Getting a background check from the RCMP

May 7th, 2014

If you have lived in Canada for longer than six months since you turned 18 and are applying for any residency program, you will have to get a background check performed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the federal police agency in Canada. Background checks from provincial or municipal forces will not suffice; it must be an RCMP check.

If you are already in Canada, this process is simple. As I did for my FBI background check, I went to Canadian Fingerprinting Solutions in Montreal, explained my situation — that I needed an RCMP background check for a Quebec immigration program — and they knew exactly what to. You must bring two pieces of photo ID, one of which must be government issued. I brought my passport and Irish driving license.

The staff will take your fingerprints electronically, as opposed to actual ink. Once your prints have been taken and uploaded, they will send them directly to the RCMP office in Ottawa. You don’t need to go anything else. You should receive your background check in the mail after between three and 15 business days from the date they are sent. The total cost is $45.00.

For those outside Canada, you should refer to this RCMP page. As of July 1, 2014, paper (i.e. ink) submissions will no longer be accepted directly by the RCMP. You will need to have them digitized first. You may contact accredited companies within Canada who will digitize ink fingerprints and submit them electronically to the RCMP. This process will inevitably take longer than if you were in Canada for the fingerprinting stage.


Cost for this component: $45.00

Running cost before this component: $88.09

Total running cost for QSWP: $133.09