Police Certificate

A Police Certificate (a.k.a. Police Clearance) is an official document issued by a government agency stating whether or not a person has a criminal record in a particular jurisdiction.  It is an important supporting document for immigrant applications as it’s one of the important factors that help consular officers determine if the applicant is admissible to the U.S.

Who needs to submit a police certificate?

Police certificates are required by immigrant visa and K-1 Fiance visa applicants outside of the United States. Adjustment of status applicants are not required to provide police certificates.  For nonimmigrant visa applicants (except K visas), you don’t need to bring a police certificate to the interview unless it is required by a consular officer.

Police certificates are only required for applicants aged 16 years or older. Applicants need to provide the police certificates from all the countries he or she lived for more than 6 months. The police certificate must issued from the designated official agency and cover the entire period of the applicant’s residence in that area. If there’s any criminal records or reason for arrest, the detail of each case must be listed.

How to obtain a police certificate?

Formats of and processing for police certificates vary from country to country and jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has provided a list of how and where to obtain a police certificate from different countries. Your documents will not be accepted if you do not obtain the police certificate from the correct issuing authority.

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