Getting the UK equivalent of a Strafregisterauszug

For my citizenship application I have had to have a UK police record done – and I think it is worth mentioning to those going down the same road, that although it is recommended to have your National Insurance number to hand (for those who may not have needed the number in approaching two decades, and are not aware of it any more, the process to get a new card can take some time!), but if you do not have it, you can still get through the process.

The online application through the ACPO is pretty straightforward, provided that you have the necessary information to hand, or access to a scanner!

For the police record I needed two proofs of my latest address (I used a mobile phone bill and a credit card bill – both of which I was able to upload as PDFs). I had to supply my addresses for the last 10 years (i.e. here in Austria) as well as my last address in the UK (my parents’ address). In addition I had to supply my passport details and upload the photo pages of my passport, and a recent passport photo. The only restriction appears to be on size – most uploads are capped at 2 Mb. There is also a box to be ticked if you have lived in Scotland – as this requires another criminal record database to be checked. Make sure you are getting the “Police Certificate for Immigration Purposes” as this is what the authorities recognise.

There are various options in terms of speed of processing time and method of postage of your police record – if you need a two day service with couriering to mainland Europe, you’ll be looking at approaching £130 (approx. € 150). Once you have the police record, which comes with a covering letter that explains about whether your record is marked as “no trace” (i.e. a clean record), no live trace (i.e. criminal record information is held on their register, but has been “stepped down” i.e. records may be retained, but not published as being current). It should be mentioned that “no live trace” might mean that you have to provide/gain information about the substance behind this status, which can incur costs, but at the same time doing so is advised particularly for immigration purposes. The police certificate for immigration purposes can be delivered to your home address, as well as to an alternative delivery address (e.g. place of work).

If you intend to naturalise in Austria and have spent more than eight months in another country, you will be required to also have police records done for those countries – in my wife’s case, having studied in the USA , she had to have an FBI police record statement, which had a processing time of around three months, and needed to have fingerprints done (cost approx. €50). In Vienna this is done at the Landespolizeidirektion (LPD) in the 9th district, on Berggasse close to the Rossauer Kaserne.

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