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:
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:
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:
- 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:
- 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
- A jpg version as of Nov 2016 is here:
- 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…)
- 1). “Application For Criminal Records” (범죄 수사경력 조회 신청서)
- 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”.
- 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.
- Your friend sends it back to you by mail. Finally a police certificate, acceptable for CIC, looks like following:
Any questions, leave me a comments below. First article of my newly started blog, hope it helps 🙂
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：
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。
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。