Fact Sheet - Applying for a Record Suspension
Who is responsible for record suspensions?
The Parole Board of Canada (PBC) is the official federal agency responsible for processing record suspension applications for convictions under federal acts or regulations of Canada. The PBC can order, refuse to order, and revoke record suspensions.
What is a record suspension?
A record suspension lets a person with a criminal record, who has finished all of their sentences and shown that they have obeyed the law for a set number of years, have their record set aside in the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database. This means that a search of CPIC will not show that a person has a criminal record.
A record suspension helps take away the stigma of a criminal record, and open doors to job, educational, and volunteer opportunities.
Who is eligible?
A person can apply for a record suspension if they were convicted of:
- An offence in Canada under a federal act or regulation of Canada as an adult; and/or
- A crime in another country and transferred to Canada under the Transfer of Offenders Act or the International Transfer of Offenders Act.
When can a person apply?
To apply, a person must have completed all of their sentences. This includes:
- Payment in full of any fines, surcharges, costs, restitution, and compensation orders;
- All sentences of imprisonment, including parole and statutory release, as well as conditional sentences; and
- Any probation order(s).
This is followed by a waiting period of 3, 5 or 10 years, based on the date of the first offence. Visit our website for more information.
How much does it cost to apply?
Applicants are also responsible for the cost of getting their fingerprints, criminal record, court documents, and police checks.
How does a person apply?
Visit our website at Canada.ca/record-suspensions for the official Application Guide and forms.
Does a person need to use a lawyer or for-profit third-party company?
No. A person can apply directly to the PBC. Using a for-profit third-party company, which often charge high fees, will not guarantee a record suspension; fast track the review of an application; or give it a special status. Such claims are FALSE and MISLEADING.
Applicants requiring assistance beyond what the PBC provides through its website and 1-800 Information Line may be able to access community support services in their area.
What are the limits of a record suspension?
A record suspension:
- Does not erase a criminal record, but sets it aside (sexual offences continue to be flagged in vulnerable sector checks);
- Does not guarantee entry or a visa to another country.
Can a record suspension be revoked or cease to have effect?
Yes, if the person is:
- Convicted of a new indictable offence, or, in some cases, a summary offence;
- Found to no longer be of good conduct;
- Found to have made a false or misleading statement, or hidden information when they applied; or
- Found to have been ineligible for a record suspension at the time the record suspension was ordered.
IMPORTANT: Simple possession of cannabis offences are eligible for an expedited process. Visit Canada.ca/cannabis-record suspension for more information.
For more information:
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