When preparing to visit another country, one might have to go through the process of applying for a visa. A visa is a document, usually stamped in a person’s passport, that gives official permission for him or her to enter a particular sovereign country. The process of applying for a visa varies from country to country. Some countries do not allow people who have a felony on their criminal records to obtain a visa, so they are unable to visit.
Keep in mind that criminal behavior that constitutes a felony does not necessarily depend on what the US government considers a felony. The country issuing the visa determines which criminal acts would cause someone not to be given a visa.
In Australia, tourists who wish to visit but who have a criminal record must first apply for a visa. Certain offenses can generally disqualify someone from obtaining permission, but whether or not a visa is an issue is up to the discretion of the official reviewing the paperwork. If the offense occurred a long time in the past and the person has been in good standing since then, a visa may still be granted.
Canada reserves the right to not allow entrance to someone with a criminal history that includes felonies, primarily if the offense resulted in a 10-year prison sentence. However, if the person was officially pardoned or considered to be rehabilitated (rehabilitated according to Canadian law), then he or she may still be allowed to enter the country.
One must fill out a visa application and list any criminal convictions on the form to visit Russia. If severe enough, those convictions can disqualify someone from obtaining a visa. A visa is not required to visit Japan for 90 days or fewer, but to get a long-term visa, one must pass a criminal background check. If Japanese officials find that a person has a new drug-related offense, mainly if it resulted in prison time, the visa may be declined.
Visitors to the United Kingdom who have an American passport do not need to apply for a visa. However, for people with passports from a country for which the UK requires an advance visa, the government will conduct a background check. The permit may be declined if the officials reviewing the application believe that the person intends to commit harm while in the UK. Additionally, the immigration official at the border may refuse entrance.