Police Clearance Certificate

Update/Clarification to the PCC Requirements


Further to the earlier update, which had a lot of people confused about the requirement of PCCs , whether they were required for the last 10years or since age of 18years.
IRCC has now issued a very clear description with for the requirement of PCCs. This should effectively clear any doubts, if there were any

Police certificates


To determine if the applicant or their family members have a criminal record or poses a security risk to Canada

Document requirements

According to the requirements below, the system will generate upload fields for the police certificates required in the document checklist using the personal history, travel history and address history provided by the applicant. However, it is always at an officer’s discretion to request a new or additional police certificate from the applicant. Applicants may also provide additional police certificates in the letter of explanation field.

  • For the applicant’s current country of residence, the police certificate must have been issued no more than 6 months before the submission of the e-APR.
  • For countries in which the applicant no longer resides, the police certificate must have been issued after the last time the applicant stayed in that country for 6 months or more in a row.
  • Police certificates meeting the above requirements can be accepted even if they have an expiry date that has passed.
  • This includes the requirement to provide a police certificate for countries in which the individual has travelled for 6 months or more in a row, whether or not the individual had an established residential address during this time.
  • Police certificates are required upfront and are mandatory for each country (except Canada) where an individual has spent 6 months or more in a row within the last 10 years. The individual does not need to provide one for any period of time before the age of 18.
  • Police certificates need to be a scan of the original police certificate(s) in colour. Certified true copies and unauthorized copies are unacceptable and will result in the application being rejected as incomplete.

Applications that do not include a required police certificate and do not provide supporting documentation where required will be rejected as incomplete.

The officer can exercise discretion when assessing whether police certificates that do not fall within standard IRCC parameters may still be required to process the application. When necessary, an officer can use discretion in their determination of whether or not a client is admissible to Canada by using other documents or mechanisms that are available to them.

Some countries will not issue police certificates to applicants and instead will only communicate directly with the relevant Canadian authorities. In such cases, existing IRCC procedures to obtain documentation should be followed.

The IRCC website provides instructions to applicants on how to obtain a police certificate.

In exceptional circumstances, IRCC may accept both of the following:

  • proof of having requested a police certificate for some countries; and
  • an explanation of best efforts (not a guarantee of acceptance)
    • In this explanation, the applicant should explain the delay in a document and upload the document in the country-specific field. The uploaded document must show that the applicant requested a police certificate as soon as possible after receiving their invitation to apply.

In such exceptional cases, the client will be advised to upload a document into the upload field stating country-specific details that support their explanation of best efforts.

Individuals who must submit this documentation

  • The principal applicant
  • Their spouse or common-law partner
  • Their dependent children 18 years of age or older, including non-accompanying

IRCC Link is here.
Earlier update:

on 19th March 2018, IRCC made some changes to the PCC requirement. It states as below:

Program delivery update: Express Entry: Police certificate requirements – March 19, 2018

The upfront requirements for police certificates have changed for permanent residence applications under the Express Entry system.

As of February 27, 2018, police certificates are required for any country or territory, other than Canada, where the applicant has spent 6 months or more in a row within the last 10 years since the age of 18.

Applications for permanent residence programs subject to the Express Entry completeness check will be assessed according to the revised police certificate requirements.

The link is here.

This was quite confusing as it did not clearly state if the PCC was required for the last 10 years or since 18years of age.

Hence I decided to contact them on twitter and below is a clarification from IRCC.