What is a Pardon or Record Suspension?
A record suspension (formerly “Pardon”) allows individuals to remove their criminal record from the Canadian Information Centre (CPIC) database. This means that a criminal record search will not show that an individual has a criminal record.
It allows individuals who were convicted of criminal offences to have their criminal record kept separate and apart from other criminal records, if:
- they have completed their sentence; and
- have demonstrated to be law-abiding citizens.
A Pardon or Record suspension is a great tool in helping individuals in educational and employment opportunities as well as reintegrating into society.
Benefits of obtaining a Pardon or Record Suspension
Obtaining a pardon or record suspension has several benefits, including:
- Ability to contract with the federal government;
- Eligibility for Canadian citizenship;
- Better employment opportunities; and
- Increased educational opportunities and options.
Limitations of a Pardon or Record Suspension
A Pardon or Record Suspension:
- does not erase a convicted offence. It only sets it aside and can always be put back on the CPIC under certain circumstances;
- does not guarantee entry or visa privileges to another country. For instance, entry into the United Statements of America requires that you obtain a United States Entry Waiver;
- is flagged in CPIC for former sexual offenders. The offenders are flagged so that they can be identified as individuals who were convicted of sexual offences (for which a record suspension was granted) when a vulnerable sector check is done.
Can a Pardon or Record Suspension be revoked?
Yes, a Pardon or Record Suspension can be revoked or ceased 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;
- Found to have made a false or misleading statement, or hidden information when you applied; or
- Found to have been ineligible for a record suspension at the time the Pardon or Record Suspension was ordered.
Who can apply for a Pardon or Record suspension?
The following individuals can apply for a Pardon or Record Suspension:
- Those who have been convicted of an offence in Canada under a federal act or regulation of Canada as an adult; or
- Those convicted of a crime in another country and were transferred to Canada under the Transfer of Offenders Act or the International Transfer of Offenders Act.
When can you apply for a Pardon or Record Suspension?
To be eligible to apply for a Pardon or Record Suspension, you must first complete all of your sentences and a specified waiting period must have passed.
- All fines, surcharges, costs, restitution and compensation orders;
- All sentences of imprisonment, condition sentences, including parole and statutory release; and
- Any probation order(s).
After completing all of your sentences, you must complete one of the following waiting periods:
- 5 years for a summary offence; or
- 10 years for an indictable offence.
What offences are ineligible for a Pardon or Record Suspension?
You are not eligible for a Pardon or Record Suspension if you have been convicted of:
- A Schedule 1 Offence (sexual offence involving a child) under the Criminal Records Act with certain exceptions; and
- More than three (3) offences prosecuted by indictment, each with a prison sentence of two years or more.
Application processing times
The following service standards apply to pardon or record suspension applications by the Parole Board of Canada:
- Pardon or a Record Suspension for an offence or offences tried summarily will be processed within 6 months of application acceptance.
- Pardon or a Record Suspension for an offence or offences tried by indictment will be processed within 12 months of application acceptance.
- Applications for a Pardon or Record Suspension in which the Board is proposing to refuse to order a Pardon or Record Suspension will require up to 24 months after application acceptance to complete.
Fees and Disbursements
Our fee: $949 + GST
Please note that our fee does not include any fees and disbursements charged or required by the Parole Board of Canada, courts, RCMP, Canadian Forces and/or local police service.
The following is a list of some of the fees and disbursements to be mindful of in an application for a pardon or a record suspension:
Application Fee – Parole Board of Canada: $644.88
Fingerprint-based criminal record check:
- Federal Processing Fee: $70
- Local Service Fee (if fingerprints are taken and submitted to the RCMP): An additional $25 on top of $50 for the first fingerprint set/document, and $15 for each additional set/document per person in the same session.
Local Police Record Check
- Edmonton Police Service Fee: $70
Disclaimer: All the information provided on this page is published in good faith and for general information purpose only. Edmonton Law Office does not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information. Information provided utilizes public resources of the Parole Board of Canada, the Government of Canada, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). For more information, please contact the Edmonton Law Office and our knowledgeable lawyers will be happy to assist you.