Each applicant who immigrates to Canada for permanent residence must present a police certificate issued by local police authority. The immigration officer is entitled to request this document also while applying for student visa and work permit.
What is a police certificate?
A police certificate must confirm the lack of a criminal record of the applicant over the last 10 years. This document is required by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to prevent entring criminals, who may potentially threaten the security of Canada. Without this document the CIC will not issue the permanent residence visa. Applicants over 18 years old (or 16 years old in some countries) and all family members need to get the police certificate. The certificate may be obtained from police authorities of countries where the applicant had lived for more than 6 consecutive months since the age of 18. The certificate must be translated into English (French) language and notarized. The original police certificate must also be submitted.
Where to get the police certificate?
In most cases, you must contact the relevant police (militia) department to be issued this document. You may have to provide additional information, such as fingerprints, photos, residence address, etc. If the applicant lived in the country that has changed its name or status (eg, USSR), a police certificate should come from the current national authorities of the country (Russia, Ukraine, and so on).
In some cases, the applicant can not get a police certificate. Then he/she must provide a written explanation of the reasons ( a refugee status). Police certificate must be received no earlier than 3 months prior to applying for permanent residence. Otherwise, the document will be considered as invalid.