A statewide criminal background check is no longer acceptable for Americans living in Korea with an E2 Visa. An FBI check is required and it can take up to 12 weeks to process so I recommend applying right away if you are a current resident in Korea. The apostille also takes up to 15 days. So plan for this to take 14 weeks total! Apparently these changes were made in September, but many teachers like me weren't notified by their bosses until October (Hopefully we won't get deported in January.)
As of Jan. 1, 2011:
All Americans must get an FBI level background check. Fingerprints can be done in Korea and the application can be mailed home and paid via credit card or check. ATTENTION: FBI checks must be notarized and apostilled before returning them to the Korean government. Keep reading for more details.
1. First download the required documents for the FBI check from the FBI Website.
- A Check list so that you don't forget anything.
- A fingerprint card (FD-258)
- The Fingerprint card instructions
- Credit Card payment form
- Application Form
3. Next you will need to send the documents to the US. Write a note to the FBI asking them to use their official seal for the document. This will make things easier so that your family will not have to get the document notarized before sending is to the US State Department to receive an apostille
Send fingerprint forms here:
FBI CJIS Division – Record Request
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, WV 26306
4. When the government finally returns the documents to you or your family they should send them to the following address for the apostille:
518 23rd Street NW.
Washington, DC 20520
The U.S. Department of State recommends that the documents be sent with the following cover letter: Office of Authenications cover letter.
5. Have your family send the final documents back to Korea. Then you need to have your company deliver the documents to the nearest immigration office.
Personally I think the new requirement should have been enforced a long time ago. I was told by my company that I would need a local police check in April of 2010, and then a state wide background check in June of 2010, and now an FBI background check in October 2010. Korean immigration is driving us crazy!
I also don't like that the only way to pay is by filling out a credit card form which will go through the mail. Your social security number is also required on the FBI check application. Because fingerprints are required, it is impossible for your family members to fill out the applications for you and mail them into the government. Thus, your private information will be traveling across seas through mail. (This is super sketchy in my opinion!)