If you face a criminal inadmissibility that may preclude you from proceeding with your immigration goals, a Record Suspension, formerly known as a pardon, may be for you. The Parole Board of Canada is the official and only federal agency responsible for making decisions on matters of record suspension.
Therefore, only the Parole Board of Canada can order, refuse or revoke a record suspension.
Note, you cannot apply for a record suspension if you have been convicted of:
- a Schedule 1 Offence (sexual offence involving a child) under the Criminal Records Act;
- more than three (3) offences prosecuted by indictment, each with a prison
You can apply for a Record Suspension if you:
- Were convicted as an adult of an offence in Canada under a federal act or regulation of Canada;
- Were convicted of a crime in another country and were transferred to Canada under the Transfer of Offenders Act or International Transfer of Offenders Act.
A record suspension keeps a record of a conviction separate and apart from other criminal records and gives law-abiding citizens an opportunity to reintegrate into society. It removes all information about the conviction from the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database. A record suspension removes disqualifications caused by a criminal conviction, such as the ability to contract with the federal government or eligibility for Canadian citizenship.
Note if you are convicted of a new offence after obtaining a record suspension, this may reactivate the CPIC database to include the separated information.
Be advised that a Record Suspension does not erase the fact that you have ever been convicted of a crime. Records of your convictions will still exist; however, they will not appear in and be kept separate from other criminal records.
Things to Know about Applying for A Record Suspension
A Record Suspension may be a viable option of you is a permanent resident seeking to become a citizen and have committed an offence in Canada. This record suspension will not wipe the slate clean, as a record of your conviction will still be kept, but information about this conviction will be kept separate from other criminal databases.
Therefore, these offences will not appear in a background check. The goal of a record suspension is to allow rehabilitated people the opportunity to resume normal life and adapt back into society without facing the difficulties of having a criminal record.
Note, if you do re-offend after you have received your record suspension, your previous offences may return to appearing in normal criminal searches.
Akrami & Associates can help you achieve your goals in Canada. Contact us for more details.
If you intend to submit your application without the support of a representative, there are a couple of factors you should keep in mind.
Sentences and Fines
Before you can apply for a record suspension, you will need to make sure that you have complied with and completed all the sentences and fines associated with your convictions. This includes:
- all fines, surcharges, costs, restitution and compensation orders;
- all sentences of imprisonment, conditional sentences, including parole and statutory release;
- any probation order(s).
After completing all of your sentences, you must have completed a waiting period:
- 5 years for a summary offence (or a service offence under the National Defence Act).
- 10 years for an indictable offence (or a service offence under the National Defence Act for which you were fined more than $5,000, detained or imprisoned for more than 6 months)