Criminality has profound and long lasting consequences for individuals entering Canada or visiting the United States. Canada’s immigration laws prevent the admission of a foreign national who has committed an offence that if committed inside Canada could be considered an indictable offence in Canada. Many minor offences for example where an individual has been convicted within the past five years of an impaired driving charge, a small quantity drug possession, minor theft or assault charges will be inadmissible to Canada because such offences can be prosecuted in Canada either as an indictable offence or punishable on summary conviction.
Legislation in the United States, harsher than Canadian law, now prevents Canadians with any criminal record history from entering the US without first obtaining an entry waiver or a criminal pardon in Canada.
A criminal pardon awarded by the National Parole Board in Canada can be the vehicle by which applicants may qualify for entry to Canada either temporarily or on a permanent basis. Once a pardon is issued, all records of convictions in Canada that are otherwise readily available to anyone conducting criminal records verifications, including the FBI border personnel are removed from the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) computer system and information regarding a conviction may not be given out except in rare circumstances. A pardon enables most people who were convicted of a criminal offence and who have completed their sentence, paid applicable fines, completed the terms of their probation and demonstrated good character for a period of either three years or five years, depending on the severity of the offence, to limit access of their criminal past to government agencies, potential employers and adoption agencies.
For pardoned Canadians entering the United States, their criminal records if not previously accessed from Canadian records will not be revealed to US authorities. For Canadians requiring US entry waivers, a criminal pardon issued in Canada will likely assist entry to the United States.
At the LAW OFFICES OF COLIN R. SINGER, we take pride in our past advocacy related accomplishments before the National Parole Board. We also provide assistance to Canadians requiring a US entry waiver.
If you are faced with a problem affecting your criminal history or that of a close relative in Canada, or if you require additional information in this area, please take the liberty to contact Colin R. Singer, Attorney by Toll Free telephone (1-888-817-2011) or by email – [email protected] to discuss any issue related to the foregoing.