If you have been convicted of a crime in Canada, that conviction could cause you to be deemed inadmissible to the country and can prevent any future travel to Canada.
For individuals who find themselves in this situation, having your Canadian criminal record set aside in order to restore your admissibility to Canada is an option.
A record suspension, processed by the Parole Board of Canada, is available for any person who was convicted of a crime in Canada. If you were convicted of any crime in Canada or were convicted of a crime abroad and were transferred to Canada through the national or international Transfer of Offenders Act, you may be eligible for a record suspension.
Record suspensions do not erase a conviction from a person’s criminal history, but it does set it aside and separates the conviction from the rest of your criminal record. A record suspension also removes the conviction from the Canadian Police Information Centre database and removes the negative consequences that may have been a result of that conviction, including criminal inadmissibility to Canada.
Record suspensions are only necessary in cases where a person was convicted of the crime in question. A record suspension in unnecessary for individuals who received a conditional discharge, an absolute discharge, a dismissal, or any other non-conviction.
In order to be eligible for a record suspension, the entire sentence imposed for the crime must be completed and a waiting period must have passed.
For individuals convicted of a summary offence in Canada, five years must have passed from the completion of all terms of the sentence before a record suspension is a possibility.
For individuals convicted of an indictable offence in Canada, ten years must have passed from the completion of all terms of the sentence before a record suspension is a possibility.
*An individual is deemed to have completed a sentence if:
– They have paid all fines, surcharges, costs, and restitution and compensation orders in full
– They have served all sentences of imprisonment, conditional sentences including parole and statutory release
– They have satisfied their probation orders
Certain convictions make a person ineligible for a record suspension, including sex offenses involving a child. If you have been convicted of more than three indictable crimes in Canada and each received a sentence of imprisonment of two years or more, you are also ineligible for record suspension.
Please note: If you have been convicted of crimes in both Canada and another country, obtaining a record suspension alone will not be sufficient to make you admissible to Canada. To resolve the criminal convictions from your home country, you will also need to apply for Criminal Rehabilitation or a Temporary Resident Permit in combination with a record suspension.
The Parole Board of Canada may revoke a record suspension if:
– The person is later convicted of a summary offence under a federal act or regulation of Canada;
– The PBC finds that the person is no longer of good conduct;
– The PBC learns that a false or deceptive statement was made, or relevant information was concealed at the time of the application
A record suspension may cease to have effect if:
– The person is subsequently convicted of an indictable offence under a federal act or regulation of Canada;
– The person is convicted of an offense punishable either on indictable or summary conviction;
– If the PBC is convinced by new information that the person was not actually eligible for a record suspension at the time it was ordered
In the above-mentioned circumstances, the records of the offences will again be kept with the other conviction records.
FWCanada is a Montreal-based immigration law firm that provides professional legal services on Canadian immigration. For more tips and updates on Canadian immigration follow FWCanada on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.