Many felons can recall having the desire to travel back when life was different and simpler, before their felony conviction.
They may have dreamed of traveling abroad before their conviction, and for some this may have been a reality.
This blog post will address the question of whether a felon can travel to Aruba.
- Travel Restrictions
- Why Aruba?
- Traveling to Aruba
- Requirements to Enter Aruba
- Encouraging a Felon to Travel to Aruba
Upon release, felons must complete the terms of their sentence, including probation.
During the probation period, felons are restricted from leaving the district in which they reside without permission from their probation officer.
Of course, travel outside the U.S. is out of the question until the conditions of probation have been satisfied entirely.
Once this is accomplished, travel beyond the U.S. border is possible.
They must obtain a passport allowing international travel. Felons are able to obtain a passport.
Being convicted of drug trafficking or a crime of treason against the U.S. may prevent felons from being able to obtain a passport, as well as for anyone owing at least a certain amount of child support.
Having current legal charges pending can also prevent having a passport. This is because leaving the country will be interpreted as an unlawful attempt to avoid prosecution, which is a federal crime.
For those felons, legal assistance will be necessary.
Why would felons want to visit Aruba? Well, for the same reasons anyone wants to travel there. Felons may have served time in prison, but they have the same interests as any other U.S. citizen.
Traveling to Aruba is no exception with many compelling reasons to go there.
Aruba is a part of the islands called the Lesser Antilles in the Southern Caribbean Sea, 15 miles from Venezuela in South America. During the daytime, Venezuela can be seen from Aruba.
The Virgin Islands and St. Martin are also part of the Lesser Antilles.
Dutch and the local language of Papiamento are the official languages of Aruba, although most citizens there also speak English and Spanish.
The beaches in Aruba are the cleanest white sand in the Caribbean.
There is rough terrain, including caves, trails, rock formations, and a natural pool to explore.
Scuba diving is great with beautiful coral reefs surrounding the island.
The citizens are friendly and love to celebrate.
Traveling to Aruba
The only restriction for them flying to Aruba would be if they have a felony warrant outstanding against them.
The other possible issue would be if their name is on what is called the no-fly list maintained by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for those suspected of being terrorists.
There are about 3500 names on this list at any time. So, felons are probably OK for flying.
Going on a cruise is also a popular means of travel to Aruba.
There are two types of cruises, closed loop and open loop. A closed loop cruise is one that starts and ends in the same U.S. port while an open loop cruise has different starting and final port city locations.
Felons may sail on either type of cruise, although the requirements for a closed loop cruise are less restrictive than for open loop cruises.
U.S. citizens going on a closed loop cruise can depart and enter the U.S. with only proof of citizenship. This proof consists of an original or copy of a birth certificate and a government issued photo ID.
Open loop cruises require a passport, regardless of the starting or destination port. Regardless of the type of cruise, having a passport is important for felons in case the ship docks at a foreign port on the route to Aruba.
Requirements to Enter Aruba
Aruba has several requirements all U.S. citizens, regardless of whether they are felons or not, must meet in order to gain entry.
First, the law in Aruba states that they must have a passport, valid at least as long as their stay.
Any stay by a U.S. citizen of more than 30 days will require a visa, which must be obtained prior to departing form the U.S.
The events of 9/11 signaled a major change in relationships between the U.S. and other countries.
In an effort to strengthen border security and facilitate entry to this country for U.S. citizens and legitimate foreign visitors, the U.S. instituted the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.
With this, all citizens of the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Bermuda are required to present a passport or other acceptable document to verify their identity and nationality to enter or leave the U.S. from within the Western Hemisphere.
Felons would do best if they plan their stay in the country to be limited to less than 30 days in order not to be subjected to having their criminal record checked.
For felons especially, their conduct while in Aruba is critical. Of course they will want to stay out of legal difficulties.
This would obviously result in significant problems for felons who may find it extremely difficult to gain their release. For those felons ending up in jail, legal counsel will be necessary.
It is best to strictly obey all laws and be able to leave the country as planned.
Encouraging a Felon to Travel to Aruba
Families of felons who visit Aruba can be helpful to those felons by encouraging them to travel outside the country for a sense of peace and relaxation. A trip to Aruba can also be a great opportunity to re-connect with their family.
Once the decision has been made to travel to Aruba, be supportive of their making the trip.
It is important to remind them that as a traveler to a foreign country, just being there as an American will bring them under more scrutiny.
For this reason and others, they must obey the laws and not draw the attention of the legal authorities to themselves.
Remind them of their commitment to live an honest life and how legal difficulties while in Aruba will only defeat these efforts and may result in returning to prison.
Approximately 69% of those released from prison return within the first two years. Don’t let them be one of those statistics.
So what do you think about this blog post about how a felon can travel to Aruba? Have you or someone you know traveled to Aruba with a felony? What was that like, and were they successful? Please tell us in the comments below.