What Are Some Guidelines for Convicted Felons Who Want to Travel Abroad?

In general, a prison record doesn't affect someone's ability to leave the country, but convicted felons who intend to travel abroad should understand that the nature of their crime and the terms of their release may affect where they can travel, explains USA Today. In some cases, felons with a valid passport may still face restrictions on where they can travel.

Particular criminal offenses may preclude the issuance of a passport, or revocation of a current one, states USA Today. Felony convictions for drug trafficking or engaging in sex tourism typically result in passport revocation or denial. Felons named in a subpoena and those currently named in a federal arrest warrant cannot leave the country. The terms of some felons' probation or parole forbid travel outside the United States, and felons released into a supervised program are similarly restricted. Anyone awaiting trial cannot leave the country.

Felons found to be legally incompetent during their trial require a judge's approval to obtain a passport, and those who owe more than $5,000 in child support also need a court's permission, according to USA Today. Anyone who served prison time in another country and required financial help to return is not eligible for a passport until he repays the money. Ex-convicts who do qualify for a passport may still find their travel plans restricted by countries that do not issue entry visas to felons. Countries where drug trafficking is an issue are likely to deny a visa to a convicted drug trafficker.