The RCMP is moving now


With all of the bad news coming out of this blog for the past while I am happy to report that the RCMP is now processing fingerprint searches at a reasonable pace and as a result the backlog is clearing. This is good news for anyone processing a pardon or a waiver because certifying fingerprints represents one of the longest delays in getting the paperwork put together.

Before the Conservative government got involved in pardons with its tough on crime agenda the RCMP had been processing fingerprint requests at a very respectable pace.

When the National Pardon Centre opened for business in 2002 we were seeing up to 12 months to get a set of fingerprints certified. 6 years later it started getting better and just before the Conservatives crime agenda started taking shape we could honestly tell our clients that we expected fingerprint searches to be returned within a month for most cases.

All that changed of course and during the fight against Bill C-10 delays were back up to 12 months in many cases. But now that Bill C-10 is behind us we are seeing fingerprints returned to us anywhere from 5 days – 1 month in 95% of our cases.

So this is good news. I will not speculate on exactly what changed at the RCMP but one commenter from a previous post thought maybe the RCMP had been advised by the government to process those requests at a slower pace. I have no idea if that is true of course. It seems like it would be illegal. But it wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

I suppose we will never what caused the delay and at this point it is not really important. What matters is that fingerprint requests are being process in a timely manner. And if anything is going to help people get a pardon or a waiver in a reasonable amount of time it surely starts with an RCMP fingerprint check.

Comment (0)
John / June 29, 2012

I just started work for an American Company. I do have a criminal record in Canada, few impared driving and an assault.
What time am I looking at to get a pardon or waiver to travel into the US.
I can pay more if it will help, I am in real bind and really need to expedite this process.
Please help
John O’Sullivan

Michael / July 3, 2012

HI John,

The most realistic time frame for either a pardon or a waiver at the moment is 10 – 12 months. It is pretty much impossible to give an exact date on these applications so if someone is providing you a different, significantly shorter schedule you are being sold something that isn’t realistic. I understand how important this is when you have a new job pending so it is crucial to have reliable information.

Best regards,


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