How to get an RCMP criminal record check from abroad (outside Canada)

People living abroad may often need criminal background checks done from their home country when applying for visa, work, volunteering etc. But the process has been complicated by new technology.

In the past applicants would simply get a set of ink fingerprints done on standard fingerprinting cards and mail them to the RCMP for certification. The process took a long time to complete, but at least it was possible.

Today the RCMP no longer accepts ink based fingerprint submissions. This is the result of digital fingerprinting technology that replaced the old ink and roll method. But digital fingerprinting submissions are not possible from outside Canada since the systems we use are specific to Canada alone. So what is someone to do if they need this service but are unable to fly home?

The solution is digital card scanning.

At the National Pardon Centre we maintain card scanning technology that allows us to digitize ink based fingerprints and submit them to the RCMP on a client’s behalf.

The process is simple and much faster than it would have been with the old ink and roll method. But it starts out the same.

You will need to find a place (a police station, private security firm or an embassy for example) to do your fingerprints. You will have them taken using the traditional ink and roll method. Once they are done you send them to us. We scan them. Our systems digitize them. Then we forward the digitized format to the RCMP civil fingerprinting division in Ottawa.

When they are received the submissions will be processed in the same way they are for people living in Canada doing Live Scan fingerprinting.

Once the submission has been processed the RCMP can either mail you the results directly or you can have them mailed to us where we will forward them to you by registered mail.

It’s that simple.

If you have any questions on this service please feel free to contact me.

For more information on this service please see International Fingerprinting Services on this website.

Michael Ashby
514-842-2411 x 227



Comments (14)
Rokibul / August 3, 2017

I need to get my fingerprints soft format. How can I will get it? Very urgent

Michael Ashby / August 3, 2017

It depends on where you live.


Mumtaz / July 24, 2018

Hi there
I’m canadian citizen in dubai need background check for work and visa here
Where should I go in dubai to get this done and how much will cost me
Kindly inform me

Michael Ashby / July 24, 2018

Hi Mumtaz,

All the information you require is located on the following page. If you have any questions after reviewing them contact information is included.

Kind regards,


fahad / September 11, 2017


I need to get a police clearance from canada , at the moment I am living overseas and wont be able to travel to canada to get it done locally. I am also not a Permanent resident nor a citizen of canada, but I need the clearance because I have resided in canada for period of time.

Michael / September 11, 2017

Hi Fahad,

You will find the information you need on the following page from our website.

Kind regards,


M El / September 29, 2017

I had a question as I am about to apply for residency in Spain and will require a criminal record check. I am a Canadian citizen, never been convicted but once arrested, on unfounded charges, I guess was charged, fingerprinted, then released after the charges were dropped. I have been traveling back and forth for the last 15 years and never was asked a question. I have after that incident with my ex-wife requested criminal charges from the police station, and there was nothing on my record. I am just making sure nothing will appear on these criminal charges by the RCMP. Do I go the Canadian Embassy in Spain to have my fingerprints taken and sent to Ottawa RCMP´s office?

Thank you for your input in advance Michael.

Best regards,


Michael / October 2, 2017

The embassy is a good place to start for your fingerprints but I can’t tell you for certain that the service will be available there.


Mickey / April 3, 2018

Hi My friend is outside Korea, she is Canadian. She need a urgent situation of health issue. She need fast criminal check to get any chance for any future for surgery for organ transplant.
Is there any way to process in quickly as possible? Time is very prudential.

Please let us know

Thank you

Tiffanie / April 4, 2018

Hello Mickey,

You will find the necessary forms via this link:

Please note that the RCMP takes 3 business days to process the application. Plus, you have to consider the mail delays.

Sadly, there is no expedite option existing with the RCMP, but you can use express mail services.

1-866-242-2411, ext. 226

Aisa / June 25, 2018

I applied one criminal record in Canada for immigration need in March ,2018, and I brought it with me back to my hometown. After I back to my hometown ,the IRCC office requested me to send them the original copy of Canada criminal record. During the time I waiting for the respond of my work permit I cannot fly back Canada without any permit on my hand. So I am planning to submit my immigration application since it will expire in Aug,2018 .However, I need another original copy for the application. So,Can I email them to send me another one to me? or what can I do?
Thank you very much


Michael Ashby / July 9, 2018

Hi Aisa,

You will find the information you need to have this done at the following page from our website.

Kind regards,


Manu Esteve / June 27, 2019

Hello I am a citizen from Spain, I lived in Canada and worked at the University of Toronto during the period 2005-2010. I am now applying for a USA inmigration VISA and they are asking for my criminal record from Canada. How can I get it? I am currently in Spain
Thank you very much
Manu Esteve

Michael Ashby / July 16, 2019

Hi Manu,

You will find all the information you need here.

kind regards,



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