Can felons get passports? The answer to this question is not as simple as a yes or no. There are a variety of factors that come into play when determining whether or not someone with a felony charge on their record can obtain a passport.
Some countries will deny entry to anyone with a felony on their record, regardless of the seriousness of the offense. Others may only deny entry if the offense was particularly serious, or if it was related to terrorism. Still, others may have no restrictions whatsoever on felons entering the country.
In the United States, the Department of State has the authority to deny passports to individuals with certain types of criminal convictions. However, they will generally only do so if the conviction is for a very serious offense, such as terrorism, murder, or drug trafficking.
If you have a felony on your record and are unsure if you will be able to get a passport, the best thing to do is to speak with an attorney who specializes in this area of law. They will be able to advise you on the specific laws in your country and help you determine the best course of action.
Who Is Not Eligible for a Passport
Individuals who are not eligible for a passport include:
- Individuals with outstanding warrants for their arrest
If you have a warrant that means the government has issued a formal request for your arrest. This could be for failing to appear in court, owing back taxes, or any number of other reasons. As long as the warrant is active, you will not be able to get a passport.
If you have been convicted of a crime that is classified as an “aggravated felony” by the United States government, you are not eligible for a passport. Examples of aggravated felonies include murder, drug trafficking, and terrorism.
- Individuals who have been judged to be mentally incompetent by a court of law
- Minors who do not have parental consent
- Individuals who owe back taxes to the IRS
If you owe money to the federal government in the form of taxes, student loans, or child support, you may not be eligible for a passport. The government can place a hold on your passport until the debt is paid.
- Individuals who have been denied a passport in the past
If you have had a passport application denied, you will need to resolve the issue that led to the denial before you can apply again. This could involve paying back taxes, resolving an arrest warrant, or anything else that the Department of State requires.
- Individuals who are currently undergoing proceedings for renunciation of citizenship
If you are in the process of giving up your United States citizenship, you will not be able to get a passport. Once the renunciation is complete, however, you will be able to apply for a new passport from your new country of citizenship.
- Individuals who are currently on probation or parole
If you are on probation that means you have been convicted of a crime and are currently serving your sentence outside of prison. This could be in the form of house arrest, community service, or any other type of arrangement. You will not be eligible for a passport while you are on probation.
The same is true for individuals who are on parole. This is a form of early release from prison that comes with certain conditions, such as regular check-ins with a parole officer and drug testing. As long as you are on parole, you will not be able to get a passport.