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Criminal Records Checks – UK & Ireland


In today’s heavily regulated world, more and more employers, adoption agencies and countless other organisations are requesting that applicants disclose their criminal record history.

In Tenerife, you can carry out a Spanish criminal record check against your own name. The full procedure is detailed HERE

But what if you are asked to produce evidence of your criminal history (or lack thereof) from countries that you previously lived in (e.g. UK or Ireland)? Fortunately, it is possible to apply for records from both countries whilst in Tenerife.


Applying for your own criminal record results from England is the easiest of all, as the application can be made online.

Applicants must scan and upload 2 forms of ID from the approved list. If a different person is applying on your behalf (e.g. a lawyer, employer etc) then a relevant signed letter of authority or power of attorney etc must also be uploaded, plus the relevant ID documents for the person making the application on your behalf.

The fee is currently £10 GBP, but from 25th May 2018 all applications will be free of charge.

To make an application online, visit:  https://www.acro.police.uk/Subject_Access_Online.aspx

NOTE: If you require a Criminal Records Certificate specifically for a foreign VISA APPLICATION (e.g. Australia, Belgium, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa or USA), then you must apply to ACRO for a full certificate. The fee is £45 GBP with a 10 working day turnaround, or £80 GBP for a 2 day premium service. The application can be made here:  https://www.acro.police.uk/police_certificates.aspx


In Scotland, there are different levels of disclosure certificates, namely BASIC, STANDARD, ENHANCED and PROTECTED VULNERABLE GROUPS. The type of disclosure depends on the organisation requesting a certificate and the role you are applying for.

In straightforward cases, the BASIC check will be sufficient, which confirms if the certificate holders has any unspent criminal convictions.
Unfortunately, to carry out a BASIC search online, you need to have a UK resident address. If not, you can still carry out a search, but you can only do it via a paper form in the post.

To do the online search, you will need 2 types of specified ID, which must be scanned in advance and then uploaded during the online application.
The current fee for the Scottish application is £25 GBP.

The online search can be carried out here:   https://www.mygov.scot/basic-disclosure/apply-for-basic-disclosure/

The page also contains a link for applying via the post.


You are entitled to a copy of any criminal record held on you by the Garda Síochána (the police force of the Republic of Ireland), subject to certain exemptions.

You should send a written disclosure request to the Garda, clearly stating that you are making the request under section 4 of the Irish Data Protection Act 1988 and that you require all the information that may be held about you on computer. The address to write to is:

Inspector in Charge
Garda Central Vetting Unit
Racecourse Road
Co. Tipperary


The Central Vetting Unit can also be contacted by telephone on 00353-50427300 or by fax on 00353-50427373

Your letter must also include the following:

your name and current address,
your date of birth,
any previous addresses you may have had within the Republic of Ireland, and
any previous names you were known by (if applicable)

A request for information under the Act carries a fee, which must be sent with your request. Please contact the Central Vetting Unit to find out what this will be and and how you can pay it.

You should expect to receive a copy of your record within 40 days of the Garda receiving your request and payment.