New Criminal Record Evidence Requirement
James Brokenshire, the Minister for Immigration, recently announced that from 1 September 2015 any individual who is applying to enter the UK as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) or Tier 1 (Investor) will be required to provide a criminal record certificate from any country in which they have lived for 12 months or more in the previous 10 years.
Failure to provide the requested evidence will lead to the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) application or Tier 1 (Investor) visa application being refused. In the event an applicant under one of these categories is found to have lied about their criminal record, they could face a mandatory refusal of a future UK visa for a period of 10 years.
The Home Office has published guidance on the processing times for criminal record checks overseas. If, for example, an applicant is applying to enter under the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa or Tier 1 (Investor) visa from Canada, the processing time to obtain this certificate can take up to 120 days. This will obviously cause issues for applicants if their need to enter the UK is urgent!
If an applicant is unable to obtain a certificate as, for example, their country does not produce such documents, the applicant is required to provide a letter which outlines their attempts to obtain a certificate and why it has not been possible. However, the factors that UKVI will consider when exercising this discretion is not clear! We understand that the Home Office will roll out this criminal record certificate requirement to other areas in due course and the additional time delays will need to be factored in by businesses and applicants. We will keep you informed.
Should you require any information in relation to this please do not hesitate to contact Mandeep Khroud.
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