With effect from 1 September 2015 the Home Office will begin to roll out the requirement for migrants to obtain police clearance certificates prior to submitting applications for visas to travel to the UK. There will be a phased introduction commencing with the Tier 1 (Investor) and Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) applicant categories. This is a trial scheme and subject to its success it is anticipated that it will be rolled out further to other immigration categories at the beginning of 2016.

These Tier 1 applicants and their adult dependants will need to produce police clearance certificates from each country they have resided in for a 12 month period or more to cover a 10 year period immediately prior to submission of their visa application. The certificate must also have been issued within the six months before the application date. The process for obtaining a certificate will vary from country to country and in some locations can take several months to be issued.

For Sponsors of Tier 2 migrants it may be prudent to anticipate that the requirement will be rolled out further to include Tier 2 migrants and factor this in when planning for migrants to transfer to the UK in early 2016. In some countries, for example the US, it can take up to three months to obtain a certificate. If the certificate is not in English it will also need to be translated. In some countries it is simply not possible to obtain a certificate as no process exists for obtaining one and evidence will need to be provided to prove this. In all other cases failure to provide a certificate will lead to refusal of the visa application.

Please click here for a link to the Home Office guidance as to the process for obtaining the certificates in each country.