Traveling to Europe

By Tony from Long Island

I just returned from a short trip to Europe to visit my wife. It’s the first time I have left the country (except for a brief trip to Montreal decades ago). When I received my passport, the first thing I looked for was some sort of “unique identifier.” I found none. There’s nothing I could see on the passport to identify my status.

I flew into Amsterdam and going through customs took 20 seconds. Just a “what’s the purpose of your trip” and “how long are you staying.”

I flew back from Berlin to New York 9 days later. When I had to scan my passport, I got the “X” on my receipt. I, of course, had no idea what this meant and started to stress out. I had to wait on a slow moving line only to be told “You have to be seen by an officer” with no reason given.

So I sat in a holding room for about 20 minutes and when my name was called, all I was told was “you can go.” And that was that.

I have no way of knowing whether that was because my status was flagged. I have read that many people get the “X” for random reasons. If It keeps happening upon subsequent trips it’ll be obvious.

Overall, I can say that I had no issues at all with my status during my trip overseas. Of course, I made sure to check ahead of time which countries would allow me to enter and I made sure to file whatever forms were needed to let the powers that be know I would be travelling.

  1. It’s good to read of positive travel experiences. Since IML was passed I ended my International travel. Prior to that dreadful signing into law I traveled extensively as I was an International Pilot, yes a Pilot. Now I am still flying but only in the US. I was very fortunate that I could this job as it does not involve passengers. In fact I had more liberty while I was on Probation than now days, thanks to IML. It’s the 21 day notification that is practically impossible as my schedule could change with little notice. IML has cost me lots of future retirement earnings but again I was and am lucky the way my case was handled but I am increasingly worried about changing laws in different states that may make it impossible to do what I am doing now!

  2. Thank you for the update. My experience traveling in Europe has been painless. Just don’t go to the UK, they won’t let you in. I still want to try getting in through the Chunnel, but that is an adventure for another day. Yes, I got the “X” on my last visit to the states as well. Pretty painless, just took about 30 min of my time and the agents at the passport control were discreet, thank goodness. They treated me professionally and respectfully. I saw a response saying someone was going on a Norwegian Cruise in Mexico. I would defiantly like to see how that trip goes. I heard going on a cruise is a no-no. I have a buddy on the registry that goes to Mexico via California, but just walks across the boarder, so my thought is getting off a cruise in Mexico may be possible. I encourage the gentleman going to Mexico on a cruise to try and disembark in Mexico. But I understand if you don’t want to chance it.

    1. Hi and thanks for sharing, what level sex offender are you classified in your state? How.long has it been since your conviction? And was that a brand new passport or did you order a replacement?

      1. Thanks for all your comments. I’ve been off the registry in Pennsylvania for a few years. When I travel out of the country I will no longer have to give 21 days notice to anyone. I recently applied for a new passport and it does not have a unique identifier or statement. Does anyone know if the “X” notification when going through customs in the U.S. will still occur for someone no longer on the registry? Of course, I still have a criminal conviction, but I don’t know if that alone will cause an “X” to appear.

  3. Thank you so much for posting. The thought of being singled out of line by somebody in authority still frightens the Hell Out me. I’m going on a Norwegian Cruise to Mexico in January. I know I can’t get off the ship because of Mexico’s no entry status. But I’m still nervous. I think it’s 21 days to notify the local law enforcement agency? I’m not even sure how this works. I’ve been off parole 10 years?

    1. In New York, I e-mailed the registry. They sent me a form that I filled out. It wasn’t even that incredibly detailed and they send it to the US Marshals. It e-mailed it back to them 29 days before my trip and asked for an e-mail confirmation that it had been received. They sent one.

  4. I’ve traveled internationally a few times before my passport was revoked. You will always get the “X” on you customs processing because you have to be seen by an officer. My general experience is the same where they check to make you are who you are and you’re let on your way. It’s reasonably painless (and extremely unnecessary IMHO).

    Anyone who travels internationally I highly recommend you carry necessary legal documents (electronically or printed) showing your current position w/ probation or release. If you are no longer on probation, then carry the termination paperwork (again, electronically or a copy) because if their system isn’t current/correct, then it could be a bigger hassle.

    Just my $0.02 for whatever that is worth.

    1. If I may ask – why was your passport revoked?

      Also, in New York, we don’t get any release papers. When your parole is up , it’s up. That’s it. You don’t sign anything. My info with dates will always be on the DOCCS website though.

      1. Yes. That’s me. But I don’t want to be embarrassed disembarking in front of 10,000 people and be turned away. So I’ll stay on. Norwegian doesn’t have a rule against offenders. It’s Carnival.

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