Police Certificate Update on the Spousal Sponsorship Document Checklist
The document checklist that guides applicants on their Spousal Sponsorship Permanent Residence Application outlines the rules for providing a police clearance so that the applicant can prove they do not have any criminal charges. However, the countries that the applicant needs to provide a police clearance for have very recently changed.
Previously, the applicant only had to provide a police certificate from:
- The country where they currently live, if they have been there for 6 months or more AND
- The country where they have lived most of their life since the age of 18
Since the new updates, the principal applicant and family must provide a police certificate from every country other than Canada where they have spent 6 or more months in a row since the age of 18.
So that means if you have lived in multiple countries since the age of 18, or some of your family members have lived in different countries over the age of 18 for more than 6 months, you have to ask the authorities to give you a police certificate which will prove that you have no criminal record so the immigration officers know that you pose no threat to Canada.
Interestingly, this was the rule for providing police clearances for sponsorship applications for many years. The procedure only changed just a few years ago, and now it has changed back. This type of change and then reversion to previous rules is common in Canadian immigration.
NOTE: If the applicant has lived in Canada for the last six months or Canada is the country where you lived most of their life, you don’t have to provide a police certificate – IRCC will get the information directly from Canadian police agencies.
Who is required to provide a police clearance?
The principal applicant and the family members 18 or older who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents must submit police certificates.
Why do I need to provide a police clearance?
The police certificate is needed when you apply to become a permanent resident or a Canadian citizen, in this case it is the sponsorship application, for the government to check if you have a criminal record and to help the immigration officers make sure you are not a security risk to Canada.
If someone has ever had any contact with police in a criminal context whatsoever, such as
- Being charged with a crime
- Being convicted of a crime
They may be inadmissible to Canada, which means they are not allowed to enter or remain in the country. Inadmissibility is grounds for the refusal of any Canadian visa or permit.
You may need a criminal and security check if you are coming to Canada as a live-in caregiver, tourist, student, or temporary worker. If you are applying for permanent residence, you must have one done. If your certificate is in a language other than English or French, it must be translated to be used in your immigration application.
If you have questions about the police clearance requirements for spousal sponsorship, contact us.