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What Is a Police Clearance Certificate? September 25, 2023 - BY RealScan Biometrics

What Is a Police Clearance Certificate?

Do you dream of exploring new horizons through immigration, long-term visas, or international work or study opportunities?

If so, you might come across a term that evokes confusion and curiosity: the Police Clearance Certificate (PCC).

Don't worry, you are not alone!

For a common man like you, understanding what a PCC is, its purpose, and how to obtain one can be a daunting task.

But don’t worry.

RealScan Biometrics is your trusted police clearance certificate service provider, and here we have shared a comprehensive guide focusing on this essential document.

Importance of Police Clearance Certificate (PCC)

A PCC is an official document issued by law enforcement authorities that confirms your criminal history within a specific period of time. It acts as a statement declaring the absence of any criminal convictions or pending charges against you. You can consider it a character certificate from the police showcasing your clean record.

Why Do You Need a PCC?

PCCs are often required for various purposes, including:

Immigration: When you apply for permanent residency, long-term visas, or citizenship in other countries, you often require a PCC.

International Employment: You need to provide a PCC to your prospective employer if they demand to know about your background and assess your suitability for the role.

Adoption: When you adopt a child, a PCC is needed to ensure the safety and well-being of the child.

Licensing and Accreditation: To obtain certain professional licenses and academic accreditations, you might need a police clearance.

Who Can Apply for a PCC?

Eligibility for a PCC varies depending on the issuing authority and your circumstances. You can apply if you:

  • Are a citizen of the issuing country.
  • Have resided in that country for a specific period.
  • Do not have any pending criminal charges.

Steps to Obtaining a PCC

The process for obtaining a PCC differs by country and sometimes even by region. However, the general steps typically involve:

Rolled Ink Fingerprint Impressions: A complete set of your fingerprints from both hands is needed on a fingerprint card.

Gathering Required Documents: This usually includes identity proof, residential proof, passport copies, and application fees.

Submitting the Application: This can be done online, in person, or through mail, depending on the issuing authority.

Background Check: Law enforcement authorities will conduct a background check to verify your criminal record.

Receiving the PCC: Once the check is complete, you will receive your PCC, usually within a specified timeframe.

Important Considerations

Processing Times: Processing times are different for each country. Hence, apply in advance and allow enough time for processing, as it can take weeks or even months depending on the country, workload, and completeness of your application.

Validity: PCCs usually have a limited validity period, often ranging from six months to two years. Also, the certificate remains valid until your next visit to the country, and you might need to obtain a new PCC each time. So, you must check with an expert or the issuing authority about the latest validity conditions.

Fees: Application fees for PCCs can vary. So do research beforehand. Also, the application fee is non-refundable once the processing of your application begins.


  • For specific information on applying for a PCC in your country, check the official website of your local law enforcement agency or Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Reputable visa consultants, police clearance certificate service providers, or immigration lawyers can also provide guidance and support throughout the process.

Read more about about factors that can affect acquiring your PCC


Obtaining a PCC is a crucial step to unlocking international opportunities. By understanding what a police clearance certificate is, its purpose, requirements, and application process, you can expect a smooth and successful journey towards your global aspirations.

This article provides a general overview of PCC. For specific details and procedures related to your requirements, we recommend that you always consult the official authorities or seek professional guidance.

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