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Overseas Criminal Record Certificates Extended to Tier 2

The Government plans to extend the requirement to provide an overseas criminal record certificate to Tier 2 visa applicants coming to work in certain occupations like in the education, health and social care sectors from April 2017.

The extension of this requirement has been designed to strengthen safeguards against individuals with a criminal history who are seeking to come to the work in the UK.

Tier 2 visa applicants who are coming to work in a profession defined by the relevant Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code will need to provide a criminal record certificate from any country in which they have lived for 12 months or more in the past 10 years. The new requirement will also apply to their adult dependants.

Currently, individuals applying for entry clearance under the following routes are needed to provide an overseas criminal record certificate:

  • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)
  • Tier 1 (Investor)
  • Adult dependants of the main applicants of Tier 1 visas as above

Employers with a sponsorship licence are encouraged to inform their prospective employees about the new requirement once a Certificate of Sponsorship is issued. It is the sponsor's responsibility to do this and failure to provide the criminal record certificate may result in refusal of the visa.

Here are listed some Key points to consider:

  • The requirement affects those who are coming to work in the UK on a Tier 2 visa across education and health and social care.
  • The extended requirement will only affect those who apply for a Tier 2 visa before April 2017.
  • The Home Office will contact sponsors with exact timings of the new requirement.
  • The requirement applies to those who have been assigned a certificate of sponsorship on or after January 2017.

If Applicants are unable to source an overseas criminal record certificate covering the requirement by the visa application, then a letter should be submitted as a supporting document to the application.

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Please feel free to contact us anytime, if you have any questions about the new requirement, or immigration compliance in general.