An Employer’s Guide To DBS Checks For Overseas Job Applicants
If you carry out DBS checks before interviewing or appointing job candidates, you may come across a problem when you have an applicant from overseas.
When UK residents apply for a job role requiring a DBS check, the process is pretty straightforward. You simply ask them to fill in a form and then you apply for the DBS check on their behalf.
It’s not so easy when a potential employee is either currently resident overseas, or has recently moved to the UK.
Here we will take a look at what this means for employers and how to get a DBS check carried out for overseas candidates.
Do you need to carry out a DBS check for overseas applicants?
If the job role is one that requires a DBS check by law – i.e. working with vulnerable adults or children – then the answer is a resounding yes. Foreign applicants are still bound by UK law when it comes to regulations surrounding working with vulnerable groups.
If the position doesn’t involve vulnerable groups and the reason for requesting a DBS check is due to checking trustworthiness or making sure the candidate is appropriate for a responsible role, then the choice is yours. However, the best advice we can give is to treat all candidates equally, so if you are requesting a DBS check from UK-based applicants, you should do the same for overseas ones too.
Applying for a DBS check for an overseas candidate
There are three main scenarios that may occur, the candidate:
- Is a non-UK citizen who is resident overseas
- Is a non-UK citizen who has recently moved to the UK after living overseas
- Is a UK citizen who is currently based overseas.
Let’s explore how to apply for a criminal record check in each of these scenarios.
1. Non-UK citizen living overseas
If the person has lived for most of their lives away from the UK, there is little or no point in getting a UK DBS check carried out as the police national computer is unlikely to have records of crimes committed abroad.
The first step is to find out how long the candidate has lived overseas and then look to obtain the criminal record information from those other countries. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to do this. The main method is to contact the authorities in the countries in question and ask them to share up-to-date criminal records.
2. Non-UK citizen recently moved to the UK
In this case, you still need to chase up criminal record information from their previous country (or countries) of residence, but you should also apply for a UK DBS check. The combined approach means you have covered all bases.
3. UK citizen currently based overseas
Again, a combined approach is best here. You need to request criminal record information from their current country of residence, but also apply for a UK-based DBS check.
There is one snag with the process however. UK DBS checks require that identification documents are provided by the applicant in-person. If they live in a foreign country hundreds or thousands of miles away, this can be difficult.
Sometimes, the only option is to verify the documents using a live video link. With the candidate’s permission, you should record the document verification in case there is ever any comeback.
Apply for UK-based DBS checks online to save time
You need to allow more time when recruiting from overseas, as the process of getting foreign criminal records can be very time-consuming.
Luckily, you can save yourself some time by applying for a UK DBS check online. The online process is streamlined, with results delivered in as little as 24 hours of submitting the application.
Find out more about online DBS checks by chatting to one of our experts today.