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What do certificates of police clearance for Canadian immigration mean?


An explanation of police clearances for Canadian immigration as well as ways for getting over criminal exclusion.


Police certificates serve as proof of an immigrant’s admissibility to Canada for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).


To demonstrate that they are not criminally inadmissible, each permanent resident candidate and their family members 18 years of age or older must complete a security clearance.


Police Clearance Certifications, also known as certificates of non-criminal activity, are required from the applicant’s current country of residency as well as from every other nation they have lived in for more than six months since becoming 18 years old.


Police clearance certificates are typically available from law enforcement or other government organizations. The Canadian Immigration Visa Offices will waive the need to provide police clearance certificates in certain cases.


The police certificate must have been obtained for the nation in which the applicant now resides no more than six months prior to application.


The police certificate must have been granted following the applicant’s most recent residence in a country where they have lived for six months or more.

A certified translation done by a licensed translator must be provided with a certificate that is written in a language other than English or French.


Every application for Canadian immigration must also pass a background investigation to rule out any involvement in terrorism, subversion, or espionage. This is done to defend and preserve the peace and safety of Canadian society. In order to evaluate if a candidate poses a threat to Canada’s internal security, security screening judgments are based on information from all available sources that are carefully weighed. An interview will be set with the applicant to go over these findings when there are security concerns. Anyone found to be such a threat will not be allowed entry into Canada.


There is a distinct difference between the background check, which the applicant is typically not actively involved in, and the police clearance certificate, which the applicant must get.


If an applicant or any of their dependents are found to be criminally inadmissible, they or their dependents may have their entry to Canada, whether it be permanently or just temporarily as tourists, foreign workers, or international students, rejected.


A person could be denied entry due to one of the following:

  • crime,

  • Very Serious Crime.


If you have a criminal record and are otherwise ineligible to enter Canada, you might be permitted to do so if the IRCC determines that you have either:

  • Rehabilitation considered

  • Personalized Rehabilitation


You might need a Temporary Residence Permit (TRP) to enter Canada if you’re visiting for a brief period of time.


An adept immigration attorney can help you overcome criminal inadmissibility in each of these situations. Lawyers can provide a Legal Opinion Letter in support of your claim.

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