Learn more about police certificates

When you apply to become a permanent resident or a Canadian citizen, you and your family members must include a police certificate. If you are applying as a visitor, student or temporary worker, we may also ask you for a certificate.

What is a police 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.

Who needs a police certificate?

You and any family member 18 or older may need to get a police certificate, depending on the program you are applying to.

When should I submit one?

Check the application guide for the program you are applying for to find out when to send us your police certificate(s).

To avoid delays, you should get all of your police certificates as soon as possible.

If your certificate is in a language other than English or French, send the police certificate along with a translation done by a certified translator.

If you are an Express Entry candidate

If you are an Express Entry candidate, and you are invited to apply, you will only have 90 days to submit your police certificate. To make sure you have enough time, you should apply for your police certificates as early as you can.

Learn more about police certificates for Express Entry.

If you are an International Experience Canada (IEC) candidate

If you’re invited to apply, you’ll normally need to provide a police certificate when you submit your work permit application.

Find more information on police certificates for IEC.

How do I get one?

In most cases, you must contact the police or government to ask for a certificate. You may have to:

  • 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.

Use our online tool to find out how and where to get a police certificate in the country where you live. If contact information is not available there, contact the national police agency, or your country or territory’s embassy or consulate in Canada.

If you lived in a country that has changed its name or status, the police certificate should come from the current national authorities of that country. If you are not able to get a police certificate from a country because you are a refugee from that country or for any other reason, explain the reasons in writing.

We will also do background checks anywhere you and your family members have lived. These checks will show if you have had any arrests or convictions, or if you are a security risk to Canada.

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