International Travel 2023

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 2022, International Travel 2021, International Travel 2020 and International Travel 2019.

In this International Travel 2023 post, the information is identical to the International Travel 2022 post. We added a new post for 2023 in order to keep the discussion manageable. Please help us by sticking to the topic of International Travel only.

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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 activation of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) for such travelers, beginning sometime in 2023 – 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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Happy New Year! And all the blessings to my registrant family. I’d like to offer my first warning to anyone planning to travel to southern Africa. I barely dodged a bullet by taking a side trip from Johannesburg to Gaborone. I canceled my ticket after finding out that Botswana has just enacted a sex offender registry. All foreign visitors upon entry are required to report their offense to an officer who forwards that information to the high Commissioner of Police who records your details in a registry. Since my cp offense is covered under their criminal code, I’d would have to register if I’m allowed in the country. So there you go, but not surprising since Botswana has a history of bowing to western and colonial influence. Cheers!

Although I am no longer required to register (Pennsylvania) I hesitate to travel Internationally. I did get a new passport about 4 months ago and have been off the registry in Penn since 2018. My passport does not have that disgusting phrase on the last page but I still worry that I will be detained in a foreign country and returned on the next flight to the US.

Actually I am scared to travel outside the boundaries of Penn for that same reason. I want to plan a trip to Colorado by plane and then drive to the Grand Canyon and fly back to PA from there but really hesitate. I would have to read up on the laws of every state I drive through including Colorado to be sure that I don’t end up getting arrested for not registering in that state just for being there – what a shame. I am being detained in my own state for fear of confinement. I don’t date cross the boarders of Penn.

I know this is the International travel section but couldn’t find on on domestic travel so I’ll ask here.
Is it possible to travel DOMESTICALLY with a driver’s license instead of a passport since I have the stamp on mine? I have the REAL ID license already. Is that breaking any laws/rules for RSO’s?

Just filled out the IML form.

No endorsement on my passport and am looking forward to the trip. A lot of comments here have been very encouraging to go to France.

Gotta love the registration officer was like “my partner informed me that people have been turned away.” When I pressed, she immediately got defensive. You’ve got to love that these people love to get under your skin, but can’t admit this whole scheme is useless.

Also, super funny that you can do IML over the phone but the annual you have to go in person? That doesn’t make sense.

Hey guys

Does anyone have experience traveling to St Croix, Virgin Islands? I understand that residents are listed on their registry but I’m trying to find out if visitors will also appear on the registry after checking in with their local Department of Justice.

Their local Department of Justice doesn’t answer the phone and messages sent via the contact form on their website seem to be received by the “territorial sex offender investigator” who won’t give out this kind of info.

Short of seeking out an attorney there for advice, finding this out has proven difficult so far.

Sharing my experience that concluded just last night. My employer scheduled a meeting in Mexico that I was told I had to attend. I did everything I could to wiggle out of it, short of airing my dirty laundry but no luck. Applied for a passport and got it in just over two weeks. Advised of international travel with my registering agency ahead of time as required. I crossed at the CBX bridge to catch a flight out of TJ and was flagged for secondary. Told my traveling companion to go ahead and I’d catch up. Was left in a side room until about 5 minutes after the flight was scheduled and then they explained I would not be admitted due to some legal issues I have with the US government that has to be cleared up. In other words, politely vague. Most concerning is I was handed a document in Spanish that they said they did not have in Engish and they would not transate it. Against my better judgement I signed it. I was not even allowed to get a copy of the document but I was allowed to take a picture of it. I was escorted back by two MX agents on each side back to the US side and that was that. I was asked what happened by my business colleagues and I explained there was an issue with my passport and that was that. Except some people wanted more info as to what was wrong and I said I would have to square things away with the Mexican Consulate because they show me or someone with my likeness on their no fly list.

I’m offering this up because in addition to the extreme humiliation there is also the potential awkwardness you may have to deal with, maybe with friends, your employer, or even family. I don’t condone lying and this was my way of staying truthful but vague.

As for the document, my wife was able to translate it and it said I was refused entry because my name is registered on a national security watch list and that I acknowledge.

My wife thinks there may be a way to resolve this if I dealt with the consulate because over 30 years have passed. I don’t think she realizes nobody is inclined to lift a finger going out of their way for us.

US to Mexico in May ’21. Not sure if it is still the same. This video at 12:00 minutes.

I’m going to try international travel one more time. The last time I discovered that Honduras wants nothing to do with us. I tried visiting the island of Routan Honduras a few years ago and was sent back home and told never to return. This time I am attempting Aruba on February 5. I gave my required 21 day notice with all flights, times dates and where I am staying. Aruba is a Dutch island and supposedly no problem for us to visit. I am trying to stay optimistic but I’m ready for disappointment. Aruba is where I chose to be when I ask my girlfriend to marry me.

I sent my unexpired passport along with the renewal form and a letter stating I was requesting the replacement passport to carry the mark and the fee for expedited service on December !6. Hopefully it will be back in time. The state department website indicated initially it had been received and was in process. Now it said no status available. The check cleared so I’m hopeful

“Notorious” has correctly noted that many things related to how our government tries to limit our travel are in a black box and thus unknowable to us at this time….but from various accounts here it seems well established that the way to legally get into countries that would ordinarily barr us if we went directly from the USA is to go through a third country as a last-minute thing, which would not require us filing a travel notice that would then trigger a formal notice from the Feds.

That seems to be a tried way to traveling to these other countries…but would exclude countries with direct access to our FBI files like Canada, Australia, Britain, New Zealand, Japan. Mexico? (Although it’s been noted that we can enter Mexico by land).

but with this going-through-third-countries approach we can get into South American countries and much of Asia.

anyone: please advice if any contrary experiences out there to what I just said.

Just got denied entry into Jordan. The guy said there is an interpol black list and he did make several phone calls before apologizing and saying he would have to send us back.

Does anyone have information regarding travel to costa rica? Offense was not minor related and nothing on the passport. Obviously will give the 21 day notice. We own property there if it makes a difference. The consulate there was non commital in their response either way

I am planning on taking my first international trip in over a decade since I was removed last year from the registry in California. I am still listed on the Florida SO registry website (and thus show up on the National SO registry) – however, as I have not lived in the state for 17 years I do not actively register there. Just as thousands of others who are listed but do not live there and thus do not update their info, my info has not been updated since I left the state in 2005 so it is not accurate.

I have a new passport without the stamp and I have confirmed that I am NOT required to give advanced notice of travel so I figure that my chances are good for traveling. My question is has anyone traveled to Turkey and what was that experience like? I realize that each case is different but I am wanting to know if anyone was turned away…detained…or any other significant informational experience about travel to Turkey.

I’m always quite anxious 😥 when dealing with law enforcement, and feel like my status as a PFTR is like a big target on my back. Any wrong word could land me back in court.

And so one of the main things keeping me from traveling abroad is the prospect of going through SECONDARY. I just don’t look forward to being interrogated by cops.

Maybe I’m not the only one here. I would appreciate any feedback on what SECONDARY is, and what to expect based on experience.

Thank you.

@Janice and others.

It may be useful to compile a database of experiences, or at a minimum, to ask those posting about their experiences to include some basic information in their posts.

This could make it helpful to those of us planning international travel to identify those with experiences that conform most closely to their circumstances and adjust their expectations accordingly.

Specifically, it would be useful to know:

State
Destination
Conviction (Felony or Misdemeanor, Adult Victim Yes/No/No Victim)
Registration Status (registered, no longer registered)
Approximate Date of Travel
Mode of Travel (Air, Auto, Train, Ship, on Foot)
Passport/State ID/Visa/Birth Certificate used

Knowing these details would allow us to build a useful database of anonymous, self-reported information that may help answer specific questions.

For example, can a person who is relieved of the requirement to register obtain an umarked passport?

Can such a person travel to Mexico on a cruise?

How about to Europe?

Can they visit Canada on a business trip?

Can a person with a marked passport travel to South America?

What if that person does not have to register?

What about a person convicted of a felony, but not a sex offense?

What if the offense involved oneself, and no minors?

I think you get the picture. Each person’s situation is unique and each state is different. But by compiling some data, we can get a better of idea of what to expect based on our circumstances.

Just a suggestion!

Does anyone have an example of what they submitted with their passport application if you are required to have the stamp of shame? Applying for a passport soon and want to make sure I receive the appropriate passport on the first try.

Does anyone have specific information about going through passport control and/or secondary screening in Chicago O’Hare? I’m coming back from overseas next week and would like a heads up if possible.

For those who are wishing to visit other countries for a visit or even for long term, Georgia allows many countries, including citizens of the USA, a one year visa free visit. I have followed this former Russian citizen who fled Russia (finally) to Georgia. See her videos for her prospective of living in Georgia.

A question.

I am a former RSO (California) who was relieved of the requirement to register last year. I was initially convicted of a felony (wobbler/county jail), but this was reduced to a misdemeanor via 17b.

  • I am no longer required to register.
  • My charge was reduced to a misdemeanor.
  • I was never posted to a public database.
  • I never obtained a passport while registered, but may get one soon.
  • I am not sure how long to wait to get one without a mark I don’t know how long it takes for my change in status to percolate through the system, insight welcome!).

My question is, would travel to Mexico or Canada now be possible, or would I be turned away or catch trouble?

Thanks!

I have now been off requirement to register for a year now. I visited Tanzania for the second time last year for 2 weeks with no issues at any entry or exit. My passport does not have the mark. I do not have to do the 21-day SORNA notification. I am guessing I would still be turned away from the usual countries (UK, Mexico, etc.). I am looking to travel for 7-10 days. Any word on Morocco? It may help that I am a woman and my sentencing date is over 20 years ago. What about something closer to the US? I would prefer actual experience. The Matrix seems to not be absolute. (I’ve given my experience twice and it is still not on there.)

I ordered my FOIA from Interpol in DC. Just some background. Convicted 1999. Removed from FL. registry March 2022. ( 20 year rule not 25 granted by the judge) No longer register anywhere… In 2018 I was denied entry into DR. In 2017 I went to Jamaica and was not denied. The request came back with 3 total emails sent out by Interpol to their investigative liaison and had Angel Watch copied. It was to inform them of my flight info and my charge and to advise them on my arrival and departure. It did not say anything further as to not allow me in etc. It did say that I was previously convicted in 2013. Not 1999. So they got the dates wrong by only 14 years. Solid work as usual by our government. Just wanted to pass along the info I got back.

Hello Family!
After a nearly 2 day trip from Johannesburg, I rolled into the Western Cape to the coastal resort city of Knysna. And what can I say, it’s heaven on earth. Built around green hills circling a lagoon, it’s clean, safe, colorful, busy with a local African vibe and a summer air temperature the same as San Diego! The cliff lined Indian Ocean is only minutes away. When I tell local whites about Americans having a fear of South Africa, they laugh it off. No mass shootings happen in Knysna. So for the registrants still trying to get into Mexico & Asia (who clearly don’t want you there), SA is still an option. At least they welcome us here. Peace! And f*ck the haters.

Report on Chicago O’Hare Secondary Screening…

Yesterday I arrived back in the US for a three-week visit. My point of entry was O’Hare in Chicago.

There were no lines at all in the arrivals area at about 9:30am. The agent at the initial desk fiddled with my passport for a few minutes, and then walked me to secondary claiming to have no knowledge of why when I asked.

I waiting in secondary for about 30 minutes before an agent emerged with my passport telling me that I was good to go. No questions were asked. No search was done. No explanation was given.

When I asked why they make us go through this every time, his answer was just that they “have to make sure the passport is good”. When I asked isn’t that why we have all the computer systems for, he had no answer. I pressed a little bit more and no explanation at all was given – he just handed me a slip of paper with information about how to file a case with DHS TRIP (Travel Redress Inquiry Program).

I’m planning to leave the US again in a few weeks so I’ll likely wait till after that to file the DHS TRIP case. No point in adding yet another red flag on my file which might create obstacles when I try to board the plan the next time.

My guess is that they still have to manually match the travel history for my passport (where it’s been scanned overseas) with the 21-day notice I submitted to ensure that I did what was required, but it really seems that could be done automatically and instantly when they scan my passport. Or perhaps they just red flag all sex offender passports for secondary for some other reason. Hard to know why the never-ending hassle.