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 Thailand.
- Travel Restrictions
- Why Thailand?
- Traveling to Thailand
- Requirements to Enter Thailand
- Encouraging a Felon to Travel to Thailand
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 from the federal government 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.
Why would felons want to visit Thailand? 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 Thailand is no exception.
Thailand is a major tourist attraction for a number of reasons.
The Kingdom of Thailand is south of China and north of Australia in an area called Mainland Southeast Asia at the center of the Indochinese Peninsula. It is divided into four major regions.
The capital of Thailand is Bangkok, known as the Venice of the East for its elaborate canal system.
Thailand is well-known for its hospitality and is called the “Land of Smiles.”
The population of Thailand is 95% Buddhist, so Buddhist temples are everywhere along with ancient palaces and museums.
Thailand is great for backpacking, diving, and snorkeling along the many sandy beaches on the Thai mainland and the hundreds of islands nearby.
Some felons’ families may be from Thailand.
Traveling to Thailand
The only restriction for them flying to Thailand 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 Thailand.
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 Thailand.
Requirements to Enter Thailand
Thailand has requirements all U.S. citizens, regardless of whether they are felons or not, must meet in order to gain entry.
First, the law in Thailand states that they must have at least six valid months remaining on their passport when entering the country.
A visa is not required for travel to Thailand for those visiting for less than 30 days.
For felons especially, their conduct while in Thailand 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 Thailand
Families of felons who visit Thailand can be helpful to those felons by encouraging them to travel outside the country for a sense of peace and relaxation.
A trip to Thailand can also be a great opportunity to re-connect with their family.
Once the decision has been made to travel to Thailand, 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 Thailand 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 Thailand? Have you or someone you know traveled to Thailand with a felony? What was that like and were they successful? Please tell us in the comments below.