FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who can apply for a record suspension?
- Anyone convicted of an offence in Canada, under a Canadian federal act or regulation.
- Anyone convicted of an offence in another country and transferred to Canada.
When can I apply?
- When you have completed all sentences, which include:
- Paying all fines, surcharges, costs, restitution or compensation orders;
- Serving all sentences of imprisonment, conditional sentence order, any probation order (s).
Why would I need a pardon?
- To relieve stress while finding employment
More and more employers are checking the criminal records before hiring someone. The pardon does not erase the fact that you have been convicted but will ensure that all the information on your convictions are removed from the computer system of the Centre of the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC). No information may be disclosed without permission of the Minister of Public Safety Canada.
- To put a part of my past behind me I want to forget
The person who gets a pardon demonstrates that their criminal actions are in the past and is now a law-abiding person. Furthermore, the Parole Board requires that the person making a request has no pending cases or arrest warrants against them.
- For travel to the United States
- To reduce the self-insurance and residence costs
- To participate in adoption or volunteer work
What is the waiting period to obtain a pardon?
- A pardon can take between 6 and 12 months.
Does Forgiveness erase my conviction?
NO. A pardon does not erase the fact that you have been convicted of a crime. Forgiveness is forefront in your criminal record apart from other criminal records and other information related to your convictions, and makes it easier for law-abiding citizens to reintegrate into society. The Criminal Records Act provides for the elimination of all information about the conviction for which you received a pardon from the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC). Federal agencies cannot communicate information about the conviction without the approval of the Minister of Public Safety Canada. Forgiveness removes the harm resulting from a criminal conviction.
Do I need a pardon if I was granted an absolute or conditional discharge?
NO. You do not need to apply for a pardon if;
- you received an absolute discharge after July 24, 1992. The RCMP automatically remove it from their system one year after the court decision.
- you received an absolute or conditional discharge before July 24, 1992. Contact the RCMP to request that the information be removed.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Record Suspension and Purge Services
Does a pardon guarantee my admission into a foreign country?
NO. A pardon does not guarantee that you can enter another country or receive a visa to do so. Before you travel, call the country in question’s authorities to find out what you need to do to be admitted. US citizens or other countries’ citizens are not eligible for a pardon unless they have been convicted of a crime in Canada.
Do I need a pardon to apply for a passport?
NON. Passport Canada considers each application individually. Communicate directly with Passport Canada to learn the requirements for obtaining a passport.
Limits of a Record Suspension:
- Does not guarantee entry or visa privileges to another country;
- Does not erase a convicted offence but set it aside;
- Suspended records of former sexual offenders are flagged in CPIC in order to conduct a vulnerable sector check should they apply to work or volunteer in such a sector.
- The Record Suspension can be revoked or cease to have effect if you are;
- Convicted of a new indictable offence, or, in some cases a summary offence;
- Found to no longer be of good conduct; or
- Found to have made a false or misleading statement, or hidden information when you applied.