Friday, 23 July 2021

⑧ How to Get Certificate of Good Conduct / No Criminal Record

How to Obtain Certificate of Good Conduct?

No criminal record certificate and better known as Certificate of Good Conduct in Belgium. The French name is ‘Extrait de Casier Judiciaire’ whereas, the Dutch name is ‘Uittreksel uit het Strafregister’. For US citizens, the term is FBI Clearance. Other term includes Certificate of Clearance (COC).

It is a certificate attesting that an individual has no criminal record found or any criminal conviction recorded in his/her country. This copy is usually required to present to the Immigration Department overseas when an individual wants to work, stay, form a family unit and getting a residence permit.

The processing time varies from days to weeks in different countries and the method of application (online/in-person). There might be an administration fee and a queue for obtaining the Certificate of Good Conduct.

The commune did not ask me for this certificate but may ask for it later. Nevertheless, I submitted it as part of my “proof of documents”. I want to increase my chance of getting the Residence Permit F Card.

Again, the need for submission differs in cities or from person to person. Even if someone from the same commune is not asked for this Certificate of Good Conduct, it does not mean that you will get the same exemption.

The Certificate of No Criminal Record has to be submitted within 6 months from the date of issue.

Getting Certificate of Good Conduct in Your Home Country

You can get this certificate from the Federal Police or Authority concerned in your country. State the reason for your request. First, you have to request for a ‘Letter of Introduction’ from the Belgian Embassy in your home country. Then, submit the letter to the local Police when introducing your application. The Police may take your fingerprints later.

Getting Certificate of Good Conduct in Belgium

Some people come to Belgium hoping that the Authority will not ask for it. Some arrive without knowledge that they may require it later. If the need arises, one can apply a Certificate of Good Conduct later to the State Police Department in their country. One can lodge the application online, by post or by fax depending on how it works in the country.

The lifting of fingerprints may be part of the requirement. One can obtain them from the Police Department in Belgium or the Embassy / Consulate. Mail the hard copy of your fingerprints to the State Police in your country.

This is a guideline. You have to check the actual procedure with your State Police or department concerned. Still, the most convenient way is to get the COC in your home country before arriving in Belgium.

Other Advantages of Possessing Certificate of Good Conduct

» For jobs involving domestic work

Children and elderly care such as au pair, babysitter, childcare, caregiver, housekeeping and teachers require the applicant to possess a Certificate of Good Conduct of criminal record clearance for the past 5 years. So, if you are planning to look for one of these jobs, please remember to bring the Certificate of Good Conduct.

» For the benefits of your future job

If you have no criminal record in your home country, use it to your benefit for your employment. The Certificate of Clearance is a good character reference for your prospective employers or any other unforeseen circumstances. Should your future boss ask for it, you can produce without hesitation.

About Live in Belgium

Hello, my name is MissSJ. I am a Singaporean. I am living with my Belgian partner since July 2016 in a cosmopolitan city, Antwerp. However, I had been travelling to and fro Belgium since 2011 as a tourist. The creation of this blog is to document my new journey in Belgium which I would like to call 'home'. Join me in discovering fascinating Belgium from the eyes of an expat.


  1. Suryanarayana Sastry Ramasesha

    Hi, I stayed in Belgium twice as a visiting professor, once in 1995 for 5.5 months and once in 1997-98 for 3.5 months. I am an Indian citizen living in India. How do I get a CoC or Certificate of Good Conduct? Can I apply for it ONLINE? How long does it take after application? Will it be posted to my address in India? Can I have it couriered by paying the charges? Thanks.

  2. Hi! I have left my home country (my nationality) when I was 17 and have lived in 2 different countries for the last 7 years. It almost does not make sense to get police clearance from my home country. Do you think I will be requested to provide a police clearance from the 2 foreign countries I have resided? Or my home country only?

    Thank you for the detailed blogs, it is very useful.

    • Hi Saagii, if you are getting a police clearance for a family reunification process, then you may not be asked to furnish one. From what I see, most people do not need to provide one. You do not need to submit if the authority does not ask you later. But if they do, you can check with them how many countries you have to give. I reckon you do not even have to submit any police clearance. For my case, I was not asked to provide, but I submitted to them anyway.

  3. Greetings to you,
    I am writing to ask if a person who overstayed a Schengen tourist visa can gain legal status via marriage to a Belgian?

    • Hi Victor, legally speaking, overstaying in any country is always not correct. I have foreseen 2 outcomes here.

      1) Your marriage will not be recognised in Belgium due to your status.
      2) You can get legal status by marrying a Belgian on a case-by-case basis.

    • Thanks for your reply. However, in option 2, is the outcome always positive? I mean staying in Belgium after a tourist visa has expired?

      • No, it is not always positive. That depends on your case and how the municipal and immigration look at it. I have a friend who had a positive case after staying here illegally for 5 years and married a Belgian. She also took the risk by telling the truth.

  4. Hi! My name is Sang. I currently live in Belgium with an Orange Card. I want to check is that normal to go to the police station and give a statement about my life and relationship with my husband? They usually investigate in the town hall and not in the police station. I am here for 3 months already. I googled about Orange Card and accidentally saw your page. It’s really helping a lot. Thanks! Hope to hear from you soon.

    • Hi Sang, that is very normal. You can be asked to go to the police visit, the town hall, or both places to have an interview with them. The police can also come to your house. It is also not uncommon to have more than one police visit or interview. That depends from city to city.

    • Thanks for your reply. I am new here and I find it weird to go to the police station. Anyway, thanks for your reply.