citizens working in the UK

There are thousands of individuals that emigrate to the UK annually with the objective of finding employment and living in the country. Many of these individuals apply for positions that need for them to clear a criminal record check. These are done by the DBS Service for individuals working in businesses and companies across the UK. 

In this blog we examine the process of DBS checks for individuals that formerly lived abroad and are now applying for or already working in the UK.  

When are DBS Checks needed 

Those that need to get a DBS online check concerned about having stayed earlier overseas need not worry about the situation. The eligibility criteria for DBS depends solely on the job role, irrespective if an applicant has lived outside the UK or in the country. The travel history of an individual does not affect an individual’s eligibility for a DBS check.  

Likewise, for those that will apply for a DBS clearance on behalf on somebody else, the same guidelines apply. In positions where an employ needs to be hired for a role that relates to regulated activity with children and adults, there always is need for a detailed criminal record check to be done to ensure the individual has not previously been barred from working with these particular groups, wherever they lived and worked earlier.    

The process of DBS Checks for individuals that have lived overseas

Since the disclosure and barring service is non-departmental and a public body, they can only review UK police records when a request some in. In cases where the applicant has lived abroad, getting access to their complete criminal record can be difficult.  In cases where any individual’s police history overseas needs to checked, the relevant authorities in that country need to be contacted to gain access to the applicant’s criminal record. Those applicants that have lived in more than one country will need to get police records from all the different countries lived in.   

Similarly, if an Enhanced DBS check is needed with an applicant formerly having lived in more than one country, the additional details of the enhanced DBS check will have to be sought individually from each country. 

Cost of DBS Checks for non-UK applicants

Most overseas DBS checks applied for are paid by the businesses or companies that are rqeusting them on behalf of employees. The cost depends upon: 

  • The nations where the individual lived
  • If any pertinent certificate need translation for use in the UK

Generally, the prospective employer will bear the costs of getting overseas criminal checks carried out. In cases, where the employer will not be paying the cost, an individual needs to clarify these details with their employer before the request of the checks is forwarded to the DBS.  

Identity Checks

As with applicants living in the UK, those individuals that are residing abroad and seeking employment in the UK will have to provide identity checks as part of the process of them getting hired.  For this they will need to furnish current, valid and original documents. It can be sent via post or they can visit the relevant office an do it in person. An employer can also verify the documents via a video call.  

If you are applying on behalf of any applicant for a Standard or Enhanced DBS check, the documents proving their identity will depend on the countries where they have previously lived and worked.   

Can an applicant begin work while the checks are carried out 

This would be subject to the job requirements with the company and if they agree an applicant can begin work while the criminal record checks are being carried out and until the DBS certificate arrives.  

However, since some roles have strict guidelines when it comes to applicant eligibility, many applicants that are non-UK citizens may need to wait for the process to be completed and for a clear certificate to be issued. However, the employer may have other duties like training or alternative work that the applicant can do until they are certified for the applied position.