Can Felons Travel To Jamaica?

Jamaica is one of the most scenic places on earth. Each year, millions of tourists from across the globe visit the country. Jamaica is famous for its beaches, good food and vibrant island culture.

For felons, a trip to Jamaica may not be as easy as it seems; criminal records can be a setback. Foreign governments reserve the right to deny entry to individuals with a previous conviction.

Travel Restrictions

The United States federal government imposes certain restrictions on felons. The government considers them a liability. Their actions in another country may affect the country.

Felons are not allowed to leave the country without first completing their sentence. After completing their sentence, felons are required to go through a probation period, which can last months, or even years depending on their previous conviction. They can start traveling after the probation period expires.

According to passportsonline.org, felons can obtain a passport unless denied by the Department of State for specific reasons. Passports are usually denied due to pending child support payments or an ongoing probation.

Felons convicted of arms or drug trafficking may have their passport denied, but this is on a case to case basis. The Department of State reviews cases and approves them individually. For any and all questions related to felony passport, felons can contact or personally visit the Regional Passport Agency.

Reasons To Travel To Jamaica

Tourists travel to Jamaica to experience a host of activities. The country is home to thousands of tropical plants, pristine beaches, great tasting coffee and Patois-speaking islanders.

Most tourists engage in waterside recreational activities including swimming, surfing, parasailing and wakeboarding. Fruit stalls, restaurants and cafes that offer sumptuous Jamaican food like their famous Jerk chicken can be found in various streets.

Tourists often go to Jamaica to see these notable attractions: the Seven Mile Beach in Negril, the famous waterfall Dunn’s River, the Bob Marley Musuem, Devon House and Montego Bay. Tourists also flock to Jamaica to experience the country’s Reggae heritage and unique cuisine.

Requirements For Entry Into Jamaica

Entering Jamaica with a felony record has its fair share of challenges. Felons with a pending warrant carry certain risks. Foreign governments lay out a set of requirements so that such risks may be avoided.

The Jamaican government grants access to felons who are able to comply with the following conditions:

  • All citizens of the United States must own a passport (valid six months from the date of departure)
  • Passports may be revoked for felons who have an outstanding warrant or have failed to complete their sentence or probation period
  • All American tourists traveling to Jamaica must show a return ticket to their home country (proof that they will not be staying illegally after the 180-day period of stay)
  • The Jamaican embassy (www.embassyofjamaica.org/VISnorthamericanvisitors.htm) states that no visa is needed for all U.S. citizens who travel to Jamaica for business or leisure purposes.
  • According to the embassy, the country only accommodates visitors who are “of sound mind” – otherwise they will not be granted entry

Felons can stay without visa for 180 days. They may stay beyond this period, but it will be subject to the US embassy’s approval. Jamaica is generally welcoming to tourists from all walks of life.

Were you also hoping to travel to Jamaica? Were you worried about other people finding out about your felony record? We would certainly like to know your experience.

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