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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Update: I have just returned home from Italy. Was once again referred to secondary on arrival.

Months ago I had posted about being harassed when returning home from the Caribbean. I filed formal complaints and received a redress number with a letter stating I should not be sent to secondary.

Tonight the experience returning home was much of the same. Long line, friendly attitude when greeted, scan passport, attitude changes and told to wait for secondary.

The agent tonight went as far as to say that secondary is standard procedure for everyone. I pointed to the other lines waiving people through without delay and asked him for his name and badge number. His attitude became even more sour and he defensively asked why I wanted it. I smiled and calmly explained that I always include that information when I make a complaint and that I will be adding it when updating my original compaint from earlier this year. It was at this point he said “your profile is listed as mandatory secondary” and then he had a supervisor come over. The supervisor was very professional and told them not to search my bags and to get me on my way. He then wrote down the name and badge number of the first agent, his own info, and the agent in secondary that sent me on my way.

Do not back down when confronted with government lies and their nonsense excuses. Show no shame in your situation. Push back each and every time you are harassed.

Any suggestions or experiences on Gibraltar (Great Brittan property) at the tip of Spain?
It has several anthropological sites I’d like to visit.{Driving in.}

I am planning a trip to Germany in December. I am a level 2 from Michigan. I plan to submit my 21 day notice mid November. I’ve read everything I can find on PFRs visiting Europe. I am comfortable trying this trip and do not anticipate any problems with the exception of being sent to secondary upon my return. Please wish me luck

I shared this during the ACSOL Conference International Travel panel, but Carlton told me I should post it here as well to give people some comfort. Obviously, my experience is mine alone and may differ from yours. For background, I pled no contest to a 288(c)(1) as a felony in 2018 and was sentenced to probation. Finished probation in 2021 and am currently registered (for life, but hopefully less soon) and living in California.

I decided, after nine years, it was finally time to leave the country again, so I planned a 12-day hiking trip to Europe with some friends (specifically the Dolomites in northern Italy). My passport had expired in the interim, so I renewed it, requested the unique identifier, and expedited it (the large booklet with extra pages). It came in about three weeks but had no identifier. Since I had proof I requested it, I decided to go anyway. For reference, my trip was planned for October, and I renewed my passport in the middle of July.

When I went in for my yearly registration in August, I asked what the procedure was for the international travel notification. The (Los Angeles County) deputy told me to call them, and they would take my information over the phone, fill out the form themselves, and submit it to the US Marshalls. 23 days before I left, I called and gave them my information as well as a very surface-level itinerary (date of travel, departure & arrival airports, countries I would be visiting). I didn’t know the addresses of where I would be staying since they were all “rifugios” and hostels in the Alps. The deputy said that was fine, and the Marshalls would call me if they needed more details. They never did. Since I didn’t have a copy of any form, I sent myself a contemporaneous email with the deputy’s name and all of the information I had given her.

I left LAX on 9/30 and flew non-stop to Munich (since my first activity was revisiting Oktoberfest) where I landed on 10/1. German passport control took a few extra minutes with my passport and asked me some details about where I would be staying and who I would be traveling with. By this point, I had a detailed itinerary, and I showed it to passport control. I just scrolled through it on my phone, and they seemed to think that was sufficient; they didn’t write anything down or make a copy. I think they wanted to know that I had actually made plans. They also asked to see my return ticket. They were very friendly the whole time and gave me some tips for enjoying Oktoberfest. Note: Make a detailed itinerary and have it ready to show them (hotel addresses, phone numbers, dates, confirmation numbers, traveling companion info).

My trip within Europe was entirely without stress. My friends and I enjoyed Oktoberfest, and then we rented a car and drove to Austria and Italy where we spent the next nine days hiking in the Alps. Our final stop was Venice where we returned the rental car and caught a flight from Venice to Frankfurt and then Frankfurt non-stop to LAX.

When I landed in Frankfurt (from Venice) for my layover (awaiting my flight to LAX), passport control was much less friendly. The agent scrolled and scrolled on his computer screen and kept asking me more and more detailed questions about what I had been doing. This was the only time I felt a little concerned that something might go wrong. I showed him my itinerary again, and he asked to see all of my boarding passes from the start of my trip (which I had saved on my phone). Eventually, he seemed satisfied and stamped my passport. Note: Keep your boarding passes (even digital copies are good).

When I landed at LAX and went through customs, I was super nervous because of all of the horror stories. When the CBP agent scanned my passport, he said he needed me to wait by the pillar while he called his supervisor. He said he thought I probably knew what it was about, and I said, “I can take a wild guess.” He was never unfriendly. His supervisor came over about 30 seconds later, walked me over to secondary, and handed me off to a third agent – a kindly old grandfatherly type. He scanned my passport and asked if I was traveling with anyone that day (I wasn’t), then he handed me my passport and wished me a lovely day. He was extremely kind. I made it to baggage claim 15 minutes before my luggage did.

I still haven’t received a revocation letter from the State Department, but I’m sure it will arrive soon. I’m working on a packet to send them asking them to cover the cost of a new passport as a “misprinting” on their part, so we’ll see how that goes.

Feel free to ask questions (or berate me for not having the identifier and still going, not getting a copy of the 21-day notice, not attaching hiking photos to this post, or any other issue you so desire)!

I am looking at a cruise from Tahiti, French Polynesia, to Hawaii in October of next year. France is listed as being able to visit. Is this still the case and does anyone see any issues with this trip?

The cruise hits a few islands in he Tahiti chain then a few islands in the Hawaii chain. Any input would be greatly appreciated!!!

My situation is fortunate compared to most, but weird. My crime is a low level felony, not listed as a sex crime according to my state’s legal code. As such, I won’t have to register here. But it is sexual in nature and as such even my probation conditions include several of the typical sex offender conditions for my state. Also, my vicitim is a minor. It will definitely complicate domesticate travel. In a neighboring state for example, my crime is registrable since it was against a minor. If my victim had been an adult, no registry. Since he is a minor, bam 20 years registry. So I must be careful how much time I spend in that state now, and absolutely never move there.

Anyway, there aren’t many folks in this situation that I’ve seen so I have no idea what international travel will look like for me when off probation. I was sentenced to 6 months of house arrest, of which I will server 90 days due to good time credit. After that 3 month period, I have 1 year supervised probation. The conviction is a low level felony.

Am I correct in thinking I won’t need a marked passport or give 21 day notice since I’m not registered anywhere? I do worry that Satan’s Watch may still send a travel notification based on PNR. I guess I should transit via a “safe” country such as in the EU and book a separate flight if traveling to Asia. Not really sure what to do for Central/South America in that regard. Fly to Europe first for say Costa Rica?

Any thoughts about entering Japan? I know they can see US records now. Not sure how much detail or how they’ll feel about a low level felony. It’s voyeurism so nothing violent or such. I might be able to convert the charge to a misdemeanor in a few years. Perhaps that would help. Also possibly not serving any actual time incarcerated might help? Countries I’ve visited in the past I’d love to return to are Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Mexico. Also the EU, but that isn’t a worry so far. I’d literally like to visit dozens of other countries I haven’t been to as well. Traveling is definitely a passion for me.

Tl;dr:

I’m not registered anywhere, but should be according to SORNA (my state isn’t fully compliant). I believe I can avoid marked passport and 21 day notice which is good. What/where should I still be cautious of though?

Waiting to find if a boat trip that crossed internnational waters but we did not get off to any country will be seen as international travel. So it would mean every fisherman who goes out 12 miles will be in violation of international travel and maybe if your plane goes over or refuels in a foreign country you will be violated. And yet there is room or debate on should it be considered a violation and I was adjusting to this when it was brought to my attention that not only the requirements to register changed but the punishment did as well in that in the who needs to register section it says anyone who violates any of the registry requirements so an added 10 years to the registry on top of the punishment section of a felony crime. It seems like a double jeopardy thing where you are punished for two separate crimes when it was one mistake. Also adding a decade to a sex offender registry for a mistake in understanding the requirements and a technical error of paperwork does not seem right either. This is in RI that in 2019 for 2020 the additional 10 or more years to the registry is added as a punishment in the statute section of who has to register. Do other states have this increase in registry time on a sex offender registry in addition to a felony crime for a clerical error and if so how is it justified? Thanks and maybe hy checking your current states registry laws and recent changes you may save yourself a problem in the future as well as post them here to let me see it is not just this state and also if anyone has any info on is it legal to add registry time for a non sexual offense of not filing a paper? It is not like every single thing else is not up to date so I am wondering what others found or think of this incredible increase in punishment for a mistake in understanding new requirements.
Thank you.

I am looking at taking a cruise next year out of Tahiti to Hawaii. The cruise visits a few islands in French Polynesia then does some island hoping in Hawaii. France is listed as a place we can visit but I wanted to check on any updates that may cause a problem. Please comment if you know anything about this.

Is travel to France ok??

Hi everyone thanks for your experiences, definitely had me shaking for my upcoming trip. I’m leaving lax to cabo on a flight and scared. In California 2022 my petition was granted I wouldn’t have to register anymore, and my charges all expunged.

Misdemeanor charges include:
Indecent exposure
Annoy or molest under 18

I really changed my life around and happy for the achievements i made along the way. In 2019 I traveled to Thailand and Hong Kong without any quarrels, smooth sailing til I got back to the states when they sent me to secondary on my return. The gentleman briefly went through my luggage and asked about my trip.he was real cool, good conversation about the trip. He wanted to travel there as well. Now I’m not registered / everything expunged, I felt I was free to begin my life again til we booked a last min trip to Mexico. Not sure what to do but I’m scared as heck. Tried calling doj / courts / private lawyers / court clerks office with no help.

Just wanted to share my recent experience with travel to Italy for two weeks. I’m a CA registrant w/ a federal possession charge. Have a marked passport issued this year w/ the marking on the first page above the photo page. Gave my 21-day notice to local registry office w/ info about flights and addresses for hotels & Air BnBs (booked by my wife). Took a copy of this filed paperwork with me as well as digital copies on my phone.

Flew San Diego to Rome through DC. Passport control through Rome was swift and the border agent didn’t bat an eye at my passport or ask any questions.

Traveled for 2 weeks through multiple destinations in Italy. Had to provide passport at each hotel for them to copy (per Italian law, I think related to the city tourist taxes). No one ever gave notice to the marking in the passport.

Flew back from Venice to Munich, Munich direct to San Diego. Again, the border agent in Munich didn’t bat an eye at the passport and stamped it without asking any questions and we were on our way. Got flagged for secondary in San Diego. I think whatever comes up on the computer when they scan my passport was not what they were expecting, because the secondary agents seemed a bit confused, and after they were about to release me asked to see the passport again, which they scanned and had a brief discussion before letting me go. Was only delayed by 5-10 minutes total while they did this and did a quick search through my bags. Only questions were related to some items in my bag. Did not ask anything about my charges or request to see my phone.

All in all it was much easier than I was expecting. Hopefully ETIAS won’t change things for us going to Europe, as I definitely would like to explore more.

… …
[Moderators note: previous similar comments with questions asked and answered 312929 312978 312979 313056]
I am looking at a cruise from Tahiti to Hawaii. The cruise visits a few islands in the French Polynesia chain then transits the Pacific and visits a few islands in Hawaii. As Tahiti is French does anyone see any problems with this trip?? The trip will happen in the 3rd quarter next year.

Thank you for any and all input

I just want to thank everyone here for their input which helped me be at ease when I traveled to Italy. I do have the unique identifier on my passport…but on the back page…it has a note on the front of the passport to look at the page. I have flown now to France and Italy with it and has not caused an issue. I am not on parole or probation.

Flight from Houston to Atlanta…Atlanta to Rome. Once arrived in Rome…scanned my passport….and the gate opened….there was a second gate where you had to look at a camera….and the 2nd gate opened….walked up to the desk to the person with the stamp….and they took the passport and stamped it and I was on my way. I went there to meet my wife and spend two weeks with her. No issues. I met her at the airport.

Had various stops in Italy…was there for two weeks at different hotels…You have to give your passport at each location and never had an issue with any.

I did the 21 day advance notice. My registration officer said I needed to come and get my “travel permit”….which I knew was incorrect….never heard of a “travel permit” when off paper….went back and it was just a photo copy of a screen shot of all the info they inputted into the US Marshals office….They said I had to bring it back after the trip…I did….after I made a photo copy of it.

I know there is back and forth here of how much info to provide….I gave going and return flight info….along with each hotel I was to stay….never got a knock on the door or inquiries from hotel…everyone could not have been more polite…..it was an amazing trip….made me forget I was on the registry for awhile.

Upon return in Atlanta I was told I needed a secondary screening…after the guy kept looking at his computer screen…He asked if I had traveled with anyone back and forth. I said no…..then secondary asked same question…same answer….no looking through bags or other questions….I was on my way….5-10 minutes tops.

I can give more details if anyone has questions….but really it could not have gone much more smoothly than it did.

Thanks again for all the input here.

Here we are again. I applied for TSA pre check on the first of September. Planned several trips the first of which is in a week. I still have not heard from them. I called the enrollment company and they said they have no information other than it’s still in progress. Has anyone else had trouble getting precheck?

Planning a trip to Hong Kong. Does anyone have an experience they would like to share in details?

Hello. I just wanted to say I am new here.

I am wondering if anyone has successfully ever traveled with Argentina or Brazil before without the stamp on their passport?

Also I am still on probation but my PO said they are okay with it and would be happy to submit an itinerary to a judge. Is there a big difference being on probation or not when it comes to the notice the US government sends out to the other countries. I do have a felony but it is not against minors.

I am wanting to do a trip to Europe next spring and I have been reading that entering countries like he Schengen countries such as Spain, Germany, Italy have been okay but coming back through secondary is quite difficult any advice as I am only in my late 20’s.

Hey guys in cabo right now. I flew in from lax. I made it! Getting off the registry works!

Hey everyone, I was convicted of possession of cp by FBI in end of 2022. Served no jail time and sentenced to 5 years supervised. Currently on Probation. I may travel internationally with my PO’s blessing within the year. I current unmarked passport doesn’t expire for 2 years. Should I request a new one being marked or just wait until I get a notice after traveling the first time? I am also a level 2 appealing for a level 1

Last edited 3 months ago by StuckInNY

Has anyone stayed in Turkey on something other than a tourist visa. I have seen multiple trip reports of successful entry into Turkey, but what about the short-term residence permit. It does require a police clearance as part of the application. Really, I want to ask about whether anyone has gotten any type of long-term visa or residence permit anywhere – Europe, Albania, Georgia, Turkey – any of the places that we can get into. Someone must have a success story or is everyone just hopping around on tourist visas or visa exempt entries?

Hi all, I know this has been answered several times but anxiety is getting the better of me and I cannot find solid answers. Are day trips to Mexico out of the question? My mother lives in a border town and is not doing well. My husband and I are wanting to make the drive to see her more often but my husband is a lifer and we’re both very nervous about attempting anything with Mexico.

Additionally, I know denial to Mexico via airplane is highly likely. Has anyone tried crossing the border on foot or driving in and taking a flight from within Mexico to other Mexican destinations? I have family in Guadalajara that we are desperately wanting to see, but we know denial by airplane is likely. We were thinking of crossing on foot/driving in and taking a flight out of TJ to Guadalajara but again, the nerves are killing it. Of course he’d still be following all rules and providing the 21 day notification. Has anyone tried this? Any help would be really appreciated. My family is pushing and we’ve managed to push him going out there until now – they are starting to feel like he just doesn’t want to meet them and of course that’s not the case.

He’s been out 11 years, Tier 2, did complete some type of therapy while on probation (he’s been off probation for 6-7 years now) and has had zero issues.

I was convicted in an internet sting in California in 2007, and then received a Certificate of Rehabilitation in June 2021, just in time for it to include removal from the registry.

Recently, I have business clients that have requested for me to travel overseas for the first time, to Europe and to South America. Has anyone had any issues with international travel after removal from the registry?

Has anyone driven down to Baja? A friend just bought a place outside of Loreto and invited us down for some snorkeling and fishing. maybe walk in and fly to somewhere near here? Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Hi all,

My wife and I are in the early stages of planning a possible permanent move overseas, most likely to the Netherlands, Belgium, or Denmark. I am off supervision, level 2 for possession of CP, on the registry for life (unless I go for a downward departure, not sure it’s worth the $$, but would love feedback on that idea) fully retired, and financially stable from a foreign government’s POV, from what I’ve researched so far. I would love to engage in a discussion with anyone who frequents this site who is: 1) an ex-pat currently living (ideally) in Europe, or 2) anyone who has gone through this successfully and may now be living back in the US. I most interested to know what all of the i’s and t’s that need to be crossed to do this successfully.

Also, if anyone knows of an information resource online that focuses on SO’s attempting to move out of the US, please let me know.

Many thanks!

D

Are green notices (sending notice to the other country upon arrival) only being sent for those convicted of crimes involving minors/marked passports or ALL Registered people?