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by Andy J. Semotiuk
Member of the US and Canadian bars
Immigrating to Canada: What if I have a criminal conviction?
If you received a pardon or expungement for your conviction in a country other than Canada it is possible that you are no longer inadmissible to Canada. You should carry the pardon or expungement documents with you when you seek entry into Canada as it is your responsibility to demonstrate to the officer at the Port of Entry that all of your convictions have been expunged or pardoned.

If you have a criminal conviction in Canada, you must seek a pardon from the National Parole Board of Canada before you will be admissible to Canada. You can request a guide on the approval for rehabilitation or any additional information from the following address:

Clemency and Pardons Division, National Parole Board 410 Laurier Avenue West Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0R1

Telephone: 1-800-874-2652
(Callers from Canada and the United States only)
Fax: 1-613-941-4981

Web: Parole Board
(The guide, which contains the application form, can be downloaded from this site)

Can I travel to the United States with a Canadian Pardon?
According to the National Parole Board, a Canadian Pardon is not recognized outside Canada. Specifically, they state: "Many foreign countries, including the United States (U.S.), do not recognize a Canadian Pardon. If you have a criminal record and are interested in going to the U.S., you may want to apply for an American Immigration and Naturalization Service Waiver (American INS Waiver)."

For help in filing your application contact me at or call my office at the number indicated on this site.
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