Effective February 11, 2016, applicants applying through the Express Entry system are required to provide police certificates for each country they lived in since their 18th birthday, for six months or more in total. This is in contrast to previous instructions requiring applicants to provide police certificates from countries where they had lived for six or more months consecutively.
In addition, applicants who are not able to obtain a police certificate at the time they are ready to submit their e-APR application are now required to provide proof that they have requested a police certificate, as well as an explanation of their best effort to produce a police certificate at the time of submission of the application.
The purpose of police certificates is to determine whether applicants and/or their family members have any criminal records that would render them inadmissible to Canada, or whether they pose a security risk to Canada. In addition to the principal applicant, police certificates are required for the principal applicant's spouse or common-law partner and all dependent children above the age of 18.
With this change, it is now more important than ever for applicants to keep accurate records of their travel and residential history. A day or two in a country may trigger the requirement for a police clearance when those days are added to any previous residence in that country which, in total, adds up to six months or more.
For further details regarding applications under the Express Entry system, obtaining police clearances, or any other immigration matters, please contact a member of our team.