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Security Clearance


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Security Clearance

When applying to become a permanent resident or a Canadian citizen, you must include a police certificate. If you are applying as a visitor, student or temporary worker, you may also be asked to provide a certificate.

A police certificate is a copy of your criminal record or a statement that you do not have a criminal record. Police certificates are different in each country and territory. They may be called:

  • police clearance certificates,
  • good conduct certificates,
  • judicial record extracts or
  • other names.

Police certificates are used to find out if you have a criminal record. They help visa officers make sure you are not a security risk to Canada.

In general the main applicant and all family members who are 18 or older need to get a police certificate. You will need a police certificate from any country or territory that you have spent six months or more since the age of 18.

Depending on the type of application you are submitting will determine at what point you will need to submit the police certificate. To avoid delays, we advise that you should get all of your police certificates as soon as possible, especially if more than one is required, as it may take long to process depending on the country.

In most cases, you must contact the police or government in the relevant country, to ask for a certificate and provide information or documents, such as photographs, fingerprints, or your addresses and dates that you lived in the country or territory and pay a fee.

We will give you detailed instructions on how and when to obtain police certificates that pertain to your application.