There are many reasons people accused of committing a sexual offense fight the case as hard as they do. The effects of a successful conviction can change a person’s life forever, even when the allegations are not true. For starters, that information becomes public knowledge that anyone can look up online if they know what to look for and where to search. Secondly, it makes employment more difficult, affects where a person may live and also affects their travel experience.
WUSA9 confirms that contrary to popular belief, sex offenders can and do obtain passports. However, these passports may get labeled with their status as a registered sex offender. The information is included on the inside of the passport and may even identify what specific law or code the person is in violation of. Because there is no allotted space on a passport card for this information, they reportedly cannot receive one.
CNN reported in 2017 that prior to this, many child sex offenders, in specific, had passports that did not detail this information. The government revoked these passports, compelling child sex offenders to reapply. They would then be issued the new passport with this information. For convicted child sex offenders, the specific code their passports might make reference to is 22 United States Code Section 212b(c)(l).
When convicted sex offenders travel abroad, it is unlikely that immigration officers know what each specific code stands for. In some states, people with charges as minor as public urination may get slapped with sex offender registration requirements. In other cases, the code could refer to rape. Immigration officers overseas are unlikely to look at either one favorably. It is important to note that a country and its agents have the independent and legal right to deny or permit entry.