Traveling the world is a privilege afforded to fewer people than we may think. There are many reasons for this: geographic isolation, financial situations, and of course criminal records. The question of whether a convicted felon can get a passport in the US isn’t so straightforward. Anyone who’s seen an episode of Law and Order knows that those arrested or even under suspicious for committing a crime may be asked to surrender their passports, to prevent them from fleeing to a country where the US has no jurisdiction.
Ignoring whether felons can get passports, there are certain countries that frown upon accepting them, even if they hold legal travel documents. The UK does not admit foreign visitors if they have been convicted of a serious crime, even if it wasn’t committed on their island; misdemeanors and felonies requiring a prison sentence of under two years are acceptable, but anything beyond that may have travelers stopped at immigration.
Can a felon get a passport in the US?
The short answer is yes. Convicted felons may apply for a US Passport, but their applications may be denied if they meet certain criteria. Starting soon, even US citizens with no violent criminal records may have their passports invalidated for unpaid federal taxes. Similarly, criminals with certain unpaid federal loans or delinquent in child support (5000 USD), holding any federal warrants, or currently on a release program for a felony amount of drugs are barred from applying for a new passport.
What happens to a convicted felon’s existing passport?
Essentially, if you were imprisoned abroad and took out loans to finance your release, or you have loans relating to reparations that you still haven’t paid off, you’ll be denied a passport. However, even if you currently hold a passport issued prior to felony sentence or one that was not seized by the court, the Secretary of State has the power to invalidate it.
How can you get a passport with a felony?
You served some time in prison. Now you’ve got a criminal record as a convicted felon and you need a passport for whatever reason. We all make mistakes in life. While some are bigger than others, not all of them have to follow you around forever. By and large most convicted felons can still get passports going through the same process as every other first-time applicant.
Travel Visa Pro can assist with both passport renewals and first time passports. With nine offices across the US, our travel experts are ready to assist anyone eligible. We have services allowing our clients to receive their passports in as little as 8 hours, but can easily process an expedited application in a few days if there’s time prior to travel.
What do we need from you? Form DS-11: Application for a U.S. Passport (DS-82 for renewals), proof of citizenship in the form of a certified birth certificate, your government-issued ID, and two passport size photos. If you want to save yourself the trip, Travel Visa Pro offers photo services in all our locations for a modest fee.
Felon can get a passport!
You can still get a passport as a convicted felon and enjoy the same freedom of travel.
However, there may be concerns when you’re applying for travel insurance. Please speak to one of our travel experts and we will assist you however we can.