Can I travel outside the UK while on licence?
If you wish to travel outside the UK while you are on licence, you will need to seek permission from your probation officer. Each request is considered on a case-by-case basis, but you should be aware that permission will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. Exceptional circumstances might include visiting a family member who is dying, or attending a funeral, but even then it is still up to probation to decide whether to grant permission. It is highly unlikely that you will be granted permission to travel abroad on holiday while you are on licence.
How can I get permission to travel abroad while on licence?
You should speak to your probation officer about your wish to travel abroad. They will be able to advise you on the best way to apply and whether you are likely to be granted permission.
Usually, you will need to put your request in writing, explaining where you would like to go, the dates you would like to travel and your reasons for doing so. When assessing your application, probation will consider the following criteria:
- Will the benefits of travelling abroad be realised if the travel is postponed until after the end of the licence period (for determinate sentence offenders) or suspension of the supervision element of the licence (for indeterminate sentence offenders)?
- Is the travel abroad connected or potentially connected to your offence (e.g. importation of drugs; fraud involving companies set up outside of the United Kingdom; human trafficking)?
- Will the travel interfere with your sentence plan or increase any risk of reoffending or risk of serious harm, including risk of serious harm to prior victims?
- Will the travel interfere with your requirements to report to your probation officer or attendance at offending behaviour programmes or interventions?
- Have there been any concerns regarding a lack of compliance with your licence conditions or any escalation in risk of reoffending or risk of serious harm in the past 12 months?
- Is the senior probation manager satisfied that you can be trusted to return and resume the supervisory period?
You may wish to contact Nacro’s Criminal Record Support Service on 0300 123 1999 for further advice about travelling abroad while on licence.
Probation has refused me permission to travel abroad while on licence. How can I appeal against this decision?
There is no formal appeal process as such. If you are unhappy with the decision, you can make a complaint through the probation service’s complaints process. The decision is unlikely to change unless the circumstances under which you have applied have changed.
Once you have exhausted the complaints process, your only option is to take the decision to judicial review. This involves a court process, so you might wish to seek legal advice before pursuing this course of action.
Can I travel within the UK while on licence?
Yes – as long as you notify your probation officer in advance of any proposed travel away from your approved address and your travel will not breach the conditions of your licence.
If you are on the sex offenders’ register, you will need to notify the police of your intention to travel away from your approved address in accordance with your notification requirements. You may also need to register upon arrival in certain other jurisdictions (e.g. Jersey). Please see here for more advice about travelling while on the sex offenders’ register.