FAQ: Basic Disclosures

I have been living abroad for over 5 years, but I need proof that I do not have a criminal record in the UK. Can I get a Basic Disclosure?

Unfortunately, Disclosure Scotland's rules mean that this is not currently possible. You may wish to contact your local embassy for assistance as they will be best equipped to help you.

I need a Visa for the USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia or New Zealand. Do I need a Basic Disclosure?

No. A Basic Disclosure is insufficient for Visa requirements for these countries - you will need a Police Certificate from the ACPO.

I need a Basic Disclosure for a Visa for a different country, and it needs an Apostille. What is an Apostille, and how do I get one?

An apostille, or legalisation, is essentially an official confirmation that a stamp, seal or signature on a document is genuine. They are not necessary on UK documents being used within the UK, but are often necessary when those documents need to be shown overseas. Basic Disclosures which are needed for Visa purposes usually need this Apostille.
We cannot provide an Apostille, as only the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has the power to do so. However, we can make sure that your Basic Disclosure is signed and stamped by a registered signatory so that the FCO can authenticate it easily. If you need this doing, please let us know when you submit the form.
Once you receive your Disclosure from us, you'll need to send it by post to the FCO for the Apostille. This should be a very quick process, but unfortunately the FCO does charge an additional fee. Please see their website for further information.

I'm applying for a personal licence to supply alcohol, and need to provide a criminal record check. Is a Basic Disclosure suitable?

Yes, a Basic Disclosure is what you will need for your personal licence, and we have supplied many to pub landlords and people in similar roles in the past. If you go to the Basics page you can find out more about how to apply.

How long will my Disclosure take?

Most Basic Disclosures are returned within 14 days, but many do take longer than this, particularly at busy times. We cannot guarantee that your Disclosure will be returned by a particular date, so if you need a Disclosure by a particular deadline, we reccomend that you apply for it as soon as possible. Please be aware that Disclosures for Visa purposes will take longer due to the need to have them stamped and signed, and that you should also remember to allow for the time it will take you to have it authenticated by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. 

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