Can Felons Travel To Ireland?

If you’re looking for a glimpse of bygone days, an exciting culture, breathtaking landscapes and delicious food, Ireland is definitely the place to be.

Like regular travelers, felons also dream of traveling to the land of the leprechauns and four-leaf clovers. They worry about restrictions and other impediments on travelers previously convicted of crimes.

Travel Restrictions

American residents cannot travel to Ireland if they have a pending criminal case. Those who are are on probation are likewise banned from traveling.

Former felons can travel beyond the U.S. border if they can comply with two requirements: 1) completion of full sentence (which may vary depending on the offense), and 2) completion of probation period (to be complied with after full sentence has been served).

According to the federal government website, ex-convicts are prohibited from keeping or obtaining a passport while they are still on their probationary period. For felons convicted of a drug offense, passports may be confiscated until after they are released.

Those who have neglected their child support duties, failing to pay the required amount stipulated in court rulings, are likewise prohibited from leaving the country. Such cases need to be settled first to avoid another run-in with federal laws.

Reasons To Travel To Ireland 

Ireland is a wonderful, tourist-friendly country. According to the latest statistics provided by, approximately 7 to 8 million tourists visit the country every year. In Ireland, old and new as well as natural and man-made wonders collide, making it a truly interesting place for people who love culture, history and adventure.

Many Americans are of Irish origin. Though they may have lived in the United States for generations now, these citizens visit the country from time to time.

Ireland is also a well-known hub for academic, cultural and commercial exchanges. Thousands of people travel to this country to attend academic conferences, cultural festivals or business summits.

Natural wonders, historical spots, recreational centers and food districts are abundant in Ireland, particularly in the capital of Dublin. Tourists may want to include Dublin’s Trinity College and Grafton Street, the mysterious Glendalough monastery in Co. Wicklow, the scenic Aran Islands and Ring of Kerry, and the Cliffs of Moner in Co. Clare to their travel itinerary.

Ancient castles, caves in various shapes and sizes, street bazaars, rugged mountains, fresh air, a fun-loving culture and merry Irish vibes await every traveler who intends to step foot in the country.

Requirements To Enter Ireland

When it comes to travelers with felony convictions, Ireland imposes the same rules as other EU countries. The country provides felons the same travel opportunities as non-felon travelers.

All U.S. citizens must meet certain conditions before they can enter Ireland:

  • Passports must be valid within six months from the date of travel, otherwise entry would be denied
  • No visa is required for citizens who wish to stay within 90 days but a passport must still be presented
  • Staying in Ireland for more than 90 stays requires a visa but this must be secured before one boards the plane to Ireland
  • Felons may want to travel the country within the 90-day period if they have no intention of disclosing their conviction record
  • Avoiding legal difficulties is possible only through proper behavior and strict obeisance to Irish laws
  • Maintaining a lawyer before departure may help sort out unexpected legal issues while felons are on a trip

This page from Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade ( states that travelers are responsible for their own decisions. For a smooth-sailing trip, felons may need to prepare a reasonable itinerary.

Keeping a low profile and respecting Irish laws will prevent the local authorities from digging into their background. Leaving as planned is also an advantage and may make future travels a lot easier.

Have you had a similar experience before? Have you successfully entered Ireland despite your felony records? Some thoughts about your experience would be greatly appreciated.

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