Application Requirements

Security / Police Clearance

Each applicant for a Canadian Immigrant Visa, aged 18 or over, is required to prove that he or she has no criminal record. Police Clearance Certificates or certificates of non-criminal activity, as they are sometimes referred to, must be obtained from the country of current residence and from each country in which the applicant has resided for more than 6 months since his or her 18th birthday.

Police clearance certificates are considered valid for a period of 6 months and they usually can be obtained through law enforcement offices or other government agencies. In extenuating circumstances Canadian visa offices will waive the requirement to submit police clearance certificates.

All potential immigrants to Canada must also undergo a background clearance to weed out those who have been or are involved in espionage, subversion or terrorism. This is to ensure that the safety and order of Canadian society are maintained and protected. Such security screening decisions are made based on information from every available source, which is then carefully weighed to determine whether an applicant is likely to threaten the internal security of Canada. When there is an indication of security concerns an interview will be scheduled to discuss these findings with the applicant. Anyone who poses such a threat must necessarily be prevented from entering Canada.

Please note that there is a clear distinction between the police clearance certificate, which the applicant is required to obtain, and the background clearance, in which the applicant for the most part is not actively involved.