Last Updated on January 15, 2018 by Ope Quadri
In this guide, I’ll show you how to get a police clearance certificate in Nigeria and from abroad. I’ll also tell you from experience the cost of police character form in Nigeria.
Not just that, I’ll tell you the different names police clearance form is called by different countries across the World.
Don’t worry, I’ve also compiled some of the reasons your application for police clearance form may be rejected and what you can do to avoid being rejected.
As part of your visa application to Canada, USA, Australia, and other countries (as a student, or skilled worker), you will be required to obtain Police Clearance Certificate in Nigeria before you’re allowed entry into another country.
What is a Police Clearance Certificate?
Police clearance 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 a criminal record or not so that such a person doesn’t become a security threat to the host country.
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.
Different names police clearance form is called
- 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)
Whatever the name it is called, check out our list of police clearance certificate rejection reasons
Importance of Police Clearance Certificate
1) You may want to ask, “Why do I need to obtain police clearance certificate?” Most often, this clearance is needed by those who want to change country of residence.
2) 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.
3) You will need police character certificate if you are invited by the Canadian Immigration office to complete your application for a temporary or permanent residence (as a worker).
4) 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.
5) Even as a tourist to another country, you will need police character cert. to show that you don’t have an 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 a police clearance certificate?
The scope varies, depending on each country’s legislation, applicants may be required to submit police certificates of countries which they have stayed beyond some certain periods
- Nigeria: A foreigner who has live in Nigeria for more than 30 days
- Australia: For citizenship applications, countries where applicants have resided for 3 months or more if the applicants have been outside Australia for more than 12 months since acquiring permanent residency; for visa applications, countries where applicants have resided for 12 months or more.
- Canada: Countries where applicants have resided for 6 months or more.
- Ecuador: Country where applicants have principally resided during the last 5 years.
- New Zealand: Countries where applicants have resided for 12 months or more.
- United States: Countries where applicants have resided for 6 months or more.
Getting this police clearance certificate in your country 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.
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 application will not be late when it is needed.
You can get your police clearance certificate 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
But note your application may be rejected due to some reasons, CHECK THEM OUT HERE
How to get Police Clearance Certificate in Nigeria (Applying in person at NPF Alagbon, Lagos)
Before you begin the application process, we urge you to get an idea of how much it cost to get police clearance certificate in Nigeria.Nigerian police haven’t been specific about the actual amount of the report though.
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).
Step 1: 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.
Step 2: 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.
Step 3: 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 for Police Clearance Certificate in Nigeria 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.
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 Police Clearance Certificate Abroad
Application for police clearance character form isn’t restricted to those who are based in Nigeria, those who reside in any part of the world can also submit their application for the clearance form.
Two methods for applying for police clearance from abraod
- Through Nigeria’s embassy
- Using a Third-party service
Through the Nigerian Embassy (e.g in Canada)
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.
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)
- 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
- An international money order payable to the Nigerian Police Force, CID.
Send the above details to the Commissioner of Police email@example.com
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.
Apply for Police Clearance Form Using Third-Party service (e.g gateway.ng)
- Name (full name as on passport):
- Place of Birth:
- Year of Birth:
- Passport data page:
- Passport photo:
- Reason for enquiry:
- Fingerprint in corresponding boxes
NOTE: 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.
Follow the steps below to get your police character certificate in Nigeria:
- Step 1: Visit the official website of gateway.ng at https://www.gateway.ng/ and register for an account
- Step 2: Download the application form
- Step 3: Complete the form
- Step 4: Ccan each of the page separately (and must be in PDF format), and a copy of your passport data page.
- Step 5: Click “Apply Now” to proceed with the application, and pay the service fee.
- Step 6: Send your scanned and completed form.
You will still need to certify this cert. upon arrival at the Nigerian embassy or consulate in your host country.
We hope our guide on how to obtain a Police Clearance Certificate in Nigeria is helpful. If you have any question please do let us know.
Cost of Police Clearance Certificate in Nigeria And Its Expiry Date
Cost of Police clearance certificate in Nigeria varies. But we have compiled a list of likely amount you are charged by Nigeria Police, who is silent about the specific cost.
In one of our posts on how to get police character clearance certificate in Nigeria, we told you that it’s one of the most important documents you need for you to enter another country, we’ll tell you its actual cost and expiry date.
But first…there are some reasons why your application may be denied,CHECK THEM OUT HERE
We shall use Questions and Answers approach to address issues surrounding Police Clearance Certificate in Nigeria
What’s the cost of the police clearance report at Alagbon?
In Nigeria, police have refused to tell us official price of this clearance, when we visited the facebook page of Nigerian Police where it publishes a guide on how to obtain it, the article was silent on the cost. Several cost inquiries sent to the page were ignored.
Cost of police clearance form in Nigeria varies as follows:
- N3, 500 (If you’re close to police authority)
- N8, 500 (If you’re referred by a junior police officer)
- N10, 000 (If you’re a complete “stranger” )
- N15, 000 (If you are using an intermediary)
- N20, 000-N30, 000 (If you look too foreign and rich)
So far Cost of Police Clearance Certificate, according to report we received from those who have done it gave us this price:N3,500, N5,000, N8,500 and we have also seen people got it for more than N10, 000.
We’ve heard stories of those who claimed that they spent almost N30,000 to get theirs.
However, passing through an intermediary at the Nigerian Police Command in your state or at the CID Registry Office, Alagbon, Lagos, could make you pay more.
Also, your status could be a determinant for the cost of police clearance certificate; you could be charged more when the officer in charge knows you have the financial strength.
If you flaunt your wealth then you could be asked to pay N30, 000 or more at the issuing office.
Bottom line: Cost of police clearance certificate in Nigeria isn’t known, but it ranges between N3,500 to N10,000. You may have to negotiate to get the best price. You may even pay more.
How long does it take to get police clearance in Nigeria?
If you are applying at the Criminal registry office in Lagos, you can get it within a day, depending on the number of application on the ground, and the time you get there.
If you are applying from your state command, you may have to wait between 5-7days because it will still be passed to the Criminal registry office in Lagos.
How long does it take to receive police clearance certificate abroad?
If you are applying by yourself or through a third party, it could take between 14 to 21 days for you to get it.
Where can I download police certificate form?
If you are in Nigeria, you can register for an account on the NPF character clearance application portal, get an application ID, scan an upload your international passport data page, and download the form right away.
If you are applying through a third-party service, go to gateway.ng portal, and download it.
Do I have to travel to Criminal Registry in Lagos to get it?
No. It has been simplified. You can apply after downloading the form on npf dedicated portal for character cert. and take to your state police command.
But if you need it urgently, you can travel to Lagos State (see the direction to the criminal registry office, Alagbon, Lagos).
When will I be asked to provide my police clearance certificate?
It is needed to gain entry into another country, particularly if you are an immigration applicant you will have to provide it to show that you don’t have any criminal record back in your country. No country will allow its country to be a safe haven for criminals.
If you have also lived in another country for more than 30 days, you will have to provide your police check certificate.
What is the expiry date of police clearance certificate?
For Canadian Immigration application, you are advised to start the processing if you have been added to the pool of applicants.
This is to make sure you meet up when you are finally directed to apply if you are entering through International Experience Canada or through Express Entry option.
Period of validity of police certificate varies from country to country, depending on each country’s law
It is very rare to find the expiry date on the certificate, and criteria for recognizing the validity of certificates vary widely.
See the period of validity of character certificate in some countries:
- Nigeria: It lasts for three months in Nigeria (90 days)
- Australia: In Australia, police certificate is valid for 12 months from date of issuance (365 days)
- Ecuador: Ecuador authority recognises police certificate for three months just like Nigeria (as of 2 March 2012).
Can police clearance certificate be done by proxy?
It can’t be done by proxy. Another person can not use his fingerprint to apply on your behalf.
Even by using the third-party service, you will still have to take your own fingerprint (clearly taken), scan and forward it, which will be analysed by forensic expert back here in Nigeria.
Is police clearance certificate transferable?
It is not. You can not use police cert. used by your brother, relative or friend. You must obtain your own. Beside, no two human beings have the same fingerprints, even twins doesn’t.
Remember there are three available means to apply for Police clearance certificate in Nigeria>>>CHECK THEM HERE UNDER OUR GUIDE
Our final thought:
The fingerprint on the certificate MUST be yours, avoid proxy.
7 Reasons Your Police Clearance Certificate Application May Be Rejected
There are several reasons your application for police clearance certificate may be rejected at the point of application in Nigeria and elsewhere around the World.
In this post, we’ll tell you some of the reasons.
In our earliest posts, we elaborately outlined the guide on how to apply and get police character certificate in Nigeria.
While in another guide we collated the list of the cost of the certificate, also known as clearance check, that post is based on the feedback from those who had applied and got theirs.
Police Clearance rejection reasons in Nigeria are:
1) If you are found to have escaped immigration detention in another country.
2) If you are a drug trafficker, your application may be rejected. Even in a situation whereby you found your way out of Nigeria, the host country may dig into your past, and if you are found to have involved yourself in hard drug, you may be prosecuted.
3) Another police clearance rejection reason is: If you are not of good character. Definition of good character may be different in your host country.
We have seen Nigerians who were deported from another country because the host country do not see them as being of good character.
4) If you escaped justice in another country, you may not be allowed into another country.
If you found your way in and you are caught you will be deported to the country where the offence was committed or you are sent back to your country to face prosecution.
5) Your police clearance certificate may be rejected if there are conflicts between your data on police portal and what you tendered at the certificate processing unit.
6) Another police clearance rejection reason is: If you belong to an association or group that has been outlawed in your country.
We’ve heard about Nigerians who used faked documents to travel out of Nigeria particularly to Italy.
7)Finally, your police clearance 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.”