DBS Checks For People Who Live or Previously Lived Abroad
DBS Checks are most often used to vet people for certain job roles. Employers use them to make sure that the people they are recruiting (or are working within roles already) are safe and suitable for the job.
It’s pretty straightforward to apply for a DBS Check if the applicant has always lived in the United Kingdom, as you simply provide ID and address details for the previous 5 years.
But, if the applicant is , or has been, living overseas, then the process is a bit more involved than that for a UK-based resident.
In this brief guide, we’ll describe how the DBS process works for people that currently live, or have previously lived, overseas.
When are overseas DBS Checks necessary?
The eligibility or requirement for a DBS Check is the same for an applicant from abroad as it would be for a UK-based applicant.
In other words, if the UK-based job role that is being applied for requires an Enhanced DBS Check it will do so regardless of where the applicant currently lives or has lived previously.
You can check the eligibility criteria for different levels of DBS Check
Check out the government’s eligibility guidelines to see if a prospective employee requires a check. If an overseas applicant meets the criteria, you should obtain a criminal record check before they begin work.
How to get a DBS Check for an overseas applicant
If you have a job applicant that lives, or has lived, abroad or outside of the UK for a significant time, then you need to make sure that your recruitment process takes this into account.
The Police National Computer (PNC) in the UK only records convictions and offences that occurred in the UK, not overseas. The Disclosure and Barring Service is not able to gain access to an individual’s criminal records for the time spent overseas.
Therefore, if a person has only just set up residence in the UK or they have moved back after a period of absence, then the would-be employer needs to follow the guidelines on the DBS website for the relevant country to obtain a criminal record check from that country. You can find an alphabetical list of countries with relevant guidance on the government website.
You may need to also get a DBS Check in the UK if they lived in the UK at some point in the past.
How to get DBS Checks for British citizens or residents staying overseas
Sometimes, employers may need to request a DBS check for a job applicant who normally lives in the UK, but is abroad temporarily.
The process of obtaining a DBS Check for a UK applicant residing overseas poses a slight challenge, as the employer needs to see real-life proof of the job applicant’s ID documents and a photograph or video link is not enough. The applicant would need to post the ID documents so that they can be verified properly.
They may also require a criminal background check from their present country of residence.
Summary of DBS Checks for overseas residents
Criminal background checks are a requirement of many jobs these days. If the job applicant has lived, or is presently living, overseas for a substantial amount of time, then the employer will need to see a criminal background check from the other country.
Guidance is available on the UK government website on the procedures in place for overseas countries.
If you would like to find out more about DBS Checks, including how to use our online portal to apply for them quickly and easily, then get in touch with one of our helpful advisors today.