What you need to know about Police Clearance Certificates

A Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) is a vital piece of documentation for immigration purposes or for working abroad. This official document is used to prove that you are of sound character, and ensure that you do not have a criminal background.

For South African visa applications where a police clearance certificate is required (any visa longer than 3 months), you should furnish a clearance certificate from any country you have lived in for longer than one year since you turned 18.

If you’re applying from within South Africa, you are required to obtain a police clearance from any police station; and you will need:

  • A full set of fingerprints (preferably taken at the Police Station)

  • A completed fingerprint form including:

    • Full Name

    • Surname

    • Date of Birth

    • Place of Birth

    • Identity Number

    • Identity Document or Passport

    • R114.00 payable to SAPS

If you’d like to apply for your Police Clearance Certificate for South Africa from abroad, you can obtain fingerprints by visiting your local police station, and submit them at your nearest South African embassy. Applications done through a foreign police station will require the following:

  • A full set of fingerprints on the official fingerprint form of the country

  • A completed fingerprint form that is signed by individual who took the prints, and includes the applicant's:

    • Full Name

    • Surname

    • Date of Birth

    • Place of Birth

    • Identity Number

 

A South African police clearance certificate takes approximately four weeks to be processed. On completion, the certificate will be mailed to you by post. Individuals abroad are responsible for their own postage. You can also arrange for the certificate to be collected via courier service at your own expense. The SA police clearance certificate is valid for 6 months from issuance.

Additionally, if you are renewing or changing the status of your visa in South Africa, you are no longer required to apply at the SAPS for a Police Clearance. All VFS centres in South Africa are now offering a biometric police clearance service, which is obligatory and is paid on the day of submission of your application. The VFS fee for the South African Police Clearance is R175 and is payable via debit or credit card only.

Visit SAPS or VFS for more information on police clearance certificates.