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Posted on July 22 2015

Foreigners must disclose criminal records to come to UK

By  Editor
Updated April 03 2023

Immigrants from outside Europe will be required to provide details of their criminal records or be refused entry to Britain, under new measures to be introduced by the Government.

From September everyone applying to come to Britain under certain visa routes will have to provide proof of criminal record checks from every country they have lived in for the last 10 years.

The scheme, designed to prevent foreign criminals reaching British soil, will initially apply to applicants in the “investor” and “entrepreneur” visa routes – and is due to be extended to other visa types from 2016.
However, the checks will not apply to anyone from within the European Union who enjoy “free movement” rights to come to Britain.

It means the scheme would not have covered the case of the killer of Alice Gross, the 14-year-old schoolgirl who went missing from her west London home in August last year and was later found murdered.

Arnis Zalkalns, a 41-year-old Latvian immigrant, had been named as a suspect in her disappearance but his body was later found hanging in woodland nearby.

He was a convicted killer when he arrived in Britain, having previously served seven years for murdering his wife Rudite in Latvia.

James Brokenshire, the immigration minister, said: "Foreign criminals have no place in the United Kingdom and this scheme will help keep them out.

"Since 2010, checks on foreign nationals going through the UK criminal justice system have increased by more than 1,000 per cent, helping ensure more foreign criminals are taken off our streets and making our communities safer.

"But we want to go further still by preventing these people getting into the country in the first place. Mandatory police certificates will serve as an additional tool to help us achieve this.”

The Home Office also confirmed the scheme will not apply to short-term visa routes because it would be a “disproportionate requirement” for millions of visitors coming to Britain.

A spokesman confirmed the roll-out of the scheme will depend on the results of the first stage of the investor and entrepreneur routes, known as “Tier 1” visas under the Government’s points-based immigration system.

The new requirements will apply to all nationalities who are applying under the Tier 1 routes, even if they are citizens of countries such as the United States who do not require a visa to visit this country.

“A US national or any other non-visa national coming to the UK as a Tier 1 investor or entrepreneur still requires entry clearance, even if they don’t necessarily need a visa,” the spokesman said.

“Therefore they will still need to produce a police certificate.”

Not all countries have a direct equivalent of Britain’s criminal records checking authority, now known as the Disclosure and Barring Service.

The Government spokesman said it would be possible for foreigners who have lived in a country which does not have a similar service to obtain an exception – or partial exception – from the rules.

But they will have to provide evidence that they have made efforts to undergo a criminal record check, he added.

For more news and updates, assistance with your visa needs or for a Free Assessment of your profile for Immigration or Work Visa’s just visit



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