Fortunately, most people with criminal records in Canada can apply for a pardon. A pardon is called a Record Suspension in Canada. Many people who live with the barrier of the criminal record have the chance to move on, provided they complete the necessary steps. With few exceptions, the Parole Board of Canada will consider Record Suspension applications from people who have demonstrated good conduct for a period of time.
You can apply for a pardon if you were convicted in Canada under a Canadian federal act or regulation. You may also apply if you were convicted of an offence in a different country and transferred back to Canada. If you were convicted of a criminal offence, you can apply if you have completed your sentence and remained free of any additional transgressions for a certain number of years.
You do not have to be a Canadian citizen or resident in order to apply for a Record Suspension. In fact, non-Canadians who have received a conviction within Canada may also request a pardon in order to overcome criminal inadmissibility to come back into the country. A Record Suspension may help you to gain ground for a new life in Canada, where you can move on from your past.
There are some exclusions to those who can apply for a pardon. Anyone convicted of a sexual offence involving a child cannot receive a pardon. In addition, anyone with at least three offences with jail terms of at least two years each, even if served concurrently, cannot be pardoned.
The rules may seem technical and complicated, but there is help to guide you through it. Learn more about how you can get your life back by applying for a Record Suspension.