This page gives step by step instructions on getting your criminal background check for Korea. For first timers, getting this criminal background check seems like a daunting task but if you follow the instructions below you shouldn’t run into any problems – and hopefully your stress levels remain low! Please scroll down and find your nationality for information on what steps you need to take. Before getting started it’s important to know the following about your criminal background check;

  • It must come from the national level (no local checks / FBI level for Americans)
  • It must be less than 6 months old at time of visa application
  • It must be fixed with an Apostille (See our Getting an Apostille page for more info. Canada is not part of the Apostille agreement so Canadians please follow the instructions below)

Background Checks for Americans

This is a step by step guide for American citizens on how to get an FBI check for teaching in Korea.

Step 1 – Fill out the FBI Application form (Click Here to open)

Step 2 – Print the FBI Fingerprint form and take it to your nearest law enforcement agency where a technician will take your fingerprints. (Click Here to open)

Step 3 – Decide how you would like to pay; money order / cashiers check made payable to “The Treasury of the United States” or credit card using the form provided by the FBI.

Step 4 – Complete the FBI Background Check checklist. (Click Here to open)

Step 5 – Send everything in the Checklist to the FBI for processing at the following address:

FBI CJIS Division – Summary Request
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, WV 26306 

(Please check the FBI homepage before sending in case the address has changed recently. http://www.fbi.gov/)

Step 6 – Wait for your background check to be processed. This can take up to 3 months so it’s best to plan accordingly with Korean Immigration’s “no older than 6 month” rule.

Step 7 – Receive your Nationwide FBI check and take it to a notary public in your area to be fixed with an Apostille. (Click Here for instructions on Getting an Apostille) Here is what your FBI check should look like:

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Americans have it by far the hardest at this step and getting an FBI Check for teaching in Korea is the largest hoop you’ll have to jump through – the worst part about it is waiting for it to be processed! As thousands of people will attest, it is more than worth the wait.

Background Checks for Canadians

Canadian applicants must submit a national level RCMP fingerprint background check. As of July 2014, you can only obtain this check with digital fingerprint submission which is extremely efficient; taking only 5 – 10 days for your check to be processed!

To order your criminal background check, simply follow the instructions on the RCMP Website. It gives instructions for applicants applying from Canada and also for applicants applying from overseas.

Remember: Canada is not part of the Apostille program. Thus, Canadians must take their background checks and diploma certificates to their nearest Korean Consulate to be verified in replacement of an Apostille. 

Background Checks for British

British citizens have numerous choices when applying for the criminal background check but by far the easiest is the Disclosure Scotland Check (don’t be confused by the name, this is applicable for all countries within the UK)

The Disclosure Scotland check is done online and costs around 25 pounds if your current address is within the UK. If you are living outside of the UK you will need to apply in writing. Full instructions for both can be found on the Disclosure Scotland website.

Remember: Once you receive your background check you will need to have it apostilled. See our “Getting an Apostille” page for instructions.

Background Checks for Irish

Irish applicants should apply for A Police Check Certificate by contacting the Garda Police Station where you live and asking for a Police Check Certificate of Character. Full information available on the Garda Website.

Remember: Once you receive your background check you will need to have it apostilled. See our “Getting an Apostille” page for instructions.

Background Checks for South Africans

Saffas need what’s known as a Police Clearance Certificate with full instructions available on the DFA Website.

Remember: Once you receive your background check you will need to have it apostilled. See our “Getting an Apostille” page for instructions.

Background Checks for Australians

Australian applicants need a Police Check / Police Certificate – more importantly the Federal Level Police Check. For details on how to obtain one, please follow the instructions on the AFP Website.

Remember: Once you receive your background check you will need to have it apostilled. See our “Getting an Apostille” page for instructions.

Background Checks for New Zealanders

Kiwis should order the Federal Level Police Clearance check which can be ordered from This Page. Please read the instructions carefully as it can get long winded – we recommend calling them and asking specifically what you need to do.

Remember: Once you receive your background check you will need to have it apostilled. See our “Getting an Apostille” page for instructions.

Questions?

Getting your criminal background check for Korea seems like the most impossible, time consuming task on the planet when you do it for the first time. If you have any questions at all, feel free to contact us and we will be more than happy to help.