If I have received a pardon from the government of Canada will the charges still show up on a criminal record background search?
This is a common question we receive at the National Pardon Centre but it a question that is easily answered. If you complete a pardon application – and if it is awarded by the government of Canada – then subsequent background checks will NOT reveal any information.
Furthermore, the criminal background check results will not indicate that a Canadian pardon has been granted. The resulting check will be identical to a check done by someone who has never had any trouble with the police.
There are a few exceptions to this rule. For example police and courts are permitted to have their own retention policies regarding criminal records. Most police and most courts in Canada will comply with the federal government and destroy or remove their documentation once a pardon is granted. However, there a few that will not so if someone is researching your criminal activity in one of these places it is possible that some information will be available even after a pardon is granted. However, this is very rare.
Another example is the American government. Border agents have access to our criminal record database so if they have view your criminal record prior to your pardon being granted then they will record that information. But since you cannot actually perform a Canadian background check with the American government the existence of this information is only relevant for people who wish to travel to the United States. If you find yourself in this position you will need a US entry waiver to overcome it.
If you have any questions about criminal record background checks, Canadian pardons and/or us entry waivers please feel free to get in touch with someone at the National Pardon Centre