Canada. Before I do, has anyone on the registry for LIFE been SUCCESSFUL in completing the application and has entered Canada?

You can enter Canada easily by driving over the Ambassador Bridge (assuming you’re crossing from Michigan). CBP (Customs and Border Protection) does not check your ID when entering. They just ask you what the purpose of your visit is. The problem you will have is when you cross back over. That is when you have to show your ID. CBP. They WILL run your name and all criminal convictions will show up, and if you’re on the registry, that will show too. You’ll be taken into the building where you will sit for hours while they search your vehicle, phone, etc. They will also contact your local law agency and inform them that you are in Canada, and ask them if they want to arrest you.
I would highly advise against you going to Canada until you are at least off the registry because Canada does not allow Registered Persons into the country.

I live just west of Detroit and I went to Canada frequently between 95 and 2018 when I finally was stopped on the Canadian side. They ran a check and saw that I had one felony conviction so I had to go inside and they informed me that it had been like that for quite a few years that you couldn’t go over but I never knew it when nobody ever said I couldn’t. So now the options are temporary residency permit or a permanent residency permit. Actually I always had a problem coming back to the states and border guards on the American side or a bunch of total butt holes. You had to go in stand at the counter and one of the guards on the other side of the counter would be looking at your record and they wanted you to verbally tell them what you had done to get a felony conviction to try to embarrass you in front of all the people sitting there. If my wife hadn’t been with me I probably still be standing there telling them what they could do with their inquiry. A few times I told you that I was noncompliant and as soon as I got home I called Michigan State police and they said that it was a bunch of crap that the border guards were just rattling my cage.

You can thank George W. Bush for that. During his second term he fortified the Canadian border, and suddenly you needed a passport to cross and they later started routinely running background checks. I’d been to Windsor and back a few times for work before that change. Haven’t been out of the country since. As someone else said today, the GOP are not our friends, as much as the Democrats can infuriate us. Absolutely no reason to need a passport to cross into Canada and back. Jingoistic nonsense.

I have a consultation with a CANADIAN attorney today for $250 to start. I will demand a definitive answer about the law firm’s success or not about entering Canada for a person still on the registry yet fulfills all of the requirements based on the Application for criminal rehabilitation to enter Canada. I WISH I COULD GET AN ANSWER IN THIS ROOM ABOUT THIS ISSUE?!?

You should save your money. Like I said, you can easily cross the border by car easily with no issues at all. But once you try to cross back into the States, you’re in for a world of trouble. You WILL be detained, questioned, your vehicle and phone searched, and unless you filed the 21 day notice, possible arrest. But even if you do file the 21 day notice, you’ll be detained on your way back anyway.
I’m speaking from experience because years ago I had a lot of Canadian currency and no bank in my area would exchange it. I spoke to the chief of police where I used to register and he told me to drive across the border to a Canadian bank and come right back. Back then there was no 21 day travel notice, and I trusted the chief because he was a really cool guy. He handled all the registration in the village. Anyway, I crossed into Canada no problem, went to the nearest bank and exchanged the money for US dollars, and drove back. Obviously I had to stop and give my ID ( I have an enhanced license) and the guy while looking at his computer asked me if I’ve ever been convicted of a felony. I said yes and he asked what for. I told him then he came out of the booth and directed me to an area to park. He said leave my phone and keys on the dashboard and take only my wallet and go into the building. There I sat for 5 hours while they searched my car then came to speak to me. He told me he was waiting to hear back from the police station about what they wanted to do. He took me into a private room and started questioning me. He asked me if I’ve ever been in possession of CP, to which I said no. He asked if I would consent to have my computer at home searched. I said there’s no reason to search my computer because I don’t even look at porn. Eventually he told me the chief said he knew I was in Canada and gave permission and didn’t want me arrested. I was allowed to leave after almost 7 hours, but they kept my phone, saying they were going to send it to a lab to see if I’ve ever searched for illegal images, which I have never done. By the time I got home, the police and a homeland security agent pulled up with a search warrant for my computer. They said it would be sent to the lab and returned if everything checked out.
Long story short, I got my phone and computer back almost 3 weeks later saying everything was good. I didn’t trust my phone and computer after that and ended up buying new ones and destroying the old ones.
Don’t risk it. It’s not worth the trouble.

Dear Matt: The problem is that no one can give you a concise answer here for a couple of reasons 1) the variables from person to person making an application are simply too great and 2) few people have attempted this process because it is both difficult and generally expensive.

In some ways you are being the trail blazer here. Trust me, if anyone had any useful or successful knowledge to share…they would…freely and happily.

No one is holding out on you…You almost have to lead us and we will in turn be thankful to you…for successfully, (I hope), going first.

Best Wishes, James I

James … thank you for your concise answer. There are indeed many variables. Each registrant is different… The interview I had this morning with the Canadian lawyer was very positive with my variables that I described to her. At the end, I described the confusion I have read among the comments here. I asked her if she could be my tutor about the process of filling out the “Application for Criminal Reabilitation to Enter Canada” so I can explain clearly the demands of ACREC. I PROMISE that I will get back to everyone to do so. James, I hope that I can lead, as you say, through a clear pathway for the successful application of ACREC for those registrants that fulfill its requirements. Matt

@Matt – Matt all I can do is give you what I experience back in 2015 and 2016. I travel to Canada about a half a dozen times. The first time flew into Toronto no issues. The second time I flew in they announced they wanted everybody’s passports out as they exited the plane. I wasn’t remotely concerned at the time however they were looking for me. Now my background is a 288c reduced via 17b and then expunged via 1203.4. I am not listed under Megan’s law publicly. Anyways they took me into what I guess would be their version of secondary asked me some questions but also told me that they could tell I was extremely surprised that I was pulled aside. I called my attorneys office and they faxed across all the documents showing my reduction and dismissal. After an hour or so the officer who was kind put some notes in to my record so to speak and let me go. He did warn me that he couldn’t promise me that in the future that others would treat me the same. The next few times I went to Canada I flew into Buffalo and drove across. Same thing first time no issue second time got pulled over to the side and eventually was released to continue my trip. So I was never not allowed to enter Canada although had to go through some headaches to get in a couple times. After IML was passed I stopped going. My thought process was possibly because I’m not posted on Megan‘s law that they might’ve been unaware that I was a registered citizen and until I can find some form of relief down the road I had no intention of notifying them 21 days in advance that I was. Good luck.

How is someone with a 288c (288(c)?) conviction not on the public ML web site? Irrespective of expungement or reduction.

Mr. D should answer this, but sometimes if the “victim” is a family member, they don’t go on the public website.

Matt… Did you get a Canadian or an American attorney? Can I ask how much?

Would an RSO traveling on an EU-country passport have an issue going to London? Do they take your fingerprints upon entry? I just want to try and get some new clients at an industry-related conference over there. Would it be easier to apply for a work-visa just to go for a week? Would the UK even entertain letting me in? How about coming in from Ireland?

No personal experience, but I would think arriving at Heathrow with an EU passport would be smooth sailing, unless you are subject to IML and Satan Watch send them a notice to look for you.

@ Jay, regardless what passport you use, as a registrant, aren’t you required to submit a 21-day Advance Travel Notification? That would include the flights you are taking, so yeah, the Brits would get a heads-up (i.e., “green notice”) from Angel Watch before your plane arrives and, I strongly suspect, they would turn you back. Sorry, not trying to be a downer. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Not coming from the US though – I left almost a decade ago; I’m just wondering if it’s worth the trouble.

Well, if it’s an EU country passport, just give your 21 day notice and fly to France for a couple of days, then take a flight from there to London on your EU passport. Yes, you’re ‘supposed’ to give your complete itinerary, but at that time you didn’t know you were going, know what I mean?
With Brexit, EU citizens do get checked, so hopefully there’s no relationship between your EU passport and your US registration

If you have and EU passport, they can turn you away because of Brexit. I have read personal account of EU citizens being turned away for mundane things at the border,

⭐ No problem entering France with IML-marked U.S. passport.⭐
🇨🇵 I just visited Paris-CDG airport last week. No problems at all. The customs-border officer glanced at the notification page, shrugged, stamped my passport and said, in English, “Have a good visit!” 😁

Here is an interview with a man that, after 16 years listed on the Illinois registry, gave his 21 day notice and then went to Frankfurt, Germany. This interview is just one day after he arrived in Germany on September 21, 2021, and he tells about his experience in both the US airport and the German airport.

My passport was revoked just before COVID started. HAS ANYONE APPEALED A REVOCATION? I plan to apply for a passport soon. When I do, I plan to appeal, including in my application convincing psychological evaluations, documents, testimonials, the fact that I am 75 years old with a hands off crime that happened in 2006 without any crimes since then… along with other facts that will show I am not a threat. Since I have never read on these pages that a person has made an appeal, I thought … why not try!!! Again… has anyone appealed their revocation?

I’m not sure what you would gain by appealing the revocation, since you can immediately apply for a new passport. Presumably, they want you to have a passport with the rubber-stamped message in the back. If you have grounds, I guess you could appeal having the message. And you could appeal the fact that you have to pay for a whole new passport when the old one was perfectly good. If there was any common sense in government, they would have just had you send your existing passport back to them to have it rubber-stamped and sent back to you. But why do that when you can give more people government jobs handling passports 😒. I’m 5 years younger than you, and I still in denial that my conviction in 1995 was even a crime.

By the way, I was one of the first people to get a marked passport, and in the years of travel since then, it has not made a bit of difference. I hope it stays that way!

Last edited 19 days ago by Mike G

Hello,
Does anyone have any info for traveling to Hungary or any other European countries. Have there been any complications for SO. I’d be looking to travel mid Oct 2021

Kyle

Kyle, all of Schengen Europe should be easily open to you…see this link

However, Hungry is Hungry…what to say…my preference would be to drive into Hungry from Wien (Vienna) if I were doing the trip. For people that have seen me post from time to time, it is obvious I like to drive from here to there…this is my prejudice, my tendency…so flying into Vienna, picking up a rental, (if you can find one now), and driving down is what I have always done.

Of course, no reason to have a vehicle in London, Paris or Rome. Quick story re Hungry however…in the late 1990’s I was having dinner with someone and a black police (?) car pulled up, 3 men jumped out and took away my friend…at my hotel I was told not to look into to it too deeply. And I didn’t but it is something I remember.

For various reasons I’ve been to Hungry maybe 15 times…love the country, and I’ve been fortunate to actually stay at the small Citadel Hotel atop Gelert Hill…sign, all this travel talk is making me sadly nostalgic….lol…Back to work for me!

Best Wishes, James I

I was in Hungary in 2018 and 2019 with no problems at all. Since 2017, I have been in most European countries. I’m planning a trip to Greece in November. There was a report of a registrant being turned away from Athens recently, so I am a bit worried, but no one seems to have any details about what happened. I flew to Athens in 2019 with no problems.

I’m personally skeptical of that report. Not necessarily in the sense that it didn’t happen, but as to *why*. Unfortunately, we do not have (understandably, given the situation) rigorous data collection on this, so it could be:

1) The person did not give the 21 day notice
2) The person had an outstanding warrant anyway, e.g., for FTR

and most importantly

3) There may be differences based on severity of offense and time elapsed since offense that matter but we are not privy to. I don’t like this failure of honest, fair border policy, but it is quite possible with many of the “deny entries.”

Anyway, I have not been to Greece directly from the US, but have had no problems entering Greece from other Schengen countries.

@ Kyle: I just entered Paris two weeks at Charles De Gualle Airport. No problems at all.

I do have a unique-identifier IML passport. This visit was the 1st time any customs/border officer ever looked at the IML notification page. And he just shrugged at it and said, in perfect English, “Have a nice visit!”

Bon voyage! 😁🇨🇵👍🏻

Here’s a must see interview by Registry Matters with Steven Whitsett.

Recent travel report for Austria: all good. I am fully vaccinated, have been for about 6 months now. Non-contact, <10yr old felony offense involving a minor, non-CP, no incarceration. I did have the 21-day notice. Spent a week in Vienna and Graz, no questions on entry. Submitting an RTAG report too.

Additional clarification in light of the recent bad news out of CA with the couple trying to travel to the Netherlands: I do have the marker.

Further information in case it is helpful to people: Flew from JFK to Vienna with one stopover at Paris-CDG. No interrogations, although of course secondary upon returning to the US.

That’s great! Thanks for the update!

UKRAINE is 100% OPEN for travel.

I bought my tickets, told the Pennsylvania State Police I was leaving and going to Ukraine.

They asked where but because I was convicted prior to 2012, I said none of your fucking business (literally).

Got on the plane at JFK, there are NO passport checks from JFK other than to make sure the passport is VALID. They scan it under a key reader and match you to your face.

I spent almost 20 minutes at the metal detector talking to the kid that ran it.

The airport and ICE have NO IDEA who is leaving the United States, they simply check the bar code to make sure the passport is 100% real.

I know this because I traveled WITHOUT a stamp on page 27 in my passport…

The US State Department screwed up.

When I landed in Ukraine, I got off the plane and walked right through the airport.

There was NO passport check, no police, no security guards.

Time from getting off plane to outside airport?

About 5 minutes.

Once in Ukraine.

My passport didn’t even get an arrival stamp, only an exit stamp when I left 5 MONTHS (yes 5 months) later.

No one cared.

Ukraine, Kyiv is AMAZING!

I rented an apartment in downtown Kyiv for $275 USD a month and it was considered a luxury apartment.

This is exactly what I’m hoping to do somewhere/someday on a Digital Nomad Visa. As long as I have an Internet connection, I can run my business from anywhere in the world.
Great share. Thank you!

Sigh, I was briefly in Ukraine…and detained for accidentally crossing the border…from Hungry I think, and about 75 miles in on an off map road there was a police post and vehicle check…The officer detaining me was a statuesque almost amazon-like beautiful blond…she was an eye opening shock…I joined her and three other officers in their post discussing Los Angeles and Ukraine…after some warmish tea they turned me back to either return into Hungry or gather myself a visa…(this is not that unusual for me…in the West Bank, in Brazil, or the PI…you hang out).

I suppose the point is that I am desperately jealous of Dave….but I grind my teeth and shrug….I am too busy work wise or too old to do what Dave and others are accomplishing in changing the dynamics of their lives…I am actually proud of these people….full of envy but proud…lol

Best Wishes, James I

Way to go Dave! Happy that you have been able to enjoy some normalcy or even better than normal experiences in your life (away from the low quality of life we are experiencing in the United States).
We have a trip scheduled to Ukraine in July 2022, and I’m glad to hear we shouldn’t have any trouble.

Okay, I’ll apologize in advance if this has already been discussed, but if it was, I missed it.

After several cancelled and postponed trips due to Covid-19, it looks like we are finally going to be able to travel next month. So I downloaded the CA-DOJ 21-day notice form from the link at the top of this page, and typed it up very nicely, signed it, and then drove to my registration location to turn it in.

They said, “We can’t take this form – this is the old form.” So they gave me a new form to fill out (by hand, of course).

This form is from the US Marshals Service (or whatever their official name is), and it is quite a different form from the one linked above that we have been using in California.

There is very little travel information requested. They ask where you are leaving from, date you are leaving, how you are traveling (air, ship, car, etc), what country you are going to, where you are returning to, and the date you are returning. There are no flight numbers requested, no addresses, no cities. I think it does ask for a contact number while you are gone, so I just put my cell phone number.

The IRRITATING part is that you must list all the sexual related crimes you have been convicted of, dates of conviction, jurisdiction of the offenses, AND list the ages and sex of all your victims, and what your relationship is to each victim.

For me, this was traumatizing, it was 27 years ago, and I don’t know if I got the dates right from memory. I’m half expecting a call from my registering agency telling me my form has been rejected by the US Marshals Service due to inadequate or incomplete information, and that I am therefore not allowed to travel.

Okay, I know I am being pessimistic again, but they wouldn’t even give me a copy of my filled out form (which doesn’t even require a signature), so I have nothing to take with me to prove that I gave notice. I guess I will just take my filled out copy of the form they wouldn’t take so they can see that an effort was made.

@Mike G

Why did you not take a photo or several of your new form before handing it in for your records and not rely on LE to give you a copy?

If you can take pictures of it, then recommend that happen. Don’t chance LE giving you a copy.

That obviously would have been a good idea. I guess I assumed they would give me a copy if I asked for it, but no, too big a burden for them.

Next time I have to fill out anything I’ll definitely take a photo before I hand it in!

@Mike G

Was not chastising you for not photographing your doc. Apologize if it sounded like it. When in those situations, we all react under that stress differently.

Meant it more of a cautionary tale of not relying on LE to help you with your doc package at the station. The mailing of it is a good idea as well as when writing it out at the station, taking photos of it for the file.

Thanks. I agree completely!

@ Mike G: F*ck them and their new USMS travel notification form! 😡

Here is EXACTLY what I would do: Take the original form that you filled out, sign and date it, and keep a photocopy for your own records. Then mail the signed & dated original to your local registration office/police department/sheriffs station – send it CERTIFIED (& with a RETURN RECEIPT postcard for your records!!) Mail it approximately 28 days before your departure. That should be received by your local registering law enforcement office within 7 days since it is sent via first class certified mail (thus it will be received prior to the 21-day advance travel notification deadline as you will see verified on the Return Receipt postcard you’ll get back in the mail).
After that, it is their problem.
You have done what is required of you – you have provided them with “21-day advance travel notification” and submitted it to them. Done. Period.

After all, since when do LEOs/USMS get to change the requirements and ask for information – NOT SPECIFIED IN THE LAW – just to tickle their own fancies???
I suggest you review the specific statute, learn exactly what is required of you (travel dates? countries visiting? flight numbers? whatever). Provide all AND only what the law requires you to submit.
And if you submit it to them – scribbled in crayon & written on toilet paper – you have fulfilled YOUR requirements of providing them written 21-day advance travel notification.

(I travel to Europe each year [from California] and I have always completed and submitted the same CA DOJ form. I have NEVER been asked or required to send my charges, circumstances of crime, victim information, etc. [As you will see on the original CA DOJ form, your local law enforcement includes
both your CII number and your FBI file number which your local LEOs complete & provide to USMS [not you]. They already have all that information in their databases.)
⭐ So f*ck them and their new U.S. Marshals Service form! ⭐

(On a personal note, I sympathize and completely understand how dredging up & documenting that information from so long ago is traumatizing to you. Doing so would certainly be traumatizing to me as well. After all, we have paid our debt to society and we are now doing everything we can to leave the past behind and move forward with our lives.
Twenty plus years of the Harassment Registry and its add-on bullshit requirements is long enough!! 😡😡😡

Thank you David for all your information and suggestions. If I had had more than 5 minutes to think through this little dilemma, I may have tried to do some different things, but they were literally standing there waiting for me to fill out the form, and I was highly stressed.

If I manage to get through this trip unscathed, my next travel plan isn’t until May, so by then there should be more experiences we can look at to come up with better counter-measures, such as what you have suggested above.

(Also, it is possible that not all California registration offices have changed to the new form).

@ Mike G: A postscript to my previous comment: As a possible alternative, you could request a copy of one if the 21-day advance travel notification form which you previously submitted in past years from your registering agency office. If you have a copy of that form, it should include on it the CII and FBI file numbers that your local agency was required to submit. You could then put those numbers into the new US Marshals form in any place where they ask for you for details of your convictions/crimes/victims, etc.
You could do that….. if you wanted to be nice. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Mike G – are you presently required by Federal SORNA to register? Unless there’s a separate state-level obligation to provide the Notice of Travel, if you’re no longer required by the Federal SORNA to register then this 21-day notice is not required.

i would assume that it’s likelier than not that your form was properly routed and that you should be fine as far as this notice goes if indeed you’re under an obligation to provide it. if you’re actively under a state or federal obligation to provide this notice, then it would’ve been a good idea to at least take a picture of the completed form in case there’s an issue.

good luck and please do report back after your travel!

California registrants are required by their registering offices to file a 21 day notice, but until now, I guess, the CA-DOJ form was sufficient.

SORNA is a big federal can of worms. There have been many discussions saying things like there are only 16 or 17 SORNA compliant states, but that is not quite true. There may be only that many that are FULLY compliant, but almost all states are at least partially SORNA compliant, some almost fully, according to the chart on the SORNA website. It seems that each state can pick and choose which parts of SORNA that want to comply with, and which parts they choose to ignore. California is not Fully SORNA compliant, but they are compliant with many parts of SORNA, including the 21-day notice.

Gosh, this sounds exactly how EVERY law enforcement office that I have ever encountered operates outside of the law. Where I live, the criminal regime has listed all the information that a PFR is forced to give them. It is written in the laws. Yet, as simple as that is, I have not seen ANY law enforcement that is capable of simply operating within the law and actually not commit crimes. Not a single one, for decades.

Is this the same case? The idiotic laws should spell out exactly what is required and nothing extra should be allowed. It really isn’t that hard. Unless you are a big government idiot employee who thinks they can just “wing it” and do whatever they feel like on any given day.

I like and probably will use David’s suggestion, take the CII and FBI file numbers and say that all details are available to the requesting agency through these official records which are better and more accurate than my faulty memory.

You could then put those numbers into the new US Marshals form in any place where they ask for you for details of your convictions/crimes/victims, etc.

I feel for Mike G as do all of us…we navigate these things as best we can…but as I remember when I was traveling a lot (Pre IML 2016) Secondary Officers frequently asked me the details of my…(crime?)…of my situational occurrence and I would dodge the questions always…”my memory is weak in these regards.”

I don’t write about it here, but I do not consider what happened in my life to be a crime at all…though certainly I violated numerous CA statutes….and to be honest here, what I did was bad, (more or less), So? Life happens to all of us.

Best Wishes, James I

PS a special thank you to Mike for giving us a heads up on this new form.

Thanks James! I know you have been through a lot (I’ve read your book). I only hope we can both get off the California registry, and hope that is enough to avoid most of this travel BS.

“The IRRITATING part is that you must list all the sexual related crimes you have been convicted of, dates of conviction, jurisdiction of the offenses, AND list the ages and sex of all your victims, and what your relationship is to each victim.”

That may be irritating, but what is the law?

AS IF they don’t already have that information instantly at their finger tips! Yet one more reason why I consider that we are, essentially, banned from travel.

For federal the requirement is to provide information relating to intended travel of the sex offender outside the United States, including any anticipated dates and places of departure, arrival, or return, carrier and flight numbers for air travel, destination country and address or other contact information therein, means and purpose of travel, and any other itinerary or other travel-related information required by the Attorney General.

and

Any other information required by the Attorney General (regarding registering overall which is quite broad).

Personally I’d be careful giving out too much information beyond what they easily know. For example, my NICS record does not disclose all of the data requested so I would be providing some information they don’t actually have. The NICS record has only an ‘offense code’ and the code more or less points to the state statute violated For example, in my case the code provides an age range (not actual age but the range of the ages for the statute violated) of the victim and whether the victim was known or not at the time of the offense. It then also states the state statute number, subdivision of the statute and part of the subdivision violated.

So this code, at least in my case does not give NICS the specific actual AGE of the victim nor does it specify some of the other details requested on that form.

The SMART office says that what is on the USMS form is what has to be disclosed but I’m not so sure that all of that is required. https://smart.ojp.gov/sorna/notice-international-travel Has the Attorney General specifically required the other data that isn’t in the U.S.C. to be collected? I’m not sure but I can’t find anything specific in the federal register that says that is to be collected. Maybe someone else can shed some light on it but unless its somewhere, I sure wouldn’t give it.

I’ll also point out that the SMART office says this:

“When a notification of international travel is received, USMS-NSOTC will provide the notification information to INTERPOL Washington, who will then communicate it to law enforcement partners at the intended foreign travel destination(s).”

This is interesting because I thought part of their argument when Janice tried to go after IML was that they said the law said they “may” send notifications not “will” send out notifications. This seems contrary to what the government has previously argued and also violates the INTERPOL rule, at least if sent as a green notice, that such communications require a risk assessment. They are admitting that a risk assessment isn’t actually being done.

I was actually referring to the NCIC not NICS. I confused the two.

Thanks MC

MC -So are you saying that we should respond to the age question with the age range in the statute instead of the actual age of the victim, for those of us who have an age range crime (“under the age of 16”).

You don’t think they might consider that sort of response impermissibly evasive? And then trigger something?

Thanks.

Last edited 4 days ago by Finally Retired

Absent a state requirement to provide more you need not supply more than the information relating to intended travel of the sex offender outside the United States, including any anticipated dates and places of departure, arrival, or return, carrier and flight numbers for air travel, destination country and address or other contact information therein, means and purpose of travel, and any other itinerary or other travel-related information required by the attorney general.

Again I don’t see anywhere I’m the federal register where the Attorney General specified anything beyond this other than allowing states to have stricter requirements. Therefore I would not volunteer the information on the USMS form that is not required either by the state laws or the federal code.

We’ve discussed here before notification and what is required. Using the above ref’d website (which everyone who is either curious or is going to travel should read and heed), they call for (direct copy/paste):

Identifying Information:

  • Full name
  • Alias(es) (if applicable)
  • Date of Birth
  • Sex
  • FBI number (for Domestic Law Enforcement use only)
  • Citizenship
  • Passport number and country

Travel information:

  • Destination(s):
  • Dates/places of departure, arrival and return (if applicable), including the name of the city/town that is the point of departure from each country
  • Means of travel (air, train, ship)
  • Itinerary details (when available), including the name of the airport/train station/port, the flight/train/ship number, the time of departure, the time of arrival and information about any intermediate stops
  • Purpose(s) of Travel
  • Business
  • Deportation
  • Military
  • Relocation
  • Other (specify)
  • Criminal Record
  • Date and city, state or jurisdiction of conviction(s)
  • Offense(s) of conviction requiring registration
  • Victim information: age/gender/relationship
  • Registration jurisdiction(s) (state, tribe or territory)
  • Other
  • Contact information within destination country
  • Notifying agency and contact information

You will see what the new CA form calls for appears to be from from the website.

Now, is that in the USC for what is required? For example, look in the Fed Register text for notification times and those that are less than 21 days where it will show the power that was given to the AG by Congress to decide what they want from those who are traveling overseas. There is leeway as they give the jurisidcation the ability to decide if your less than 21 day notice is acceptable.

Meaning, Congress may not have put into the USC (the law) what is required, but left it to the AG to decide what they wanted. This was the basis for the case recently of “delegated power”.

Last edited 4 days ago by TS

States appear to be able to require more information but you will need to look in the state law to see if that is the case for the particular state. I am specifically talking about federal and a federal notification form.

Just arrived back at LAX airport today after a vacation in France.
I was sent to secondary and CPB processed five foreign nationals while they had me sit and wait for no reason at all. I was still left waiting for another 10 minutes after everyone else had been processed. Then they searched my bags and I was finally told I could leave after an entirely pointless 1 hour delay. So tomorrow I will be filing a complaint. I’m tired of this bullshit harassment! 😡

You probably have had many experiences returning through LAX Secondary, but this has one main aspect of all my returns through LAX Secondary: They assume that your time is not worth anything, so they have no reason to move things along. Our longest wait was when we were behind a foreign couple who were trying to sneak a lot of money into the country, apparently in some form of cashier’s checks. We stood there next to our luggage for an hour and a half, while right in front of us, the couple was interrogated by three agents and two of their bosses, while the couple’s luggage was gone through piece by piece. The only good thing was when it was finally our turn, the agent said, “You’ve waited long enough, just go on ahead” (with no luggage search).

Our worst wait by far was in Toronto, Canada. Most people probably don’t know that if you are returning to the US through Toronto, you go through US Customs and Secondary, right there in the Toronto airport. They kept us there for 3 1/2 hours. Their excuse was that they had to find our luggage (which was already checked through to LAX) so they could search it. After 3 1/2 hours, they brought in some luggage they had found, but it wasn’t ours, so they finally let us go. If we hadn’t had a 5 hour layover we would have missed our flight. The only upside of that experience is that our flight into LAX was considered Domestic, so we could walk off the plane and out of the terminal with no customs nor secondary to worry about.

Clearly PFRs need to fight. Personally, I file complaints all of the time, even if a process goes exactly as it should. The complaint is that the Oppression Lists (OLs) should not exist and ANY action at all related to them deserves a complaint.

I never miss any opportunity ever to show contempt and disrespect to the OLs. Every single time that I speak to anyone about them, especially law enforcement, I will talk to them about the idiocy of it for as long as I’m able (or just get tired of goofing with it!). I don’t want any interaction to seem like it is acceptable or normal. Not a one, not ever.

If the OLs must exist then the least I can do is make it as big of a problem as possible. The criminals say that I’m a problem. So that needs to be true. The worst thing PFRs can do is sit around and accept their harassment.

I’m presenting at an academic conference in France this week and for once I’m thankful for Covid making it virtual.

@ Literally Nobody: Don’t get me wrong – France was absolutely wonderful! Yes, you need to be fully vaccinated to enter the country. But in most of France – including on the streets of Paris – almost no one wears face masks. Their vaccination rate is very high.
You are, however, required to have the COVID “passe sanitaire” (QR code) in order to enter restaurants, bars, museums, etc.
(It’s the returning back to the US part that sucked. No love for CBP.)

My ten year registration requirement for a gross misdemeanor against a minor in Washington State expired July 25th, 2021, but it took two to three weeks for it to work its way through the state patrol and be officially removed. After checking a few times, and paying the $11 for each background check, it finally disappeared. I then applied for a US passport September 23, 2021 and received the Next Generation Passport today in the mail (due to expediting). It took less than four weeks.

When the passport arrived, I immediately turned to the back page, which there are only 26 pages in the new passport (but 19 blank pages for visas/stamps), and found no designation to my great surprise and pleasure. Just to make sure, I read through every word on every page to ensure there was not something I missed. Of course they likely have the information embedded in a chip somewhere, so I may not be home free.

The passport is needed as part of my application for admissibility into Canada, which I am currently working on. Now I need the FBI and UT state background checks and I am ready to submit. My attorney told me it could take two years to get a decision from Canadian immigration, but if granted, it removes the criminal inadmissibility and takes away the discretion at the border for the prior past conviction.

Hello,
As a PFR I’m to enter into the republic of Turkey for a few days to meet up with fiancée and daughter. Has anyone had any negative experience with that or been turned down cuz of background from entering Turkey? They do require an electronic visa which already applied and approved for that but I’m just curious once I get there at custom check if there’d be a different outcome?

Hi Kyle,
My name is weird because someone else was using “looking for answers” also (they were probably also looking for answers so I can’t fault them for that!)
Anyhoo, I was the one that went to Turkey in 2020. My husband is registered and he had no problems- gave his notice and we ordered the visa online. No problems whatsoever in Turkey- they are very welcoming, warm people and they don’t seem like they care about stuff like that… I guess like most of the world they are more preoccupied with real world issues, unlike the US…

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