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General NewsInternationalInternational Travel

International Travel 2022

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 2021, International Travel 2020 and International Travel 2019.

In this International Travel 2022 post, the information is identical to the International Travel 2021 post. We added a new post for 2022 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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Okay, so I’m tired of waiting for my long term visa to approve as they have held my passport at the Director Generals office for three months now. Not sure what’s taking so long to get the signature.

But it’s messing with my other visa which is actually more important to me as it’s where I make most of my income.

So gonna go the the headquarters tomorrow in the capital to see what the holdup is. Like the local office has just been waiting to get my passport back but someone at the tippy top is holding it(probably because u did it the way you’re supposed to instead of bribery 🙃) will let you know how it turns out.

This is potentially not good:
UK signs deal to share police biometric database with US border guardsOfficials could access data to make immigration decisions, European Parliament report suggests

An article was posted about this here earlier, namely the US DHS wanting biometric police data from European countries as a condition of the visa-free travel program. While the headline of this article is about the UK signing up (to the surprise of no one and that doesn’t affect us), the important part is within the article: as an effect of declining to join the scheme, at least some EU member states may reciprocally end visa-free travel for Americans.

Note that ETIAS is not a visa and probably would not affect most people here. This, on the other hand, could prove much more problematic. How problematic remains to be seen given that registrants have obtained long term visas and residence permits in a few EU countries already, but it is an unfortunate potential development.

Hi. I am planning to travel to Germany and the Czech Republic in one week. I have not submitted any paperwork to any government body or agency. What are the implications? Any suggestions from the community? Thanks for your help.

What I’m waiting to hear back on is from someone that was successfully removed from the registry and then subsequently travels. Mostly, upon return, how are they treated by customs. Despite having to provide 21-day notice, INTERPOL alerts, etc, Customs is still going to scan your passport and get past criminal info. Will be interesting.

There’s still confusion over IML, so let me try to clarify. Please check my math.

There are three components in IML -the passport marker, the 21-day Notice of International Travel, and the Green Notices that may be sent out when you travel. They each apply differently.

The 21-day Notice applies only if you’re still required *under Federal SORNA* to register. That is, you need to determine your offense’s Federal tier and calculate if you’re still required to register *under SORNA* (tier 1 = 10 or 15 years, tier 2 = 25 years, tier 3 =lifetime registration). So, if you’re tier 1 and more than 10 years have passed since conviction (if you weren’t incarcerated), and you maintained a clean record, then you no longer have to register under Federal SORNA and do NOT have to provide this 21-Day Notice as far as *Federal SORNA* goes (check with your State to see if they nevertheless require this Notice). If you were incarcerated then the 10 years starts to run upon your release date (from confinement). The *Federal* obligation per your Tier automatically drops off -you don’t need to petition a Court to end your Federal obligation.

As far as the passport marker goes, it applies only if you’re still (“currently”) required to register in any state or territory and you have a sex conviction against a minor.

As far as the Green Notices go, they will send these if you have ever had a conviction against a minor OR if you still appear on the *National* registry. This would seem to mean that even if your conviction is not against a minor but still had to register in your state and you moved out of state/territory and are no longer required to register in your new state/territory, but your prior state has not removed you from its registry, you will still appear on the National Registry (because it’s just an compendium of state/territorial registries) and thus a Green Notice can be sent out to your travel destination.

IOW, each of these three IML components has its own definition of to whom it applies.

Section 5 (the “Green Notice” Section) says, “In this section, the term “sex offender” means– (1) a sex offender under SORNA; or (2) a person required to register under the sex offender registration program of any jurisdiction or included in the National Sex Offender Registry.

Section 6 of IML (the “Notice of Travel” section – “Requirement That Sex Offenders Provide International Travel Related Information To Sex Offender Registries”) says, “Whoever–(1) is required to register under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (42 U.S.C. 16901 et seq.)… As such, the notice provision appears to only apply to those who are required to register under SORNA (federal requirement and not merely another jurisdiction).

Finally, Section 8 of IML covers the “UNIQUE PASSPORT IDENTIFIERS FOR COVERED SEX OFFENDERS.” While the title suggests the identifiers apply to “covered sex offenders” as defined in the definition section of IML (and would be “offense based”), Section 8 has it’s own definition of “covered sex offender”, which is: “(1) the term `covered sex offender’ means an individual who–(A) is a sex offender, as defined in section 4(f) of the International Megan’s Law to Prevent Child Exploitation and Other Sexual Crimes Through Advanced Notification of Traveling Sex Offenders; and (B) is currently required to register under the sex offender registration program of any jurisdiction;” In other words, the “branded passport” would apply to registrants currently required to register under the sex offender registration program of any jurisdiction who have a conviction against a minor.

I’m trying to go to Croatia in September. Family trip of chartering a sailboat. Like in other countries where we come through sail or nautical ports. Do I need an IML? I went to Japan, Visa in China, and then New Zealand I’ve the course of 3 years 2019-2022 Never did one and never need a new passport. My passport expires in 2018.
Although, every time at LAX or OHD, I’m through second check. Duh!! Only takes 10 min. Easy peasy. I’m a tier 1 647. Misdemeanor “annoying a minor!” 1 year from being off list. I sexted a 15 year old when I was 18 in Highschool. I turned 18 and dad pressed charges. Thoughts?? So scared and I thought I can travel anywhere and be free after probation. 9 years later. I have 1 year left on tier 1. Thank guys.

I wish you all the best and care very much of equal rights. Biden and Kamala does not help. Lol.

I had posted earlier on my planned trip to India to see my sick elderly mother (92-year-old) and the troubles in getting Indian visa (I’m a naturalized US citizen). I’m a Tier 1 sex offender (possession of CP). My e-visa was rejected, but the paper tourist visa (10-year multiple entry) was approved by the Indian consulate in New York. The application format is the same in both cases, but paper visa application required additional documents to be mailed along with the passport. I did include a letter explaining the need and the purpose for my trip. The visa is stamped on my passport.

I will be giving the 21-day notification to the local state police as required by the IML. I have booked my flight tickets and will be in India for 2 weeks (early October 2022). What are the chances that I will not be allowed entry into Chennai (India port of entry) and be asked to return to USA right away?

I have another concern: I applied for a new passport in January 2022 and included a letter identifying myself as a sex offender and requesting that the passport be issued according to IML. I received the new passport, but there is no “unique identifier” anywhere in the passport. When I received my naturalization certificate back from the passport office in a separate mail, there was a standard letter from DHS/ICE indicating that my passport is being issued with the identifier since I’m a RSO. I will be carrying this letter along with my passport during travel to India in case any questions asked. Do you see any issues with this passport situation? Thanks.

I know flying to Mexico is out, but what about driving through Mexico? I’ve heard mixed things. Was thinking of buying a junker at the border, driving to the city, dumping the car, and then flying back.

Coming back from an Ensenada, MX bus trip, I was sent to secondary inspection. Fortunately the agent, after a few questions, sent on my way back to the bus. Although I was mentally & physically prepared for anything, being able to continue the bus trip was a plus. Any other experiences on the TJ border?

Frustrating! So I figured I would check my FBI criminal record before planning a trip abroad to be sure the included information is accurate, and sure enough it’s not. I was charged back in the mid 90s with non-contact indecent exposure with a minor but the charge appears in the record as “fondling.”

Has anyone noticed the same with their FBI record? Do the marshals pull from the FBI, or directly from the National registry?

I wonder if any of this might make any difference as far as green notices or secondary or really anything having to do with IML/foreign travel. For one, the distinction would seem to impact my Federal tier designation. I’m tier 1 based on my actual charge and sentence, whereas fondling would probably bump me up….

Looking over the record the problem seems to be with the reported NCIC Offense Code by the State -it’s listed as 3601 (fondling, child victim) instead of 3614 (Indecent Exposure to minor).

Everything else is accurate, including my sentence to strictly probation.

There is a process for challenging errors in the report and I plan to do that at some point. I have to dig up my charging and court docs and submit those along with explanation. Agh.

Any new updates on places allowing registrants inside their country? I’m tired of hearing about Europe. We all know it’s a go. What about South Africa? Or any other major industrial country. I’m also curious to know about Egypt, Morocco, or any sub Saharan African country. But I think the biggest piece of information would be from a registrant who got into the country of Georgia. Americans can stay there visa free for 1 year. Plus the cost of living there is super cheap. Being able to live there would make a huge difference for Americans stuck on the registry.

Can someone tell me exactly how vague or specific the IML notice actually is. For instance, is it like the passport stamp that says only that you committed an offense without actually telling what offense or the adjudication of the offense. Or does the notice give all the parameters, such as type of offense original date, adjudication, etc. I figure the more vague the notice is, the less chance of a country actually taking the time to give you an opportunity to challenge them if they refuse entry. Especially since so many of the offenses here aren’t even considered offenses in some of the countries denying access.
I bet Mexico would be surprised to learn they denied access to someone for exposing themselves, when you can walk down any T.J. Street and see at least three guys pissing on a wall in front of a bar.

Last edited 18 days ago by Along for the ride

So what about Thailand and Philippines? What’s the best route to get into those counties? I just to visit those counties with no problem when I was a contractor overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2008 to 2013. Can you go into Europe first then go to one of them counties? So you can avoid the US Marshalls sending them F-up’ed notices.

Last edited 11 days ago by F-Texas

Hey everyone, I have a few questions and a comment after my recent travel to Mexico. First off, I was told by the registration office in Fresno that the form that is attached on this page for 21 day notice is no longer the form we need. The detective told me that the form I had was old (I printed the one from here), he said that was the form they used to use a while back. He also said that the old way was that we fill out the form, turn it in and it goes in our file just in case US Customs/Immigration calls
to see if we gave notice. He said that they really never got a call from anyone. The new form is a US Marshall’s Form, he told me that they have to fax it in to the US Marshall’s office now (which he said is a big pin in the ass for them), so he gave me the right form to fill out. I asked him where I could find the new form and he wasn’t sure, he said the US Marshall’s supplied the form for them. So, just an FYI, I don’t think the 2016 form works anymore!

Secondly, everything went great in Mexico, and when I came back to the US, I was sent to secondary (I fully expected that), when the agent ran my passport he said, what are the last 4 of your Social. I gave it to him and he said, have you ever been in trouble before, to which I said yes. He said, do you have anything to declare, I said no and he sent me on my way, the whole thing was less than 3 minutes, so he was cool about it! My question is, with Tiered Registry in California, once I am removed from the registry (hopefully any day now, just waiting for the judge to sign my paperwork) will my passport still be flagged upon re-entry? Will green notices still be sent when leaving the country? I guess what I am wondering is, does all of that trigger because I have to register or because I have a conviction? If anyone knows the answer, I’d love to know!! Thanks!

Hello people! I am curious to know if anyone has been successful entering Colombia? Please comment story below!! This is urgent

So this has been very confusing for all of us and finding a direct answer has proven to be impossible so lets have this discussion…

To those of you who watch my videos, you know that I was living abroad for almost 5 months before returning to the U.S. to get treatment for my medical condition. Before returning, I emailed the U.S. Marshals office to see if I would be required to report international travel when I leave the U.S. again and their response was that I am NOT required to report international travel under IML if I am not required to register during the time I was seeking treatment. So I returned to the U.S. and got my treatment in less than the time that would require me to register in Texas and I left for a state that does NOT require me to register. Now I am leaving the U.S. in a few days and I’m hearing a couple of people say that I am still required to report international travel federally even though the U.S. Marshals office says the complete opposite…. Someone please clear this up and provide links if possible. Attached below is a screenshot of the email the U.S. Marshals office sent me.


Of all the things I’ve educated myself on about the registry, travel and notification, one thing has eluded me. That is, How do you petition to be removed from the Federal SORNA registry, if in fact you actually need to. I found info and guidelines about each state, but not SORNA.

Planning first international travels as RSO. My plan is to visit CROATIA, SPAIN, and PORTUGAL. Flying into Zagreb, Croatia and then flying to Barcelona, Spain. Train to Portugal and then fly back to the USA from Portugal. Still on probation for another 2 years (offense 3 years ago). I have my probation officer’s approval for the trip. I have finished court required counseling.  

I have been told these countries should NOT be a problem. Has anyone recently visited any of these countries? And RSO travel issue? Any tips for my travel?

Someone recently suggested I should fly into Germany and then train to Croatia, Spain, and/or Portugal. This technically is possible, but would be a significant time delay. Is entering Europe by flying to Germany critical for RSO travel success?

I will notify the USA at least 21 day prior to my international travel (International Megan’s Law), but what about notification / registration once in Croatia, Spain and Portugal? I am required to notify local authorities in any way once I pass through customs? You know, like when I travel from Texas to California for more than 7 days, I have to notify local Texas and California authorities. 

21 Day Notice Questions (International Megan’s Law)
I found a federal outline of required info for the 21 Day notification – website. Any tips on how much detail to provide – assume one should provide requested information as efficiently as possible. Try not to be overly detailed. 

One section of the outline requests “Contact information within destination country” – that is my contact info?? What about  “Notifying agency and contact information” – is that local Croatia, Spain, and Portugal contact info?? If so, where do I find that information?

Another section requests “Purpose of Travel: Business, Deportation, Military, Relation, Other (specify)” I am going for vacation. Is that a problem? I expect to report “Other – Vacation”. Is travel easier if you select “Business” for example? 

What if my itinerary changes mid trip, for example I stay in one place longer or shorter than planned. Or flights get canceled and I have to fly a day or two later back to the USA. Do I have to update the 21 day notice once I am on my trip?

Overall anything else I should know before I head to Europe in October?


Full web link for the 21 day notice outline:

Does anyone know if a misdemeanor charge in California, with a sentence of 2 years informal probation would get you the passport mark?

Just wanted to share an international travel experience- went to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan with a stop in Germany on the way. My husband is the PFR and gave his 21 day notice. Kazak officials did stare at his passport and stare at the screen a million times, asked for another form of ID but we couldn’t figure out if it was because he doesn’t look like his passport photo or because of a notice. They brought several other officers into the booth, eventually bringing in a supervisor. They asked why we were there and when we said to visit a friend they said “Welcome to Kazakhstan, have a good visit!” No issues at all in Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan is really quite magical, I would recommend Samarkand.
The somewhat surprising thing was that the German officials held MY passport (not my husbands) and brought in a supervisor to look at it because I have an Iraqi Visa from DoD Contractor work. But they didn’t blink an eye with him, which seems to be typical for Germany. Still, their reaction to my passport was interesting.
I will of course update on any other travels in the future!

Question: Have you ever visited a country where they hold onto your passport?
If so, what country ?
And who held the passport (the hotel/resort where you stayed, local police department, city hall or mayor’s office)??
Just curious. Thanks! 👍🏻

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x