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.
has lived in the UK
for any length of time, regardless of nationality. Only the individual wishing
to obtain a police certificate can apply, third parties applications will not
payment can only be made by Cheque, Bankers Draft, or Postal Order. Your
payment must be in Pounds Sterling (made payable to 'PCC for Hampshire'). You
can arrange for someone else to pay the fee for you if necessary.
ACRO can accept a Bank transfer, which can be arranged by clicking on following
the link. You may be able to
transfer funds using online banking, please check with your bank first.
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.
specifically request a receipt on page 10 of the application form, you will not
receive a receipt for the fee paid. Receipts follow up to 15 working days after
the dispatch of your certificate via email.
have overpaid by £10 or less the overpaid amount will be donated to charity. If
you have overpaid by more than £10, you will be contacted to arrange a refund
or to obtain your agreement to donate the overpaid amount to charity.
must post your application to ACRO to the relevant address located on page 2 of
the guidance notes as we require original signatures.
It is not
possible for courier companies to deliver directly to this office. Courier deliveries are not accepted at the
PO Box addresses. If you wish to send your application to ACRO using a
courier please note the following:
You are responsible for all the fees incurred in the
transportation of the application. If you put a value to the package ACRO will
not accept it as it would incur a customs importation fee. Couriers should
deliver to the following address:
c/o City Sprint
Unit 2, Solent Estate
Please note that a delivery to City Sprint does not mean that your application has arrived here at ACRO.
Yes, you can request that your application be sent
via Express Mail, available through your local postal service. This way it can
be delivered direct to our Premium or Standard PO Box addresses. This service
is trackable and cheaper than a normal courier and applies to 97 countries
throughout the world.
providing all the documents are complete and the total payment covers each
application made. Note: Once the applications have reached the office, they
will be treated as individual applications and processed separately.
delivery address is within the United
Kingdom, ACRO are unable to provide a
courier delivery service. You will need to make arrangements and payment to
City Sprint by calling +44(0)1489 776473. Please note these fees vary and can
be expensive. As we are a secure location, other courier companies are unable
to collect directly from us.
delivery address for your Police Certificate is in the UK we would
recommend Next Day Delivery, which when dispatched guarantees delivery before
1pm the next day (Delivery is not guaranteed on Saturday).
delivery address is outside the United
Kingdom the fee is £48 sterling (per
delivery address). Please complete the ‘Postal address’ section of the
application form ensuring only a physical address is given 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.
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.
certificate fee only includes the price for 1st Class UK post or
Standard Airmail. If you have paid for a Courier Delivery, Next Day Delivery (UK only), or
Secure International Delivery please report it to ACRO.
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), or
Secure International Delivery you will need to add the additional postage fee.
Please contact the Customer Services Department for the latest prices.
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.
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. 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.
you require another copy and 3 months have passed since you made your initial
application, you will be required to submit a new 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 signed and
dated letter, written by the householder confirming that you have no proofs in
your own name but that you reside with them.
TWO documents taken from the following
list which have been issued within the last 6 months:
. A signed and dated letter from your
employer, on company headed paper confirming your current address as per their
tenancy agreement, rent payment receipts or a letter from a letting agent
confirming your current address.
driving licence, ID card or passport page showing your current address.
. A signed
and dated letter from your bank on headed paper confirming your current address
as per their records.
contact ACRO Customer Services if still unable to provide sufficient documents
to satisfy the requirement.
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
post goes to a correspondence address then you can provide two proofs of
address with your correspondence address on. You will also need a letter from
either your bank/employer stating both your correspondence 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
correspondence address 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 for further advice.
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.
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, Belgium, Canada,
Cayman Islands, 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.
ACRO Police Certificate can only be used for submission to the relevant
Embassy, High Commission, Consulate or other organisation.
contact the overseas Authority or Organisation requesting a Police Check from
you. If a Police Certificate will be acceptable for your purpose, ACRO can
produce a Police Certificate for you.
note ACRO can not produce Police Certificates for employment purposes in the UK.
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 email in the first instance to the email address given on the
application form. If we get no response, we will follow up our email with a
telephone call and leave a message if possible. 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 please ensure that your email
address is spelt clearly and correctly and is regularly monitored.