Out-of-country verification documentation is required for applicants who have lived outside of Canada continuously for 6 months or longer within the background period under assessment.
- Background period to be assessed
- What will be verified
- When out-of-country verification documentation is not required
- Out-of-country verification documentation
- Costs to the applicant
- Processing security status and clearance application requiring out-of-country verifications documentation
- More information on out-of-country verifications
Background period to be assessed
- 5 years for a reliability status
- 10 years for a security clearance (Secret and Top Secret)
What will be verified
Public Services and Procurement Canada's Contract Security Program (CSP) will need to confirm:
- when the applicant lived outside of Canada
- why the applicant spent time outside of Canada
At its discretion, the CSP may conduct a security screening interview to assess the time spent outside of Canada during the background period.
When out-of-country verification documentation is not required
Out-of-country verification documentation is not usually required if, within the background period under assessment, the applicant:
- worked for a Government of Canada department or agency
- was a member or an accompanying family member of the Canadian Armed Forces
In the above cases, the CSP will contact the appropriate federal organization to confirm and validate the applicant's time spent outside of Canada.
As well, out-of-country verification documentation is not usually required if the applicant currently holds a valid security status or clearance issued by a foreign government that has a bilateral security instrument with the CSP.
List of countries with bilateral security instruments.
Out-of-country verification documentation
For all personnel security screening requests, the applicant will need to get a police certificate from the foreign country. The police certificate must be authenticated by the country's embassy or high commission in Canada.
A police certificate provides a summary of an individual's criminal record or a declaration of the absence of any criminal record from that country.
If an applicant has spent time outside of Canada, company security officer (CSO) should remind the applicant that they need a police certificate as part of their security screening application. Including the police certificate when submitting the application will help the out-of-country verification process.
If an applicant cannot get a police certificate, the CSO will need to inform the CSP by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The CSP will then determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether to allow alternative documents to be submitted.
If the CSP deems that an applicant can provide alternative documents, the applicant may need to get one or more of the following original documents:
- letter of reference or referral from the foreign embassy or mission in Canada
- letter of reference or referral from the Canadian embassy or mission in the foreign country where the applicant lived
- information from security screening organizations in countries that share bilateral security instruments with Canada
- letter from a law enforcement agency (for example, a police check from a local police detachment in that country)
- credit summary from an established foreign financial institution
- letter of reference from a foreign educational institution
All police certificates or alternate documents must be submitted in either English or French. If the documents are in another language, they must be translated by a certified translator who is registered with either of these 2 organizations:
- Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council
- Ordre des traducteurs, terminologues et interprètes agréés du Québec (available in French only)
The translated document must accompany the original document when submitted to the CSP.
Costs to the applicant
Applicants will need to cover any costs associated with the out-of-country verification process. These costs may include fees to obtain a police certificate or alternative documents, to have documents translated or to have documents authenticated by an embassy or high commission. These fees will not be reimbursed by the Government of Canada.
Processing security status and clearance application requiring out-of-country verifications documentation
For all personnel security screening requests, the CSO is responsible for informing the applicant to:
- get a police certificate from any country in which they lived continuously for 6 months or longer, and to provide the original documents (no photocopies) directly to the CSO
- consult the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website for further information on how to get a police certificate
- have the police certificate authenticated by the country's embassy or high commission in Canada
- an applicant who lived in the United States will also need to provide fingerprints to the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation
- have the police certificate translated into English or French, if it is not in one of these official languages of Canada
- pay any fees associated with the out-of-country verification process
Once the applicant has obtained the required documents and provided them to their CSO, the documents need to be submitted to the CSP for processing by email at email@example.com.
More information on out-of-country verifications
Refer to the out-of-country verification scenario to better understand how the out-of-country verification process works.
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