Can a Felon Travel to the Philippines?

Many felons can recall having the desire to travel back when life was different and simpler, before their felony conviction.

They may have traveled abroad or dreamed of it before their conviction.

This blog post will address the question of whether a felon can travel to the Philippines.

  • Travel Restrictions
  • Why the Philippines?
  • Traveling to the Philippines
  • Requirements to Enter the Philippines
  • Encouraging Felons to Travel to the Philippines

Travel Restrictions

Upon release, 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.

They must obtain a passport, which is a form of identification 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 itself a federal crime.

Why the Philippines?

Why would felons want to visit the Philippines?  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 the Philippines is no exception.

The Philippines is one of the largest island groups in the world with 7107 islands.   There are beautiful beaches and nature, and welcoming Filipino citizens.

There is incredible wildlife with 200 species of mammals and 37 active volcanos in this country.

The Philippines may be the country of origin for many felons’ families.

Traveling to the Philippines

One restriction for them flying 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 a popular means of travel to the Philippines.

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.  Since they are traveling to a foreign country, felons should have a passport for either type of cruise.

Requirements to Enter the Philippines

The Philippines 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 the Philippines states that they must have at least six valid months remaining on their passport when entering the country.

Those U.S. citizens who stay in the country less than 30 days need to have only a passport.  No visa is required.

Any stay by a U.S. citizen of more than 90 days will require a visa, which must be obtained prior to departing form the U.S.

If you’re in a hurry to get your visa or want someone to walk you through the process, I recommend you use this website to help.

Felons would do best if they plan their stay in the country to be limited to less than 30 days in order to not have to be subjected to having their criminal record checked.

For felons especially, their conduct while in the Philippines is critical.  Of course they will want to stay out of legal difficulties.

For those felons ending up in jail, good legal counsel will be necessary, as gaining release from jail could be difficult.

It is best to strictly obey all laws and be able to leave the country as planned.

Encouraging Felons to Travel to the Philippines

Families of felons who visit the Philippines can be helpful to those felons by encouraging them to travel outside the country for a sense of peace and relaxation.  A trip to the Philippines can also be a great opportunity to re-connect with their family.

Once the decision has been made to travel to the Philippines, 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 the Philippines 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 the Philippines?  Have you or someone you know traveled to the Philippines with a felony?  What was that like and were they successful?   Please tell us in the comments below.


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  • My boyfriend of 4 years recently got off probation for distribution of child pornography and was registered as a sex offender more than 10 years ago. He recognizes his mistakes and has never gad any illegal conduct. He wants to leave the burden of hos past and wants to have a new life in the Philippines with me. Is this possible

  • I had a bf also from florida who wants to visit Philippines and he got a criminal record as a sex offender.. Do he can still travel in the Philippines for just 14 days.. Do he will not be denied

  • I have a bf an honest guy from Penssylvania, he’s been convicted for felony year 1999. Is there a possibility for him to fly and meet me in the Philippines and for us to get married? Please help,thank you.

  • My husband was booked with four counts of distribution of a controlled dangerous substance and one count of felony possession of firearm. He will be released next year and will serve 3 months of probation period. Will he br able to visit Philippines after that?

  • My boyfriend from North Carolina has a criminal record as a sex offender more than 20 years ago and wants to come to the Philippines and stay 4-6 months. Is that possible? What are the requirements needed? Thank you.

  • My boyfriend from america has a criminal records in drugs, 10 years ago,,,now he wants to come here in philippines to meet me.can he get a visa to travel philippines?I will for your response please,,,thank you!

  • yes they can travel and to answer the guy that says sex offenders do not change. that is a flat out ignorant lie. Most sex ooffenders are not the monsters they are portraied to be. However; if they are listed as a predator you might reconsider your desire to be with them because if true (40 percent of those conviceted of sex offenders in the USA were NEVER guilty of the crime they were arrested for). The true rate of recomitting a sexs crime is low. in fact eh floating statement that 80 percent recomit is a fallacy. here is the truth. 2 years out from prison and probation 5 percent or less recomit. 5 years to 10 years out less than 2 percent and 15 years out .001 percent recomit any type of crime. Many of these people had something minor they made a mistake about.. Again PREDATORS are the exception and the bad man or woman (yes woman) that will not change. Anyway.. Yes felons can travel to the PI. I would highly recommend the first trip be a matter of days and not months. less than 30 days first trip. Then go from there and get with your local law enforcement to ask more or ask immigration. There are exceptions ald possible avenues for everyone. But be sure.. Be careful and be public when you meet and stay with him or her. This advice is for everyone. Be careful. The fact is the ones that have not been caught.. whether sex offender or any other criminal is the one you will get blindsided by. At least your man was up front and honest about his past. That is a good start and I will tell you one last thing.. IF you give him a chance, If you understand even guilty people DO change sometimes.. If you give him the benefit of the doubt you will have a man that will love you even more, be even more faithful and love you very much for giving a sinner a second chance… This is assuming he has good motives of course. Good Luck and enjoy life. Do not let haters get you down.

  • I’m a ex felon with a charge of bank robbery and had drug charges it’s been awhile 25 years ago for bank robbery and 10 years ago for drugs. I am now living a constructive life. No probation. I do have a passport and want to visit my wife’s family for 3 weeks . Would I be able to enter with no problems ? Would love to hear a response or reply. T.U

  • question hope i can get a good answer
    my fiancee want to go with me in the Philippines. just released from jail a year. no probation he paid all dues convicted as felon, can he goes with me for 30 days? i appreciate your reply

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