Pardons are now officially called "Record Suspension."
If you are qualified for a pardon, you cannot be denied. You have a right to a pardon.
"The rate of success in obtaining pardons by applicants is quite high, well over 90%, but this does not reflect any lack of
diligence in considering pardon applications. Rather, it indicates that the vast majority of applicants qualify for a pardon,
whereas those who would obviously not qualify are deterred from applying when they see the thoroughness of the application information they must provide, including fingerprints. " (Mr. Jacques Saada (Parliamentary Secretary to Solicitor General of Canada, Lib. HOUSE OF COMMONS debates )
Yes, you absolutely should obtain a pardon once you are eligible. It will affect your future jobs, children, travel and credit.
SAVE YOUR MONEY - You do not need to hire some agent or company to do your Waiver or Pardon application.
An agent will not speed up the process or be treated any differently than if you do your own application.
Since you need to do most of the legwork yourself, a service only charges you for holding your hand. If you can read and follow simple instructions, you can easily do your own application without any problems at all. The sooner you get started, the sooner you will be able to enter the USA.
Pardons obtained under the Criminal Records Act only apply to criminal conviction records kept at the federal level, primarily by the RCMP. ( often referred to as CPIC) Provincial and municipal police agencies are not obliged to respect or honour a pardon by destroying your records and they seldom do.
You may not apply for a pardon until the waiting period expires. The waiting period includes your sentence plus any probation periods. Once these have been served in full, only then may you start the application process. A pardon application may be accelerated if you have urgent need to have a clear record, eg job out of the country, etc.
Changes to Pardons Eligibility and Application Process
On June 30, 2010, the Government of Canada amended the Criminal Records Act (CRA), resulting in changes to how pardons are granted by the National Parole Board.
What are the changes?
New waiting periods:
Note: Waiting periods do not start until your entire sentence including probation or other conditions have expired
Additional information required:
- 10 years
for a personal injury offence (Section 752 of the Criminal Code, including manslaughter), for which a sentence of 2 years or more was imposed.
for an indictable sexual offence.
- 5 years
for an indictable offence (other than a sexual offence).
for a summary sexual offence.
- 3 years
for a summary offence (other than a sexual offence)
Certain applicants will now have to provide additional information that:
- explains why they are applying for a pardon,
- describes what measurable benefit a pardon would provide to them, and
- how a pardon would assist them in their rehabilitation into society.
Note: Applicants convicted of summary offences which are not listed in Schedule 1 of the Criminal Records Act, do not need to provide this information.