In April 2015, the Home Office introduced a new rule whereby applicants were required to obtain and present a clean criminal record certificate from any country for which they have lived in for a continuous 12 month period or more in last 10 years prior to their date of application. The Home Office have said this change is to be an important step in preventing foreign criminals from coming to the UK.

This new requirement is now being rolled out in phases, starting with the Tier 1 (Investor) and (Entrepreneur) applicants and their adult dependants before being applied on a wider scale. The Home Office feels that by starting with a small category of applicants, they will be able to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the policy. The requirements will apply to all applications submitted on or after 01 September 2015.

Updated policy guidance on Tier 1 (Investor) and Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) was publshed on 20 July 2015 to provide further information, and to allow applicants sufficient time to gather the necessary documentation. The statement of changes, which provides more detail on this policy on p10 and p39, can be found on Gov.UK.