Delays to Police Certificate applications

Updated Monday 20th March

Due to current heavy demands, the standard Police Certificate application is taking longer than usual to process, meaning there will be significant delays to our normal time scale for receiving your certificate. When your Police Certificate is dispatched you will receive an email confirmation. Please do not contact the Customer Services office unless your query is urgent.

Premium applications are not affected. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.


Police Certificates are for people who wish to emigrate or require a visa to live and work abroad; or for obtaining citizenship/residency.

The certificate details whether or not you have a criminal record in the United Kingdom and may be required as part of the visa/citizenship/residency process.

It may also include foreign criminal history information where it has been disclosed to the UK.

Police Certificates are prepared in accordance with the ACRO step-down model.

Certificates will contain impending prosecutions and offences that are under investigation.

Certificates will only be provided in a physical format and we are unable to discuss the content of the certificate until you have received it.

Certificates are not intended for use to gain employment within the UK or to emigrate to the UK.

Need help?

Read our frequently asked questions on the Police Certificate. 

Guidance for British embassies regarding British nationals who require a UK criminal records check for residency or citizenship overseas

Have you received an email from someone claiming to represent ACRO? Learn how to recognise fraud.


ACRO will only accept version 31 or higher of the Police Certificate application form. All previous versions will be rejected and ACRO will require a new form to be submitted before an application can be processed.

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