It’s not really so hard to travel internationally as a registrant

I see a lot of doom and gloom on RSOL and travel horror stories, but I want to tell you, RSO’s CAN travel around the world. I have been out of the system for over 3 years and since then, have traveled to 7 different countries! Who cares if you can’t go to Mexico (one of the most corrupt country in the world and dangerous) or Canada (not much different than the US anyways, even if you didn’t have to register, your conviction is a lifetime ban), Dominican Republic, Japan, S Korea, Thailand, and several others are NOT worth even thinking about. Several cruise lines do background checks too, so make sure you find out before you book. If you have family, or something like that, different story, I am talking about LIVING and enjoying life on holiday! I have been to; London (saw Wimbledon), Czech Republic (did a 4 day mountain bike stage race), Switzerland (saw the big fountain in Geneva), inhaled tons of cig smoke on the streets of Lyon, France; Visited 4 Islands of the 7 in the Azores (in Portugal), Rode my mountain bike on the volcanoes of ICELAND, and enjoyed all the sites in Amsterdam/Netherlands. Yes, it sucks to have to ‘register’ when we leave the country, and even worse to get completely humiliated/harrased coming back into the US – really sucks. Although, this last time coming back from Iceland, they let me go right thru, not sure why, maybe they didn’t update border partrol when I registered locally, I have no idea, but I almost cried from the relief of stress. Local police had to come by my house to make sure I got home, the cop was cool about it, but still a total waste of time. I also realized that WHEN the registry dies, and it will die soon (I hope), this is what it is like to come back home.

Here are some suggestions – once you fly into a Schengen country (there are 22+ of them!!!), if you travel to another Schengen country, they do not usually do passport checks (except beware of the UK, Ireland especially – would take a train into there), trains in general are easier than flying once in EU. If you want to go to a nice beach, US Virgin Island/Puerto Rico/Hawaii – you don’t need a US passport to travel there.

Coming back into the US – DON’T travel with a laptop! and make sure all your electronic devices do not have anything that would cause ANY reason for them to ask questions or search deeper. They can LEGALLY search your devices without an warrant (there is a case in SCOTUS right now that might change that, but don’t take any chances). They will likely search ALL your belongings, including receipts, etc, less is better, or go thru seperately with family if you can.

Bottom line, I have always thought about what I CAN do, not worried about what I can’t. You can enjoy life if you want too, or not, but you do have choices.

85 thoughts on “It’s not really so hard to travel internationally as a registrant

  1. How do you register internationally 21 days in advance? Everytime I have called an embassy I can’t get anyone to help me. We flew to Dominican just to be shipped back without explanation. I don’t want to experience that again. Wanting to visit Switzerland or Amsterdam with my wife but scared to fly anywhere.

  2. Registering for a passport for the first time. Offense was 22 years ago, when I was 20 years old and I have been off the registry for XX years. Does anyone know what the likelihood of my getting a “stamp” on my passport? Also, does anyone know if it matters what state you are living in when you register for the passport? Even thought the passport is registered with the Federal govt, I am wondering if I am in a more conservative or liberal state would make any difference as to if I will get the stamp/flag or not. Thanks in advance for your help.

    1. I don’t know for sure, but if you are not currently on any RSO list, state or federal, I would not think you will get the Scarlet Letter on your passport.

      As to state, “liberal vs conservative”, I am in the most liberal state in the U.S. (California) and it has the most draconian registration laws.. In almost any other state I would have been “off the list” 10 or 20 years ago. I don’t think state matters, but if I could, I’d live in a state like Wyoming that has reasonable registration laws (if you can call any registration law “reasonable”).

  3. What are people’s experiences with cruising? I took a cruise to the Panama Canal and back in 2019. I had a passport that didn’t have any RSO stamp on it and I didn’t give anyone a 21 day notice, because I never heard of that until this year (2022). I had no problems in any country, until I got back to the U.S.

    They pulled me out of the ICE line and took me to a waiting room. I sat there 30 minutes, then 2 officers escorted me to baggage claim, looked in my bags and sent me on my way. A week later I got notice my passport was cancelled.

    In 2020 I took a cruise to Hawaii & back from LA. Again, because I’d never heard of the 21 day notice requirement, I didn’t tell anyone. I was again pulled aside at ICE, no one said anything; I sat in the same waiting room and again after about 30 minutes I was sent on my way with no explanation and no further search.

    Now that I know about the 21 day notice I will file one at my local PD this year for another Hawaii cruise and a Mexican Riviera cruise. I will say which ship I am on and which foreign ports I will be in and when. My question is, will ICE or DOJ notify Princess and Norwegian I am going to be on their ship? Will those companies cancel my cruise? What are people’s experiences in 2022 on cruise lines?

    1. Norwegian called me a week before my scheduled 7 day Hawaiian Island cruise and said I would not be allowed to board the ship. My girlfriend is devastated. We planned for months and she was really looking forward to some time alone together. Anyway, they did provide a full refund but the stress on our relationship is killing us.

  4. This article was from a while ago i am looking to go to an Portugal or Spain and i am an RSO in Fla(for life) does anyone know if they will turn you away?

    1. I’ve been to Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and Hungary as a registrant. I’ve entered Europe through Germany, France, and Switzerland. No trouble at any of those points of entry and once inside the EU you can travel freely without showing your passport.

      1. I just tried to go to the country Georgia. I was denied entry at the border. They seemed to be expecting me and had me go to an interrogation room where they asked questions about my stay and purpose of visit and documentation for income, lodging, and travel insurance. They never mentioned the SOR. They denied me entry and sent me back, they said, because I didn’t have travel insurance or lodging arranged for my entire visit. I was planning to stay for a year, this is allowed for American citizens without a VISA. I was told on an expat sight I could get health insurance after I arrived, and I was going to find an apartment to rent within the first month while staying in a Hostel that I had a reservation at. I had a feeling that this was because of the SOR that they looked for a reason. I could have gone online while they waited and got the insurance, but they wouldn’t even discuss it. But they did not tell me not to come back, they said now I will know the requirements if I come back. So, who knows? I am going to try again in the fall. Maybe go to Turkey and from there to Georgia, that way if I am denied entry again, I will get sent back to Turkey and not have to just come back home.

    2. Neil,

      I am glad you shared this i was going to go to Georgia because Russia is in this war. i was in Russia in Oct of 2021 and had no troubles mostly because i don’t think Russian authorities care what American authorities want or don’t want. (IE banning us from their country) i wish i could get your e-mail i would like to see how your second attempt goes as i have heard that Georgia is a great place to retire to and you can get a Nomad visa for 3 years or even citizenship after 5. Not to mention that no one is looking to put you in jail for a violation they made up that day

      1. Mark,
        I had heard that Russia was inaccessible due to the banning of anyone with a felony. But that is good to know, I might try to go there later. I am going to Turkey and Georgia in October. Turkey has an online visa application, which I was approved for, so I am hoping entry will not be an issue. Then, if I get denied entry into Georgia, I will be sent back to Turkey and can stay there for a while. I have a feeling that all EU countries, of which Georgia may become one of soon, will become more difficult to travel to with the new system of tourist registration process they are implementing. We’ll see, I guess. I posted my email, but the moderators probably won’t let it go through. I will check back here.

  5. Wondering it any one has any recent experience for Brazil. I have traveled there several times over the last 20 years with a business visa and had no issues. The last time was February of 2019. My obligation to register as a SO in my state ended in 2006. I recently renewed my passport and there are no markings. In 2020 Brazil eliminated the need for visa’s for US citizens. I am concerned that additional scrutiny may be done now that my (still valid visa) is no longer required. I did read online that in 2014 Brazil started to use Interpol to screen incoming passengers.

    1. check RTAG, from what I have seen, RSOs are banned to enter, but since you don’t have to do the notification, who knows. I would contact the consulate and see what they say – without giving your name, simply ask if someone has this situation, are they allowed in the country. Most of S America SOs are banned – not just turned away, and not just ‘registered’ – convicted. Wait, you were just there in 2019 and you got in, why would that change, especially with a new passport? Even though a visa is not required, you could still probably get one and then you would have a better idea. I would love to go to Brazil, but I gave up on that a long time ago!

    2. From me research, they’re screening of interpol ate for red notices. They are only looking for wanted criminals. Their system is also not hooked up to the US database. They will only know about your crime if a green notice was sent.

    3. Hello, I was hoping you had an update on traveling to Brazil without the marker? My conviction was 20 years ago, misdemeanors and now in California I can get removal, so once removed and having the marker removed from passport I would like to travel to Brazil. Thank you

  6. I am a level 1 sex offender first time! I live in Pennsylvania and have to register for the next 10 years. I am looking to move where I would not to be on a states public website. Pretty much I am looking for states that have the least restrictions for a level 1 sex offender. Thanks

    1. There are few and far between states that you can move to to get off the registry. I think Alaska might be one, I am not sure about Washington state, most of them claim whatever your conviction was that is comparable in their state is how they treat you. Unfortunately narsol is too afraid to talk about good places to move because they think if they publish it, those states will somehow see that story and change their laws because of it, which I think is BS but definitely would move to a more liberal state and contact there police department and everything else before you even think about moving. I think we all wish we could move somewhere to get off the stupid registry

      1. Oregon is as good it’s going to get.
        And by the way a great place to live, you’ll like it.

    2. With the exception of a few (like New York), most states now publish all offenders.
      NYS does not publish Level 1 offenders. However, you have to register for 20 years. Also, if you register in NYS then move, you have to notify them of your whereabouts every 3 years after you move. The NYS registry will literally follow you wherever you go.

  7. So I haven’t seen this brought up in the comments yet. I was convicted in California, lifetime registry there. I’ve also had to register in Arizona, Colorado, and Pennsylvania. I moved to Washington state, attempted to register, and was told that I’m not required to register in Washington. I then travelled to Germany for 90 days. Prior to leaving, I contacted the US Marshall’s to find out if I had to give the 21 day notice. Their answer was as long as I didn’t have to register in Washington state, I wasn’t required to give any kind of notice. I left and came back with no issues. Returning, customs pulled me aside, asked me some questions about where I went, and that was it. I’m considering a trip to the UK next. If I don’t have to notify anyone, then there’s no reason I’d be flagged from being let in. Guess we will find out.

    1. The USA requires under federal law that you give 21 days notice to your local registration office, and the US government notifies your destination country. The UK in particular is well known for not allowing registrants to enter.

      1. The UK (and Ireland) don’t let in anyone with a felony conviction, regardless of crime.

  8. Has anyone had luck at getting into Central or South America or Asia? I’m registered but its a non violent crime and I don’t know if that helps at all or not. Also when the day comes that I don’t have to register anymore, will it be easier to travel then?

    1. Hi Bob, it doesn’t matter if is is ‘non-violent’ or not, if you are a registered SO, they will notifiy the country you are traveling to with whatever you were sentenced with, if it is a sex offence, they will use their rules accordingly. I recently traveled to Nepal, I called the embassy before I went and they said no problem, but I have heard others do the same thing and then denied entry. In Nepal, very poor country, they asked me to wait, and I ended up talking to a ‘sex trafficking’ officer, kind of, she barely spoke english. She was very nice and I saw the form they sent. They just wanted to know where I was going – it was a 14 mountain bike ride, no way they could have tracked me. I heard almost ALL S American countries ban RSOs, not worth trying, and many main Asian Countries, N Korea, Vietnam Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, and others, but maybe some of the smaller countries is possible. China, not sure either, you have to get a visa approved before, so you would know then. Air travel is the most restrictive, so if you do make it into one country, you might have better luck driving/train to get into others. There is a link on narsol’s page with international travel countries who is banned and not, it is not updated very often, but it can give you a really good idea of where you can and can’t go. There are over 100 countries in this world, maybe 20% we are banned, but that leaves 80 other countries to visit and explore. As far as you getting off the registry, when that happens, I believe you do not need to do the stupid notification – but before then, if your passport has not been revoked yet, it likely will be, you will have to re-apply, pay another $110 to get a new one with the stupid stamp on it – then after you get off the registry, will have to get another one – with the new scotus, it will only get worse and that stamp is there to stay for a long time. GOOD LUCK and be safe

    2. I tried going to Brazil in 2016 for the olympics (I’m non violent classified offender but that does not matter – Notification and 21 day travel approval law applies to all offenders) in all states since this is a federal law. Brazil lifted all visa requirements for the olympics yet upon arrival, I was separated from my group, placed under house arrest for violation of Brazilian law which bars all sex offenders from entering their country) and then placed back on the next Delta flight home (12 hours later). I was kept in a locked room for the 12 hours under guard and was escorted to the plane by same guard when the return flight was called. Totally humilating and embarrasing. I then learned about the brazilian law that barred SOs from travelling there. Most of South America is the same. Recommend use the list on RSTOL which has pretty good info on intl travel. Have travelled to Schengen countries (except UK which will bar you and deport you immediately) without incident. Best bet – contract the consular office or embassy and pose the question directly. But even that does not bar you from being blocked from entry.

      1. Damn thats shitty. My dream is to travel to South America and always has been. Does anyone have a success story of getting into central or south America, or Asia other than Hong kong. I see that guatemala is the only safe bet, thank God for Guatemala atleast. My next trip just might be guatemala, they have super cool looking pyramids. Venezuela might be an option for a period of time once Maduro is overthrown. Ps. My conviction is statutory rape so one of the lesser sex crimes I think?

      2. I contacted the Haitian consular office before going on a group trip there to a resort in 2019. The consular sent back a warm letter saying Haiti would welcome me! Upon arrival by plane in Haiti, I was taken aside and questioned. I showed the letter, which was totally disregarded. Luckily, the plane was returning to Florida within the hour…with me on it! I forfeited whatever I paid for the resort vacation. If Haiti’s economy is weak, let them eat cake.

  9. I recently travelled to Japan and was held at the airport for 2 hours. After a lengthy interview, I was told by Japanese customs that I was blacklisted by the US authorities. I did not notify the proper authorities of my travel and am a little nervous when I return. The Japan customs allowed me to enter their country since he mentioned that my jail sentence was less than a year (60 days). I was a little surprised because it seemed unlikely that I would be allowed to enter. So far I have travelled to 6 countries since this notification procedure started. The Schengen countries, together with Turkey, don’t really care about the rules.

    Does anyone know if only the country of first entry is notified or other countries as well? I will try to enter Thailand and South Korea next month and will let you know how it goes.

    1. There is HUGE risk in not notifying the authorities with your travel plans and if they see the stamps on your passport, it could be serious (federal felony charges). As far as I know, Thailand and South Korea are very difficult if not impossible to get into if you fly directly into them – I wouldn’t advise it unless you are willing to risk losing that money and time. As far as if they notify all countries you travel too that you register, you are supposed to report your known travel plans as ‘best as possible’, but if you are unsure of your plans until you get where you are going – eg – taking a train from Germany to Hungary, then it is not likely since they only check your passport on the train and no borders to go thru customs. When I travel, I always register with information I have at that time and what questions are asked on the form provided.

      The US does not ‘blacklist’ us, they simply let that country know a ‘monster’ is coming into their country and from what I understand, it is Japan that has banned all RSO’s, you are lucky they let you in – expect to be searched, including all electronic devices, harassed and questioned when you come back, likely will see your passport too. Also, a friend of mine tried to get into Dominican Republic without registering, and was still denied – Angle Watch has everyone’s name, whether you register or not – don’t screw with this, not worth it and there are plenty of countries you can travel too without being denied entry, Most of Asia and S America, not so much. Good Luck!

      1. Thanks for that excellent information. Also note that countries change their acceptance practices over time.

        A year ago, I contacted the Haitian Consulate about taking a trip there with a professional group. I got an enthusiastic thumbs up. When I arrived in Haiti, however, I was taken aside by Customs and put back on a plane heading to Miami. I lost all money for the flight and the vacation.

      2. What authorities in America do you have to notify if you want to travel outside of the United States?

      3. I am seeing a lot of notes about not being able to go to DR, but I was there a few years ago while on the registry. When did this start? I already have a plane ticket paid for and am about to do a wire transfer to pay for my vacation.

    2. how do I know if the state where i live(texas) has to give 21 day notice? When I called PD, they said they don’t know anything about 21 day notice. I heard that some states do not follow SORNA, please correct me if I am wrong. If i need to travel internationally, should I provide notice to local PD? What happens if I need to travel family emergency and do not have enough time to provide them 21 day notice?

      Any help is greatly appreciated.

      1. I am not sure if it is a SORNA thing or not, but it is a Megan’s Law and that is National – regardless of what state you are in. When I first traveled outside the US, my local PD had NO clue about it, I had to educate them! You can download the IML travel form, fill it out and submit it directly to your local PD – aka CYA – You need to provide your travel itinerary and details to the ‘best of your knowledge’. I have traveled and only knew where I was going and didn’t have hotel or anything until I got there – they can’t force you to put all of that down if you don’t know what it is. I give the minimum requirements and if they have questions they usually call. Understand this, whether you register or not, they (US Marshalls/Interpol) WILL know you are traveling outside the US, they will know what flights you are on leaving the US. As far as family emergencies, if I remember correctly, it does address that and you are to give notice as soon as you know your travel plans. Bottom line, whether your local PD is aware or not, get the form, fill it out as best you can, make sure it is SIGNED by an officer and you get a copy of it. Make sure your passport is current (you will need that for the form) and expect to be harassed coming back into the US. Also, make SURE you check the travel Matrix on what countries you can get into and not – Most of Asia, Most of S/C America, UK, Australia, NZ, Canada, Mexico you will NOT get into, EU and many other countries you can, but don’t take a chance on most of those countries!

      2. I have to register annually in Virginia. The form states I must notify them 21 days before travel outside the country, so that is how I know.

        Incidentally, I traveled to St. Thomas, a US territory and did not notify the State PD. No problem. But, when I left St. Thomas I was taken aside and told I had to register there next time. Probably same for Puerto Rico.

      3. All states are required to comply with SORNA and it doesn’t matter where you live because SORNA is a federal statute and regardless of your states laws, they cannot trump federal law. The Dept of State and Justice are notified via your SORNA application for foreign travel which you submit through your registry management organization (in Virginia it is the Virginia State Police that are responsible for the SO Registry). They submit the application for foreign travel, it gets processed through State and Justice deparments who notify INTERPOL. INTERPOL notifies all countries that you are travelling too. If you fail to make your application you are committing a felony.

  10. What is the procedure to move out the country? Do you report 21 days travel notice then tell them 5 days before of your moving day that you are moving, or do you just tell them you are moving out of the country? Since you are deregistered then I would assume the 21 day notice doesn’t apply since it is only for registered SO correct?

    1. I asked this question and the answer was, 21 day notice, for international travel, then 5 days before the move.

  11. I wonder if anyone has info or experience regarding New York rso rules. SORNA says everyone has to notify the feds about international travel. New York has opted OUT of SORNA. Would that mean that a NY rso is NOT required to notify the feds ?

    1. So you may be referring to the issue of NY opting out in 2011 (which is old) that had to do with registering young (juvenile) offenders. This is not new. The SORNA regulation is clear – if you travel without the required notification – you are in fact in violation of SORNA (and probably in violation of your own SOR rules). I am not a lawyer – just someone who has spent years educating myself on these issues. I would consult a lawyer before ever considering not complying with any provisions in SORNA. In the interim, I recommend you comply with SORNA for every international trip if you are required to register on any SOR anywhere in the US. It is not worth the risk of a violation.

    2. You don’t notify FEDS you notify the state where you are registered. Cover your bases and call the NYSOR and ask.

    3. Regardless of SORNA it is a federal crime not to notify the feds of your international travel. DJCS in Albany has an easy form that they forward to the US Marshals

  12. After getting off probation I have traveled a few times internationally. But I haven’t tried to travel since IML has gotten passed. I have been to French Polynesia/ Tahiti, Fiji, and the Bahamas. Each time I make sure to call the American consulate in the country and ask them of SOR are allowed into the country. Sometimes I get an immediate answer and sometimes it takes a few days. But they’re generally nice about it. I would just recommend that if you do plan a trip and you’re not totally sure if you’re going to get in to buy some travel insurance so you’re not out all your money.

    1. So here is my latest travel (April 2018) update since IML passed ( I travelled on my old passport which does not yet carry the new designation and does not yet expire until the end of this year). Just returned from the Netherlands and France. Flew into and out of Schipol Amsterdam after confirming with the NL consulate in DC that there are no restrictions (I am on the SOR registry in VA and no longer on probation). Had no problems whatsoever into Amsterdam, travelled over to France via Belgium (by rail) and back and travelled back to US without incident. I, of course, registered my trip with the DOJ SMART System per SORNA, and as a result, was stopped upon my return to the US (as I have been on every international trip I have taken). All three CBP officers, and all three interviewers were polite and professional (all asking almost the same questions), I am always up front and honest and tell them the reason I am stopped (They always ask if they know why I am being stopped – I get the black X on the auto processing system form) is because of my felony conviction from 15 years ago and the SOR. The process delays me about 15-20 minutes, and this time around they only did a very cursory inspection of my carryon, and did not even inspect my luggage (which they have done in the past). Overall this was the least invasive and least time it took for me to process back through the US system. A significant improvement over my earlier travel delays back into the US. So maybe things are actually getting a little better. The final CBP officer actually noticed that I have my TSA Precheck Clearance and asked me if I had tried to get my Global Entry Clearance, which he thought might get me through easier and quicker on future trips. I explained to him that unfortunately I tried that process, and because of the conviction, they declined me. I even submitted a re-review request based on the TSA clearance, but the Global Entry Program for some odd reason has an even higher and more strict threshold than TSA (which makes no sense whatsoever). I think he actually felt bad about that and agreed it made no sense. Maybe that’s why he decided to not go through my luggage. But overall it was a good travel experience overall both abroad and even returning to the US (this time).

      1. Thanks for the tips on European travel. The UK however, does not allow SOR’s, so it is useless to begin there.
        I had similar experiences when coming back to Virginia. Professional and courteous (almost bored) CBP officers. A brief 15 minutes max delay returning to the US. Quick checks.
        Haiti’s consulate said I would have no problem traveling there, welcomed me to Haiti. However, Cusoms folks at the Haiti airport had other direction; flew me back to the US on the next plane. Much money lost.

      2. An update – I renewed my passport under the new IML law and much to my surprise my passport did not contain the offensive Scarlet Letter marking about being an SO. Was very surprised! I am not sure if this is because my offense is classified as non Violent (VA only has two classifications) or because my offense was 15 years ago….But either way it was a nice surprise to get my passport and have no markings about being a registered SO

    2. Sorry, but travel insurance generally covers illnesses, death in the family, etc. but not rejection from a country. My experience is that travel insurance does not protect SOR’s from a canceled vacation.

      1. There is travel insurance that covers “Cancel for any reason”. ( LX plan). I have travelled to central america and bought it just in case I was turned away at the airport. Read the fine print to see for yourself. Also, do your research first before you travel to avoid any surprises at your destination. Forewarned is forearmed. I hope this alleviates some concerns of some travelers.

  13. When I was young I wanted to leave home so bad and when I did I couldn’t wait to come back. Stay in the USA and don’t worry about travel there is plenty here to see and do without the hassle. I am an RSO and off paper for @ 4 years and travel all over the US with no issues at all….just know the rules.

    1. You make a good point, however there are states in this country where you are not allowed to go to a mall, or a park, or many other places. Some require you to register as soon as you get into the State some don’t care, so it may be a pain in the ass to travel outside the country, but if you plan accordingly and do your research , There are dozens of countries around the world that we can visit, Explore and appreciate other cultures. As long as people stop living and not pursuing their dreams, they win. May have to tweak the dream a little bit, but there’s no way in hell being on the stupid registry is going to stop me from doing many or most of the things that I’ve always wanted to do

    2. It would be easier to teach astrophysics to my cat than understand and navigate the labyrinth of separate and overlapping SO laws across this once great nation. You can carefully read the state law and run afoul of some podunk Sheriff’s punitive interpretation of that law or some little towns residency restriction. But according to the strict liability nature of these laws you still get tossed in jail and put through Hell all over again. The European system is far more effective and respects individual liberty and privacy while protecting victims and keeping recidivism low.

  14. How long do you think it will take for the whole world to hear about dangerous predators traveling and it have little effect ! And I’m not just talking about the U.S. Now, the U.S. has and is helping shape and change other Countries and the World to follow their example of laws ! And it is HAPPENING, BIG TIME ! If you like to gamble, go ahead it’s your right ! Now the new IML stamp will, Target, Label, and Brand ex- offenders ! As a serious threat, to undo the impression is very difficult, especially pertaining to laws and Countries protecting its own !

    1. Trish, The US is doing everything it can to make the world know about SO’s, but there are many parts of this world that could care less about what the US does, especially with current administration. Schegen countries (most of) do not completely or agree at all with this process. It is everyone’s right to take a ‘gamble’ but there are still many places where there really isn’t that much of a gamble, at least for now. Let’s say you don’t want to take that gamble, there are several countries you can travel to that DON’T need a passport that are US territories – Puerto Rico, US VIrgin Islands, Guam and the Marshall Islands – it may not be the places you ‘want’ to go to, but an SO CAN travel internationally and not worry about being denied entry – as far as I know, you don’t need a PP to get in. The stamp makes it worse, yes, but it is at the back of the PP (as of today, no one has seen one PP with it on there), and I am hopeful that the lawsuits that have been filed will delay or stop it completely – all I know, RIGHT now, I DON’T have a stamp on mine and will continue to plan, live and travel to the many countries around the world where I AM welcome and not worry or care about those that I am not – I can’t control what they do, only what I do and think. I am and suggest everyone gets involved, donates, follows the cases, get educated and help as they can. Don’t get me wrong, this all sucks terribly, but like I said, I worry about what I CAN do, not what I can’t, and there are still options.

    2. So here are some of my latest travel experiences as a registrant. 2015 travel (cruise) to Italy, Greece, Turkey, France and Spain with no problems whatsoever. 2016 Travel to Brazil with Visa requirements suspended during olympics. I was stopped at passport control, placed under house arrest, detained at the airport in a locked room for 12 hours with an airport guard, then placed on the next Delta Flight back to US. All SORs are prohibited from travelling to Brazil which I found out later (Brazil Ministerial Order 876/2014). Dec 2016 a Virginia SOR was allowed entry to UK/London LHR for a wedding for a week. Mar 2017 another virginia SOR was denied entry to UK/London LHR for a cruise in which he had no plans to stay on land anywhere in the UK – held for 12 hours, placed on next flight back to US – neither had applied for a VISA. Hearing that, I applied for a VISA for my upcoming visit to the UK in 2018 and was denied a VISA and am barred from entering the UK since my single offense from 15 years ago with no reoffense and 10 yr suspended sentence with only 180 days of retained jurisdiction (Classified Non Violent Offense) was longer than a 4 year sentence. They also cited a general menace to society and referenced a second law for denying my VISA (V3.4(a) and V3.3). So I am travelling in a few months to Amsterdam and Paris, applied for a VISA via the Netherlands (Schengen Visa) – interviewed with the Consulate and notified them of my offense, registration, issues in Brazil and the UK, etc. They responded back within 4 days and were resolute, as an American Citizen with no travel restrictions, I am fully welcome to enter the Netherlands regardless of my past criminal record, current registration status, and they refused to process my VISA application (did not reject and did not deny my application) but were very clear that they wanted me to travel to the Netherlands with full assurance that I would have no problems entering their country. They even refunded all of my VISA non refundable application fees. So I am still a little worried but I would love to hear others travel stories since the best advice from the only law firm in the US who really provides advice is to seek as many stories as you can….and no I don’t work for them and have not used their services –
      but their advice is do not travel without a VISA regardless of the requirements for one –
      in many cases US citizens don’t require visas for travel – their advice –
      Always apply for a VISA. Hope this helps others.

      1. Tom, I flew from Iceland (no problems getting in at all – DON’T FLY THRU CANADA!!!) directly to Amsterdam – Iceland is a great way to travel to EU! Once you are in a Schengen country, there is usually no passport check going into another schengen country – there wasn’t for me going into Amsterdam. So that was easy. I have heard that as long as you don’t need to get a VISA with a US passport, do NOT get one. It is automatically getting you flagged, so not sure what advice they gave you, I have never applied for one (been to 7 countries) and didn’t need it. As far as the UK, I flew into London (twice) and this was before I knew about all the restrictions, and was allowed in no questions. I have a F4 from 16 yrs ago, so not sure if they are restricting on the actual offense or not. If I were to go back, I would probably fly into another country, and take a train into London or the anywhere else in the UK. Again, once in a Schengen, especially on a train, MUCH easier to get into a country, not sure how tough it would be to get into Ireland that way, but I think a better chance. BTW, didn’t have any probs getting into the Czech Rep, and think eastern EU might be fine tooGood luck!!

      2. Have traveled to Germany, Switzerland, and France multiple times. The EU and Swiss don’t care about our draconian laws.

      3. Thanks Tod. But as I understand it you are flagged because of the SMART System and not because of the VISA. Per SORNA, once DOJ is notified, they notify DOS, who notifies INTERPOL, who notifies the host country of the arrival and departure dates and times. So with or without a VISA, they already know you are arriving. Again assuming you are still on the registry, SORNA requires every international trip to be registered at least 21 days in advance of the trip with all the required flight and travel itinerary information. And travelling without that notification is unto itself a violation of SORNA, so I make sure I register every single international trip I take. Thanks!

      4. I should add except for the UK (England, Northern Ireland, and Scotland). They will turn you away. They aren’t part of Schengen.

      5. I seems to me that the Netherland officials did not process your visa applications because no visa was needed to enter their Country with you being a US citizen. Same with France for US persons who want to visit for less than 90 days.
        People in Indonesia who want to visit France have to pay 1200 dollars for a visa to go there on vacation.

      6. Yes Thanks. I knew ahead of time that as a US citizen I did not need a VISA (just like the rest of the 26 or so Schengen Countries) – but advice from the US CBP/ICE officials after my detention experience in Brazil and legal advice I have received has recommended if in doubt – to apply for a VISA regardless. That way you are guaranteed an interview with a consulate or embassy official and can find out first hand if there are going to be issues when trying to enter a country before you travel. Especially since there is no clear or definitive information sources for those on the registry and with required SORNA notifications through Interpol. RTAG has a decent resource but even that has a disclaimer that their info is anecdotal at best. It appears now that Schengen travel is the least risky, but travel to the Far East is still pretty problematic with very inconsistent stories and experiences as is travel to the UK with as many people being stopped and barred as there are people entering without a problem. So my plans are to stick to Schengen Travel as I work through the process and court proceedings for removal from the registry (non-violent, low risk, one time offender).

  15. does anybody have any knowledge or first hand experience flying to Africa? I have a significant other who is a registered sex offender that isn’t on probation or parole, she is trying to become a travel agent and so traveling would be part of her job and we are trying to go to Cape Town with a bunch of other people. she was already denied at the Mexican airport and sent back home and made to feel like total crap and I’m trying to avoid this cause it makes me feel horrible to see her treated this way. she’s done her time and it just feels like the punishment never ends and now the IML being passed just makes things worse. from my understanding the main reason countries deny you is cause what the U.S. is sending other countries when they inform them you are going to be entering their country.

    1. Everything I’ve read about Africa has said there have been no problems at all; probably due to their lack of technology (computers and internet) at border stations.

  16. Although this is an old post, I’ll go ahead and add my 2 cents.

    I have entered and exited South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines this year with no problems.

    Recently I was traveling and heard that IML came into effect October 31st. I already had my travel plans made and was panicking about whether I would be able to go or not. I tried to use the email address provided on the DHLS website, but never got an answer. In the end, I called my senator and had his office find out for me.

    Unfortunately, they have passed IML but have not given any indication when and how the law will be enforced. Based on my what I have heard from my senator’s office, they said that the passports won’t be stamped until they are up for renewal. That of course could change at a moment’s notice.

    I urge people to try to find out what is going on and to share with others.


    1. What is wrong with you and what you are talking about is your exception ! The laws are changing to prevent registered citizens from traveling! Period ! The new identifier will increase the likelihood of denial by a great % ! Period ! Who can travel not knowing if all time and money is wasted and live as a fugitive ! The law was not meant or established to oppress people, but set them free ! Period ! IML will and has caused severe difficulties and losses ! and will continue to get worse ! Someone always pays a price when laws run amuck ! Do don’t be narrow minded or downplay any IML laws or SORNA etc ! It has and is getting worse for all registered people ! Do not be fooled or delute others ! ! !

      1. Yes things will eventually change, like the Nazis after millions died and suffered and they were forced to stop ! It Ended ! But not one moment Sooooooner ! Those who traveled are able to do so, the entent for the new laws are to bring New bondage !…..if we tell ourselves it will be ok and we do not get involved to STOP IML and SORNA etc ! IT WILL GET WORSE ! IN ALL AREAS OF OUR LIVES !

    2. A few days ago, I was going to fly back to the US via SK from TH. I could not even get a boarding pass at check-in at the TH airport. I was told I should find another carrier (not Korean Air) and another route. I was also asked if I were travelling alone. (Of course, in my experience Koreans are a bit more retentive than some Asian countries.) Oddly enough, this would have been my fifth trip back to the US in five years, each time following the same route TH to SK to US. Thus, going “home and coming back to my adopted homeland” I’ve been through SK airport TRANSITING, folks! TRANSITING! eight times. No dice this time.

    3. You entered and exited all those counties.. how?? Are you even a RSO from the US? From everything I have read people are always denied
      In those asian counties you’ve listed.

  17. This is an update on my friend who left friday to fly to Indonesia to see his potential future wife.
    after landing in Singapore to change planes to Surabaya Indo he was stopped by the the Officials in the Airport who would not allow him to board his plane to Indonesia,, I strongly suspect because he would have been wasting his plane right to Indonesia where they would have kept him on that plane until it took back off to Singapore. He just landed in Atlanta one hour ago. he has worn the same clothes since Friday and has not seen his baggage. So a word to the wise. Don’t go to Asia on a plane.
    I sent an email to the Chinese embassy to inquire if I would be allowed a visa to go with my wife to see her parents. I will keep you informed of the outcome.

  18. I have heard people being denied entry into London and Ireland in the airports, I was not, and I entered twice. I am not sure if they look at the actual offense or what, but if there is any doubt, would fly into another schengen country and they take a train, or seperate flight – they usually don’t check passports within schengen countries – flying from Iceland to Amsterdam, they didn’t. Air travel is the most controlled, trains are easier – no gaurantees in any of them, do your homework.

  19. I’ve traveled to Germany, Switzerland, and France without issue. My offense isn’t even illegal there.

    Returning to the USA though was a nightmare and I was treated like a criminal. My passport was placed in a red bag and I was led to a secure detainment area in the inbound passport control area and questioned about my trip then eventually released.

    I haven’t traveled internationally since the new passport rules came into effect and my passport hasn’t been replaced with one bearing any mark.

  20. You mention being “out of the system”, does that mean you are off the registry or just off of supervision? Because the way I see it, if you’re out of the system entirely (fulfilled your registration time) why would you have to keep registering during travel?
    Could you elaborate on this a bit more?

    1. I am no longer on probation and served my time, but due to SORNA, I have to continue to register for 10 years after I completed my term, which most have to do (maybe that might change with a major non ruling today by scotus). So as long as I have to register, I am required to notify of my international travel

    2. On “out of the system,” I moved overseas after being released from probation. I traveled back to the US eleven times in fifteen years. Only the last two or three trips back have been a headache with a brief questioning at a couple points of arrival (airports) upon first landing. I do not have an address in the States anymore although when I renewed a DL in a new state (where my parent had moved), the new DL in the new state caused some problems and checks to see if I resided there. The two or three delays after landing back in the US weren’t that bad–humiliating a bit because the airport staff pushing my wheelchair was standing a few feet away while a blue shirt/brown shirt questioned me from behind a desk. The biggest headache was a couple weeks ago when I tried to make a trip back and was refused TRANSITING in another Asian airport (with their nat’l airline) on my way back to the States. In the end, I was not even allowed to board my first flight in my adopted homeland

    3. Concur with Tod. While you may be finished with supervision (Probation), if you are still on the registry, SORNA requires that every international trip you take must be registered with the Dept of Justice’s SMART System. You must register your trip 21 days in advance of your trip. DOJ notifies Dept of State, who notifies INTERPOL, who then notifies the countries you intend to visit – which is how they know you are arriving. You must provide details of your travel itinerary, flight plans, hotel plans, travel plans, etc. I have found that the system allows you to enter generic information (ie if you don’t have firm hotel plans yet – it still allows you to enter the trip) for just about everything but your flight arrival and departure plans – which are required. Just remember that providing false info is a crime unto itself so I don’t recommend trying to fake out the system with dummy information. Also if you fail to register your trip, you are committing a crime. But this is how and why the host country knows you are coming, when you are coming, and when you are leaving.

      1. I don’t believe this is the case for all offenses. I went to Europe for 8 days in March 2018. Netherlands and Belgium. I contacted my home states registry 5 weeks before to get a head start on all the required paperwork only to be told that I was not required to give international travel notification. That said I do not have a conviction against a minor. I did of course however get pulled aside in customs for secondary screening.

  21. That is very encouraging. We recently had a question from someone about this. I wish I had known to direct him to this article. Thank you for sharing. I hope to do some similar traveling in a few years.

  22. Thank you for this info. I’m glad to see that there are so many places you can visit without worrying about being sent back (that’s my only worry, being sent back after all that flying and money spent) . I agree with you with some of the places that are troubling like Mexico. I’ve been there many times before and yes, at least to me it is not impressive at all and dont really care for it – as well as the other places you’ve mentioned. I’m glad Europe is pretty tolerant because thats where I want to go. Especially the places you’ve mentioned.

    I only have one question. You said you have been to London but give warning of the UK. I thought the entire UK was off limits and would send you back? Which of course, the UK includes London ? Unless you mean taking a train to the UK from Europe?

    Like you, I can’t wait as well untill all this crap is over and the registry dies. Nothing is forever and it will eventually meet its end. Hopefully sooner than later.

    1. I am wondering about that myself. I think he means take a train from Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK that you will already be in, into the Republic of Ireland, which is not part of the UK.

      1. Im a level 3 which a rouge sheriff imposed on me after I returned back home from London Ontario 5 years ago ,they put a level 1 on me there, Ive been kicked out of 2 churches , I lost a girlfriend after I told her about the wicked witch that lied to the cops there in London that I had molested her granddaughter its a long ugly story as all of you know. Ive not tried to travel abroad ,but I do know if you catch a flight from New York to Shannon Ireland airport youll be in the R. of Ireland, then you can travel to Europe from there, I dont know if the R of I. will turn you away . its been 15 years that my deceased wife and I did it. good luck all of you .

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