Criminal Background Check

To work in Korea you need a crinimal record check (CRC), also called criminal background check (CBC). For each country, the process is different. Scroll down to find your country.

All teachers (from all nationalities) should submit Criminal Record Checks (CRC) that contains the following criteria:letterhead, contact information of the police department or government office that issued the check, the search results and a police/government logo, or stamp, or raised seal. Failing to secure a check with these criterions may result in visa delays or the request to submit a new CRC.

CRC's issued through third party providers are not acceptable with Korean Immigration. You can not use a private company to obtain the background check. The CRC must come directly from a police department or government office/bureau. Checks that were ordered online and come as ‘print outs’ are not accepted by the Korean authorities.

The CRC must have been issued within the last 180 days - CRC’s older than 6 months will not be accepted by the Korean authorities.

Before sending your CRC to Korea for processing it MUST be authenticated with an Apostille seal certificate (except Canadians).


United States

Americans need to submit nationwide CRC’s from the FBI - no exceptions. State level CRC’s are no longer accepted. Visit the FBI homepage to locate your local FBI office.

This page shows the exact process If you have 'nice fingerprints' you can print out the fingerprint card and take them yourself. You can also go to your local police station and ask them to assist you.

FBI checks can take more than two months to process. During this waiting time, there is no way to check up to see where your are. You just have to wait it out. That is why we suggest that Americans start this process as soon as possible.

When fillout out the forms, make sure it is apparent that the person who receives your info that you will be working in Korea and that the CBC needs to be authenticated by the FBI when they create it. The FBI will not authenticate documents after they have sent them back to you. In the case of an unauthenticated CBC, you have to start over.

Once you have your authenticated CBC, you need to get it notorized before sending it off for its last step, the Apostille.

Americans teachers need to have their authenticated FBI checks further authenticated with an Apostille.


Canadian teachers need to get National level fingerprint based checks from the RCMP. Providing citywide or provincial level checks will not be accepted by the Korean Immigration Office. Name and DOB based checks are no longer accepted.

Canadians must have their nationwide background check verified by the Korean consulate with a Consulate Verification Stamp - no exceptions. In order to request the verification stamp.

Canadians do not need the Apostille authentication, hooray!

Where can I obtain a nationwide criminal background check?

There are methods to secure finger-print based checks from the RCMP

  1. Electronic finger-print submission (3-12 days) You can have this done at your local police station or done by a private company, like Commissionaires.

  2. Paper finger-print submission by registered mail (up to 12 weeks)

RCMP homepage


British teachers must submit a Subject Access Report (SAR) or, a Basic Discloser. You can usually locate and secure either of these checks from the designated police headquarters in your area or the Data Protection Office. Note: Subject Access Reports take 40 days to process and Basic Disclosers can take 2-3 weeks (or more) to process.

Do'nt use the Criminal Records Bureau to secure your check ( is not accepted)

Brits need to have their check authenticated with an Apostille.

Useful sources: and


Background Checks in Ireland are usually referred to as: Police Checks, Police Clearance Letters or Certificates of Character.

You can secure Police Check Certificates (that are accepted by Korean Immigration) by contacting the Garda Police Station in your jurisdiction and requesting a Police Check Certificate of Character.

Irish need to have their check authenticated with an Apostille.


Australian checks are usually referred to as Police Checks or a Police Certificates.

Australian teachers must submit Federal Level Police Checks; meaning, the check must constitute a nationwide search.  Applicants can download the Australian National Police Check Application Form directly from the Australian Federal Police website:

Australians need to have their checks authenticated with an Apostille.

New Zealand

CBC's are usually referred to as Police Clearance Reports in New Zealand. The Ministry of Justice does not issue Police Clearance Reports over the phone. In most cases, New Zealand teachers will need to download the proper form from their website ( and submit a written copy which has been signed and dated with an ink signature.

New Zealand teachers must submit Federal Level Police Clearances (nationwide search)

New Zealanders need to have their check authenticated with an Apostille.

South Africa

The South African Department of Foreign Affairs currently issues Police Clearance Certificates that are accepted by the Korean Immigration office:

South African teachers must have their checks authenticated with an Apostille.