This article is written by Yashaswi Srivastava , pursuing a Certificate Course in Advanced Criminal Litigation & Trial Advocacy from LawSikho.com.
When you plan to travel abroad for work purposes or for pursuing higher education or for rehabilitation, one very important document that you need is a visa. In procuring that visa you need a Police Clearance Certificate also known as the PCC. In simple terms, this is a document that you get from the authorised personnel stating your criminal records and giving you a clearance to travel anywhere. But what happens when you are just an accused and have an immediate need to travel or when you commit a petty crime in your adolescent age? This article looks into answering these questions and understanding the procedure of procuring PCC.
PCC at a glance
The Rules and terminology for PCC vary from country to country. In the UK, PCC is known as a criminal record certificate. It is issued to Indian passport holders in case they have applied for residential status, employment, or long-term visa, or for immigration. It cannot be issued for persons going abroad on Tourist Visa.
It is an official document that is issued to an individual by the Indian Police. It identifies any type and status of such a criminal record. It may be required for Indian or foreign nationals who are residing or have resided in India, for the following purposes:
- Applying for vocational positions requiring clearance,
- Seeking to immigrate or obtain visas to other countries,
- Satisfying an organisation’s request.
An Indian PCC does not mention a period of validity endorsed on the certificate. However, mostly it is valid for six months. This varies considerably based on the to which the application is submitted. It is pertinent to understand that a PCC is issued only to individuals who are over 18 years of age. The police verification certificate is important to certify a person’s criminal status. It can be applied through PSK or the police commissioner’s office. Even, you can get it in an emergency wherein the document is delivered within two to three weeks after PSK verification.
PCC for ECR and non-ECR countries
The procedure differs for different countries. There are ECR (emigration clearance requirements) and non-ECR countries. If there is a person who has not passed their 10th grade or does not possess a valid high school certificate, they need to go through ECR for procuring a PCC.
The procedure for ECR countries
The countries which mandate such requirements are:
- UAE (United Arab Emirates)
- Saudi Arabia
If you are a skilled or a semi-skilled worker who is employed directly through an employment contract, not through recruiting agents registered with the protectorate of emigrants, then you are required to submit the following documents in their original form:
- Old passport (original form) with self-attested photocopy of the first two and last two pages of the passport including the ECR/non-ECr pages.
- Current residential address proof.
- Copy of employment contract with the foreign employer which should be self-attested
- 4. Copy of visa (in the case obtained already) translated in the English language.
Documents required for unskilled women workers below the age of 30 years are also the same. However, it should be noted that their employment contract must be duly attested by the Indian mission or permission letter from the concerned Indian post/mission.
Documents required for skilled/semi-skilled workers through recruiting agents registered with the protectorate of emigrants will also be the same. Their contract of employment, demand letter, and power of attorney received from the foreign employer need to be duly attested by the recruiting agency. Along with this, they also need to submit a copy of a valid registration certificate issued by the protectorate of Emigrants, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, GOI.
The procedure for non-ECR countries
- Old passport in original form with self-attested copy of the first two and last two pages of the passport including ECR/non-ECR pages if any.
- Current residential address proof
- Documentary proof of application for residential status and employment contract or long-term visa or for immigration.
PCC for dependent family members of a person who is residing or emigrating to both ECR and non-ECr countries
- Old passport in original form with self-attested copy of the first and last two pages of the passport including ECR or non-ECR page if any.
- Current residential proof of address.
- Declaration of sponsorship by the person who is sponsoring the emigration of such PCC f the PCC applicant.
Procedure for application of PCC
The Indian Government has changed the PCC application process for Indian nationals residing in India to a self-help model. Here the applicants can apply for a PCC online through the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) website. The steps involved in applying for a PCC through PSK are:
- You create a profile on PSK’s website. The form contains the following details which need to be filled in:
- Passport number.
- Passport date of issue and date of expiry.
- Country for which the Police Clearance Certificate is required.
- Applicants given name (includes middle name).
- Applicants surname.
- Applicants date of birth.
- Town or city of residence.
- Marital status.
- Indian citizenship type (select from options provided).
- Employment type.
- Educational qualification.
- Family details (either mother/father/legal guardians details to be mentioned): ○ Fathers given name (includes middle name and surname, no initials).
- Mother’s given name (includes middle name and surname, no initials).
- Guardian’s given name (includes middle name and surname, no initials).
- Residential address details: Duration of stay at address, street name and house number, village, town, or city name, State or Union territory, District.
- Police station under whose jurisdiction the applicant falls.
- PIN code.
- Applicants’ mobile number.
- Telephone number (optional).
- Email address (optional).
- If the permanent address is the same as the residential address. If not, the section on permanent address is to be filled out.
- 2 References from the town/ city mentioning the references full name, address, telephone/mobile number.
- Whether any criminal proceedings were conducted against the applicant. If yes, details to be provided.
- Self-declaration to be ticked.
- Place of filling the form as well as the date to be entered
- Then complete the online application form, pay the fee and schedule an appointment to submit the documents to the nearest PSK
- Submit the documents at PSK: Ensure that you are personally submitting your documents
- Then the police verification takes place: remember personal presence is mandatory
- Thereafter, you collect the PCC from PSK: It may be collected in person or there is also an option to have the PCC dispatched directly to the applicant’s address from the PSK via registered/speed post. Usually, it takes 15 – 20 working days from the date of submission of the application to receive a response.
Procurement of PCC by an NRI (Non-residential Indian)
NRIs may approach the Indian Diplomatic Mission/Post, which has jurisdiction over the applicant’s residence, in person and apply for a PCC.
Procurement of PCC by foreigners residing in India
Foreigners residing in Indian can apply for a PCC online on the e-FRRO portal. Once submitted, the applicant is not allowed to leave India until the PCC is issued. Based on the location of filing.
A police verification may be conducted before the application is approved. The government processing time varies but generally takes place between one and three weeks.
The status of the PCC differs from state to state. In some states, the applicant is notified via SMS regarding the status of the clearance, after which he/she will have to visit the concerned police station along with their respective passport and collect the certificate. Once you have received the Police Clearance Certificate, it should be uploaded to the Passport Seva website. The application status can also be tracked through the PSK website. Applicants can go to the track application status tab on the website’s homepage, wherein they will have to enter the type of application, the applicant’s date of birth, and the given file number. Thereafter, the application status will then be displayed on the screen.
- The Hon’ble Court in the case of B.V.V. Suryanarayana v Union of Andhra Pradesh noted that there is no merit in the contention and there is also no justification on the part of the police officials in refusing to issue PCC on the alleged ground that the criminal case is pending against the petitioner.
- In the case of Shahul Hameed v Regional Passport Officer, the petitioner is entitled to the issuance of PCC when there is no adverse information available to the police against him which makes him ineligible for grant of PCC.
- Furthermore, in the case of Kanwaljit Singh Swani v SSP U.T Chandigarh and Ors. and Gurpreet kaur dhaliwal v State of Punjab & Ors, the court held that pendency of the cancellation report under Section 156(3) would not be reason enough to withhold issuance of a police clearance certificate.
Hence, this is the procedure that one needs to follow to procure PCC in India. Time and again, the hon’ble High Courts and Supreme of India have reiterated the fact that just because there are criminal proceedings pending against a person, he cannot be denied PCC solely on that ground. The juveniles also can easily procure a PCC since their criminal records are confidential to protect them from any future embarrassment or career-related issue.
- https://www.fragomen.com/insights/blog/how-procure-indian-police-clearance-certificate https://mea.gov.in/police-clearance-certificate.htm
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