• Police Clearance Required for Temporary Residence Renewals and Permanent Residence Applications
  • April 26, 2018
  • The situation

    The General Directorate of Immigration in Guatemala now requires that foreign nationals renewing Temporary Residence permits or applying for Permanent Residence include police clearances from the following locations:

    • Country of origin (legalized and apostilled);

    • Each country of legal residence for the past five years (legalized and apostilled); and

    • Guatemala.

    Previously, only a police clearance from Guatemala was required.

    Exception

    If a foreign national has provided any of the above police clearances as part of the initial visa process within the last 12 months, the foreign national does not need to obtain a new one.

    Impact

    This new requirement can cause significant delays and increased costs, due to the following factors:

    • Many countries require a foreign national’s personal appearance for fingerprinting as part of the police clearance process. If the country from which a foreign national is required to obtain a police clearance does not have a consular post in Guatemala, the foreign national may need to travel to this country to obtain the police clearance;

    • Processing times to obtain police clearances in many countries can be lengthy; and

    • For Venezuelan nationals, the website on which police clearances are requested is currently inoperable and police clearances are not being issued. Therefore, Venezuelan nationals may not be able to renew their Temporary Residence permits or obtain Permanent Residence in Guatemala until the police clearance system issue is resolved.

    Fragomen can assist foreign nationals with obtaining and legalizing police clearance certificates.