How to Get Police Clearance and Character Certificate in Nigeria

Getting police clearance and character certificates in Nigeria can seem like a daunting process, but it doesn’t have to be! In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through step-by-step on how to obtain these important documents in 2023.

What Are Police Clearance and Character Certificates?

A police clearance certificate, also known as a police report, is an official document issued by the Nigerian Police Force certifying that you don’t have any criminal convictions or pending cases. It’s essentially a background check showing that you have a clean record. This is usually required for visa applications, employment, or further education opportunities.

A character certificate, on the other hand, goes beyond just your criminal record. This document affirms your good character and reputation. It may be issued by community leaders, employers, or schools you’ve attended. Character certificates are commonly required for visa applications, certain jobs, and education programs.

Why Do You Need Them?

As mentioned above, police clearance and character certificates are mandatory requirements for many processes, such as:

  • Applying for residence/work visas – Countries like Canada, Australia, USA, UK require police clearance from your home country
  • Applying for citizenship in a new country
  • Employment opportunities, especially government jobs or jobs involving interaction with vulnerable people
  • Admission to educational institutions such as universities

These documents help assess your background and suitability for programs, jobs, visas etc. Procuring them in advance saves time and avoids complications later in the application process.

Requirements for Police Clearance in Nigeria

To obtain a police clearance certificate in Nigeria, you need to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Valid passport with complete details and photos
  • Passport photographs – 2 copies
  • Completed police clearance application form
  • Letter from sponsor indicating need for police report
  • Payment/deposit slip as application fee

The requirements may vary slightly by state. Check with your local police headquarters to confirm.

How to Apply for Police Clearance

Step 1 – Get Application Form

First, you need to obtain the application form for police clearance. You can pick this up in-person at your state’s police command headquarters. Some states also allow you to download and print the form online from the official police website.

On the form, you’ll need to fill in your personal and contact details such as full name, date of birth, phone number, passport number, nationality, address etc.

Step 2 – Prepare Supporting Documents

Along with the filled application form, you’ll need to submit:

  • 2 recent passport photos
  • Photocopy of Data Page of your International Passport
  • Letter from sponsor indicating the reason you need a police clearance certificate and to which country it will be submitted

Make sure you have clean, legible copies of all documents.

Step 3 – Make Payment

There is typically a fee charged for police clearance applications, usually around 10,000 NGN. You’ll need to obtain a teller deposit slip for the specified amount at a designated bank.

Submit the deposit slip along with your application and documents.

Step 4 – Submit Application at Police Headquarters

Submit your completed police clearance application form along with supporting documents and deposit slip at the headquarters of the command in your state. This is usually the office of the Commissioner of Police.

They will review your application and verify your documents. Fingerprints and photos may be taken during this process.

Step 5 – Track Application Status

It can take up to 1-2 weeks for the police clearance application to be processed. You can track the status by calling or visiting the command headquarters. Once approved, you will receive a call or message to come pick up the letter.

And that’s it! With the police clearance letter in hand, you’ll be ready to proceed with visa applications or other processes that require it.

How to Get a Character Certificate in Nigeria

Unlike police clearance, character certificates are not issued by a single centralized agency. There are a few options for obtaining one in Nigeria:

From Community Leaders

In Nigeria, respected leaders in your community like village heads or religious leaders can issue character certificates vouching for your good conduct and reputation.

Reach out to them, explain why you need a certificate and they will prepare one for you on official letterhead including their signature and seal.

From Educational Institutions

Schools, colleges and universities you have attended can also provide character certificates on request.

Get in touch with the administration office of your alma mater. Submit any form they require and fees for issuing the certificate. The institute will prepare it on their letterhead.

From Employers

For proof of your professional reputation, employers you’ve worked with can issue a character certificate.

Reach out to the HR department or your direct supervisor requesting a letter affirming your good character during your tenure with the company.


Once you obtain the character certificate, it’s recommended to get it notarized by a lawyer to vouch for its authenticity. Most visa agencies or institutions accept notarized character certificates.

With the formalities covered, you can add these important certificates to your visa or job applications. Having them ready in advance will make your immigration journey much smoother!

We hope this guide gives you a clear understanding of how to get police clearance and character certificates in Nigeria. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any other questions. And be sure to keep visiting for more tips on studying, working and migrating to Canada.