Many felons can recall wanting 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 South Korea.
- Travel Restrictions
- Why South Korea?
- Traveling to South Korea
- Requirements to Enter South Korea
- Encouraging a Felon to Travel to South Korea
After their 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 South Korea?
Why would felons want to visit South Korea? 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 South Korea is no exception with many compelling reasons to visit there.
South Korea is in Asia with only North Korea sharing a border. Japan is to the east and China to the west.
Korea became a possession of Japan in 1905 and remained unified until Japan divided the peninsula into the two separate countries in 1945.
South Korea became an independent nation in 1948. Seoul is the capital and largest city.
The cuisine in South Korea is delicious. There are numerous Buddhist temples to visit.
The beaches in South Korea are clean and inviting, and there are majestic mountains to hike.
The citizens are polite, and mutual respect is a hallmark of their culture.
Some felons’ families may have come from South Korea.
Traveling to South Korea
The main restriction for them flying to South Korea 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 South Korea.
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 South Korea.
Requirements to Enter South Korea
South Korea 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 South Korea states that they must have a passport, valid at the time of entry. Those staying in the country for 90 days or less may do so with only a passport.
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.
Felons would do best if they plan their stay in the country to be limited to less than 90 days in order not to be subjected to having their criminal record checked.
For felons especially, their conduct while in South Korea 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.
Those felons that are arrested for a crime in South Korea would be held without bail throughout the investigation and any trial that would result. This could take months.
It would be best to strictly obey all laws and be able to leave the country as planned.
Encouraging a Felon to Travel to South Korea
Families of felons who visit South Korea can be helpful to those felons by encouraging them to travel outside the country for a sense of peace and relaxation. A trip to South Korea can also be a great opportunity to re-connect with their family.
Once the decision has been made to travel to South Korea, 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 South Korea 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 South Korea? Have you or someone you know traveled to South Korea with a felony? What was that like, and were they successful? Please tell us in the comments below.