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Wednesday, May 6, 2009
How long does it take to get a police clearance certificate from India?
Since most of my family lives in Canada, I am also applying for Canadian permanent residency under the Federal Skilled Worker category and have started putting together all the necessary documentation. Since I live in the US, I need to apply to the Canadian Embassy in Buffalo, New York. One of their requirements is to submit police clearance certificate from every place where you have lived 6 months or longer since the age of 18. For us, this means getting police clearance certificates from not only all the states in the US where we have lived but also from India. Since I live in the US, that means getting it from the Indian Embassy.

Since the Indian Embassy in Washington, Dc was closest to us, I went there personally on April 6, 2009. I haven't been there in a long while but the place seemed to have changed. For starters, there's no parking allowed at the Embassy lot which meant spending extra time and money in locating the parking.

After parking my car, I went inside the embassy around 10 AM. The room was completed crowded. After taking my number, had to wait almost couple of hours before my number was called. I had already filled out the application forms and submitted it along with 4 copies of passport photos. I also had to turn in my US passport as well as my old canceled Indian passport, along with a fee of $20 each for my wife and myself. Since I didn't want to come again to pick it up, I paid an extra $20 to the Embassy so that they could mail me the police clearance certificate and our passports when they were ready.

I was told by the woman at the counter that the police clearance certificate will be ready in 5 days, after which they will mail it to the address I had provided them (I had to fill out a USPS envelope). However, we received our package in mail on May 5, 2009 - so it took slightly over 4 weeks to receive the certificates and our passports.

If I have to do this all over again, I will avoid going to the embassy in person. It's much easier, less time consuming, and less costly to simply mail the documents along with the appropriate fee, and have the embassy send the information back to you when ready. For us, it took about 4.5 weeks to get the package but I have heard from friends in Canada, that it can take up to 45 days to get police clearance certifcates from the Indian Embassy in Toronto. While I had to turn in my passports to Indian Embassy in Washington, DC, am not sure if I could have simply submitted a copy of the passports. In Toronto, I have been told that you don't need to submit passports - you can just submit a copy of the passport with your application. The embassy will verify your passport later at the time of pickup.

Anyways, am glad I got the certificates in a timely manner. The certificate was dated April 13, 2009, so they are already one month old. I believe the Canadian Embassy in Buffalo requires that the certificates must have been issued within last 3 months. Fortunately, I still have some time to put together the documents before the July deadline.


posted by Little Rishi @ Wednesday, May 06, 2009  
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