Go to Police Station for Fingerprint cards

Start the process of obtaining your criminal background check by finding a local police station that provides digital fingerprint services. Local police stations should offer this service relatively inexpensively depending on where you live. I say digital fingerprints because you don’t really want the old ink and stamp prints. Why? Because some criminal agencies will reject your ink and stamp prints due an error in processing, usually caused by a smudge in the ink. Smudges can occur from the various handlers that will be passing along your fingerprint card. This is the case with the FBI recently where many ink and stamp fingerprint cards have been rejected. Your country may operate differently, but it doesn’t hurt to ask for the digital ones as extra security.

Request Two Fingerprint Cards

Request at least two sets of prints. When I was in Korea I changed jobs a few times and my employers required a new criminal check for their records. In order to request a new criminal check you must use a clean and unprocessed fingerprint card. If you’re American you should be aware that according to the FBI criminal background check requirements you need to, “Provide an original fingerprint card. Previously processed cards or copies will not be accepted.” Usually after a card is processed for a criminal check they will return the processed card to you, this processed card you have is essentially worthless. Get an additional one and bring it with you to Korea.

Obtaining One in Korea

If you didn't prepare two digital prints before you left you can get them in Korea. However, obtaining a new set while in Korea can only be done if your country’s official fingerprint card is available for download online. You cannot use a Korean fingerprint card to receive a criminal background check.

The specific fingerprint card you need might be available online depending on which country you are from. For example, Americans can download the fingerprint card from the FBI website. If you do find it online, then you must take this to a local police agency in Korea. You may want to call your authority ahead and ask if the prints need to be on a special type of paper. At the police station in Korea they will fingerprint you and you will have to mail off the card to your national criminal agency.

Why Getting Two Before You Leave is Important

Obtaining prints in Korea will be a nuisance and should be avoided. Simply because you will have to take time off work, go to the Korean police station, explain to the Korean police in English what you are attempting to do, make sure you're using the correct paper, get fingerprinted, and mail the card to your country’s authority.  If you simply just have an extra on you, then you will be prepared in case you change visas, renew visas, or there are some immigration changes while you're there.