Frequently asked questions about pardons in Canada

How will a pardon in Canada benefit me?

Your criminal record will be kept separate and apart from other records in the CPIC database, effectively removing your record and helping you gain employment, education, volunteering and other opportunities.

Will a Canadian pardon allow me entry into the United States?

While your record will be set aside, it doesn’t erase the fact you were convicted, and US Customs and Border Protection does not recognize a Canadian pardon. Depending on the nature of your criminal record, you may need to apply for a US entry waiver.

What if my charges resulted in a non-conviction?

You can apply for a file destruction to have the fingerprints and photographs that were taken as part of your arrest removed from the police database if your charges did not result in a conviction.

How much does a pardon cost?

The PBC application fee is $50. You are also responsible for fingerprinting, court and local police fees (approximately $150).

Our fee will depend on:

  • the number of court locations you have been convicted in

  • amount of cities you have resided in during the past 5 years

When am I eligible to apply for a pardon?

Determining eligibility depends on:

  • when the most recent offence was committed

  • date when the sentence was fully completed

  • nature of the offence(s)

Driving and weapon prohibitions are not considered part of your sentence when determining eligibility.

How long will the process take?

Once received by the Parole Board of Canada (PBC), summary offences will be processed within 6 months while indictable offences take 12 months.

Which Government agency is responsible for pardons?

The Parole Board of Canada is the only official agency that is involved in the processing of pardon and record suspension applications for convictions in Canada.

Can a pardon or record suspension be revoked?

Yes, if you’re:

  • convicted of a new offence

  • no longer maintaining a crime free lifestyle

  • found to have withheld information when you applied

If a pardon is revoked the offence(s) will be added back into the CPIC database.

What is the difference between a pardon and record suspension?

On March 29, 2012, the government made amendments to the CRA. Changes included a symbolic renaming from pardons to record suspensions, as well as increasing the time before an applicant is eligible to apply. Certain sexual offences and individuals convicted of more than three indictable offences and who received a prison sentence of two or more years were also deemed ineligible.

What documents are required for a pardon application?

Documentation can include:

  • RCMP criminal record

  • Court information

  • Local police records check

  • Military conduct sheet

  • Measurable benefit form

  • Record suspension application form

Why should I choose you to handle my application?

Applying on your own can be a difficult process due to the amount of paperwork involved. Nearly one-quarter of all applications are returned.

We prepare your documents, make sure every detail is in order and submit your application properly and much faster than you would be able to do on your own. Our fee is affordable, and we provide quick and efficient results.

Important facts to know about applying for a US entry waiver

Did you know...

A criminal record can affect

your job, volunteering,

education and foreign travel.

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Important facts to know about applying for a US entry waiver

What is a US entry waiver?

A document granted by USCBP that allows entry to a non-immigrant under section 212(d)(3)(A)(ii) of the US Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) is referred to as a US entry waiver. Anyone convicted of a drug offence, a crime involving moral turpitude or has multiple convictions for which the combined sentences to confinement exceeded five years, can apply for an entry waiver.

What is a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT)?

Moral turpitude is a complex legal concept that has no precise definition.

The INA declares who is inadmissible to enter the United States, but does not specify the lengthy list of offences that involve moral turpitude.

Common crimes that can make you inadmissible for entry to the USA include:

  • Controlled substance violations

  • False Pretenses

  • Fraud

  • Possession of Property Obtained by Crime

  • Theft

Will my criminal record prevent me from entering the US?

Depending on the type of charges, you might be barred from entering the United States, including stopovers at airports and passage through U.S waters.

Get your US entry waiver approved, fast!

How long will a US entry waiver take to be approved?

You will receive your US entry waiver within several weeks of applying and, most likely, will be approved for the maximum five-year term.

What criteria does the ARO consider when reviewing an application?

Your application is evaluated on:

  • your risk level

  • severity of your crime(s)

  • reason for entry

What documentation is required for a US entry waiver?

The requirements vary depending on the applicant. Documents can include:

  • Personally written statement
    As part of our service, we prepare your statement so that the US sees the person you are – not the person you were.

  • RCMP fingerprint search results

  • Canadian pardon

  • Court information

  • Form I-192

  • Reference letters

  • Previously issued waiver(s)

  • Proof of citizenship

We prepare your documents and file your application. The result? You save yourself stress, and you’re able to cross the border much sooner.

How soon after my conviction can I apply?

Unlike a pardon application, there is no waiting period before you are eligible to apply, but enough time must pass to allow for reformation and rehabilitation. The severity of your past offence(s) will be a determining factor.

If I received my Canadian pardon, do I still need to apply for a US waiver?

Yes. US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) does not recognize a Canadian pardon. If you try to enter the US after you have been told you are inadmissible, you risk being banned or deported.

What happens after my application is filed?

After we file your application, you will be required to visit a designated port of entry to get fingerprinted and photographed.

Is an approved US waiver permanent?

Permanent waivers can refer to the validity period for which US entry waivers are approved for by the Admissibility Review Office. If the ARO determines that the nature of your criminal past does not require a US entry waiver, you will be notified of such with what is referred to as a September letter.

Is renewing my US entry waiver easier than applying for a new one?

The process for renewing a waiver is exactly the same as applying for a new one. It’s just quicker because we can keep your documentation on file.

We begin the process of applying for a renewal waiver a few months before your current one expires.

How much does a US entry waiver cost?

Our clients can expect to pay an average fee of $750 for us to prepare, file and monitor the status of their application.

Additional disbursements include:

  • USCBP filing fee: US$585

  • RCMP fingerprinting: approximately $75

File destruction in Canada: what you should know about non-conviction record destruction

Did you know...

A criminal record can stop you

from entering the United States,

including airport stopovers and

passage through US waters.

Contact Us

File destruction in Canada: what you should know about non-conviction record destruction

If you’ve ever been arrested and charged with a crime the police have your information on file - even if the charges were stayed, withdrawn, dismissed or discharged. The same is true if you entered into a peace bond or diversion program.

You now have a non-conviction criminal record that you’ll need to destroy.

The file destruction process

We contact the arresting police service and submit a file destruction request on your behalf. After the arresting police approve the request, they contact the RCMP Identification Services and request the destruction of the non-conviction information.

Exactly what files and information get destroyed?

All identification documents, including those, submitted to the RCMP National Repository of Criminal Records are destroyed.

Your criminal record history that was entered into the CPIC database held at the RCMP Repository is deleted and, most importantly, your FPS number is canceled.

What’s an FPS number and why is it so important?

FPS stands for Fingerprint Section number and is a unique number assigned to an individual that has been fingerprinted. FPS numbers are shared with the United States and are accessible by US Customs and Border Protection. As part of our file destruction request we ensure the arresting police service cancels your FPS number.

Is there a waiting period before I can apply to have my file destroyed?

Yes, general time frames include:

  • stay of proceedings: 1 year

  • peace bond: after the expiration

  • withdrawn, dismissed, acquitted: 1-6 months

Each police service sets its own guidelines about when you can apply. We will provide specific details surrounding your file destruction timeline and eligibility.

Does the RCMP automatically remove absolute and conditional charges?

Yes, absolute and conditional charges are automatically removed one and three years, respectively, after being sentenced. However, the local police have your fingerprints and photos on file, which you can request be destroyed.

Will I have to get fingerprinted for a file destruction?

No, RCMP fingerprints are not required. If you’re told fingerprints are required as part of the process contact us, and we’ll submit your request immediately.

How much does a file destruction request cost?

The average cost of having your criminal file destroyed is $240, depending upon:

  • the disposition of the charge(s)

  • having non-conviction records with multiple police services

  • whether the files still exist

  • the police charging a service fee

Here’s why you should choose our services.

Applying on your own can be difficult. We will prepare your documentation properly and quickly.

The result? You save yourself stress and aggravation and are approved sooner.

Waivers, Pardons & File Destruction

You can count on us to be:

UPFRONT – We give you the straight facts. Clients appreciate our honesty and effective approach.

FAST – We have the experience required to resolve the issues surrounding your criminal record as quickly as possible.

RELIABLE – We always make time for our clients and are available should any concerns arise.

AFFORDABLE – We take great pride in charging an honest fee for honest services.

We’re proud of our service and success record. Nobody will work as hard on your behalf as we will.

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