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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.

Czech republic

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

2. Resources



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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.

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.

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?

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)

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

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?

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 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!” 😁

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?

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


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.

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.

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.

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! 😡

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.

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?

Thank you for the reply I received concerning entering Turkey. I apologize I don’t remember who contacted me but appreciate their response. Knowing you guys didn’t have any trouble entering Turkey. Before you went on the trip did you guys attempt to contact customs about your entrance into their country? I already applied for the e visa and have the approval document for that, so that should be enough outside of the notification process and COVID requirements. Should I attempt to contact customs and ask them too? Did you guys do the same thing? A part of me thinks that I don’t want to give them a reason to deny my entry if I communicate to customs in Turkey ahead of my trip just to ask them about how they would respond. My passport does not have any physical writing on it that indicates my offense. Just was curious if you guys had any advice or experience with that
Thank you!

I have a passport without the stamp. I am aware that my passport should have the stamp but the way I see it is, I was not asked if I was a sex offender on the application so do not expect me to offer the information. I plan on moving to Frankfurt in Feb. First stop is Libson and then to Madrid all by plan. I hear Columbia is turning SOs away due to the notification system but what if I entered from Germany? Would Columbia put me on a plane and send me to America if I am coming from Germany? Also, has anyone be able to enter Columbia without the stamp?

Guy, I am trying to start a group on Whatsapp to document my travels internationally.. I need others who are interested to join as well!! Let me know if interested ASAP! I leave for Portugal in Feb.

Just as an FYI, my wife and I flew to Athens, Greece, with a stopover in Amsterdam, and had no issues. I do have the marked passport, and did give 21 day notice with the stupid new US marshal’s travel form.
We have been in Greece for about a week. We expect to be in Greece for another 10 days, and then spend a week in northern Spain.
I will update if we have any issues at all.

Hello my good registrants and ONLY my good registrants (because unfortunately there are very few who are counterproductive to our goal). I am planning on traveling all across Europe starting in February and I do NOT plan on returning to the US unless for very important reasons. I am trying to start a WhatsApp group so that I can answer questions about international travel and provide assistance on what/where NOT to do/go internationally. As you all know, there are way too many grey areas with the registry requirements about what registrants can and cannot do or go. The goal of my group is to answer most of those questions by actually going through the process. I will be recording every encounter via voice or video just about every step of the way so that you all can hear what was said and which questions are answered by law enforcement. Are you interested in participating? Please comment and let’s talk about how we can eliminate all these grey areas with the registry so we can live a productive life. Again, the group will be a WhatsApp group so that I can communicate more frequently as I travel internationally starting in February!!

For Texas residents

When an offender works in a jurisdiction, but does not reside or attend school there, SORNA requires that the offender immediately appear in person to update employment-related information. When an offender attends school in a jurisdiction, but does not reside or work there, SORNA requires that the offender immediately appear in person to update school-related information. 

SORNA also requires that when an offender resides in a jurisdiction but indicates to the state that he/she intends to travel outside the United States, that the offender notify the residence jurisdiction at least 21 days in advance of such travel.

In addition, SORNA requires that when an offender notifies the jurisdiction of his intent to relocate to another country to live, work or attend school, or of his intent to travel to another country, the jurisdiction must do three things: immediately notify any other jurisdiction where the offender is either registered, or is required to register, of that updated information; immediately notify the United States Marshals Service (USMS), and immediately update NCIC/NSOR. 

Texas’ statutes and policies meet some of the SORNA requirements in this section, with notable exceptions. While registered sex offenders in Texas are required to report changes in residence in person, they are not required to report changes in name, temporary domicile, employment and school attendance in person. Furthermore, offenders are required to report to registering authorities these changes within seven days, rather than three as SORNA requires.

Additionally, Texas does not require an offender who works in another jurisdiction, but resides in Texas, to immediately appear in person to update employment-related information, nor do they require an offender who attends school in another jurisdiction, but resides in Texas, to immediately appear in person to update school-related information. Texas does not require registered sex offenders to provide 21 days’ advance notice when an offender indicates intention to relocate or travel to another country; however, the USMS is notified of intended international travel.

Because Texas does not require immediate in-person updating of required information and does not require 21 days’ advance notice of an offender’s intent to relocate or travel to another country, Texas does not meet the SORNA requirements of this section. 

If I am reading correct, I could send email to the registration that I will be traveling within 21 days and see what they will say and if they require any information from me.

IV. Required Registration Information

SORNA requires that the jurisdiction collect certain pieces of information from and for each offender that it registers, and requires that the jurisdiction keep that registration information, in a digitized form, in its registry. Texas deviates from SORNA requirements in that law enforcement does not collect and keep the following information in its registry: 

• Criminal history information: date of all arrests, outstanding arrest warrants

• Palm prints (collection and submission)

• Passports and immigration documents • Photographs (taken only once per year)

• Temporary lodging information: dates of travel • Text of the registration offense

• Vehicle information: aircraft, watercraft and permanent or frequent location where all vehicles are kept. 

These deviations do not substantially disserve the purposes of the SORNA requirements in this section. 

Does that mean I could avoid giving my passport information?

If so, then I have better chance not getting those green notices or having my passport flagged If they dont upload that information on local registry and the national registry.

Here is the source –

I am due for passport renewal and wont mention my conviction. If I get a revocation letter for my travels then I will follow the process. Otherwise I will enjoy as much freedom I can get before I get flagged down.

Does ANYONE else have any stories about being pulled off of a flight for NOT having the identifier in your passport? I am documenting answers so please be honest and give details..

Does anyone have any knowledge on other countries scanning passports upon arrival by way of boat? I am looking into taking a ferry from South Spain into Tangier Morocco. Any information is useful information. I am working on a documentary series which will show videos of my travel experiences as a registered SO. Thanks.

So I spoke with the Spain embassy and they told me I would have to obtain a criminal background check from “my country” in order to apply for the Non-Lucrative Visa. I contacted the police department in my city and they told me that the only background check they can give me are for my crimes that have happened within my own city (which my crime was in another city). I guess my question is…… Is Spain meaning to require a background check from the FBI or will they not really know the difference if I just obtain the background check from my local PD?

No problem traveling by car to Mexico through the Lukeville Port of Entry in Arizona.
The Border Patrol in the USA stopped me once and had me sit in their waiting room as they rummaged thru my vehicle ( damaging some plastics ) but no problems afterwards. I did not like driving thru the X-ray machine though. Rocky Point travelers must be outraged at being exposed to radiation by our beloved useless government .

I may move to Mexico as obtaining a Permanent Resident Status or Temporary isn’t too hard if u have a decent bank account numbers for the past year and can provide proof.
USA sucks with the commies currently destroying it daily with criminal invaders and arming the Taliban and assisting enemies Russia and China

Is a registered person with no conviction eligible for a TSA pre-check?

4 years ago I applied for the global entry and was denied. I did not appeal as I had no international travel plans yet scheduled.

Any RSO have information on entering croatia.
I have a job offer there.

Has anyone gotten approved for residency Visa’s with the SO label attached to your name? Need to know. Thanks in advance!

This is an FYI post regarding my (and my wife’s) travel experiences which ended when we returned to California late last night. My intention for these kind of posts is to provide encouragement to those who are afraid to travel. I am sorry if there are those who think this is some sort of bragging. I am sure there are many like us that travel much more than I do, and I wish some of them would also share their experiences. I do have a specially marked passport (which has still never been an issue), and I did give the 21 day notice on the stupid new US Marshalls form.

We flew to Amsterdam on Nov. 7. Entering EU so passport checked and stamped. No issues other than they examined my passport info on their screen a lot longer than they did my wife’s. Flew from Amsterdam to Athens. Already within the EU so a “domestic flight” (no passport checks). Took a seven day cruise of Greek islands with NCL cruise line. After that, we took a 10 day cruise, also with NCL. this cruise was supposed to hit a couple of Greek islands and then 3 stops in Turkey and 2 stops in Israel. Much to our consternation, all the stops in Turkey and Israel were cancelled due to apparent in-fighting between governments regarding Covid-19 issues (for example, Italy announced that no cruise ship that has visited Turkey would be allowed to dock in Italy), so we ended up revisiting Greek islands that we had mostly just visited (we visited the island of Crete 3 times). The only separate country we were able to visit was Cyprus. After the 2nd cruise, we flew from Athens to Madrid (again, within the EU, so a “domestic” flight with no passport checks). We toured around Madrid and the Basque portion of northern Spain for 8 days. We then flew from Madrid to Barcelona to catch our previously scheduled flight to San Francisco, only to find that our flight had been cancelled. After hours on the phone with Priceline in the Barcelona airport and at the hotel we had to check into, we managed to secure flights for the next day. Unfortunately, the flights required a change of planes at Heathrow in London. I determined that we would be arriving at Heathrow and departing Heathrow in different terminals, and I was extremely concerned about having my passport scanned in the UK for reasons most of you are aware. Our passports were scanned and stamped when we left Barcelona, since we were leaving the EU, but when we reached Heathrow, I was pleasantly surprised that they managed to move us in-transit passengers from Terminal 3 to Terminal 5 by bus while containing us in the pseudo in-transit secured area, so there was no passport scan (whew!). Of course we had the usual Secondary Inspection dance when we got to SFO, but when we told the inspector that we were returning from celebrating our 44th anniversary in Europe, he actually became very friendly, and ended up searching only one of our bags, while asking us all about our trip. We were only delayed about 10 minutes.

Also stressful during this trip was all the Covid-19 issues. We had to be fully vaccinated to enter most countries and get on the cruise ships. We had to have special paperwork (with QR codes) for Netherlands, Greece, Cyprus, Spain, and a form to return to the US. We were tested for Covid-19 eight times during our trip, and of course, masks were required most all the time (having to wear masks for me is like a microcosm of restrictions with too many similarities to being on the registry, but I guess that is just me – some people enjoy wearing masks!). It was kind of weird to have to pull out and show your vaccination record to enter a museum and many restaurants.

Don’t forget to submit your 21-Day Advance Travel Notification!! And keep a signed receipt copy with you when you travel (because you may need it when CBP sends you to “secondary” upon returning to the U.S.)

Man Charged with Failure to Report International Travel as a Sex Offender

Last edited 6 months ago by David⚜️

Is there any other group of free U.S. citizens from whom such an Advanced Travel Notification is required??? 🤔

Oh how it feels to be free and legal !!!

I was searching online about going to Hong Kong they will stop you and question you but I heard they will let you in, Can anyone help me verify this.

✈️ Upon return from recent travel to Europe, CBP sent me to “Secondary” (as usual 🙄). This time, I have submitted a complaint to CBP and have requested a “Redress Number.”
I find the delays very annoying, so I am going to push back whenever/wherever I can. If you annoy & frustrate me, I am going to annoy & frustrate you. ✈️

I am dropping the article below here for your reading leisure because as international travelers, I believe it gives some insight to what PFRs are possibly subject to when they travel given their mystique and what a PFR could be up against by CBP.

For example, there are the CBP Databases: CBP’s Automated Targeting System, a tool that compares travelers against law enforcement and intelligence data; TECS, which tracks people entering and exiting the country; the Treasury Department’s FinCEN, used for identifying financial crimes; and the State Department consular database, which included details of her passport application.

Also, there is the collection of your information unknowingly by DOMEX, a program that collects information from the contents of a person’s electronic device when they cross a U.S. border. The controversial program sweeps up everything from phone contacts and emails to the contents from encrypted messaging apps and social media. (One of the reccos made here is to send back your personal electronic devices if you can and don’t mind being without them for the return trip.)

Operation Whistle Pig: Inside the secret CBP unit with no rules that investigates Americans

The ultimate goal guys is not to run or evade any laws but to completely comply with them and do an about face moving on to conduct business as usual. Give them the notification in person by mail or through email ( however they think they want it). By then they will have their nerves calmed and you will be the last thing on their radars!

The comments below reflect your experiences and they’ve been informative. Yes they shouldn’t have Schindlers list, but two men created a political firestorm (John Walsh’s son was kidnapped and Megan was severely harmed.) If we cannot neutrally examine what happened we see our own mistakes as they are at blame. If you have committed the crime there’s no blame shifting! In cognitive intervention they teach you to accept responsibility for your actions. Take their classes and ask the Judge to remove you. Prove that you’re not really the monsters they believe you are. Show rehabilitation and don’t just let your lawyer talk. You have the right to speaking with the Court. Your public defender may say no but if you are quiet you won’t get fed! Learn to defend yourself and instead of traveling spend money on your lawyers to make the problem go away. There’s nothing final! God speaks man listens.

New ETIAS being implemented soon,,,
European travel permit

More ETIAS information can be found in these two articles:

Europe Travel: Why/When You’ll Need The New ETIAS Document (U.S. Travelers Included)

1.4 Billion People Obliged to Apply for an ETIAS When Travelling to EU by End of 2022

Are you required to bring in a physical passport when giving 21 day notice of international travel? I’m asking because the information from the SMART office is only asking for the passport number. Not the physical passport itself. I am aware that they require physical copies of flight itinerary.

My registering officer seems to think I am going to provide him with extra details that I am not required to give him. #WrongAnswer

2 more weeks and I’m out of America! Passport without stamp… No revoke letter in the mail ever… Wish me luck

I moved to Mexico 3 years ago, and I basically just fell off the website…Now I am wondering if I can return to California for a day trip to seek medical attention, do I have to give 21 day notice, and if so, to whom do i do this with?

This involves all aircraft travel not just international but this article explains a bit about how information is sent between airlines and the TSA to flag people for additional screening at security checkpoints…. “When you book a plane ticket in today’s digitized world, your airline submits your name, gender, and date of birth to the TSA for clearance”.

So the TSA doesn’t seem to do so now but I’m wondering how long before PFRs are designated SSSS so that they can be harassed just like they are when entering this country by CBP.

Air travelers may find this interesting:
What to Know If An SSSS Code Shows Up on Your Boarding Pass

I found more detailed, official ETIAS information. These are official websites (and in the first case, the actual law) rather than third-party. The usual disclaimer applies that I am not an EU immigration lawyer.

It seems ETIAS could prove problematic for some registrants. Note, I just say “problematic”; we will need actual cases to really have a sense of it. What any of the below will do is trigger manual (human) review by the member state at which you will be entering Schengen, not result in automatic denial, and there is an appeals process. This is based on the actual ETIAS implementation law, which can be found here:

Supporting FAQ:

In terms of the questions asked on the application, there will be a question if the applicant has been convicted in the last 10 years “and if so when and in which country”, of any offenses covered in the annex related to Article 17(4)(a) including, pertinent to registrants’ situations:

* Annex 3: sexual exploitation of children and child pornography
* Annex 10: computer-related crime/cybercrime
* Annex 22: rape

If the answer is yes, you will be asked (unspecified) additional questions.

It seems on my understanding that this component relates to the ETIAS Watchlist, one of the component databases for which a “ping” triggers manual review. So possibly, the way it works is that first, upon your first initial application, you answer the question. If it’s yes, you are asked additional questions. It then gets subject to manual review by the state you are planning to enter via, and presumably you are added to the watchlist (if you renew some time later and the time since the conviction is greater than 10 years, maybe you are removed from the watchlist, but I need to read the rest more carefully).

A complication here is that the definition of “serious criminal offense” (Article 3(16)) includes the qualification “if it is punishable under national law by a custodial sentence or a detention order for a maximum period of at least three years.” It is not clear whether “national law” refers to the national law of the state of origin (US) or of the destination member state: in most of the rest of the document “national law” is used in the context of “of the member state,” but “national law” is not an explicitly defined term. Perhaps this is part of the point of the additional questions answered in connection with the above: for the destination member state, in its manual review, to decide if the US offense is equivalent to any of theirs, if so which one, and then what to do about it. They may request supporting documents.

Another database that triggers manual review is INTERPOL TDAWN, which is the one associated with the green notices. However, I am not sure if this will be any more relevant than it has been in the past, since the notices are triggered by our actual or imminent travel, which they already get anyway, and would presumably occur after ETIAS authorization so would remain a matter of manual review at the border.

How relevant any of the above ends out being of course remains to be seen. I am once again not an EU immigration lawyer, but it seems likely that, if your conviction is more than 10 years old, things are probably not gonna be much different than they already are due to the 21-day notification, because presumably they get a lot of information about us from that anyway (although God knows exactly what the feds send them). If your conviction is 10 years old or less, you will have to jump through some extra hoops, the outcome of which will probably be case-by-case.

so what happens here in california when you’re off the registry and you do international travel?

I am no longer on a registry in the USA because I no longer live there. Most countries only bar registered sex offenders. I am now deregistered. Do you guys think I can now go into that country like the UK. Also, do green notices expire? When I went to Hong Kong I was still flagged and let through. What about now that I no longer live and register in the USA, Will the green notice still be active?

Does anyone have report(s) or awareness of instances of denied entry to Mexico AFTER being removed from the registry? Thanks.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x