Application for police certificate before getting ITA

Given the long wait for getting the FBI clearance, can we apply for FBI clearance before getting the ITA?

I’d recommend you to do that. Although, right now CIC accepts proof of FBI application(Like a fedex receipt with tracking number and copy of your application) if you don’t receive it on time, it creates unnecessary confusions to a submitted application is my personal opinion. I did a couple of weeks before I got my ITA and I received almost on time(10 days before my submission deadline)

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You should do that asap since FBI clearance can take long time. I think it took me almost 2-3 months to get it.

can i apply fbi clearance now even if we start creating profile after 2 months or we get ITA after 5-6 months?

Apply a couple of weeks before you submit your EE profile and you should be OK.

is this required for folks applying PR after started working in canada on a work visa ?
or this applies only to express entry / direct PR

I think you need police certificates from all countries you have lived in for more than 6 months. I know for sure this is required for EE entry I don’t know much about “direct PR”. Please check https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/publications-manuals/operational-bulletins-manuals/permanent-residence/express-entry/applications-received-on-after-january-1-2016-completeness-check.html