Anyone wanting to work, study overseas or immigrate, will need to apply for a Police Clearance Certificate in order to apply for a visa. 

However, if you have a criminal record, you’ll still be able to apply for a police clearance certificate, but it will be a longer process, which leads you to asking; how can I clear my criminal record in South Africa.

A police clearance certificate is not to be confused with a criminal background check, since a criminal background check is only used to verify whether or not you have an existing criminal record against your name, and it will be of no use if you want to use it to apply for a visa.

It is the SAPS Criminal Records Centre (CRC) that is responsible for performing in-depth verification steps, before they will issue a police clearance certificate, which is completely different to a criminal or background check.

If you do have a criminal record, it will show up on a second page attached to the police clearance certificate, where it will list your criminal record. 

However, the details of the crimes committed will not be listed, which could count against you, especially if they were petty crimes, such as shoplifting, for instance.

How can I clear my criminal record in South Africa

The simplest and least frustrating way to clear your criminal record in South Africa is to contact the document procurement specialists at Doc Assist.

This team has the expertise and knowledge that will be of great value to you if you are wanting to take the least stressful approach to clearing your criminal record, and then being in the position to apply for a police clearance certificate without any criminal record.

There are certain criteria that will have to be met before your criminal record can be expunged, and the process could take between 5 to 6 months to complete, but once completed, you will be free.

If you meet the following criteria, you may apply to have your criminal record expunged;

  • If 10 years or more have lapsed since the date of conviction for the offence for which you received a criminal record
  • If you haven’t been convicted of any other offence that caused you to be sentenced to prison without the option of a fine during those 10 years

You will not be able to apply to have your record expunged if;

  • You have been convicted of a sexual offence against a mentally or physically disabled person, where you have been found unsuitable to work with children, or where you have been convicted of a sexual offence or violent offence against a frail elderly person.
  • Your name is on the National Register for Sex Offenders or the National Child Protection Register, however, you may qualify if your name has been removed from either of these registers.

How Doc Assist helps to expunge criminal records

Doc Assist will apply for a police clearance certificate with your criminal record, after which they will submit it for the expungement of your criminal record.

Once the team has received confirmation that your record has in fact been expunged, they will then start the process of applying for a new police clearance certificate, minus your criminal record.

Contact Doc Assist today to find out more about what they can do to clear your criminal record, so that you can then be in a position to travel overseas.

This friendly team will give you all the information you need to start life afresh, with a clean record and a chance to start again, even if it means that you are then free to apply for work in South Africa, without a criminal record!


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