Legal Tips for Canadian Immigrants with a Criminal Record

English: RCMP officer and truck
English: RCMP officer and truck (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Are you a Canadian immigrant who currently has a criminal record? Were you hoping to travel outside of the country, only to find that you may have difficulty doing so as a result of your past?
Having a criminal record can change your life and hold you back from many opportunities. It can affect your career, where you live and where you travel. What many people may not be aware of is that they do have the opportunity to apply for a criminal pardon. By obtaining your Canadian pardon your criminal record is legally sealed, allowing to get your life back on track.

Obtaining a Criminal Pardon
Candidates must meet specific criteria to be eligible for a pardon. In almost all cases, it is necessary to wait at least three years—and up to five—to file your application with the Canadian police.

Though the steps to obtaining a pardon are relatively straightforward, it is strongly recommended that you work with a dedicated attorney who specializes in criminal pardons, or, a trusted third party entity that is accredited by the RCMP CCRTIS program, to ensure you have access to expert insights and information.

This can be a nerve-wracking time, but by staying in frequent contact with your pardons partner, you will be able to stay updated on all the details of your case as they happen.

If your pardon is approved, then you will be able to have your records sealed from the public. In some cases, they may even be erased completely. Note that you can also apply for a Purge and File Destruction request, which will have the police destroy any evidence of your arrest, court hearings, and anything else that could indicate a criminal past. Otherwise, even with a pardon on your record, you could still run into trouble down the road at customs agencies in other countries or even with potential employers.

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