Canadian Pardon and US Waiver Advice

Canadian Pardon & US Waiver Advice

Taking the first step and committing to starting the process to obtain a Canadian pardon or US waiver   can be the most difficult thing to do. Most people’s first thought is about the cost. But you need to consider that there’s a lot of paperwork involved and a considerable amount of work goes into preparing a good application.

Luckily we make the process simple for you once you take that first step. Here’s our advice for those looking to get an application started.

Keep Reading for Helpful Canadian Pardon and US Waiver Application Tips

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Canadian Pardon and US Waiver Advice – Main Points

Keep your Documentation – The process of obtaining a Canadian pardon and/or US entry waiver can progress more quickly if you hold onto your paperwork. This can include criminal record check results, RCMP reports, receipts from fine payments, court documentation, etc. If you don’t have this documentation, no problem, we’ll get it for you, but it’s always good to hold onto anything you think might be important to reference in the future.

Do your Research – Make sure that if you’re hiring a company to prepare your Canadian pardon or US entry waiver application that you go with someone you can trust. Check for hidden fees, who’s doing the legwork, and what they’re promising. We’re Better Business Bureau accredited with an A+ rating, have been in business over 10 years, have no hidden fees, and will be up front with you regarding your eligibility and realistic timeframes for completion of your file. Plus we get all the documentation required on your behalf, so you don’t have to.

Prepare for the Fees – In an ideal world Canadian pardons and US entry waivers would be free. Even if you’re preparing the application on your own the fees for the fingerprinting, RCMP certification, court documents, police checks, and application submission still apply. Both the Canadian and US governments charge to review a completed application and grant the pardon/waiver. The US waiver submission fee is $585 USD, and the Canadian pardon processing fee is $631. Unfortunately there is no way around these costs.

Know your Address and Employment History – Both the  applications require information on your address and employment history. The Parole Board of Canada requires details on where you have lived for the past 10 years, and the Department of Homeland Security requires 5 years of addresses, and 5 years of employment information. Luckily the Ministry of Transportation can usually help you out with those addresses.

Pay your Fines and Restitution – It used to be that after 15 years you didn’t have to prove your fines/restitution had been paid as part of a Canadian pardon application. Unfortunately now proof of payment is required to obtain a pardon so make sure you pay the ordered amounts as soon as possible and hold onto those receipts. The waiting period to become eligible for a pardon starts from when your sentencing is completed, which includes fine payments. We order court documentation to prove everything has been paid, and draft an affidavit on your behalf if the court’s records have been purged. While the US isn’t generally concerned about monies being paid, in certain cases where large amounts are involved they may ask for proof of payment or proof that you are making payments towards the outstanding balance.

Good Conduct is Key – Both the American and Canadian governments want to know that you have taken steps to rehabilitate yourself and make positive changes in your life since your last offence. The Parole Board wants to see that you haven’t been involved with the police in the past 5 years, and even look into Highway Traffic Act violations and tickets when reviewing your file. They want to know that you take the law seriously.

Success is a phone call away, Toll Free: 866-242-2411

Just a few things to think about while you’re thinking about starting the process. Any questions? Looking for more tips? Give us a call, our advice is free.

Kate Duncan

866-242-2411 ext. 240

About Kate Duncan

Kate Duncan is Regional Manager for National Pardon Centre Toronto. She is also a contributing writer on our blog.

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