Korea Police Certificate: a Step-by-step Guide 韩国无犯罪证明

(12.05更新:中文版在文章后面,谢谢!)

For many who had previously lived in Korea (yes, by “Korea” I mean “South”) and are applying for visa/immigration to countries such as Canada or U.S., it might be required for applicants to present a “police certificate” or a “background check” to prove they didn’t commit crimes while in Korea. Nonetheless, obtaining a police certificate may not turn out to be as easy as it seems. Especially the procedure can be confusing for people who’s not a Korean citizen and who’s living outside Korea. As someone who’s in that category and who personally went through the entire draining process, I could share with you my experience to save you time. This article will tackle Canadian immigration (CIC)’s requirements:

How to obtain a police certificate – South Korea

It asks for a Criminal (Investigation) Records Check Reply (범죄· 수사경력 회보서) from a Korean National Police station. Specially, police certificate must indicate that all records have been searched, including any lapsed records (실효된 형 포함).

To obtain such certificate, CIC suggests you to find a representative (family or friend) in Korea who visits 1). police station and 2). immigration office on your behalf. And to quote, “If you do not have anyone in South Korea…, then you may apply at your nearest South Korean Embassy or Consulate.”

However, despite CIC’s saying that you may apply at a Korean consulate, what happens is many consulates by regulation cannot issue a Criminal + Investigation + Lapsed Record reply as required by CIC. This is confirmed by my personal experience and a lot of cases from Canadavisa forum (thanks to which I learned a lot!). I’m uncertain as to if not a single Korean consulate/embassy is able to do that, but I believe they should obey the same line of rules. On the other hand, the Korean consulate can actually issue a “Background Check (Criminal Records) Cerfiticate” instead, in my case this certificate took them 7 days to process and does NOT include investigation record or lapsed record. There were applicants who mistakenly submitted that to CIC and got rejected or even had their invitation-to-apply (ITA) canceled! To show you the WRONG certificate you may get from the consulate here:

korea-consulate-2

Again, the above document is NOT the one you should get to apply to CIC as a permanent resident.

Here is what you should do instead:

  1. Download relevant forms and complete them. You will need:
    • 1). “Application For Criminal Records” (범죄 수사경력 조회 신청서)
      • Download link: 범죄경력조회서류
      • The file is in the format of .hwp, and can officially be opened by a software called “Hangul” or “Hangul viewer” (did I accidentally remind you of the evil?). An easier way to view this is to download the file in .hwp, and then register a free account at netffice24, from there you can upload .hwp and download each page as jpg format for printing.
      • I know it’s a lot of trouble, so I put the file’s picture here. But be aware to check to see if they have any update since Nov 2016:pc_3
      • Be careful: in the “Scope of Reference”(조회목적) category, be sure to check “For confirmation of investigation card materials”(수사자료표 내용 확인용) and “Including lapsed of criminal sentences”(실효된 형 등 포함). Be sure NOT to check “For permission of foreign country immigration and stay”(외국 입국체류 허가용), even if you are applying for immigration, because that’s only for Korean nationals: I learned about this by calling the police station in Korea!
      • In the “Method”(회보방법) category, check “English Check Reply”(영문 회보서).
    • 2). “위임장” (Power of attorney)
        • Download link same as “Application For Criminal Records”: 범죄경력조회서류
        • (2017.12.31 Update, try this link if the original one doesn’t work: https://imgur.com/a/6HdDj)
        • A jpg version as of Nov 2016 is here:pc_4
        • Unfortunately this form is only in Korean. For those who have a hard time understanding it, you can Google translate, ask your Korean friends for help, start to learn Korean, or leave a comment below and I will try to help you.
        • Warning: This form has to be filled by you and signature be original, which means you can’t fax it to your friend nor has him/her print out from a file. Better send it by mail.
        • Important Notice: if you can access Korean consulate in your city, you can fill the above two forms and get the consulate to validate them. With the validation from a Korean consulate, your friend in Korea do NOT need to make another trip to the immigration office because the validation proves that you, the applicant, is currently outside Korea. CIC asks your friend to visit immigration office in order to retrieve your entry record to prove that. Now that’s taken care of.
        • If there isn’t a Korean consulate around you, then your representative in Korea will need to visit immigration office to get “Certificate of Entry/Departure Record” (출입구사실증명서). In this case you need to send your representative copy of your passport (page with your photo), and you need to fill an application form with a power of attorney downloaded from hikorea website. Relevant info is here: Certificate of Immigration. (the hikorea website is, unfortunately, notoriously designed only for IE/Windows. Chrome will report “This site may harm your computer”, dahhh…)
        • (2017.12.31 Update, try this link if the original one doesn’t work: https://www.hikorea.go.kr/pt/InfoDetailR_en.pt?catSeq=511&categoryId=2&parentId=412&showMenuId=406)
  2. Mail the filled and signed 1). and 2). form (preferably with validations from a Korean consulate) to your friend in Korea, together with a copy of your passport. Photos are NOT needed. For any inquiry, you can call +82 (02)-700-4104 (only in Korean). If you don’t have validation from a Korean consulate, you would also need to mail your friend documents for “Certificate of Entry/Departure Record”.
  3. Your friend will visit any police station in Korea with his/her Korean ID. The application is free and the “Criminal (Investigation) Records Check Reply” with Lapsed Record will be issued instantly!! (comparatively, I wanna say “Come on FBI…”). As a side note, if you don’t have validations on your forms, then your friend has to visit immigration office to get “Certificate of Entry/Departure Record” (cost 2,000KRW as of now) prior to his/her visit to the police station.
  4. Your friend sends it back to you by mail. Finally a police certificate, acceptable for CIC, looks like following:

criminal-records-check-reply

Any questions, leave me a comments below. First article of my newly started blog, hope it helps 🙂

中文版:

简单地说,关于加拿大移民局要求的韩国无犯罪证明,如果本人不是韩国国籍且不在韩国的话,需要在韩国找一个朋友或亲戚作为你的代表。虽然国内的韩国领事馆说是可以申请,但是去那里申请到的不是加拿大移民局要求的证明。这个使馆办的证明不包含过往犯罪记录(laspesd records)以及调查记录(investigation records)。目前使馆没有权限去办理移民局要求的无犯罪证明,所以只能在韩国当地找人帮忙去警察局办理。使馆办理出来的文件样式如下:

korea-consulate-2

注意,上面这个文件是不被移民局接受的。但是,去一趟韩国领事馆还是有用的,因为他们可以帮忙确认你的委任书以及申请表(这两份文件是给韩国警察局那边申请需要的),在上面盖领事馆的章子,这样你的韩国朋友就不用多跑一趟出入境管理处了。有了领事馆的确认,你的韩国朋友只需要去警察局就可以办理,而且当时就能拿到结果。如果你居住的城市没有韩国领事馆或使馆,那么你的韩国朋友需要先去一趟出入境管理处,申请一个你的出入境记录证明(详细请见Certificate of Immigration,这个网站有中文版所以我就不在这里赘述了),然后拿着这个证明再去警察局办理无犯罪。这样做的原因是向警察局证明你本人目前不在韩国,所以必须由一个代表帮你办理。

韩国警察局申请需要的文件可以从它们的网站下载 (链接:범죄경력조회서류),考虑到文件类型是hwp,需要一个叫做hangul的软件来打开,或者去netffice24注册一个帐号然后可以上传并查看hwp文件。所以如果你不能打开那个文件,可以直接打印我在这里放的文件的图像版本。(注意,这里的文件我在2016年11月下载的,之后如果有更新请自行查看官网)

填写好这两个表格然后领事馆确认之后,连同你的护照复印件(有照片那页就行)一起寄往你的韩国朋友处,照片是不需要的。然后你的朋友拿着自己的韩国身份证或登陆证去警察局办理就行了,这个办理是免费的:)

申请表:

pc_3

注意:申请表上Scope of Reference栏要选For confirmation of investigation card materials以及including lapsed of criminal sentences. 请不要选For permission of foreign country immigration and stay,即使你申请的是移民,因为这一项是给韩国公民用的!(本人有打电话过去确认)。在Method一栏请选English Check Reply。

委任书:

pc_4

注意:委任书上本人的签名必须是原始的,所以不建议用email或传真发去韩国朋友处,建议用快递寄过去。

最终办理结果:

criminal-records-check-reply

About taffytoffy

Stay hungry, stay stupid
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487 Responses to Korea Police Certificate: a Step-by-step Guide 韩国无犯罪证明

  1. Anonymous says:

    Can Anyone explain if these two documents are the same:

    1) Criminal Records, including lapsed criminal sentences
    2) All Investigation Records

    I see everyone talking mainly about number 1 with lapsed record and no one mentioning all investigation records.

    Does anyone know where to get number 2 from?

    Like

  2. Russell says:

    Hello Taffy,
    As I am in the US at the moment, should I use my present US mailing address, the address I used to reside when I was in Korea, or my friend’s present mailing address on the “Application For Criminal Records” form (범죄 수사경력 조회 신청서? For phone also, should I use my friend’s or my present number?
    Thanks

    Like

  3. Kunal Mahajan says:

    Hello
    Is the process the same even in 2020?
    or do we have an easier way to do it?

    Like

    • xayec says:

      The process is largely the same. One point that can be easier is that you can get in touch with the local Korean consulate and get the forms from them. They even had an English version of the power of attorney form for me. Not having to navigate the HiKorea site is definitely a bonus.

      Like

  4. nimmysam says:

    Hi, could you please help provide a link to the forms for entry and exit application? It looks like HiKorea updated their pages again 😦

    Like

  5. Kunal Mahajan says:

    How does one get Validation from the Korean Consulate?

    Like

  6. Meubel Hemel says:

    Hi Everyone. I just did the whole process in August 2020 and I can help you. Email me at meubelhemel@gmail.com

    Like

  7. dhsyq says:

    Does anyone know anything about the part that says ‘This reply can be used for personal verification purposes only’? After getting the certificate, my friend in Korea said they got a call from the police threatening a fine!

    Like

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for your great effort

    Like

  9. Khurram says:

    The address and the phone on the PCC application should the one I lived and used in Korea or it should be my current address and phone number from outside Korea.

    Like

  10. ryan says:

    January 2021 update here.
    I got my certificate including lapsed of criminal sentences done with no hassle. (I am in korea)
    Thank you so much for this post and the super helpful comment section.

    I filled the form like the blog stated. Took my passport photograph and copy of ARC and passport.
    I went to Seoul Jungbu Police Station in 27 Supyo-ro, Euljiro-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul. Its right near Myeongdong.

    I went to the station and gave my documents and they gave me the certificate within 5 minutes. They did mention that I shouldnt be using it for any visa activities as its against the law. So I just said okay. Aaaaaand doneee!

    I wanna thank the person who mentioned Jungbu police station earlier in the comments. Totally worked. I was so stressed about this. Good luck to you all!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yamyam says:

      Hi, did you just fill up the forms from this website? Or is there a latest version?

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      I already return the ARC when i back my country,so if i can’t provide copy of ARC that meaning I can’t apply the certificate?

      Like

    • liu says:

      I already return the ARC when i back my country,so if i can’t provide copy of ARC that meaning I can’t apply the certificate?

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Ryan! Thanks for sharing your experience. I live in Gwangju, Jeollanamdo and I plan to visit the police station tomorrow. Did you just use the application from in the link? I downloaded the file and printed that page. We don’t need the Power of Attorney, right? Honestly, I already got the wrong certificate from the closest Gu office in my city. So tomorrow, I will try to go to another one and pretend that I’m getting the certificate for personal use only. I hope it works, otherwise I will have to go to Jungbu in Seoul.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Aman says:

      Hi can u plz send me ur detail i want to know how and from where u get. I need it urgently plz.

      Like

  11. Anonymous says:

    I’m a foreigner living in Gwangju, South Korea. Do I need the Power of Attorney even if I can go to the police station myself? does it mean I only need the application form? Can any police station issue this certificate with lapse records?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you’ll also need your passport and ARC(외국인등록증)
      but I already return the ARC when i back my country,so could u help me to ask policeman if i can’t provide copy of ARC that meaning I can’t apply the certificate?thanks

      Like

    • liu says:

      I think you’ll also need your passport and ARC(외국인등록증)
      but I already return the ARC when i back my country,so could u help me to ask policeman if i can’t provide copy of ARC that meaning I can’t apply the certificate?thanks

      Like

  12. Very helpful content. As for my experience, the officers asked me to fill a different application form and they helped me out. The application form might change according to the police station and my certificate was ready to collect in less than 1 week (they gave me a phone call to come and collect the next day). Thank you for sharing this valuable information. I happily recommend this content. A very helpful comments section too.

    Like

  13. orlaodonnell says:

    This proved extremely helpful for navigating to process of getting this document. It has been requested from by by immigration Canada for my permanent residency application.

    However I’ve tried to follow this process twice now (the first time was 2 years ago, the second time was last week) and the request to provide a copy of the document has been deadlines both time when a friend when to the police station in Korea on my behalf. Both times the friend was told it is not possible to issue a hard copy , the document may only be viewed on screen at the police station. The Korean consulate general here in Canada has also provided written confirmation of the same. But I find it hard to believe immigration Canada would request a document which is impossible to get, and it seems like many other people have gotten it. Has anyone had the same issue as me ? Any solutions ?

    Like

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