We highlighted the paragraphs of U.S. law related to Unobtainable Police Clearance Certificate with yellow backgound, also provided the links to U.S. government websites at the end of each law/act for reference.

 

Code of Federal Regulations

Title 22 - Foreign Relations

Section 42.65 - Supporting documents.

[52 FR 42613, Nov. 5, 1987, as amended at 55 FR 29015, July 17, 1990; 56 FR 49682, Oct. 1, 1991]

(a) Authority to require documents. The consular officer is authorized to require documents considered necessary to establish the alien's eligibility to receive an immigrant visa. All such documents submitted and other evidence presented by the alien, including briefs submitted by attorneys or other representatives, shall be considered by the officer.

(b) Basic documents required. An alien applying for an immigrant visa shall be required to furnish, if obtainable: A copy of a police certificate or certificates; a certified copy of any existing prison record, military record, and record of birth; and a certified copy of all other records or documents which the consular officer considers necessary.

(c) Definitions. 

(1) Police certificate means a certification by the police or other appropriate authorities reporting information entered in their records relating to the alien. In the case of the country of an alien's nationality and the country of an alien's current residence (as of the time of visa application) the term “appropriate police authorities” means those of a country, area or locality in which the alien has resided for at least six months. In the case of all other countries, areas, or localities, the term “appropriate police authorities” means the authorities of any country, area, or locality in which the alien has resided for at least one year. A consular officer may require a police certificate regardless of length of residence in any country if he or she has reason to believe that a police record exists in the country, area, or locality concerned.

(2) Prison record means an official document containing a report of the applicant's record of confinement and conduct in a penal or correctional institution.

(3) Military record means an official document containing a complete record of the applicant's service and conduct while in military service, including any convictions of crime before military tribunals as distinguished from other criminal courts. A certificate of discharge from the military forces or an enrollment book belonging to the applicant shall not be acceptable in lieu of the official military record, unless it shows the alien's complete record while in military service. The applicant may, however, be required to present for inspection such a discharge certificate or enrollment book if deemed necessary by the consular officer to establish the applicant's eligibility to receive a visa.

(4) A certified copy of an alien's record of birth means a certificate issued by the official custodian of birth records in the country of birth showing the date and place of birth and the parentage of the alien, based upon the original registration of birth.

(5) Other records or documents include any records or documents establishing the applicant's relationship to a spouse or children, if any, and any records or documents pertinent to a determination of the applicant's identity, classification, or any other matter relating to the applicant's visa eligibility.

(d) Unobtainable documents. 

(1) If the consular officer is satisfied, or the catalogue of available documents prepared by the Department indicates, that any document or record required under this section is unobtainable, the officer may permit the immigrant to submit other satisfactory evidence in lieu of such document or record. A document or other record shall be considered unobtainable if it cannot be procured without causing to the applicant or a family member actual hardship as opposed to normal delay and inconvenience.

(2) If the consular officer determines that a supporting document, as described in paragraph (b) of this section, is in fact unobtainable, although the catalogue of available documents shows it is available, the officer shall affix to the visa application a signed statement describing in detail the reasons for considering the record or document unobtainable and for accepting the particular secondary evidence attached to the visa.

(e) Authenticity of records and documents. If the consular officer has reason to believe that a required record or document submitted by an applicant is not authentic or has been altered or tampered with in any material manner, the officer shall take such action as may be necessary to determine its authenticity or to ascertain the facts to which the record or document purports to relate.

(f) Photographs. Every alien shall furnish color photographs of the number and specifications prescribed by the Department, except that, in countries where facilities for producing color photographs are unavailable as determined by the consular officer, black and white photographs may be substituted.

  From Government Publishing Office https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2012-title22-vol1/xml/CFR-2012-title22-vol1-sec42-65.xml


 

9 FAM 504.4 
(U) PRE-APPOINTMENT PROCESSING

(CT:VISA-359;   05-02-2017)
(Office of Origin: CA/VO/L/R)

9 FAM 504.4-4(B)  (U) Police Certificates

(CT:VISA-359;   05-02-2017)

a. (U) Police Certificate From Country of Current Residence or Country of Nationality:  An applicant 16 or older must present a police certificate, if obtainable, from his or her country of current residence, if residence exceeds six months.  Such an applicant must also present a police certificate, if obtainable, from his or her country of nationality, if different from the country of current residence and if residence in the country of nationality exceeds six months.  (See Visa Reciprocity and Country Documents Finder for availability of police certificates for individual countries.)

b. (U) Police Certificate From Country of Previous Residence:   Police certificates are required from any countries of previous residence in which an applicant has lived for one year of more since attaining the age of 16.  If an applicant has presented a comprehensive police certificate fully meeting the requirements of 22 CFR 42.65(c) from the applicant’s country of principal residence, you need not require a police certificate from other places of former residence, provided the applicant presents other satisfactory evidence of good conduct.  For example, it has been held that proof of membership in or affiliation with a reputable religious organization in a religious capacity during periods of foreign residence may be accepted as such evidence.  However, if you have reason to believe that a police or criminal record which would render the alien ineligible to receive a visa might exist in the foreign country you must require the alien to obtain the police certificate.  If the police certificate is not obtainable from the local authorities, the alien must present other convincing evidence that he is not ineligible to receive a visa. (See Visa Reciprocity and Country Documents Finder for availability of police certificates for individual countries.)

c.  (U) Police Certificates From Countries Where the Applicant Has Been Arrested:  If the applicant has ever been arrested, a police certificate from the country where the arrest took place should be provided, if obtainable.

d.  Unavailable

e. (U) Reporting Availability of Police Certificates to the Department:  Consular officers should periodically discuss with the host government the availability and quality of police clearance information, as well as the procedures to be followed for visa applicants to obtain clearances both within and outside the country.  Posts should provide information concerning the degree of automation and centralization of records, as well as any purge procedures followed by the host country.  Posts should also determine how criminal records are indexed in their nation.  The use of a unique national identification number as opposed to nonstandard spellings of names is also significant.  Posts should provide background to the Department’s Immigration and Employment Division (CA/VO/F/IE), as well as draft language for inclusion in the Reciprocity Schedule.  Posts should clear information among all Department of State consular operations within their country and with the regional security officers (RSOs) and coordinate with like-minded foreign embassies as appropriate.

9 FAM 504.4-4(E)  (U) Affidavits of Support

(CT:VISA-1;   11-18-2015)

a. (U) For cases in which INA 213A applies, all applicants must submit a properly completed Form I-864, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the Act, and supporting documents (see 9 FAM 302.8-2(B)(2)).

b. (U) For cases in which INA 213A does not apply (for example, nonimmigrant visas such as K-1 fiancé(e) visas), applicants may submit Form I-134, Affidavit of Support, or may submit alternative forms of evidence to overcome the public charge provisions of the law.

9 FAM 504.4-4(F)  (U) Unobtainable/Unreliable Documents

(CT:VISA-1;   11-18-2015)

a. (U) Unobtainable Documents:

(1)  (U) If a required document cannot be procured without causing the applicant or a family member actual hardship, other than normal delay or inconvenience, you may consider it unobtainable, and permit the applicant to submit other satisfactory evidence in lieu of such document or record, per 22 CFR 42.65(d). Use this authority sparingly.

(2)  (U) If you find that a required document is unobtainable, you must complete and sign Form FS-552, Certificate Regarding Documents Required by 22 CFR 42.65(b) Which Are Unobtainable, and attach to the Form FS-552 secondary evidence and/or a certificate from the appropriate authority, if obtainable, showing that in this particular case the missing document was never properly recorded.

b. (U) Unreliable Documents:  We recognize that some documents may be obtainable, but may also be unreliable either because of local corruption, or the ease with which such documents can be altered or counterfeited.  It is, nevertheless, a legal requirement that the applicant present supporting civil and other documents specified in the application procedures if such documents are available.  In some instances, you might detect an altered document that might trigger a revealing line of inquiry on the applicant's criminal record.  For example, if you find the presentation of a fraudulent document was an effort to conceal a line of inquiry, which might have resulted in a proper denial of the visa, submit an advisory opinion (AO). On the other hand, if you can establish that presentation of the document clearly involved misrepresentation of an independent ground of ineligibility, the application should be immediately refused under INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i) (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(6)(C)(i)). In this latter case do not submit an AO.

c. (U) Secondary Evidence in Lieu of Supporting Document:  INA 222(b) (8 U.S.C. 1202(b)) prescribes the documentation required of applicants.  It will be rare that a document listed as available in Visa Reciprocity and Country Documents Finder is unobtainable.  If, however, you are satisfied that a document is unobtainable, you must require substitute documentation or secondary evidence.  22 CFR 42.65(d)(2) requires the consular officer to affix a signed statement describing in detail the reasons for considering the record or document unobtainable and for accepting the particular secondary evidence attached to the visa. (See 22 CFR 42.65(d).)  In these cases, the applicant must submit proof of the unavailability of the missing document; for example, a statement from the local authorities that records for the year in question were destroyed by fire, or proof of the attempts made to obtain the document.  When accepting substitute documentation or secondary evidence, complete Form FS-552, Certificate Regarding Documents Required by 22 CFR 42.65(b) Which Are Unobtainable, upon which the officer will make the statement required by 22 CFR 42.65(d)(2) and attach the Form FS-552 to the visa.

  From Foreign Affairs Manual https://fam.state.gov/fam/09FAM/09FAM050404.html

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