These notes apply to applicants wishing to obtain a Police Certificate for immigration purposes.
Click here to download a printable version of these frequently asked questions.
We will provide a Police Certificate for any country but cannot offer a refund if the Embassy, High Commission, Consulate or other organisation refuses to accept the Police Certificate. We suggest that you contact the relevant body for the country you would like to apply to for a visa. If they say that they will accept the Police Certificate, add the country to the section marked “Country to which you are travelling” under “Other”.
All Convictions, Warnings, Reprimands and Cautions recorded on UK Police Systems. We apply the principles of the 'ACPO Retention Guidelines for Nominal Records on the Police National Computer', which incorporates the Step Down Model, when preparing the Police Certificate. Please note that Scottish and Military Convictions are NOT subject to the Step Down Model.
It is dependent on the age of the visa applicant. Each country is different and advice should be sought from the relevant Embassy, High Commission, Consulate or other organisation. Anyone who has any criminal convictions, no matter what their age will be required to provide a Police Certificate.
No. Police Certificates only contain information relating to the applicant.
The Police Certificate provided by ACRO covers the whole of the United Kingdom. Applicants who have lived abroad may be required to provide evidence of good character, or to disclose their previous criminal history in that other country. Advice should be sought from the relevant Embassy, High Commission, Consulate or other organisation that is requesting a Police Certificate.
Anyone who has lived in the UK for any length of time, regardless of nationality.
No, payment can only be made by cheque, bankers draft, bank transfer or Postal Order. Your payment must be in Pounds Sterling (made payable to 'PCC for Hampshire' only. No other payee details will be accepted). You can arrange for someone else to pay the fee for you if necessary.
This may be known as a Treasurer’s Cheque or a Cashier’s Cheque. It is similar to a personal cheque except the money has already been debited from your account by your bank. You must give notice to the bank that you require a Banker’s Draft (usually 24 hours) so that they can prepare the draft and check that you have enough money in your account.
There may also be an additional fee to pay for issuing a Banker’s Draft. You must send the Banker’s Draft to us (it will look like a cheque). Do not send the receipt, we require the original cheque. For further guidance on making payments by bank draft, please see our guidance document.
Unless you specifically request a receipt, you will not receive a receipt for the fee paid.
If you have overpaid by less than £10.00 the overpaid amount will be donated to charity. If you have overpaid by £10.00 or more, you will be contacted to arrange a refund or to obtain your agreement to donate the overpaid amount to charity.
No, you must post your application to ACRO, as we require original signatures and a passport photograph.
Yes, you can courier your application to us, but please contact ACRO Customer Services for instructions and details of how to do this and our drop off point. As we are a secure building, courier companies are unable to deliver directly to us, neither are courier deliveries accepted at either of the PO Box addresses.
Yes, providing all the documents are complete and the total payment covers each application made. Any missing items may delay the processing for all the applications.
If the delivery address is within the United Kingdom, you will need to contact ACRO Customer Services for instructions. You will need to make arrangements with and payment to a UK courier company used by ACRO. These fees vary and can be expensive. As we are a secure location, other courier companies are unable to collect directly from us.
If the delivery address is outside the United Kingdom the fee is £48.00 sterling (per delivery address). Please complete the relevant section of the application form and enclose the additional payment with your application. The delivery times will depend on the flight availability in the country where your documents are to be sent. Please note that ACRO are unable to provide confirmed delivery dates or timescales for courier services. Any use of a courier service is a contract between the applicant and the courier company.
Please contact ACRO Customer Services who may be able to advise or/and arrange this for you.
The certificate fee only includes the price for 1st Class UK post or standard airmail. If you have used courier, next day delivery (UK only), Airsure or International Signed For then please report it to ACRO. If you have opted for standard UK 1st class mail or standard airmail, ACRO cannot be held responsible for items lost or delayed in post or by third party delivery companies. In these cases, on request to ACRO, replacement certificates can be reproduced and sent 1st class post or standard airmail at a fee of £6.
If you wish to have your certificate returned to you by courier, next day delivery (UK only), Airsure or International Signed For you will need to send the additional postage fee with your application payment.
There is no set period of time for which the Police Certificate is considered to be valid. The Police Certificate is only truly accurate on the date of issue. Embassies or High Commissions will usually require you to produce a Police Certificate which has been issued less than six (6) months before your visa interview.
If you have lost your Police Certificate, or require another copy within 3 months of submitting the original application, ACRO can reproduce the original Police Certificate for a fee of £6.00. Please note that the Police Certificate will only show the original date of production, not the date that you requested the replacement copy, and so you may wish to check that this will be accepted by the Embassy, High commission, Consulate or other organisation.
If you require another copy and 3 months have passed since you made your initial application, you will be required to submit a fresh application with supporting documentation and the full fee.
The Police Certificate has been designed with anti-tamper technology and features a photograph of the applicant, a unique reference number and unique serial number, along with several other security features which cannot be duplicated. If you are concerned about the authenticity of the Police Certificate, please contact ACRO Customer Services.
If you are obtaining the application form from anywhere other than our website please contact ACRO Customer Services to ensure that you have the most up to date version. We do not operate through any private agencies, only the applicant can apply directly to us.
If you live abroad you do not have to prove your UK addresses. You only have to prove your current address and inform us of your previous UK addresses over the past TEN years.
Proofs of address can be anything official that has reached you at your current address and bears your name. We accept copies of documents from "official bodies" e.g. bank statements, letters from a GP, letters from a school or college, utility bills, phone bills etc. Ideally they should be for different months and in either case should not be more than six months old.
If you do not receive mail addressed to you, we can accept:
TWO proofs of the address in the name of the householder dated within the last 6 months, together with a letter written by the householder confirming that you have no proofs in your own name but that you reside with them.
OR TWO documents taken from the following list which have been issued within the last 6 months:
• A letter from your employer, on company headed paper confirming your current address as per their records.• A tenancy agreement, rent payment receipts or a letter from a letting agent confirming your current address.• A driving licence, ID card or passport page showing your current address.• A letter from your bank on headed paper confirming your current address as per their records.
Please contact ACRO Customer Services if still unable to provide sufficient documents to satisfy the requirement.
If your post goes through a PO Box then you can provide two proofs of address with your PO Box address on. You will also need a letter from either your bank/employer stating both your PO Box address and your physical address. Alternatively you can provide a tenancy or similar agreement showing the address at which you actually live, to accompany the two PO Box proofs of address.
Your photograph needs to be endorsed by an individual who has known you for a minimum of 2 years, is 18 years of age or older and is not a family member or related to you. Examples of preferred occupations are listed on the application form.
You will need to send the endorsement page of the application form and your photograph to someone who can endorse it for you.
Please contact ACRO Customer Services.
A Police Certificate is issued mainly for immigration purposes. The Subject Access request is used to provide an applicant with details of any information held about them on police computers.
Both check the Police National Computer to see if you have a criminal record. A Police Certificate is needed if you require a work or residency visa for countries including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA. In the case of the USA you will also need a Police Certificate for holiday purposes if you have ever been arrested or convicted of any offence, no matter how long ago it was.
No, the Embassies and High Commissions will only accept the ACRO Police Certificate.
No, the ACRO Police Certificate can only be used for submission to the relevant Embassy, High Commission, Consulate or other organisation.
We are unable to check the Police National Computer in advance of an application being made, as we have to ensure that the Data Protection Act is complied with. We cannot advise on specific cases without the application being logged with us.
No. The DBS filtering rules determine what information should be disclosed in certificates issued by the DBS for employment purposes under part V of the Police Act 1997. This applies to vetting for employment in the UK only.
The information disclosed in a Police Certificate is determined through the application of the 'Step Down Model' as set out in 'ACPO Retention Guidelines for Nominal Records on the Police National Computer'.
Our Customer Service team will contact you by telephone in the first instance. If we get no response, we will leave a message if possible and/or send an email to the email address given on the application form. If we still get no response, we will send a letter. Queries can usually be resolved quickly once we are able to contact you so it is important that you monitor your personal inbox.