The South African police clearance certificate is a document that is issued by the South African Police Service after a background check of an individual to determine whether the individual has past criminal records.
If the person applying for the certificate has no past criminal records, then he/she is issued with the certificate. However if the person does have a criminal record, a certificate will still be issued with the criminal records highlighted on the second page.
A police clearance certificate is one of the most important documents especially for people who wish to study abroad when they are making their VISA applications or for people applying locally for employment in South Africa.
How to apply for a police clearance certificate in South Africa
Whether a person is in South Africa or outside of the country, he or she can still get a police clearance certificate. Obtaining the certificate involves several simple steps.
The procedure has been divided into two; one for people in South Africa, and the second for people outside South Africa at the moment of application.
Applying for the police clearance certificate within South Africa
Application for the certificate within the country can be done at any police station. The requirements for making the application include;
1. A full set of fingerprints taken at the police station. A police officer or a South African Police Service employee will assist you in taking the fingerprints.
2. A filled in fingerprint form that includes details like:
3. Full name
5. Date and Place of Birth
6. National identity number
7. A passport or identity document (Certified South African National Identity Card).
8. Application fee, which is R96 (Standard fee).
One important feature of applying at the police station is that the process is flexible. For instance, it is not a must that your fingerprints should be taken at the police station. You can have your fingerprints taken anywhere and your form stamped by a lawyer, commissioner of oaths or even a fingerprinting company representative.
The South African Police Service (SAPS) Criminal Record Centre (CRC) is located in Pretoria, where all the police clearance certificates are processed.
It is also possible to apply for a clearance certificate from abroad, for example from the United Kingdom, Australia or New Zealand.
How to apply for a police clearance certificate outside South Africa
Application of police clearance certificate from outside South Africa can be done at the local police stations in the foreign countries or by visiting the South African Embassy in that country. To apply through a foreign police station, the following requirements will apply;
1. A full set of the applicant’s fingerprints on the official fingerprint form of the foreign country
2. A completed fingerprint form that is signed by an individual who took the prints, and includes these details.
3. Full Name
5. Date and Place of birth
6. National identification number
7. A copy of the passport or national identity card
8. A copy of your Identity Document or Passport
9. R96 per application
After the application, the application is forwarded to the Criminal Record Centre in South Africa. The applicant can alternatively deliver the application.
The processing of a police clearance certificate takes approximately four weeks after which they are sent back to the applicants using the post number they provided.