Significance Of Character & Police Clearance Certificate In Immigration

If you are planning to settle permanently in any foreign country, police clearance certificate is one of the essential documents you will need in order to qualify successfully for the permanent residence visa process. A police clearance certificate is issued to Indian passport holders by the concerned police authorities covering the time period of the applicant’s stay in the particular region. If any applicant has been involved in any kind of illegal activity or was arrested for violating the law anytime, the police clearance certificates notes the entire nature and reasoning of the applicant’s case. In much simple words, a police clearance certificate represents how ethical or unethical your character is in the eyes of law of the counties you have lived after the age of 16 years.

Necessity and validity of the police clearance certificate in the immigration process

It is necessary for a prospective immigration who is 16 years older and currently residing in India to have his criminal check done. If the candidate is an Indian citizen age 16 or older and currently residing in India, whose passport was issued MORE THAN six months prior to their immigrant visa interview date, should obtain a Police Clearance Certificate from both the nearest Indian Passport Office and the District Police in the area in which they reside. However, if their passport was issued LESS THAN six months prior to their interview date, they only need a Police Clearance Certificate from the nearest Indian Passport Office.

Factors that impact police clearance check

The following factors will have an impact on your police clearance check:

  • You have a substantial criminal record: By this, it means that past records will be assessed. A sentence(s) of 12 months or more in prison will impact your police check.Also, a suspended sentence is considered as a prison sentence.
  • You have been convicted of escaping: In case you have been found guilty of escaping from immigration detention (during or while detention or had escaped and were taken into detention later), it may bring an adverse impact on your PCC.
  • You are/were associated to a criminal group: In case you have been a member of organization or group that has bad records and the Minister for Immigration reasonably suspects your involvement in the group/organization criminal activities, it may impact your police check.
  • You are/were involved in any crime or offensive acts: If the Minister for Immigration reasonably believes your involvement in criminal acts like human trafficking, smuggling, genocide, sexual offense, torture of slavery, a crime against humanity, a crime of serious international concern, it becomes difficult for you to obtain a PCC.
  • Your past records prove you of an immoral character: If your past and presents records show that you are not of a good character and the government of the country thinks that you can be a threat to the country, you will be denied of a police clearance.

Procedure to apply for a police clearance certificate (India):

If you are 16 years or above, you can apply for a PCC at the places listed below, as per the associated conditions:

  • If you are residing in India and your Indian passport was issued within past 6 months
  • Apply at the Passport Office
  • If you are residing in India and your passport was issued more than 6 months prior to visa application
  • Have to apply at the Passport Office and the District Police Office near your place of residence
  • If you are an Indian passport holder and is staying outside India
  • Local Embassy or Consulate confirming you have no criminal record (a statement from Embassy or Consulate is acceptable)
  • If you are an Indian passport holder and currently resident in India, but has lived in another country (except for the U. S.).

You need to apply at the passport office, d District Police Office serving your place of residence (if the passport was issued more than 6 months prior to visa application) and the country of previous residence (if available).

Posted in Law