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How do I get a police certificate for my K-1 application?

k1 visa police certificateAfter USCIS approves the Form I-129F petition and before a consular interview can be scheduled, the K-1 applicant must submit a police certificate. This applies to all K-1 applicants, even if you’ve never been arrested. You must show that you’re not inadmissible due to past criminal activity.

In fact, you must provide a police certificate for each country where you lived for a period of six months. The only exception is the United States if you have previously lived here or are currently living here.

The requirement extends to any K-2 children if they are 16 years or older.

How to Obtain a Police Certificate

Depending on the country, it make take several weeks to obtain a police certificate. Start early.

STEP
1
Determine from which countries you’ll need a police certificates

You will need a police certificate from at least one country. However, if you’ve lived in any other countries or have been arrested in another country, you may need additional certificates. Use the table below to make a determination. If you are 16 years of age or older, you must submit a police certificate from the following locations:

From… And… Then you need a police certificate from…
the country of nationality if you resided there for more than 6 months are 16 years old or older the police authorities of that locality.
the country of current residence (if different from nationality) if you resided there for more than 6 months were 16 years or older at that time the police authorities of that locality.
any previous country or countries of residence if residing there for more than 12 months were 16 years or older at that time the police authorities of that locality.
any country where arrested for any reason, regardless of how long you lived there were any age at that time the police authorities from place of arrest.
STEP
2
Contact the police authority in each country

Use the U.S. State Department’s website to find each country where you must obtain a police certificate. Use the steps below to find the country-specific information about requesting a police report.

  • Go to the State Department website by clicking the “Search Country” button below
  • Select your country
  • Go to the Police, Court, Prison Records tab
  • Review the country-specific procedure for obtaining a police certificate

What Should be Included on a Police Certificate

The K-1 applicant must submit police certificates that meet the following guidelines. The police certificate must:

  • Cover the entire period of the applicant’s residence in that area; and
  • Be issued by the appropriate police authority; and
  • Include all arrests, the reason for the arrest(s), and the disposition of each case of which there is a record.
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Validity Period

Police certificates expire after one year, unless the certificate was issued from your country of previous residence and you have not returned there since the police certificate was issued. If at the time of your interview the following three items are all true, you must bring a new police certificate to your visa interview:

  • You are more than 16 years old;
  • The police certificate was obtained more than one year ago; and
  • You still live in the country that issued the certificate.