Because of the diversity of source countries for immigrants to Canada, the procedures for obtaining the necessary documents in one’s home country may vary considerably from other countries, seeing that your home country could be just about anywhere in the world.

And one document that is key to any application is that all-important police certificate. Imagine gathering what you consider all the necessary documents only to realize you’ve forgotten about your police certificate. No certificate means your application will be deemed incomplete and either returned to you or delayed for a considerable amount of time. Especially in our turbulent times where security issues – as annoying as they might seem – must be dealt with in order to ensure a successful application.

So, let’s do a deep dive into how to get your police certificate from the top 10 source countries for immigration to Canada, using Statistics Canada’s 2016 survey of immigration. Because this is one document you definitely don’t want to leave out of your application.

 

How to Get a Police Certificate from Canada’s Top 10 Source Countries

10. Police Certificate from South Korea

Police officer by myself (User:Piotrus) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

by Piotrus / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

In South Korea a police certificate is called a Criminal (Investigation) Records Check Reply. In general, you must obtain it at your nearest National Police Station, but there are exceptions depending on your status and where you are residing. The following table sums up the process, depending on your status:

Go in person to nearest National Police Station and request search of your entire police records, including:

  • Criminal Records, including lapsed criminal sentences
  • All Investigation Records

Your application form will be provided when you apply at a National Police Station.
Your Criminal Records Check must be picked up by you in person. An immediate family member (parent, spouse, sibling) or a friend or a representative may request a certificate on your behalf at a National Police Station in Korea. You should request a search of your entire records, including:

  • Criminal Records, including lapsed criminal sentences
  • All Investigation Records

Your application form will be provided when you or your representative apply at a National Police Station.
Your Criminal Records Check must be picked up by your representative in person.
If you do not have anyone in Korea who can assist you, you may apply at the nearest Korean consulate/embassy. Go in person to nearest National Police Station and request search of your entire police records, including:

  • Criminal Records, including lapsed criminal sentences
  • All Investigation Records

Your application form will be provided when you apply at a National Police Station.
Your Criminal Records Check must be picked up by you in person. An immediate family member (parent, spouse, sibling) or a friend or a representative may request a certificate on your behalf at a National Police Station in Korea. You should request a search of your entire records, including:

  • Criminal Records, including lapsed criminal sentences
  • All Investigation Records

Your application form will be provided when you or your representative apply at a National Police Station.
Your Criminal Records Check must be picked up by your representative in person.
If you do not have anyone in Korea who can assist you, you may apply at the nearest Korean consulate/embassy.

Status How to obtain Police Certificate Required Documents
Korean Citizen living in Korea Go in person to nearest National Police Station and request search of your entire police records, including:
  • Criminal Records, including lapsed criminal sentences
  • All Investigation Records

Your application form will be provided when you apply at a National Police Station.
Your Criminal Records Check must be picked up by you in person.

  • Valid, original Korean Identity Card, OR
  • Valid, original Korean Passport AND
  • 1 passport photo
  • Photocopies are NOT acceptable
Korean Citizen living abroad An immediate family member (parent, spouse, sibling) or a friend or a representative may request a certificate on your behalf at a National Police Station in Korea. You should request a search of your entire records, including:
  • Criminal Records, including lapsed criminal sentences
  • All Investigation Records

Your application form will be provided when you or your representative apply at a National Police Station.
Your Criminal Records Check must be picked up by your representative in person.
If you do not have anyone in Korea who can assist you, you may apply at the nearest Korean consulate/embassy.

  • Original passport or ID of person representing you
  • Copy of your passport
  • 1 passport photo
  • A consent form downloaded from KNPA official website, signed by you with the signature matching your passport signature
  • Certificate of Entry/Exit Record issued by Korean Immigration which you can download from the HiKorea website. You will need: passport/ID of your representative, consent form, a copy of your passport to obtain the entry/exit record.
Non-citizen living in South Korea Go in person to nearest National Police Station and request search of your entire police records, including:
  • Criminal Records, including lapsed criminal sentences
  • All Investigation Records

Your application form will be provided when you apply at a National Police Station.
Your Criminal Records Check must be picked up by you in person.

  • Valid, original Korean Identity Card, OR
  • Valid, original Passport AND
  • 1 passport photo

Photocopies are NOT acceptable.

Non-citizen living outside South Korea An immediate family member (parent, spouse, sibling) or a friend or a representative may request a certificate on your behalf at a National Police Station in Korea. You should request a search of your entire records, including:
  • Criminal Records, including lapsed criminal sentences
  • All Investigation Records

Your application form will be provided when you or your representative apply at a National Police Station.
Your Criminal Records Check must be picked up by your representative in person.
If you do not have anyone in Korea who can assist you, you may apply at the nearest Korean consulate/embassy.

  • Original passport or ID of person representing you
  • Copy of your passport
  • 1 passport photo
  • A consent form downloaded from KNPA official website, signed by you with the signature matching your passport signature
  • Certificate of Entry/Exit Record issued by Korean Immigration which you can download from the HiKorea website. You will need: passport/ID of your representative, consent form, a copy of your passport to obtain the entry/exit record.

9. Police Certificate from France

Police by David Monniaux [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], from Wikimedia Commons

by David Monniaux / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

In France, a police certificate is called a Bulletin No. 3. The process for applying for one is similar for French and non-French citizens regardless of where they are currently living, although it depends on where one was born. The following table summarizes the process:

If you were born in France, St. Barthelemy, St. Martin, or St. Pierre-et-Miquelon If you were born in New Caledonia, French Polynesia, or Wallis & Futuna If you were born outside of France
Apply at the Ministere de la Justice website.
The application is only in French
Apply at the Tribunal of your place of birth. See the Casier Judiciaire National website.
The application is only in French
Apply in writing by mail or email to the Casier Judiciaire National. Obtain contact details at Casier Judiciaire National website.
The application is only in French

In all cases please consult the Criminal Affairs and Pardons section of the Casier Judiciaire National website for required documents. If, however, you were born in the French Terristories (New Caledonia, French Polynesia, or Wallis & Futuna) or abroad – that is, columns 2 and 3 in the table above – then you will need the following documentation:

  • A computer scan or photo of a valid ID in PDF, GIF, or JPEG format (5MB or less);  OR
  • A photocopy of a valid ID.

8. Police Certificate from the United Kingdom

Police by West Midlands Police [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

by West Midlands Police / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

Regardless of whether you are a UK citizen or not, or whether you are living in the UK or living abroad, you should apply for a police certificate through the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Criminal Records Office (ACRO) by going to their website here. After applying online, you will receive a physical copy of your police certificate. In all cases you will be required to submit the following documentation:

  • Proof of current address
  • A recent passport-style colour photograph
  • Colour photocopies of your:
    • Passport, OR
    • Travel document OR
    • Official photographic identity document
  • Copies of any necessary legal documents like:
    • Power of attorney
    • Authorization document
    • Signed letter of authority, etc.
  • Valid email address
  • Address history for last 10 years, including dates lived at each address
  • Endorser details: your application for a police certificate must be endorsed by suitable individual. You must provide:
    • Endorser’s full name
    • Endorser’s occupation
    • Endorser’s relation to you (Family members are NOT allowed to be endorsers)
    • UK National Insurance Number and Driving License Number (if applicable)

Applications can be done by third-parties but only with a signed letter of authorization from the person seeking the police certificate along with proof of the original applicant’s signature on a copy of one of their official ID’s (like a passport).

If you apply online at the site listed above, you must complete the application in one sitting. If you leave your online application form for 60 minutes without finishing it, it will be deleted. You cannot save a partially completed application for later.

If you cannot pay by credit card and do not wish to apply online, you can use the UK post. Go here for information on how to download an application form and send it by post (mail).

The fees for a UK Police certificate are:

  • £45 for a Standard Service application (10 working days not including dates of receipt or dispatch)
  • £80 for a Premium Service application (2 working days not including dates of receipt or dispatch).

7. Police Certificate from Syria

Police car by Dickelbers [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

by Dickelbers / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Because of the current instability in Syria, you will only have to provide a police certificate if you are asked for one, otherwise you don’t have to. The process is as follows:

  Syrians Non-Syrian
Residents of Syria Apply at: Ministry of the Interior; Interior Services Forces; Directorate of Criminal Security Department; Criminal Records Branch; Judicial Records Division. Required documents:
  • ID card OR
  • Residence Permit
Apply in the city in which you permanently reside at: Minister of Interior; Internal Security Forces; Criminal Security Administration. Required documents:
  • Proof of civil status
Citizens/Former Residents Outside of Syria Apply at your nearest Syrian embassy Apply at your nearest Syrian embassy

6. Police Certificate from the United States of America

Police officer by Matthew Daley [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

by Matthew Daley / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

In the USA, a police certificate is called an Identity History Summary and is issued by the FBI. The following table summarizes how to apply for one, depending on your status, and the method you wish to use.

  US Citizens Non-citizens
Online
  • Go here to apply online.
  • You then will receive a confirmation email
  • Get your fingerprints taken on Form FD-258. Go here for detailed information on the process. Go here to d/l Form FD-258. Remember to carefully follow instructions in the previous link.
  • Mail your completed FD-258 along with a copy of your confirmation email to:
    FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division
    Attn: Summary Request
    1000 Custer Hollow Rd
    Clarksburg W. Virginia
    26306
    USA
  • Pay your fees
  • Your reply from the FBI can be by:
    • Email with a secure link and PIN, OR
    • 1st Class Mail USPS

An electronic records-check normally takes about 3 – 5 business days.

  • Go here to request an online form.
  • Complete the form and receive a confirmation email.
  • Get your fingerprints taken on Form FD-258. Go here for detailed information on the process. Go here to d/l Form FD-258. Remember to carefully follow instructions in the previous link. Use standard white paper stock.
  • Mail your fingerprints and a copy of your confirmation email to: FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division
    Attn: Summary Request
    1000 Custer Hollow Rd
    Clarksburg W. Virginia
    26306
    USA
  • Pay your fees
  • Your reply from the FBI can be by:
    • Email with a secure link and PIN, OR
    • 1st Class Mail USPS

An electronic records-check normally takes about 3 – 5 business days.

By mail
  • Go to the FBI website.
  • Complete the Applicant Information Form
  • Get your fingerprints taken on Form FD-258. Go here for detailed information on the process. Go here to d/l Form FD-258. Remember to carefully follow instructions in the previous link. Use standard white paper stock.
  • Mail application form, fingerprints card and payment to:
  • Mail your completed FD-258 along with a copy of your confirmation email to:
    FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division
    Attn: Summary Request
    1000 Custer Hollow Rd
    Clarksburg W. Virginia
    26306
    USA.
  • Fees can be paid by:
    • Credit Card
    • Certified Cheque OR
    • Money Order payable to U.S. Treasury

You will receive a letter from the FBI detailing the results of your record check. This is your police certificate. A certificate by mail may take over 60 days to process.

  • Go to the FBI website.
  • Complete the Applicant Information Form
  • Get your fingerprints taken on Form FD-258. Go here for detailed information on the process. Go here to d/l Form FD-258. Remember to carefully follow instructions in the previous link. Use standard white paper stock.
  • Mail application form, fingerprints card and payment to:
  • Mail your completed FD-258 along with a copy of your confirmation email to:
    FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division
    Attn: Summary Request
    1000 Custer Hollow Rd
    Clarksburg W. Virginia
    26306
    USA.
  • Fees can be paid by:
    • Credit Card
    • Certified Cheque OR
    • Money Order payable to U.S. Treasury
  • You will receive a letter from the FBI detailing the results of your record check. This is your police certificate. A certificate by mail may take over 60 days to process.
By a Channeler U.S. citizens and permanent residents may apply to an FBI-approved channeler (a third-party who will represent you and handle your request).
Go here for a list of FBI-approved channelers.
Once the FBI has completed their search, they will give the results to the channeler who will in turn provide you with a record check letter.
Non-citizens and non-permanent residents cannot use an FBI-approved channeler.

5. Police Certificate from Pakistan

Police car Shameel [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

by Shameel / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

In Pakistan police certificates are known as Police Clearances, and are generally issued by the appropriate police authority (see the table below) depending on your status. Outside of Pakistan, they are obtained by going to the nearest embassy or consulate of Pakistan. Please remember that the Canadian Consulate in Islamabad does NOT issue police certificates. They are issued by either the local police authority or through the consulate or embassy, as mentioned. The following table summarizes the procedures for obtaining a police certificate from Pakistan:

  Pakistan Citizens Non-Citizens
Pakistan Residents
  • In larger cities the Town or City Police Officer will provide the forms and issue the certificate directly to you.
  • In smaller towns and rural areas go to the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) of the Police Security Branch, who will issue the certificate directly to you.
  • In a Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA), obtain a clearance from your tribal elders and forward it to the Tehsildar to the area’s Assistant Political Agent, who issues the certificate.
Apply at the local district office of the Senior Superintendent of Police of the Police Security Branch. You will need the following:
  • A completed application form found here.
  • Certified photocopies of your passport with all the relevant pages showing your stay in Pakistan
  • Certified photocopy of your National Identity Card (if applicable)
  • 2 passport-size photographs
  • Applicable fees
Non-Residents living abroad Go to nearest embassy or consulate of Pakistan and bring the following documents:
  • An application form which you can download here.
  • Certified copies of your passport with all the relevant pages copied
  • Certified copy of your National Identity Card
  • 2 passport-size photos
  • Applicable fees

OR, a relative living in Pakistan can fill out the application form and present:

  • An affidavit on 20 Rs judicial stamp paper stating they will receive the certificate on your behalf
  • An authority letter in your relative’s name to get the certificate on your behalf
Apply at the nearest embassy or consulate of Pakistan, with the following:
  • A completed application form found here.
  • Certified photocopies of your passport with all the relevant pages showing your stay in Pakistan
  • Certified photocopy of your National Identity Card (if applicable)
  • 2 passport-size photographs
  • Applicable fees

4. Police Certificate from Iran

Police car by Self [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

by مانفی / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

The requirements for obtaining a police certificate in Iran are often subject to change so one should first check here at the Iranian Police website (in Persian only) to see if they have recently been changed. Be advised that access to this website is not always available. The general procedures are summarized below:

  Iranian Citizens
Living in Iran Apply in person at POLICE + 10 centre with:
  • Original National Card
  • Birth Certificate (Shenasnameh)
  • 2 colour photographs 3 x 4 cm
  • Iranian passport with copy of 1st page of passport, OR with letter of introduction from the embassy
  • Applicable fees
Living abroad Apply at nearest Iranian embassy with:
  • Original National Card
  • Birth Certificate (Shenasnameh)
  • 2 colour photographs 3 x 4 cm
  • Iranian passport with copy of 1st page of passport, OR with letter of introduction from the embassy
  • Applicable fees

3. Police Certificate from China

Police car Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas

by CEphoto/Uwe Aranas / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

There are 2 types of police certificates in China:

  • Certificate of No Criminal Convictions – issued by the local police station and Public Security Bureau (PBS), OR
  • Notary Certificate of No Criminal Convictions – issued by the notary public office.

With either police certificate you will also need a notarized translation when gathering your documents for an application for permanent residence in Canada. The following table summarizes the procedures involved:

  Chinese Citizens Non-Citizens
Residents of China – applying at Notary Public Office
  • Apply at nearest Notary Public Office for official request document.
  • Take official request document to local police station along with:
    • Original National ID Card
    • Original Hukou Booklet
  • Complete the application form at the police station and pay the fees, and obtain a Certificate of No Criminal Convictions
  • Return to Notary Public Office in order to complete the application with:
    • Original Certificate of No Criminal Convictions obtained at local police station
    • Original National ID Card
    • Original Hukou Booklet
  • The Notary Public Office will retain the Original Certificate of No Criminal Convictions from the local police station and issue a Notary Certificate of No Criminal Convictions along with a notarized translation.
  • Go to your local Public Security Bureau (PBS) to apply if your visa is one of the following:
    • Z – Work visa
    • X – Student visa
    • J1 – Journalist visa
  • If your visa is not one of the above classes, then you should ask your local PBS office how to apply.
  • Bring the following documents:
    • All your original passports with Chinese visas including your current passport
    • Your Residence Permit & your Work Permit
    • A letter from your place of work or university or school
    • Your employment contract
    • Applicable fees
  • The local PBS Office where you are applying will issue you a Certificate of No Criminal Convictions. You must take this to a Notary Public Office to obtain a notarized translation. You must bring:
    • Your original passport
    • Your original Temporary Residence Card or Permit
    • Your Certificate of No Criminal Convictions issued by your local PBS office
Residents of China – applying at local police station
  • Apply at local police station in the city/district of residence listed in your Hukou Booklet. You must ensure they accept applications for a Certificate No Criminal Convictions. Only some police stations do.
  • Complete the application at the police station. You may be required to provide a statement from your employer or a letter from your residential committee. You should also bring:
    • Original National ID Card
    • Original Hukou Booklet
  • Once you obtain your Certificate of No Criminal Convictions at your local police station you must then obtain a notarized translation at your Notary Public Office.
 
Residents of China – Using a Representative
  • Go to the office where you will be applying and obtain a notarized authorization letter which you must sign authorizing a family member listed in your Hukou booklet to represent you.
  • Your representative will need the following:
    • Their National ID Card
    • A signed notarized authorization letter from you
    • The representative’s original Hukou booklet
    • Any of you the original applicant’s documents required for the application
  • Go to the office where you will be applying and obtain a notarized authorization letter which you must sign authorizing a representative to apply on your behalf.
  • Your representative must bring with them the following:
    • Their National ID Card
    • The signed notarized authorization letter from you
    • Their Hukou booklet
    • All and any documents of yours that you would need if applying directly in person
Non-residents living abroad If you live abroad, you should ask a family member who is listed in your Hukou booklet to represent you and follow the steps listed above. If you live abroad, you should use a representative and follow the steps listed above.

2. Police Certificate from India

Police Station by DashNistha [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

by DashNistha / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

In India a police certificate is called a Police Clearance Certificate. This is not the same as a Character Certificate which is NOT accepted by the IRCC. How you apply will depend on where you live in India. The following table summarizes the procedures involved:

  Indian Citizens Non-Citizens
Residents of India
  • Punjab residents: apply to local Senior Superintendent of Police, or senior ranking police officer at local station
  • Delhi residents: apply at local district police station or online here at Delhi police website. If you apply online, your certificate will be sent to you electronically.
  • Residents of other states: apply at local district police station.
  • All residents of India can also apply online from the passport office on Passport India’s website.
Apply at your local district police station.
Non-residents living abroad Apply at your nearest Indian embassy or consulate. Apply at your nearest Indian embassy or consulate.

1. Police Certificate from The Philippines

Police office by Øyvind Holmstad [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

by Oyvind Holmstad / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

In the Philippines, a police certificate is either called:

  • National Bureau of Investigations (NBI) Clearance Certificate, which were issued before January 2018 and printed on green paper, OR
  • Multi-Purpose Clearance Certificate, which have been issued since October 2017 and are printed on blue paper.

Your certificate must have a thumbprint and include a dry seal. Applicants with HIT status (those who have a pending criminal case against them in Philippine courts) will have to submit to an interview. The Clearance Certificate is in English, so no translated copy is required. The requirements do not depend on whether you are a Philippine citizen but rather on where you live. They are summarized as follows:

If you live in the Philippines If you live abroad
  • Apply in person at any NBI (National Bureau of Investigations) office
  • Application forms available at your local NBI office or at NBI website
  • If you fill out your form online from the NBI website, you must still go to your local NBI office and present your printed online registration code. Fingerprints and photographs will be taken when you visit the local NBI office.
  • Required documents are:
    • Completed application form with printed registration code if completed online
    • Applicable fees
    • Any 2 of the following:
      • Valid passport
      • Voter ID
      • Drivers License
      • PRC License
      • SSS ID
      • School ID
      • Postal ID
      • Tax Identification Number ID
      • Philhealth ID
      • NSO authenticated Birth Certificate
      • Alien Cert. of Registration
      • Senior Citizen Card
      • Previous copy of NBI Clearance
  • Apply in person at nearest Philippine embassy or consulate.
  • You can also apply by mail to the NBI Head Office at:

    National Bureau of Investigations Head Office
    Mailed Clearance Section
    3rd floor NBI Clearance Building
    UN Ave. Ermita, Manila, Philippines

  • You may also have a relative or representative apply on your behalf as long as you provide written authorization. Your NBI clearance will then be sent to your representative.
  • Required documents are:
    • Completed NBI Clearance application form
    • Completed fingerprint form (go here) taken by local police where you live and signed by official taking your prints
    • 2x2 inch photograph taken within last 3 months
    • Photocopy of passport
    • Photocopies of ID Cards
    • Applicable fees
    • Authorization designating family member or representative to apply on your behalf

 


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