Watching TV one night this week, the Olympics were on. Viewing the Games, some felons may recall much earlier times in their lives when they were pursuing an athletic career.
While they may not have been at the same level with those Olympic athletes, they may remember fondly the passion they had for their particular sport.
As they watch the competition from their living room, some of them may wonder what it would be like to actually be there in Brazil to see the action live.
The question is whether or not they would have been able to travel to Brazil to watch the competition in person.
This blog post will cover the question of whether felons can travel to Brazil.
- Can Felons Leave the Country?
- Question of a Visa
- Keeping the Goal of Traveling to Brazil
- Encouraging Felons in Going to Brazil
Can Felons Leave the Country?
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.
Depending on felons’ circumstances, including the length of their criminal history, seriousness of their offense, and other factors, being granted permission to travel outside their district can be difficult to achieve.
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, the travel possibility increases.
Travel beyond the U.S. border can be accomplished.
There is the question of obtaining a passport, which is a form of identification 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 itself a federal crime.
Traveling to another country with a passport is very possible.
Question of a Visa
Each country establishes and maintains its standards for who is allowed to cross their border.
In order to travel to Brazil, a visa may be required, depending on the purpose of the trip and the intended length of stay.
For those visiting Brazil on a strictly pleasure trip, a visa is not required, as long as the trip lasts less than 90 days. With no visa necessary, no background check will be done.
Therefore, as long as felons present a valid passport, they will be allowed entry into the country.
Then there is a work visa that anyone coming to the country for business, educational, cultural, or artistic reasons. Those in any of these categories must successfully apply for a visa before entering the country.
Another category of visa that may be required is a permanent visa. This is a visa for persons intending to live in Brazil.
Those with a misdemeanor conviction are not considered to represent a potential danger to society. For them, obtaining a visa is not a problem.
According to the Brazilian government, crimes which may pose a problem for those seeking a visa, include, any resulting in a term of confinement or imprisonment.
These are such crimes as carrying weapons, robbery, murder, fraud, and drug trafficking.
Guidelines for felons wanting to obtain a visa, as long as they have fully served the complete terms of their conviction, state that obtaining a visa should not be difficult as long as this condition is met.
A criminal background check will be conducted on anyone who has served a prison term in the U.S.
However, there is no guarantee that felons with any of these or other serious crime on their record can get a visa.
So, it is actually in the best interest for felons wanting to travel to Brazil to have their record expunged before applying for a Brazilian visa to give themselves the best chance possible in being successful in being approved for that visa.
Keeping the Goal of Traveling to Brazil
It is important for felons to not give up on traveling to a country such as Brazil following incarceration. Thinking back on their restrictive time in prison can prompt many felons to want to travel.
They may have even dreamed of the day when this would once again be possible. It is very important to not give up on those dreams, just as those Olympic athletes kept their dreams alive to reach the pinnacle in their sport.
Such dreams are an essential part of the rehabilitation process, the desire to live an honest life and to do the things that others without a felony conviction can do.
Travel outside of the U.S. is certainly an important part of this.
Encouraging Felons in Going to Brazil
For families of felons who wish to travel to Brazil, it is important to encourage them to pursue this.
Don’t let them allow their mistakes from the past stop them from enjoying life again. Restrictions will be there regardless unless they have their record expunged.
Help them travel to Brazil, assist them in the process, and encourage them to obey the laws of Brazil when they are there. In case of legal difficulties, they can find a lawyer.
So what do you think about this blog post about whether felons can travel to Brazil? Have you or someone you know traveled to Brazil after a felony conviction? What was that experience like? Please tell us in the comments below.