What are police clearances certificates for Canadian immigration?

Daniel Levy
Published: December 6, 2022

Police certificates demonstrate to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that an immigration applicant is admissible to Canada.

Each applicant for permanent residence and their family members aged 18 or over, must undergo a security clearance to prove they are not criminally inadmissible.

Police Clearance Certificates, also called certificates of non-criminal activity, must be obtained from the country of current residence and from each country in which the applicant has resided for more than six months since their 18th birthday.

Schedule a Free Legal Consultation with the Cohen Immigration Law Firm

Police Clearance Certificates can usually can be obtained through law enforcement offices or other government agencies. In extenuating circumstances, Canadian Immigration Visa Offices will waive the requirement to submit Police Clearance Certificates.

For the country the individual currently lives in, the police certificate must be issued no more than six months before applying.

For countries where the individual has lived for six months or more, the police certificate must be issued after the last time the applicant lived in that country.

If a certificate is in a language other than English or French, it must be sent along with the original copy of a translation done by a certified translator.

All applicants for Canadian immigration must also undergo a background clearance, which checks for activities related to espionage, subversion, or terrorism. This is to ensure that the safety and order of Canadian society are maintained and protected. Such security screening decisions are made based on information from every available source, which is then carefully weighed to determine whether an applicant is likely to threaten the internal security of Canada. When there is an indication of security concerns, an interview will be scheduled to discuss these findings with the applicant. Anyone who is determined to pose such a threat will be prevented from entering Canada.

There is a clear distinction between the Police Clearance Certificate, which the applicant is required to obtain, and the background clearance, in which the applicant for the most part is not actively involved.

Individuals wishing to enter Canada, either permanently or temporarily as visitors, foreign workers or international students, may be denied entry if they or their dependents are deemed criminally inadmissible.

A person may be considered inadmissible on the grounds of either:

If you are criminally inadmissible, you may be allowed to enter Canada if IRCC considers you criminally rehabilitated under either:

If you are coming to Canada temporarily, you may require a Temporary Residence Permit (TRP) to enter the country.

In all of these cases, an experienced immigration lawyer can assist you with overcoming criminal inadmissibility. Lawyers can also support your case with a Legal Opinion Letter.

Schedule a Free Legal Consultation with the Cohen Immigration Law Firm

© CIC News All Rights Reserved. Discover your Canadian immigration options at CanadaVisa.com.

Share this article
Share your voice
Did you find this article helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Did you find this article helpful?
Please provide a response
Thank you for your helpful feedback
Please contact us if you would like to share additional feedback, have a question, or would like Canadian immigration assistance.
  • Do you need Canadian immigration assistance? Contact the Contact Cohen Immigration Law firm by completing our form
  • Send us your feedback or your non-legal assistance questions by emailing us at media@canadavisa.com
Related articles
Where in Canada can I settle: applicants selected by province or territory vs by the federal government
From front to back the flags represent British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brusnwick, Nova Scotia, Quebec and Ontario provinces.
Which Canadian industries may require a criminal record check for employment?
Close-up Of Human Hand Filling Criminal Background Check Application Form With Pen
Making Toronto home: A newcomer’s guide to life in Canada’s largest city
Toronto
How IRCC works with other departments to process applications
IRCC and the CBSA share responsibility for IRPA.
Top Stories
How an ECA can help you immigrate to Canada
British Columbia and Prince Edward Island issue PNP nominations this week
Budget 2024: How Canada is continuing its commitment to safe and inclusive communities
Join our free newsletter. Get Canada's top immigration stories delivered to your inbox.
Subscribe
More in Canada
Budget 2024: How Canada is continuing its commitment to safe and inclusive communities
A Family out boating together having fun on vacation
Budget 2024: How will it impact Canadian immigration?
Canada has released Budget 2024.
Comparing rental costs across Canada
A for rent sign infront of a small house
What can newcomers expect from Budget 2024?
Budget 2024 will contain several new initiatives to help with housing affordability in Canada.
Link copied to clipboard