Can a convicted felon get a passport to go on a cruise?
New laws can impact whether or not a felon can enter certain countries. The good news is that most crimes will not prohibit a person from obtaining a U.S. passport.
The travel issues arise when trying to enter specific countries. For example, in Mexico, the country prohibits any person convicted of a serious crime from entering.
So, can a felon get a passport to go on a cruise? Yes…but depending on the ship’s destinations, that person may be prohibited from exiting the ship in certain countries.
It’s a good idea to do as much research as possible before starting the tedious and expensive passport application process.1
This complete guide can help.
Can a Convicted Felon Get a Passport To Go on a Cruise?
One of the most common things that individuals will want to know when they finish serving their sentence is if and when they are allowed to travel again.
Those who have been incarcerated for several years might find their passports have expired and will be wondering,2 can a convicted felon get a passport to go on a cruise, and might be surprised at just how easy it is to get a passport with a criminal record.
Many people are under the impression that getting a passport requires that individuals undergo rigorous background checks to ensure they are not liable to commit serious crimes while traveling abroad.
However, the restrictions to acquire a passport are surprisingly minimal when it comes to the individual’s criminal record and what kind of crimes are considered to be disqualifiers.
Felons may obtain U.S. passports as long as their probationary period is complete, or they submit written authorization from their probation officer.
One of the first things that individuals should know is that passports and whether or not someone qualifies for one have nothing to do with state law. Instead, all passports and anything that involves international travel are regulated by the U.S. Department of State.3
This means that state laws regarding criminal history, such as how far back a background check is allowed to go, as well as restrictions placed on individuals who have been convicted of certain crimes, will not come into play. The only thing that will matter in this regard is the federal rules and regulations regarding international travel.
This is why individuals will need to go to a United States Post Office,4 a federal agency, in order to apply for a passport and have their passport photos taken.
Can a Felon Get a Passport?
By now individuals should know that simply having a felony on your record will not prevent an individual from obtaining a passport.5
However, that does not mean that just anyone can acquire a passport. Currently, there are only a handful of crimes that will prevent an individual from getting a passport.
Keep in mind that this will also only apply if the individual was convicted of the crime if they were charged and the charges were later dropped or if the individual was found not guilty of the charges then they will still be eligible to obtain a passport in most cases.
Certain criminal convictions will prohibit convicted felons from getting a passport, such as international crimes and trafficking crimes.
When it comes to what felonies disqualify you from getting a passport, all of the crimes whose conviction will prevent an individual from getting a passport involve drug trafficking charges.6 The reason for this is fairly obvious, individuals who have been convicted of drug trafficking are considered a high risk as they could potentially visit a foreign nation with the intent to traffic illicit substances into the United States.
However, individuals should not panic just yet if they have been convicted of drug trafficking charges as only the more serious charges, such as international drug trafficking will prevent an individual from getting a passport.
If this is the case individuals should be aware that there is generally no path to having the records sealed or expunged in an attempt to win back their passport privileges. Federal crimes will stay with someone for life and will always appear on federal background checks.
Since the only charges that affect passport eligibility are related to drug charges, that means that those wondering, can a non-violent felon get a passport, or can a misdemeanor stop you from getting a passport can rest easy.
As long as the individual is no longer on probation and has served their sentence as well as paid all related fines, then their criminal history will not affect their ability to acquire a passport.
When Can a Convicted Felon Get a Passport?
Once individuals learn that they are able to acquire a passport with a criminal record, the next question they usually ask is, when can a convicted felon get a passport for most people it’s sooner than one might think.
When it comes to how long before a felon can get a passport, the answer will depend on the length and limits of the individual’s parole or probation. Assuming the charges were not related to drug trafficking, then an individual will usually need to wait out the duration of their parole or probation.
This is not always necessary, but the majority of parole and probation conditions usually involve barring the individual from traveling outside the state or county. If this is not one of the conditions, then individuals will be free to apply for a passport.
Where Can You Get a Passport as a Felon?
Individuals with criminal records might be wondering if they need special paperwork or something else of this nature in addition to wondering, where can you get a passport as a felon? The process to get a passport as a felon,7 assuming the conviction was not for a disqualifying crime, will be the same process that someone without any kind of criminal history will need to go through.
This will generally involve making an appointment with the local USPS office for passport services and acquiring things like a birth certificate and social security card in order to prove their identity.
Users can find passport application locations on the State Department website.
Besides visiting the post office, many individuals will be able to start the process from their own homes. These days it is possible for individuals who already have a passport, or have had a passport in the past are able to begin the passport renewal process online in some cases.8
Some of the people asking can a convicted felon get a passport to go on a cruise, will already have a trip scheduled but might be worried about getting their passport in time.
With the process taking over a month to complete this might mean an individual will not be able to get their passport fast enough to make their cruise’s departure date. Individuals in this or a similar situation, even those that have a felony conviction on their criminal record will be able to apply for an expedited passport.9
This can speed up the passport process by several weeks but does require additional fees and there is the option to pay further additional fees for expedited shipping.
Can an Ex-Felon Get a Passport?
One of the things that individuals wondering if can an ex-felon get a passport, is what disqualifies you from getting a passport. As discussed, it is fairly unlikely for a criminal conviction to prevent an individual from getting a passport, but an individual’s criminal record is not the only thing that the state department will be examined when looking at a passport application.
When it comes to criminal activity, there are a couple of things that can prevent individuals from getting a passport, but most will be fairly obvious.
Specifically, individuals who have an active federal arrest warrant will be disqualified from obtaining a passport, as well as those with federal or state court orders, those on parole or probation whose conditions prevent international travel, and finally individuals who are seeking extradition.10
Those wondering, how can you find out if you are on the passport denial list, should know that individuals who are on the list will be notified by mail when they are added to the list. The notification will usually come from the state department on the recommendation of the agency that is the cause for the denial.
For example, the IRS might request the state department add an individual to the denial list if they owe excessive amounts of money to the IRS.11
Unpaid taxes can result in the prohibition of a U.S. passport.
As far as what do they check for a passport goes, individuals should expect their name to be run through several national law enforcement databases.5
Can Felons Get a Passport if the Crime Was From 10 Years Ago?
Many of the individuals wondering, if can felons get a passport, will be concerned about a felony that they committed 10 or more years ago.
However, how long ago the crime was committed will have no impact on the individual’s ability to get a passport. The only factor that individuals will need to worry about is what the conviction was and if they are still on parole or probation for that crime.
In short, when it comes to whether can you get a passport if you have a felony from 20 years ago, the answer is yes, as long as the charge was not for drug trafficking. Keep in mind that the background check that the state department performs on all individuals applying for a passport will include a national criminal history check that will cover the individual’s entire life.
Although 10-year states would normally prevent this kind of search from going back so far, federal checks are not subject to these state laws, so individuals should expect their entire criminal history to be available.
Can You Get a Passport if You Have a Felony for Drug Charges?
Those wondering, can you get a passport if they have a felony for drug charges, should know that drug-related charges are one of the few crimes that will disqualify an individual from obtaining a passport. However, not all drug charges will carry this penalty, only those that involve drug trafficking will be cause for disqualification.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to give the exact charges that will result in disqualification as drug laws vary from state to state. However, generally, individuals will only need to be worried about charges that involve serious charges related to the manufacturing and distribution of illegal substances.12
Can an Ex-Felon Get a Passport While on Probation?
The question of can ex-felon get a passport while on probation, is where things start to get a little more difficult to give a definitive answer. When probation and parole are involved, the answer will vary depending on the case.
The conditions of parole or probation will determine if the individual is able to get a passport and travel internationally or not. Generally, the majority of parole and probation conditions prevent individuals from even traveling outside of the county they were convicted in, so international travel is usually out of the question.
Often unpaid child support will also prevent a convicted felon from getting a passport.
So, can a felon on parole get a passport? Usually no, although the conditions for parole and probation will vary drastically from person to person, in the case of someone who is out on parole from a felony conviction, the odds of the individual being allowed to leave the country under the conditions of their parole are extremely slim. Individuals can always contact their parole officer for more information.
Can a Convicted Felon Get a Passport To Go on a Cruise?
Although there is a lot to consider when it comes to can a convicted felon get a passport to go on a cruise, the answer is fairly straightforward. As long as the conviction was not related to a serious drug trafficking charge, such as international drug trafficking or drug distribution, then the individual’s criminal history should not be a factor in the decision to award the passport.
However, the charges themselves are not the only thing to consider for those asking, can a felon get a passport to Mexico. Individuals with active warrants of any kind or those that are still on probation will probably be disqualified from obtaining a passport until these issues have been resolved.
And, certain countries, like Mexico prevent people who have committed felony crimes from entering.
Individuals should remember that when it comes to can a convicted felon get a passport to go on a cruise, the answer is almost always yes as long as they are no longer on probation or parole, and the destination countries will allow them to enter.
Frequently Asked Questions About Can a Convicted Felon Get a Passport To Go on a Cruise