A requirement to provide overseas criminal record certificates, when applying for a visa to come to the UK, was applied to the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) and Tier 1 (Investor) visa routes in September 2015. This requirement is now being introduced for some Tier 2 visa applications.
PLEASE NOTE: the new requirement does not apply to the Researcher (SOC code 2119) and Lecturer (SOC code 2311) roles sponsored most frequently by the University, or any other job types SIT normally encounter, only senior administrative roles which fall under SOC code 2317.
The new requirement only affects certain job codes under Tier 2 in the education, health and social care sectors. Of the job codes currently affected the only one which SIT has identified as relevant within the collegiate University is SOC code 2317, which is used (very infrequently) for senior administrative posts such as ‘Course Director’ or ‘Director of studies’.
What is the new requirement?
Those applying for a Tier 2 visa for a role affected by the new requirement will have to provide either an original or a scanned copy of a criminal record certificate from the relevant authority in any country in which they have been resident for 12 months or more (whether continuously or in total) in the past 10 years, while aged 18 or over. Any dependants who are over 18 years old must also meet this requirement.
The Home Office provides contact details for the relevant authorities in different countries along with details of how to apply.
What effect will the new requirement have on applications?
We understand that the main effect of this requirement, since its introduction for Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) and Tier 1 (Investor) visa applications, has been delays as a result of having to apply for and obtain certificates, often from more than one country. We recommend that if a senior administrative post (such as those mentioned above) is being advertised the department/ college should contact SIT as early as possible to determine whether this requirement will apply if the chosen candidate requires a Tier 2 visa.
While the Home Office have stated that this requirement will be extended to all Tier 2 visa applications, they have not confirmed a timescale for this expansion of the requirement, and have indicated that this will not be for some time.
As this requirement will not affect the vast majority of Tier 2 applicants sponsored by the University, please contact SIT for links to the relevant guidance if you are advertising a role which you think may be affected, or if you would like more information.