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How to Apply for a South African Police Clearance Certificate: Step-By-Step Process


Are you planning to work or study abroad? One of the essential documents you may need is a South African Police Clearance Certificate. This certificate verifies that you have no criminal record in South Africa and is often a requirement for visa applications. In this guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of applying for a South African Police Clearance Certificate.

Step 1: Determine the Type of Police Clearance Certificate You Need

There are two types of South African Police Clearance Certificates: the South African Police Services (SAPS) Clearance Certificate and the Criminal Record Check. The SAPS Clearance Certificate is for individuals currently residing in South Africa, while the Criminal Record Check is for individuals living abroad. Determine which type of certificate you need based on your current residency status.

Step 2: Gather the Required Documents

To apply for a South African Police Clearance Certificate, you will need the following documents:

  • Completed application form (obtainable from the SAPS website)
  • Certified copy of your identity document or passport
  • Proof of payment for the application fee
  • Two recent passport-sized color photographs
  • Proof of address (e.g., utility bill or bank statement)

Make sure to have all the required documents ready before proceeding with the application process.

Step 3: Complete the Application Form

Once you have gathered all the necessary documents, fill out the application form accurately and legibly. Provide your personal details, including your full name, date of birth, and contact information. Double-check the form for any errors or missing information before submitting it.

Step 4: Submit the Application

You have two options for submitting your application:

  • In-person submission: Visit your nearest SAPS office and submit your application in person. Make sure to bring all the required documents, including the completed application form.
  • Online submission: Some SAPS offices offer online application submission. Check the SAPS website to see if this option is available in your area. Follow the instructions provided to submit your application online.

Step 5: Pay the Application Fee

The South Africa Police Clearance Certificate application requires a fee. The amount may vary, so check the SAPS website or contact your nearest SAPS office for the current fee. Make sure to include proof of payment with your application.

Step 6: Wait for Processing

Once you have submitted your application and paid the fee, the processing of your South African Police Clearance Certificate will begin. The processing time may vary, but it typically takes a few weeks to receive the certificate. During this time, avoid any criminal activities that may affect your application.


Obtaining a South African Police Clearance Certificate is an important step for individuals planning to work or study abroad. By following the step-by-step process outlined in this guide, you can ensure a smooth application process and increase your chances of obtaining the certificate successfully. Remember to gather all the required documents, complete the application accurately, and submit it through the appropriate channel. Good luck with your application!


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