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Can I Travel to Mexico with a Criminal Record?

August 30, 2017

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  • If you want to visit Mexico, and you have a criminal record, what can you expect to happen? Travelling outside the U.S. with a criminal record can be a stressful task. Any criminal record can make it difficult to get through customs and pass the necessary background check. Some countries take criminal records more seriously than others. For example, in Canada, a person may be may be denied entry because of ‘criminal inadmissibility.’ You can check Canada’s immigration website to determine if you are inadmissible. However, a Canadian immigration officer will ultimately decide if you can enter.

    Travel to Mexico

    On the other hand, when traveling to Mexico, authorities can refuse entry to the country if a person has a pending criminal case or was convicted of a serious crime. Serious crimes include all crimes that have a significant, negative effect on the fundamental values of society. Compared to the U.S. and Canada, Mexico has a relaxed approach, and authorities tend to evaluate requests to enter on a case-by-case basis. You can check the Mexican Embassy website for a full list of serious crimes. For more information, the U.S. Department of State has current updates and other data about travelling to Mexico.

    Before booking your trip, it’s recommended that you contact the Mexican Embassy or consulate in your city. By doing this, you can find out whether your criminal record will prevent you from traveling. It’s better to know your eligibility beforehand, instead of getting to the border and being denied entry there. It should be noted that people with warrants will likely be denied entry, along with individuals on probation or parole. If you’re looking to stay in Mexico for longer than just a vacation, the Library of Congress has more information on Mexico’s migration laws and policies.

    Check your criminal record

    A criminal record shouldn’t hinder a person’s desire to travel. Usually, it’s more difficult to travel abroad with a previous conviction, rather than just an arrest record. In some cases, getting your criminal record expunged may increase your chances of traveling freely. Regardless, a court-ordered expungement could provide you with numerous, life-changing benefits. It can improve your ability to obtain a job, housing, or a loan – among other things. If you have a criminal record that you want to remove, it’s advised that you seek the assistance of an experienced law firm to handle your case.

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