As part of your visa application to Canada, USA, Australia, and other countries (as a student, or skilled worker), you will be required to provide a Police criminal record check. This is the detailed guide on where and how to get police character certificate within and outside Nigeria.
What is police (clearance) certificate?
Police certificate (in Nigeria) is an official document issued by the (Nigeria) Police as a background check on those who are immigrating to another country. Police character clearance is done to check whether an applicant has criminal record.
This document is to guaranty the host country that you are not wanted by law in the country you are coming from. Simply put, police certificate is document is to show the country you are immigrating to that you are of good character, who maintains a clean slate.
Other names of Police Certificate
The certificate is known by different names across the world, though it’s generally known as Police certificate (Canada), other names include:
- Police Clearance Certificate (Nigeria)
- Police extracts
- Good citizen certificate (Hong Kong)
- Good conduct certificate or Certificate of Good Conduct(Nigeria)
- National Police History Check (Australia)
- Criminal Record Check
- Judicial Record Extracts (UK, Australia)
- NPF Character Clearance (Nigeria)
Importance (Significance) of Police Certificate
You may want to ask, “Why do I need to obtain police certificate?” Most often, this clearance is needed by those who want to change country of residence. In some instances, you may be mandated to get police clearance certificate if you want to occupy a sensitive position in Nigeria, though simply called police attestation.
You will need police certificate if you are invited by the Canadian Immigration office to complete your application for a temporary or permanent residence (as a worker).
You will also need to upload a Police character certificate if you are to proceed on a post graduate programme in UAE, UK, Canada, Russia or any foreign institutions.
Even as a tourist to another country, you will need police cert. to show that you don’t have outstanding criminal record back home, and ensure that you won’t be a threat to your host country.
An employer may also request you provide a police clearance report before you are fully employed.
Who is eligible for police clearance certificate?
- Nigerian citizen
- Nigerian residents who want to relocate to another country
- A foreigner who has live in Nigeria for more than 30 days
Getting this clearance means that you are some steps closer to migrating to another country, here are the requirements you will need to present at application and collection locations (in Nigeria):
- Valid international passport
- Two passport-size photographs
- Application fees: minimum of (N3,500-N8, 000) it varies.
“Police certificates can be certified at your nearest Nigerian embassy or consulate for a fee,” Canadian Immigration says.
Note that Canada’s Immigration Office doesn’t accept police certificates sent by mail for Express Entry applications.
Nigeria’s Police Certificate Application Procedure and Guide
If you have been added to the pool of International Experience Canada (IEC) or through Express Entry (which has been considered the simplest way to relocate to Canada), then you might need to start processing the required document-police certificate-so that your applicant will not be late when it is needed.
You can get your police clearance report using any of these three major methods:
- Applying in person at the force CID, Police Criminal Registry, Alagbon, Lagos State (getting it from Nigeria).
- Applying from your state through Nigeria Police Force website
- Applying from outside Nigeria through a third party service
How to get Character Certificate from Nigeria (Applying in person at NPF Alagbon, Lagos)
If you are in Nigeria, you can apply in person at the Central Criminal Registry in Lagos, the address is as follows:
Central Criminal Registry Force C.I.D. Annex
Alagbon Close Ikoyi
Use the above address if you’re in Lagos. You can also apply in other 36 Nigerian police state command offices (we will show you how to go about it in the second application option).
Direction to Criminal registry Office, Alagbon, Lagos:
If you are within Lagos, board a commercial bus going to Obalende, from there ask for further direction, it is not far from Obalende motor park. If it were when Okara were operating within that area, you could easily pick a bike to drop you at Central Criminal Registry Force C.I.D., Ikoyi.
If you are coming from other states like Oyo, you can get Obalende bus at Berger bus stop (you don’t even need to stress yourself coming to Lagos again).
At the criminal registry office, Alagbon, Lagos, or other state command headquarters, tell the officer in charge you want to get “Police Character Clearance certificate” you will be directed to the appropriate office.
Pay the charge fee, and collect the application form. You can fill with either black or blue pen, and attach your passport photograph.
Note: Ask for guide if you don’t know how to fill it. It could take some hours before your cert. is ready, depending on the number of applicants on ground. Also, it could take some minutes for the forensic officer to analyse and run full check on your fingerprints and details you submitted.
Collect your certificate. That’s all! If you applied at the criminal registry in Lagos, you can get it within a day, but it could take some days if you applied at the state command office or from outside Nigeria (we will tell you why in later part of this guide).
To get it from other state, visit Nigeria Police Command in your state capital (check method 2 below to obtain it from your state).
Applying from your state via NPF website
If you are in Nigeria, another convenient way to get your Certificate of Good Conduct, wherever the state you reside, is by applying on the Nigeria Police official website
Enter the address http://www.npf.gov.ng/character/index.php into your browser.
Note: To get the best user experience, we urge you to use any of the following browsers: Mozilla firefox, explorer, google chrome and other great browsers that can appropriately load application form on your device.
On the home page of the NPF clearance application portal, you will have to register with your first name, last name (surname, which is also known as family name in some countries), your phone number, and a valid e-mail address, and click “Register”
Immediately you clicked on register, an “Application ID” will be generated for you.
By the left handside of the application portal, enter your email address, and the application ID you got from step 3, click “Login”
From there, you will see a welcome message with your name, click “CLICK HERE TO PROCEED” you will be taken to the complete form page with the following required information:
- First Name:
- Middle Name:
- Last Name:
- Phone number:
- Date of birth (dd/mm/yr):
- Marital status:
- Place of birth:
- NIMC Number (National Identity Management Commission):
- Bank Account Number;
- Bank Name:
- Type of Account:
- Your current employer:
- Your current position:
Upload the bio-data page of your International Passport
Print out the information submitted then take the print out to the forensic section in the State Police Command for fingerprint analysis.
If you are in Osun State, visit NPF State Command Headquarters, along Abere (Ife-Ibadan road), Osogbo.
Visit NPF State Command Headquarters, Alagbaka, Akure.
Visit Zone 7 Police Command Headquarters
Collection could take between 5-10 days at the state level, because the information you submitted will still be forwarded to the Criminal registry office, Alagbon, Lagos, which is then forwarded back to your state upon completion. So you’ll have to be patient if you are applying via the state command.
If you are in hurry, go directly to Criminal Registry Office, Lagos, where it could be done within a day, depending on the number of application on ground.
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Provide the above info about you as you have done in your Immigration application, otherwise you could be misrepresenting yourself, which may affect you later.
Please pay special attention to the info you provide and make sure you check and cross-check before you submit any sensitive form.
How to apply for your Police Clearance Certificate abroad through Nigerian embassy (consulate), and through a third party service
This last option is for those who will be applying from their host country (overseas). You have two ways to obtain this if you are in Canada.
Method 1: Through Nigerian embassy (from Canada):
If you are in Canada, you can apply by mail to the Commissioner of Police (Central Criminal Registry Force C.I.D. Annex, Alagbon Close, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria)
You should apply by mail to firstname.lastname@example.org addressed to the Commissioner of Police with the following requirements:
- A pre-paid return courier envelope
- Three photocopies of your international passport bio-data page with necessary visa stamps
- Three copies of a properly filled application form
- A set of fingerprints taken and certified by a recognized police authority or the Nigerian embassy or consulate (See Sample Here)
- An international money order payable to the Nigerian Police Force, CID.
The certificate can be certified at the nearest Nigerian embassy or consulate for a fee
For Canadian Express Entry Immigration application, you will definitely need to provide it if you are Invited to Apply (ITA) for Permanent Residence, which you will need to upload in your Electronic Application for Permanent Residence (e-APR). Police certificate sent by mail for Express Entry applications isn’t accepted by Canadian Immigration Office.
Method 2: Through a third party service
No. 1 method is “do it yourself”, but if you want to use a third party service, then gateway.ng, formerly known as Nigeriacrb.com will be your best option.
Using this service requires fee, which is higher, please ensure you check the fee before applying.
How to apply through gateway.ng website:
- Name (full name as on passport):
- Place of Birth:
- Year of Birth:
- Passport data page:
- Passport photo:
- Reason for enquiry:
Fingerprint in corresponding boxes (See sample of fingerprint here)
Visit the official website of gateway.ng at https://www.gateway.ng/ and register for an account
Download the application form (See format of the form here)
Complete the form
Since you are applying from another country, you will need to scan each of the page separately (and must be in PDF format), and a copy of your passport data page.
Click “Apply Now” to proceed with the application, and pay the service fee.
Send your scanned and completed form.
You will still need to certify this cert. upon arrival at Nigerian embassy or consulate in your host country.
Why your police clearance application may be rejected
- Your application for police certificate may be rejected if you are found to have escaped immigration detention in another country.
- If you belong to an association or group which has been outlawed in your country because such group pose security threat to the country, your application may be rejected.
- If you indulge yourself in drug trafficking (and have been convicted), you are found to have committed genocide, or other war crime-related crimes that violate international law.
- Your application may also be rejected if your past and present indicates that you are not of good character.
- If you are wanted by law having escaped justice in the past, then your application may not be granted.
- Finally, your application may be rejected if “You have been sentenced to 12 months or more in prison, or multiple sentences that add up to more than 12 months in prison.”