Obtaining a Police Record Check Outside of Canada – Our Guide

Canada has stringent rules when it comes to submitting requirements for visa application, whether you’re planning to migrate to or work in Canada. One of the most important requirements you need to submit is a Canadian police record check. If you don’t know what that is, it is also known as an RCMP Criminal Record Check or a Canadian police certificate. 

The truth is, it can be rather tedious and tricky if you are trying to obtain this from outside of Canada. If you’re looking for help, you’re in luck. This guide will tell you all you need to know when obtaining a police record check outside of Canada. We hope this will help you out.

Reason to get a Police Record Check

As Canada is a great country to live in because it offers plenty of opportunities to those lucky enough to have built their lives there, many individuals aspire to migrate to Canada. Some may be seeking work opportunities in the said country.  In such cases, the first thing they need to do is procure a relevant visa, whether it’s a permanent one or not. Chances are you’ve resided in Canada for at least six months and now you’re applying for a visa for the very first time.

When you do so, you will most likely be required to submit a Canadian police record check. But it is the Canadian visa office who will let you know if you need to get one while your visa is being processed. Now, if you’re living abroad or outside of Canada, you might also need an  RCMP Criminal Record Check for various reasons.

What to do to get the RCMP Criminal Record Check

Now, if and when the Canadian visa office decides that you should complete the RCMP Criminal Record Check, then you should take note of the following steps:

  • Submit a full set of fingerprints electronically. 

Note: Paper submissions will not be processed by Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services (CCRTIS).

  • Complete the police record form. 

Note: You can do so like how it appears on the RCMP website

  • Indicate the reason for your request.
  • Fill out your personal information. 

Note: This includes your full name, date of birth, sex, mailing address, phone number, and the applicable fees as outlined on the RCMP website.

Other Important Considerations and Unique Challenges

You should also take into consideration some unique challenges that you may encounter when it comes to obtaining a Canadian police record check. Check the following list:

  • Make sure that you’re dealing with accredited companies which can digitize ink fingerprints and submit them electronically to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Electronic fingerprint submissions cannot be done just  anywhere outside of Canada.
  • Do not forget to pay the federal processing fee of $25 CAN per criminal record check. The fee is required for a background check.
  • It takes only three business days to process the criminal record check from the time the electronic fingerprint was submitted. However, if your fingerprints have a match, it can take over 120 days.

Final Words

It’s good to know that obtaining a Canadian police certificate is no longer dependent on the international postal system, given the internet and the global community. In fact, the biggest challenge to obtaining it from outside of Canada may be the access to fingerprinting systems, long-distance communications, and differing efficiencies of international systems. But in the end, it’s worth it, particularly if you finally get your visa.

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