Criminal Background Check also known as Criminal History Record Check is an important document when it comes to employment overseas or immigration related matters. Quite a significant number of persons, U.S Citizens and residents, have recently discovered that they need the document during their search for overseas employment or during their journey to double citizenship.
What types of Criminal Background Checks and Criminal History Record Checks are available in the United States?
There are several types of Criminal Background Checks or Criminal History Record Checks which are available in the United States:
Local – which are usually issued on the city or town level. Such Criminal Background Checks and Criminal History Record Checks are seldom used when it comes to satisfying international requirements. Since local Criminal Background Checks are issued on the city and town levels they only contain information available at the local law enforcement agency
County – are available in several states, such as North Carolina and Texas, and are fit for international use for some countries. It is important to keep in mind that not all countries will accept such records and County Criminal Background Checks are not available in all states of the United States. County level background checks cover the records of the county law enforcement agency and as the result are very limited in the information which they may produce.
State – Criminal Background Checks and Criminal History Record Checks on a state level are generally available from the State Bureau of Investigations or a similar State level law enforcement agency. State level records are by far the most common types used when it comes to meeting tight deadlines and are widely acceptable by foreign countries. As always, there are a number of countries which will not accept the Criminal Background Checks issued on state level.
National – also known as the FBI Criminal Background Check and FBI Criminal History Check. This is the only Background Check which is acceptable in any country. Records issued by the FBI contain all history covering all the United States, or in case that there is no history to show, FBI will issue a special letter explaining that no record exists in their database. Although this record is the only one which is accepted everywhere for any purpose, it is also the most difficult to obtain. You will need to meet all identification requirements of the FBI, including submission of the fingerprints. Furthermore, when compared to other Background Checks, FBI Criminal Background Check takes much longer to obtain. (Estimate is between 12 and 16 weeks)
How to get a Criminal Background Check or Criminal History Record Check?
You should always start with confirming the requirements of your target authorities. If you have trouble communicating with them about the types of records which are available in the United States, your safest bet would be the FBI Criminal Background Check.
Once you confirmed which type of Background Check will suite your needs, you will have to contact the appropriate law enforcement agency. They should provide you with the information which will be required by them in order to process your record search. Commonly you will need a valid form of ID and a set of fingerprints. Some agencies will also require additional information such as the social security number, date of birth, race, height and so forth. Records which are solely based on your name and date of birth may be inaccurate and as a common practice are rarely accepted abroad. Also, we recommend staying away from online records as they are never accepted by foreign governments. As a guide it is best to obtain the Criminal Background Check from an official law enforcement agency with appropriate signatures and seal of the said agency.
After all the documents are submitted and are deemed sufficient to perform the Criminal History Search all you can do is wait for the specific law enforcement agency to process your request. Each agency has their own processing time and therefore it will take forever to list all agencies here. As an estimate, you may be looking at a timeframe between two weeks and several months.
I am outside of the United States already; can I request the Criminal Background to be performed?
Yes you can. It does not matter if you are in the United States or abroad you may submit the documents directly to the appropriate government agency or use our services as a third party service providers. If using our services you will need to fill out the online application form for Criminal Record and we will advise you which documents will be required, estimate the processing time and provide you will all required authorizations and consents to release information.
Furthermore, our complete service will allow you to save time and money by ordering additional services which will be required from you such as apostille for your Criminal Background Check or Consular Attestation of your document.
Recent notable changes:
Beginning with January 2013, Kuwait will only accept Criminal Background Checks issued on the National Level. In other words, for Kuwait the only acceptable document now is an FBI Criminal Background Check. State and County level background checks will no longer be processed by the Kuwait Consulates and Embassy in the United States.
For assistance with Criminal Background Checks and Criminal History Record Checks please read more.