Why Traveling Abroad As an Ex-Con Can Be Painful

Let’s face it, going through customs when traveling abroad can be a pain. The long waiting periods, the paperwork, the screaming babies, the typical airport pet-peeves. If you’re an ex-convict, you’ve got even more to worry about: being denied entry to the country you’re traveling too.

A good example is ‘jail bae’, Jeremy Meeks. Even though he had obtained a work permit and the correct paperwork was signed by his parole officer, Meeks was denied entry into London for having gun charges on his record in 2014. Even though Meeks was only traveling to the UK to work on some scheduled photo shoots, Meeks was not only denied entry, but he was also banned from the entire country. Harsh.

With entry rules depending on country, traveling internationally has become increasingly difficult for anyone with a record. Some individuals will be able to enter pending the correct permit, paperwork and passport, while other countries that conduct background checks upon arrival will not be so lenient. In Canada, individuals with a criminal history can enter the country ten years after the completion of their sentence, as long as it is the only mark on their record. Others with heavier offenses, like DUI, fraud, violence or sexual offenses will need to file a formal application called Criminal Rehabilitation, as time would have no bearing on the individual’s crime.

With security threats and past acts of terrorism, countries have been forced to tighten up security in customs. Even the most random factors and small offenses can affect an ex-con’s ability to enter the country. (Source: VICE)

If you have a criminal record that you would like to expunge, we encourage you to take our confidential, online eligibility test to see if you qualify for an expungement or similar criminal record removal service. We are happy to provide a free consultation to let you know what your options are to remove charges from your criminal record. Even if you do not qualify for an expungement, our firm would be happy to discuss what other options you have in cleaning up your criminal record.

If you do not currently qualify for an expungement, do not give up. Many states are currently in the process of enacting or expanding their expungement laws, and we expect to see this trend continue. In the meantime, sometimes the best way to deal with a criminal record that cannot be expunged is to be completely forthright an honest with the employer. There will be some employers that have company policies where they cannot hire employees with a criminal record; however, this is not the case with all companies. Because a background check will almost always find a criminal record, honesty is usually the best policy.

Be sure to also check out Online Privacy Solutions to remove your record and any personal information online.

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I represent the marketing department of WipeRecord, a division of the Eastman-Meyler, PC law firm in Austin, TX. We help individuals with criminal history clean their record using our eligibility test to see if they qualify for expungement. Our ultimate goal is to help people who have made mistakes in their past get their lives back on track by cleaning their record to help them find work.

We have expanded our efforts into 16 states including California, with over 60 years of combined experience in helping people.