Unsealing pardoned records for US travel purposes

Canadians who have been convicted of a crime may need to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility before they can once again seek admission to the U.S. Although not specifically required, court and prison records may be requested by the Admissibility Review Office after an applicant has submitted a waiver application.

If an applicant has received a pardon or record suspension for the conviction that led to U.S. inadmissibility, then obtaining court and prison records is extraordinarily difficult. Unless these records are on file with the applicant, courts will have very limited authority to release them. British Columbia, however, appears to have recently implemented a procedure for requesting sealed records.

People who were convicted in British Columbia, and later received a pardon or record suspension may be able to request their records from the court that adjudicated their case using Form PCR 958. An applicant can submit this form either in-person at the appropriate courthouse, or by mail along with a notarized copy of his or her government-issued ID.

It’s not clear at this point whether any other provinces or territories have adopted similar procedures, but links to provincial court locations are linked below for anyone who needs to call and ask.

Alberta

Saskatchewan

Manitoba

Ontario

Quebec

New Brunswick

Nova Scotia

Prince Edward Island

Newfoundland

Nunavut

Northwest Territory

Yukon Territory

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