No doubt the biggest story of the week, and arguably of the year, is that Donald J. Trump, the former president of the United States, was found guilty of 34 felony counts in a criminal trial in New York City on Thursday. This is not a political post in any way as I do my best to make a safe place to escape from the ugliness of politics. But I would be remiss if I didn’t use his conviction as a teaching moment for travelers.

If you’ve ever watched Border Security, (you can catch the Australian, Canadian, or U.S. version on either Apple TV or the National Geographic channel), then you already know that if a visitor is trying to cross the border and enter into any of those countries with a felony conviction, they almost always get denied entry.

The Independent ran a headline today that caught my attention: “Donald Trump’s felony conviction now means he’s banned from a host of countries including Canada and UK.”

The story reads, “Trump was found guilty on Thursday of 34 counts of falsifying records in an effort to keep adult film star Stormy Daniels quiet about an affair that occurred in the 2000s. That means certain freedoms Mr Trump once enjoyed may be out of his reach — and could have a serious effect on his ability to carry out his presidential duties, including traveling to foreign countries. Nearly 40 nations – including Canada and the UK – have strict policies when it comes to allowing individuals with criminal records across their borders, and barring a special accommodation, Trump would be held to those same standards. It’s unclear if he would be allowed to visit if he wins the presidential election in November, but remains a felon.”

Here are the 37 nations that The Independent says can now ban Trump from entry now that he’s a felon: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Macau, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

But let’s be real. If Trump wins the November election, I highly doubt he would be banned from any of these countries. However, if he doesn’t win or get it overturned, then it’s a real possibility.

As another UK newspaper, The Guardian, pointed out: “Fortunately for Trump, there is a precedent: George W Bush, who was arrested for driving under the influence in 1976, was reportedly able to obtain a special waiver while president in order to travel to Canada.”

Again, there’s no doubt Trump would be able to get a waiver if he becomes President. However, for someone who is not in the public eye, then trying to get in with a felony conviction will most likely ground you to your home country.

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security help page on “Entering Canada and the United States with DUI offenses”, a DUI conviction is usually okay to enter the U.S. but Canada is much tougher. Here’s what the official word is:

Entering the United States with DUI offenses
“A single Driving Under the Influence (DUI) conviction is not grounds to deny entry into the United States. However, a criminal offense may be a factor in whether your application is approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Multiple DUI convictions or a DUI conviction in combination with other misdemeanor offenses can make a person inadmissible and require a waiver prior to entering the United States. A crime involving moral turpitude may be grounds to deny entry to the United States. For more information, visit USCIS Good Moral Character page.”

Entering Canada with a DUI offense
“Canada may or may not allow persons with DUI convictions to enter their country. Depending on the crime, and how long ago it was committed, and how you have behaved since the conviction, you may still be allowed to come to Canada if you:

For more information, visit Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Overcome criminal convictions page.”

A popular thread posted to Reddit seven months ago titled: “Travel to Canada with my S/O who had a dui????” is worth scrolling through to read the comments. BTW: It took me a second to figure out was S/O stands for, too (significant other). Here’s what some travelers had to say:

jetlee7: Yeah… No. Watch a few episodes of Canada’s Border Patrol. There’s no way he’s getting in. Go ski in Colorado.

WrestleswithPastry: This rule is how I learned that the man I was engaged to (years ago) had a whole mess of a past I’d previously known nothing about.

thatgeekinit: I’ve been on trips to Canada where one of the buses had to switch drivers because the driver had a criminal record.

s33murd3r: There is a ten year waiting period after the DUI. My buddy just went through this too, they WILL 100% detain and deport you at the border. After ten years you’re fine though.

Not everyone agrees with the previous comment, however:

brown_burrito: Yeah. Had a friend who had a DUI when he was 22. He subsequently had a family, got a PhD, and was working at Google. By any measure he had moved on. We went with our families to Montréal when he was 35 and he was stopped at the border. They wouldn’t let him through. They didn’t care he wasn’t that person anymore. Simply said he isn’t allowed into Canada and definitely not for a trivial reason like a weekend trip.

SmellyMickey: You are allowed to be deemed rehabilitated after 10 years, but the border guard processing your papers has full discretion to make that decision. My former boss was turned away in Toronto in 2018 more than 35 years after a DUI conviction, despite the fact that he had been regularly traveling to Canada for work regularly since the mid 90s.

It all depends on the immigration officer and your specific circumstances. Keep in mind, the comments above are referring to a DUI and not other types of felonies like Trump has been charged with. Regardless, this is just another reminder why you should live an honest life – especially if you like to travel internationally.


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12 Comments On "What Donald Trump’s guilty conviction can teach travelers"
  1. tim michael|

    So why did you bring it up Johnny Jet. Fu.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      I guess you didn’t read the post

  2. Eugenia Davis|

    Unfortunately, I just felt my feelings toward you shift.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      I guess you didn’t read the post

  3. WalterS|

    I read the story and learned a lot! Quite interesting how this will play out. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Davis|

    I read the “preachy” post and you just couldn’t resist could you? Really disappointing. Why post about it at all? Someone that is a felon is already aware that they are banned from visiting other countries, but you had to enlighten the masses. Spiking the ball. If the need to educate us all on what countries felons can visit was so compelling, the article could have been written without a single mention of his name. Just sayin….and I am unsubscribing.

  5. Bill C|

    I’m not a Trump guy, but I can tell your political biases came out…”Mr. Trump”. Whether you like him or not, he was still the “President”.

  6. susan fordham|

    Wow, you ruffled some feathers. It’s amazing how an innocent article can get twisted into some political mumbo jumbo. I enjoyed reading it, was not aware of so many countries with this restriction. I read no political bias of any sorts, just facts and information. It is, after all, important for our elected leaders to be able to visit our allies when governing our great United States! Please keep the articles coming. I love to travel, solo for that matter, and have gotten some good and useful information for my adventures from them.

  7. Maria|

    Thank you for your article. You are lucky that the junk is unsuscribing.

  8. Michelle N.|

    I guess you hit a nerve with the charming trump crowd. But hey thanks for the info. As much as I enjoy world news, politics and current events I was not aware of how many countries will not allow a felon into their country. Thank you!

  9. FRANK|

    yes, why do you find such glory in reporting about the fake unlawful trial of Donald Trump? I never read a word you say about the fake president, Joe or the Biden crime family and they have literally destroyed the united states!
    I see that you are on the wicked side. you probably get your news from the fake media which explains why you don’t know the truth. WAKE UP!!!!
    I no longer will subscribe to your BS!!!!!

    1. Johnny Jet|

      40 out of 44 members of Donald Trump’s cabinet have refused to endorse him. It begs the question, if they don’t trust Trump, why should you?

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