10 Things to Know About Hong Kong's CNCC
Chances are if you are looking to obtain a visa abroad, you will be asked to provide proof of police clearance. In Hong Kong, you can obtain the Certificate of No Criminal Conviction (CNCC) from the Hong Kong Police Force. But what is it and how do you apply? Here are 10 frequently asked questions about Hong Kong’s CNCC.
- What is a Certificate of No Criminal Conviction (CNCC)?
As with the name, the CNCC is a certificate that indicates that the individual has not been convicted of a criminal offence and is cleared by the Hong Kong Police Force during their time in Hong Kong. Securing this document to show that you have had no prior criminal record is an essential part of obtaining visa approval. It works as a background check for relevant consulates, immigration authorities, and governmental authorities.
- Who has to apply for the CNCC?
Hong Kong’s CNCC is often used as part of the visa application process for those looking to visit, study, or migrate abroad. It is important to note that, depending on the specific requirements of the country, applicants who have been residents of Hong Kong for the past 10 years would ordinarily only need to provide the Hong Kong CNCC. However, if an individual has lived in other countries for a significant amount of time within those 10 years, they may also be required to obtain the equivalent of the CNCC from those countries. Since the CNCC doubles as a background check, those looking to adopt children are likewise required to apply for the CNCC as part of their application process.
- Who can/cannot apply for the CNCC?
Not everyone is eligible to apply for the CNCC just because they want to. In order to avoid exploitation of the certificate, only those with a request letter from a consulate, an immigration authority, or a government authority are able to file for an application.
- Where can I apply?
To apply for the CNCC, first, download the forms from the CNCC section of the Hong Kong Police Force website and put together your application. After collecting all the required documents, you may go in person by booking an appointment at the Certificate of No Criminal Conviction Office in Wan Chai.
14/F, Arsenal House, Police Headquarters, 1 Arsenal Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Phone: (852) 2860 6558
Fax: (852) 2200 4321
- What is the application process?
The application process is very simple. All you need is to gather all the required documents and send it to the Certificate of No Criminal Conviction Office in Wan Chai. Upon receipt of the completed application documents and the required processing fee, the Hong Kong Police Force will look up any criminal conviction data against the applicant. If no criminal conviction data is found, the office will directly send the certificate to the appropriate consulate, immigration authority, or government authority. Applicants do not receive a copy of the certificate to avoid mishandling. However, if a criminal conviction is found, the applicant, as well as the related consulate, immigration authority, or government authority will receive a letter stating that the certificate could not be issued as a result of the conviction data listed.
- What is the processing time?
The whole process will take less than 4 calendar weeks, whether or not a criminal conviction is found.
- What documents are needed?
To apply, bring the following to the appointment:
- Valid identity document: Hong Kong Identity Card, valid travel document, passport, etc.
- Completed application form
- Signed fingerprint consent form
- Filled in local or overseas standard personal data form (This may only be required if the application is for permanent residency)
- Request letter: Include both the original and a copy of the request letter from the relevant consulate, immigration authority, or government authority. The request letter must clearly indicate the applicant’s name and that the production of the certificate is mandatory. Since the application results will be directly sent by registered mail, remember to include the postal address of the applicable consulate, immigration authority, or government authority.
- Processing fee
- How much is the CNCC?
The processing fee for the CNCC is HKD225. This payment can be made by cash, octopus cards, EPS, or crossed cheques payable to “The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region”.
- How long is it effective for?
The CNCC is a background check for the period of time you were in Hong Kong. As such, there is no expiry date or validity period on the results. In fact, the certificate itself only specifies the date of issue as a reference to that period of time. Instead, you may have to look into the specific requirements of the country you are applying to since they may not require you to have a CNCC from Hong Kong if you have not been back for a period of time.
- How do I apply from overseas?
Instead of having to go in-person to the office, you can either submit the application by post to the office (full mailing address below) or arrange for a representative to either hand in or deposit the application into the drop-in box provided on the first floor of the office. No authorization letter necessary for the representative.
Since in-person appointments include fingerprinting, applications sent from abroad must include an original full set of fingerprints taken and certified by the police, law enforcement agency, or consulate where you reside. Check to make sure that the document includes the name and title of the person taking the fingerprints, full name and official stamp of the police, law enforcement, or consulate that certified it, and the whereabouts and date when the fingerprints were taken.
If the application was issued in a language that is not Chinese or English, the documents must be accompanied by an official transcript in either Chinese or English that is certified by the issuing authority or an accredited translation services body.
The Commissioner of Police
(Attn.: EO CNCC)
14/F, Arsenal House Police Headquarters, 1 Arsenal Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
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