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Overseas Criminal Record Check UK

Irish employers bringing staff to the UK may need to conduct overseas criminal record checks to comply with UK regulations. The type of check required will depend on the specific role.

Our lawyers at IAS will assist you with the process of verifying your employees’ records for their UK move. Call +353 061 518 025 or contact us online.

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    Hiring From Overseas As an Irish Company Established In The UK

    As an Irish employer in the UK, you may need to hire overseas applicants to fill any skills gaps and expand your business.  The recruitment of overseas workers will require checking their employment, immigration, and criminal history.

    As a sponsor of overseas workers, it is a requirement of being a Sponsor Licence holder that you carry out the right-to-work checks on all employees, even if your main base of operations is outside of the UK.

    IAS specialises in helping Irish-based businesses in the UK get criminal records checks for their overseas workers. We will guide you through the process and provide timely results. For immediate assistance, call +353 061 518 025.

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    Criminal Records Checks for Overseas Applicants: Why It’s Important

    Irish employers in the UK must verify the criminal histories of their foreign workers, especially in fields like social care, education and health. Overseas applicants requesting entry to the UK must present a criminal background certificate. Failure to do so would lead to a visa denial.

    The results of background checks can be used to determine if an applicant is qualified for the role. This way, you are sure that you are not placing someone incorrectly in a position where patience and care is required.

    Also, hiring people with criminal backgrounds can damage your company’s reputation. By carrying out these checks, you can safeguard the image of your business. Conducting background checks demonstrates your dedication to employing reliable people.

    Additionally, it promotes trust among your staff and shows concern for the security of your employees.

    Who Needs to Provide an Overseas Criminal Record Check in the UK?

    An in-depth criminal record check is required for all Skilled Worker Visa applicants who wish to work in certain health, education, or social care areas.

    People who come from a country other than the UK and have resided for 12 months or longer within the previous ten years need to provide overseas criminal records.

    Any dependant partners travelling to the UK must also present their criminal record certificate either independently or at the same time as their partner who is an applicant.

    UK companies are exempt from providing an overseas check when making a new employment offer to a candidate who is already a lawful resident of the UK.  Also, a criminal record check is not required to be submitted with a visa application for anyone in the UK applying for or extending a Skilled Worker Visa.

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      Types of Overseas Criminal Record Checks in the UK

      The types of overseas criminal record checks offer different choices for people looking to work in some fields in the UK. Below are the different types of overseas criminal record checks:

      • Basic criminal record check which provides a brief overview of a criminal background check for residents of Scotland or other foreign countries only.
      • Standard criminal record check that indicates both spent and unspent charges and convictions
      • Enhanced check that includes all the data from a basic check together with any local police report that is relevant to the position.
      • Enhanced check and barred lists, indicating your status on the list of those prohibited from performing the job duties and other information.

      To ensure compliance and select the best kind of overseas criminal record check for your needs, consult with experts who are knowledgeable about both UK and Irish rules. Call +353 061 518 025 to book a consultation.

      How To Order an Overseas Criminal Record Check

      Anyone living in the Republic of Ireland or having previously resided there may use the UK system to apply for an overseas criminal record check. Note that applicants who are Northern Irish (NI) are not eligible to use this programme and should check Access Northern Ireland for more information.

      Applicants for police certificates should submit a written application to the superintendent in charge of the district where they currently reside or formerly resided.

      The following information is required in the written application:

      • Full name as stated on applicant’s birth certificate
      • Date and place of birth
      • Current address
      • All addresses in Ireland and their duration
      • The destination and aim for which the record is required
      • A means of identification like a copy of the passport or driving licence
      • A stamped, self-addressed envelope to facilitate the return of the certificate

      Requests for overseas criminal record checks can be submitted in a free-form written format or by using a downloadable application form. For more information or specific inquiries, refer to the relevant district superintendent in the Republic of Ireland, identified through the station directory.

      Overseas Criminal Record Check Cost and Processing Time

      There is no charge for Irish citizens to obtain a criminal record certificate. However, if you are applying for a non-Irish employee, charges may apply depending on the applicant’s home country.

      A background check can take between two to eight weeks. The shortest checks are the basic ones, which can take up to 14 days. Both standard and enhanced checks involve more extensive checks and often take eight weeks. The type of check and the accuracy of the information provided will affect how long the process eventually takes.

      The certificate will be returned through the provided self-addressed envelope. The processing time allows UK authorities to review information thoroughly, ensuring the reliability of the certificate.

      How IAS Can Help Your Business

      Due to the lengthy procedures involved, Irish employers may face some challenges if they need to perform a criminal check on their employees in the UK. To assist you with this process, you need a dependable and knowledgeable partner like IAS.

      With many years of experience, we are well-known and reputable immigration lawyers. With quick and easy access to UK agencies, we can assist you in obtaining the required criminal records.

      We simplify the application process by guiding you through each step, from identifying the correct check type to document submission. You can be assured of an expedited process and clear communication because we serve as intermediaries between businesses and UK authorities. Call IAS on +353 061 518 025 to get started.

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                Related pages for your continued reading.


                DBS checks are for those who have spent time in the UK while overseas checks are for foreigners.

                No, UK police checks are not automatically accepted in other countries. Every country has its laws regarding criminal record checks, and may not recognise or accept a UK-issued check.