Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has updated its instructions on police certificates for those applying for permanent residence through the federal Express Entry system.

Police certificates are now required from any country, or territory, where an applicant has resided for six consecutive months or longer within the last 10 years or since the age of 18.

This change is effective immediately and applies to permanent residence applications through the Express Entry system received on or after January 1, 2015.

Prior to this update, an applicant was required to submit a police certificate from any country or territory where they had resided for a total of six months. This meant that an applicant who spent two months in a country, left and then returned to that same country a few years later for four months was required to provide a police certificate from that country.

An applicant is now only required to submit a police certificate for a country in which they have resided for six months in a row or longer.

The principal applicant, spouse or common-law partner, and dependent children 18 years or older (including non-accompanying dependents) must provide the required police certificates with their electronic application for permanent residence, or e-APR.

Police certificate(s):

  • Must have been issued no more than six months before the submission of the e-APR;
  • Must have been issued after the last time the applicant lived in that country;
  • Are required upfront upon submission of the e-APR and are mandatory for each country (except Canada), where an individual has lived for six months or more in a row;
  • Need to be a scan of the original police certificate(s) in color. Certified true copies and unauthorized copies are unacceptable and will result in the application being rejected as incomplete.