Canadian Pardons FAQ
1. What is a Canadian Record Suspension? (AKA a Pardon)
A Record Suspension is an official order by the Parole Board of Canada to remove your criminal record from the RCMP computer system. The criminal record is then unavailable to all other Canadian police agencies and the US Department of Homeland Security.
2. What are the new waiting periods and rules regarding Record Suspensions?
5 years for all Summary convictions and 10 years for all Indictable Offences, starting after your sentence has been completed. However, you are no longer eligible to receive a Record Suspension if you have been convicted of 3 or more Indictable Offences, each with a prison sentence of 2 years or more or if you have a sexual conviction involving a minor (Schedule 1), you will not be eligible to apply for a Record Suspension.
For residents of British Columbia and Ontario, contact Pardon Now to learn the new rules for obtaining a Pardon in these provinces. The waiting periods for convictions prior to March 2012 are only 3 years for Summary Offences and only 5 years for indictable offences (this includes offences with jail time and sexual offences).
3. Cost of having your application completed by Pardon Now?
A one-time fee covers it all, you will never be billed any extra. This package includes disbursement fees associated to:
Expediting your pardon application
Local police check*
Courier fees !
Liaison with all government agencies
File status updates
Photocopies, faxes and postage all included.
As with all Expedited Pardon applications we handle, your pardon is treated as top priority. Our team of professionals will begin working on your application immediately.
Our mission is to get your Pardon granted expeditiously.
This package also includes:
the removal of your criminal record from CPIC (database of the RCMP)
police files are sealed
4. Does a Record Suspension allow me to enter the U.S.?
The U.S Department of Homeland Security do not recognize Canadian Pardons. If you have never been denied entry prior to obtaining your Record Suspension, then U.S. Customs will not be able to access conviction information on the police computer system. However, U.S. border guards do have access to court information in some cases. Should the information be required, having a copy of your Record Suspension with you may help in deeming you eligible to enter.
5. When can I apply for a Record Suspension?
There is a lot of confusion among Canadians regarding the eligibility dates for an application. In basic terms, there is a 5 year wait from the sentence completion date for Summary Offences and a 10 year wait for Indictable Offences. See table below for a brief description:
5 Year Eligibility (from sentence completion date)
- Driving Under the Influence
- Simple Possession
- Theft Under $5000
- Fraud Under $5000
- Failure to Appear
- Breach of Probation
10 Year Eligibility (from sentence completion date)
- Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking
- Theft Over $5000
- Fraud Over $5000
- Breaking and Entering
- Trafficking in Narcotic/Controlled Substance
- Assault Aggravated/Causing Bodily Harm
6. Can my Pardon application be denied?
The Parole Board of Canada is solely responsible for approving or denying each application. We assess each application throughly prior to beginning the process to determine the eligibility. If at that time, an applicant is not eligible, we will advise them when to be in contact with us to begin the application.
7. How do I apply for a Pardon?
You can call our office and apply over the telephone or fill out our secure on line application form.
8. Does a Pardon allow me to enter other countries?
At this point, the United States is the only country that does not recognize Canadian Pardons. If they deem you ineligible to enter, you will be required to obtain a US Travel Waiver. Most countries, except the United States, will not question you about a criminal record, however, some Asian countries and Australia will. To avoid any problems and have peace of mind when traveling, obtain your Record Suspension to eliminate all worries.
9. Can I receive a Record Suspension for a sexual offense?
As long as the victim was not a minor, and after being of good conduct for 10 years, you are able to apply. Your name will, however, be flagged in the sexual offender data base. If you are working or volunteering with children, the elderly or anyone deemed vulnerable, you will be required to obtain a Vulnerable Sector Check. This check will provide the information from your conviction.
10. Other frequently asked questions about pardons & waivers…
Please contact us here. We are happy to answer questions and assist you with your applications.