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How to receive a foreign police clearance certificate (Criminal Records check) in Israel?

Michael Decker

Yossi Montrose

Very knowledgeable and professional

When travelling or immigrating to a different country, several types of documents must be issued and presented, depending on the type of visa you require. For example, immigration of a Jew to Israel (Aliyah) under the Law of Return requires presenting documents that prove the applicant’s Jewish descent; execution of a will that was written in a language other than Hebrew requires notarial translation of the will; and so on. One document that is often required by various bodies is a PCC (a Police Clearance Certificate also known as a Good Conduct Certificate), which attests to a person’s lack of a criminal record.

The most commonly required type of PCC for Israelis is for internal use within Israel or for various bodies abroad (for purposes of immigration, temporary work, academic studies, and so on). In less common but still plentiful cases, a foreign PCC must be issued abroad and presented in Israel.

We at the Decker, Pex, Ofir & Co. law firm have extensive experience in issuing PCCs and are familiar with the processes involved. We will be happy to provide you with professional assistance at a reasonable price. Let us now briefly explain what a police criminal information certificate is in the first place; what the process is for issuing one in Israel; how to order a criminal records check and how to receive it; and what the cost of all this amounts to. In addition, we will elaborate upon the topic of issuing a PCC abroad. Before we go on, we would like to remind you that you are welcome to contact us for advice at any stage of the process.

Police Clearance Certificate

What Is a PCC?

A Police Clearance Certificate is an official certificate that is issued by various bodies in every country (usually by the police), which documents a person’s criminal history, including arrests, convictions, and indictments against the applicant. In many cases, authorities who require a criminal record check refer to it as a lack of criminal background, with the presumption that the person who is required to present it has no criminal history. Of course, if the person does have a criminal record, this will be included on the certificate. Therefore, many individuals who are required to present the certificate will prefer to first examine the option of clearing their criminal record, which is possible in certain circumstances.

A Few Words on Issuing a PCC in Israel

The procedure of issuing a PCC in Israel is relatively simple, and may be requested at almost any police station. Note that some police stations do not provide this service, so it is recommended to phone the station and ask before physically arriving there. How may Israeli citizens abroad obtain a police clearance check? One option is to arrive at the Israeli embassy in the foreign country and ask them to issue one for you. Another option, which is especially convenient, is to submit an online request via the state website by filling out an online PCC form.

Israeli citizens who were born abroad or, for some other reason, do not have an Israeli identity card, cannot obtain their certificate online; rather, they must turn to Israel’s Diplomatic Mission in their country. If the Mission offices are closed (such as during the coronavirus crisis), a proxy in Israel may go to any police station and receive a PCC in the name of the Israeli citizen who is abroad. Our firm provides this service, but, since the payment is for a lawyer’s time, the service is expensive, especially compared to the option of issuing a power of attorney to a friend or relative whom you trust.

How Do I Issue a Foreign PCC?

The definition of “foreign” in this context is quite general, since the process of issuing and receiving a PCC is different in each country, and, in some cases, even between regions within a country. However, the general process is similar in Israel and abroad. Does this mean that you can do it yourself? Actually, it’s usually better if you don’t. Let’s try to understand why.

Why Shouldn’t I Issue a Foreign criminal record On My Own?

If you need to obtain a PCC, it is very important that you do so professionally and quickly so that you can proceed with whatever you need it for, be it for working in Israel, coming to live there, or coming for academic studies. Because the process of issuing a PCC is different in each country, you need to be deeply familiar with the various requirements and fully understand the intricacies.

For example, did you know that, to issue a PCC in France, you must apply personally and not via a proxy, or face a fine of 7,500 euros? In other countries, PCCs only apply to a limited number of years by default. If you don’t explicitly request otherwise, this may cause you a significant delay. There are also countries in which PCCs may not be sent by email, only by regular mail.

In certain cases, such as when a criminal record from the US is required, the applicant’s fingerprints must be taken to find their criminal record in the FBI databases. Of course, the applicant is usually unable to scan their own fingerprints, so they will need someone to do this for them—preferably, someone who can come to the applicant’s home, take their fingerprints, and send the fingerprints to the US authorities.

The bottom line is that, if you wish to issue a PCC quickly and professionally, which will allow you to advance important processes that require one, it is recommended that you seek the assistance of professionals who are familiar with the various processes in most countries. Our team of experts will be happy to be of service to you in this important matter.

Translating a Foreign PCC

In most cases, after issuing a foreign PCC for use in Israel, it must be translated into Hebrew to be accepted at the various Israeli bodies and institutions. Sometimes a criminal record provided in English will not have to be translated, but this is relatively rare.

Also, some bodies in Israel required the PCC to be apostilized in the country where it was issued. You must understand that the apostilization services abroad are complex, and sometimes require travelling to the foreign country and obtaining the service in person. We will be happy to help you with this matter and provide you with a package of all the needed services, including obtaining a foreign PCC, validating it with an apostille stamp abroad, and providing a notarial translation so that you can use it in Israel (or in any other country whose language is not the language in which the PCC was issued).

How Do I Get the PCC and What is the cost

An Israeli PCC is free of charge, whether for use in Israel or when sent abroad (35 NIS for an apostille aside); but some countries abroad do require payment. The cost, however, is usually minimal. The method of receiving the PCC is not the same in all countries, either. You are welcome to contact us for information about the ways to receive a PCC, what the process is in the specific country from which you wish to receive it, and what the cost is in every country.

Contact Us Soon

Whether you need a criminal record certificate for immigration purposes, work abroad or in Israel, exhaustion of proceedings with a conditional settlement, or any other matter—it is always a good idea to be assisted by someone who is deeply familiar with the matter. Our law firm has many years of extensive experience in issuing, translating, and sending PCCs in Israel and abroad, and we are also very experienced with the various procedures that require issuing a police certificate.

Contact us today and we will be happy to be of service at any stage of the process and provide you with professional efficient legal assistance from the very beginning and until the desired outcome is reached.

Police Clearance Certificate

ייעוץ משפטי 03-3724722, 055-9781688 

רחוב עמל 37 פתח תקווה 4951337 ישראל, [email protected]

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