Required Documentation Police Certificate
The Police Certificate or Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) is also known as Records Check, Criminal Records Check, Judicial Records Extract, Security Check, Certificate of Good Conduct, Criminal Background Check.
Police Certificate(s) must be submitted by each Visa Applicant over the age of 16.
The Certificate must be provided for every county where you lived since age 16 for each of the following situations:
- You are living in your country of citizenship/nationality for more than 6 months in the place where you currently reside and are 16.
- You lived in another part of your country of citizenship/nationality for more than 6 months since you were 16 or older.
- You lived in a different country/countries than your country of citizenship/nationality for more than 12 months since you turned 16. You need the document from each of those countries. (Many Embassies/Consulates request this document already when you lived for more than 6 months in a different country/countries.)
And also if:
- You were arrested/convicted for any reason in the country where you currently live or in a country where you previously lived – no matter how old you were when the arrest occurred. If this applies consult an immigration attorney.
Police Certificates are only required from countries/jurisdictions that provide this document. Make sure it is issued by the proper authority and certified as such.
If a country/jurisdiction provides PCC’s but you are unable to obtain it you are required to submit a written explanation. Sign and date this letter.
Most countries/jurisdictions ask for a completed signed request form, a full set of fingerprints, a passport type photo, and advance payment in order to issue the document. Other documentation for identification purposes can be required too.
A PCC is issued only to the person that the document pertains to.
For instructions to request a Civil Document or Vital Record:
- go to travel.state.gov and enter in the search field at the top of the page:
(name of country) country reciprocity schedule
For example “Nepal country reciprocity schedule”
- next click the document (probably the one on top) called
(name of country) Country Reciprocity Schedule
- on the next page you will see buttons with a selection of choices
- click Police, Court, Prison Records.
The reciprocity information given can be obsolete. In that case contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country. Or do an on-line search.
Do not underestimate the time it can take to obtain these documents especially if they must be ordered in another part of your home country or from another country.
On the other hand do not order the Police Certificate(s) too early. Your PCC(s) must still be valid on the day you arrive in the U.S. to activate your visa.
The document is usually valid for one year from the date it was issued.
Nota Bene. Arrest records and court transcripts (in case of a conviction) must usually be requested from the jurisdiction that handled the case(s).