Guidance for the process of criminal record certification
The police or an appropriate law enforcement agency usually gives a certificate confirming a person’s free criminal records. The certificate will tell you a lot about a person’s criminal history, like past offenses and recent arrests that are still pending. It can also confirm that they do not have any criminal record. Applicants who lived in a country for 12 months or more in the past 10 years and are over 18 years old need a valid certificate from the relevant authority. Each country except the UK needs a criminal record certificate before you apply. You get one from the relevant authorities when it applies.
Almost every country has a way of issuing free criminal records certificates to citizens and third-country nationals. It is a guide to getting a certificate, which includes information about the process, the cost, and the service standards. It may not reflect the current situation since it’s subject to change. You still need to check with the authorities before you submit an application if a certificate can be obtained. Applicants should check if a certificate can be obtained if information about that country isn’t included in the guidance. The Embassy or High Commission of the relevant country can tell you if they can give you a criminal record certificate. There is a provision in the Immigration Rules to exempt an applicant from getting a criminal record certificate when there is no process in a particular country.
Criminal records are sometimes not managed at the national level in certain countries, but rather at the local or state level. A central authority will not be able to issue a single certificate covering the residence of an applicant in that country, but only certificates for specific administrative areas will be issued. If you’re trying to get a national certificate and you can’t find one, a regional certificate will usually be accepted. You also have to prove that you’ve lived in that region for the time period covered by your regional certificate. If the applicant lived in different parts of a country without issuing national certificates, they have to get local certificates for each area where they lived, or they’ve got to show a satisfactory explanation and evidence why they can’t get national certificates.
As soon as you conclude that the applicant has a reasonable chance of obtaining a certificate or providing a reasonable explanation but has not done so with their application, you should write to him or her and ask for the document or documents or explain why they are absent. Within 28 working days of the request date, you must receive the requested document or documents or explanation at the address specified in the request.