Most immigration processes throughout the world require a foreigner to show a non-criminal record as part of the application process. The criminal background check is often an essential part of the immigration application procedure, as residence permits or visas are usually only issued to applicants with a clear criminal record.
In Indonesia, the criminal background check is performed by the National Police (MABES POLRI). If they do not find any criminal record of the applicant in Indonesia, the police will issue a police clearance certificate. The Police Clearance Certificate, or SKCK (Surat Keterangan Catatan Kepolisian), is valid for 6 months and is bilingual (English and Bahasa Indonesia). Applicants must submit the application manually to the National Police. Applications through the online portal of the National Police are not processed.
The National Police can grant a Police Clearance Certificate (SKCK) to both foreign nationals and Indonesia citizens. However, not all Foreign Nationals are eligible to apply for a this certificate. Foreigners can only apply for a background check and police certificate at the National Police for their period of stay using a stay permit (ITAS or ITAP). Foreigners under a visit visa (tourists visa or business visa) are not eligible to apply.
Police clearance certificate (SKCK)
The procedure for the application of the Police Clearance Certificate (SKCK) is as follows:
- Firstly, applicants need to gather all required documents, which may vary on case by case basis. For instance, for Indonesian nationals there is a different set of required documents than for foreign nationals. Also, for foreign nationals the required documents may vary depending on the type of their stay permit (ITAS / ITAP);
- Secondly, the applicants need to take their fingerprints. If the applicants are currently residing in Indonesia, they must take their fingerprints at the local police office. If the applicants are residing abroad, they can take their fingerprints at a local police station or fingerprint agency; and
- Thirdly, applicants can submit the application for the criminal background check to the Indonesian National Police. The National Police will then check in their database if the applicant has any criminal record in Indonesia. If no criminal record shows up, the Indonesian National Police will issue the Police Clearance Certificate (SKCK).
Alternative options to police clearance certificate
There are many foreign nationals in Indonesia who are staying in Indonesia long-term using a visit visa. Especially in Bali, many foreigners use a business visa or a social visa (both visit visas). These foreigners are unable to apply for Police Clearance Certificate (SKCK). Since they do not hold a stay permit (ITAS / ITAP), they do not fulfill the minimum document requirements. Because of that, the Indonesian National Police will reject their application. For these foreigners there are two alternatives available, namely:
- a statement letter from the National Police; or
- a statemen letter issued by our firm.
Police Statement Letter of no criminal record
In case an applicant is unable to obtain a police clearance certificate (SKCK), in most cases they are able to obtain a statement letter from the Indonesian National Police. In the statement letter, the police will mention the following:
- Firstly, they will state that the individual is not eligible to apply for a police clearance certificate, because they cannot provide all required documents for the application;
- Secondly, the police will do a criminal background check. Based on such check they will state in the letter that they have or have not found any record of the applicant performing criminal activities. The statement letter will be in the Indonesian language only.
Statement letter from our Law Firm
In certain cases, the Indonesian National Police will reject both the application of a Police Clearance Certificate and the Police Statement Letter. For example, refugees are unable to obtain any letter or certificate from the National Police. In these kind of cases, PNB Immigration Law Firm is qualified to provide a statement letter explaining why the foreign citizen is unable to obtain a police clearance certificate. Upon request from the client, our firm can notarize the statement letter at the public notary.
Before clients opt for alternative options, we advise them to check with foreign authorities if these alternatives are acceptable.
Please feel free to reach out our firm directly for tailored advice.