The City of Calgary, Alberta, has an estimated population of 1.1 million people. It is the largest city in Alberta, and the third largest municipality in the country. The economy in Calgary was booming before 2009, with the leading industries being oil and gas, tourism, and high-tech manufacturing.
The city benefits from a fairly strong job market in the Province of Alberta, but having to deal with the effects of having a criminal record can keep you from enjoying the high quality of life. The most immediate challenges involve your employment and housing, plus you cannot travel outside Canada, especially into the U.S., except with a temporary waiver that you must apply for.
What to do When You Have a Past Criminal Record
Residents of Calgary who want to obtain a record suspension must send an application to the Parole Board of Canada (PBC), which has exclusive jurisdiction to grant, deny, or revoke a record suspension or pardon.
To determine if you are eligible for a record suspension, there are certain requirements outlined in Canada’s Criminal Records Act that we can help you assess and erase your past, if you have rehabilitated yourself.
As long as you were arrested for an offence and your fingerprint number (FPS) taken, it does not matter if you were found guilty or convicted. Your criminal background check would reveal a criminal record, unless you get the record eliminated from searches by obtaining a record suspension.
The process of getting a record suspension is lengthy and complicated, involving a lot of paperwork and processing. Many applicants don’t have the expertise and resources to attempt this process on their own, plus omissions and unintentional mistakes can delay or disrupt an already long process.
Moreover, the Canadian government passed the 2012 Crime Bill that made it increasingly difficult and costly to get record suspensions. In the year that followed, the error rate for pardon applications was 45% – a 20% increase from error rates in the period 2011/12.
To overcome these challenges and the bureaucratic process, our office in Alberta can help by making the application on your behalf and keeping you informed on the progress. Having professionals handle your application increases its chances of going through, reduces the risk of mistakes that could cause the application to be delayed or denied, and increases the likelihood of obtaining a record suspension faster.
You can only apply for a record suspension if you were convicted of an offence under a federal act or Canadian regulation. Additionally, non-citizens and non-residents who were convicted in another country and then transferred to Canada may also apply under the Transfer of Offenders Act.
Pardon Laws in Calgary
You become eligible for a pardon once all your sentences have been completed, and the waiting period of good conduct has been met. The sentence can be anything from probation or a fine to jail time. House arrest and community service are also sentences that must be served in full and the waiting period adhered to before applying for a record suspension.
That said, it takes about one year for a record suspension application to be issued. So, we advise our clients to start their pardon application or their purge and file destruction process at least one year in advance of becoming fully eligible in order to get their criminal record sealed as soon as possible.
U.S. Entry Waiver Laws in Calgary
Residents of Calgary can travel to the U.S. on holiday or business freely without requiring a visa. However, individuals with a criminal record are inadmissible to the U.S., unless they obtain a U.S. entry waiver.
We can help residents of Calgary, who have a criminal record, to apply for a U.S. waiver by visiting our office in Alberta. Applying for a U.S. travel waiver is a complicated process, but our professional and certified team can help take you through the process.
Although the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may have concerns about granting a waiver to individuals who have been convicted of a severe crime not a long time ago, it is possible to get a waiver granted even when your charges are quite recent.
To assure the U.S. government that you are not a risk to the American people and nation, there are a number of things you can do to get the message across in your waiver application. Some of the things we recommend include:
- Acknowledging that you made a mistake or mistakes in the past and are taking steps to change
- Showing the steps you have taken and their impact
- Showing you have money to spend and solid ties in Canada
- Showing that you learned from the mistakes you made and have moved on with your life
- Not insinuating that your past offences were minor and only pleaded guilty to get the process over
TRP Laws in Calgary
Any U.S. resident with any criminal offence, including a drunk driving infraction (DUI/DWI) may be found to be criminally inadmissible and refused entry into Alberta unless they get permission from the government in the form of a Temporary Resident Permit.
Americans with a criminal conviction that render them inadmissible to Alberta are not allowed to visit, work, holiday, or live in Calgary as long as the Canadian law excludes them. This means that you are not even permitted to get into Canada for a family reunion or burial, and as long as your criminal record makes you inadmissible, you may never be able to get past the Canadian border without a permit.
The American and Canadian governments share their criminal databases, so criminal information from either country is readily accessible to the border control. The border officers can tell if you have a criminal record for DUI, or if you have a warrant out for arrest, even if it is just a bench warrant from one of the states.
It is extremely hard to get past border control if you have committed any crime, but we can help you apply for a Canadian TRP before driving, flying, or sailing into Alberta.
Call Our Alberta Office Today
Whether you live in, or have a family or relatives in Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, or Red Deer, and surrounding areas, our Alberta office is open and ready to take on your case. Although you’re entitled to prepare your own applications, hiring a professional team saves you from going through the lengthy process yourself and suffering delays and frustration owing to changes that occur from time to time without notice when dealing with the government.