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Entering or Working in the UK with an Australian Criminal Record

Overseas Criminal Record Certificate

New rules were imposed in the UK in 2015, and an extension of the requirements in 2017, which require applicants who wish to enter and/or work in the UK, to obtain an overseas criminal record certificate. This must be from any/all countries they have lived in continuously for 12 months or more over the past 10 years.

A criminal record certificate will be essential for applicants working in:

  • Education, for example teachers, education advisers and school inspectors
  • Healthcare, for example nurses, doctors, managers, pharmacists, dentists, ophthalmic opticians
  • Therapy, for example psychologists, speech and language therapists
  • Social services, for example social workers, managers, probation officers.

Refusal on the grounds of criminal convictions – Immigration Rules (“the Rules”) – part 9

The following information is extracted from the UK Government Website:

Grounds on which entry clearance or leave to enter the UK is to be refused Paragraph 320(2) of the Rules states that an application would be refused if the person seeking entry to the United Kingdom:

  • is currently the subject of a deportation order; or
  • has been convicted of an offence for which they have been sentenced to a period of imprisonment of a least 4 years; or
  • has been convicted of an offence for which they have been sentenced to a period of imprisonment of at least 12 months but less than 4 years, unless a period of 10 years has passed since the end of the sentence; or
  • has been convicted of an offence for which they have been sentenced to a period of imprisonment of less than 12 months, unless a period of 5 years has passed since the end of the sentence.

Paragraph 320(18A) of the Rules states that an application should be declined if within the 12 months prior to the date of the application, the person has been convicted of or admitted an offence for which they receive a non-custodial sentence or other out of court disposal that is recorded on their criminal record.

Paragraph 320(18B) of the Rules states that an application should be refused if in the view of the Secretary of State:

  • the person’s offending has caused serious harm; or
  • the person is a persistent offender who shows a particular disregard for the law.

Paragraph 320(19) of the Rules states that an application should normally be refused if the immigration officer deems the exclusion of the person from the United Kingdom to be conducive to the public good. For example, because the person’s conduct (including convictions which do not fall within paragraph 320(2), character, associations, or other reasons, make it undesirable to grant them leave to enter.

Applications for Australian Criminal Record Certificate

To obtain a Criminal Record Certificate, apply with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) online at:

Or, an application form can be downloaded from that same address and posted to:

Australian Federal Police, Criminal Records Locked Bag 8550 CANBERRA CITY ACT

What must the applicant supply?

  • Completed application (available at link above);
  • Authorised copy of photographic ID (e.g. passport or drivers licence) *Rare cases may require fingerprints, where applicant will be notified.

What are the costs / turnaround times?

  • AFP applications fee schedule is $43.00 – $99 AUD – for a National Police Check depending on who the employer and is whether fingerprints are supplied with or taken upon the application.
  • Turnaround for direct applications to AFP is around 15 days (inside Australia) on receipt of posted forms. International postage timings will vary.

For further information, please email:

Or visit the AFP Website.

What if I have recently been charged or convicted of an offence?

If you have been recently charged with a driving or criminal offence, or you have recently been convicted of an offence, please contact Armstrong Legal for an obligation free consultation to explore your options and received professional advice on 1300 168 676.

Image Credit – Christophe Boisson ©

Written by Tyson Brown on January 7, 2018

Tyson has a down to earth, straightforward approach to life and the law, one which is well received by all who meet him. Tyson has the ability to relate to all clients on a personal level, having spent many years prior to his legal career in customer service and hospitality. View Tyson's profile

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