10 Best Countries for Ex Felons

Has it ever crossed your mind that, as an ex-felon, you could pack up, wave goodbye to your old life and start anew somewhere far, far away?

I mean, who hasn’t fantasized about leaving it all behind and starting from scratch?

Luckily, there are countries out there that won’t just slam the door in your face because of your past. In fact, they might just welcome you with open arms, and give you the fresh start you’ve been dreaming about.

So, buckle up folks, because we’re about to take a trip around the world, exploring the top ten countries that are perfect for ex-felons to turn over a new leaf.

1. Canada

Ah, Canada! Famous for its polite citizens, stunning landscapes, and, as it turns out, friendly immigration policies. Canada leans towards rehabilitation rather than punishment, and they offer a solid ‘record suspension’ process.

Though their rules on criminal history can be a bit tight, you’ll find useful information on their immigration website.

💡 Tip: Buy travel health insurance before your trip.

Check out popular travel insurance plans and choose one that suits you.

Most plans only cost less than $20 a day.

2. Australia

Sun-kissed beaches, exotic wildlife, and a chance at a new life – Australia is nothing short of a haven for ex-felons looking to start fresh.

Their government takes the time to review every visa application case by case, so you’re more than just your past conviction here.

Check out the official Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website.

3. Belgium

You might know Belgium for its chocolates and waffles, but did you know that their immigration policy is as sweet? Belgium looks at the person you’ve become, not just the mistakes you’ve made, offering a fresh start for those in need.

Find more details on their website.

4. Portugal

In Portugal, the past is the past, especially if your conviction was drug-related. Ever since they decriminalized all drugs in 2001, Portugal has focused more on the present and future.

Find out more about their open-minded approach here.

5. The United Kingdom

The land of the Queen, tea, and the Premier League, the UK believes in second chances. They don’t enforce lifetime entry restrictions based on your past; there’s a ‘rehabilitation period’ after which you can apply for a visa.

More on this can be found on their website.

6. The Netherlands

Say “Hallo” to your potential new home. The Netherlands, famous for its tulip fields, windmills, and friendly immigration policies. Every visa application is considered individually, leaving room for personal growth and change.

Visit their immigration website for more.

7. Brazil

Exotic culture, beautiful beaches, and a policy of not extraditing citizens – Brazil could be the fresh start you’re looking for. If you manage to get Brazilian citizenship, they’ve got your back.

More details on their website.

8. Peru

Ancient ruins, delicious cuisine, and a fair chance for ex-felons, Peru considers the seriousness of the crime rather than outright disqualifying you.

Check out the Peruvian immigration website.

9. France

Ah, France, the land of art, wine, and fresh beginnings. They believe in rehabilitation and consider your conduct since your conviction.

More details on their website.

10. Italy

From its history-rich streets to its flavorful cuisine, Italy offers a welcoming environment for all. Your crime doesn’t define you here; your journey since does. Check out their website.

💡 Tip: Buy travel health insurance before your trip.

Check out popular travel insurance plans and choose one that suits you.

Most plans only cost less than $20 a day.


1. How important is it to disclose my criminal history during the visa application process?

Absolutely critical. Honesty is the best policy in this case. Deception can lead to immediate denial and possibly ban you from future applications.

2. Can I apply for citizenship in these countries?

Most countries have a process for obtaining citizenship, though it varies from place to place. Research each country’s immigration website for specific details.

3. Is it possible to have my criminal record expunged in these countries?

This depends on each country’s laws and the nature of the crime. Some countries offer rehabilitation or record suspension processes.

4. How can I increase my chances of visa approval?

Be honest, follow the guidelines carefully, provide all required documentation, and consult with a legal expert or immigration advisor.

Remember, every end is a new beginning.

And every country on this list is a testament to that. They look beyond the past, focusing on the promise of the future and the chance of rehabilitation.

And always, honesty remains your best shot at starting over. Remember, we’re all works in progress, and everyone deserves a second chance.

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