7 Ways a Pardon Could Benefit Your Life

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7 Ways a Pardon Could Benefit Your Life

by Eugene Ohotnikov, Research Analyst with Pardon Applications of Canada

Despite certain attempts to reduce discrimination, having a criminal record can still make life much more difficult. Fortunately, pardons in Canada provide a way out for those on file in the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) who have completed their sentences and shown themselves as law-abiding citizens. Here are 7 ways a Pardon could benefit your life by having your criminal record removed from CPIC.

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1. No Discrimination At Employment
The provinces have individual legislation related to criminal record-related discrimination at employment. For example, according to the Human Rights Code of Ontario, an employer can refuse an applicant with an unpardoned criminal record. Meanwhile, in British Columbia, an employer can refuse to employ or continue to employ a person only if he or she was convicted of an offence that is related to employment. Since various provinces have different rules, it is essential to discuss each individual case with an expert. Meanwhile, getting a Pardon would ensure equal employment opportunities no matter the province.

2. Reducing the Risks when Crossing the U.S. Border
A criminal record can be a serious obstacle when travelling abroad and especially when crossing the U.S. border. A border patrol agent could refuse entry for travelers who have been fingerprinted and having a criminal record even if the criminal charges had been dropped.  Although a Pardon in Canada does not guarantee legal access across the U.S. border, it is considered a positive reformative step by Customs & Border Protection. However, for most criminal records (whether Pardoned or not), a U.S. Entry Waiver may be required.

3. Removing Obstacles to Canadian Citizenship or Permanent  Residency
Filing an application for Canadian citizenship or permanent residency includes many steps, filling the forms and making required submissions. Meanwhile, having an unpardoned criminal record would decrease the chances of having the application approved. It is advisable to proceed with citizenship or permanent residency application in Canada only after a Pardon has been obtained.

4. Passing Rental Background Check
When renting a property, the prospective tenants are expected to fill in a rental application form. In most cases, such an application will presume answering a question about a criminal record. The landlords, the condominium board, or the community may be reluctant to have a tenant with an unpardoned criminal record which would make the application not eligible. Getting a Pardon would provide the benefit of keeping the criminal record separate from other criminal records. When the Pardon is granted, the criminal record is removed from CPIC and becomes inaccessible to landlords and rental boards.

5. Better Chances to Receive Child Custody or Adoption
Criminal records are especially preventive when it concerns child custody or adoption. The presence of a criminal record may be considered as evidence of the parent’s unlawful character and impede chances of obtaining custody right or application for visitation. Having an unpardoned criminal record also seriously decreases the chances of getting adoption rights and becoming a foster parent. It is advisable to receive a Pardon before applying for adoption in Canada or considering child custody rights.

6. Improving Your Loan Profile
As borrowers are trying to cut down their risks, they are increasingly unwilling to issue loans and mortgages to lenders with criminal records. They may even refuse to provide a mortgage if a spouse of the applicant is on file with local police. Getting a Pardon would improve the loan profile and increase the chances of having the application approved.

7. Removal of Stigma in the Community
Many of those with criminal records, especially when living or working in smaller communities, are concerned about criminal record-related stigma, and they have the grounds to do so. Other community members may be wary of those with a record on file, trying to avoid and exclude them. It may further prevent taking part in community activities and volunteer work, affecting the quality of life and ability to socialize. Having the criminal record removed after a Pardon is granted comes with the most important benefit of peace of mind, allowing the individual to participate in the community without looking back to the past.


About the Author
Eugene Ohotnikov is a Research Analyst with Pardon Applications of Canada and legal copywriter on a broad array of subjects including family law, estate planning, immigration, taxation, real estate, conveyancing, startups, and more. Eugene holds a Master’s degree in law. During his career, Eugene has developed legal content for law firms and clients from the US, Canada, China, Singapore, and Malaysia.

Contact Pardon Applications of Canada via 866-383-9744.

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