Removing the Barrier to a New Life

How long must a person endure the mantle of a criminal record, after having served his sentence and atoned for past mistakes? Unfortunately, a criminal record continues to “follow” a person by remaining accessible through a criminal record check or a background check, frequently done nowadays by such concerns as potential employers, rental agencies, and banks.

This procedure is done in order to safeguard the workplace, its customers, and service providers. Unfortunately, if a criminal record is found to exist, the applicant is refused the job that he interviewed so well for, that perfect apartment is no longer available to him, the volunteer opportunity that would broaden his horizons will not be accessible.

Even travel can be hampered, whether it be for pleasure or business, especially when attempting to enter the United States. It is illegal for a Canadian convicted of a criminal offence to cross the border. The Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) stores data on all criminal records and gives the US Customs and Border Protection Agency access to its files. Thus, travelers with a record risk being detained at the border, not being allowed to cross, and possibly being arrested or having their vehicles confiscated.

A criminal record has therefore become a significant barrier to living a fulfilling life. However, once a period of time has passed after the completion of a sentence, a person is entitled to apply to the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) for a Pardon. Once granted, a Pardon will cause a record to be kept separate from the accessible CPIC database, “sealing” it, so that it will not be revealed in a background check. Also, a US Entry Waiver will help those who wish to travel to the United States. This document can be applied for even without having received a Pardon and will enable cross-border visits for both business and pleasure.

The process for obtaining these documents can be difficult and time consuming, so seeking the help of a Client Specialist at Pardon Services Canada is advisable.

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