1. What does a Record Suspension (formerly known as a Pardon) do?
- A Record Suspension is granted by the Parole Board of Canada and seals your criminal record.
2. Why do I need a Record Suspension?
- You need a Record Suspension when you have been convicted of a criminal offence in Canada.
3. How would a Record Suspension benefit me?
- A Record Suspension will give you peace of mind when faced with: criminal background checks, job promotions, education or career advancement, immigration (including citizenship application) and volunteer positions. It will also remove any real or perceived stigma, which is often attached to having a criminal record.
4. Do I need a Record Suspension if I received an Absolute or Conditional discharge?
- No, you do not need to apply for a Record Suspension if you received an Absolute or Conditional discharge.
5. When can I apply for my Record Suspension?
- You can apply after five years if you have been convicted of a 'Summary offence' (less serious offences);
- Or, after 10 years if you have been convicted of an 'Indictable offence' (more serious offences).
6. Are there any other requirements other than the waiting period?
- Yes, you must have fully completed your Sentence including: payment of fines, surcharges, and all restitution and compensation orders. You must also have been of good conduct since your last conviction. That is, you cannot have been convicted of any additional criminal offences.
7. How long will it take to get my Record Suspension?
- For 'Summary offences' it will likely be complete within six months.
- If you have 'Indictable convictions', it will likely be completed within one year.
8. Do I have to be a Canadian citizen, living in Canada, to apply for a Record Suspension?
- A person may apply even if he or she is not a Canadian citizen or a resident of Canada.
9. Can my Record Suspension ever be taken away or revoked?
- Yes, the Parole board of Canada may revoke your Record Suspension if you are convicted of additional criminal offences after receiving your Record Suspension.
10. Will a Record Suspension allow me to travel to the United States?
- No, Canadians with criminal Records must make an application to the department of Homeland Security of the United States for a US Waiver of Inadmissibility.