Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for a Licence

Overseas Criminal Record Checks

If you live overseas or you have spent six continuous months or more outside the UK, you must provide evidence of a criminal record check from the relevant country or countries. The checks need to cover the five years prior to your application.

We will need the originals of any documentation sent to us. Where these are not in English, they must be translated into English by an accredited translation body. We will tell you where to send your documents when you submit your application.

More information about translated documents

You must send evidence of your overseas criminal record check to us within 21 days of submitting your application. No decision will be made on your application until we have received this and confirmed its authenticity. If you don't provide evidence of a criminal record check we will cancel your application and you will lose your application fee. To avoid this, we strongly recommend that you obtain your overseas criminal record check before your submit your application.

If you hold a licence to work in the private security industry that was issued overseas and you were required to undergo a criminal record check in order to obtain that, you may not need to repeat the criminal record check. We will take it into account as long as the checks that were made meet our requirements. This means that the checks:

  • must be up-to-date and must cover the last five years, including any periods of six months or more spent outside the country issuing the licence or outside the UK;
  • must cover all relevant offences.

Obtaining a Criminal Records Check

If the country in which you were based is not listed in the following pages, please contact that country's embassy, High Commission or Consulate in the UK for advice. Contact details can be found at www.fco.gov.uk- this link opens in a new window

Official Sources Unavailable

In some exceptional cases official sources do not exist or if they do, are unable to supply you with a criminal record check. For example, the government administration has collapsed to a point where there are no credible official sources of information or there is a risk to your personal safety if you make contact with your country of residence. In circumstances such as these we may accept your sworn oath and a character reference from a suitable referee.

More information about this process