Monday, 19 August 2013

Migration Chapter 8: Application of a Certificate of Clearance (CoC) from Singapore Police Force

Hello folks, it's time for yet another chapter on migration

Application for a Certificate of Clearance (CoC) is one of the final components required for migration. In a nutshell, Australia requires all migrants to pass the Character Requirement and prove that they are law-abiding citizens of good character. If you are a Singapore citizen migrating under Subclass 189 or 190, this character clearance comes in the form of an official document from the Singapore Police Force which states that you have not committed any crime / not been charged with any criminal offence in Singapore. 


How do I apply?
All the detailed information you require can be found here. The application process is pretty straightforward. You and each of your dependents above 16 years of age will need to show up in person at the COC office at the Police Cantonment Complex, as each of you will be fingerprinted during the application. Take note that the opening hours for application of COC is exclusively from 8.30am to 12 noon on Mondays to Fridays only. This (of course) excludes public holidays. Yes, this means you probably need to take leave just to apply for the COC.


COC Office located here!

Remember to bring along the following documents (for each applicant):
  • Photocopy of Bio-page on passport
  • COC Application form downloadable from here
  • 2 passport sized photographs
  • The letter from your Case Officer (from Australia side) requesting for the COC
Each application costs S$45.

When can I apply?
Although not stated explicitly, we have learned from personal experience that the application for the COC can only be done after you have been contacted by your case officer from Australia side. At present, the wait for the assignment of a case officer is approximately 8-10 weeks for subclass 189 and about 3-5 weeks for subclass 190. When contacted, your case officer will send you an email specifically requesting for "Police Clearance" for the primary applicant and each secondary dependent above 16 years of age. You will need to print and bring along a hardcopy of this particular email from you case officer before SPF will entertain your application.


Good things come to those who wait...
If you are a follower of any Australian migration forums, you will notice that many 189/190 applicants from several other countries (UK, India etc) will mention uploading their PCC before their case officer is assigned. This is known as front-loading and it cannot be done if you are migrating as a Singapore citizen (unless you have a back-door method?). In Singapore, you can only front-load your medicals.

How long does it take?
Exactly 2 weeks from application date. On the application day, the clerk will issue you a receipt with your application number(s) and date of collection. Collection must be (again) done in person and from 9am to 5pm on Mondays to Fridays only. You can do the collection by proxy but you will need to issue your representative some form of authorization letter. If you have an agent, I suppose you could get him/her to do the collection for you.

Can non-Singapore Citizens apply for the CoC?
You can refer to this link. Officially, it seems that SPF does not issue COC to non-citizens. If you have resided in Singapore for more than 12 months and Australia requires a COC for this, I suppose you could try:
  • calling SPF at 1800-255-0000
  • show up at the COC office with your query
  • send your email appeal to spf_cid_coc@spf.gov.sg

What if I am a Singapore citizen currently overseas and I need the COC? 
This earlier link will provide the answer to your query. Although you do not have to return to Singapore specially to apply for your COC in person, you will need to look for an authorized fingerprint police officer to fingerprint you in the country that you are currently residing in. SPF will only charge each applicant S$5 more for postage.

Yes it's cheaper to pay for postage than fly back!

All the best! If you are at this stage of your application (like we are at the moment), the end is in sight!

- A

19 comments:

  1. if i encounter technical error in my lodging of visa can i email someone from diac?

    what are the crucial part in the process of lodging the visa application?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there,

      I haven't encountered any technical error so I'm not sure. You can try contacting DIAC I suppose. In case you have not noticed, they have changed their name to DIBP - Dept of Immigration and Border Protection.

      What is the most crucial part? The mindset, of course. Lodging is just an admin process. Anyway this blog is not a migration advisory so best you do some homework on your own, or hire an agent proper!

      Delete
  2. Hi
    Got my CO assigned yesterday.
    Would like to check with you regarding the COC. The letter from DIAC to bring along is the checklist requesting for supporting documents? Because I did not received any letter indicating for COC, just a checklist of outstanding documents.

    On top of that, for partner english requirement. How did you get the school to write the letter? Is it softcopy or hardcopy? And what details should be indicated in the letter, to who should the letter be address to?
    Please help. =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey there.

      There should be some information from DIBP asking for a police clearance, that's the document you will need to bring to apply for COC.

      For partner English Requirement, for our case I just wrote to NTU to ask if they could produce a generic 'to whom it may concern' letter to indicate that the undergraduate course that S completed was conducted in English. NTU has an official form on their website which can expedite such matters. If you need to request from some other Institute, you should really check it up on your own or walk into the office to find out?

      -A

      Delete
    2. Hi Lixian Ow,

      I'd like to inquire how long did you have to wait from the time you get invited & lodged your visa to getting your CO assigned?
      I'm in this position at the moment & am wondering how long I have to wait.

      Delete
  3. I am a foreigner working in Singapore. I got my COC recently. You have to bring the letter from the Immigration requesting it and fill an application form for foreigner. Get the form from the Police Cantonment Complex.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi,

    What letter and from which immigration you requested for. Where you the main applicant? How about your spouse

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sorry last question
    If there's currently too many sec sch bio teachers then will my 189 get approved since I'm also bio teacher?! Doesnt make sense for immigrantion dept to approve since I'll only add another number to the current oversupply of sec sch bio teachers. Any wise advice? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bliss,

      I don't think the subject you teach matters for the 189 visa. It only matters for subclass 190. At the end of the day it is up to you to find a job (whether as a bio teacher or otherwise) if you do end up migrating, so statistically one more or less bio teacher does not make a difference.

      All the best,
      A

      Delete
    2. Hello do you submit your COC to the embassy directly or could you drop it off at VFS application center?

      Delete
  6. I want to say that you do not need a CO letter to get started on your COC. You can use the lodgement letter that DIAC sends you when you lodge your 189/190 application. (Its the one you get after you pay the 3500 for the visa.

    I did this and they accepted it no questions asked, the same goes for my friend who lodged it last week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Any one got COC from singapore police? want to know the processing time.
      Thanks.

      Delete
    2. Hi,
      Any one got COC from Singapore police? need to know processing time.
      Thanks.

      Delete
    3. Hi,

      Is the lodgement letter tge acknowledgement letter which we receive along with bridging visas

      Delete
  7. Hi,

    I am a PR in SG applying for Visa 189. I have been in SG for the last 11 years. I already got my COC (by submitting the DIAC letter to SPF), and have attached the scanned copy (non-CTC) to my application before being assigned with a CO. Now the CO is asking for original "Police clearance certificates". Does this mean that the scanned copy of the COC is not enough? Should I send the original by post?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think he meant certified copy.
      How did it go thru finally

      Delete
  8. Hi.
    I have applied for spore eCOC on 18th Aug. 2016 and have paid for the application. But till date i have not received any response from SPF. Tried calling them but noone answered the call.
    I stayed in spore for 3 years and currently i am in india.
    My deadline to submit COC to australian CO is 4th Sept 2016.
    Any solution or alternative to this? Please advise

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi.
    I have applied for spore eCOC on 18th Aug. 2016 and have paid for the application. But till date i have not received any response from SPF. Tried calling them but noone answered the call.
    I stayed in spore for 3 years and currently i am in india.
    My deadline to submit COC to australian CO is 4th Sept 2016.
    Any solution or alternative to this? Please advise

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi,

    I am a SG PR applying for 190 Visa. Can anyone advise me the general timeline for approval of SPF COC eAPPEAL?

    ReplyDelete