Overseas Criminal Record Certificate

Overseas Criminal Record Certificate (OCRC) are mandatory only for some UK visa categories. The OCRC requirement means that in addition to disclosing your criminal offences just like you would need to do for any other visa application, you must also provide the criminal record certificates as one of the supporting documents for your application. How and where to obtain the certificate.

It is important to bear in mind that all criminal convictions and offences have to be declared when applying for any UK visa or naturalisation irrespective if Criminal Record Certificate is required or not. The application forms have specific questions on the criminality and you must respond to them diligently and truthfully. We deal with the criminality grounds of refusal issue in our separate article. Failing to declare your criminal offences may constitute a criminal offence in itself and/or result in a delayed or refused application.

Overseas Criminal Record Certificate

What is Overseas Criminal Record Certificate

Criminal Record Certificate is a document issued by relevant authorities of a given foreign country (usually law enforcement or judicial) which includes information about individual’s criminal record, including any past offences and information relating to recent arrests which are pending further action such as prosecution. Alternatively, the certificate will confirm that the given individual does not have a criminal record.

What time period should be covered by Overseas Criminal Record Certificate

Criminal Record Certificate is required for adult applicants and it should cover last 10 years before the date of application or only the period when the applicant was over 18 years old. If, for example the applicant is 25 years old at the time of application his Overseas Criminal Record Certificate should be covering the last seven years of his life.

Which applications require Overseas Criminal Record Certificate

Who needs to present Overseas Criminal Record Certificate? Skilled Worker visa applicants who will be working in the health, education, social care, and some other specified sectors, as well as their adult dependants have to provide to Home Office the criminal record certificates. Those certificates must be from their home country and all countries they resided for at least 12 months in total during the 10 years prior to the UK visa application.

Which jobs require criminal record certificate?

Home Office provides a list of SOC codes of the jobs that need Overseas Criminal Record Certificate for Skilled Worker entry clearance application. Those are listed below:

  • 1181 Health services and public health managers and directors
  • 1184 Social services managers and directors
  • 1241 Health care practice managers
  • 242 Residential, day and domiciliary care managers and proprietors
  • 2211 Medical practitioners
  • 2212 Psychologists
  • 2213 Pharmacists
  • 2214 Ophthalmic opticians
  • 2215 Dental practitioners
  • 2217 Medical radiographers
  • 2218 Podiatrists
  • 2219 Health professionals not elsewhere classified
  • 2221 Physiotherapists
  • 2222 Occupational therapists
  • 2223 Speech and language therapists
  • 2229 Therapy professionals not elsewhere classified
  • 2231 Nurses
  • 2232 Midwives
  • 2312 Further education teaching professionals
  • 2314 Secondary education teaching professionals
  • 2315 Primary and nursery education teaching professionals
  • 2316 Special needs education teaching professionals
  • 2317 Senior professionals of educational establishments
  • 2318 Education advisers and school inspectors
  • 2319 Teaching and other educational professionals not elsewhere classified
  • 2442 Social workers
  • 2443 Probation officers
  • 2449 Welfare professionals not elsewhere classified
  • 3213 Paramedics
  • 3216 Dispensing opticians
  • 3217 Pharmaceutical technicians
  • 3218 Medical and dental technicians
  • 3219 Health associate professionals not elsewhere classified
  • 3231 Youth and community workers
  • 3234 Housing officers
  • 3235 Counsellors
  • 3239 Welfare and housing associate professionals not elsewhere classified
  • 3443 Fitness instructors
  • 3562 Human resources and industrial relations officers
  • 6121 Nursery nurses and assistants
  • 6122 Childminders and related occupations
  • 6123 Playworkers
  • 6125 Teaching assistants
  • 6126 Educational support assistants
  • 6141 Nursing auxiliaries and assistants
  • 6143 Dental nurses
  • 6144 Houseparents and residential wardens
  • 6146 Senior care workers

Where and how to obtain Overseas Criminal Record Certificate for UK visa

Applicants have to present Home Office with certificates from all the relevant countries. The list of countries providing certificates can be found on the Home Office site.

In case when a country is not on the list applicants have to make enquiries themselves in the relevant country/territory.

If the certificate is issued in language other than English, a certified translation should be provided to the Home Office.


If a given country does not issue Criminal Record Certificates the visa applicant must apply for an exemption. Those exemptions are assessed by the Home Office on a case by case basis. Applicants are required to provide evidence why the certificate is not issued and the steps they have taken to obtain it. Case worker will check the country against the Home Office list of countries issuing certificates. Some countries only issue regional corticates and not countrywide certificates. In such cases the applicant must, beside the certificate, present the evidence that he was resident in the relevant region.

An applicant who has lived in different regions of a country that does not issue national certificates must provide more than one certificate if they have lived in different issuing regions.

In general there are only four instances when an exemption from presenting Overseas Criminal Record Certificate will be alloved by the Home Office:

  • there is no procedure for issuing certificates
  • certificates are not available to third-country nationals
  • the applicant fled their country for humanitarian reasons and it is not possible for them to re-establish contact with the relevant authorities
  • there is international or internal armed conflict or there is, or has been, a humanitarian disaster

An applicant who is unable to provide a certificate for one country where they have been present for 12 months or more is still required to provide a certificate for any other country in which they have been present for that period, where it is feasible to do so.

Failure to present certificate to the Home Office

If the applicant fails to deliver all the relevant Overseas Criminal Record Certificates or a reasonable explanation for not delivering them his application will be refused.

Case worker will usually contact the applicant or his representative in writing if he feels that relevant documents or information was not provided. They then have 28 days to provide Home Office with required information.

Some practical tips about Overseas Criminal record Certificate for applicants

It is the responsibility of the applicant to deliver the certificate with his application. Since the procedures for issuing the certificate vary greatly between the countries an applicant should familiarize himself with the timeframes and procedural requirements for obtaining certificate.

Important! Various countries have different policies concerning the validity of their certificates and time periods they are valid for. However, Home Office policy is that the certificates are only valid for 6 months after the issuing date and any certificate that is older than 6 months on the date of application will be considered invalid. Threfore it is crucial not to apply for the certificate too early in the application process.