It means that there is some (unspecified) present relevance for the criticism. Here, that present relevance is likely to be that it is recent, but in other contexts it could have a different interpretation.
For example, if in a scholarly paper you see that some particular work or theory "has been criticised", that might be a long time ago, but the writer is thinking it as part of a debate that continues to the present. If they said it "was criticised" it suggests that they're not thinking about it that way - perhaps they regard that theory as no longer relevant.
Has been criticised does not imply that the criticism went on for a while: it might have, but the verb form does not say that. I think you are thinking of the continuous form has been being critised - this is awkward in the passive, but common with an active verbs, eg people have been criticising this cure.
Your example about living suggests to me that you are confusing two different uses of be. Be with a "past participle" like "seen" or "criticised" is passive; be with a "present participle" like "seeing" or "living" is continuous. (They can be combined, as I said above, but this is not very common).
Since live in that sense is intransitive, so it can't take a passive, so has been lived doesn't make sense. Has been living is the form you mean, and indeed it is common in that context. He has lived here for seven years and He has been living here for seven years are both normal, both mean that he is still living here, and are not objectively different in their meaning. The living form presents it as a continuing even over those seven years, whereas the lived form does not.