Many Saffas abroad require a South African Police Clearance Certificate for many different reasons. Some of the reasons are to apply for visas, residency, employment or other immigration-related reasons.
Obtaining a clearance certificate from abroad can be quite a struggle if you are not equipped with the right information, knowledge and tools.
In this article, we will cover some of the most important and most asked questions regarding the process of obtaining a SAPS PCC.
Let's jump right in:
A Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) is an official document issued by the Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management Centre (CR & CSMC) stating whether any criminal convictions have been recorded against an individual.
The issuing of a Police Clearance Certificate is the sole responsibility of the Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management Centre in Pretoria but can be facilitated by a procurement company.
Any South African citizen can apply for a clearance certificate. However, this service is mostly available to people who require confirmation of their criminal status for emigration, travel or employment purposes abroad.
In order to apply for a PCC from abroad, the applicant must submit the following:
- A full set of their fingerprints on an official SAPS Form 91(a) or the official fingerprint enquiry form used in the country where you are applying from.
- A completed SAPS Application form.
- A certified copy of their ID or Passport.
- A certified copy of their marriage certificate, if they are married and should their maiden name be required on their clearance certificate.
The usual turnaround time used to be approximately three weeks, from the date of submission at the Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management Centre. This timeline, however, changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic raging in South Africa. Due to the pandemic, the Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management Centre closed virtually every week since the third week of December 2020. They close at least twice every week for covid-19 decontamination procedures. This creates a delay in the processing of clearance certificate applications. The current turnaround time is approximately 4 to 5 weeks, from the date of submission. At times, this delay can be even longer than 4 to 5 weeks.
There are certain scenarios where applicants require their PCC faster than usual. In such instances, applicants are welcomed to submit an application to expedite their clearance certificate application. The applicant will, however, have to submit a valid written motivation along with proof for their request to expedite their application.
The cost to obtain a South African Police Clearance Certificate from abroad includes the mandatory and non-refundable ZAR150 SAPS application fee. The next cost to consider is the inbound and outbound courier fees which can amount to as much as ZAR1500 both ways, depending on where you are in the world. If you are using the services of a PCC procurement company, the fee can range anywhere from ZAR450 up to ZAR1500 per application depending on the company you use. The total cost can add up to approximately ZAR2350. *This figure is merely an estimate and proper due diligence must be done before you select a service provider.
In the instance where your clearance certificate indicates that there is a criminal record recorded against your name, you have the option of getting your criminal record cleared. However, there are certain requirements which will determine if your record can or cannot be cleared. Have a look at our Criminal Record Expungements page for full details regarding this process.
Your clearance certificate might have been lost in transit or you may have misplaced it and now you need it. In this instance, you are able to apply for a reprint of your PCC, if your certificate was issued no longer than six months ago. If it has been longer than six months since your certificate was issued, you will have to submit a new application.
The Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management Centre (CR & CSMC) accepts no electronic applications. The original application has to be submitted directly to The Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management Centre (CR & CSMC). A company like DACRO Personal Case Consultants (DPCC) facilitates the entire client relation process via their website and email communication so that you never have to leave the comfort of your own home. They submit your application, follow up, and collect your finalised Police Clearance Certificate on your behalf and courier it back to you, anywhere in the world.
South African citizens who require their South African Police Clearance Certificates while they are outside The Republic of South Africa have the option of using a procurement company to apply, follow up and collect on their behalf. These companies specialise in PCC procurement and provide you with all the requirements, information and updates of your application.
DACRO Personal Case Consultants (DPCC) is a very good example of a PCC procurement company which has a very successful track record of assisting South African expats all over the world in obtaining their Police Clearance Certificates. They are cost-effective, reliable and keep you up to date on every step of the process.
For more information or to experience our friendly assistance, contact us on +27(0)73 727 7121 or email us at email@example.com.