The entrance to a police station

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC, formerly known as CIC) has provided updates to the published instructions on police certificates with respect to the Express Entry selection system for immigration to Canada.

This update may affect individuals who receive an Invitation To Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence through Express Entry.

Language revisions were made to clarify the text, and under Exceptional circumstances, the instructions have been changed to reflect that clients are required to provide both proof of having requested a police certificate and an explanation of their best efforts to produce a police certificate before the 60-day deadline after the ITA has been issued. These Exceptional circumstances are outlined below.

In addition, the instructions have been revised to reflect that police certificates are required up front and are mandatory for each country where an individual has lived for six months or more in total, not necessarily in a row.

Document requirements

  • For the applicant’s current country of residence, the police certificate must have been issued no more than six months before the submission of the e-application.
  • For countries in which the applicant no longer resides, the police certificate must have been issued after the departure date of the last time the client resided in that country for more than six months.
  • Police certificates are required up front and are mandatory for each country (except Canada) where an individual has lived for a total of six months or more. This instruction is for the purpose of the completeness check. However, it is always at an officer’s discretion to request a new or additional police certificate.
  • Some countries require that the applicant complete a consent form to initiate a police certificate. The form is then uploaded (with any other police certificates the applicant may provide) as part of the e-application. If the application is not rejected as incomplete, the processing office will assess the consent form and electronic file and initiate the police certificate.

In exceptional circumstances, IRCC may accept

  • proof of having requested a police certificate for such countries; and
  • an explanation of best efforts (not a guarantee of acceptance). The applicant should explain the delay in a document and upload the document. The uploaded document must show that the applicant requested a police certificate as soon as possible after receiving their Invitation to Apply.