What is a Police Clearance Certificate?
What is a PCC and why do you need one?
There is always a lot of paperwork involved in moving to a new country, and for some the prospect of getting clearance from the Qatar authorities that verifies their good conduct might seem a bit daunting – just how tricky or time-consuming could it be? In fact, although a PCC (Police Clearance Certificate) is needed by anyone setting up a business or an organisation in Qatar, as well as by individuals applying for immigration status or employment, the procedure is fairly straightforward.
Who issues the PCC and what is their role?
The Criminal Evidences and Information Department (CEID), part of the Ministry of Interior (MOI) is responsible for issuing the PCC certificate, which states that the applicant has been checked and has no criminal record. In the unlikely event that the applicant does have a record or a legal case pending, this will be revealed by the Police inquiries.
The CEID was set up in 2009 to deal with detection and recording of evidence, so this takes them to accident incidents and crime scenes where they take photographs, collect fingerprints etc. They do security checks and preside over crime records and statistics, all documented electronically – in fact Qatar is reported to have an enviably low crime rate. With the large influx of newcomers to the region, much of CEID’s work will be concerned with PCC certification, both for Qataris and immigrants.
Help with obtaining your PCC
At last count a PCC application required no less than 7 different pieces of supporting documentation, not including the application form. This is for individuals who have been living in Qatar for 6 months, a prerequisite for applying for the clearance. While this could seem like a major challenge for an expat unfamiliar with government offices and procedures, there is a way round this. In fact, you would be advised to have a local expert check the application form for any inconsistencies, and make sure you have assembled all the required bits of paper, as any discrepancy could slow everything down. But you can also send your designated expert as your representative, giving them power of attorney to act on your behalf and to present all the necessary documents.
What if you are not even in Qatar?
There may be circumstances in which you were in Qatar for 6 months as an expat, but are no longer there. Even in this case a qualified, certified representative can take care of securing your PCC for you.
Whatever your reason for needing a Qatar PCC, travel abroad for study or a new job, marriage, establishing a commercial activity, setting up an educational establishment, performing an exchange of companies … provided that you can supply all the necessary documentation, it is not a Herculean task. But consulting someone with experience and expertise in dealing with all the paperwork will speed up the process immeasurably, as well as giving you excellent prospects for a stress-free and successful outcome!