Overseas- Criminal-Record-Checks

Overseas Criminal Record Checks for International Applicants

If you’ve never heard of an overseas criminal record check but are looking to take on international employees into your business, you have come to the right place. 

We have put together an all-you-need-to-know guide to overseas criminal record checks, including why they are absolutely vital when employing overseas applicants.

What are Overseas Criminal Record Checks?

An overseas criminal record check is a process that verifies an individual’s criminal record history in a foreign country. Many of these checks occur on behalf of those seeking the acceptance of a visa to live and/or work abroad. 

The check involves contacting the relevant authorities in the country where the subject was living before their move. By doing so, the authorities in the country where you wish to study, work and live can obtain an accurate overview of your criminal history. They can then act accordingly concerning hiring and residency decisions. 

The information required to complete an overseas criminal record check is usually stored on the Police National Computer (PNC) database and allows various departments to access an individual’s criminal record history at any given moment. Due to this, information being stored on a secure database must still be transmitted safely between departments to ensure the utmost protection against GDPR issues and potential fraud. 

Even more so, when transferring this information overseas, the procedure must remain watertight to complete such a check fully.

Why are Overseas Criminal Record Checks Important?

Overseas criminal record checks are a lifeline for employers hiring employees from abroad. Obtaining relevant information easily gives businesses a streamlined approach to making important hiring decisions and saves time when querying previous incidents.

The safety of staff is understandably a vital element of running a business, and ensuring that new prospects are fit to work in such an environment is crucial to the company’s culture. Undertaking such a check on international employees protects the security of current employees. 

Overseas applicants that have applied for a skilled worker visa and go on to apply for entry clearance for any position that falls within the listed occupation codes must obtain a criminal record certificate or something similar. 

These occupations are primarily roles within the health, education and social care sectors. All further information can be found under Appendix ‘Skilled Worker’ of the UK's immigration rules.

Criminal record certificates must be obtained from the country where the applicant resided for the last 12 months. If this is not possible, an entire history over the last ten-year period (providing the applicant is 18 or over) before the date of the application must be available to an employer.

How to Conduct Overseas Criminal Record Checks

Overseas criminal record checks can be conducted in several different ways. Some of these include:

  • Hiring a third-party background check company: companies that specialise in these particular types of checks can deliver the right results stress and hassle-free!
  • Contact the country’s embassy: the embassy for their previous residence will be able to provide you with the information you require about an individual. 
  • Contact local law enforcement agencies: communicating with other law agencies can streamline retrieving the correct information.

Challenges Employers May Face When Conducting Overseas Criminal Record Checks

Where can information be obtained for overseas criminal record checks?

1. Work with a Trusted Third-Party Background Check Company

As previously mentioned, working with a trusted third-party background check company is the easiest and most secure way to obtain all the information you need in a streamlined process. 

By doing so, employers can have peace of mind that language barriers will be overcome via the help of translation services and can rely on the expertise of these third-party companies to navigate the variations in legal systems between each country.

2. Research the Legal Requirements for Conducting Overseas Criminal Record Checks

Following on from our last tip, the legal requirements for each country vary depending on where you are looking to obtain information. It is always advisable to research the laws of the country you are contacting to see ahead of time whether there are any potential blockers or hindrances in getting the information that you should be aware of.

3. Be Patient

Checks, especially those taking place overseas, don’t happen overnight. You should allow plenty of time when beginning the process of such a check to allow for discrepancies along the way. 

Delays can occur due to various reasons, such as a delay in communication or a vast difference in time zones; however, dealing with such delicate information makes ensuring all is correct vital for GDPR reasons.

International Criminal Record Checks from Eurocom C I

At Eurocom C I, we are professionals at delivering a variety of checks to employment sectors nationwide, including overseas criminal record checks. Among these are right to work checks, AML checks, and credit checks to name a few. 

If you would like more information on whether overseas criminal record checks are the best level of security for the reputation of your business, or you require some general advice on which checks would best suit your circumstances, please do not hesitate to contact us today.  We would be more than happy to help.