Uk criminal record

Has anyone recently obtained an nlv with a criminal record from when they were younger ?

@Helpneeded27 I'm currently appealing a rejection for a criminal record, my NLV was initially approved and then they sent me rejection letter after selling my home, I have hired a Spanish immigration lawyer to help me, I will let you know the outcome, mine was a very minor offence which is nearly 12 years old

@sherylmulloy The uk system is not fair. The Spanish require the last 5 years but the acro has everything on it so they read it all. We have been told basically not to bother even tho the offences were over 16 years ago. Dreams of retirement gone.

After 12 years the acro report will state no live trace  so I'm hoping if my appeal doesn't go my way I'll be applying again, I'll let you know how I get on my solicitor have put a good argument  across and I was told on 3 separate emails my visa had been approved, I've sold my house give up a very good job that I'll never get again, if I don't get the visa someone has to answer to the fact I've been told my visa has been approved 3 times they invited me back to Manchester consulate twice to pick it up, I went to get my NIE certificate the other day from the police and they said my TIE is still pending so I'm hoping this is a good sign, I will take this all the way as I've now no home or job  in the UK

How did you get on in the end?

Im waiting my result of NLV and barely paid attention to my ‘no live trace' on my Acro as it was relating to a 20 year old caution and I was a police officer for over 15 years afterwards and had a very high level of vetting.

it's a funny system. Which could be so much clearer with a tiny bit of extra effort.

@Sean T I got my visa In the end had to get a lawyer from Barcelona to appeal for me, but eventually got it, so I'm finally here living and living life in lanzarote

Good I'm glad to hear it.

Most people now seem to think I'd not have n issue. But I'm not so confident. May tap you up if I face a similar predicament.

How did the offence show on your ACRO btw?

The full offence was listed in it as it's less than 12 years ago the offence was battery which sounds bad but it's the lowest form of assault as in pushing someone or slapping etc, my lawyer broke the offence down as in Spain at the time I offended it would not of existed

@sherylmulloy hello ,I'm so glad it all worked out ,are the convictions only documented if less than 12 years ...I'm currently worried as minor convictions over 34 years ago have to be filled out on the ACRO application form ?

@Sean T it's a really uncertain situation ,isn't it ...currently looking at filling in the application form and concerned over stuff that happened 34 years ago ...

Depending on the severity of the offence and your age at the time is how long it stay on your ACRO report, mine would have turn to no live trace after 12 years, you can find this information on the ACRO web page, the no live trace means you have offended in the past and the Spanish consulate may still want to know what this is, my full offence was stated on mine so I was rejected but found a fantastic lawyer to fight it for me as mine was a minor offence from just under 12 years previous, hope this helps

I actually spoke to ACRO and they were very reassuring they said the consulates contact them and they can then provide more detail now that I have given them permission.

it sounds that I'd be unlikely to have any issues, maybe things have become a little more refined now the process has been used more.

they also said I could apply to get it removed from my PNC but that would take a while.

Apparently the important bit is peoples honesty and not hiding and declaring as well.

That's good news for the future, I was told I could never have it removed as I also spoke with them, im sure you'll be absolutely fine, mine still appeared  on the report so that should give you hope, it just cost me a lot of money in legal fees for the lawyer, I will say when I went to pick up my visa they did apologise for all the confusion as I'd been told on at least 3 emails prior to the rejection that I had been approved, as you say early days and not long after Brexit, they should have more definite guide lines now, well good luck and I hope you're successful it's been the best decision I made im loving it here in Lanzarote.

Hey sherylmulloy, could you please share details of the lawyer you used? I'm also currently based in Lanzarote, but need a lawyer to assist my application for longer term. I'm happy to meet up if you'd rather not share over the internet! I've also sent you a PM, you can respond there if you prefer! :)

@Sean T I got my visa In the end had to get a lawyer from Barcelona to appeal for me, but eventually got it, so I'm finally here living and living life in lanzarote

Glad to hear it mate!

@Sean T Any update on your situation mate?

Hey, i am currently going through this ridiculous motion. we are currently selling our farm and want to move to spain. i own my own business in the uk and we have a good income, but my ACRO says 'No Live Trace'. I am currently waiting on 2 different spanish lawyers to tell me if they think i will get in on the Golden Visa.

Im not hopeful at all


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Hi Sheryl,

I hope you're well. I am currently in a very similar situation and would be very appreciative if you are able to share information on the lawyer you used.

I've been offered a job in Spain but I have two cautions for minor offences which took place 10 years ago and I'm very worried that this will effect my application.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.




Hi Sheryl

can you share details of your lawyer please: name and contact details


Hi Sheryl

Can you share the name and contact details of the Barcelona based Spanish lawyer you used to appeal your case please.

Hi, I got my ACRO back for Spanish visa it says "NO LIVE TRACE" would anyone be so kind as to help inform me if this is OK for the visa application process?  The certificate doesn't specify and it is an offense that has been stepped down. It should have been expunged or scrubbed after 11 years as it was a fine for drink driving.  Thank you for any pointers on this confusing NO LIVE TRACE term?!

@Jako2023  on an ACRO criminal report your offences are never stepped down unless you reach 109 years of age, the No live trace means there is an offence but it was several years ago, the Spanish consulate might query the offence


"NO LIVE TRACE" = you committed an offence, but it has been "stepped down" per their guidelines. Which probably means that it was either relatively minor and/or a very long time ago. Perhaps they'll accept as is, or perhaps they'll ask you for further details of the offence.

"If you have been arrested and/or convicted in the UK and your Police Certificate states “No Trace” or “No Live Trace” (or does not list in full your arrests/convictions), you might still be required to provide details (e.g. when applying for a visa). You may want to apply to the individual court to obtain a record of all convictions and any charges pending.

‘No Trace' means that you have no convictions, reprimands, final warnings or cautions held on the Police National Computer.

‘No Live Trace' means that there is criminal record information held on the Police National Computer but it has been ‘stepped down‘.  Anyone who sees this and understands this phrase can assume that you have a criminal record from the past, even if they can't see the details. If this applies to you, we advise that you contact ACRO to obtain details of the conviction information that was not disclosed on your Certificate.  If you have requested a Police Certificate for travel purposes, many Embassies will require this detail in order to make a decision on whether or not they should issue you with a visa.  Once you receive the undisclosed information from ACRO you will be required to contact the relevant Embassy and disclose your previous conviction/s."


@sherylmulloy my NLV was rejected today due to a minor driving offence in 2012 - 11 years ago! I've sold my house and given up my job already. How did your appeal go?

@Helpneeded27 my NLV was rejected today due to a minor driving offence in 2012 - 11 years ago! I've sold my house and given up my job already. Totally gutted after over two years of planning and so much time and money wasted. Not to mention the effect on my mental health - I think that means I'm done with Spain

@ajm3212 - please dont panic.  Get a lawyer and raise an appeal.  We were going to the canary islands and therefore chose a local lawyer who was absolutely fantastic.

Basically for ours they raised 5 points for reconsideration.

  1. An 'alien' must be treat in the same manner as if that person was Spanish.  A spanish person has the right to have a criminal record removed after their sentence is complete and a 'term' has passed.  The biggest sentences in Spain are classed as being allowed to be removed after 10 years.  The 'severity' is based on the length of time served.  MOST are maximum of 5 years after the sentence is complete.  our problem was a 10 month prison sentence - in the UK - never removed - in spain removed after 1 year i think it was.  Therefore if spanish there would be NO criminal record.
  2. My wife gained her visa and if she were to take that up and live in the canary islands then denying mine would be a breach of our human rights.
  3. We had been allowed to spend money to purchase a house in the canary islands but the rejection of the visa meant i effectively cannot live in it.
  4. I can come as a tourist for 2x90 days a year (half a year) but i cannot reside for the full year
  5. Then finally - the lack of motivation of the processing of the visa.  Basically they dismissed it without taking the background facts into consideration.

i hope this helps you. 

I'm happy to go into more detail privately if you want to message me .

@ajm3212 what was on your ACRO certificate? No live trace? Hope you manage to get it sorted!

@KattyLou I'm going to get a copy but with info given so far am certain it'll be Live Trace.  Will keep you posted….


The Spanish immigration authorities will be very familiar with the No Live Trace statement on a certificate and their knowledge of English will be very good.

I'm not 100% sure about Spain but what happens with many other countries in that instance is that you would have to explain what the criminal offence is on your record and then they can check what you have said is correct with ACRO.

The most important thing with all of this is honesty. They don't take a favourable view to anyone trying to hide the facts and them considering there has been dishonesty could have a much worse effect that the offence itself.

You should list all offences on their forms. Just because you have a historic offence doesn't mean you will not get a visa.

for some reason my other command and new account was deleted.... im not sure why...

Here is the jist of my old comment though....


I have "no live trace" on my police certificate for a common assault caution many years ago.

I am hoping to apply for a Spanish golden visa soon and wondering what my chances are of getting it.

Has anyone had experience applying with a "no live trace" acro?

How did it go, did they ask about it, or ask you to get a subject access request?



Hi how did you get on with your appeal?

@ruffspice - it was passed on appeal so just waiting for the visa to be processed.

@ajm3212 Hi, I'm having the same problem,  have you appealed yet, with any success?


hello how did your visa application go? 


Did you manage to get your visa in the end?  I'm asking as my husbands ACRO has exactly the same caution for common assault 14 years ago.  Thank you.


I've not applied yet no.

I did get my acro cert back just to confirm it was no live trace, which it is.

I have also spoken to an immigration consultancy who have advised it should be no issue, particularly with the Golden Visa (their words not mine).

@Sean T Hi Sean, did you get it in the end, I am about to embark on mine with 4-5 convictions from 20 years ago (1 is 10 years ago) but all  minor (drunk, fights, drink driving - was a bit of a clown as a boy!!)