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Canada Immigration Visa Services

Canadian immigration applicants who wish to receive their Canadian permanent resident visa, and who are 18 years of age and older, must undergo a security clearance to prove that he or she is not criminally inadmissible to Canada. If you have concerns about your admissibility to Canada or have questions about security clearance, contact our Canada immigration visa services law firm.

Police certificates (record checks): In order for the Canadian government to verify whether an applicant is criminally inadmissible, the applicant must obtain and submit a police certificate (criminal record check) from their current country of residence. Applicants must also provide criminal record checks from other countries they resided in for six months or more since turning 18 years of age. Certificates are most often issued by law enforcement offices or by government agencies such as embassies and consulates. The exact name used to refer to police certificates often varies by country.

Police certificates must be recent and not have expired. Police certificates will remain valid as long as the expiry date has not passed or as long as it was issued no more than three months before the date the applicant submits his or her application. Please note that you may also require a criminal record check if you are coming to Canada as a live-in caregiver, tourist, student or temporary worker.

Note: Applicants who have resided in the United States must provide both a State Police Clearance Certificate as well as a FBI Police Clearance.

Criminal Inadmissibility

If you have a criminal record, it may still be possible to come to Canada temporarily or permanently, depending on the nature of the crime that was committed, the duration of time that has passed since committing the crime and other factors such as whether you have received a pardon. Please visit our Inadmissibility section to learn more about overcoming criminal inadmissibility.

It is important to note that a Canadian security clearance goes beyond the review of one’s police certificate. There is also a background clearance, where the government will use every available source to assess whether an applicant may pose a security threat. If there is a security concern regarding an applicant, there will be an interview to discuss these findings with the applicant.