Have you set goals for yourself in life to travel, volunteer, or get that job you’ve been dreaming of? A criminal record may cause you to shy away from these opportunities. Canadians deserve a justice system that not only keeps our communities safe, but respects the rights of people who have turned their lives around.
If you made mistakes in your past, and have led a more productive and fulfilling life since, a record suspension (pardon) may be the next step for you. The path to clear your criminal record can be complicated, but the benefits are clear.
Getting A Job
Many employers will ask for background checks. It can feel like an uphill battle when you have a criminal record. A Record Suspension will allow you to confidently apply for the job knowing that your criminal background check will come back clear.
Getting a Better Job
When moving on to bigger and better things, you may find that you want to transition out of your current role, earn more money, and take on new challenges. You may find that you have learned a lot of job skills that would qualify you for a promotion. You can be ready to make your move if you have a Record Suspension to back up your application.
If you are applying for a post-secondary program that requires a practicum or internship involving work with children or vulnerable adults, a criminal record check is mandatory. If you do not meet the requirements, you will not be able to register for practicums, which may disqualify you from graduating.
Most volunteer opportunities that require working with others require a criminal record check. Record checks are common for social service agencies, positions that require the use of a vehicle, hospitals, schools, sports teams, humane societies and more. Many parents get a Record Suspension so that they can volunteer for their children’s schools and sports teams.
There are many countries that will request a criminal record check before issuing a visa. You can provide them with a clean background check if you have a Record Suspension. Other countries will not require a record check but will ask about convictions. You can present them with your granted Record Suspension as evidence of rehabilitation. There are some limitations to this as a foreign country is not obligated to let you in with a Record Suspension. Most notably, the United States does not recognize Canadian pardons or Record Suspensions and will require a US Entry Waiver for many types of offences. However, a Canadian Record Suspension (Pardon) can exemplify rehabilitation in an application for a US Entry Waiver. There are still Record Suspension benefits in extending your opportunities for travel.
Are you dreaming of being a part of the armed forces to protect and defend Canada? If you have a conviction under the Criminal Code of Canada or the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, you may still apply to the Forces, as long as you have served your sentence and no longer have any legal obligations. In certain cases, a criminal record may quickly disqualify you from enlistment.
About 20% of jobs in Canada are regulated; to work in a regulated profession or trade, you must obtain a licence to practise or a certificate of qualification. A regulatory body will require you to obtain a criminal record check and submit it with your application.
Crossing the Border
Under United States law, a criminal record may disqualify you from entry. If you have a record that the US does not consider serious, such as DUI, you can clear your record and qualify for NEXUS and the FAST Card program. If you do have a record that the US considers inadmissible, such as drug possession, you may not qualify for NEXUS with your Record Suspension, but you could still get a CANPASS card to enter Canada faster.
Landlords may ask for criminal record checks as part of the screening process for tenancy applications. This includes apartments, trailer parks, commercial properties, social housing, co-ops and rooming houses. Condo boards and mobile home parks will also deny a purchase of a unit on the basis of a criminal record.
Once you have a Record Suspension, you’ll feel relieved that the past is behind you and your rights have been fully restored. You’ll be able to move forward with a prosperous future for yourself and your family.
If you were found not guilty or if the charges were withdrawn, stayed or dismissed, there is a police record of your arrest, a court record of your trial, and a record held with the RCMP. A number of federal and provincial law enforcement agencies have access to criminal records through the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC). These include Citizenship and Immigration, Parks Canada, Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, United States (US) Customs and Immigration and the US state police. A Record Suspension can seal and limit accessibility to your criminal record.
If you would like to find out more about Record Suspension benefits and how they apply to your situation or to get started on your application, contact AllCleared today for a free consultation at 1-866-972-7366.