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DBS Checks For People Who Have Lived Overseas


DBS Checks help organisations make well-informed decisions about who they hire, and for most applicants the process is fairly straightforward. But what about DBS Checks for people who have lived overseas?

If you have a job candidate who has spent time living overseas, you can still carry out a DBS Check – but the process will be a bit different.

When to carry out DBS Checks for people who have lived overseas

Eligibility for DBS Checks is based on the role the applicant will be doing, not on where they come from – so you should apply the same eligibility criteria to applicants who have lived overseas as you would to UK applicants.

Use the DBS eligibility guidance to work out whether a role is eligible for a check. If it is, you should carry out a check on a prospective employee regardless of where they have previously lived.

How to carry out DBS Checks for people who have lived overseas

A DBS Check is a check of UK police records only – the DBS is unable to access police records held overseas. If an applicant has spent time living overseas, then a DBS Check may not give a full picture of their criminal history.

If you have an applicant who has lived overseas, you should obtain an equivalent criminal record check from any other countries they’ve lived in.

Each country has a different process for obtaining a criminal record check. The DBS has published an A-Z list of countries detailing how to obtain a check from each one.

You should refer to this list and follow the guidelines for any countries your applicant has lived in.

If they’ve lived in the UK as well, you should carry out a DBS Check in the usual way in addition to any overseas criminal record checks.

Carrying out an identity check for overseas applicants

When applying for DBS Checks for people who have lived overseas, you’ll still need to carry out an Identity Check.

If they’re not from the UK, it may affect which identity documents they need to provide. See the DBS identity checking guidelines if you’re not sure what they should provide.

As always, they must provide valid, current and original documents – photocopies are not allowed.

If the applicant is overseas at the time of the check, you can conduct the identity check via a live video link. However, you must still be in physical possession of the documents, so the applicant would need to send these to you in the post.

DBS Checks for people who have lived overseas: Final thoughts

To sum up, carrying out DBS Checks for people who have lived overseas is perfectly possible – you just need to follow the additional process for obtaining a check in the relevant overseas country (or countries).

If you have any other questions about DBS Checks for people who have lived overseas, feel free to get in touch – we’re always happy to chat.

Our blogs are advisory in nature and reflect uCheck Limited’s current thinking about best and common practice in the subjects discussed.

The information contained in our blogs have been provided for information purposes only. This information does not constitute legal, professional, or commercial advice. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the content is up to date, useful and accurate, uCheck gives no guarantees, undertakings, or warranties in this regard, or, for any loss or damage caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with reliance on the use of such information.

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