You may be hearing about police clearance certificates more and more these days, especially with human trafficking and illegal immigrants becoming a growing threat to many countries in terms of bringing criminal activities along with them, which might have you wondering; what is police clearance certificate used for?

Bottom line, it’s to prevent the above as much as possible, despite the fact that we know that criminals will always find a way through the net that each country is trying to pull in tighter, in an effort to keep their citizens safe.

If you live in South Africa and have any plans to travel overseas, you cannot move without a police clearance certificate (PCC). No embassy will issue a visa without a police clearance certificate, full stop.

What is police clearance certificate used for?

Essentially, a SAPS police clearance certificate is considered a vital document, one that is considered absolute proof of whether or not the applicant has any prior convictions. This is an official document that verifies the applicant’s criminal status, acting as proof that he or she is of good standing.

Let’s looks at a few instances in which a police clearance certificate is used:

  • Immigration – if you’re planning to immigrate, a PCC will be vital
  • Studying overseas – again, in the case of studying overseas, a PCC is vital
  • Working overseas – if you want to work overseas, a PCC is also the most important document to take with when applying for a visa
  • Working locally – there are many types of industries and sectors that demand from job applicants that they produce police clearance certificates. This could range from diamond mining, financial sectors, government agencies, hospitals, security agencies, pharmaceutical manufacturers and more.
  • Working with children, mentally and physically disabled people, elderly frail people. These are people who cannot always defend or protect themselves, which is why it will always be necessary for a job applicant to produce a police clearance certificate.
  • General requirements for PCC’s – because of the rise in employee theft and fraud, many more employers are instituting police clearance certificates as part of their employment policies, even if theirs is not a high security sector.

Can you get a PCC if you have a criminal record?

Yes, you can get a police clearance certificate if you have a criminal record, however, your criminal record will reflect on the second page of your PCC, which, depending on the circumstances, may or may not be of help to you.

If you were planning on travelling overseas, you can forget it, you need a clean PCC in order to get a visa. However, you could apply for a criminal record to be expunged if you meet certain criteria, such as:

  • If 10 years have lapsed since the date of the conviction for that crime
  • If you haven’t been convicted of any other offence and sentenced to imprisonment, without the option of a fine, during the lapsed 10 years
  • That you haven’t been sentenced to any of the sentences that fall under the following section for people who don’t qualify for expungement

You will not be able to apply for expungement of a criminal record if:

  • You were convicted of any sexual offense against a person who is mentally disabled or where you were found unsuitable to work with children, or if you were convicted of a sexual offence against a child.
  • Your name is included in the National Register for Sex Offenders or the National Child Protection Register. You may, however, apply if your name has been removed from both of these registers.

Contact Doc Assist for the bottom line about police clearance certificates!

If you’d like to know more about what a police clearance certificate is used for, and how to apply for one, email the professionals who know the ins and outs of this process completely, and who make it easier for you to understand all that it entails!

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