Fingerprinting for Canadian Permanent Residence and Citizenship Part 2

January 18th, 2019
Fingerprinting for Canadian Permanent Residence

How do I get fingerprints to apply for police certificates for permanent residence or Canadian citizenship?

You may need to have your fingerprints taken to get a police certificate for permanent residence or Canadian citizenship application. The two fingerprinting services Red Seal Notary provides are ink and roll fingerprints and digital fingerprints.

Ink and roll fingerprints are used to apply for a police certificate from any country other than Canada. Digital fingerprints are used for Certified Criminal Record Checks (police certificates) from Canada.

What is the procedure for ink and roll fingerprints?

Ink and roll fingerprinting use special ink to manually take impressions of all of your fingers on a paper fingerprint card. The word “roll” refers to the process of rolling each finger on the paper, capturing in ink as many of the ridges as possible. Many countries require that you provide original ink and roll fingerprints to get a police certificate.

It is important for you to find out the specific requirements for the countries you are submitting your fingerprints to. See our first article on Police Certificates for Canadian immigration for helpful links https://www.redsealnotary.com/fingerprinting-for-canadian-immigration-and-citizenship-part-1/

What types of ink and roll fingerprint cards can Red Seal Notary use?

There are three types of ink and roll fingerprint cards:

  1. RCMP Card: The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has a standard fingerprint card accepted by many countries. You need to submit the fingerprints to the authorities in each country yourself. Please note that no photograph is included on this card.
  2. FBI Card: Red Seal Notary provides the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) fingerprint card for clients who require criminal history record checks from the United States. Red Seal Notary does not submit your fingerprints to the FBI. You need to submit them yourself. Information on applying for FBI checks is available at the FBI’s website: https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/identity-history-summary-checks
  3. Fingerprint cards provided by the client: Some countries have their own fingerprint cards, which you may need to order or print from the internet. Red Seal Notary can take your fingerprints on these cards if you bring them in. You are responsible for submitting the fingerprints to the appropriate authorities.


Are there special requirements for ink and roll fingerprints?

Some countries have special requirements for ink and roll fingerprint submission.  Common requirements are:

  • Notarization of Ink and Roll Fingerprint Card

Some countries require that the fingerprint card be notarized after the fingerprints are taken. Notarization means that a Notary Public puts their notary seal and signature on the fingerprint card and certifies that they witnessed you placing your fingerprints on the card. Red Seal Notary provides this service for an additional fee. Please note that we can only notarize original fingerprint cards that were taken at Red Seal Notary.

  • Photographs

Some countries require that you attach photographs to your fingerprint card. Red Seal Notary does not provide photographs, so you must have your photos prior to getting your ink and roll fingerprints.

  • Sealed envelopes, raised seals, and other specific requirements

Some countries, such as Iran, have very specific requirements about how the fingerprint card should be submitted. Be sure to advise the Red Seal Notary fingerprint technician of all your requirements and provide any instruction sheets.

It is very important to check the specific requirements for each country before you have your fingerprints taken. Bring in any instructions so we can provide the best possible assistance.

What is the procedure for digital fingerprints for Canadian Certified Criminal Record Checks?

If you require a Certified Criminal Record Check (police certificate) from Canada for your permanent residence or citizenship application, you must obtain digital fingerprints to submit to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The RCMP does not accept ink and roll fingerprints.

Red Seal Notary uses a fingerprint system accredited by the RCMP to digitally scan your fingerprints. This information is transmitted to the RCMP.  The RCMP process the fingerprints and send the certified criminal record check to you or your designated recipient by regular mail. For more information, see the RCMP website: https://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/en/criminal-record-checks

Bring any request letters with you when you get fingerprinted

It is important to bring any fingerprint request letters from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC or CIC) with you when get your fingerprints taken. The request letter contains vital information, such as your immigration file numbers and sometimes an office where IRCC may want the certified criminal record check results sent directly. This information is submitted by Red Seal Notary to the RCMP to allow them to process your fingerprints in a timely manner.

Identification Requirement for Fingerprinting

You are required to present two pieces of original, valid, government-issued photo identification every time you get fingerprinted. At least one of the pieces of identification must include a photo. Examples of acceptable identification include valid passports, driver’s licenses, national identity cards, and birth certificates. Social insurance cards and health cards are not acceptable forms of identification.

The Red Seal Notary Fingerprinting page has more information about the fingerprinting process and our walk-in fingerprint locations here:



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