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What is the status of my file?
If your file is within the timelines indicated on the back of your invoice and you have not heard from us, then your file is progressing well. You will only hear from us if we need further information from you or when your Pardon has been granted.
When will my Pardon be granted?
Approximate timelines are outlined on the back of your payment receipt. Please be aware that files have several stages of processing and a number of documents that need to be gathered from different government agencies. Pardons Canada has complex monitoring systems for tracking expected documents to ensure the processing runs efficiently. Once the Pardon is granted and sent to our office, it is immediately forwarded to you.
What are the chances my Pardon will be denied?
The Parole Board of Canada (PBC) requires you to be of good conduct in addition to being eligible for the pardon according to the law governing eligibility requirements. Good conduct can consist of many different things and includes, but is not limited to: the absence of highway traffic fines, fine in arrears for child support payments, new charges or encounters with the law.
The Parole Board sent a letter stating they are proposing to deny my Pardon. What do I do?
Contact Pardons Canada as soon as you receive the letter. Fax or email a copy of the letter you received. We will review the letter and your file and contact you to go over the next step.
Am I able to challenge a denial?
If the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) proposes to deny your Pardon they will do so in writing and give you 60 days to provide written representation addressing the proposal (Pardons Canada will assist you in this process). The PBC will take your representation into account and the board will make a decision based on the recommendations of the pardon officer, your application and the written representation you submitted. The PBC will mail their decision to you. If your Pardon is denied you CANNOT challenge the denial but you may reapply in 1 year from the date on the letter.
The Parole Board sent a letter stating they want to revoke my Pardon. What do I do?
Fax or email to Pardons Canada a copy of the letter you received. We will review the letter and your file and contact you to go over the next step.
Does a Pardon remove my prohibitions/firearms bans/sex registry?
No, these are not part of the Pardon. If you want to remove the above you must contact either your local police, probation officer, courts, etc to ask how to do this once your Pardon is granted.
Once a Pardon is granted, who can see that a criminal record existed?
All information pertaining to convictions will be taken out of the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) and may not be disclosed without permission from the Minister of Public Safety Canada. This applies only to records kept within federal departments and agencies. However, many of the provincial and municipal law enforcement agencies cooperate by restricting access to their records once notified that a Pardon has been granted or issued.
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What is my eligibility?
Once we have received your RCMP report and have gathered all the necessary court documents we will be able to confirm your eligibility for a Pardon/Record Suspension.
For more information pertaining to your specific eligibility, please click here
Why does not paying fines affect my eligibility?
The fine is a part of the sentence. The sentence must be completed to become eligible for the Pardon/Record Suspension. Please note that outstanding traffic, civil or family court fines will affect your eligibility.
I just paid my fine. Does that affect my eligibility?
Your eligibility may be affected. We will have to obtain court documents to confirm your eligibility.
Why is the Pardon taking longer than expected? I paid for Priority (Urgent) service.
The back of your invoice/authorization agreement provides an approximate timeline for general files. Every file is different. Some files are more complex because, for example, there are numerous convictions that we need information about. It also depends on how many times you have moved in the past 5 years. Your file is also affected by how quickly you get your fingerprints done and return requested documents to our office. As well, courts and police are taking longer to provide requested documents due to an increased demand.
Due to recent changes in legislation, the Parole Board of Canada is taking longer to grant Pardons. Processing times are also affected due to an increase in criminal checks done by employers and U.S customs.
How long does the process take?
Depending on how quickly we receive requested documents from the RCMP, courts, local police and the Parole Board of Canada (PBC), the process to prepare your file takes approx. 10 -20 months for a priority file and approx 18 – 30 months for a standard file. The priority process takes places at Pardons Canada and not once the file reaches the PBC for final approval. Please remember that your file can only be submitted to the PBC once you have reached your statutory eligibility date.
Why so long? Can I speed up the process?
It takes time for the RCMP, courts, local police, PBC and other government agencies to process the necessary documents for your application. If we find that these agencies are taking longer than expected, we have a complex tracking system to follow up with requested documents.
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Did you receive the documents I mailed/faxed/emailed you?
We have an advanced tracking system. Therefore if we have not received your documents we will contact you.
Why do some documents expire?
According to the requirements set in place by the Parole Board of Canada and the Department of Homeland Security certain documents required are time sensitive.
Please be aware that we track these documents in order to avoid any delays with your file. You are also responsible for submitting any requested documents in a timely and efficient manner in order for our analysts to review and prepare your application.
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How do I complete the Step 8 questionnaire?
When completing the Step 8 Additional Information Questionnaire, you must answer every question (Question #4 only relates to sexual offence convictions – so if you do not have a conviction of a sexual nature you do not need to answer question #4).
This is the only ‘voice’ your application will get. It is vital that you show in your words that you have learned from your mistakes. This is your chance to show the PBC that you really deserve this Pardon. Pardons Canada will review your Step 8 to ensure that it is acceptable to the PBC. For more details, please click on “I Agree” at the bottom of these FAQs and request that we resend detailed instructions for filling out the questionnaire.
The questionnaire does not provide very much space for this answer. If your answer requires more space than given, continue your answer on additional pages. Please make ABSOLUTELY sure that every page submitted is signed and dated. Any unsigned and undated additional pages will be sent back to you to sign and date and therefore cause delays. The PBC will reject your entire Pardon Application if this question is not answered properly.
I never received the documents you sent me.
If you did not receive documents that we sent you, please click here and let us know what documents you are missing.
I don’t know my 10 year address history.
This is a necessary part of your application. The Parole Board of Canada (PBC) wants to know exactly where you have lived over the past 10 years. There can be no gaps in the history. You MUST include MONTHS as well as YEARS that you moved in and out of each residence over the last 10 years. You DO NOT need to include postal codes, just street address, city and province.
If you are unsure of your 10-year address history you can try to retrieve it via the Ministry of Transportation (as you are required by law to update your driver’s license every time you move). You may also attempt to retrieve it via Revenue Canada (as you are required by law, to fill out your taxes every year and must include your current address with that information). This step cannot be missed or left out, as it is a necessary part of your Pardon Application. The PBC will NOT accept any application without a complete 10-year address history.
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I want to pay my balance.
There are 6 methods to pay your balance:
1. Mail us a cheque or money order (made payable to Pardons Canada).
2. Do an email transfer: go to your online banking site and request to make an Interac e-Transfer. You will be asked the recipient’s email address: email@example.com. Make sure the answer to your security question is: pardons
3. Come in to our office and make your payment via credit card, debit, cash or money order.
4. Call our Accounting Department with a credit card at (416) 929-6011 ext 786
5. Charge your credit card on file. Click here to give us those instructions
6. Make a payment instantly online. Click here
What other fees do I have to pay other than the fee to Pardons Canada?
The Pardons Canada fee includes correspondence with all government bodies, support letters, assistance with personal letters, file status maintenance, file maintenance if early and meetings with counselors. It also covers the cost for photocopies, postage, courier charges, faxes, court charges, police fees, etc.
The fee does not include the fee for fingerprint certification, local police checks and the federal government fee.
Why do I need to pay the $631 Parole Board fee? I thought my balance was clear?
The $631 Parole Board fee is paid directly to the federal government (Receiver General) and covers their cost to process your application. It is only requested at the final stage in our office, before we submit the complete application to the government.
Why did the Parole Board fee increase from $150 to $631?
Please click here for details
How do I pay my outstanding fine with the courts? Where do I go? How will it affect my eligibility?
In order to be eligible for a Pardon/Record Suspension, all fines, restitutions, compensation and court costs must be paid. If they have not been paid, this must be done as soon as possible.
If the courts confirm that any fines, restitutions, compensation and court costs have not been paid we will contact you and inform you to pay any outstanding amounts.
If you have outstanding fines, restitutions, compensation and court costs you can go to any criminal court in the province it was issued to pay them. If you no longer live in the same province for which you have an outstanding amount you will need to contact the appropriate court and arrange a payment over the phone.
Once payment has been made remember to keep the receipt and send a copy to Pardons Canada via fax, email or mail as this will be included in your application. Once any outstanding amounts are paid, we will then re-calculate your eligibility (it will be affected by 5 or 10 years) and confirm this with you.
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Where do I get them taken?
Your fingerprints should be taken at a digital fingerprinting agency if possible. Digital prints are processed quicker by the RCMP then ink prints. The information and location for these agencies was provided in the initial package we sent when you first started your file with Pardons Canada. The agency will then forward your digital prints to the RCMP on your behalf. If it is not possible to attend an agency, you will need to go to your local police detachment to have them taken in ink.
I lost the fingerprinting agency list. What should I do?
Click here and submit a request for the fingerprinting agency list to be emailed to you.
Why do I need my prints taken?
This is the first step to complete your Pardon application. Your prints are taken to generate your RCMP report. This lists your convictions or non-convictions and provides information such as the arresting police and punishment received. The RCMP report is one of the requirements for the Parole Board of Canada to be able to grant you a Pardon. This is also one of the requirements for the Department of Homeland Security to grant you a Waiver.
How long does it take for the RCMP to send their report and why so long?
The RCMP is now taking approximately 3 to 9 months to send reports, but there are instances where it does take longer. Please keep in mind that the RCMP is a separate government organization and that Pardons Canada does not have control over their time lines. If your RCMP file is taking over 9 months Pardons Canada will conduct a follow up with the RCMP to find out the status on your file.
Did you receive my fingerprints from the RCMP yet?
Once we have received your RCMP report we will be moving your application forward to the next step. If we have any questions in regards to your fingerprints and RCMP report, we will contact you for the required information.
I received my RCMP report at home. What do I do with it?
If you have received the RCMP report at home, please mail the original to Pardons Canada by Xpress Post or registered mail. We do not want this document lost, as it is a vital part of Pardon and Waiver applications.
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What is an LPC? Is it the same as the RCMP report?
An LPC is a Local Police Records Check that is required by the Parole Board of Canada to determine you have not been involved in any criminal activities in the area(s) that you lived in the last 5 years.
The LPC is a local level check where the RCMP report is on the federal level. They are not the same.
Why do I need to get my Local Police Check (LPC)?
As per the Parole Board of Canada guidelines, an LPC is required to determine that you have not been involved in any criminal activities in the area(s) that you have lived in the past 5 years.
How do I complete my LPC?
Pardons Canada will mail you detailed instructions on how to complete it and where it should be submitted.
If you are doing an LPC for a city/town other than the one you are currently residing in, we will send you the contact information for that police jurisdiction. You will need to call them to obtain submission instructions.
Why do I need to go to so many different police stations?
As per the Parole Board of Canada, you are required to do an LPC for each city or town where you have lived for 3 months or more in the past 5 years.
Why do I need to redo my LPC?
There are a number of reasons why you may have to redo your LPC. The most common ones are: missing or incorrect information on the form or the LPC has become expired (it is only valid for 6 months).
How do I submit my LPC if I no longer live in Canada?
If you are currently not living in Canada, you are still required to complete the LPC for Canadian addresses. You can either submit it yourself or have your Canadian contact submit it on your behalf. If your Canadian contact is submitting it for you, please contact the local police to find out what is required. You will have to provide written authorization and 2 pieces of ID. Rest assured that detailed instructions will be included in the LPC package we send to you.
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What is a file destruction?
A file destruction is needed when an individual was charged, fingerprinted and/or attended criminal court, but was NOT convicted. A destruction refers to the destruction of local and federal records.
Could the arresting police deny my request for a file destruction?
The arresting police as well as the RCMP may deny an application if:
• An applicant has an outstanding criminal charge before the courts
• The retention period has not expired
• There are multiple non- convictions for very serious/recent charges
Why do I need to write an appeal for my destruction? I was never convicted.
When reviewing a request for destroying non-conviction information, the arresting police as well as the RCMP consider the nature of the criminal charge and how recent it happened. If the charge was very serious, the arresting police and/or the RCMP can request the applicant to write a letter explaining the circumstances surrounding the incident and how they were involved.
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How do I get a copy of my military conduct sheet?
If you are currently in the military you need to ask your commanding officer for a copy of your current conduct sheet. If there is no entry on the conduct sheet, have your commanding officer provide a letter stating this. It must be signed and dated within the last 6 months as they expire.
If you were in the military in the past, Pardons Canada will submit a request for your conduct sheet from archives, on your behalf.
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My address doesn’t match the one on my license. Does this matter?
Yes. As per Parole Board of Canada regulations, your driver’s license must have your current residential address. You are required by law to update your driver’s license when you move. If it does not have your current address, contact us and we will review your file. Click here and let us know the situation.
I don’t have a driver’s license. What other ID can I submit?
You must provide government issued ID with your name, date of birth and signature. If you are not born in Canada, this ID is required in addition to your immigration document. Types of ID include passports and Provincial ID.
My driver’s license was suspended. Can I still use this as ID?
No. Your DL must be valid or you will need to include another piece of valid ID
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Do I need a US Entry Waiver (I-192)?
If you are a Canadian Citizen and have been refused entry to the United States, you will need a US Entry Waiver to restore your admissibility.
I have been denied at the border while in the process of obtaining my Pardon. What do I do?
You now need to apply for a U.S. Entry Waiver in addition to the Pardon. Do not try to cross the border again until you have obtained one, as you could be detained and/or banned from re-entering the U.S. for a period of two to twenty years.
Why would I need a waiver after I got my Pardon?
Once you have been turned away at the border, your criminal record is permanently entered into the U.S. database and you are now considered inadmissible. U.S. laws do not recognize Canadian Pardons. A successful U.S. Entry Waiver application will allow you to become admissible again.
What are the stages of the Waiver application process and how long does it take?
In the first stage your documents are collected, reviewed and the application is assembled for submission. This takes on average 5 to 10 months. In the second stage, the application is submitted to the Admissibility Review Office (ARO). This is the U.S. governing body that grants waivers. This can take another 5 to 10 months (approximately).
Why does it take so long to process a Waiver?
As well as the documents we have requested from you, it also takes time to collect the documents related to your criminal record. We need to make written requests to the RCMP, courts and local police departments. These documents have to be carefully reviewed against the information you have submitted to ensure there are no discrepancies. We have to use our expertise to prepare the documentation so that it will be accepted by the ARO. The ARO works on a first come first serve basis and processes thousands of applications every month.
I received a document from the US. What do I do?
Contact us by clicking here and let us know what documents you received. We want to make sure that we also received a copy. An analyst will review the document and contact you to guide you through the steps necessary to submit the additional information required.
I still haven’t received my Waiver from the U.S. What do I do?
If you have submitted your Waiver application more than 90 days ago, you may follow up with the Admissibility Review Office by email, using the instructions we provided along with your completed Waiver package.
I received my Waiver. How do I use it?
This is an important original document. Do not lose, tamper with or laminate your Waiver. You must show it to the Department of Homeland Security officer along with your passport every time you cross the U.S. Border, even if just taking a connecting flight through the United States.
When do I start the process on my waiver renewal?
It depends on the length of your current Waiver. Our office will contact you at the appropriate time to get started again, review your file for policy and requirement changes and inform you of what you will need to submit.
I have been asked to redo my prints/employment letter/urinalysis. Why?
These documents are only valid for one year. If your file is delayed due to court or RCMP files coming in slowly, one or more of these items may need to be updated.
I’ve lost my Waiver and it’s still valid. What do I do?
A replacement Waiver will be issued if the original was lost, stolen or mutilated.
To request a new Waiver, you will need to fill in Form I-824 (Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition). Go to www.cbp.gov and search for I-824. The form and all details regarding submission can be found there. You will need to pay a fee (approx. U$400) and you can either mail your application to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or submit it in person at a designated CBP land border or a Canadian preclearance office (see website listed above for locations).
Please note that if your Waiver expires in less than 6 months, you should call our office so we can start the Waiver renewal process.
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I wasn’t able to submit one of the documents you requested. Is this a problem?
All the documents requested are essential to your application. Do your best to submit all your documents at once so that your file can move to the next step. Once we have received everything that is marked on your Waiver Checklist, we will begin processing your application.
I am not employed. How do I prove my socio-economic ties to Canada?
Please refer to the Waiver Checklist that we provided you to determine the appropriate documentation for your individual situation. If you have misplaced it, please click here and request another copy.
What do I put in my personal letter?
Please refer to the Waiver Checklist provided by our office. If you have misplaced it, please click here and request another copy.
I can’t remember all my charges to include in my personal letter. What should I write?
Click here and indicate that you need a copy of your criminal record sent to you.
Why does the U.S. require such personal info?
They want to ensure you are of good character and not at risk of re-offending.
I can’t remember the circumstances around my offence(s). What do I write?
Do your best to include any information you can regarding each charge. The ARO already have the technical information from the RCMP and court records, but they would like to know your personal insight on each conviction. Your application will be judged based on the information you provide, therefore providing no information means you are not submitting a strong application.
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Can I travel to the U.S. with a Canadian conviction?
It is illegal to enter the U.S. with a Canadian criminal record. The chances of the Customs Border Protection (CBP) pulling up your criminal record through the CPIC database are high and will be detrimental to your travel in the future. It is in your best interest to remove your criminal record prior to travelling outside of Canada. If there is an immediate need to travel, please click here to send your request to us so that one of our Waiver experts can give you advice.
Can I travel to the US with a Canadian non-conviction?
It is not advised. You should obtain a file destruction to ensure your criminal record is clear before planning to cross the border to the U.S. Please refer to our Blog Section on our website’s homepage for further information.
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Can I apply for citizenship/permanent residence with a criminal record?
When applying for new immigration status, you can expect Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to request a copy of your fingerprints in order to complete a criminal record check through CPIC/ RCMP. Although it is possible CIC has already been made aware of your criminal record, it is in your best interest to complete your Pardon prior to applying for citizenship. It will avoid delays in their processing and the potential of being further questioned or even removed from Canada.
If you have already submitted your citizenship application, Pardons Canada will provide a support letter indicating that an application to remove your criminal record is in process.
I lost my citizenship card. What else can I use to prove citizenship?
If you were not born in Canada, you will be required to provide an official government document to confirm your citizenship in Canada.
If you have lost your citizenship card, an alternative document to use with your Pardon application could be your Canadian passport. If you do not have either, obtaining a passport will take significantly less time than awaiting a new citizenship card. Every Canadian is permitted to have a Canadian Passport and applying for this will not cause any further concerns with regard to your criminal record.
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I got charged again. Will this affect my application?
Yes, it will affect your eligibility. You must contact us as soon as you are charged. We will require details such as the charge, last court date and the outcome. Once you are finished in court, you must provide us with court information in order for us to determine what the next step is with your application.
Also, there will be an additional fee because of the increased work your file will now require. Please refer to our payment receipt.
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I just received a letter from you suggesting my file has become inactive. How do I reactivate my file?
The letter you received lists the documents and/or payment that Pardons Canada is waiting for from you.
After several attempts to remind you that you are impeding the process of your file, we are left at a stand still until you can comply with our request(s). A stale fee may apply to reactivate your file depending on the length and nature of the delay.