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
        • 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…)
  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

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About taffytoffy

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

  1. Anonymous says:

    aaaa

    Like

  2. Anonymous says:

    您好,我现在也在办理韩国的无犯罪,您的博客我看到了,不知您现在是否能够用中文解释一下,有一些地方看的不是很明白。谢谢您。

    Like

  3. Stanley says:

    I’m having this problem now. I am trying to get this but the consulate said that they are not issuing this. I could try this method but i have no one in South Korea to help me 😦

    Like

    • taffytoffy says:

      Hi Stanley, sorry to hear your situation. Not so sure but I heard you might find some representative from a law firm in Seoul that helps you do this, however this could be costly. Otherwise you might consider flying to Korea to do it personally.

      Best,

      Like

      • Singh says:

        Hello taffy,

        If applicant himself fly to korea and visit any local police station with his/her passport, then no validation and no power of attorney is required.

        They can issue the document without any hassle. Am I right ?

        Thanks

        Like

  4. Nk says:

    This is a very helpful guide. Thanks a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. vinayan chandrasekharan says:

    This is so helpful.Is it necessary that the person authorized to do this should be of South Korean Citizen

    Like

    • taffytoffy says:

      In my case my friend is a South Korean Citizen. For foreigners living in Korea, they’d be issued an Alien Registration Number (외국인등록번호), I think on the power of attorney you may ask your foreign friend in Korea to fill that number in. I’m not 100% sure it works but worth a try. Let me know how it goes so it can help others in a similar situation! Thanks

      Like

      • vinayan chandrasekharan says:

        My friend got the certificate by showing her canadian passport.Thank you very much for this information,even my lawyer(corporate lawyer:) ) here was clueless on what needs to be done.

        Like

  6. s_c says:

    Do you know whether I could fly to Korea to ask for the police clearance myself? I used to live in Korea but don’t anymore. But I’m planning to visit Korea anyway so I’m wondering if the police will allow me to apply for a certificate in person. Thanks so much for this blog post. It’s really helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thank you very, very much for posting this and making a resource for people like me!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Moh says:

    Thank you so much for such an informative blog post. I too was in South Korea for a few years and now need this police clearance certificate for PR application in Canada. I just wanted to clarify one thing, did you actually use this certificate for CIC immigration application and did it work out? I ask this because there is some mention of a fine/punishment at the bottom of the document if we use this document for anything other than personal use!! Thanks again.

    Like

  9. Karthikeyan Kaliyappan says:

    This is Karthik and I am going to submit my documents for Canadian PR. While checking my Korean PCC, I noticed that it is for personal use only and it cannot be used for other purposes. If I do, I will be jailed or fined. I am little bit confused about it.

    I came to know through canadiavisa.com that your applied PR with kroean PCC. I would like to ask you that whether I can use my Korean PCC to apply PR or not. My korean PCC is mail to you (tim.joseph.murphy@gmail.com). Kindly check it and let me know the same.
    

    Thanks and Regards,

    Karthik.

    Like

    • taffytoffy says:

      Hi Karthik, I did submit my Korean PCC for Canadian PR and it was ok despite the notes. So don’t worry about it. (Btw I haven’t got your email, instead you can simply compare yours with the pic in this post). Thanks and good luck!

      Like

  10. Anonymous says:

    your post is so helpful. I just got application cancelled from cic due to this matter! I should have had read about this before summit it… thank you again.

    Like

  11. yoey says:

    hi taffytoffy,
    Im wondering that I was in Busan for a few years. Should I go to the same city where I lived or any police station in south korea can issue this certificate to me? Thank you very much.

    Like

    • taffytoffy says:

      I’m not exactly sure but I think the police station share the network so you can try it in Busan. Would you post the result here so it would help more people? Thanks!

      Like

      • yoey says:

        Hi taffytoffy,
        Do I need my old passport which i used when i was in Korea? Is that necessary to get the criminal records check in korea? thanks

        Like

        • taffytoffy says:

          You need to provide a copy of your Alien registration card. I think passport works too but I’m not sure if they need the old one. So better have it prepared. Yes the criminal record has to be issued by police station in Korea, the one issued by oversea consulate doesn’t satisfy CIC’s requirement. See my article above

          Like

    • mfraiman says:

      Not sure if you’ve gotten your answer yet, but my wife also lived in Busan; our friend in Seoul got our police check for us.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Mike_ says:

    How long does it take to get a PCC from South Korea?

    Like

  13. RB says:

    Super helpful comments – I just started the process and without this blog would have messed up for sure.I just have one question:What is meant by Validation by Korean Consulate.What do i ask them to put on my two forms.Here is what is written in the blog
    “if you can access Korean consulate in your city, you can fill the above two forms and get the consulate to validate them”
    Also i stayed in Seoul in blocks of 3 months and never continuously and i also never had a Alien Registration card as it was a C34 visa which is a short term business visa.Do i still need this document.
    Waiting for the reply.
    Thanks

    Like

    • taffytoffy says:

      If you don’t have an Alien Registration card, you need to provide your passport copy. Validation means validating the documents are provided by the applicant himself. A visit to Korean consulate will make things clear. Good luck!

      Like

      • Vrmadrid says:

        Similar question, I actually also visit Korea every other month or so for the past 2 years (each time about 2-3 weeks) so all in all would definitely add up to 6 months. Same situation in that it’s just a tourist visa and hence never applied for Alien Registration Card. I am in Korea right now though, can I simply visit the police station and present passport to obtain the certificate?

        Many thanks in advance!

        Like

        • taffytoffy says:

          Hey Vrmadrid, I think the passport shall work. It’s just how you prove your identity. Since you are in Korea already, why not visit a police station and ask if that works? Thanks. Also if you could post your result so others can see it will be great. Good luck!

          Like

  14. mfraiman says:

    My (American) wife and I just did this step-by-step and it worked perfectly. An ENORMOUS thank you for writing such a comprehensive post on getting the South Korean police check in Canada; nowhere else online—certainly not the government website—was this clear and correct.

    A few things I can add and clarify, in the spirit of compiling accurate anecdotal information about this hazy process:

    The documents DO need to be mailed to Korea, regardless of what the Korean embassy may say. (The dude who validated our papers in Toronto said we could simply email them, which we tried first, and the Korean police office did not accept it.) Just in case anyone was wondering.
    The papers taffytoffy offers in this post are great, but the jpegs are too small to print. I converted those .hwp files to PDFs, but certain elements were cut off and the consulate didn’t accept them. So they’re good as a visual reference but don’t bother printing them from here or filling them out, because…
    You can avoid the .hwp file conversion/print-out crap by simply asking the consulate for the papers—they have them for free. (Again, in Toronto at least.) I recommend having the info ready and knowing what to fill out, as per taffy’s instructions, but getting them / filling them out / validating them all at the consulate on a single trip.
    Any city in Korea should work; we lived in Busan and our friend in Seoul got them for us.

    Thanks again, taffy, and good luck to anyone else going through this! Took us around 12 days all told, hope it goes as fast for anyone else.

    Liked by 1 person

    • taffytoffy says:

      wow, this is a really informative reply. Thank you mfraiman for the update and I’m glad to hear you got the certificate successfully! For the jpeg I think it’s the wordpress itself that compressed the file a little bit. But yea, getting it from the consulate is the safest way! Good luck on everything!

      Like

  15. vicky says:

    你好,我最近也被这个无犯罪给坑了,求了好多人们终于找到人帮我弄了,但是还是想最后确认一下,看我写的对不对,我们没有身份证号就写生日就好了对吗?绝对不要选for ermission of foreign country immigration and stay对吧?我想把我写的上传给你看一下,但是我上传不来,可不可以给你发邮件帮我看下,我只有两周时间补材料寄过去就要一周,不能耽误时间,太感谢了。
    委任状的委任理由只能是韩文吗?要怎么写?我多年不说韩语了,所以不知道咋写了。和本人的关系写朋友就好了是吧?我的登陆号的话,是不是写护照号码就好了?十分感谢

    Like

    • taffytoffy says:

      你好,可以理解你的心情。你一下子也问了不少问题,我这边不是专业的移民机构呵呵。不过让我看下:没有身份证号是什么意思,我记得在韩国居住的话都是给发外国人登陆证的。那个生日是无论如何都要填的。不要选for permission of foreign country immigration and stay. 委任状的话不确定是不是只能韩语,但是最好韩文吧因为其他表格上的都是韩文。不知道的可以google翻译或者问我具体的那一项问题。和本人关系写朋友是可以的,我就是这样填的。没有登录号请再确定一下,护照号应该是要提供的。。。

      Like

  16. lucinda says:

    非常感谢您的帖子!太及时了! 不过我有一个问题 :上面两个범죄경력조회서류, 我打开以后都是一个文件,都是13页。 我需要填写其中的那几页呢?

    Like

  17. Andy says:

    Nice Blog.. Very detailed. Thanks you.I followed the steps. Today got my forms validated. Just a small note: Power of attorney form is available at embassy (Toronto). This form is in English. The people at the embassy will guide you and provide the document. Will mail the documents to my friend now.

    Like

    • taffytoffy says:

      This is awesome. Good news that you got your form validated. Thanks for letting us know that the power of attorney has an English version. If possible, would you be so kind to scan the English form and send to me, so I can update my blog post for others to download it? Thank you. My email is aj5kmkn@hotmail.com

      Like

  18. Max says:

    Taffy, thanks a lot for this info! I recently got my PCC again because i selected the permission of foreign country one…. anyway. So i got the right one this time i think (Including lapsed of crim sent) , but they have me two separate documents: 1) Investigation Records Check Reply and 2) Criminal Records Check Reply. Is this okay? or should this be one document?

    Thanks a lot!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Max says:

      gave me*

      Like

    • taffytoffy says:

      I’m not sure why you have two separate documents, but I believe the one I posted included both criminal and investigation records check reply. Sorry but I’m not on a position to advise you on this. If you submitted them and got accepted would you plz let us know? Thanks and good luck!

      Like

      • Singh says:

        Taffy,

        Even i received two documents mentioned by MAX
        1) Investigation Records Check Reply
        2) Criminal Records Check Reply

        Now i am confused.

        Like

    • Singh says:

      MAX,

      Even i received two documents mentioned by you
      1) Investigation Records Check Reply
      2) Criminal Records Check Reply

      Now i am confused. Can you tell me how did it worked for you ? You applied for both ?

      Thanks

      Like

      • Max says:

        Hey!

        I did apply for both

        Sinply ask the person to combine those two documents together – should be able to do it at the spot. Not a big deal.

        Let me know how it goes.

        Max

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Anonymous says:

    您好!!今天朋友去帮我问首尔警察局 他们说 如果出具上面这种格式的PCC, 需要在韩国本国人的办理科室办理这个 而不是外事科,是这样么?

    Like

  20. lucinda says:

    楼主 我的办下来, 但是我还有一个问题 ,这个上面只有登陆证号码 没有护照号码? 怎么证明是我啊?你当时还递交其它材料了吗

    Like

  21. Aesa Garcia says:

    very helpful blog . We are able to get it because of the step by step guide you post here.
    in our case we can apply to big police station in South Korea.
    We only validate the power of attorney we get from a notary office and then we validate in South Korean embassy and send it to our friend in Pocheon South Korea and she is able to get it for us.
    Send the sample to your representatives so they have idea about the document you need.
    Thanks again to your blog ..Godbless you.

    Like

  22. Maria xx says:

    Hi Taffytoffy

    Like

  23. Maria xx says:

    Thank you so much for providing this description! You have certainly helped me, and many others it seems, to a great extent! I have followed your description and have the document downloaded to my computer… Can you please confirm that I only need to fill out and print page 3 and 4 in the downloadable link above? (범죄경력조회서류) There were numerous pages (mostly in Korean) included in your link.

    PS: my friend (representative in South Korea) mentioned that the document in your link is a form for south korean citizens and not for foreigners. Can you please confirm that this is not the case? I need the form for a non-citizen of South Korea who has previously stayed extensive amount of time in South Korea.

    I look forward to your reply!

    Like

    • taffytoffy says:

      Glad to hear that you find this post helpful. Yes there are many pages in the downloaded file. Yes I used page 3, 4 of the file and it worked for me. I’m not sure if there’s a special form for non-Koreans. But my nationality isn’t Korean. So it should work for you as well. Good luck!

      Like

  24. Dimi says:

    Hi Taffytoffy,,

    Thank you for your thorough description. It is very helpful! My question to you is, what would you put as alien registration number in the form if you never really lived in Korea but were there as a tourist (cumulatively longer than 6 months) as it is the case with me. Do you leave it blank or is there any other recommendation you might have?

    Thank you!

    Like

    • taffytoffy says:

      Hi Dimi, thanks for your question. Unfortunately I haven’t had your situation before so I can’t answer for you. I personally think they just need some identifications, so if you put your passport number in any other place, I guess you may leave the alien registration number blank. Please let us know how it worked out because I think there are others like you in the same situation. Thanks and good luck!

      Like

  25. Emmanuel Ebedi says:

    Thanks a lot for your detailed write-up. I lived in Korea from Sept. 2005 to May 2006. I still have the Korean Visa and my old international passport BUT I don’t have a copy of the Alien Registration Card or the number. I spoke to the Korean Embassy officials and they said I needed to provide that before a background certificate could be issued. Is this true? Also, I noticed that they gave me the wrong form (the one you warned us not to submit for CIC purposes). Should I bypass the embassy officials and get someone in Korea to do it for me? I’ve checked everywhere I can think of for the alien card number.
    Any suggestion for me?

    Like

    • taffytoffy says:

      You need to get someone in Korea to go to the police station to do it for you. The one you get from the consulate can’t be used. And please call the police station in Korea to ask what to do without an alien registration number. The people at the consulate often times don’t know the situation and can provide misleading information. Good luck and plz post your update here so it can help others.

      Like

  26. Oleg says:

    Hi, Taffytoffy and thank you very much for the guide. Just a small question. I have just realized that there is no passport number on my certificate only resident registration number. Is it ok? I am applying for permanent residentship in Canada and I wonder how they will know it’s my certificate and not somebody’s else with the same name.

    Like

  27. Anonymous says:

    Do you know where the yowido’s prison keeper’s descendant?

    Like

  28. Singh says:

    hello taffytoffy,

    Great post man …. you are life saviour .. 🙂
    One of my friend (korean national) had words with police station incharge and they told him that they cannot provide this certificate to anyone else then the applicant himself.

    Doe it mean that i will have to fly to korea again for this certificate and there is no way out ?

    Like

    • taffytoffy says:

      Hey Singh, I think your friend can fill out the “power of attorney” form (read my blog above) such that he/she can represent you. Thats how it worked for me. You don’t have to fly to Korea personally.

      Like

  29. zoey says:

    你好Taffytoffy,只能选择自己去或者找朋友去办理对吗?不可以让警察局邮寄吗?我提交了两次,都是错的,额,第二次都是问的韩国的一个留学机构,邮寄了两次,才拿到,结果今天又被cic说不能接受。

    Like

    • taffytoffy says:

      据我了解必须自己去或朋友去。不知道办好之后警察局能否邮寄。因为反正是有人要去的,而且办理很快(当天),所以一般都是办理的人再去领

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