Is there any way to get a pardon from the PBC more quickly? The simple answer to this question is no. The likelihood of your pardon or record suspension application with the Parole Board Canada (PBC) isn’t 100% assured, either. Yet, many individuals seek shortcuts, tips, tricks, and other underhanded tactics that they think may accelerate their pardon application process. Due to reasons such as employment or overseas travel, it is unsurprising that many people are asking this question. They need clearance as soon as possible. However, the truth is that the matter lies mostly off your control. A lot of reasons play a role in how long it takes for your application to go through and how likely you are to receive a favourable response. Let’s take a look.
Why the process for a pardon or record suspension is so lengthy
If you acted quickly, fill out your documents accurately, and committed a minor offence, the fastest you could get a (successful) pardon result would be approximately eight months at a minimum. However, that’s just the most optimistic projection; your results may come as late as five years after you started your process. Even then, the results are not guaranteed to be favourable. Those who receive their application results sooner than eight months are likely those who failed to convince the PBC or those who weren’t even qualified to get a pardon or record suspension in the first place. Make sure to know if you’re eligible for a pardon or record suspension before applying for one!
Two critical things play a hand how long it takes to receive a pardon or record suspension: your preparations and the PBC’s deliberations process. You can’t afford to rush your preparation time as it will likely lead to a failed effort if not taken seriously. Part of your preparations is to obtain police record checks from every place in Canada where you lived for the past five years. If you changed your address frequently and lived in various points in Canada, expect that the travel time in itself will lengthen your application process.
After putting in requests for police record checks, the authorities in each jurisdiction you lived in will take at least three weeks to process your local police record. Only in rare instances will they be able to provide you with the papers you need in less than that amount of time. Therefore, if you lived in five provinces for the past five years, that alone would amount to a total of at least 15 weeks of waiting time.
Applications and deliberations are long and thorough
After you have completed your application papers, you have to send your request to the PBC. The PBC will then call the courts, police in other jurisdictions, and other intelligence and law enforcement agencies to vet your background thoroughly. The background check is meant to plug any loopholes you may have taken advantage of and to verify the authenticity of your documentary attachments. This alone would take another three months to almost a year. The PBC’s workers are also processing other applicants, which means your application is queued and will add to the delay.
Once your case reaches the PBC tribunal, the deliberations could take at least six months. In general, lighter offences get more quickly. If you committed more serious crimes, you should expect that the deliberation time would take longer.
Conclusion: You can’t rush it
Because of the number of factors involved in your application, it’s ultimately difficult to give an accurate estimate of how long your application process would take. However, instead of whining about the long waiting times, invest every effort you have to make your pardon application succeed, no matter how long it takes. You should also be alert of any important changes that the PBC or government may make that could affect your application. These changes could be announced or unannounced.
If you’re looking for help with obtaining your Canadian Pardon, get in touch with us today to see how we can help!