Got a question about your application?
The following are the most frequently asked questions by applicants.
What is the status of my application?
Record suspension applications are processed according to specific service standards.
You should only contact the Board for a status update for your application if the service standard that applies in your case has been exceeded.
- Summary offence: within 6 months of application acceptanceFootnote 1
- Indictable offence: within 12 months of acceptanceFootnote 1
- For applications where the Board is proposing to deny a record suspension, it can take up to 24 months for a final decision to be made. If a proposal to deny is being recommended in your case, you will be advised of this in writing by the PBC.
What is the waiting period to apply?
The waiting period is:
- 5 years for a summary offence
- 10 years for an indictable offence
The waiting period begins once all of your sentences have been completed (including any probation orders, and payment in full of any fines and/or restitution).
Important: If you were ordered to pay a fine or restitution as part of your sentence, you should pay it in full as soon as possible. The waiting period only starts once full payment has been made. Proof of payment must be provided with your record suspension application. If there is an amount owing, your application will be rejected as ineligible for non-completion of sentence.
How much does it cost to apply?
The Parole Board of Canada (PBC) charges $631 to process a record suspension application.
You are also responsible for any additional fees for getting your fingerprints, criminal record, court documents and police checks.
You can apply directly to the PBC for a record suspension by using the PBC Record Suspension Application Guide. You do not need to use a lawyer or third party service provider.
How long does it take to get a record suspension?
Record suspension applications are processed according to the following service standards once accepted by the PBC as eligible and complete:
- Applications seeking a record suspension for an offence or offences tried summarily will be processed within 6 months of application acceptanceFootnote 1.
- Applications seeking a record suspension for an offence or offences tried by indictment will be processed within 12 months of application acceptanceFootnote 1.
- Applications in which the Board is proposing to refuse to order a record suspension may require up to 24 months after application acceptance to complete. The reason for this is that under the Criminal Records Act, the Board must notify the applicant in writing of its proposal to refuse, and advise them that they are entitled to make or have made on their behalf any representations to the Board that they believe relevant.
Do I need to apply through a lawyer or a third party service company?
No. You can apply directly to the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) for a record suspension.
If you choose to use a third-party service provider, you should be aware that these companies charge anywhere between several hundred dollars to more than a thousand dollars for their services, on top of the $631 user fee that the PBC charges to process your application.
Using these companies will not give your application a special status, get it processed faster, or guarantee you a record suspension.
For step-by-step instructions on applying for a record suspension, consult the PBC Record Suspension Application Guide.
If you need assistance, contact the PBC's 1-800 # information line at: 1-800-874-2652 (toll free).
My application was returned to me – why?
Applications that are ineligible or incomplete will be returned to the applicant. You should refer to the letter enclosed with your returned application for specific details on why it was returned to you and what you need to do.
If your application was returned as incomplete, you may re-submit your application once the missing information or documentation has been added to it.
Can my application be fast-tracked due to my circumstances?
No. Many applicants are in difficult or pressing personal circumstances. Because of this, the PBC's policy is to treat all applications the same, and to process them according to the date they are received.
Can the application fee be waived for me?
No. The record suspension program operates under a cost recovery basis and its fee is set in accordance with the Service Fees Act.
As a result, the fee cannot be waived or reduced for anyone.
Can my application be processed under the old law?
All applications are processed according to the Criminal Records Act (CRA) in place at the time that the application is accepted for processing.
The current CRA came into force on . All applications received on or after that date are processed under the current CRA.
Information for B.C. and Ontario residents applying for a record suspension.
Where can I get my fingerprints taken?
Record suspension applicants must submit electronic fingerprints to the RCMP to get a copy of their criminal record (fingerprint forms are no longer accepted by the RCMP).
To have your fingerprints taken electronically, contact or visit your local police of jurisdiction or an accredited company with an electronic submission device.
Note that electronic fingerprint submission to the RCMP is not currently available outside of Canada. You may contact accredited companies within Canada who will digitize ink fingerprints and submit them electronically to the RCMP.
Important: The fingerprint form must clearly indicate that you are applying for a record suspension.
I haven't received my criminal record yet, why is it taking so long?
This falls under the mandate of the RCMP. The PBC is not involved. For information on the status of your Criminal Record application, refer to the Civil Fingerprinting Screening Services section of the RCMP's website.
Where can I get an Application Guide?
Downloadable print-on-demand copies of the Official PBC Record Suspension Application Guide are available from the PBC's website.
You can also request copies by calling the PBC's toll-free information line at 1-800-874-2652, emailing email@example.com, or by visiting your local police service or court office.
Why can't I connect to someone on the 1-800 #?
You may have difficulty connecting to an operator during peak periods due to the high volume of calls that the PBC receives from applicants at certain times of the day.
If I received an absolute or conditional discharge, do I need a record suspension?
If you have only received absolute or conditional discharges, you do not need to apply for a record suspension.
If you received an absolute discharge on or after , the RCMP will automatically remove it from its system one year after the court decision. If you received a conditional discharge on or after , the RCMP will automatically remove it 3 years after the court decision. If you received an absolute or conditional discharge before , contact the RCMP to have the information removed (RCMP Pardon & Purge Services, P.O. Box 8885, Ottawa, ON K1G 3M8).
Do I need a record suspension if I am a young offender?
You may need to apply for a record suspension if you were found guilty as a young person and before the specific period of time defined in youth legislation, you were convicted as an adult.
The record suspension may cover both the youth and adult records.
You do not need to apply if you were found guilty only in a youth court or youth justice court, since your record will be destroyed or archived once all applicable time periods have elapsed under the Young Offenders Act or the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Will a record suspension allow me to travel to other countries, such as the United States (U.S.)?
Information sharing between Canada and key foreign partners, including the U.S., is vital for ensuring Canada’s safety and security. Canadian and U.S. law enforcement agencies, which includes Canadian and U.S. border agencies, have direct but limited access to each other’s criminal justice and public safety information sharing tools, which includes criminal record information.
Should a record suspension/pardon be ordered in Canada, foreign countries would no longer have access to the suspended criminal record information. However, any foreign country, including the U.S., may have documented previous interactions with Canadians, which may include Canadian criminal record information. The fact that Canada has ordered a record suspension/pardon for an offence does not guarantee entry into another country. Entry and exit requirements are at the discretion of each country.Before travelling, contact the authorities of the country you wish to visit to find out what you need to do to enter that country. For travel to the U.S., a U.S. Waiver may be needed.
Will a record suspension cancel my prohibition order?
No. A record suspension has no effect on a prohibition order.
Can a record suspension be revoked or cease to have effect?
A record suspension (or pardon) can be revoked or cease to have effect if you are:
- 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 you applied;
- Found to have been ineligible for a record suspension at the time the record suspension was ordered.
If a record suspension is revoked or ceases to have effect, the record of the offence(s) are added back in to the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database.
Can a corporation apply for a record suspension?
Yes, a corporation may apply for a record suspension. The eligibility criteria are the same as those for an individual under the Criminal Records Act.
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