Since this blog is all about Canadian pardons and US entry waivers sooner or later I was going to have to address fingerprinting. When I tell people I need their fingerprints often I am told to go and retrieve the ones that are on file with the police. This seems somewhat reasonable as I deal with people who have been arrested and, therefore, had their fingerprints taken. But for a pardon or waiver application, or for a simple background check, what are needed are non-criminal fingerprints.
We use non-criminal fingerprints to compare against the criminal fingerprints on file with the RCMP when retrieving a criminal record from Ottawa. If we did not retrieve a criminal record with fingerprints we would run into trouble.
Imagine if the National Pardon Centre were processing a pardon for say, John Smith. In the case of John Smith if we were using only his name to retrieve his information in CPIC there is a pretty good chance we would come up with a criminal record, whether or not it happened to be the correct John Smith or the correct criminal record.
On the other hand when we retrieve a criminal record using fingerprints, we eliminate the name confusion, because even though there are many John Smiths in Canada, each John Smith definitely has his own fingerprint pattern. So for that reason (and because the government agencies want it to be done this way) we must obtain a fresh, new set of non-criminal fingerprints. Without non-criminal fingerprints you simply cannot process a pardon or waiver application.
It is the first step in each application and company you are dealing with should be certified to take fingerprints.