Travelling to Asia

This information is based on travel for leisure/tourism.

Countries that don’t ask

Based on feedback we have received from individuals, the following countries require a visa on arrival for UK citizens, but there are no questions on the landing/entry card that relate to criminal records.

  • Cambodia
  • Dubai
  • Hong Kong
  • India – India now has an e-tourist visa scheme. The online form needs to be submitted before you travel (similar to an ESTA for travel to the USA) and takes some time to complete. It doesn’t ask about criminal records.
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • The Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan
  • Vietnam

Countries that ask

  • Japan – Anybody travelling to Japan will be asked to complete an arrivals card which asks ‘Have you ever been found guilty in a criminal case in Japan or any other country?’. Foreign nationals will be finger-printed and a facial photograph taken after which, an Immigration Control Officer will conduct a short interview. Refusal to provide finger-prints or a facial photograph will mean that you are denied entry to Japan and asked to leave.
  • AnonForThisOne

    For the Philippines side: you 100% can travel there as a tourist and wont have a problem in gaining entry. However if you intend to stay there for longer than 30 days you will need to apply for a work visa. This may ask for a police certificate from the UK that would show your criminal record. However, how this is is handled depends on the law over there related to how serious they view the crime and if they have any provision in their law for rehabilitation of offences after a certain period of time. You should consult a lawyer once there.

    From the police side: of course you can travel while on the SOR. Just make sure you notify them of travel. They may apply for a Foreign Travel Order but this only applies if you are a risk to children. It has to be for:

    “Protecting children generally or any child from serious sexual harm from the defendant outside the United Kingdom” means protecting persons under 18 generally or any particular person under 18 from serious physical or psychological harm caused by the defendant doing, outside the United Kingdom, anything which would constitute an offence listed in Schedule 3 if done in any part of the United Kingdom” s.114 Sexual Offences Act 2003.

    It is usually only granted when there is specific evidence that you plan on committing a sexual offence against children.

    Hope this helps.

  • keef

    I flew to meet my boyfriend (I am gay) in Manila last week (April 17) but was refused entry as I have a criminal record of internet sexual offences. I was turned back home immediately. Just 7 weeks earlier I was allowed in. Interpol have now shared all criminal records so expect to be refused entry in the Philippines and possibly Thailand

  • AnonForThisOne

    I think the most likely thing is that your CPO passed a green notice through interpol to the Philippines.

  • keef

    Is that likely? What is a green notice please? I will ask him when i see him next

  • AnonForThisOne

    The UK issues more green notices than any other country. It is way of one country warning another of someones risk if committing crime. If you search “green notice MAPPA” you will see that it is a fairly common tool.

  • keef

    I found this :

    Interpol’s International Notice System was created in 1946. Green Notices are usually issued to provide warnings and criminal intelligence about individuals who have committed criminal offences and are likely to repeat these crimes in other countries. It is seen as an effective way to share key police intelligence on a global scale and to prevent people with a criminal record from crossing borders.

    Interpol publishes notices either on its own initiative or based on requests from its member states. Notices should only be issued if there is a clear indication that a person intends to commit or is committing a serious offence.

    Note: My Barrister said i posed virtually NIL risk to re-offending (which is true) but the judge could not care less. So Notices should only be issued if there is a clear indication …etc is NOT APPROPRIATE to my case. Why the hell am I on this, and indefinitely ?

    Interpol only need to know if someone poses a definite danger to people. I do not, never have and never will.

  • Bob

    So did you get in to singapore?

  • David Joseph

    This is worrying. Who decides if you’re a risk or not? And why can’t they tell you before you travel so you don’t waste time and money? And isn’t it some kind of breach of human rights as it’s an extra form of punishment preventing people from travelling?

  • David Joseph

    No, change of plans for me, Hong Kong is looking like my destination.

  • keef

    David, what I am trying to find out is why I was allowed in for a holiday, in February, then when I arrived 7 weeks later to celebrate my partners birthday they just put me back on the plane.

    We can all go to a Embassy and get a visa, but if Immigration control don’t want you in, then you go home. It would be great to know from Immigration before travelling, but that seems unlikely.

    It was the worst experience in my whole life, being refused.

  • David Joseph

    I’ve read on another forum of someone from USA(I think) being refused entry to the Philippines, but because he was married to someone there they were able to use some kind of appeal application process to be removed from being blacklisted/denied entry. According to the forum posts the guy even retired there.

    Going by that account I’m planning on meeting my friend in Hong Kong a couple of times before getting married there. The marriage is recognised in the Philippines so from there I’m hoping to either be removed from any travel warnings, or by that time I’m able to apply to be removed from the register.

    I do feel your pain. I’m hesitant to travel at all due to this. It’s interesting your friend had no problems in Thailand. I’m tempted to believe that it’s to do with the officers who do the yearly visits perhaps? All down to personal discretion as to whether or not they notify the country you’re travelling to? I know for me at times it feels like they are very judgemental and seem to jump on me at every opportunity in the hope of “catching me out”.

  • keef

    David

    I wish you luck. When my wife and I divorce I will consider marrying my partner, but that is in 2-3 years time. I will be asking my Child Protection officers if they had anything to do with my entry refusal. They come every month to check my pc, tv tablet and mobile. (They will never find anything because I do not look !!). It is bugging me big time only because it seems grossly unfair, and I will not rest until I find out why I was stopped just 7 weeks after being allowed in. Someone issued a Green Notice me thinks, and I want to know who. It may not be possible though, but I will try. It is my human right to know

  • David Joseph

    It’s definitely unfair, but all justified by public ignorance and misinformation. It makes no sense to prevent someone like yourself from entering the country a mere 7 weeks after your last visit.

    I can’t say for sure but I really do think it’s up to the officers who visit, and it seems all too common to be treated as guilty no matter what good you’ve done prior or since offending. In my opinion they will take any small sign of a change in behaviour(don’t visit gambling sites as it’s classed as “risky” behaviour and they grill me on every time) and blow it up to a big red flag.

    I hope you keep posting here to let myself and others know how it all goes.