After release from prison and completing their terms of probation, felons are of course allowed to travel freely throughout the U.S. Such is not the case when wanting to travel beyond this country’s borders.
This blog post will cover whether felon is allowed to travel to Guam.
- Travel Restrictions
- Guam as a Territory
- Traveling to a U.S. Territory
- Why Guam?
- Supporting Felons Visiting Guam
Upon their release from prison, felons must complete the terms of their sentence, which typically involves being on probation, reporting to their probation officer in person or checking in online monthly.
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.
Typically, they must obtain a passport, which felons are able to do.
Guam as a Territory
The first thought might be that Guam is similar.
It isn’t, however, because Guam is not a separate, independent country but rather is a territory of the U.S.
A U.S. held territory is much like a colony was in earlier historical times.
It is a land which is an “administrative division” directly overseen by the federal government. It is self-governing with locally elected governors and territorial legislatures.
The citizens of Guam are U.S. citizens with local voting rights (they may not vote in a Presidential election), pay U.S. taxes, and have an elected member of the House of Representatives (who may vote in committees but not on the floor).
Guam has been a territory since the end of the Spanish-American War in 1898.
Traveling to a U.S. Territory
For Americans entering Guam, it is just the same as traveling from one state to another. Therefore, a passport is not required to enter Guam.
This is also true for felons who travel from the U.S. mainland directly to any U.S. territory.
All they must carry with them is a government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license. There is no visa required as is the case when visiting a foreign country.
Since Guam is not connected to the U.S. mainland, there are a couple of transportation options.
One is flying on an airlines from the U.S. As long as the flight is a direct one from a U.S. city, no passport is necessary.
This is also true for the return flight as long as it does not touch down in another country either as a connection city or due to an emergency.
When landing at a foreign airport, a passport will often be asked for. So it is important for felons to carry a valid passport.
The other route to Guam is by ship. Approximately one million people travel there on a cruise each year. Felons are able to go on a cruise.
As long as it is a closed loop cruise, there is technically no passport required. A closed loop cruise is one which starts from and ends up in the same U.S. port city.
Many cruises will actually stop at ports in different countries. This is often true for Pacific cruises.
At most such stops, officials will ask to see a passport for all passengers, even those who do not get off the ship there. So having a passport is wise.
To not have one could result in being detained in that country, which could pose a major problem for felons. They might not be able to complete the cruise and be held in that country.
For those who have traveled to Guam, it can be a wonderful place to visit. The Spanish setting and culture are major tourist attractions.
Guam is part of Micronesia and found in the Pacific Ocean.
There is incredible diving along the coast’s coral reefs and hiking in the mountainous regions. The weather is warm and tropical with temperatures consistently in the 70’s throughout the year with beautiful sunsets.
Guam was originally inhabited by the Spanish but has been a U.S. territory since 1898. There are important U.S. military bases on Guam.
The food is delicious, and the people are very friendly.
Guam is where the U.S. starts its day. This nation has its own time zone and is the first section of the U.S. to record a new day, being on the other side of the International Date Line.
Encouraging Felons to Travel to Guam
Families of felons who visit Guam can be helpful to those felons by encouraging them to travel outside the country for a sense of peace and relaxation. A trip to Guam can also be a great opportunity to re-connect with their family.
Once the decision has been made to travel to Guam, 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 Guam 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 Guam? Have you or someone you know traveled to Guam with a felony? What was that like and were they successful? Please tell us in the comments below.