- What is a Pardon?
- What are the Benefits of a Pardon?
- Which of My Convictions will be Pardoned?
- How Long Will it Take to Get a Pardon?
- Do I Need a Pardon for a Youth Record?
- Can I Attempt My Own Pardon Application?
- Can’t the Government Complete My Pardon?
- Can You Guarantee My Pardon?
- Will a Pardon Guarantee My Freedom to the United States?
- What’s the Total Cost of a Pardon?
- Once Granted, Can I Lose my Pardon?
- Is it True That Soon Pardons Will No Longer Be Offered?
- Shouldn’t I use a Lawyer?
What is a Pardon?Back to Top
A Pardon in Canada (also known as a “Record Suspension”), is granted by the government of Canada to indicate that your criminal record has been separated from publicly visible criminal charges in the national criminal record database. When you receive a Pardon, no one can view your criminal record unless they get written permission from you or the Public Safety Minister of Canada. In essence, A Pardon gives you a fresh start at your criminal record.
What are the Benefits of a Pardon?Back to Top
A criminal record can negatively affect your life in a number of ways. A record can make it more difficult to find a job, get a promotion, travel abroad, do volunteer work, enroll in education programs, immigrate, get custody of a child, rent an apartment and much more. The option to seal your criminal record from public visibility is a privilege truly unique to Canada – the vast majority of criminal record holders elsewhere in the world must live with the full consequences of their record for the rest of their lives. Assuming you qualify and can afford a minimum interest-free monthly payment of $75, contact Pardon Applications today via 1-866-383-9744 to get started.
Which of My Convictions will be Pardoned?Back to Top
A Canadian Pardon (Record Suspension) will permanently seal an individual’s entire criminal record, including all convictions & non-convictions (discharges, withdrawn, dismissed) associated with the applicant’s name. You do not choose which convictions or charges you want to be sealed. The purpose of a Pardon is to give a 100% clear, fresh start at an individual’s criminal record forever.
How Long Will it Take to Get a Pardon?Back to Top
From making the first call to Pardon Applications of Canada 1-866-383-9744, you can expect a total timeline of approximately 10-18 months. Factors which can affect the total timeline include the length and complexity of your record, as well as the number of dispositions (locations) in which you were charged.
A Canadian Pardon application is not merely about filling out a few documents. Each application must go through a specific nine (9) step legal process as specified by the Criminal Records Act in Canada. If any one of these steps is completed incorrectly, or in the wrong timeline, your application can be delayed for a significant amount of time or even become void.
Once your application has been completed by Pardon Applications of Canada, it is ready to be submitted to the Canadian government for their independent review and decision. Although no one in Canada can expedite the government’s due diligence in this process, there are many ways to expedite the application processing beforehand.
Pardon Applications of Canada utilizes an innovative 24/7 processing system which means your application is completed with the most efficiency and accuracy possible. In addition, Priority status and one-on-one support is available for urgent applications.
View more details on Pardon timelines.
Do I Need a Pardon for a Youth Record?Back to Top
If the entirety of your criminal record was incurred when you were under the age of 18 AND it was before 1984, you would still require a Pardon as this was before the Young Offenders Act (as of 2003, now called the Youth Criminal Justice Act). If the entirety of your criminal record was incurred after 1984 when you were under the age of 18, you would not require a Pardon.
Note that the moment you are convicted of an offence in court at the age of 18 or older, any convictions as a youth would remain publicly visible and a Pardon would be required. If you are unsure whether you require a Pardon for your youth record, contact a Pardon & U.S. Waiver Officer via 1-866-383-9744.
Can I Attempt My Own Pardon Application?Back to Top
It is absolutely your privilege to try. There is no legal requirement to use an accredited processing firm for your Pardon application. However, similar to representing yourself in court, attempting your own application carries several risks. Each stage of the application process has strict requirements, and each one must be done in a specific order and time frame. If any one or more of the requirements are not met, or not done in the right sequence, your application may be rejected or deemed invalid, and you will have to wait a minimum of twelve (12) months before starting the process over from the beginning. For most Canadians, it makes sense to ensure the application is done accurately and correctly the first time.
Can’t the Government Complete My Pardon?Back to Top
There is no government body that completes the legal application process to obtain a Pardon — it is entirely the responsibility of the applicant. By retaining Pardon Applications of Canada, the legal process of your application is completed on your behalf. Only once completed is your finalized application submitted to the government for their independent review and decision.
Can You Guarantee My Pardon?Back to Top
No person or organization in Canada can credibly promise guaranteed success of your application, since it is the government itself that ultimately makes the decision on your application. However, using an accredited application firm like Pardon Applications of Canada can maximize your opportunity for success.
Since 1970, over 450,000 Canadians and/or residents of Canada have received a Pardon, with an application approval rate of over 92%. In fact, 96% of all Pardons granted over the span of 40 years are still in effect today!
Each application is assessed by the Parole Board of Canada in accordance with the federal Criminal Records Act and also for a number of mitigating factors. Each applicant (and his or her case) is reviewed to determine the effect on rehabilitation and any potential benefit to be gained from receiving a Pardon. Depending on your offence(s), the Parole Board of Canada may also assess whether granting a Pardon would raise any questions about the fair administration of justice.
For your protection, Pardon Applications of Canada offers a money back guarantee on its processing fee if your application is not approved. Certain conditions do apply on the guarantee, including meeting the requirements for eligibility when you submit your application to the Parole Board of Canada. For example, between the time that you start your application and submit it, you cannot have been charged and/or convicted of any new offence.
Will a Pardon Guarantee My Freedom to the United States?Back to Top
No. Canadian Pardons are not recognized by U.S. Customs & Border Authorities. While it’s advisable to have a Canadian Pardon before travelling to the U.S., you will probably need a U.S Entry Waiver also.
View more details on acquiring freedom to the U.S.
What’s the Total Cost of a Pardon?Back to Top
There are two specific charges for obtaining a Pardon:
1. The processing fee to complete the legal work on your application
2. The government’s submission fee.
The processing fee covers the work Pardon Applications of Canada does on your behalf to subpoena certified court documents, communicate with police detachments, and complete your application. The government’s submission fee of $631 is paid to the government when you submit your application to them.
When all steps are completed, including submission to the government, the typical applicant can expect to pay between $1200-$1500 not including taxes. The exact total cost can vary depending on the length and complexity of the applicant’s criminal record.
View more information on Pardon application fees.
Once Granted, Can I Lose my Pardon?Back to Top
According to the Criminal Records Act, the government has authority to revoke your Pardon if you are convicted of a criminal offence after the Pardon is granted. Depending on the new offence, you might be eligible to reapply after a wait period.
Is it True That Soon Pardons Will No Longer Be Offered?Back to Top
That is unlikely. There have been recent changes to some laws and requirements surrounding Canadian Pardons. As such, some less reputable individuals have used these changes as a way to strike fear into applicants for their services.
It is true that, under the new legislation, Pardons may not be granted to some individuals who have serious records and/or those with sexual offences against minors. However, the overwhelming majority of Canadian criminal record holders are still eligible to apply for a Pardon. If you choose not to retain Pardon Applications of Canada to process your application, be cautious of any sales person or company that tells you there is a “deadline” to get a Pardon.
Shouldn’t I use a Lawyer?Back to Top
That’s certainly your option, however, you will likely be subject to legal fees and disbursements that are 3-4x higher than retaining Pardon Applications of Canada. In addition, lawyers do not have the same expedited application process, nor do they have a higher chance of success. They may not be specialized in Canadian Pardon applications at all. In fact, many lawyers utilize Pardon Applications of Canada as their processing firm and then charge their clients a premium when the work is done. By going directly through Pardon Applications of Canada, you are shown how to properly get a Pardon, pay lower overall fees, and avoid surprising legal costs.