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My husband and I are planning a trip to Germany from New Zealand. We both have a criminal history and would like to travel for snowboarding. We are unable to go to Japan, so hoping someone can offer some friendly advice for trying to travel to these places.

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    Criminal history in New Zealand or in Germany? If in Germany, what are the exact circumstances? What is your citizenship? – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Mar 7 '18 at 22:03
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    This will depend greatly on the criminal history, how much clean history you've had since, and Germany's concerns about that sort of criminal activity. The U.S. will refuse to enter people, at times, who have nothing more than a simple impaired driving charge in their history, so it is difficult to give a certain answer. Germany may have some process you can follow to guarantee the convictions won't prevent admission, e.g. pardoning, but there is a lot of hassle and expense and conditions involved in such efforts. – Jim MacKenzie Mar 7 '18 at 22:06
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    @JimMacKenzie You are making it much more complicated than it is. A criminal record alone is not a reason to refuse entry to the Schengen area, therefore there is also no pardon process, as in many other countries. A criminal conviction in Germany may have led to an expulsion and eventually an entry ban for a set amount of time. If the criminal record is in New Zealand, German authorities very likely do not know about it and noone will ask if OP is trying to enter Germany. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Mar 8 '18 at 8:17
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    @StuandGinHopwood I hope I am stating the obvious, but please plan your winter vacation in Europe for your summer! – Sebastian Apr 16 '18 at 13:39
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+50

The Schengen Area doesn't have a policy of refusing entry to people based on criminal records, unless they believe you'll pose a security hazard.

So as long as your passport has at least 3 months left on the day of intended return, and you can justify your visit if asked, you're good to go.

Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

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