As of 1 September 2015, Tier 1 Investor and Tier 1 Entrepreneur entry clearance applicants and their adult dependants will have to produce a criminal record certificate from every country they have lived in continuously for 12 months or more during the previous 10 years. This will not apply to extensions and in-country switching applications.
By making foreign criminal record certificates compulsory for the visa applications, the Home Office wants to ensure that foreign criminals are not allowed entry to the UK. The Home Office is also planning to extend the requirement to other visa routes in 2016/2017 with the exception of short-term visitor visas.
It is important to note that the processes and processing times to obtain criminal record certificates vary from country to country and in some countries it may take weeks to receive a certificate. Applicants should therefore remember to make their requests in good time before the planned visa filing.