Foreign criminals will be barred from entering Britain under a crackdown to be launched this summer.
A trial will be launched forcing some visa applicants to show proof of their criminal record or be barred from the UK.
Ministers say convicts from other countries have no place in Britain and the new measures will 'keep them out'.
Under the new regime, someone applying for a 'Tier 1' investor or entrepreneur visa will have to give details of whether they have been convicted of a serious offence.
They will have to produce a......
criminal record certificate from every country they have lived in for the past 10 years.
Adult dependents, such as spouses or partners, would also have to make the same declaration.
The Home Office stresses that it will not apply to short-term visitors, as this would be a 'disproportionate requirement' for millions of holidaymakers coming to the UK.
However, it could be expanded to other visa routes after the results of the trial have been assesses.
Anyone who fails to provide their criminal record will have their visa refused.
Under the measure, anyone caught lying on their visa application will be banned from entering the UK for 10 years.
Immigration Minister James Brokenshire said: 'Foreign criminals have no place in the United Kingdom and this scheme will help keep them out.
'Since 2010, checks on foreign nationals going through the UK criminal justice system have increased by more than 1,000 per cent, helping ensure more foreign criminals are taken off our streets and making our communities safer.
'But we want to go further still by preventing these people getting into the country in the first place. Mandatory police certificates will serve as an additional tool to help us achieve this.'
Visa applications are currently checked against UK criminal records and any overseas offences that are recorded on the UK Police National Computer (PNC) or immigration systems.
But not all offences committed abroad are provided by overseas authorities to the UK proactively.
The changes are being announced now to ensure that people have sufficient time to obtain certificates from relevant countries before the scheme is introduced on September 1.
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