Frequently asked questions about pardons in Canada

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Frequently asked questions about pardons in Canada

How will a pardon in Canada benefit me?

Your criminal record will be kept separate and apart from other records in the CPIC database, effectively removing your record and helping you gain employment, education, volunteering and other opportunities.

Will a Canadian pardon allow me entry into the United States?

While your record will be set aside, it doesn’t erase the fact you were convicted, and US Customs and Border Protection does not recognize a Canadian pardon. Depending on the nature of your criminal record, you may need to apply for a US entry waiver.

What if my charges resulted in a non-conviction?

You can apply for a file destruction to have the fingerprints and photographs that were taken as part of your arrest removed from the police database if your charges did not result in a conviction.

How much does a pardon cost?

The PBC application fee is $50. You are also responsible for fingerprinting, court and local police fees (approximately $150).

Our fee will depend on:

  • the number of court locations you have been convicted in

  • amount of cities you have resided in during the past 5 years


When am I eligible to apply for a pardon?

Determining eligibility depends on:

  • when the most recent offence was committed

  • date when the sentence was fully completed

  • nature of the offence(s)

Driving and weapon prohibitions are not considered part of your sentence when determining eligibility.


How long will the process take?

Once received by the Parole Board of Canada (PBC), summary offences will be processed within 6 months while indictable offences take 12 months.


Which Government agency is responsible for pardons?

The Parole Board of Canada is the only official agency that is involved in the processing of pardon and record suspension applications for convictions in Canada.

Can a pardon or record suspension be revoked?

Yes, if you’re:

  • convicted of a new offence

  • no longer maintaining a crime free lifestyle

  • found to have withheld information when you applied

If a pardon is revoked the offence(s) will be added back into the CPIC database.

What is the difference between a pardon and record suspension?

On March 29, 2012, the government made amendments to the CRA. Changes included a symbolic renaming from pardons to record suspensions, as well as increasing the time before an applicant is eligible to apply. Certain sexual offences and individuals convicted of more than three indictable offences and who received a prison sentence of two or more years were also deemed ineligible.

What documents are required for a pardon application?

Documentation can include:

  • RCMP criminal record

  • Court information

  • Local police records check

  • Military conduct sheet

  • Measurable benefit form

  • Record suspension application form


Why should I choose you to handle my application?

Applying on your own can be a difficult process due to the amount of paperwork involved. Nearly one-quarter of all applications are returned.

We prepare your documents, make sure every detail is in order and submit your application properly and much faster than you would be able to do on your own. Our fee is affordable, and we provide quick and efficient results.

Important facts to know about applying for a US entry waiver

Did you know...

A criminal record can stop you

from entering the United States,

including airport stopovers and

passage through US waters.

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Important facts to know about applying for a US entry waiver

What is a US entry waiver?

A document granted by USCBP that allows entry to a non-immigrant under section 212(d)(3)(A)(ii) of the US Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) is referred to as a US entry waiver. Anyone convicted of a drug offence, a crime involving moral turpitude or has multiple convictions for which the combined sentences to confinement exceeded five years, can apply for an entry waiver.

What is a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT)?

Moral turpitude is a complex legal concept that has no precise definition.

The INA declares who is inadmissible to enter the United States, but does not specify the lengthy list of offences that involve moral turpitude.

Common crimes that can make you inadmissible for entry to the USA include:

  • Controlled substance violations

  • False Pretenses

  • Fraud

  • Possession of Property Obtained by Crime

  • Theft


How long will a US entry waiver take to be approved?

You will receive your US entry waiver within several weeks of applying and, most likely, will be approved for the maximum five-year term.


What criteria does the ARO consider when reviewing an application?

Your application is evaluated on:

  • your risk level

  • severity of your crime(s)

  • reason for entry

What documentation is required for a US entry waiver?

The requirements vary depending on the applicant. Documents can include:

  • Personally written statement
    As part of our service, we prepare your statement so that the US sees the person you are – not the person you were.

  • RCMP fingerprint search results

  • Canadian pardon

  • Court information

  • Form I-192

  • Reference letters

  • Previously issued waiver(s)

  • Proof of citizenship

We prepare your documents and file your application. The result? You save yourself stress, and you’re able to cross the border much sooner.


How soon after my conviction can I apply?

Unlike a pardon application, there is no waiting period before you are eligible to apply, but enough time must pass to allow for reformation and rehabilitation. The severity of your past offence(s) will be a determining factor.


If I received my Canadian pardon, do I still need to apply for a US waiver?

Yes. US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) does not recognize a Canadian pardon. If you try to enter the US after you have been told you are inadmissible, you risk being banned or deported.

What happens after my application is filed?

After we file your application, you will be required to visit a designated port of entry to get fingerprinted and photographed.

Is an approved US waiver permanent?

Permanent waivers can refer to the validity period for which US entry waivers are approved for by the Admissibility Review Office. If the ARO determines that the nature of your criminal past does not require a US entry waiver, you will be notified of such with what is referred to as a September letter.


Is renewing my US entry waiver easier than applying for a new one?

The process for renewing a waiver is exactly the same as applying for a new one. It’s just quicker because we can keep your documentation on file.

We begin the process of applying for a renewal waiver a few months before your current one expires.

How much does a US entry waiver cost?

Our clients can expect to pay an average fee of $750 for us to prepare, file and monitor the status of their application.

Additional disbursements include:

  • USCBP filing fee: US$585

  • RCMP fingerprinting: approximately $75


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If you have any questions or would like to start your application, please call or text 604-700-5050 or send an email to

If you’re sending an email, please include your name, telephone number and the nature of your inquiry. We will reply as quickly as we can.