With an estimated population of 2.4 million people, Vancouver is the third largest metropolitan area in Canada. The City of Vancouver has been consistently named as one of the best cities across the globe for livability and quality of life. It was also the first city to be ranked among the top ten most livable cities in the world for five consecutive years. However, it is also one of the most unaffordable places to live with extremely high housing costs.
A number of measures have been taken to reduce housing costs, such as increased density and smart growth, cooperative housing, and legalised secondary suites. Unfortunately, Vancouver residents with a criminal record may face discrimination when searching for proper housing, on top of being denied employment and the chance to get promoted.
Expunging Your Criminal Record in Vancouver
Any resident of Vancouver who has ever been charged with an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada, regardless of whether or not they were found guilty, has a criminal record that can resurface in an interview or promotion, business dealing, while leasing a home, crossing the border into the U.S., and any other place where a background check is performed, causing you to be discriminated against.
The only way to conceal your criminal record is by obtaining a record suspension if you were convicted, or a file destruction if you were never convicted.
Data from Public Safety Canada suggests that 23% of males and 4% of female in Canada aged over 12 years have criminal records. Having this record show up in background checks can adversely affect your personal and professional life in many ways including:
- Employment: Many occupations that involve interaction with children or the public require that you have a clear criminal record check. This can also keep you from advancing in your career
- Renting/leasing: Many landlords perform criminal record checks before accepting tenants
- Volunteering: Many volunteer programs perform criminal background checks, especially those serving children
- Immigration: If you intend to settle in Vancouver, your application for Canadian citizenship will be rejected if you have a criminal record in Canada. You even risk deportation by Canadian Immigration
You can avoid these and other damaging repercussions by having your criminal record invisible during criminal background searches if you have your record suspended. Formerly known as a pardon, a record suspension is granted by the Parole Board of Canada, and can stop people from accessing your criminal record except with express written permission from the Minister of Justice.
There are a few exceptions though, like for Canadian sexual offenders, who will still be flagged when certain sector searches are performed.
We can help you determine whether you qualify for a record suspension and help you obtain it so you can enjoy the peace of mind you deserve. Simply visit our office in British Columbia to discuss your case with our professional team.
We can help you obtain a record suspension, which will prevent your criminal record from showing up in any search of the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC).
You are only eligible for a record suspension after your sentence is completed and the mandated waiting period has passed. The sentence is completed when you pay all the fines, restitution, costs, surcharges, and compensation orders; serve all sentences of imprisonment or parole or statutory release; and satisfy any probation orders. The waiting period is 5 years for summary offences and 10 years for indictable offences.
Pardon Laws in Vancouver
You don’t need to apply for a record suspension if your criminal record comprises of only absolute or conditional discharges. Starting July 24, 1992, all discharges passed down by the court are automatically removed from the CPIP system after one year for absolute discharges or three years for conditional discharges.
Otherwise, a record suspension will remove any disqualifications that were caused by the criminal conviction, including eligibility for Canadian citizenship.
U.S. Entry Waiver Laws in Vancouver
The close proximity of Vancouver in British Columbia to the U.S. border makes it easy for the residents to travel to the U.S. with little concern, especially since majority of Canadians don’t require a visa to get into the U.S. But the U.S. does not recognise pardon suspensions, and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection rely on a different list of moral turpitude to establish if you should be granted entry into the U.S.
However, having a criminal record can make you inadmissible to the U.S. unless you obtain a U.S. entry waiver. We have an office in British Columbia that is easily accessible to the residents of Vancouver and the neighbouring cities of Surrey, Richmond, Burnaby and Langley, among others. Our professional and certified team can help you apply for a U.S. entry or U.S. travel waiver to save you the trouble.
TRP Laws in Vancouver
Americans who have been arrested or convicted for any offence, including DUI/DWI and reckless driving are inadmissible to Vancouver or Canada without Criminal Rehabilitation or a TRP.
The presumption of innocence is non-existent when it comes to Canadian immigration, implying that any foreign national will be denied entry at the border the instant they get arrested, even though they are actually innocent until proven guilty in the judiciary system.
The only way to ensure that your charge or offence does not stop you from visiting your family or attending an event in Vancouver is by getting a Temporary Resident Permit, which we can help you obtain.
The TRP can be obtained in advance or at a Port of Entry in emergency situations. The best way to be granted entrance into Canada is by having a well-prepared and fully compliant submission with a compelling reason for visiting the city, and why you don’t pose a threat to re-offend.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has allocated minimal resources towards processing TRP applications by foreign individuals with criminal infractions. As such, it can take a long time for the application to go through, unless you work with professionals like us to ensure that your submission has no ambiguities that may raise suspicion or delay approval.
Call Our British Columbia Office Today
Whether you live in Surrey, Maple Ridge, Richmond, Burnaby, Vernon, Prince George, Penticton, Port Moody, Abbotsford, Campbell River, Prince George, or in one of the other nearby cities, our BC office is open and ready to take on your case.