Record Suspension and Pardon in Canada
Have you been criminally charged within Canada? Are you a foreign national, a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada? Regardless of status, the moment that you obtain a criminal charge or conviction in Canada, you will become criminally inadmissible to Canada. In order to successfully overcome your criminal inadmissibility to Canada and permanently resolve the criminal history, you may apply for a record suspension. The record suspension was previously known and referred to as a pardon in Canada. Therefore, in this article, I will explain what a record suspension is, how to apply for a record suspension and other important information to know regarding record suspensions.
What is a Record Suspension
If you have been convicted or criminally charged of an offence in Canada and you have completed the sentencing imposed, you may be eligible for a record suspension. This is also referred to as a pardon. In order to be eligible for a record suspension, you must ensure that all aspects of your sentencing have been completed and you are continuously being a law-abiding citizen. For instance, if you had a fine or probation as part of your sentence, you must make sure that all fines are paid and all probation has been completed prior to applying. Thus, once the record suspension, or pardon, has been provided, your criminal record will be kept separate from all other criminal records with regards to Immigration.
How to Apply for a Record Suspension
If you have been deemed criminally inadmissible to Canada and this impedes on your future immigration aspirations in Canada, then you may want to apply for a Record Suspension, also referred to and known as a Pardon. It is important to note that the Parole Board of Canada is the only official federal agency responsible for making the final decision on these immigration matters.
Therefore, it is important to note whether or not you can apply for a record suspension or not.
Apply for a Record Suspension if you have:
- Been convicted as an adult of an offence within Canada under the Federal Act or Regulation of Canada
- Been convicted of a crime in another country and the crime was transferred to Canada under the Transfer of Offenders Act or International Transfer of Offenders Act
You cannot apply for a Record Suspension if you have:
- A Schedule 1 Offence under the Criminal Records Act which includes sexual offence involving a child
- More than three separate offences prosecuted by indictment and each with a prison sentence
How Likely am I to Successfully Obtain a Record Suspension
The likelihood of successfully obtaining a record suspension entirely depends on the offence committed and how long you need to wait before applying for the record suspension. For instance, you may need to either have waited five or ten years from the date you completed your sentencing to apply for a record suspension. Then, once you have completed the required time period, you can apply for the record suspension and provide sufficient supporting documentation and evidence that all sentencing has been completed.
What if my Record Suspension Applications Becomes Refused
This may happen to you as many of our clients have, unfortunately, had their applications refused and now they are coming to us for assistance. These clients often get their applications refused due to lack of supporting documentation or improper filing of the application. For instance, if they have not completed the forms correctly, this may cause a refusal or return of the application. Therefore, it is vital for the status of the application for you to ensure all documentation and information is provided accurately and diligently. This way, the chances of a successful application are that much better.
What is the Processing Time for a Record Suspension
On average, the processing time for a Record Suspension application is approximately 12 to 24 months. Yet, it is important to recognize that collecting information and documentation can often times take longer than the processing time of the application itself. Therefore, it is best to prepare your documents and information well in advance so that you may submit the application as soon as possible. Just to put things into perspective, it can often take a client up to three to ten months to accumulate and compile all of the supporting documentation for an application. Furthermore, if you need assistance or help with obtaining these documents or information, it is best to consult with an Immigration professional.
Once I have been Granted a Record Suspension, What Happens to my Criminal Record
This is the most common question that is asked after being granted a Record Suspension. Essentially, there will always be a record of your criminal past; however, the moment that you receive a record suspension, these records will be kept separate from the records that the RCMP has. Furthermore, once you have been pardoned of your offences and receive an approved record suspension, any information with regards to your criminal record will not be disclosed without the approval of the Minister of Public Safety.
Contact Akrami & Associates
If you would like to have your criminal record pardoned and apply for a record suspension, it is important to take all of the aforementioned information into consideration before applying. Record Suspension applications are difficult to pursue on your own, especially if you are unfamiliar; it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to apply. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients overcome their criminal inadmissibility and are now pardoned of their offence in Canada. If you believe that you may be eligible to apply for a Record Suspension, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice.
With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!