How To Obtain Police Clearance For Permanent Residency Applications In Vancouver

When you apply for permanent residency in Canada, one of the requirements is to obtain a certificate of police clearance. This is essentially a criminal record check. You must obtain this record check to have your permanent residency application approved – normally, anyone applying for permanent residency who is over the age of 18 and their dependents who are also over the age of 18 must get one, otherwise they could have their application for permanent residency denied because they would be considered criminally inadmissible to Canada. 

How to obtain a police certificate for permanent residency in Canada

1. Visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada map found here.

2. Find your continent and country on the map, which will then tell you how to obtain a police certificate in your region. The costs of obtaining a police certificate as well as the necessary documentation and processing times can vary from country to country.

In the United States for example, you must order a cover letter or fingerprint kit from the Federal Bureau of Investigation website, and submit your fingerprints (taken at a local police department when you bring your photo ID) and you will receive your certificate within 16 to 18 weeks.

3. Include the police clearance certificate (sometimes an actual certificate, other times a letter stating your results depending on the country) with your permanent residency application. Please note that you must include the original in your application and that photocopies of the clearance certificate will not be accepted by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Note that the police certificate must be obtained within three months of your application for permanent residency – if it’s older, you will be required to get a new one.

4. If you need help with your permanent residency application in Canada or are concerned about what would happen if you do not have a clean criminal record, contact one of our immigration lawyers using the form to the right for help.


Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.