Leaving your country for a vacation, temporarily or permanently after a felony, can become a challenging task. While many nations allow USA citizens entry to their lands, here is a list of countries that deny entry to felons or have particular restrictions in place.

You will need a U.S.A. passport to travel and apply for the visa that asks about criminal records and purpose of travel. Also, these countries do perform background checks before approving the application. The countries can deny entry to individuals based on the information they receive.

Countries That Deny Entry to Felons

This list is primarily made for the people living in the USA with a felony record who would like to travel to another country for one purpose or the other. The countries include


Australia only allows Tourist Visa (Subclass 676) for people with criminal records. The acceptance of a Visa for Australia relies heavily on the ability of the individual to meet a list of character requirements.

A substantial criminal record results in denial in several cases. These can include a prison sentence, multiple convictions, or a sentence related to escaping immigration detention.

But, the authorities can choose to accept or fail the visa as per their discretion.


Canada also reserves the right to deny entry to individuals with criminal records. Some of the crimes that may result in a denial of entry include driving under the influence, any crime punishable as per the Canadian law for 10 or more years, or any involvement in organized crime.

But, Canada does consider the application of people with criminal records who are either rehabilitated or granted a pardon.


China is a country that does ask individuals to disclose information on criminal records during visa applications. The Embassy allows the entry of people with felony convictions. But, they do ask individuals to register with the police on arrival.

Any violation of the terms of the visa can result in severe penalties from the government.

Countries that Deny Entry to Felons – Some Special Cases

For a stay of 90 days or less, you do not need a visa application in Japan. But, a longer stay does require a visa, and the country can deny entry for criminal records. So, if you only plan on having a short vacation in the area, feel free to go.

A conviction of one year or more and convictions related to drugs can result in immediate denial.

Russia does not have a visa application as individuals can get visas on entry. Here, you must list the criminal convictions.

U.K. Border Agency also takes the liberty of going through the criminal records of travelers before their arrival. If the immigration officer deems you unfit for entry in the country on the grounds of intended harm or others, they can deny your request.


Now, U.S. citizens who do not have passports but have a criminal record can apply for the document. But, the state department is at liberty to deny or revoke your passport under specific circumstances.

Some instances that result in denial or revocation

  • If you have an outstanding federal arrest warrant
  • Court order that forbids you from leaving U.S.
  • Any federal or state drug felony while utilizing a passport to enter another country.

Countries that Deny Entry to Felons – A Plea Deal Is As Good As a Conviction

Some felons opt for the plea deal to lower the consequences, but pleading guilty is equivalent to getting convicted of a crime. On your visa application, both will have the same impact. It means that any country with restrictions may refuse your application based on a felony record.

Another Crucial Consideration

Legal requirements of entering countries can change significantly over time. For people who are denied entry at the border, they must leave and return to America immediately. Also, for felons allowed in, the embassy may still conduct a background check and ask you to leave in the middle of the trip if they find anything unacceptable.

Hence, the most appropriate solution is to contact the embassy of the country you want to visit. Discuss your situation with the consultant in detail before you leave the U.S.

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