Are you planning on immigrating in search of better work opportunities or with plans of settling abroad?
Well, the process of immigration does not involve merely booking flight tickets for your destination and obtaining a visa. The law requires you to obtain one more document which is known as the “Police Clearance Certificate” (PCC).
Now lets address some essential questions regarding the PCC and find out the procedure to obtain one.
Does everyone require a PCC before travelling abroad?
PCC was introduced only to safeguard interests of both the Indian immigrant and the country to which they are immigrating to. It is only necessary for Indian employees travelling abroad for their job, those who have applied for a residence permit abroad, and those who have applied for a long-term visa. Tourists need not apply for a PCC as they are on a limited duration stay in the foreign country.
Who do I go to for my PCC?
There are local Police Stations, Passport Offices, Passport SevaKendras, and Post Office Passport SevaKendras spread out across India and you can apply for a PCC to any of these offices falling in your jurisdiction.
The Ministry of External Affairs, India has also stated taking applications online for obtaining PCC which has made obtaining the document less cumbersome.
Does PCC for all countries involve the same procedure?
With different countries having different policies to treat immigrants, the PCC too involves a different procedure and steps for different countries. The steps involved in obtaining a PCC is classified into two: one set of steps are followed by the ECR countries and another set of steps are followed by non-ECR countries.
What are ECR countries? What is the procedure to get a PCC for such countries?
Currently, there are 17 countries that have a different procedure and are known as “Emigration Check Required” (ECR) countries. Any Indian going to any of these 17 countries for employment must get an emigration clearance. This clearance is necessary only if the Indian is going to the country for employment, and no other purpose. These 17 countries are Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Indonesia, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Libya, Lebanon, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, UAE and Yemen.
The procedure to be followed for ECR countries is different for individuals with different skill sets, qualification, gender and whether you’re immigrating through a recruiting agent.
How long will I have to wait for to obtain my PCC?
This is a commonly asked question because many people apply for a PCC at the last moment, due to lack of knowledge. The process is significant as your employment and residence in a foreign country relies on this. In case your application has no errors and you have taken all the required documents to the passport office for review, you may be granted the PCC on the same day itself at the office. However, in a lot of cases like where the applicant is a minor or applicant’s current address is not the same as permanent address, etc., a police verification is ordered before granting PCC. In such cases time taken by the police and the passport office to grant a PCC may extend to even one month.
How can I obtain a PCC if I am an NRI?
You as an NRI of a developed foreign country who has resided there for quite a few years now may want to obtain permanent residence there. It is necessary for you to submit a PCC in such a scenario, but what if you don’t have one? Will you have to travel back to India to obtain the certificate? Well no, thankfully, the law is understanding in such circumstances. You may apply for a PCC to the Indian Embassy in the foreign state. An application form will be available on the consulate’s official website which can be mailed to the consulate or given in person. A fee will have to be paid for the service in the form of cash or certified cheque. The documents required will have to be mailed to the embassy, after which police verification is carried out in India.
What is the new Online Police Clearance Certificate?
As the name suggests, an Indian passport holder residing in India can apply online for a PPC and the certificate will be issued to them online as well. The individual will not have to physically present himself before the concerned authority for submission of application or for collection of the certificate. However, the applicant may be asked to visit the local police station for a brief background check.. This service has not been introduced in all states and states like Maharashtra and Delhi have introduced it. The Kerala Police too has permitted the online application system and has even allowed the applicant to authorize a person to collect the certificate on his behalf or have the certificate mailed to them to their foreign residence too.