Whenever you travel to Canada, most of all, the immigration programs will require your police clearance certificate, better known as the police certificate. The document is a mere statement that tells whether you have any prior and pending criminal charges or not.
Those who desire to be permanent inhabitants of this country must have a police certificate. Here are what you need to present to the Canadian immigration authorities:
- Be informed of the name, date of birth, and other details.
- Keep the document that says your country authorizes you.
- Have knowledge in English or French or accompany a valid interpreter with you.
- Do not carry any document stating that a bench in control does not authorize you for any of the information in any certificates.
After all the processes, the CIC will decide if you are eligible to live in this country.
Here are the facts and information you must know about the police clearance certificate for Canada.
What is a police clearance certificate?
The police clearance certificate is a legal document confirming whether a person has a criminal record or has been the subject of any criminal investigation. The document is a legal pass to enter Canada. If you have a criminal record, the CIC will scrutinize everything per the certificate.
The officials of Canadian immigration will decide whether or not you are a security risk to the country, as per this document. If it is found that your past criminal psychology may disturb the nation’s peace, your application for immigration may get rejected.
A police clearance certificate must be in English or French. If the police certification you receive is in another language, you must also provide an official/certified translation of the document and an affidavit with your application.
An affidavit for a translation is a document that says the translation is a true and accurate version of the original text.
To your knowledge, the police clearance certificate must always be in English or French as they are the country’s official languages. If you fail to provide the certificate in English or French, you must provide a certified translation form of the document attaching an affidavit with the application.
Legally, an affidavit will help you prove that the translation is the true and exact version of the original text.
Which of the Canadian immigration programs require a Police Clearance Certificate?
In general, immigration is an act of coming to a country permanently or for a long period. So, most of the immigration programs that will check your police clearance certificate are:
- Provincial nominee programs
- Express entry
- Spouse sponsorship
- Other immigration and citizenship programs
However, if you are a tourist using a visitor visa you will not require a police clearance with your applications.
When should you present a Police Clearance Certificate for Canada PR?
When you or any of your family members are of 18 years or more, you should have a police clearance certificate. CIC will need such people’s documents if you are applying for permanent residence. The PR programs that require your police certification are:
- Express entry
- International experience candidate
- Provincial nominee programs
- Other immigration & citizenship programs
Which countries do you need a police certificate for?
It does not matter which country you are a citizen of; if your Canada immigration program requires it, you must provide a police certificate Canada accepts. CIC states that police certificates must be provided for all countries in which you have lived for six months or more, after you turned 18.
- Not required up to 18 years – You don’t need police clearance certificates for countries you lived in till you turned 18.
- Six month residence, but not always in country – If you have lived in a country for six months but travelled for a month outside the country during that time, it is best to get a police clearance certificate.
- Lived in a country for 5-6 months – If you lived in a country for just under 6 months, it is best to get a police clearance certificate, to be on the safe side.
- Did not live in the country six months in a row – If you have lived in a country for a total of six months, but not six months consecutively (in a row), you do not require police certification from that country.
- Time in Canada – You don’t need to show a police certificate for the time you have spent in Canada.
Where do I get the police certificate in my country?
The process for getting a police certificate varies from country to country. Many countries have updated their processes for obtaining police certificates in the last few years. It is best to get in touch with your police or government to find out what the process is for getting the certificate.
Police clearance certificates may be known by different names in different countries. They may be called:
- Police clearance certificates
- Judicial record extracts
- Good conduct certificates
- Or any other name
Note: Some countries offer more than one way of getting a police certificate. It is possible that certificates obtained in one or more such ways may not be acceptable to Canadian immigration officials.
Make sure you find out if the police certificate you are getting is accepted by CIC. Police certificates today will typically require you to provide photographs, your fingerprints, addresses in the country and more.
When should you get the police clearance certificate?
It all depends on your immigration program. Once you are ready to start or submit your application, you can obtain your police clearance certificate. However, police certificates are valid for a year from the date of issue.
In the case of Canadian immigration, one’s police certificate should have been issued six months before the submission of the application. It means if your police certificate is eight months or older when the Canadian immigration application is presented, it will not be counted.
The document of police verification from a country where you do not live anymore must have the date after you have left it.
For countries in which you no longer live, the police verification certificate must have been issued after you left that country for the last time.
Is your police certificate getting delayed?
IRCC allows extensions to deadlines for submitting police clearance certificates if it’s taking more than 90 days to process your police verification.
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What if I fail to produce my Police Certificate while doing Express Entry?
In cases of Express Entry, when you cannot present your Police Certificate Canada, you may be allowed extra time to file the certificate. But in most cases, the applications are rejected straightway.
Follow the given guidelines:
- When in doubt about whether to send the certificate or not, don’t fail to send it.
- When you don’t send it out of uncertainty, be very clear to explain the same in the letter Of explanation.
- When you have valid reasons to be uncertain about sending the police clearance certificate, CIC might ask you to present it on the next date.
Can CIC reject a Police Verification Document?
Yes! There can be a number of reasons that CIC can use to reject a police clearance certificate, namely:
- A discrepancy of information in the certificate and the application provided such as spelling error etc.
- Extinction of validity period.
- The police verification does not match the CIC criteria.
- The certificate fails to cover the maximum time of stay in the country.
- The certificate producer is a national threat because of their prior criminal record.
You might have the desire to work or live in Canada, but unfortunately, the CIC does not provide a proper guideline for each and every country separately. Contact us for more information.
Is Getting a Police Certificate Difficult?
How difficult it is for you to get a police clearance certificate varies from country to country. Make sure you go through the most appropriate and official process for getting the certificate, else it may be rejected by the CIC – and your time, effort and money will go waste!
What should my Police Certificate say?
Police verification certificates around the world are different. However, there is certain information that must be included in your certificate:
- Logo of the authority
- Date of issue
- Clear subject line that shows it is a police clearance certificate, judicial record extract, good conduct certificate, or similar
- Statement attesting lack of criminal record or list of offences
- Seal/sign of the official authority
If the police clearance certificate contains a disclaimer stating that the authority is not responsible for the accuracy of the information, CIC may reject the certificate.
Do I need a police certificate for PR?
Yes, most permanent residence (PR) programs, such as Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Programs, require police certificates be submitted.
How long is the police verification valid for?
A police clearance certificate or equivalent is usually valid for one year. For the country in which you are presently resident, the certificate must not be more than 6 months old at the time of submission of the application.
How Express Entry Works
Candidates who are eligible for a program under Express Entry (Federal Skilled Worker, Skilled Trades, or other) submit a profile into the pool. The profile is assigned a CRS score, which is based on their age, education, qualifications and other criteria. CIC regularly invites candidates with the highest scores to apply for permanent residence. Once that is complete, the application is typically processed within six months.
Police clearance certificate for Canada immigration from India
The police clearance certificate for Canada immigration from India is a must. Whether you are applying under Express Entry, for spousal or family sponsorship, or PNPs for permanent residence, it is essential that you submit the police certificate with your application.
Where to get the police certificate in India
The Indian Government streamlined the process for procuring the police clearance certificate for immigration to Canada only a few years ago. The certificate for Canada immigration from India can be procured in two different ways:
- Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs) – An appointment must be taken before you visit your nearest PSK; fingerprints will be taken; certificates are issued in a standardized format (in English) and are accepted by CIC.
- Police superintendent – The police certificate for Canada immigration can be obtained directly by making an application to the local police in-charge; certificates will be in the local language and will need to be translated; since these are not standardized, CIC may not accept this type of police clearance.
Don’t know how to get a police certificate in your country?
The CIC does not provide specific guidance about how to get the police certificate in individual countries. If you are unsure of how and when to get the police clearance certificate, speak to an experienced Toronto Express Entry lawyer. Our specialists have expert knowledge about jurisdictions around the world and will help you with your police certificate and immigration application thoroughly.
It is essential that you apply for the certificate at the right time, with the right authority and that the certificate contains the correct information.
Need to give a language test for your immigration application? Learn more about CELIP and IELTS.