Preparing the CRC

The criminal background check is quite easy to prepare, but the process takes some time. You should have your criminal check on hand before even considering looking at jobs. Why? Because most jobs are hiring for positions immediately and obtaining a criminal check could take months. If you find the right position for you, it will most likely pass you by and go to somebody who has already prepared their documents.

Request Two Criminal Checks

It is a good idea to request two official criminal checks from your national police organization. You want one criminal check for your initial visa application and an additional criminal check to keep for yourself. Why should you have an additional check? In case you need to change jobs, the school closes down or you are laid off. The latter two of the three cases rarely happen, but the first happens quite often.

Follow your country’s instructions for the completing background check form. Complete the form, print it out, and mail it with one copy of your fingerprints. Now all you can do is wait to receive your two criminal checks in the mail.

Obtaining a Second Criminal Check in Korea Takes a Long Time

If you didn’t prepare an extra fingerprint card then you will have to get fingerprinted in Korea. Getting printed within Korea can be a hassle and you should call your native country's police agency about how they want you to accomplish this process.

If you apply from Korea it will take two to three weeks just for your government agency to receive the application in through snail mail. Some agencies need up to 12 weeks to process the paperwork in order to issue an official background check. After it's processed then of course it has to be mailed back to Korea which may take an additional two to three weeks. As you can see this process might take months and if you need this check quickly then you might be out of luck.

New Criminal Checks Are Not Always Required for Job Changes if Your Lucky

While in Korea if you wish to change jobs for whatever reason, new checks are not always required to obtain a new visa. That is of course, if you don’t leave Korea after your first visa is canceled and you are able to secure a new visa within 30 days. However, this 30-day window is limited because during this time you will have to find a new job. Moreover the new job must to apply for a special visa processing number that takes two weeks or longer to receive, and after you will have to travel to Japan to obtain your new visa.

I would suggest having a job immediately lined up from day one of your canceled visa if you do not plan on obtaining an additional background check. If you planed ahead and have an additional one then you don’t have to worry about this 30-day time frame which will offer you more time to find a job you actually want.

Links to Your National Criminal Check Agency

If you don’t want to be caught up in technical details of visa complications just bring an additional criminal check with you to Korea. It can save you from a big headache down the road. By this point you should have a digital fingerprint card ready to be mailed, but first you have to locate your country’s authority that processes background checks. Thankfully, I’ve compiled a list of links to the national authorities all eligible candidates. Go to the following links and download the correct form to be filled out. Irish citizens must physically go their local Garda Police Station and request a certificate of character. I provided a link for Irish citizens to find their local Garda Police Station.

American Background Check Information:

Australian Background Check Information:

Canadian Background Check Information: 

Ireland Information Go to the Garda Police Station Get a Certificate of Character:

New Zealand Background Check Information:

South Africa Background Check Information:

UK Background Check Information