A lot of readers working in Saudi Arabia have been asking me about the procedure for obtaining police clearance, so I decided to write a separate post on the same.
Before I begin, let me explain who really requires a police clearance and who doesn't. Readers might recall my earlier post giving the final exit procedure (click here). As long as you are within the kingdom, you do not need this certificate. But if you are leaving Saudi Arabia on final exit and plan to migrate anywhere in Europe, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, you will definitely need this. If you have no such plans, don't even bother to waste your time and money on this. Why is it that specifically only these countries require this certificate? It is because, it is one of the requirements for entry / residence in these places.
Again, the procedure is different if you want police clearance while you are still in the kingdom and if you apply for one after you leave. If you are still within Saudi Arabia, the procedure is easier.
The first step is to apply for a Letter of Endorsement to your embassy. All embassies have standard forms for this. Fill in the form, pay the fees along with copies of your iqama and passport and submit to your embassy. Again, the time for processing this depends on your embassy. For example, in case of Indian embassy, if your current passport was issued within the last one year, it takes a few weeks as they have to verify with the previous passport issuing authority.
Once you receive this letter, you will have to attach copies of your current passport and iqama along with a form available in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Always do this with the PRO of your company. You will have to pay SR100 as fees. If you try to approach MOFA yourself, in all likelihood you may not be entertained.
Once you receive the endorsement from MOFA, the entire set of documents have to be submitted to the police for their clearance. Again, do all this with the help of your Saudi PRO. That's it. Of course I presume that you have by now completed your finger printing otherwise you will have to go personally to the Criminal Investigation Department along with your PRO and give your finger prints.
The procedure for obtaining police clearance once you leave Saudi Arabia is a bit more complicated, time consuming and expensive. What is not complicated in the kingdom, I am talking about relative terms!
A new procedure has come into effect from 3rd November, 2010 (Circular # 94/70/19/373270 issued by Ministry of Foreign Affairs). First of all, you will have to do all of this through your friends / relatives / contacts in the kingdom. Of course, this is a pain, but there is no other choice. You will have to write a letter to your embassy stating that you require a PCC and that you are authorizing your friend in the kingdom to collect it on your behalf. You must attach two recent color photographs, copies of your iqama and passport while you were in the kingdom and the relevant fees. Approach the Saudi embassy in your country and obtain the police clearance certificate form. Fill this in. Next, go to the state police where you currently reside and obtain the finger printing card from them. You must then translate the contents of this card into Arabic and get it attested by the Saudi embassy in your country.
Wait, you are still not done yet. Approach your former employer and get a certificate of employment or a No objection certificate or a release letter (Photocopy of any one of these three is acceptable). But this letter must be in Arabic (of course!). Attach two recent color photographs along with copies of your iqama while you were in the kingdom and also the passorts used while you were in the kingdom. In case you used multiple passports (i.e., if your passport had expired and you obtained a new passport while you were in Saudi Arabia), you must necessarily attach photocopies of all your passports with all the pages where there was an exit / reentry visa issued. So, if you were in the kingdom for say, 10 years, and you made 20 trips outside the kingdom during this period, photocopies of all the 20 exit/reentry visas must be attached. I would advise you to take photocopies of the whole passport.
The rest of the procedure is the same, i.e., applying to your country's embassy in the kingdom for endorsement, followed by endorsement from MOFA and then finally from the police.
My earlier post (click here) did not cover this important piece of information, because it was not mandatory. However, I would strongly urge all expatriates planning for final exit to get this certificate before leaving because you never know when you would need it. Currently, only certain western countries require this, but who knows if this gets extended to other countries in future.
Hope you found this post useful.