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Want to become a scientist in Canada, but

  1. Oct 12, 2005 #1
    I was born in Canda and hence have a Canadian passport/am a Canadian citizen. I am about to start a pharmacy degree in this country and will move to Canada once I've finished (I might actually decide to do the degree in Canada, I haven't made up my mind yet). Unfortunately whilst living in Britain I have managed to recently obtain a criminal record, which I am quite ashamed of.

    I would like to know, when I eventually apply for work in Canada and they do a criminal records check (which they will do for work as a pharmacist, which is what I intend to become), do they only check for criminal records in the places you've lived in during the last five years previous to your application? Meaning that if I move to Canada and live there for at least five years they will only check to see if I've got a criminal record in Canada rather than in Britain?

    I'm wondering whether I can escape the consequences of my British criminal record by moving over there. Unfortunately because my criminal convition is for the possession of a class A drug, which I do regret, the conviction will never become unspent and in this country I would always have to declare it to employers meaning I would not be able to fulfil my dream.

    Is there any reason why they would check for a criminal record in Britain? I have a Canadian passport and am therefore Canadian since I was born there, so if I study there and live there for five years as I said, can I manage to get work without them finding out about the conviction? Would they be more likely to check to see if I obtained a criminal record in Britain if I were to do my degree in Britain rather than Canada (giving me yet another reason to study over there rather than in Britain)?

    Thank you in advance for your help. I don't post on this board much, but I find it really helps me for the small amount of maths and physics that I have to learn. There are loads of really interesting discussions as well!
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 12, 2005 #2
    How ironic. You can't get a job in the field you want BECAUSE you have previous experience. That's just a kick in the teeth. You could just not bother declaring it?
  4. Oct 12, 2005 #3
    The question asked on most employment applications is usually something like "Have you ever been convicted of any criminal activity", with no distinction of what country the crime(s) were committed in. What is done with that information is up to the employer. They might check just Canada, or Canada/US, or they might go global.

    Regardless of what the employer does, if you check no and the employer eventually learns you do have prior convictions (even if in another country), they're likely to take it badly (you lied on the application) and consider it grounds for termination. That would probably leave a much bigger mark on your future employment potential. At the very least it probably wouldn't be someone you'd be able to get a good recommendation out of.

    If you check yes, you might get passed over. Or if you're able to plead your case well to the person hiring, they might decide to give you a chance. All of that is up to the person doing the hiring. I think the best advice is to be up front, plead your case (foolish mistake of youth, nothing you're proud of, yada yada yada) and show off your best qualities so they don't focus on that 'Yes' check box.
  5. Oct 12, 2005 #4


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    You can get a pardon in Canada. I'm sure this still applies even when it was committed outside of the country.

    Second chances exist in Canada.
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