In the last post, I went over some of the degree requirements you’ll need to know when planning your move to Korea. In this post, we’ll examine another major component you’ll need if you hope to get a visa to live in Korea more than 90 days. I’ll also tell you who I went through for getting my background check done and apostilled. But first, let’s look at what kind of background check you’ll need so you don’t waste time and money.
National Level Background Check
Regardless of what country you are from, you will need to have a national level background check ran on you. This helps countries out by making you sure that you don’t move to another area within the same country that you are in to try and trick them into thinking that you have a clean criminal history. Your national background check must be clear of any crimes, convictions and charges to be accepted for a visa. This way, Korea will know that you do not have a history with violent crimes or anything relating to drugs according to your national government. (If you find something is inaccurate on your background check, you will have to speak to your government to see how to get it taken off. In some cases, it may be helpful to have this check ran periodically to make sure nothing appears that could cause you trouble in the future.)
How to Get A National Background Check Ran In The United States
The process to get your background check ran depends on your government, and possibly on how soon you need to have it back. In some countries, your police station can start the process for you. In other cases, you may need someone who is a channeler to act in your behalf. For getting your background check, your channeler will get the needed information and submit it to the correct government officials for processing. To do this, you’ll have to pay a fee to your chandler for their services. You will want to check with your government to see who they list as an approved channeler in your area.
For me, I was notified that my local police station stopped doing fingerprints for background checks that were not court ordered. So I had to look for an approved channeler in my area. The channeler that I went with was Fieldprint USA. I was charged $50 to make an appointment, have my fingerprints scanned electronically and for them to submit my prints for my national background check. The appointment took less than 15 minutes and I got my results back less than 20 minutes later. (There is no average time for how soon you can get your results back. But finding an approved channeler who can submit your prints electronically will be much faster, and possibly cheaper, than doing physical fingerprints and doing the process by mail if you are in a hurry.) I highly recommend Fieldprint USA if you are in the US and need to get your fingerprints done. For more information, click here.
NOTE: When my results came back, I got an email with a link to open them. The email is very specific that the link should only be opened on a computer, not on a phone or tablet. It’s very important to follow the steps in the email. Once you get your results, the channeler is required to delete the results from their database. They will not be able to get the results back if you did not save the file. You will have to do your background check again if that happens. In my case, I could only see the results after I saved the copy of my background check to my computer. This allowed me to print out multiple copies and to save the background check to my cloud storage.
My background check was free and clear since I have no criminal history. Different visas may have different requirements for how current your background check must be for it to be valid, so check on this periodically if you have not found work after a few weeks. So while I have my background check, that is not the end of the process. To make sure that the background check really came form your national government, it must be apostilled. So what was the process to get my background check apostilled? That will be covered in the next post.