Guide to getting your FBI Criminal Background check while in Korea *updated 4/29/2014

The U.S. FBI website has all the information they thought we needed to get our FBI Criminal Background Check for our E2 visa renewals. However, having gone through the process, with WAY too many bumps and frustrations along the way, I have chosen to make a guide to help others out. If my miserable experience will help even one person to avoid going through the same, I think it was worth it. SO, feel free to share this with your friends, co-workers, acquaintances, etc. (Anyone you think might benefit from it.) Things I have learned: *If the person (giving me the info) didn’t experience it himself, DON’T LISTEN TO IT! Word of mouth is a great way to get information in Korea. However, I was given too much misinformation by too many different people whom had not actually done it themselves. They simply “heard” that’s how to do it. *NOT waiting until the last minute is best. (And by last minute, I mean less than 3 months from your renewal date) You WON’T likely be able to get this done in one day. The paperwork states that it will take 4-6 weeks to process. HELPFUL phone numbers: US Embassy 02-397-4114 (Seoul) M-F 8:30a-4:30pm Seoul Global Center (for those of you who know me personally, I call these folks my “phone friends”) 02-120 dial 9 then 1 for English. This line is amazing and will make your life easier! They can translate for you, look stuff up (bus info, subway info, costs, doctor locations, etc.) Korea Tourism Organization (can do the same as the Seoul Global Center but not as friendly–in my opinion): 02-1330 dial 2 for English FedEx (English speaking available) 080-023-8000 (see FedEx account section below for more details.) FBI office in West Virginia 304-625-5590 (Fingerprints division: 304-625-2000)

  • Print & fill out the application form. You cannot save an edited copy so scan and save it if you want a copy for your own records.
  • Go to the embassy/consular and get enough Fingerprint card. There is an office is BUSAN and in SEOUL. The “fingerprint card” link is on the website. *NOTE: as of July 2011, you need an APPOINTMENT to even pick up the fingerprint cards.  An easier way though, is to print out the fingerprint card [on regular A4 paper is fine– I verified with the FBI today]. Ironically, they recommend 5 copies: so go with that. She did say that they recommend they “milk” your fingers— sliding the blood from the bottom of the hand to the tips– in order to ensure better prints.
  • Go to a major police station in your area. Since you likely won’t know where that is. I recommend calling one of the two helplines I mention in this blog. 02-1330 or 02-120. Tell them where you are located and that you need to find a DISTRICT POLICE OFFICE or the local CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION OFFICE.   This service is free.  I would get 2 sets just to be safe. There are pretty strict requirements about the quality, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • Fill out the Credit card payment form for payment. You CAN send an $18 (US) cashier’s check but I haven’t been able to find any place (even banks) that do CASHIER’S CHECKS. To be on the safe side, use the credit card form.
  • OPTION 1: Snail mail Now take the fingerprint card(s), the application form, the credit card payment form, and an envelope with your current address (in Korea). It can be in English/Romanized or written in Korean. Go to the DISTRICT POST OFFICE. Again, if you don’t know where this is in your area, call the numbers mentioned above. You’ll need to go on a WEEKDAY as they don’t do the international return stamp on the weekends. Tell them you want: 반신권 (Pan Shin Gwan) —Return service– They will give you a large international stamp. It costs 1,100 won.  Mine looked like this: 

Place it into your return addressed envelope.  You can mail it regular mail, which will cost about 1,030 won; or you can EMS it, which will costs about 16,500 won. Regular mail will take 7-15 days and EMS will take 3-5 days.

“Due to changes in processing, effective October 12, 2013, the FBI will no longer accept return self-addressed stamped envelopes with Departmental Order requests. This includes pre-paid Priority Mail, FedEx account numbers, United Parcel Service, etc., foreign postage coupons, and requests to forward correspondence to the Department of State for the apostille process. Envelopes received postmarked after this date will be destroyed. The FBI will return all results, both foreign and domestic, by U.S. First-Class Mail via the United States Postal Service. Thank you for your patience as we try to streamline our processes to improve our service to you.”

  • Option 2:  IF you have a FedEx account, you can have the results sent back via FedEx by entering your FedEx account number on the application form.
  • Option 3: IF you do NOT have a FedEx account but want to use FedEx. *You can set up an account by phone/email. You must have a fax or scanner, but it is fairly easy. Here’s what ya do: Call FedEx 080-023-8000 (English service available- they will answer in Korean, just start speaking English.) Tell them you want to get an account number. They will send you an email with two forms: FedEx cc and the FedEx application. Fill them out and send a copy/scan of your credit card (front and back), your ARC (Korean id– Alien Registration Card), and a scanned/filled out copy of those two documents to the email address. They will give you an account within 2-3 business hours!! PUSH THE EASY BUTTON!! — I am so happy to know this now, but why couldn’t I have discovered this before?? Oh, that’s right.. I got misinformation from people who said they knew. 😦
  • [You may also go to a HUB FedEx location and create an account. I was TOLD this is easy — since I didn’t do it myself (see my blunder blog if you want to know the story),  I cannot speak with authority on how easy that way is.] I do know that FedEx tends to be much quicker but also a lot more expensive. It depends on what options suit your needs best.
No matter which option you use, you should send the stuff to the following address:

FBI CJIS Division – Record Request

1000 Custer Hollow Road

Clarksburg, WV 26306

  • Results The paperwork says that the processing time is 4-6 weeks. If you use snail mail, you can expect 2 weeks there and 2 weeks back, for a total of 8-12 weeks. Yea, 2 months!
Important to note: If you are applying for renewal or a different job, these results cannot be dated more than 6 months prior. Thus, I wouldn’t order a bunch of copies unless you plan to hand them out in the next 6 months. *Also note: the FBI results are only good for 90 days, so you must get your Apostille done within 90 days of the issue date of the FBI results.

If that is not enough information, here is the FBI Checklist  posted on their site. ——————————————————————————————-


*Apparently, there is yet more!! *You must get your results APOSTILLE stamped. Yep- That means: you have to send it BACK to America!! If you don’t have anyone in the DC area, I highly recommend a courier service. They can get it completed and shipped on its way back to you (if you have a FedEx account) within 2-3 business days. The fees is around $45-60. You must fill out a request form for the apostille as well as a check or money order for the fee ($8 per) as they do not accept credit cards at this point in the process. The address for this is: U.S. Department of State Authentications Office 518 23rd Street NW. SA-1 Washington, DC 20520 The apostille should look something like this scroll halfway down the page, on the right. ——–Ok~ you did it! Take this hard-earned piece of paper with all your other documents to the immigration office and get yourself renewed!! ——– oooof!!

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237 Responses to Guide to getting your FBI Criminal Background check while in Korea *updated 4/29/2014

  1. Paul says:

    WOW! A 100% detailed guide on how to get FBI background check. This is better than the info. given by and

    • kasham says:

      Thanks, Paul! Feel free to pass it along. Obviously, I will update it with the apostille details once I complete that portion. For now, I like the waygook effect’s version. ^^

      • Jill says:

        Here’s an addendum to your Apostille remarks. According to the FBI site one must request that an FBI seal and a signature from a “division official” be put onto your background check in order for it to qualify for an apostille. When I called the FBI customer service they suggested putting that request on the top of the application and HIGHLIGHTING it and, in addition, they suggested even adding a separate sheet with the application with that request on it. This is because they are processing hundreds of requests a day. FYI, the customer service dept. at the FBI is open from 8 a.m. until Midnight daily and the rep was very helpful. Also, I wanted to thank you or the detailed and helpful blog.

      • kasham says:

        Thanks for your input. I did mine the way my blog instructs and it was fine. Unfortunately, even the customer service center wasn’t really sure what was going on at the time of the blog writing. Maybe they have more info now?? Either way, thanks for reading and thanks for your helpful info for those who are still in this process. ^^

  2. chris says:

    So, once you’ve got the letter, after 2 months of waiting, you must then mail it back to America and wait another month for the apsotle request? 3 months of waiting right? I hope we don’t have to do this every year…

    • kasham says:

      That is correct. I have an aquaintance who recommends an overnight service — it costs $45. I will post the link in the comments and update the blog when I get the website and check into it further.

  3. That would be a good news it is more reliable and easy. Thank you for that!

  4. This will take a very long process and waiting for the results. But if you do it online, similar results can be obtained in lesser period of time.

  5. Amy says:

    I’m so glad I found this page! I have an F4 visa but I found out I gotta do this nightmare for Office of Education positions. I’m waiting for my Fedex acct approval now~

  6. joefrederick says:

    Two small things:

    1) Make sure you also send out a signed letter stating that you want FBI notarization. This means that they mail you a small paper with the FBI seal and a signature. This makes it much easier to get the apostille.

    2) KEB bank does cashier’s checks. They’re a bit more secure than sending your CC info. KEB will refer to them as bank checks or banker’s checks, but they’re the same thing. I used it and got the check done with no hassle.

    Anyways, hope this helps!

    • kasham says:

      I bank at KEB. They do the bank checks, as you mentioned. Given my lack of time available and the fact that the US Customer service said it wouldn’t be accepted, I didn’t risk it. Now, we know that they weren’t fully informed about everything– which is actually how this blog post was birthed. I got too much misinformation. THANKS for the input, it may help someone in the future. Cheers!

      • theghostcoast says:

        Glad I could help and thanks for putting the info all in one place! My recruiter said I needed it to renew my visa, but apparently I need it for the next renewal…also, I didn’t know about the FBI apostille, so I didn’t request it. ::facepalm::

        Anyways, your blog is timely as I’m starting the process all over again. Thanks again!

  7. Mireille says:

    This is incredibly helpful! Thanks for all this detailed and accurate information!

  8. PJ says:


    Thanks for the great info! I’m considering using US Authentication Services myself and was wondering-
    – Did you have the FBI send the CBC directly to US Auth. Services? If so, how did you go about with that process? It seems simpler this way, though….

  9. christopher Lee says:

    Under apostille, you state
    “You must fill out a request form for the apostille as well as a check or money order for the fee ($8 per) as they do not accept credit cards at this point in the process.”

    Do you have to include the above request form/cover letter along with the US Authentication Service order form? So basically, I’m sending the authentication service $8 along with their service fee? or does their fee include the $8?

  10. Great information. Did you also get your degree apostilled and do you have a blog about it?

    • kasham says:

      Thanks for your feedback. I didn’t get my degree apostillized in Korea. I had that done (through the state that my university is in) before I came to Korea. The process is: Request (from your graduating university) that your official degree be sent to the State office for apostille seal. Some universities will do it for you (you just pay the fee to the school) and others won’t. So, you should check with your university to see if they can help you out. 🙂 If you’re in the States right now, you can do it stateside. I would highly recommend bringing 1-2 extra (apostille) copies to Korea with you in case you want to apply for another job after your first contract. Best wishes!!

      • Ash says:

        Quick question in reference to the return envelope enclosed with all the documents. I have family living in Washington DC. I currently live in south Korea. If I were to assemble the documents and get an international stamp from a Korean post office. After the check has heen completed, Would THAT return international stamp work for an address being sent from the FBI to A DC residence. I would prefer this because then I could bypass having everything come to Korea only to go back again. Any ideas??? I would think since it’s an international return stamp it shouldddd work within the US for another domestic US address. Thanks

      • kasham says:

        Actually, I am not sure about that. It seems your logic would work, but you might verify it with the post office. (You could call the Seoul Tourist number — linked in the blog– to have them translate.)

  11. Rich says:

    It seems like there are a lot of people already teaching in Korea here so I figured I’d pick your brains. I’m in the process of getting my FBI CBC, but am concerned about the timing of it all. I fear missing an application deadline due to all of the bureaucratic red tape involved. I live in America so I’m assuming the process is mildly different. What I’m really curious about is:

    – How often jobs (in the major Korean cities) get posted to the various recruiting firms websites?
    – Is it cyclical and based on the school semesters or does it just stream in?
    – How much postage is a safe amount to put on the self addressed stamped envelope to the FBI and the Apostille? As I understand it I also need to have my transcripts and Diploma stamped by the Apostille. Does anyone know the weights of the multiple packages so I can put the correct amount of postage on?

    My primary concern is not having to go through the expense and pain of the FBI/University/Apostile process again because of a missed deadline. I’m hoping that if the jobs just stream in, so long as I am interested in the job, I can get started on compiling all of the documents and not worry about the 90 day expiration date on the fingerprints. AM I worrying too much? Should I just start the process? My initial plan was to start around April but my adviser said I might miss that deadline. Any insight and information would be amazing.

    • kasham says:

      I will send you a more detailed email, but here are the quick answers:
      -Jobs are posted on multiple recruiters’ sites.
      -For public schools, the start dates are in August and Feb each year; for private institutes, hiring/starting is done year-round
      -As for the postage, a standard stamp for a manila envelope (When I was in the States, that was 55cents, but it may have gone up since then.) should be sufficient for the return address. It’s only 2-3 pieces of paper and a standard stamp can hold 5 pieces of paper.

      About spending time/money to get your paperwork done. IT IS WORTH IT. I was just having this conversation the other day- I spend around $150 on paperwork (gathering and postage) to secure my job. It seemed like a lot of money at the time, but today, because of the lifestyle: income ration here, that amount seems like nothing to me.

  12. Do says:

    I was wondering if I have a F4 visa already, do I still need to do the FBI CBC to get a hagwon job ( not public school)?

    • kasham says:

      F4 visas are designated for Koreans. It is extremely doubtful that the KOREAN GOVERNMENT would require it of you. Your HAGWON might, but you can contact immigration directly (# on the blog) and ask your Hagwon director to do the same if they press the issue. Best wishes

      • Do says:

        thanks for the info. i called the korean consulate in washington dc embassy and asked them. they said no it wasnt necessary. then i told her a recruiter i was working with to get a job in seoul told me i needed it. the consulate said she didnt think so, but she wasnt really sure now. she advised me to call the korean immigration in seoul. to double check i called the korean consulate in the los angelas embassy. she told me regardless f4 visa or not, i need the fbi cbc. it didnt matter whether it was for a hagwon or public school. she also told me to call the korean immigration to find out and to get details. i am so confused. this absolutely makes no sense. i understand you need to get a cbc done to get a working visa, but since i already have it ( f4 visa), who would want it? i can see a public school would check, to make sure you are clean , but a hagwon?? whats the shortest time i can get this done? i will call the immigrations to check on this….

      • Do says:

        i spoke with the Education department in seoul. They said all F4 visa carriers need CBC done. the CBC docs go to the education department and they hold for record. you cannot work during the CBC process, even though technically you do have a working visa. there are some companies that provide services that will do all the dirty work for you, but its not cheap; and they claim they can get the CBC docs back in a much quicker fashion. whether its true or not is as yet to be tested personally. I am considering doing it myself. Has anyone have heard or experienced doing one of these services? any response would be greatly appreciated.

      • Jeter Derek says:

        F4 are for US citizen holder Korean Americans with Parents of Korean citizenship. If ur a non-Korean citizen who wants to work as Hagwon or Public teacher, U need to do the same bullshit as everyone else.. the law has changed since 2010 for even F4f

  13. hannah says:

    How long is the record check paper valid? My husband has a fbi record check which is a few months old. Can he get apostilled in US embassy even though it’s older tha 3 months? Or can he sumit an apostilled record check which is almost one year to an employer?

    • kasham says:

      TECHNICALLY, no. Here’s the thing– they (the Embassy) doesn’t apostillize it. BUT I would give it a try (at immigration) anyway. The only thing you have to lose is the time it takes you to go there and try. The worst they could say is “NO” and you wouldn’t be any worse off. If I were in your shoes, I would give it a try. SO, I would say take your chances at the Korean immigration… I personally know 2 people who had their documents accepted without it. It’s a shot in the dark, but it would be worth it if they DO accept it.

      If you’re submitting your documents to an employer, rather than the immigration office yourself, you may not be able to get away with it. Best to ask your employer and immigration office. (See numbers in the blog) Best wishes!!

  14. AJ Jenkins says:

    I have a question. You say the FBI recommended “5 copies” of the fingerprint card/sheet, but then say “2 sets” to be sure when getting the fingerprints. When I go get my fingerprints, how many different cards/sheets should I have done? Thanks.

    • kasham says:

      You are right. The website does say 2. When I called them, the lady recommended 5! I thought that was a bit too much, but since they are FREE to obtain, I figured it couldn’t hurt anything. My first set were rejected due to a smudge. While you won’t have to pay for the “re-do” you lose the time and have to start the clock (12 weeks) again! UGG– HINT: BE SURE TO WASH YOUR HANDS BETWEEN EACH SET. IT WILL MAKE FOR BETTER PRINTS.

      • Jeter Derek says:

        Hello. Can U clarify…. U said print out 5 copies of the form. Then call about the Police station to get the fingerprints and GET 2 SETS….. Do you mean go to 2 different Police stations and have 5 copies fingerprinted ,,, or Do you mean get 5 copies fingerprinted but only mail the best 2 copies to the FBI for CBC application.


      • kasham says:

        Print and get 5 copies done. The US Embassy recommends sending 2. I had my first sets rejected (due to smudging) and it’s better to be safe than sorry bc you waste so much time when they are rejected.

  15. Hsiung says:

    So this is a pretty silly question, but what is a diploma the same as a degree? I don’t want to get the wrong thing sent to the apostille. Also, I am confused about why they need a copy of the degree/diploma versus the original. Why can’t we get the original sent to the apostille? If we really need a copy can we make a copy of the degree/diploma ourselves or is there some official “copy” we can order from the university? Thanks again for all your help. Just for curiosity what recruiters has everyone used. Did everyone have a good experience?


    • kasham says:

      It’s not a silly question. I would say NO- a diploma is not the same UNLESS it was a non-native (English) speaker who wrote it. Then, they could be referring to the same thing. You must get an ORIGINAL and have it apostille sealed. A copy won’t do. When I say get xyz copies, I mean get xyz number of the originals.

      I am not sure what recruiter(s) everyone used as there are SO MANY out there. Some good. Some not-so-good. If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Cheers!

      • Hsiung says:

        Thanks for the follow-up. I use Footprints and their website says that as of August 31, 2010 Korean Immigration doesn’t accept original degrees. They indicate that it must be copies and notarized by the apostille. In addition they ask for 3 sets of transcripts. Does this correspond to your experience? There seems to be a lot of conflicting information in regards to what needs to be acquired and what doesn’t. Thanks again!

  16. Elayna Dooley says:

    When I applied for my first FBI check while in the states I went to a fingerprinting agency that took by prints electronically. It’s much more accurate that way so there is far less chance of your prints being rejected for being unreadable. Do you happen to know if its possible to get prints done electronically here in South Korea? Thanks, your blog was super helpful.

    • kasham says:

      Thanks for your feedback. Yes, the electronic ones ARE much more accurate. (I used to work in Corrections and have experienced both.) Unfortunately, finding the electronic ones here is even MORE difficult than finding a station to do the prints. Glad you are able to get it taken care of Stateside. It will make your life much easier from that end. Your Korean adventures await you!! CHEERS

  17. Andrea says:

    Thanks for this blog entry. I am also in a situation where i must process documents from Korea. Did you get your background check back using the IRC international response coupons?

    • kasham says:

      I did not use IRC.

      • Andrea says:

        Oh you did the FEDEX option then? Did everything go smoothly or are you waiting for your results still? I enclosed self addressed envelopes and IRC And gave them my FEDEX #. You were right. It was super easy to make. Thanks again.

  18. Stormy says:

    Hello Kashim,

    The information on your ‘Blog’ has been very helpful. Thank you!

    I tried to download the ‘apostille application’ but it doesn’t seem to be working.
    Is there another source for the appication?

  19. TC says:

    Hi Kasham – thanks very much for the information. I got the fingerprints but then (mistakenly?) allowed the cop to write the location of the police station in Korean. Do you think this is a problem? Thanks!

  20. Andrea says:

    I just got my apostilled diploma back usinf the IRC coupons. There was additional charge of $2.53 USD. My documents handlers were nice enough to pay it (prolly since they charge outraegous handling fees). Anyways I’m not sure thatthe FBI wil be so kind so other folks using IRC might want to enclose extras. I attached my newly acquired FEDEX number with a note saying if the IRC isn’t goo enough then please fedex ship my documents. I’m praying that this will happen. I still haven’t heard that anyone actually got their background check delivered to the out of the country. As soon as they charge my card I plan to call and harass them. 🙂

  21. jane says:

    Omg, is it really 2 sets??? i already sent it off to FBI and i only sent one set of fingerprint paper. someone tell me this is gonna work out ;_;

  22. DN says:

    Don’t foget o add that they accept Paypal too which makes it even easier to pay.

  23. Dean says:

    HI Kasham
    Thank you for this entry. It has been very helpful.
    I have a question, unfer the ~ APOSTILLE ~ section, you suggested a name of a courier service.
    I don’t have relatives in the DC area and I’m currrently working in Korea.
    The courier service is NOT necessarily, coorect?

    After I have recieved the CBC from FBI CJIS Division, i can send it directly to the below address via Korean postal service, correct? (I can open the CBC send to me by the FBI CJIS?)

    U.S. Department of State
    Authentications Office
    518 23rd Street NW.
    Washington, DC 20520

    Thank you in advance for you time.

    • kasham says:

      I would recommend that you DO use the courier service, unless you have the luxury of being able to wait for it. The apostille doesn’t take too long to actually do, but they give extended times (1-2 weeks) if you don’t have someone hand deliver it. Then you would have to wait on the return service.

      • Dean says:


        Thank you for taking the time to respond ot my post.
        I just found out something. My sister called the Record Department in California (i’m from there) and they allow her to request for my CBC on my behalf. And since my fingerprints are in the system, she just needs to show them MY ID. The fee is $29 (processed and notarized).
        The process does cost more; however, it takes a lot less time. only 2-3 weeks to get the report.

        I will definitely us the courier you suggested to obtain the appostille stamp.

      • kasham says:

        That’s great news! Thanks for the update. Sounds like you will be ready in no time. YAY

    • Jamie Ju says:


      Hi! I’m also an Californian with a F-4 Visa and in need of obtaining CBC! You mentioned that you were able to have your sister get it for you and I plan to do the same with my cousin’s help who’s also in CA. Would you be able to guide me step by step regarding how you got your CBC via Record Department in CA?

      I would really appreciate your help.

      Thank you!

      • kasham says:

        I know you left this for DEAN, but please note that his FINGERPRINTS ARE ALREADY ON FILE. If that is not the case for you, your cousin can probably still receive and request your stuff but MUST be an FBI check with fingerprints. Otherwise immigration won’t accept it. Hope you are able to find an easy and efficent way that eorks for you. Cheers

      • Jamie Ju says:


        🙂 Thank you for your reply. I just recently got my U.S. citizenship so they should have my finger prints electronically.

        Thank you!

    • dean says:


      My sister could get the CBC at the local police station where I lived.
      The report would only include criminal activities happened in California if any.
      However, I didn’t ask her to obtain the national CBC from the FBi.
      Whether she can or not, I do not know.

      In the end, i followed the steps listed by Kasham.
      1. print out the fingerpints ID card.
      2. went to the main police station (in Korea) to get the fingerprints.
      3. bought international stamps from post office and cashier check from my bank (Shinhan)
      4. sent the documents to:
      FBI CJIS Division – Record Request

      1000 Custer Hollow Road

      Clarksburg, WV 26306

      *still waiting for the result.

  24. DN says:

    Thanks for recommending that service. They were awesome and I got my documents back in a little over a week, if not less. They mistakenly notarized and apostilled my actual diploma. I am not upset about it since I do not have to pay for my extra copies of diplomas and I will have a higher one in a few months, so it would not matter anyway. I also forgot to put in the money order, but I guess it did not matter or they just charged it to my Credit Card.

    The address has changed though:

    US Authentication Service
    8212 Southwest Court
    Springfield, VA 22153.

    Also to avoid a hassle with the return service (if you are in Korea some people don’t understand), this is what I suggest:

    – Go to a FedEx Hub and get 2 envelopes and 2 slips.
    – Fill one going to the destination
    – Pre-fill the other one with your address coming back and mark that you will pay with your FedEx number and write in the number in the appropriate places. The slip is in English so that is easy to spot. With the pre-filled one make sure that recipient is marked and your account number is correct.

    If you don’t have an account number, get one. It is so worth it. I went to the FedEx Hub to do it and the person gave me the number to call t operator in English and I scanned and sent all my stuff from there.

    • no matter says:

      Hey, I’m wondering which kind of slips you used for pre filling one of your envelopes to a different recipient? Are they available online? or just at the hub?

      • kasham says:

        I do not know any site where they’re available online since they have carbon copies. You’ll have to go to the hub. 😦 Sorry for the late reply, somehow I wasn’t notified of this comment.

      • DN says:

        NO they aren’t available online. You have to do it at the hub. What I did when I was filling the paper out to be sent was to ask for another paper and envelope and filled the return slip out to come to me and I pay for it with my fed ex account number and put that slip inside the return envelope. Then took the retun envelope and put it inside the sending one with the documents. Take note to make a copy of your diploma if you are sending it to be apostilled. They may apostille your original diploma. I didn’t mind because I am able to get another original diploma without having to pay for it from my school and I graduate with a higher one later on this year.

  25. Dean says:

    I just got back from a korean immigration office regarding documents.
    I thought I got it all figured out.

    I just found out they’re no longer accepting the state criminal background check. DUH!
    If i want to get the right document, I need to follow Kasham’s direction posted in this entry.

    I have one question. On the request application under “Home Address”. I have been in Korea since 2009. Do I put my home address in California or the home adress in Korea?

    Please reply soon. I need to send the application out ASAP.

    Thanks for your help.

    • kasham says:

      You should put your address in Korea unless you have someone who can receive it on your behalf and then priority ship it to you here. I know you already got your answer, so I apologize as I just saw this comment. Thanks for asking it, though as it may help others reading it. Thanks for your kind words of support. Cheers!

  26. I gotta bunch of friends that are looking to make there way over here, and I’m clear enough on the process except for the validity of the FBI background check. Can you reiterate that for me? A friend of mine has gotten his check completed and he sent it off for an apostille a week ago, but he wants to work in September. Does that mean he’s screwed and has to get another one? Are the apostilled ones valid for 6 months? I don’t quite get the time frame thing.
    Thanks in advance!

    • kasham says:

      Well, the time frame is a bit tricky. I think your friend will be fine as he is going to be hired soon so he will have to submit his paperwork earlier than September, and he will be doing it Stateside, right? That will be more advantageous as he can communicate easily and get things quicker. If he sent off for his apostille, then he is in the last stages.

      In general, though, The FBI check must be apostilled within 90 days of receiving the results. Then that document is good for 6 months. SO your friends should be fine. (The time frame particularly effects those of us already in Korea who may have wanted to have an extra copy or two around for future jobs. BUT the immigration office is now SCANNING in this info, so renewal is much easier! YAY)

  27. ilikeveggies says:

    Hi! Thank you so much for the info but i have 2 questions regarding fingerprints
    1) Do you receive get your fingerprints done at the District Police Office?
    2) What do you mean by two copies at the Police office?

    • kasham says:

      Yes. I got my fingerprints done at the district Police Office in the CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATIONS unit.
      By two copies I meanhave them do two fingerprint cards.

  28. Dean says:

    I receive the result of the CBC from the FBI this week.
    I only sent in one copy of fingerprints.
    again, only one set of fingerprints is needed. you can send in more. however, do not get mad at the people who do the fingerprints for you IF they whine and complain about your request.

    kasham, your site has been very helpful to me but the information needs to be updated for those who drop by this page in the future.

    Since 2010, the FBI can get the apostille certificate for the requester before sending the result to South Korea. I didn’t know that till AFTER I sent my fingerprints. As a result, it cost me $35 more because now I have to use US Authentication Services.

    Also, you can get Cashier’s Check in Korea. I bank with Shinhan and they charge me 18,000 won per check. CRAP! that’s the same fee they charge me when I need to wire money.

    anyway, thank you again. Your blog has been very helpful and makes my life so much easier. 🙂

    • kasham says:

      Thanks for your feedback. Yes, inly ONE GOOD COPY is needed. I (and the FBI) recommend sending more than one only bc there is such a tiny margin for error. I made the mistake of only sending one copy the first time and haf to redo it. Beyter safe than sorry.

      As far as the apostille… Could you inbox me with more info? I am not sure exactly what you mean. To my knowledge/experience you cannot obtain an apostille in Korea.
      Regarding the cashier’s check. Thanks.. I will verify which banks give the cashier check services an update. I couldn’t find one and as my blog states, I am only posting what I have FIRST HAND knowledge of.

      Thanks a lot for your input. Always willing to make things better. =)

  29. peichy says:

    I just got my CBC and everything and sending it out for the Apostille.

    I am just wondering about the future. When I am in Korea and my contract ends next year what happens when I renew? Do I need to do this all over again?
    Does it matter if I renew with the same school or if I change?


    • kasham says:

      Immigration is scanning in the documents now so you should be fine. However, if you change schools, your new school MAY require proof.

      • peichy says:

        I have extra copies of my transcripts. But do you think if I just make copies of my CBC/diplomas and get them notarized/apostilled and keep them as extras that will be OK?

        I read somewhere that as long as you don’t leave Korea while your old VISA is up you are fine, but if you leave Korea even for 1 day you have to submit all the documents…but no one seems to have a clear answer @___@ ugh lol

        Anyway after 2 years I am planning to switch to a Uni job do you think they will be more strict or less?

      • DN says:

        If you don’t leave Korea after getting an FBI check, you won’t have to get a new one for the next year. Just a Korean background check for Korea. I asked the immigration office when I was there and that is what they told me.

  30. Dean says:

    Kasham I hope you get this message and reply ASAP. I sent 4 international return stamp (반신권 Pan Shin Gwan) to the US authentication services and they don’t know what to do with them. Do they just stick/glue the stamps on the envelope?

    • JennyLee says:

      I am having a similar problem. I just called the FBI to see if I could use the international stamp to have my results mailed to the US and the woman was pretty adamant that they do not send anything that didn’t have a prepaid envelope. I tried to explain that I live in Korea and that is impossible and I would have an international return stamp and she rudely told me I would not get my results. Did anyone else have this problem?

      • andrea says:

        the fbi sent my results to me on korea with no extra postage needed. they money we pay includes postage and even if it international they can send it.. its not expressed..but still quick. the sent my rs stamps and envelope back and i reused thrm for something else.

      • kasham says:

        Andrea, that is impressive. I would recommend that people DO go ahead and send the stamp though because it states that it is required. Better to be safe than sorry in this case, especially since it’s time sensitive. Thanks for your feedback. Hope others also get that great benefit.

  31. dean says:

    Okay. base on my PERSONAL experience. The international stamps ARE NOT accepted by UPS.
    I sent those stamps to the FBI first and they sent them all back to me. The FBI office paid for the postage fee. I sent them out the second time to US A. Services

    After a very nice lady at US Authenical Services (shelly) and I spent about half an hour on the phone about the international stamps, she asked me to go ask the Korean postal office . At the same time she tried to find out how to use the stamps. She personally went to Post Office to check and according to her the Postal office in the US does not accept that particular international stamps.

    The US Authentical Services also covered the postage fee which was 3 dollar because they couldn’t use the stamps. They are also returning the stamps to me .

    PS: I am very grateful and I did reimburse Shelly for the postage fee.

  32. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I
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  33. Elyse says:

    Hello! I started the process to teach in Korea months ago and sent off my FBI criminal background check back in September 2011. I received the statement from the FBI stating my clean record in November 2011. I have yet to get this document apostilled but I am close to D.C. and could make the trip anytime. My question is- would my background check still be valid for work in South Korea in October of 2012 or would it have expired by this point? Thanks for your help!

    • kasham says:

      If you have not started working in Korea yet, it may already expire by then. 😦 If you were already here, you could take it to immigration and they could scan it in your file, but since you are trying to do it for a year in advance, it may need to be redone. Ask your recruiter what their policy is.

  34. Iesison says:

    Yes, i like this blog as well! It make me to open my own. Trustfully will make people to joing my blog

  35. Peter says:

    You can go to the local post office anywhere in Korea and get money orders in US currency.

  36. Jamie says:

    Hi Kasham,

    I sent my application for CBC on May 25th and I still haven’t received my documents…
    I’m pretty sure I followed all the necessary steps… but to check if anything is wrong..
    Do I call this number, FBI office in West Virginia 304-625-5590 (Fingerprints division: 304-625-2000)?

    Has anyone call them to check on the status of your application?

    • kasham says:

      You should call the Fingerprints division. You can also check your method of payment (cc or money order) to see if the transaction has gone through yet. When it does, that means they have started it. 🙂

      I had called several times, they aren’t very helpful if it hasn’t been at least several weeks.

  37. sinofonan says:

    Kashan, The FBI can send results directly to Korean Immigration, via a computer? Is that even possible?

  38. Albert says:

    Thanks for the helpful info. Even with the good info given above, it’s still kind of confusing and is such a hassle.

  39. Is it possible to get copies of the background check from Korean immigration for a new job? Does it depend on the employer?

    • kasham says:

      You can get a copy from immigration. Your new employer may or may not require it though. Since it has now been a couple years since the implementation, they may just verify that your visa is valid. So, to answer your questions: Possibly, and yes. Good luck in your job search.

  40. Jamie says:

    Has anyone used It says on their website that they can shorten the process to two months. Anyone know if this is legit?

  41. Carolyn says:

    Hey does anyone know where you send the FBI fingerprints to? I sent it to the WV address but they were sent back…Is it different now?

    • kasham says:

      They sent it back to you? The report? Fingerprints? Did you call the customer swrvice number? I just did another round, followed these steps and it was fine.

  42. Kaycee says:

    Hi Kasham!
    Thanks for posting this information, it’s so helpful! I’m in Thailand now and working on the E2 process for Korea.
    Do you know if you need to send a self-addressed, stamped envelope along with everything? I had previously done this for my first check last year in the US as a safe-guard, but I haven’t read anything requiring this.
    Also, the fingerprint card can be printed on PAPER? It doesn’t have to be card?
    Thanks for your help!!

    • kasham says:

      Hi. I did it exactly the way I mentioned and it was fine.
      As for the fingerprints, yes, paper is fine. I thought it strange too but printed it on paper and it was fine. Cheers

  43. Thank you, I’ve recently been looking for info about this topic for a while and yours is the best I’ve found out so far.
    But, what concerning the bottom line? Are you sure about the source?

  44. Amanda says:

    Hi kasham, THANK YOU for this helpful post! Have you heard of anyone obtaining an apostille anywhere other than D.C.? I’m wondering if I can have one done in person in my home state, rather than waiting for it from D.C.

  45. Jen says:

    Hi. Your post is surely helping a lot of people. I am still a little confused about the whole pre-paid envelope thing though. so… it’s not possible for us to get the prepaid stamps in Korea to send the FBI results back to a family member in the U.S? On the application form for the FBI check, I put my US home address under “Mail Results to Address” so my family can send my results to get them apostilled.
    Is Fed-ex the only way I can do this?
    I have never used Fed-ex. What is a fed-ex hub and where can I find it in Korea?

    • kasham says:

      Thank you for your comments. There are a couple ways to do it (explained on my blog). FedEx has several hub locations. You could call the assistance numbers I mention on my blog (02-120 & 02-1330) to ask where the nearest hub is to you.

      Mailing it to your US address might be easier and will definitely be faster than regular mail.

  46. Rich says:

    Taking a look at the US authentication website. There are options to apostille your diploma and cbc with a secretary of state certification and notarization. Do I need both or just the notarization? Because the process has changed on the website, how do I make sure they send it to me immediately through my Fedex number?

  47. Lilianna Real says:

    I utilized ROCA SERVICES ( for my Apostille needs and I’am truly satisfy with their services. They e-mailed me when they got my FBI and University Degree and when the Apostille was attach to my documents and ready to be sent back to me. My reason for stating this, is to help others who need to Apostille their documents and don’t know where to start, it is faster and safer than sending it though mail not knowing if your document is safe or not.
    Best to all !!

  48. S.L. says:

    There seems no where on the application form (unless i am not seeing it ) anything about being able to put in your FedEx number. Have they changed this?

  49. wjp says:

    Do I have to send FBI CBC to Washington DC to get the apostille stamp? I have a relative who lives in L.A., CA. Can she take it to the State Department in L.A. to apostille stamp?

    • kasham says:

      You could calk and ask (ph number in the blog) but I do believe it has to be DC.

      • Scott says:

        In 2011 as a California resident I was able to apostille both my university degree AND the FBI CBC in Sacramento. It was rather ridiculous … first I saw a local notary who notarized a statement that I SAID those documents were true and accurate. Then I went to the county who notarized a document that THE NOTARY SAID THAT I SAID that those documents were true and accurate. Finally I went to Sacramento who apostilled a document that said that THE COUNTY SAID THAT THE NOTARY SAID THAT I SAID that those documents were true and accurate. At any rate, I got it done locally in the state capital.

  50. Todd says:

    Hi Kasham, great blog post. I’m just wondering if you HAVE to get the pan sin kwan?

  51. Walt says:

    You wrote
    “IF you have a FedEx account, you can have the results sent back via FedEx by entering your FedEx account number on the application form.”

    I can’t find the place on the application form where you can write your FedEx number. Is it part of the official application for, or you just write it on there by hand?

  52. Jacqueline says:

    Do you know anything about renewing your CRC as mine is 9 months old and they want the CRC no older than 6 months; I am a Canadian citizen living in Thailand wanting to go to Korea. I have everything else sealed stamped and approved.

    • kasham says:

      Yes. It must be within the last 6 months. Sorry to say but you’ll likely need to renew it. Good news for you though, Canadian CRCs are a much faster process than the US.

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  54. Pingback: 5 Steps to an Apostilled FBI Criminal Background Check | Live, Travel, More...

  55. Steve Carroll says:

    I have an F6 visa (married to a Korean). Does that change anything as far as my need for a criminal check? Thanks

    • kasham says:

      Yes. You shouldn’t need one on an F visa. You employer MAY require one, but I don’t believe immigration requires it. You can double check by calling Korean immigration (if you’re in Korea) 1345


      • Che says:

        While immigration doesn’t require CBC to obtain F-visas, many employers, including even universities, now, are requiring CBCs. If you order a check while in S.K., as long as you don’t leave the country, you won’t need to get another CBC (until you leave South Korea again, and want to come back and teach at many of these jobs.)

  56. Steve says:

    Can I print out the FBI fingerprint card, or do I have to get one from the embassy?

  57. Hurrah, that’s what I was searching for, what a material! present here at this website, thanks admin of this website.

  58. Steve Carroll says:

    Does a CRC only check your record from where you are a citizen? Im a US citizen, but have been living in New Zealand for the past 25 years. What good would a background check be if it only checks my record in rhe US?

    • kasham says:

      Yes, only a US record check. You may want to consider also getting a New Zealand background check to anticipate the resquest.

      • Steve Carroll says:

        Well I’d rather not waste the time and money in getting a CRC from America when I could then be asked for one from New Zealand. And while we’re on the subject, do you have any information on getting a background check from NZ? Thank you

      • kasham says:

        Immigration will require the US FBI check even if your school/employer isn’t sure. I do actually have a friend ftom NZ and will get back with ya.

      • Steve Carroll says:

        Oh that would be great. I dont think immigration is concerned since I have an F6 visa. It’s the school and education department that need the CRC , I think.

      • kasham says:

        My NZ friend said, “They must go tot he ministry of Internal Affairs and ask specifically for one that is apostillized, as it is for a Korean employer.” Hope that helps

      • Steve says:

        Thanks so much. I looked into it, and it is so much easier than getting a CRC from the U.S. It costs much less, don’t need fingerprints, and it takes less than a month, and apostillized all at once. Thanks again

      • kasham says:

        No worries. Thanks for reading & commenting on my blog. Cheers, mate.

  59. Steve Carroll says:

    The application form isn’t coming up. Is thete anyother way to download the form? Thanks

  60. Matt says:

    Thanks for the great information. I have searched and heard different information all over the place, I currently am on an E2 visa and my contract finishes early November. I am planning on locking in new job for January 2014 soon. I have been told everything will transfer within 3 months and no need to go through this headache by some (even immigration) and others saying I need to go through this whole process again, or select parts depending on the location of where I will be taking my next job or depending on the company. I am in Seoul but searching for a job in Incheon. Do you know anything about this?

    • kasham says:

      I have been told the same thing as you. Immigration (Phone #: 1345) said that if you switch within 3 months but don’t leave the country, you’re ok. What I would recommend is trying to secure the new job and visa paperwork before your job ends in Nov.

      • Scott says:

        Hey Kasham, this is Scott from KDLI 😉 … do you know if this is still the case? My (final!) contract is up on Jan 2nd and it would be a godsend if I didn’t have to redo everything if I want to stay in Korea. What seems odd though is that they would give us a 3 month window when I believe we would have to leave the country much sooner than that if we hadn’t found another job, right?

      • kasham says:

        Hi, Scott! ^^ Yep, this info is still accurate. If you want to confirm it, you can call immigration at 1345. Be sure to extend or change your visa before it expires though. Even thoigh they give you the window, your visa has to be up to date. (If you don’t want to leave the country, you could apply for extension “to travel Korea” or get a job seeker’s visa (D10).

  61. Lucy says:

    I have forgotten to leave a note to as for a FBI notarization. Would that be a problem?

  62. I have a question. (I am helping my boyfriend through this frustrating process…) He got an FBI check last year (expires 12/12/2013), but he did not put a note on the request asking the FBI to provide a seal and signature for the purpose of obtaining a Federal Apostille. However, the document looks exactly like a document I saw on a related blog- there was no extra seal or signature on her document. My boyfriend’s document has a seal and signature.
    Because he didn’t request this special seal and signature, does that mean we have to start the process all over again?…..

  63. Also, we tried to send his FBI check and diploma to get Apostilled by the state department last year, but it got returned because we had not got the documents certified or notarized before we sent them. Is it possible to get his FBI check and diploma certified/notarized here in Korea?

    • kasham says:

      Korea doesn’t do it, unfortunately. They do notorize but they don’t don’t notorize an FBI check.

      • Esther says:

        So if we start the FBI check again it would be best to get the document sent to someone in the U.S. so they can notarize it there? Before the apostille.?

        Also, do you know if we can notarize his diploma in Korea- or does that also have to be done in the U.S.?

      • kasham says:

        Right. If you have someone Stateside, it’s best that way. Less time consuming.

        No. Korea doesn’t notarize for that, not even the US Embassy in Korea.

  64. Esther says:

    Thank you- can someone else notarize if for him?

  65. Esther says:

    Also – he has his diploma here in Korea- can he get that notarized here?

  66. Jen says:

    Can you do your own fingerprints on regular paper, or do you have to go to the Korean police office and have them do it?

    • kasham says:

      You have to use the print out. Unless you have a lot of experience with fingerprinting, I would strongly caution against it bc if there is just one smudge, the prints will be rejected and you’ll have to start over again. Wasted time.

  67. Steve Carroll says:

    I was talking with someone here in Korea and he said he got his criminal background check just by using his social security number. Is that possible?

    • kasham says:

      No. Prior to 2010, US citizens only needed a STATE criminal record check, which you got with a ss#. Immigration will NO LONGER ACCEPT a STATE CHECK. IT MUST BE A FEDERAL CHECK, which requires the above process.

  68. Amanda says:

    I know this is late in the game but I was wondering if I could simply skip the whole part of getting the background check BACK to Korea. Can’t I just have it sent to my house in America and BEG a family member to send it to D.C. to get it Apostilled? Then once they get it back they can send it to me? Wouldn’t that save me some time or am I missing a step?

  69. chalmozoTed says:

    Hi Kasham, thanks for the informative blog. It is very helpful. I just have one question I wonder if you could help me out with.
    I just got my fingerprints done by a private company. (I am stateside at the moment, and the police dept in my county no longer does the service) However, they left three of the boxes blank on the fingerprint card: “Employer and Address”, “Reason Fingerprinted”, and “ORI”. They told me that the Employer box should be the person requesting the prints. Since I am doing this in anticipation of changing jobs soon, I don’t know what to put there. Should I just put “Korean Immigration Office”? About the other two boxes, they told me that both have to do with the reason the prints are needed, and that furthermore the FBI requires specific language, particularly in the “ORI” box, depending on the ORI number or something like that.
    Do you have any insight as to what I should put in these three boxes?? I have a feeling it might not matter as much as those people implied to me, but I don’t know.
    Thanks for any light you can shed on this!

    • kasham says:

      First, sorry for the late reply. Those three boxes should be fine being left blank. If you feel that you really need to write something, write Reason: Employment/visa purposes

  70. TC says:

    Hi, random question – I’m just wondering if anyone can remember if, when they got their FBI background check back in KOrea, they had to sign for it? Thanks.

  71. yoon says:

    hi. this is real good but i’m currently situated in korea. i wanted to just have my parents do the paperwork but i need to send the prints. you said that I can get my fingerprints done at a police center in korea. could i scan those prints and send that to my parents? and they print out the prints to send to the FBI?

    • kasham says:

      If you can find a police station that does the scanning, in theory, yes, that would work. Let me know how it turns out for ya (i.e. If it was more efficient that way.)

    • I got my fingerprints done at the local Police station and sent it to the FBI with the return label as my mother’s address. Saved a lot of time and energy for my mom and me. She will soon be shipping it off to be apostilled and then she’ll just send it to me in the mail when everything is finished. VERY efficient! However, not many of us are lucky enough to have such helpful parents ^^

  72. ANL says:

    Very helpful. Thanks a lot!

  73. Nano says:

    Due to changes in processing, effective October 12, 2013, the FBI will no longer accept return self-addressed stamped envelopes with Departmental Order requests. This includes pre-paid Priority Mail, FedEx account numbers, United Parcel Service, etc., foreign postage coupons, and requests to forward correspondence to the Department of State for the apostille process. Envelopes received postmarked after this date will be destroyed. The FBI will return all results, both foreign and domestic, by U.S. First-Class Mail via the United States Postal Service. Thank you for your patience as we try to streamline our processes to improve our service to you.

  74. yoon says:

    i’ve read your post several times and i even tried to find it myself. it isn’t clear but how does the returned address work? the FBI no longer accepts prepaid returned envelopes… then? how could i go about this? i want the FBI to send my things to mY USA address, even though i am currently in korea. could you clarify this? i wanted to call the FBI but they don’t have a number on their page that i can call regarding this… i see that you wrote about a 반신권 more accurately pronounced Ban shine gwUn(or gwOn). but i think that refers to a returned request to korea. should i go this route for a USA address and even though it says they will only ship USPS and not accept any returned envelopes?

    since we’re paying 16 dollars for this service, it makes sense that they will take care of this part themselves? like sending the criminal check back to the requested address. anyways, i ramble. since it isn’t clear could you clarify? i appreciate your time and expertise on this situation though.

  75. D says:

    So getting an updated criminal background check is a must even if you work for the same school?

    I plan to apply for different job elsewhere, that means I have to go through this crap again? Omg, I hate this process.

    • kasham says:

      Sorry for such a late reply. It depends on how much time lapses between your jobs. If you already have an FBI check on file, and you get a new job within 3 months, NO, you don’t have to redo the process.

  76. Esther Kim says:

    Hi! I just got a teaching job in Korea and they requested a criminal background history from USA and I was so lost until I came across your blog! (whew). I read all your detailed information (thank you for that) and also went to the FBI website to clearly know what I need, what I need to do, etc but still had some questions unanswered/confused. So if you know the answer to these please let me know! (I figured it’d be much faster and easier than calling the FBI call-line from korea…. )

    1. So you said to to print out approx. 5 finger printing cards and go to the nearest police station and get it “milked” and send it. (Is the 5 copies actually REQUIRED or is it just to be on the “safe side” so they can choose the best print out of the 5?
    a. Also, the finger printing card that you provided was in blue ink, the one on the website is black ink. Does it not matter which color it’s in?

    2. It’s written that they don’t accept return self-addressed stamped envelopes with department order requests, then what is the 반신권 I’m requesting (isn’t that the same thing as they told us they don’t do?). If I’m wrong… how do they send it back then?
    a. If it DOES work through 반신권, I assume you put it INSIDE the envelope with all the other required documents?

    3. For the credit card form, I don’t have a credit card in the US and now will have to use my Korean Visa check card. Would that still work in the US? (having to write a korean address that matches my card) If not, can I use my friend’s credit card that works in the US (even though it doesn’t have my name written on it)?

    4. How would I know that they’ve received it, processing it, sent it… etc. Is it just waiting to see and wait until it comes back to me or would they let me know as the process goes?

    5. There’s a place where I’ve gotten my Diploma apostilled in Korea, is it ok to use the place I’ve been getting or should I use your place?

    6. “Make sure you also send out a signed letter stating that you want FBI notarization. This means that they mail you a small paper with the FBI seal and a signature” (Do you know if this is true that it makes the apostle process/wait time faster?

    Sorry for all these questions… 😦 I hope you can read this and help me out! I’m trying to make this process as easy, non-stressful, and successful as possible!

    Esther Kim.

    • kasham says:

      Hi. Thanks for reading and commenting.
      1- Only 1 acceptable fingerprint card is required, but given that it is very easy to disqualify a card (small smudge, not enough of the print, etc.), I recommended 5 cards. The fingerprint card is a LINK to the site. It doesn’t matter what the typeface is in, but it does matter that the FINGERPRINTS are in BLACK ink.
      2-If you are in the US right now, you can have it sent back to you in the US. If you’re in Korea, and don’t want to wait as long, have it sent back to a family member in the US. Yes, you would put the return envelope inside.
      3-Sorry to tell you this, but it is VERY likely that your Korean check card (despite having a visa logo) will not work in international purchases. Have you ever tried to use it online (in Korea, or otherwise), or abroad for purchases (not as an ATM card)? If so, then it will work and be fine. If not, you won’t likely be able to use it as an actual credit card. [For the sake of keeping this reply as short as possible, I will just say, I ran into this problem.] Using another person’s card might be a challenge if they aren’t a family member.
      4- You have to just wait. You can call the customer service hotline (number listed on blog) but they won’t even entertain your request for several weeks. Once you see the charge on your credit card, though, it’s getting closer.
      5-If the place in Korea is not a US affiliate, it may be rejected. A Korean organization can’t fully verify US authenticity.
      6-If you don’t do that, it can (and sometimes is) be rejected and you’ll have to start the process all over again. Thus, delaying your process, so yes, it does make the process faster.

      No worries on the questions. Hope this helps. Cheers

      • Esther Kim says:

        Thank you so much for your reply!!

        So receiving a 반신권 envelope is acceptable to them ?? If I wanted them to send it to my FRIEND’S house in the US, would they use the 반신권 envelope to do that as well?

  77. Tiffany says:

    Hey! I just had a simple question. When I send the fingerprinting card from Korea and want them to send the results to my FRIEND’S house in America do I need to put in the 반신권 envelope? IF not, how do they main the results to my friend (assuming I’d have to pay for the cost)?

    • kasham says:

      Hi. You would need to put your friend’s address on the return postage paid envelope. If your friend is in the US, that would mean you would have to put US postage on an envelope.

      • Scott says:

        Hi Kasham … I’m in this same situation~ I will initiate the FBI check from Korea but want/need the results mailed to a US address. So would a FedEx account enable this? How else could we do it? I will probably not be in Korea by the time the results are ready.

        ~great blog btw … you rock! 😉

      • kasham says:

        Thanks, so much. A FedEX account would be fine for this. Here is my reply to Sara: “You are right, you won’t need the special envelope (for return mail) because you won’t be mailing it back to Korea. HOWEVER, you WILL need to post it to the US. Thus, you will need to figure out a way to get a US postage envelope so you can include it for the return address. Maybe your mom could send you some US stamps via snail mail while you’re in Korea so you can make the return address stamped envelope to send with your packet? You COULD try and risk it, and just not send a return stamped envelope (be sure to indicate your US address though so they know where to send the results) as a few people have mentioned that they have done it this way. **I am not advocating for that as I haven’t done it myself and if you read the “blunders” blog about the FBI check, you’ll know why.**”

  78. cooldoc80 says:

    hi , thanks aloooooooooot for your help to others , its a very frustrating subject , I live in iraq!! and i Need the report to immigrate to canada !

    the problem the usa embassy here dosent do fngerprints for locals! and only police station would do it , but they dont agree to sign and stamp it ? is that ok ?

    or do you recommend i send the local police fingercard ? it comes with my iraq police certificate clearance , is that ok ?


  79. Jacquelyn Hearne says:

    I am not able to access my CBC application to continue the hiring process for Fed Ex Ground in Hutchins Tx. I would like to have this done in a timely manner, and not let this opportunity pass.

  80. Sara says:

    This is SO helpful. I’m confused on a few things though. My status: current contract ends in a few weeks, traveling and home to the states for a few months, then back to Korea in January. I’m starting the application process now, hoping the results show up when I’m home in Minnesota so I can get it apostilled while I’m there. So since I won’t be IN Korea for the results (requesting they are sent to my parents address), does that change the way I mail it to the division office? Do I still need the special envelope?

    Thanks in advance!!

    • kasham says:

      Hi, Sara. Thanks. You are right, you won’t need the special envelope (for return mail) because you won’t be mailing it back to Korea. HOWEVER, you WILL need to post it to the US. Thus, you will need to figure out a way to get a US postage envelope so you can include it for the return address. Maybe your mom could send you some US stamps via snail mail while you’re in Korea so you can make the return address stamped envelope to send with your packet? You COULD try and risk it, and just not send a return stamped envelope (be sure to indicate your US address though so they know where to send the results) as a few people have mentioned that they have done it this way. **I am not advocating for that as I haven’t done it myself and if you read the “blunders” blog about the FBI check, you’ll know why.**

      • Sara says:

        Awesome. I have a sheet of US stamps here in Korea so that shouldn’t be a problem. Can the ‘return address envelope’ be any old plain envelope? I haven’t done this process in a while so I forget all the details.

        One more question: on one of your replies further up you said that if you get a job within 3 MONTHS you don’t need a new FBI check. My contract with my current job will finish on October 28th, with my new one (contract pending – which is also a different school than my current if that matters) around January 27th. So do I even need to apply for a new background check?? The last time I did one was for August 2012 intake so it’s been over 2 years and I haven’t had an issue. Would a copy from my MOE be enough??

        Thanks SO MUCH for your help! You’re making this process a lot less stressful 🙂

  81. Victoria says:

    *****The Apostille Office HAS MOVED*****
    The application form is different and their location is different.

    You need the DS-4194 form from the website. (Enter DS-4194 in the search field or copy/paste link below)

    FYI- They will accept exact cash ($8.00) and credit card if you go in person.

    The new address is:
    Office of Authentications
    Physical Address:
    Office of Authentications
    U.S. Department of State
    600 19th Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20006

    Mailing Address:
    Office of Authentications
    U.S. Department of State
    44132 Mercure CIR PO BOX 1206 Sterling, VA 20166 1206

    Phone: 202-485-8000

  82. Dawn Kim says:

    I hold an f-4 visa and applying to part-time jobs. Would I have to keep getting this from job to job as it is valid for 6 months at a time. If you do it once, can I keep submitting it to future employers as time goes on?

    • kasham says:

      Hi, Dawn. That will most likely depend on the employer. The fact that you’re an F visa holder lessens the likelihood that each new employer would require it. For immigration purposes, once it’s on file, and you don’t leave the country for an extended period of time (more than 90 days post contract) you won’t need to keep resubmitting it~ Thank GOD! hahaha

  83. Mike Kim says:

    So according to this statement:

    “Due to changes in processing, effective October 12, 2013, the FBI will no longer accept return self-addressed stamped envelopes with Departmental Order requests. This includes pre-paid Priority Mail, FedEx account numbers, United Parcel Service, etc., foreign postage coupons, and requests to forward correspondence to the Department of State for the apostille process. Envelopes received postmarked after this date will be destroyed. The FBI will return all results, both foreign and domestic, by U.S. First-Class Mail via the United States Postal Service. Thank you for your patience as we try to streamline our processes to improve our service to you.”

    1. Doesn’t it mean that we need to have all of our documents mailed to an address in the U.S.?
    2. Also, it says that FedEx account numbers will not be accepted anymore, so why are you telling people that it is ok for them to use a FedEx number? Maybe there is something else that you know that we don’t know. I’m just curious. Sorry I’m not trying to be rude.

    I just want a clear answer answer on this because I don’t want any complications on getting my FBI background check returned properly. Thanks!

    • kasham says:

      Mike, Thanks for your comment. I wrote this info based on my experience. I totally understand your frustration and desire to make sure all is correct. Let me look into this and I will update my blog when I get confirmation as to what is supposed to be done. I will also reply to you when I do this. Expect something this week, but if you don’t have time to wait these few days, I’d say error on the side of caution and send it to an address in the US (perhaps your permanent address or an address of a trusted family member?). Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Cheers

  84. Suzanne says:


    I am currently living in Spain teaching English on a Tourist Visa. My Visa expires in April and I wanted to return to South Korea to teach English. I taught there 4 years ago. However, I did not want to return to the united states to take care of the Apostille federal check. That would be extra money for the flight. Does anyone know how to go through this process while living abroad ?


  85. Pingback: Unexpected Korea return: DAY 2 | Inform. Travel. Explore!

  86. Austin says:

    Hi, this is a fantastic guide! I was wondering if it is still active and updated. I need to get a new FBI background check and I am currently in Korea. Thanks!

    • kasham says:

      Hi, Austin. Thanks!! Yep, it’sstill up to date and accurate. 🙂

      • Austin says:

        Fantastic! Thanks again!

      • Austin says:

        One other thing, I read somewhere that you need to write a note with the application for the record check if you want to get an apostille for it. Something like “please include a FBI seal and signature from a Division Officer”. Do you know if you really need to do this, or do they do it anyways? Thanks for all your help to everyone here! You are doing such good work!

  87. John Bocskay says:

    Thanks for the useful post. i know it’s a bit old now, but just giving you a heads-up that the “Fingerprint card” link appears to be dead.

  88. ben says:

    Conflicting information concerning apostille on d iplomas. Ive seen that if it’s from a north american university it isnt necessary. Ive also seen they want copies that are stamped. Just was at immigration office and she said she wanted stamped originals. Ive been here since 2006 off and on and never had to have my originals stamped. Do they require that now?

  89. Pingback: 5 Steps to an Apostilled FBI Criminal Background Check | Live, Travel, More…

  90. Gaze says:

    Hi. I need help. I am here in Philippines and my family and I are applying for a PR visa in Canada and it is now under the CIC but they are still waiting for my FBI background history check. I mailed it to FBI last 12th May 2016 but until now I can’t even check the status of my application. When do I supposed to check the status of it? And also, do I need to have it authenticated? Is it in US or here in the Philippines? I hope to hear from you soon. Thank you.

    • kasham says:

      Hi. I am not sure what a couple of your abreviations mean, but I am pretty sure the answer to your question is that you mist wait at east 6 weeks to contact for status. (I think I wrote the time frames in the blog, no?)

  91. nonbinarykng says:

    Hi Kasham!

    I’ve read your post and most of the comments here. I am in Korea right now, trying to figure out how to get this going. I was reading everything but I am kind of confused about the FBI’s update:

    “Due to changes in processing, effective October 12, 2013, the FBI will no longer accept return self-addressed stamped envelopes with Departmental Order requests. This includes pre-paid Priority Mail, FedEx account numbers, United Parcel Service, etc., foreign postage coupons, and requests to forward correspondence to the Department of State for the apostille process. Envelopes received postmarked after this date will be destroyed. The FBI will return all results, both foreign and domestic, by U.S. First-Class Mail via the United States Postal Service. Thank you for your patience as we try to streamline our processes to improve our service to you.”

    What does this technically mean for sending mail to the FBI? How do we send them an envelope that they will accept? Thanks for writing such an informative piece! I hope you can get back to me 🙂


  92. hyo shin says:

    Hi Kasham,

    I was looking to print the fingerprint card (FD-249) and the link that you provided indeed has a copy of the form, but the quality isn’t very good and it actually has a labeling number right where the thumb print needs to go.

    I did a google search of the form name and found this link:

    You’ll see that you can download a revised version of the FD-249, but the problem is that the original card is in red ink, as described here:

    I’m wondering whether this updated form is okay to use if printed on A4, regardless of the fact that it’ll print in black, not red.

    Also, does the FBI require just the second row of fingerprints? (five fingers done individually) or also the very bottom row (both hands, printed simultaneously)

    Thank you.

    • kasham says:

      Since it is printable, I am quite sure that the color of ink on the print out doesn’t matter. Feel free to check with the FBI site if you are unsure though.

  93. natalie says:

    I’m in Korea right now and need the criminal back ground check, would it be acceptable to use a FBI approved Channeler to speed up the process?

    • kasham says:

      If, by channeler, you mean a courier service, yes.

      • rkshansk8 says:

        Just for info…by Channeler she doesn’t mean courier but an outside company that is approved to process FBI background checks. And yes, you can use a Channeler. On the FBI website, there are listed several approved Channelers. By using this you can save days if not weeks in this process. I went through this process last year (granted I was in the US) and in total (apostille process included) it took about a month. The apostille process actually took about 3 weeks.

        One more thing, to my knowledge FBI Background checks can only be accomplished through a US permanent address. In short, they won’t process background checks if it is sent from a foreign address. Also, if you are in Korea longer than 90 days, your FBI background check will become null and void. You will have to get a Korean criminal background check…or at least this is my understanding having gone through this process last summer.

      • kasham says:

        While I’m not familiar with a channeler, I can’t comment with any authority on that. However, I am CERTAIN, from personal experience, that you CAN send from a foreign address (you must have a permanent US address/be a US Citizen) & that it is NOT null after 90 days. It is null after 6 months.

        Thanks for the Channeler info. I would recommend anyone reading this check into that themselves. Cheers

  94. rkshansk8 says:

    ahhh…right…6 months… and the permanent resident part also, which is really important part to remember in this whole process. What I was thinking of is that some companies in Korea may not accept it after 3 months or want a Korean criminal background check in conjunction with the FBI check (of course the KCBC is only if you live in Korea over 90 days.

    Now I realize the courier may be the same as the FBI Channeler. I was thinking of courier as in Fed-EX, which in that case it is not the same.

    Here is a list , directly from the FBI site, of the Channelers available

    I went through this process in the US last year. I too would advise anyone to do their own research first as things seem to change rapidly in Korea and criminal background check processes may not be the same for each country, so I would also advise to check with our own consulate/embassies etc before starting the process.

  95. Robert Frauenthal says:

    I’ve been in Korea for a while and I’m just extending my Visa again, but my ID card (ARC) is full of extensions and has no place left for any ‘new’ extensions. I suspect I must get a new ID card. Do I also have to have a new FBI CBC (KCBC – I wasn’t aware of but I didn’t do this for the last 3 years, etc.). I have only 30 days to go. Usually when my Korean employer goes with me they don’t ask any questions, but I suspect it could be different with a ‘full ID card’?

    • kasham says:

      No new background check needed, but you’ll need update pics to get a new ARC. Most immigration offices have a photo booth there but I wouldn’t risk it. Take them with you.

  96. I savor, result in I found just what I was looking for.

    You have ended my 4 day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man.
    Have a great day. Bye

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