This September saw the introduction of a requirement for an overseas criminal record certificate as an essential component of any application for Tier 1 investor and Tier 1 entrepreneur visas.

All applications must now include police certification from all countries in which the applicant has lived for 12 months or more over the ten years immediately preceding the application. Dependent adults (over 18 years of age) are also required to produce such a certificate. The new demands also require original copies of such certificates as well as a translated (English) version if the certificate was issued in a language other than English. Billed as a means of keeping ‘criminals’ out of the UK and as ‘protecting’ the UK immigration process, the Tier 1 entrepreneur and investment requirements place an additional obstacle in the path of those seeking to establish a life in the UK.

At a time when as many as 70% of all applicants are seeing their cases for Tier 1 entrepreneur visas being rejected, the increased administrative difficulty arising from sourcing and producing an original criminal record certificate in line with the new regulations merely adds to the difficulty of securing a visa.

The latest changes represent the latest ‘tightening’ of the criteria which the British government has been undertaking over recent years. The ‘genuine entrepreneur’ test announced in January 2015 - which allows the application to be rejected on the basis of interviews alone - is merely the most conspicuous of such changes.

Considerable numbers of applicants are seeing their applications rejected on purely administrative grounds. For anyone seeking to apply for a Tier 1 entrepreneur visa or a tier 1 investment visa the conditions and the amount of 'red tape' involved are now both so complex and so changeable that the process of application is effectively impossible without professional guidance.