Area of Law: Criminal Records | Pardons & USA Waivers
Answer # 2182
What is included in a Record Suspension application?Region: Ontario Answer # 2182
For most people, there are nine steps in the Record Suspension (RS) application process. For those who are or were in the Canadian Military, there are ten steps, as one additional document is required.
1. Certified RCMP report. A certified copy of the individual’s criminal record or a certification that no criminal record exists must be obtained from the RCMP. This step involves submitting a current set of fingerprints and a small processing fee to the RCMP. RCMP staff match the individual’s fingerprints to his or her Fingerprint Section (FPS) number and the criminal record associated with that number. Using fingerprint information ensures that the correct criminal record is being released.
Many local police services, especially in cities, do not provide this service. Individuals, if they are completing this application on their own, must find a private company that provides this service and is accredited by the RCMP. Also, many fingerprinting companies no longer use ink or paper forms; rather, fingerprints are taken digitally and sent electronically to the RCMP. For those living in rural areas, however, local police detachments may still offer old-style ink-and-paper fingerprinting services. Notwithstanding this fact, it is often better for those living in rural areas to drive to the nearest city to have their fingerprints taken digitally. Digital prints are processed faster, thereby saving the applicant two to five months processing time.
2. Analyze the Criminal Record. Before proceeding further, it is necessary to determine if an RS is required. Using the certified RCMP report, other available police or court records, and the information that the individual knows about his or her record, it can be determined if the person has a conviction and needs an RS, or if a file destruction or purge is required. If the analysis of the criminal record is not done properly, the record might not be removed correctly, and will almost certainly resurface in the future.
3. Proof of Convictions: Sometimes, the charging police do not report all convictions to the RCMP. Therefore, convictions may exist that do not appear in the certified RCMP record report. In order to obtain an RS for all convictions, the details of missing convictions must be proven by obtaining a court record from the court where the case was heard, or by a police report from the charging police. Proof of conviction must include the offence, the final court date, the court location, the sentence received, and the name of the charging police service. The police and the court charge a range of fees for providing these documents.
4. Certified PBC Court Information Form, Affidavits, and Third-party Letters. A Certified Court Information Form is required for each conviction which was prosecuted summarily and where less than ten years have passed since the sentence was completed, and if the person was ordered to pay a fine, cost, surcharge, restitution, or a compensation order. Even if ten years have passed since the sentence was completed, and there was no monetary payment ordered, it is still a good idea to obtain a court record if the case was prosecuted summarily, as these files are processed faster at the PBC.
The courts can make clerical errors completing these forms and it is up to the applicant to scrutinize them carefully to ensure every detail has been properly completed. If the court record was not completed properly, and the individual did not find the error, the PBC will return the application. By the time the PBC reviews the application, sends it back, another court record is obtained and the application is resubmitted, the Local Police Records Check (LPRC) and the RS application likely will have expired. The file will then be rejected for the second time.
Payments to victims or third parties
In cases where payments were ordered to be made directly to the victim (such as a restitution or compensation order), proper documentation from the individual or company, such as a letter or an affidavit, is necessary to prove that restitution was, in fact, paid.
Court Records for other types of applications
For people making other types of applications that may require court records – such as USA Entry Waiver applications, visas to study or work in other foreign countries, or Canadian Immigration applications – a second copy of the PBC Court Information form may not be adequate. Foreign countries require documents to be completed according to their own policies, procedures, and forms, and these records should be obtained before an RS is ordered as court records are sealed and will no longer be available afterwards.
5. Military Conduct Sheet. If the applicant is, or ever has been, a member of the Canadian Forces, then a Military Conduct Sheet, or written confirmation of its non-existence, must be obtained. A military conduct sheet for current members is only valid for six months from the date it is issued.
6. PBC Local Police Records Check (LPRC). The applicant must obtain an LPRC from the police service where he or she currently lives and for each city or town where he or she has lived (for a period of three months or more) in the past five years. Using the PBC’s form, the local police are required to disclose the existence and details of convictions, if any, which are in addition to those appearing in the RCMP data banks, as well as all information related to incidents involving police and all charges (including provincial convictions and charges), as well as their outcomes. LPRCs are only valid for six months from the date they are issued.
Logically, it would seem that this form should be completed at the last minute to ensure that it does not expire. However, the LPRC processing time at each police service varies. It depends not only on the policies of each police service, but also on the demands on the resources of the particular police service at any given time. This is tricky. While you don’t want the form to expire, you also don’t want to waste months waiting for the LPRC to be processed. It gets even more complicated if there is more than one check required (which is often the case). If the individual lives outside of Canada, an LPRC must be obtained from the police in that region as well.
7. Identification and Immigration Documents:
If the applicant was born in Canada, or was born outside Canada and is not living in Canada, then only a copy of an official document proving his or her identity (and not immigration status) must be submitted with the application. Examples of appropriate documents include a copy of a driver’s licence or a foreign identification card.
If the applicant is currently living in Canada but was born outside of Canada, then he or she must provide copies of valid Canadian Immigration documents, such as Canadian citizenship or Permanent Resident Card. If the person does not have Canadian immigration status, then an official document stating this fact must be included with the application.
8. Record Suspension Application Form. In addition to being completed properly, this form must be signed and dated by the applicant. It is only valid for six months from the date signed.
9. Measurable Benefit/Sustained Rehabilitation Form. This form was introduced after the new Pardon law came into force on March 13, 2012. It is comprised of questions aimed at identifying if applicants are rehabilitated, how they would benefit from an RS, and details of the crimes committed.
10. Submitting the Application. The completed and signed RS application, together with all supporting documents and the processing fee must be submitted to the Clemency and Record Suspension Division of the PBC in Ottawa. The processing fee is $631. Payment can be made by credit card, certified cheque, bank draft or money order, payable to the Receiver General for Canada.
The application cannot be submitted electronically because it contains original documents
If you have been charged with a criminal offence, refer to our criminal law section.
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