Saturday, July 14, 2012

Procedure for Police Clearance in Saudi Arabia

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.

13 comments:

Syed Ahmed said...

Thanks, Expatguru for the info.

Anonymous said...

Excellent piece of information in such simple words as always.

Anonymous said...

Dear expatGuru,

Can you please confirm Police clearance certificate needed only for immigration purose or Visit/Business visa also needs PCC?

with thanks

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

For the moment they are insisting only on those who want to immigrate. Again, there is some confusion because for certain nationalities, like Filipinos, it is mandatory irrespective of the type of visa. But I will strongly advise you to take it if you are leaving on exit, because who knows when the rules will change!

Anonymous said...

hi

This is emran. i am intended to come KSA for job. so i am applying for jobs in saudia arabia from 4 years online but not yet received a job call. Now decided to buy a visa. i got very very good information for visa categories from this blog.As i have to buy a visa i have needed to know the list of supervisory visa`s as my education is MBA Finance so that it would be easy for me to bring my family aswell after some time. please suggest me or write me some name of supervisory/professional visa`s that are easily available.
regards
M Emran

Expatguru said...

Emran,

Please fill in your query in the form using the link in the top right corner of this blog. I charge a nominal fee for my consultancy, which would get you a detailed, personalized and confidential reply by email.

Anonymous said...

excellent informative post regarding police clearance. i got information which i could not get from even the police top brass in saudi arabia.

ryan said...

Very Informative article..no other page on internet is explaining like this.. great job.
Only I have one question, from where should we get the Letter of Endorsement from My embassy(India) or where I am planning to go(Kuwait).
Please reply as it is urgent

Anonymous said...

Dear ExpatGuru

I am a Filipino who worked in KSA 2006-2013, I am now in Trinidad & Tobago and applying for a work permit, however, the application must be supported by a PCC, how can I get a PCC from Trinidad?

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Please fill in your query in the form using the link in the top right corner of this blog. I charge a nominal fee for my consultancy, which would get you a detailed, personalized and confidential reply by email.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I have applied for the local pcc and got the letter from embassy. Could you please explain me how long it takes to get saudi PCC from the date of submission to saudi police.

Anonymous said...

Assalamulaikom sir, hope u r treating well. I am a banglaseshi national, willing to apply for australian study permit. Coild u plz tell me if I apply from my home country..do I need a saudi arabian police clearance certificate. Thanks in advance. My e id is nazmul.accor@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

I am a Filipino working before in Jeddah KSA for 8 years,, and transfer to Canada for 4years.. Im applying for my permanent residency but immigration Canada ask for my PCC in Saudi .. Just wanna ask how can i get it?.. Im planning to go vacation to phil. In order to get this PCC how to start ? And where i Go?..pls. Guide me and let me what to do ..thank your for your help God Bless...