Individuals seeking to obtain a Canadian pardon or a record suspension often inquire as to how this process can be done as quickly as possible. Whether you are planning on travelling to the US, or applying for a job, it may be obvious that the faster you can obtain a pardon, the better.
However, the fact of the matter is that there is no one way to obtain a pardon that is faster than any other, no matter which path you choose.
How Long It Takes and Why
Preparation time for a pardon application before it is sent to the Canadian government can take anywhere from 4 to 6 months. Once it is received, processing and decision making by the government can then take anywhere from 4 months to 24 months.
This is because applications for pardons require the RCMP to provide information on the applicant in question, in addition to calling upon courts, local police services, and other sources for additional information.
Gathering information from the courthouse in which an applicant was convicted can also take time, and can sometimes be requested without the RCMP report, but it is dependent on where the conviction took place and the policies of the individual courthouse. Regardless, courts can take a month or more to provide the necessary information.
Police Record Checks
A police record check from the local police department is also required for all Canadian pardon applications. This is required for every jurisdiction the applicant has lived in for the past five years. It usually takes a police department anywhere from two to three weeks to a few months to provide the local police record checks, depending on the size of the jurisdiction – though some may do it immediately.
Submitting the Application
After completing an application, it must be sent to the Parole Board of Canada. With summary convictions, the application can go through within six months while indictable convictions can go through within twelve months. Indictable offences are often more serious and require a thorough investigation to evaluate the application. At the minimum, an application for a summary offence can go through the process in four months, and an application can go through for an indictable offence in eight.
As with all applications submitted to the government, the processing times for Canadian pardon applications are frequently subject to changes. It is often difficult to accurately predict how long an individual application will take to make its way through the Parole Board of Canada, even taking in to account how long compiling the application itself will take. It is likely that summary offences will be processed faster than indictable offences, but there are many variables for each individual case that is it almost impossible to generalize a timetable for every case.
The best way to ensure that your application for a Canadian pardon is processed without delay or incident is to have it properly prepared and submitted. However, the first step in the process is to find out if you are eligible for a Canadian pardon.