A foreign national who committed or has been convicted of a crime in any country of the world is deemed criminally inadmissible to Canada.
A record suspension (discharge) gives an opportunity to people who have a criminal offense but have completed their sentence. Also, they must show that they are law-abiding citizens for a prescribed number of years and have their criminal record kept separate and apart from other criminal records.
A record suspension removes a criminal record from the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database. This helps them to find better educational and employment opportunities and to have a fresh start in society.
The Criminal Records Act (CRA) applies only to records of federal organizations, but most municipal and provincial criminal justice agencies also limit access to their records after a record suspension will come into force.
You should know that the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) is the official and only federal agency that is in charge of ordering, revoking and denying record suspensions in Canada.
Limits of a record suspension
A record suspension doesn’t erase a convicted offense but sets it aside. It also doesn’t guarantee entry or visa privileges to another country. Authorities also flagged it in CPIC for former sexual offenders. The flag is there in case an individual applies to volunteer or work with a vulnerable sector group.
Be aware that authorities can revoke a record pardon if you:
- Have been ineligible for a record suspension at the time when it came into force.
- No longer be of good behavior.
- Convicted of a new offense, or in some cases, a summary offense.
- Have made a false or hidden information, misleading statement, in application procedure.
If a criminal record suspension is revoked or ceases to affect, it returns to the CPIC database.
In case if you have been convicted in Canada and want to apply for a record suspension, check with the Parole Board of Canada. If you get it, you will no longer be inadmissible.