I HAVE A CRIMINAL RECORD, CAN I ENTER and WORK IN THE UK?
Do I need an Overseas Criminal Record Certificate?
The UK requires people who want to enter and work in the UK to obtain an overseas criminal record certificate. This certificate must be from all countries that the applicant has lived in continuously for 12 months or more over the past ten years.
If you want to work in any of the following sectors in the UK, a criminal record certificate is essential.
- Social services - being a manager, social worker or a probation officer
- Therapy - speech or language therapists or psychologists
- Education, - teachers, school inspectors or education advisers
How do you apply for an Australian Criminal Record Certificate?
- You can apply online with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) at
- You can download the application form and mail it to Australian Federal Police, Criminal Records Locked Bag 8550 CANBERRA CITY ACT.
What must you include with your application?
- The completed application form
- An authorised copy of your photograhic ID (passport or drivers licence)
- In some exceptional cases they may require your fringerprints, but you will be notified if needed.
What are the costs?
Depending on who the employer is and whether fingerprints are supplied with or taken on application the fee schedule for a National Police Check is $43-$99AUD.
How long does it take?
If you are inside Australia and you applied directly to the AFP, turnaround time is usually 15 days on receipt of posted forms. If you apply from outside Australia, international postage times will be a factor to consider.
If you need more information you can email AFP-NationalPoliceChecks@converga.com.au, or go to the AFP website.
Can the UK refuse permission for me to enter on the grounds of a criminal conviction?
UK Immigration Rules – refusal of leave to enter the UK
Paragraph 320(2) states that an application would be refused if the applicant seeking to enter the United Kingdom:
- is currently the subject of a deportation order; or
- has been convicted of an offence for which they have been sentenced to a at least 4 years of imprisonment; or
- has been convicted of an offence for which they have been sentenced to a period of imprisonment of at least 12 months but less than 4 years, unless 10 years have passed since the end of the sentence; or
- has been convicted of an offence for which they have been sentenced to a period of imprisonment of less than 12 months, unless 5 years have passed since the end of the sentence.
Paragraph 320(18A) states that an applicant should be refused entry if the person has been convicted of, or admitted to, an offence within the 12 months prior to the date of application, and they received a non-custodial sentence or other out of court disposal that is recorded on their criminal record.
Paragraph 320(18B) states that a person should be refused entry if in the view of the Secretary of State:
- the person’s offending has caused serious harm; or
- the person is a persistent offender who shows a particular disregard for the law.
Paragraph 320(19) states that a person should be refused entry if the immigration officer is of the opinion that the exclusion of the person from the UK is for the public good. This gives the immigration officer a wide discretion. Even if the applicant’s conduct does not fall under any of the previous paragraphs, he or she can still be refused entry if the person’s conduct, character, associations or any other reason make it undesirable to grant permission for such an applicant to enter the UK.
Get legal advice
From the above it is clear that getting permission to enter and work in the UK is extremely difficult if you have a criminal record. If you are planning to seek permission to enter and/or work in the UK and you have recently been charged with, or convicted of, a criminal or a driving offence, you should contact a lawyer with expert knowledge of Immigration Laws. The outcome of your case can have a significant affect on your prospects of entering the UK.
Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.