How to obtain a police certificate - United States

Do I need to provide a police certificate when applying for permanent residence?

Yes, Applicants should provide a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) certificate with fingerprints. State certificates may also be requested. The Visa Office will advise you if state certificates are required in your case.

How and where do I obtain one?

You should:

  • get a cover letter and fingerprint card from the FBI. You can download these from the FBI website or write to the address below and have them mailed to you.
  • have fingerprints taken. You can have this done by:
    • a local police department or
    • a private fingerprinting business.

(When you have your fingerprints taken, you will need photo identification.)

  • include a Certified cheque or money order for the fees, payable to the U.S. Treasury
  • mail the letter, fingerprints and fee payment to:

FBI, Criminal Justice Information Services Division
Attention: SCU, Mod D-2
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, West Virginia 26306

Note: Citizenship and Immigration Canada does not accept FBI police certificates issued by FBI-approved third party private companies. Only police certificates issued directly by the FBI will be accepted.

Processing times are normally between 16 and 18 weeks. The FBI will send you a letter with the results of their record check. That letter will be your police certificate. You should send the letter and any attached documents to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada office processing your file. All police certificates must be originals. Photocopies will not be accepted by our office.

For information on Puerto Rico, please see Central America, South America and Caribbean.

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