Are you on parole? Or is a loved one currently on parole? Wondering if you can take a trip outside the United States?

 After leaving prison, it can be tempting to get right back into normal life. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible. Most people who leave prison are on parole for a specific period of time. While on parole, they may have to face certain conditions, like holding a job, staying away from drugs and alcohol, and not getting in trouble with the police.

A parole violation can land a person back in jail and possibly back in prison. One of the trickiest aspects of parole is travel. Everyone’s rules are different based on where they can go and when they can travel.

If you and your loved one are planning a trip out of the country, it’s important to check the specific parole rules. You can also check out your friends who are locked up or other inmates at the lookupinmate website.

Common Parole Rules

To travel internationally, you’ll need a passport. Unfortunately, it is very common for passports to be revoked during imprisonment and parole. In fact, for certain charges, passports are automatically revoked. Those charges include:

  • Federal drug offenses
  • State drug felony offenses
  • State or federal misdeameanor drug offenses where the courts have deemed it necessary to revoke passports 

Passports are commonly revoked for drug offenses to reduce the chances of international drug trafficking after offenders leave prison. If you were incarcerated for under any of the above circumstances, your passport will stay revoked through the entirety of your parole. International travel is not possible in those circumstances. 

Drug offenses aren’t the only reason why a passport can be revoked though. In fact, a judge can rule to revoke your passport for any circumstance. If they feel you are a flight risk either before trial or while on parole, they’ll revoke your passport.

 If your passport has been revoked, you can apply to have it reinstated. It may be a possibility as long as you are not on parole for drug charges. However, it reinstatement can be a long process, so it’s good to apply as soon as possible

If your application for reinstatement is denied, you’ll have to wait until after parole for your international travel. There is no option for reinstatement. Whatever you do, do not attempt to travel without a passport or approval from your parole officer. You will be arrested and you will face serious consequences.

International Rules

Rules in the United States aren’t the only issue to worry about. Even if your passport is reinstated and valid, you may still not be able to travel to specific countries.

That’s because each country has its own rules about who is and is not allowed to visit. If you’re on parole for certain crimes. You should research the countries you’re planning to visit to make sure you are allowed to be there.

Generally speaking, most countries don’t have the ability to check the background of every person who visits. So it’s unlikely you are going to get stopped on the way into the country.

 However, if you get arrested or in trouble with the police in that country and they discover that you are on parole and not allowed to be there, you could face serious consequences. Going back to prison in the United States is bad, but jail in a foreign country could be much worse.

Also, if you are planning to move to another country and apply for a visa, you will want to carefully research their laws. It may even help to hire a lawyer in that country to aid in the process. Every country has their own rules about former convicts relocating there. Some are very open to it while others strictly forbid it.

Travel in general can be difficult on parole. Some parole rules even forbid travel across state lines. International travel can be especially tricky.


If you have any doubt, talk to your parole officer. While they may be frustrating to deal with because they’re the person telling you no in some instances, their job is to keep you out of prison. They can advise you on what you can and cannot do.

They also may be able to help you apply for passport reinstatement. Be honest about your plans and why you want to travel. If passport reinstatement is an option, they will advise you on what steps to take next.