Criminal Conviction Restrictions:
Speaking from experience here - I have a serious drug conviction from 20 years ago - Distribution LSD, a first degree felony. Though it was my one and only offense and I was 18 at the time current laws prevent me from getting it expunged. I was very nervous about booking a flight on my first traveling experience, worried I would be turned around when I arrived. I hold a US passport. I have traveled to the following countries and recieved a visa on arrival:
Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Nepal, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Peru, Bolivia.
I had to apply ahead of time for my visas to India, Vietnam and Laos and had no problems getting them, none asked for my record. I was especially worried about India since I applied in New York and I know they are very particular about their visa.
I was turned back from trying to enter Canada about 15 years ago, I tried to minimize my conviction to the border guard saying I had a marijuana charge and after a trip to the back room he came back and told me apparently they had me for dist. LSD and I would probably never be able to get into Canada. So they have access to US criminal records.
I know that Australia has very restricitive policies but there is some discretion awarded to the visa official on who can pass the 'of good character' test but I have never applied for this visa. I believe UK also has restrictive policies.
I would like to teach in Asia this fall but I am worried about getting a work visa, I know Japan and Korea would be a waste of time but I dont know about Thailand or Indonesia - anyone have any info on these countries?