What Do You Need to Get a Police Clearance Certificate?
You’ve done it! In your hands is a job offer from the company you recently interviewed for.
But, among the documents required from your new employers is your “police clearance certificate.” Now you’re wondering what document this is.
It’s a police certificate that certifies you as a law-abiding citizen or resident of Canada. You get it after authorities conduct a criminal record check or background check on you from the CPIC database to see if you have any criminal convictions. Minimal personal information is always needed for these checks
If you’ve done nothing illegal there’s nothing to worry about, as the certificate will highlight your non-criminal status
Reasons for a Police Certificate
A police clearance certificate is necessary for many aspects of life in Canada and you’ll get it following a criminal record check. It’s one of the things many organizations request as a screening tool to showing any criminal record.
This certificate is essential when it comes to filling positions in sensitive areas and you’ll get it after some background checks.
Some reasons for a criminal record check include:
- Applying for a job
- Beginning work for a volunteer service
- A name change
- Child adoption
- Getting a visa to a foreign country at a foreign consular service
- Migrating into Canada
- Citizenship and permanent residency applications in Canada
- Information requests under the Privacy Act
- A record suspension application
Many organizations want to be sure that potential employees don’t exhibit criminal tendencies that could negatively affect them — the reason many job applications require background checks and a police clearance certificate from police service.
Volunteers who want to work with vulnerable people, such as children and senior citizens, are also asked to get an advanced criminal record check known as the vulnerable sector check. This is to prevent people with a history of convictions for child or elderly abuse from finding work in such positions.
The authorities also demand a police certificate for certain services, like getting a passport.
Even though it’s your right as a citizen of Canada to possess a passport, some criminal convictions can affect one’s ability to acquire this vital document.
For example, many countries don’t want anyone with a criminal record travelling through their borders. So, their consular services ask for the police clearance certificate, which certifies your status concerning your criminal record when you apply for a visa.
Note: Having a prior conviction or criminal record is grounds for many countries’ consular services to deny any potential Canadian traveller a visa to visit.
Immigrants to Canada have to send in a police certificate from their home country as part of their application.
Visitors to Canada have to present this certificate to the Canadian consular services in foreign countries with their visa applications.
You also need the same police certificate when using the Privacy Act to request personal information held by the authorities. If you want to suspend a prior criminal conviction record and have a clean slate, this document is required.
Requirements for a Police Clearance Certificate
The documents you need to submit your application for a police certificate in Canada are:
- Two different identification documents, such as your passport, ID card, birth certificate, or driver’s license.
- Proof of address, such as a utility bill or bank statement.
- Your fingerprints (not in all cases).
- Filled out police certificate application form.
Applicants must be at least 16 years of age and must be valid citizens of Canada — or hold a residence permit if a non-citizen. For those under 16 years of age, their parents or guardians must make the application on their behalf.
One of the identity documents provided must be valid proof of your citizenship in Canada (either your passport or birth certificate), and it must have your picture on it. Foreign nationals in Canada must submit their passport along with their Canadian visa and work permits.
The proof of address document can be either a bank statement or utility bill and is needed to establish your legal residence in Canada.
You must provide your fingerprints electronically for background checks, as paper submissions are no longer processed. You’ll have to visit a local or regional police service or an accredited private company to get the prints done.
The fingerprints from all ten fingers should be on a C-216C form. You can get the application form online or offline. You’ll have to fill it in with:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Email address
- Phone number
- Passport photos
- Name of the agency conducting the search
- Reason(s) you need the police certificate
Service fees include a federal fee of $25 CAD and the additional processing fee from the agency. If you have two or more purposes, you’ll have to pay a specific fee for each of them.
However, there are situations where you don’t have to pay the federal fee. These cases include applying for a government or police job, volunteering, Canadian citizenship, and privacy act requests.
In most criminal checks, the required information is the applicant’s name and personal details, so fingerprints are usually not required. This search is the most common criminal record check variant.
But in a case where an applicant has a similar name to another person, fingerprints are required to differentiate them in what is known as certified criminal record checks.
The accredited companies or the police services have to work with the RCMP’s Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services (CCRTIS) to get a check done.
The CCRTIS is in charge of the National Repository of Criminal Records in the country. It houses the database of every conviction in Canada.
The processing time for a police certificate in Canada will be less than three business days if the applicant has no criminal records. But evidence of a prior conviction could make the processing time much longer, with 120 business days as the minimum time.
The police clearance certificate is usually physically mailed to the applicant after processing. Canadian applicants outside of Canada will receive their documents through the Canadian consular services near their locations.
One accredited company that can help you with a the criminal record check is Instant Record Check. You can apply for your police clearance certificate through our website, and we’ll get it done for you within a short time.
Now you know what to do to get your police clearance certificate — contact Instant Record Check.
Photo by Nigel Nyumbu