Holidaying outside EU with a criminal record

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kmgirl123 | 11:53 Wed 12th Sep 2007 | Criminal
6 Answers
What is the procedure for going through the airport with a criminal record? Do you have to apply in writing beforehand, or go to a different section.

I have heard that in the EU it is standard procedure, i.e. the same as everyone else, but what happens if you go away outside of the EU? Do you just take your passport and carry on as normal?


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As far as i know no other countries have access to the UK police database, but Ethel is the person to give you a definate answer lol
who told you this load of crap,take no notice of it,anything like that would only be in force for suspected terroists,drug dealers,etc,etc.the uk criminal records are not held on any other countries records and they have no access to them,but if you were to apply for a visa to visit certain countries they would ask you if you had a criminal record.and most would turn you down if you did.
(2-part post):

Any holder of an EU passport has the right to travel to (as well as to live and to work in) any of the 27 members states. Even if you've got multiple convictions for GBH, bank robbery, drug smuggling, terrorism and serious sexual offences, you'll still be allowed in. There are no special procedures.

Many countries, outside of the EU, permit UK passport holders to enter without a visa. If so, someone with criminal convictions can enter in exactly the same way as anyone else.

Some countries insist that UK passport holders must obtain a visa in order to gain entry. Sometimes this can be applied for on arrival but some countries insist upon travellers obtaining a visa (from the relevant embassy or consulate) in advance. As long the visa is just for a short stay (and not for residence or for employment), most countries don't ask any questions about criminal convictions. People with criminal convictions can enter those countries in just the same way as anyone else.

A few countries do ask visa applicants about criminal convictions. (The USA, for example, demands that anyone who's ever been arrested - even if completely innocent - must apply for a visa and provide details of arrests and convictions). In such cases, approval for entry is granted (or denied) before the traveller departs from the UK. So, once again, there are no special procedures at arrival airports.

As Norman points out, EU law prevents the UK from making personal information (including criminal records) available to other countries unless there is 'justifiable cause'. (i.e. the UK can pass on specific information about suspected terrorists, drug smugglers and sex tourists but it can't open up the UK criminal records database to other countries). Many (possibly most) travellers simply 'forget' about their convictions because they know that the immigration authorities, at their arrival airport, have no way of knowing about them.


PS: Over a third of all British males acquire a criminal record by the age of 30. If the rubbish which someone has been telling you was true, there would be some very long arrival queues at airports ;-)
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Many thanks for your detailed answers. So if I am travelling outside the EU should I check with the travel company, etc if I need to apply for a visa?
The travel company should be able to advise you as to visa requirements. Alternatively, most overseas embassies have their own websites, where you can find the information. If in doubt, just post here on AB and we'll find the information for you ;-)


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