The criminal record suspension (pardon) process consists of five main stages:
- A criminal record search is done on a Canada Wide basis (RCMP certified fingerprints);
- All court documents are gathered, including proof that all fines/restitution’s / surcharges and/or compensation orders have been paid in full and sentences served;
- Written verification is obtained from the local police in every jurisdiction that the applicant has resided in for the past five years; the police will indicate whether or not the applicant is involved in criminal activity or anything is missing from the criminal record;
- A letter is written explaining the circumstances of each offence in detail, how a Record Suspension will benefit them and what they have done to change showing good behavior;
- The Parole Board of Canada is petitioned; upon verification that the applicant meets all requirements, has been of “good conduct” and has had ‘no’ trouble with the law since their last conviction, the Record Suspension may or may not be granted.
The length of time to process a record suspension (pardon) varies based on the applicants criminal record and specific requirements of the case. It also depending on Parole Board of Canada’s legislation and may change at any time. An applicant can expect to wait an average of 18 to 24 months for a record suspension (pardon) to be granted. Call our offices for more up to date information.
When a Record Suspension (Pardon) Will Not Help You
A Record Suspension seals a criminal record in Canada, so that anyone checking for a criminal record would come up with a negative search. If you are denied entry into the United States however, you are automatically entered into the Homeland Securities computer, and a permanent record is logged. Once this occurs, a Record Suspension (Pardon) will not remove that record. You will then require a Waiver or you cannot enter the United States legally.
The key is to get a Record Suspension before crossing the border and hiding it from the United States