Canada is a great country that offers wonderful opportunities—from pursuing a career to having a family down and settling down for good. If you have been working in Canada or have been living in the country for quite some time, chances are that you have considered applying to become a Canadian citizen. You have contributed much to the country, legally resided here for years, and assimilated into the culture. The only thing left to do is become a passport holder.
If the circumstances are right, it may not be too difficult to apply for Canadian citizenship. But what if you have a criminal record? Can this ruin your once-in-a-lifetime dream of becoming a Canadian citizen?
It’s highly possible for a past mistake to compromise your application proceedings. A criminal record can deny or delay your permanent citizenship and make the process more complicated. Although it may be more difficult for someone with a record to be granted citizenship, it isn’t impossible. That said, it pays to know the requirements and understand the legality of seeking a pardon. We’ll explore the possibility of you keeping your citizenship dreams alive despite your questionable history. Keep reading to understand the protocols.
The Impact of a Criminal Record
A permanent resident with a criminal record must take steps to obtain a pardon as soon as possible for two reasons:
- Residency Status: A serious crime can jeopardize your right to live and work here legally. Even if you have been a resident in Canada for many years, a serious crime can leave lasting repercussions. A serious crime entails the following: it comes with a maximum sentence of ten or more years and you are sentenced to more than six months in prison. In some cases, it could even result in your removal from Canada.
- Your Citizenship Application: It’s worth knowing that your application for Canadian citizenship can still be denied, regardless of how serious the crime is. There is a chance that it will be impossible for you to be granted full rights as a Canadian citizen. You should be aware that with citizenship, you are not subject to resident rules, can vote, and can obtain a Canadian passport.
Permanent Resident Seeking Pardon
After we’ve understood the impact of a criminal record on your pardon, let’s move to the main question. Can a permanent resident be granted a pardon? The simple answer is yes! If you have been granted the right to live and work in Canada, then you have the right to have your record suspended. By doing so, you can increase the opportunity to apply for citizenship successfully. As a rule of thumb, you have to show the Immigration that you’ve done everything you can to make up for past mistakes. You have to uphold and convince that you are now a fully contributing member of society.
Final Words: Eligibility
When it comes to eligibility, the regulations governing Canadian pardons can be complicated. Fortunately, we’ve already discussed how a criminal record, particularly a serious crime, can impact your application for permanent citizenship. Given that you have the right to seek Canadian pardon, the only way to know for sure is to obtain a free pardon qualification. If you qualify, then you’ll be assigned to speak with an Accredited Pardon Officer to guide you on how to proceed. .