Depending on your nationality, background checks may be referred to as criminal record checks, RCMP checks, FBI checks, DBS checks, police checks, basic disclosures or police clearance certificates.
All teachers need to submit a federal level criminal record check from the designated issuing authority within their country of citizenship.
CRCs must have an issue date that’s within 6 months of the applicant’s VIN number application date. Outdated checks (older than 6 months) are not accepted by Korean Immigration.
Before submitting your CRC to Korean Immigration for processing, it MUST be authenticated with an Apostille.
Note: Canadians need to secure a JLAC authentication and consulate verification stamp as an alternative to the Apostille. Refer to our authentication pages for instructions.
There are many ways to order an FBI check in the US, however, only two methods produce the type of check that Korean Immigration requires. The first way is to order the check independently, directly from the FBI. The second way is to use an approved channeler. Both methods are explained below.
More importantly, the FBI can issue the background check in two formats: Electronically in PDF format which is sent to you via email, or physical paper format which is sent to you via registered mail. We highly recommend going with the electronic option when possible. Why? Because the FBI typically issues the electronic checks within 2-3 business days, while the paper checks can take weeks.
To order your Identity History Summary Check(FBI check) yourself, you will need to submit an order form and fingerprint card. The FBI accepts Paper Fingerprint Cards which you can acquire from a private fingerprinting service or your local police station, or you can submit your fingerprint digitally through the FBI Electronic Department Order (eDo) system, which is the easier and faster way. There are over 100 post offices in the US that offer eDo services.
We strongly recommend using the digital option when possible because it expedites the entire process.
If you’re unable to utilize the digital eDo service, going with the paper fingerprint card is totally fine, just be prepared for a lengthy waiting period.
Approved Channelers are private companies which are registered with the FBI (approved companies). These companies essentially act as the middle man between you and the FBI in order to streamline and expedite the process.
Important: There are lots of private Channelers in the US, however, there are only 13 companies which are ‘Approved’ by the FBI. Korean Immigration will only accept FBI checks from approved channelers.
Canadian teachers need to submit federal level checks from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). To order an RCMP Check, you’ll need an order form (provided by the police or fingerprinting company) and a completed fingerprint card.
There are two ways to order an RCMP check. The first way is by submitting your fingerprints electronically through a digital fingerprinting service (what we advise). The second way is by submitting a paper fingerprint card through registered mail.
Gone2Korea strongly advises Canadians to secure their RCMP check through an electronic finger-printing service whenever possible. Why? Because digital finger-printing services are 10x times faster than paper finger-print cards which get submitted by registered mail. The electronic option is a huge time saver and it’s also cheaper.
If you’re unable to utilize the electronic service, going with the paper fingerprint card is totally fine, just be prepared for a lengthy waiting period of up to 8 weeks.
Where can I get electronic fingerprinting services? Many police stations now offer electronic fingerprinting, just call to inquire. There are also a handful of companies with nationwide offices that offer the service. Two of the companies we recommend are Commissionaires and Clearneed (links below).
The RCMP still accepts paper fingerprint cards by registered mail. To order your check with a paper card you need will need to visit a police station to have your fingerprints professionally stamped onto the respective RCMP fingerprint card.
We strongly advise NOT using this option because of the lengthy processing timeline (up to 2 months) and lack of status updates from the RCMP (you won’t know when the check will be ready). Only submit your request via paper fingerprint card if you don’t have an available electronic option nearby.
There are 3 places to order criminal record checks in the United Kingdom: gov.uk, mygov.scot and nidirect.gov.uk. Where you should order your check from depends on your current location (England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland).
Important Note: Each site offers 3 types of checks; Basic, Standard or Enhanced. Korean Immigration accepts all 3, therefore, we recommend going with the Basic DBS or Basic Disclosure when possible (it’s less expensive and the turnaround is faster).
People residing in England or Wales can request a Basic, Standard or Enhanced DBS Check from The Disclosure and Barring Service which is on the gov.uk site.
People residing in Scotland can request a Disclosure from the Disclosure Scotland site. All 3 types of checks – basic, standard and enhanced checks – are accepted by Korean Immigration.
People residing in Northern Ireland can request an AccessNI Check from the niDirect portal. All 3 types of checks – basic, standard and enhanced – are accepted by Korean Immigration.
Australian teachers should obtain a National Police Check from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) website. There are 2 options available; name based search reports and fingerprint based search reports. Korean Immigration accepts both types of checks.
Irish teachers should obtain a Police Certificate from their respective county’s Garda Síochána office. You can apply for the certificate in person or by mail to the superintendent who is in charge of the district where you currently live or lived previously.
Teachers from New Zealand must secure a federal level Criminal Record Check, sometimes referred to as a Criminal Conviction Check, from the New Zealand Ministry of Justice.
South African teachers need to acquire a federal level Police Clearance Certificate from the South African Police Service. To order the report, you will need to fill out the respective application form and fingerprint card. The fingerprint card needs to be completed by the South African Police Service.
Once you receive your Background Check you need to have it ‘authenticated’ with an Apostille. Without the Apostille, Korean Immigration will not process your visa application. Check our Apostille pages for requirements and instructions.
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Gone2Korea is your connection to full-time teaching jobs in South Korea. Western graduates, primarily from the US, Canada, UK, and Australia, use our services to secure jobs with trusted Korean schools, and schools use our services to find and hire enthusiastic teachers from the West.
Worth noting: We’re not a job ‘sourcing’ agency or recruiter that finds new schools on the fly. On the contrary, we work with a select group of schools and programs that we know and trust.
In addition to helping you land a job, we’ll also be helping you with your work visa, departure, arrival, and offering support for the entirety of your contracted term.
Prior teaching experience and related degrees are NOT prerequisites for teaching in Korea. Here’s what you’ll need in order to qualify.
Korean schools and programs offer western English teachers highly competitive benefits packages which includes: