Most immigration and visa programs for Canada require a police clearance certificate commonly known as PCC or just police certificate.
A PCC is a simple statement that you need to get from the police. It states if you have a criminal record/charges against you or not.
The purpose of this certificate is to assure that you are not a security risk to Canada. IRCC needs to know that you have not been involved in any criminal activity.
However, if you have a criminal record, IRCC will assess your admissibility on the basis of this certificate.
If the immigration officer feels that you with your past criminal activity pose a danger to Canada, they may deny your entry.
PCC can usually take around a month or more depending upon your country of birth/citizenship/long stay.
So, it is always advisable to apply it proactively to avoid unnecessary delays in processing.
This article lists everything you need to know about getting a police certificate.
When do you need a PCC for Canada immigration?
Most immigration programs in Canada require you to provide a police clearance certificate. Furthermore, you may also need a PCC for Canadian Citizenship.
If you are applying for a PR through any category (Express Entry, International Experience Candidate, or Provincial Nominee Programs) you need this certificate.
Every person aged 18 or over needs to prove that they are not criminally inadmissible. Furthermore, Any family member applying with the primary applicant also needs a certificate.
Also, spousal sponsorship also needs a police certificate.
So, anybody planning to come to Canada permanently or for a long period of time needs this certificate.
What should the police certificate include?
Each country has a different police verification certificate. However, your certificate must include-
- Logo of the authority
- Date of issue
- A 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 your police certification is in another language, you must also provide an official/certified translation of the document and an affidavit with your application.
Where to get your police certificate from?
You need to get the certificate from the country of current residence (if outside Canada) and from each country you have resided in for more than 6 months since your 18th birthday.
The process of getting this differs from country to country. Click here to know “How to get a police certificate” depending upon your country of citizenship.
In some countries, this certificate is also called a judicial record extract or even a good conduct certificate.
So, it is important to ensure that the police certificate you are getting is accepted by CIC.
Also, if you’re unable to get a police certificate from your country, you’re responsible to show why you can’t get one.
To prove that you can’t get a police certificate, you must:
- show proof that you requested a police certificate from the correct authorities and
- write a letter explaining all the efforts you have taken to get one