Criminal Record Check: Why They Matter and How to Have Them Authenticated and Legalized

If you are planning to move to a foreign country either for work or school, you might have been asked to provide a legalized Criminal Record Check. Don’t worry—you haven’t done anything wrong! These forms are incredibly common, and many countries require them for new residents. Here are a few facts and actionable steps you can take to make sure that you are on the right track.

What is a Criminal Record Check?

A Criminal Record Check is essentially a formal background check. It shows your record with the police. By having this document authenticated and legalized, it confirms that the record is accurate at the date of legalization. When you present the document in your new country, they’ll be able to know for a fact your past experiences with the law if you have any.

Where do you get a Criminal Record Check?

To get a Criminal Record Check, you can have it issued by the RCMP headquarters in Ottawa. If you don’t want to travel there, you can also get one from a local police detachment in your area.

Does it matter where you get it?

Although you can have a Criminal Record Check issued from two different locations when getting one at a local RCMP office or local police detachment, you must have it notarized. This ensures authenticity from the start before moving forward in the process. On the other hand, if you are issued a Certified Criminal Record Check from RCMP headquarters in Ottawa, you won’t have to go through this authentication step. If you’re local to the area, it might be ideal to go there to save you some time and an extra step.

Can you get one while you’re out of the country?

While it can be faster to have this process done in person, it is entirely possible to get a Criminal Record Check while you’re out of the country in most cases. You should arrange with your local police detachment in the country of your residence the fingerprinting on the special form and post them to our office to get them digitalized. Once we receive them we will submit the digitized fingerprints into the RCMP headquarters in Ottawa. We will email you the paperwork upon request.

Why Criminal Record Checks Matters

By going through the authentication, legalization, apostille, and attestation of your Criminal Record Check, your new country will easily know your entire legal history. Many schools and businesses across the globe require them along with your other legalized documents so make sure you have everything taken care of before you travel overseas.

Requirements for the Authentication and Legalization Process

Global Affairs Canada will handle the authentication of your Criminal Record Check or Certified Criminal Record Check from the RCMP in Ottawa. Once Global Affairs Canada has authenticated your document, you can then submit it to the applicable diplomatic mission for legalization.

We’re Here to Help

If you have any questions about the legalization process, or if you want us to help you along the way, please contact us. We have years of experience working with documents from around the world, and we can help take all of the guesswork out of document legalization. Contact us today for more information.