What is a pardon/record suspension?
A pardon/record suspension allows people who were convicted of a criminal offence, but have completed their sentence and demonstrated they are law-abiding citizens, to have their criminal record kept separate and apart from other active criminal records. Pardons/Record Suspensions are issued by the federal government of Canada. This means that any search of the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) will not show that you had a criminal record, or that you were issued a pardon/record suspension.

For more information, please visit the following links:
Record Suspensions
Record Suspensions for 80,000 Impaired Driving Charges in Canada
Once A Pardon/Record Suspension is Granted there is Freedom
What does RCMP mean?
RCMP is the acronym for “Royal Canadian Mounted Police”. The RCMP is Canada’s federal police. They have jurisdiction (authority to act) across the entire country. The RCMP has a database of individuals who have been charged with crimes by local police agencies. The local police agencies send a copy of this information to the RCMP once the case finishes in court and a disposition is handed down. The RCMP then assigns a FPS# (fingerprint section) to the name and date of birth of the individual and puts their fingerprints on file.

The RCMP Headquarters in Ottawa is almost never involved with the arrest or charges of our clients. However, the RCMP database can be searched by all police agencies across the country and U.S. officials if the individual is attempting to enter the United States. This is why it is important to have records removed from the RCMP database.
For more information, please visit the following links:
RCMP Delays for Pardons Not Getting Better
Email from RCMP highlights delays in processing time

What does CPIC mean?
CPIC is the acronym for “Canadian Police Information Centre”. CPIC is a computer based police information system located in Ottawa. CPIC records can be accessed by the RCMP and most other Canadian police agencies and the U.S.

What is a criminal record?
A criminal record is a record of criminal activity, regardless of the outcome in court. A criminal record may be held by the arresting police, in the CPIC database maintained by the RCMP in Ottawa, and with the relevant court. Even after several years and, even if it concerns a minor offence, a criminal record does not disappear automatically. A prior criminal record can create obstacles to many important things in life, including travel and employment and can be used to justify a harsher sentence in the event of further offences.
For more information, please visit the following links:
Dropped Charges Still Show Up on Criminal Record Checks
Can’t Get a Job With a Criminal Record
Getting Bonded with a Criminal Record

How do I know if I have a criminal record?
If you have been charged with a crime, even if you were found not guilty, or were never convicted, you do have a criminal record. If you have been fingerprinted for your offence, a fingerprint number (FPS#) is assigned to your name and date of birth and will exist until you take steps to have this record cleared. Even if you were not fingerprinted, if you were charged with an offence under the criminal code you may still require a pardon/record suspension (if you were convicted) or a file destruction (if you were not convicted).
For more information, please visit the following links:
Withdrawn, Dismissed Criminal Charges Stick Around
Retired Couple Gets Denied Entry to US for 40 Year Old Pot Charge

Who can grant or issue a pardon/record suspension? 
The Parole Board of Canada (PBC) has exclusive jurisdiction to grant, refuse to grant or to revoke a pardon/record suspension. The law that governs pardons/record suspensions is known as the Criminal Records Act (CRA). The Criminal Records Act provides for the relief of persons who have been convicted of offences and have subsequently rehabilitated themselves.
For more information, please visit the following links:
New Pardon Rules Affects Number of Applications
A Pardon Can Be Revoked

Who can reveal my pardoned/suspended record?
Under the CRA, only the Minister of Public Safety Canada has the authority to disclose information from a pardoned/suspended record. This happens ONLY in exceptional circumstances. If, for example, a subsequent serious criminal offence is committed the file may be re-opened. As long as you do not re-offend, no one will ever be able to gain access to your pardoned/suspended criminal record.

How likely am I to be granted a pardon/record suspension? 
If you have waited the requisite time period (5, or 10 years) after the sentence imposed was completed, and if you have all the proper supporting documents and have been of good conduct, the federal government will grant you a pardon/record suspension. Pardons/Record Suspensions are not granted if you have a sexual offence against a minor or if you have more than 3 convictions where you received sentencing with more than 2 years jailtime.
For more information, please visit the following links:
The Bureaucratic Process of Obtaining a Pardon/Record Suspension

What happens if the Parole Board of Canada denies my application?
If we submit an application on your behalf, we will ensure that you are eligible and that your application is processed correctly.
An application can be denied when an applicant was not forthcoming with their past involvement with the courts and police (ie: outstanding fines; recent charge). It is therefore essential that there is full disclosure. If an application is denied, the Parole Board will accept a new application after one year.

How long does it take to get a pardon/record suspension?
It takes an average of 12-24 months for a pardon/record suspension application to be processed and granted. However, to prepare the pardon/record suspension application, many documents must be collected. Acquiring the proper supporting documents takes between 3-10 months. Therefore, it is a good idea to start preparing the application well in advance of your eligibility date. Typically we must acquire RCMP reports and relevant court documents to calculate exact eligibility dates.
For more information, please visit the following links:
A Pardon Can Be Obtained Faster Than You Think!

Who may apply for a pardon/record suspension?
A person may apply for a pardon/record suspension if he/she was convicted of an offence under a federal act or regulation of Canada. A person may apply even if he/she is not a Canadian citizen or a resident of Canada. A person may also apply if he/she was convicted in another country and the conviction was transferred to Canada under the Transfer of Offenders Act.
For more information, please visit the following links:
The Importance of Pardons In Canada

Can I apply for a pardon/record suspension by myself? 
The general public is welcome to prepare their own application. However, most choose not to as it is a complicated and lengthy process and the rules change periodically without notice.

If I apply for a pardon/record suspension, will the police come to my home or work?
No. All communications with the police and the other government departments will be made through Pardons Canada.

I was fingerprinted when I was charged. Why do I need to be fingerprinted again?
Fingerprints must be taken by the police or an accredited agency in order to be sent to the RCMP for certification. The RCMP match the individual’s fingerprints to his/her FPS# and criminal record. Providing the individual’s name and date of birth are not enough. This process ensures that the right criminal record is being erased, because your fingerprints are unique.
For more information, please visit the following links:
Fingerprints Causing Delays in Criminal Record Checks

Why should I get a pardon/record suspension?
Individuals with a criminal record are often at a serious disadvantage when competing for employment, job promotion, volunteer work, getting bonded, apartment rental, child custody, adoption, mortgage approval and educational opportunities. A criminal record also impedes foreign travel, including travel to the U.S., and often prevents people from obtaining Canadian Permanent Resident Status and Canadian Citizenship. After your Pardon / Record Suspension is approved, all information pertaining to convictions will be removed of the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC).
For more information, please visit the following links:
Receiving a Pardon for an Assault Charge Has Changed My Life
The Stigma of Having a Criminal Record in a Small Community Can Be Unbearable

My criminal record hasn’t affected my life yet. Why do I need a pardon/record suspension?
Even if your criminal record has not affected your life yet there is a good chance that someday it will. Most people only turn their mind to it, once it is an immediate issue causing stress in their life. Being proactive is always the right answer. People want to have their record pardoned/suspended for many reasons. Most people simply want to make sure they are no longer associated with the mistakes they made in the past. Your peace of mind is one important reason to obtain your pardon/record suspension. We strongly recommend that anyone with a criminal record obtain a pardon/record suspension. Our society strongly encourages rehabilitation. Simply put, you are lucky enough to live in a country that allows the pardoning/suspending of criminal records. You should take advantage of that.
For more information, please visit the following links:
A Conditional Discharge Can Haunt You Well Beyond the Sentence
US Border Crackdown on Canadians with Criminal Records Is Intensifying

What happens to my criminal record file after I have been granted a pardon/record suspension?
Once a pardon/record suspension is granted, the records of a pardoned/suspended offence(s) in the custody of federal agencies (RCMP) are kept separate and apart. Information pertaining to such records will not be disclosed without the specific approval of the Minister of Public Safety (which is rare). When notified of the award of a pardon/record suspension under the CRA, almost all provincial and municipal agencies will restrict disclosure of your criminal record (unless there is a prohibition order or you are listed on the sex offender registry).

Once I have my pardon/record suspension, if I am asked, “Have you ever been convicted of a criminal offence”, what should I say?
The government of Canada has forgiven you of your past charges. They no longer want the conviction to reflect adversely on your character, and wish to remove any disqualification to which you are subjected. It is treated as though it never happened. If an RCMP search is done your FPS# will not show up. An employer is not allowed to ask if a person has a criminal record that has been pardoned/suspended. They may only ask, “Do you have a criminal record for which a pardon/record suspension has not been granted?” The answer to that question is NO.
What happens if I have a pardon/record suspension and I get charged again?
Your pardon/record suspension can be revoked. If you are convicted of an indictable offence (more serious offence) your pardon/record suspension ceases and your past convictions will once again be on your criminal record. If you are convicted of a summary offence (less serious), or given a discharge, the PBC may revoke your pardon/record suspension. A pardon/record suspension may also be revoked if the PBC learns that a false or deceptive statement was made or relevant information was concealed at the time of the application.

If I have more than one conviction, do I need more than one pardon/record suspension?
No. If the requisite waiting periods have passed for each of your convictions, and if you have met all of the other requirements, you can apply to have all of your convictions pardoned/suspended at the same time.

What if my charges were withdrawn, stayed, dismissed, or I was acquitted?
Although you may not have been found guilty or convicted, your fingerprint number (FPS#) will be revealed in criminal record searches. You can usually have your record destroyed if you were not found guilty. However, if you were ever convicted of even one offence then you will require a pardon/record suspension.

For more information, please visit the following links:
Criminal charges that have been dismissed, withdrawn, stayed, conditional or absolute discharge is now affecting US border crossing

When I was in the military I had several military charges. Will these be dealt with when I apply for a pardon/record suspension?
Pardons Canada will collect the necessary documents in order that your military convictions will be included in your application and therefore removed.

My criminal record is from 15 years ago, and I was told that it automatically disappears. Is that true?
No. Criminal convictions are not automatically destroyed or sealed. The individual must take steps and apply to have their record removed.
For more information, please visit the following links:
Man Gets Turned Away at US Border for a 43 Year Old Theft Charge
No Matter How Old the Criminal Charge You Can Still Get Refused Entry at US Border

What is the difference between a pardon/record suspension and a file destruction/purge?
When a person is found guilty and convicted of an offence they require a pardon/record suspension. The record, including fingerprints, photographs, and RCMP report and court records are then sealed, and never opened unless the individual is subsequently charged with a criminal offence. File destructions and purges apply to records where an individual was accused, fingerprinted and/or attended criminal court, but not convicted. In the case of file destructions and purges your fingerprints and photographs will be destroyed and proof of this provided.
For more information, please visit the following links:
Some Charges DO NOT Require a Pardon or File Destruction
Record Suspension

Who decides if my file destruction will be approved?
File destructions involve both the RCMP and the local police agency that laid the charges. Once a file destruction is completed, the photographs and fingerprints are destroyed and can never be accessed again.
What if I am convicted as a sex offender?
The Criminal Records Act lists sexual offences in Schedule 1. If you were pardoned/suspended for any of these offences, your record will be kept ‘separate and apart’, but your name will still be flagged in the CPIC computer system. This means if you are required to do a criminal record check to work with children or with groups that are considered vulnerable because of their age or disability, your past convictions will be disclosed for the safety of vulnerable people. Please note that Schedule 1 on sex offences will not be disclosed on a criminal record check for employment where you would not be in contact with children or other vulnerable groups. If you have a conviction of sexual assault to a minor, you cannot be granted a pardon/record suspension.

When can a person apply for a pardon/record suspension?
An individual is eligible to apply for a pardon/record suspension once they have completed the sentence ordered by the judge, and have waited the necessary time period based on their charge.

How do I know how long to wait before I am eligible?
Waiting periods range from ‘no waiting period’ (for not guilty dispositions) to 10 years for indictable convictions.

You cannot apply for a pardon/record suspension if your charge was a sexual conviction where the victim was a minor and/or if you have 4 or more indictable convictions, for which 2 years or more of jail time was served.

For more information, please visit the following links:
There Are NO Exceptions for Eligibility Dates For Pardons
A Pardon will NOT be granted if the fine or restitution is not paid
What is included in a “sentence” for the purpose of determining eligibility?
A sentence means the conditions that a judge ordered the individual to undergo or complete. A sentence can include one or a combination of the following:

  • Compensation
  • Fine/Surcharge payment – this is paid to the court.
  • Restitution – payment made to an injured party. For example, if the individual broke someone’s car window, they may be ordered to pay for the repair.
  • Probation – the individual must report to a probation officer.
  • Jail time
  • Conditional Sentence Order – similar to jail time but served in the community. This type of order is usually made in the case where traditional jail is not seen as appropriate.
  • Prohibitions (such as driver’s license suspension, or not being allowed to possess firearms) are NOT INCLUDED in calculating eligibility for a pardon/record suspension.

If I do not think that I am eligible for a pardon/record suspension yet, are there any advantages to starting the process now?
Yes. Even if the exact date of eligibility is known, it is important to begin collecting the necessary paperwork as soon as possible because it can take several months. Most documents do not expire, so acquiring them in advance is a good idea. Also, if there are any complications with your file, we will be able to spot them and remedy them well in advance of your eligibility date.

By starting early, we can do the following:

  • We can find out quickly if your file was transferred to the RCMP or if a mistake was made.
  • We can calculate your exact eligibility date.
  • We can provide Reference letters to employers or Canadian Immigration etc., as evidence that the pardon/record suspension process is underway and should be successfully completed.
  • We can obtain and analyze necessary court documents.
  • We can ensure that your application is submitted the day you are eligible.

Does my employer or landlord have access to my criminal record?
It depends. If you signed an apartment rental application or an employment application, the documents may have contained a statement giving your landlord or employer permission to conduct a criminal record search.

Also, many employers have employment agreements that a new employee must sign before starting their job. Often in these agreements, the employee gives the employer the right to conduct a criminal record check. The applications may ask a simple question such as, “Do you have a criminal record for which a pardon/record suspension has not been granted?”. At the bottom of the application it will state that the person signing gives permission to the employer to verify all statements made. This means that the employer can now verify, through a criminal record check, if you have a criminal record.
For more information, please visit the following links:
“The Landlord wanted to do a criminal check in order to process my application.”
New National TV Program Highlights Difficulties of Getting a Job with a Criminal Record

Can my employer find out if I have received a pardon/record suspension?
After a pardon/record suspension is granted, it is sealed from public information access. When a criminal record check is done after a pardon/record suspension is granted, the check will be returned stating no criminal record was found. An employer cannot ask if you have received a pardon.

Can my employer find charges that were withdrawn?
Yes. Charges that have been withdrawn, dismissed, acquitted, stayed or discharged still show up on most criminal record checks. It will be indicated that the offence was withdrawn, however, an employer may have questions about this or may not be able to differentiate a conviction from a non-conviction. Therefore, it is important to have these types of criminal records destroyed.
For more information, please visit the following links:
Dropped Charges Still Show Up on Criminal Record Checks
Withdrawn Charges Can Still Cause Problems

I am a Young Offender. Does my employer have the right to ask me if I have a Criminal Record?
Yes, but you are NOT obligated to admit that you have a criminal record. However, if they do a criminal record search they will find it. Therefore, it is best to be responsible and admit it.

I have had the same job for several years. How can my record affect my employment?
Even if a person has worked for the same employer for several years, they are not protected against future criminal record search requests within the company or organization. Many organizations that have recently implemented criminal record searches for new employees are also requiring existing employees to undergo the search. Existing employees may lose their jobs if they have not removed their record prior to the search.

I am applying for a job promotion. Will my criminal record affect my application?
It may. Many companies that never before required criminal record searches are now doing so in cases where employees have applied for internal job promotions. Discovery of a criminal record may not only hinder their opportunity for career advancement within the company, but may also lead to being fired.
For more information, please visit the following links:
A DUI or Impaired Driving Charge Can Negatively Affect Job Opportunities
A Criminal Record Will Restrict Many Employment Opportunities

I am self employed. How can my criminal record affect my employment?
People who are self-employed are not immune to criminal record search requirements. Many companies who sub-contract to individuals or to small businesses are now requiring criminal record searches to be conducted on the employees and the owners of the business.

This is especially true in situations where the independent contractor will have access to confidential information or will be working with vulnerable people, such as children. Computer programmers, accountants and caregivers are just 3 examples of careers where criminal record searches are popular.

Can I be bonded if I have a criminal record?
Being bonded means that the employer has paid insurance against the risk of employees committing crimes, such as theft. Most people are insurable even if they have a criminal record. However, depending on how serious and what the charge was, and who the insurer is, it will cost the employer more to insure that person. If having the person bonded is too expensive for the employer, that person will not be hired.
For more information, please visit the following links:
Getting Bonded with a Criminal Record

How will I get a job with a criminal record?
Certain types of jobs require a criminal record search to be clear. However, other types of jobs can in fact be obtained, depending on the nature of the offence and what steps you have been taken in order to remove the record or start the pardon/record suspension process.
For more information, please visit the following links:
Having a Conditional Discharge Can Impede Getting Employment
“Having a DUI prevented me from getting jobs”

Do employers ever pay for employees’ pardons/record suspensions?
Yes. When you excel at your job but your criminal record comes in the way of your ability to do your job, whether that be travel or a career certification etc., your employer may decide to pay for your pardon/record suspension (or waiver). Many employers consider this a cost of doing business and the benefit of keeping you onboard outweighs the cost of the pardon/record suspension application. Your employer may be able to use the cost of the pardon/record suspension as a tax write-off if they submit the expense as a cost of doing business.

I am a trucker, will a pardon/record suspension help me get a FAST Card? 
Yes. ‘Canadian Border Services’, the federal agency that grants FAST Cards does check your criminal record. It is best to obtain a pardon/record suspension or file destruction before applying for a FAST Card, to ensure there is no reason for your application to be denied.

Can I travel to the U.S. for my job, if I have a criminal record?
No. It is illegal to cross the U.S. border with a Canadian criminal record, unless you are a U.S. citizen, you have legal native status or you have a valid U.S. Entry Waiver. Counsellors at Pardons Canada are readily available to discuss your specific situation in order to find the best solution for you to travel.
For more information, please visit the following links:
“My criminal record hung like a cloud whenever travel to the US came up for discussion”
I want to work with children, disabled, elderly or other vulnerable people, will I first need to do a criminal record check or will my criminal record be disclosed?
Yes. Those individuals working with vulnerable people must complete a more in-depth criminal record search, specific to the vulnerable sector. This check is primarily looking for Assault or Sex Related offences, for the safety of the clientele.
For more information, please visit the following links:
You Cannot Volunteer or Coach with a Criminal Record

I was told that I had to undergo a criminal record police clearance before becoming a volunteer. Is this legal?
Yes. Not only is it permitted, it is a legal requirement that volunteers undergo a criminal record check. If a criminal record exists, the individual may have an opportunity to explain the circumstances surrounding the event, but often will not be accepted as a volunteer.
For more information, please visit the following links:
Even Volunteer Positions Require a Criminal Background Check

Can I volunteer if I have a criminal record?
A criminal record may prevent you from volunteering. If a criminal record does exist, you may have a chance to explain the circumstances.
For more information, please visit the following links:
Volunteering with a Criminal Record
Removing a Criminal Record in order to Volunteer

If I want to help at my child’s school, do I need to obtain a criminal record check?
Yes. In most cases a criminal check is required to deny access to anyone who might pose a threat to school safety.
For more information, please visit the following links:
You Cannot Volunteer or Coach with a Criminal Record
“I couldn’t volunteer for my kids school with a criminal record”
Volunteering to Coach or Referee in a Sports League? Think Again.

Do I have to tell the organization about my criminal record?
It is best to disclose the information on your criminal record. This gives you the opportunity to discuss the circumstance of the situation.

Where do I have to go to do a criminal record check to volunteer?
In most cases the organization that you will be volunteering with will give you a form to bring to the local police (Note that this could be a vulnerable sector search that would divulge any contact with the police)

What will show up on a criminal record check conducted for volunteer purposes?
If you have not received a pardon/record suspension, your criminal record will be disclosed. Once your record has been sealed, you should receive clearance for volunteering. If you plan on volunteering in the vulnerable sector (around children, the elderly, disabled persons), all charges (whether pardoned/suspended or not) will be shown.

If you were charged with a sexual offence under the Criminal Records Act, your name will be flagged in the Canada National Repository and your criminal record will show up regardless of who you will be volunteering with. For information on Sex Offender Registry requirements or removal, contact your local police service or Sex Offender Registry (SOR) Office you have been required to report to. Even if removed from the SOR after your pardon/record suspension has been granted, your sexual offence, even though pardoned/suspended, may still be disclosed on certain criminal records checks.

What will the organization look for regarding my criminal record?
Each organization will have set guidelines that are followed. You will need to discuss your record with the association.

Should I apply for a pardon/record suspension before applying for immigration status?
Yes. Having a criminal record can jeopardize your immigration application. Removing your record before you apply for immigration status will prevent any prejudice against you.
For more information, please visit the following links:
Applying for Canadian Citizenship with a Criminal Record? – Think Again!

How will my criminal record affect my Permanent Residence Status and application for citizenship?
A permanent resident is a person who has been given lawful permission to permanently live in Canada, but who is not yet a Canadian citizen.

If you have a criminal record, your application for Canadian citizenship can be denied, delayed or put on hold. At the very least, it will slow down the process. If the conviction is for a serious offence, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) may decide to start removal proceedings for the purpose of removing your permanent residence status and deporting you from Canada. Even if you have been landed for many years or since childhood, your residency status may be taken away and you can be deported due to your Criminal Record,

Sometimes criminal convictions from many years ago are brought to the attention of Immigration Canada years after the crime was committed. Even in such a situation, where the criminal record is old, Immigration Canada may still take away the person’s permanent residence status and deport them.

If you are applying for Canadian citizenship, it is best to do so only after you have sealed or destroyed your criminal record.

For more information, please visit the following links:
Criminal Records Can Prevent You From Getting Your Canadian Citizenship
I received a letter from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) stating that my application for Permanent Residence Status (landed status) is being denied because I have a criminal record. What can I do?
It is best to start the process to have your criminal record removed immediately. You should notify Immigration Canada that you are having it removed and the anticipated date of completion. If you need assistance with providing the required documents and time frames to Immigration Canada, you can call the Pardons Canada free telephone support-line for assistance.
For more information, please visit the following links:
Applying for Canadian Citizenship with a Criminal Record
How will my criminal record affect my refugee status?
Refugees with criminal records may have their refugee status removed and be deported from Canada. A refugee’s right to apply for Permanent Residency may be removed by having a criminal conviction. At the very least, the discovery of any kind of criminal record, even where there was no finding of guilt, will result in complications to the immigration application.

If the individual’s application is part of a family application for permanent residency the discovery of the criminal record by Immigration Canada may jeopardize the application of everyone in the family. It may even result in the entire family being deported.
For more information, please visit the following links:
Immigrants who are charged with domestic assault can be a result of different cultures
If I was charged but the charges were dropped, will that affect my immigration application?
If you have been accused and charged with a crime and you were fingerprinted in Canada, or you attended at a Canadian criminal court, you do have a criminal record. Even if you were found not guilty, once you have been accused and charged with a criminal offence, a record does exist, and you must complete paperwork to have your record destroyed or sealed. It will not go away by itself. After being charged and fingerprinted, the police and the RCMP will assign a fingerprint number to your name and date of birth before you even go to court. A criminal record will negatively affect your immigration application.

I have a Minister’s Permit (or Work Authorization). Will it be taken away because of my criminal record?
People who were granted a Minister’s Permit or Work Authorization before they were charged with a criminal offence may have their status removed and be deported from Canada.

Can I lose my immigration status because of my criminal record?
Yes. You can lose your status because of having a criminal record. Although uncommon, you could even lose your citizenship due to a criminal record.

Is it legal for me to visit Canada if I have a criminal record from another country? 
It is illegal to visit Canada if you have a criminal record unless you have acquired special permission from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. If you have a Canadian criminal record from when you were previously in Canada, it is best to have it pardoned/suspended or destroyed before attempting to re-enter. If you have dual citizenship there is no issue with re-entering Canada.

Can I be deported because of my criminal record?
Yes. If you are not a Canadian citizen, you can be removed from Canada for having a criminal record.

Permanent residents may be deported if they are convicted of a serious offence in Canada. It is important to apply for your pardon/record suspension as soon as possible. It is also advisable to contact an immigration lawyer to discuss how the charge will affect your status as a permanent resident.
For more information, please visit the following links:
A Pardon Can Save You From Deportation
Thousands Could Face Deportation For Minor Crimes Under Tory Bill

I am being deported. How can you help me?
Even if removal or deportation proceedings are brought against you because of a criminal record, it is a good idea to start the process of having your record removed. By doing this you can show Immigration Canada that you are no longer involved in any criminal activities, and that you qualify to have your criminal record removed. Furthermore, you can give them an approximate date as to when your record will be sealed or destroyed.

After receiving correspondence from Pardons Canada (confirming that the pardon/record suspension is in process and will be successfully completed), Immigration Canada will usually remove the deportation order and allow the applicant to stay in Canada.
For more information, please visit the following links:
It is Possible to Receive a Pardon from Outside of Canada
Getting a Pardon After You Have Been Deported
If I was deported, and I have a criminal record, can I come back to Canada?
Yes. People who have been deported can apply to come back to Canada with written permission from the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. It is always best to receive a pardon/record suspension first then you can be sponsored by a family member to come back to Canada.

What is a youth record?

A Youth record can include any charges laid against you, previous findings of guilt, any sentences you have received, and information about whether you have finished serving your sentence. The length of time that a youth record will remain on file depends on the outcome of your case.

Who is a young offender? 

A young offender is someone between the ages of 12 and 17 who commits an offence under federal law, such as the Criminal Code or the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Rather than being treated as an adult, young offenders are handled under a special law called the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Although a young offender can still face serious penalties for certain offences, they are not usually sent to adult prisons and there is generally a greater emphasis on rehabilitation. A youth can sometimes be charged as an adult if they are over 14 and committed a crime in which an adult would receive 2 years or more in jail.

What is the Youth Criminal Justice Act?

In 2003 the Youth Criminal Justice Act replaced the Young Offenders Act. The YCJA is legislation put in place to protect the rights of young people. The Act affords special rights such as having a case heard in a special youth court, the right not to be publicly identified and penalties which are less severe and more flexible.

If I was charged and convicted when I was a youth, does it appear on my adult record? Do adult convictions affect youth records?

It depends. If you were convicted under the Young Offenders Act, your record should be removed after the requisite waiting periods have expired. If you were convicted under a prior Act, your record will probably still be on file with the RCMP and the local police agency.

If you acquire adult convictions before your youth records are removed, your youth record will be ‘locked in’ to your adult records permanently until you apply and receive a pardon/record suspension.

How long do youth records remain on file?

Minor convictions (summary) will remain on file for 3 years after you complete your sentence; while more serious convictions (indictable) will remain for 5 years following the completion of your sentence. These waiting periods will start from the end of the last disposition (sentence) you were given as a young offender.
In very serious cases such as sexual assault or other violent crimes the youth record can remain open for 10 or more years.

Do youth records disappear at age 18?

No. The time period that a youth record remains on file has nothing to do with the individual’s age.

Are youth records physically destroyed?

No. Generally they are closed and removed from “active files”. This means nobody can see your youth record or tell anyone about it.

Do I need a pardon/record suspension for my young offender convictions?

It depends. If you were convicted of an offence as a young offender and have not been convicted of any offences as an adult, the record of the offence will be sealed after the applicable waiting period has passed (3 years after completion of sentence for a summary conviction and 5 years after completion of sentence for an indictable conviction). In such a case, you do not need a pardon/record suspension for your young offender conviction.

However, if you were also convicted of an offence as an adult and the above time periods had not passed when you committed the adult offence, you will need a pardon/record suspension for your young offender conviction. In such cases, the youth record is ‘locked in’ and becomes part of the adult criminal record. Consequently, you will require a pardon for both the young offender and adult convictions.

Finally, if you were convicted as a young offender prior to 1984, you will need a pardon/record suspension to remove your criminal convictions.

Can employers and schools find youth records?

Yes, with your permission. Although the police cannot give information about your youth criminal record to anyone but you, employers and school programs can request that you provide a criminal background check prior to being hired or allowed admission to the school.

Can I travel to the U.S. with a youth record?

No. Although youth records are not supposed to be accessible to border officials, practically, the U.S. border officials can access your youth record (electronically) during the 3 or 5 years that your criminal record remains open.

If I want to help at my child’s school, do I need to obtain a criminal record check?
Yes. In most cases a criminal check is required to deny access to anyone who might pose a threat to school safety.

Can I lose custody of my children because of my criminal record?
Depending on the offence, having a criminal record may discredit your custodial ability. At the very least, a criminal record will negatively affect your application for custody or visitation of your children.

Can my criminal record be used against me in family court?
Yes. Having a criminal record will speak negatively about your character. It is best to begin your pardon as soon as possible. This will help to show the court that you have reformed.

I want to adopt a child and I was told that I would have to have an RCMP criminal record search done. Is this true?
Yes. Before adopting a child, the law requires that you have a full set of fingerprints taken and certified by the RCMP. If you have any charges on your criminal record, they will appear on this search. Local police checks may also be required as they contain additional information (such as noise complaints, domestic calls, etc.).

Can I be a foster parent, if I have a criminal record?
Before someone can become a foster parent there is a screening process that must be completed. As part of the screening process, everyone over the age of 18, who is a member of the proposed foster household, must provide a criminal record check. Having a criminal record will likely result in your application being denied.

If I want to work with children, will my criminal record stop me?
Yes. In all cases you will be sent for a criminal record check as a part of the hiring practice.

Pardons Canada undertakes all necessary steps and procedures for removing your criminal record, including: Pardons/Record Suspensions, Purges, Photograph & Fingerprint Destruction, and U.S. Entry Waivers. Get Canada Record Suspension Today