I have seen some individual posts about this, and it is less depressing than I had imagined, but is there any “one place” to learn about how to travel and avoid problems if you have a record, but have fufilled your obligations (in the US, anyway). Many years ago, I took a group tour of Ireland with my grandmother and her friend (sorry, it wasn’t my choice and wasn’t a Steve’s tour) and I met a lovely woman who was about the age I am now who revealed to the group (only 7 of us were under 65 or so) that she took a yearly trip to another country to celebrate her freedom as she had gotten involved with some bad situation when she was young and in love with a bad man and ended up in prison for quite some time. I was the only American in the “young” group and the only one who wasn’t completely suprized by this revelation. Well, many years later, I made a rash, stupid mistake and ended up in less trouble, but, trouble still. It did not involve drugs or prostitution, as I’ve read that can make a difference. Though I have not had to serve jail time, still have my passport and have never done anything wrong before or since, I do have a record. Any advice on any books or websites for hope? One of my fears is that the current administration will continue to piss off other countries, and I’ll never get to fufill my dreams of seeing the world. I am semi-fluent in French, but would study more languages or do almost anything in order to make myself more “worthy” of being allowed to see some the world. I doubt those kinds of things matter, but if they did, I would be on it immediately. Thanks. Peace.
The fact that you have a passport is one good sign.
Best suggestion I have is to explore the website of or contact the embassy/consulate of the country(ies) you want to visit and find out what restrictions, if any, the country has for your type of offense.
Other countries do not have acccess to who has felony records in the USA .
It doesn't sound like you committed a serious felony, so quite frankly I wouldn't worry .
As long as you can legally obtain a passport ( which you seem to have be able to do ) I would take that as a good sign .
I know my friend had a DUI from like 20 years ago that she finally paid to have removed off her record , but that's a process and she's Canadian so I don't know if your country has that option .
Unfortunately you are asking a question that is well above the pay grade of most of the respondents - self included. I am not sure where you should go for a definite answer since it is each country's decision as to who is admitted. Obviously with a US passport you are free to leave the US but ...... I would consider going to or contact the newest consulate of one of the countries that you want to visit and ask. No one here can provide with the answer you need. One advantage to the Schengen zone countries is that once you are inside the Schengen zone you can move freely without further passport checks.
I think Pat is right. Other countries don't have access to US records. So they have to rely on what you reveal. I know cases when somebody went to Canada and they asked questions and that somebody admitted that he had DUI and they did not let him enter Canada.
It would be a bit foolish not to consult with authorities from another country before traveling there with a criminal record. As noted above, Canada is one of those places that refuses to admit individuals with an "indictable offense" on their record. DUI, while ostensibly a relatively minor offense in the U.S., is an indictable offense in Canada, and if the authorities find out that you have such an offense, you will be excluded. If you try to enter with an indictable offense, you may be committing another crime, this time under the laws of Canada.
I disagree that other nations don't have access to records of criminal activity. In this time of instant access to computer databases, with increased emphasis on preventing terror attacks, and with increased sharing of criminal records among allies, I think it is naïve to believe that a criminal record is not discoverable by police authorities in another country. I vote for checking with the embassy/legation and asking them direct questions about whether your previous conduct might make you excludable. While it seems positive that you have a passport, that is no guarantee that you will be admitted, as sometimes even the most minor of American offenses can be considered very serious abroad.
What did you do?
Not really something OP needs to disclose to this forum. He admits to a 'criminal record', which is all he need disclose here.
'What' he did would be pertinent in a discussion he might have with the authorities of whatever country he wants to visit.
Thanks to all for the information. Luckily, I was fortunate to travel quite extensively throughout Canada during my childhood and college years. I understand that there will never be a guarantee for anything. I do understand that there are a lot of possible US legal system possibilities that I will need to look into and invest time and money into if I chose to bother and my health stays good. I don’t take time or health for granted, so I just wanted to get a feel for what anyone knows about such situations. I thank you for your time and consideration.