Virginia, US
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| Serene Joseph

Indian Police Clearance Certificate: How to procure one?

Being part of the India Document Procurement team, I receive a lot of queries from clients who are looking for support in obtaining Indian Police Clearance Certificates for various reasons. This is my first blog post and I would like to use this forum to address the subject.

The Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) is an official document issued to an individual by the Indian Police or an authorised Indian Government authority to identify any criminal records that individuals may have against their names. A PCC 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 organization's request
 
An Indian PCC does not have a period of validity endorsed on the certificate. Generally, it is considered to be valid for six months; however, I have seen that this varies considerably based on the authority to which the application is submitted. It is also to be noted that a PCC is issued only to individuals who are above the age of 18.
 
Applying for an Indian PCC
 
Individuals applying for an Indian PCC can be broadly divided into the following categories based on their nationality and current place of residence. 
 
  1.  Indian nationals residing in India 
  2.  Indian nationals residing outside India 
  3.  Foreign nationals residing in India 
  4.  Foreign nationals residing outside India
 
Indian nationals residing in India
 
The Indian Government has changed the PCC application process for Indian nationals residing in India to a self-help model where applicants have to apply for a PCC online through the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) website. These are the steps involved in applying for a PCC through PSK: 
 
  1. Creating a profile in PSK’s website. 
  2. Completing the online application form, making the fee payment and scheduling the appointment for submitting the documents at the nearest PSK. 
  3. Submitting the documents at PSK - Personal presence is mandatory. 
  4. Police verification - Personal presence is mandatory. 
  5. Collecting the PCC from PSK – May be collected in person. There is also an option to have the PCC dispatched directly to the applicant’s address from the PSK via registered /speed post.
 
Average timeline: 15 - 30 working days from the date of submission of the application

In certain cities in India, Indian nationals can also apply for a PCC directly at the jurisdictional Police Commissioner’s office of the applicant’s residence. This was the process before the introduction of the self-help model through PSK and these are the steps involved in applying for a PCC through the Police Commissioner’s office: 

  1. Filing the application at the Police Commissioner’s office - Personal presence of the applicant may be required. 
  2. Police verification - Personal presence is mandatory. 
  3. Collecting the PCC from the Police Commissioner’s office - Personal presence of the applicant may be required.
 
Average timeline: 1 month from the date of submission of the application
 
Indian nationals residing outside India
 
Indian nationals residing outside India may approach the Indian Diplomatic Mission/Post which has jurisdiction over the applicant’s residence in person and apply for a PCC.
 
Foreign nationals residing in India
 
Foreign nationals residing in India may apply for a PCC at the Police Commissioner’s office which has jurisdiction over the applicant’s residence. These are the steps involved in applying for a PCC through the Police Commissioner’s office: 
 
  1. Filing the application at the Police Commissioner’s Office - Personal presence of the applicant may be required. 
  2. Police verification - Personal presence is mandatory. 
  3. Collecting the PCC from the Police Commissioner’s Office - Personal presence of the applicant may be required.
 
Average timeline: 1-2 months from the date of submission of the application

Foreign nationals residing in India may also apply for a PCC at the Foreigner’s Regional Registration Office (FRRO) which has jurisdiction over the applicant’s residence. However, this process has been established recently and based on my experience it takes longer to obtain the PCC this way and hence should not be your first option.

Foreign nationals residing outside India

Foreign nationals residing outside India may apply for a PCC by contacting the jurisdictional Indian Diplomatic Mission/Post based on their residence in person.

Please feel free to reach out to me for further advice or information on Indian Police Clearance Certificates. I can be contacted on +91 484 3990839 or sjoseph@fragomen.com.