1. What is a Record Suspension (previously known as Pardon)?
A pardon/record suspension allows people who were convicted of a criminal offence, but have completed their sentence and demonstrated they are law-abiding citizens, to have their criminal record kept separate and apart from other criminal records. Record Suspensions/Pardons are issued by the federal government of Canada. This means that any search of the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) will not show that you had a criminal record, or that you were issued a pardon/record suspension.
2. What is the effect of a Record Suspension?
All information pertaining to convictions will be taken out of the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) and may not be disclosed without permission from the Minister of Public Safety Canada. The CRA applies only to records kept within federal departments and agencies. Many of the provincial and municipal law enforcement agencies cooperate by restricting access to their records once notified that a record suspension has been ordered.
3. What a Record Suspension is NOT?
- A record suspension does not guarantee entry or visa privileges to another country.
- A sentence may have included various prohibition orders imposed under the Criminal Code, such as a driving or firearms prohibition order. A record suspension will not cancel these prohibition orders.
4. Will a Record Suspension erase a prohibition order?
No. A record suspension does not affect a prohibition order.
5. Who may apply for a Record Suspension?
A person may apply for a record suspension if he/she was convicted of an offence under a federal act or regulation of Canada. A person may apply even if he/she is not a Canadian citizen or a resident of Canada. A person may also apply if he/she was convicted in another country and transferred to Canada under the Transfer of Offenders Act.
6. When can a person apply for a Record Suspension/Pardon?
An individual is eligible to apply for a pardon/record suspension once they have completed the sentence ordered by the judge, and have waited the necessary time period based on their charge. For more info on eligibility, check out our Record Suspension page
7. How much does it cost to apply for a Record Suspension?
8. Can a Record Suspension be denied?
Yes, for example, if the PBC finds that a person is not of good conduct. However, he/she may reapply after one year.
9. Can a Record Suspension be revoked?
Yes. A record suspension can be revoked if:
- The person is later convicted of an indictable offence under a federal act or regulation of Canada;
- If the person is no longer of good conduct; or
- If a false or deceptive statement was made, or relevant information was concealed at the time of the application.
In the above-mentioned circumstances, the records of the offences will again be kept with the other conviction records.
10. How do I know if I have a criminal record?
If you have been charged with a crime, even if you were found not guilty, or were never convicted, you do have a criminal record. If you have been fingerprinted for your offence, a fingerprint number (FPS#) is assigned to your name and date of birth and will exist until you take steps to have this record cleared. Even if you were not fingerprinted, if you were charged with an offence under the criminal code you may still require a pardon/record suspension (if you were convicted) or a file destruction (if you were not convicted).