US-FBI Check

As of 2011, all US citizens must submit an Apostilled copy of a Federal Criminal Record Check, obtained through the FBI. This copy must have been issued within the past 6 months. The process to obtain an FBI level Criminal Background takes at least 6 weeks, so US citizens must start the process ASAP.

IMPORTANT: In order for your FBI check to be apostilled, it must be pre-authenticated by the FBI. You must write a separate note asking the FBI to issue a pre-authenticated record check. It’s absolutely crucial to include this letter/memo when you submit your request! Pre-authenticated checks come with an FBI signature and seal.

Step 1: Complete the Applicant Information form (PDF)

Step 2: Obtain a set of your fingerprints. ü  Have your fingerprints taken by a fingerprinting technician. Fingerprints should be placed on a Standard Fingerprint Form (FD-258). You can do this at a local police station. Your name and date of birth must be provided on the card. ü  For applicants in Korea: You can get fingerprinted at a local Korean police station (bring a Korean friend with you to help translate!) Or those in Seoul can go to the Permits & ID Office to the left of the USO office near Namyeong Station (Line 1) for fingerprinting.

Step 3: Submit payment.

Option 1: Obtain a money order or cashiers check for $18 U.S. dollars made payable to the Treasury of the United States. Please be sure to sign where required.

Option 2: Pay by credit card using the Credit Card Payment Form (pdf). Don’t forget to include the expiration date of the credit card that you are using.

Step 4: (IMPERATIVE!) Draft a letter that asks the FBI to issue a “pre-authenticated” record check so that you can have it apostilled at the Department of State. The FBI will NOT issue a pre-authenticated check unless you specifically request it. Therefore, it’s absolutely crucial to include this letter/memo when you submit your request…DON’T’ FORGET!!!

Step 5: Mail all required items listed above—applicant information form, original fingerprint cardnote requesting pre-authenticated check, and payment to the address below (as of Aug 2011):  FBI CJIS Division – Record Request 1000 Custer Hollow Road Clarksburg, WV 26306

If you need to inquire about the status &/or progress of your request, you can contact the CJIS Customer Service Group at 1 (304) 625-5590. But please be aware that it takes 4-6 weeks from the time you apply for an FBI check to receive the results. Apostilling a FBI Criminal Record Check  The FBI check must be authenticated with an Apostille from the Department of State (DOS).

Note: The Apostille authentication from the DOS is separate from the pre-authentication from the FBI. Basically, Americans must have the FBI check authenticated twice: a pre-authentication from the FBI and again with the apostille certificate from the DOS office.

IMPORTANT: Although some Secretary of State offices will Apostille FBI checks, the Korean education offices want Americans to authenticate their FBI checks through the Department of State (DOS). Therefore, all Americans need to use the DOS or a private company that deals with the DOS.

IMPORTANT: The Apostille authenticated policies for college/university degrees is different than the Apostille authentication process for FBI checks.

There are 2 ways to secure the Apostille authentication for an FBI check:

  1. Through the Department of State office (7-10 weeks) DOS Website
  2. Through a private company (expedited option 3-5 days) US Legalization Service Website    SAVING TIME: The Department of State typically requires 7-10 weeks to apostille FBI checks; this is in addition to the 8-10 weeks it takes the FBI to issue the actual check – it’s an incredibly lengthy process! To save valuable time (remember, jobs are filled on a first-come, first-served basis) Planet ESL strongly recommends using the expedited service with a private company. It will cost a little more (roughly $45 USD); however, it’s well worth the valuable time (it only takes 3-5 days!!!).

Note: Planet ESL does not collect a fee for referring applicants to the expedited service. We recommend it because it’s in your interests to secure your documents as soon as possible.

Crucial: The Department of State will only Apostille FBI checks that were pre-authenticated by the FBI. Make sure to specifically request the pre-authentication for your check when you order it from the FBI. Include a memo with your order that asks for the “pre-authentication” so you can have it Apostilled by the DOS.   Do NOT, for any reason what so ever, remove the staples and/or damage the Apostille certificate. Korean Immigration will automatically reject any Apostille authentication that looks like it’s been tampered with (detached, re-stapled, etc.).


Canadian RCMP Check Requirements & Information  

Canadian citizens must submit a notarized & verified copy of a Certified Criminal Record Check. This copy must have been issued within the last 6 months. Electronic submission is the fastest option and takes 10-12 days where a mailed request can take up to 12 weeks! Remember to make a request for 2 notarized CRCs, you might need an additional copy when applying for your E-2 visa at the consulate.   Canadian teachers MUST secure National level FINGER-PRINT based checks from the RCMP. Providing citywide or provincial level checks will not be accepted by the Korean Immigration Office, likewise, name and DOB based checks are no longer accepted.

Note: Canada does not have an agreement with the Apostille Convention, so your Criminal Record Check copy must have a Consulate Verification stamp from the Korean Consulate/Embassy nearest to you. Once you get your Criminal Record Check, first have it notarized by a notary public then mail or take the notarized copy to your nearest Korean Embassy or Consulate for the Consulate Verification stamp. This is essential for your CRC to be accepted by Korean immigration.

How do I submit an electronic finger-print card to the RCMP?

There are two ways to submit an electronic finger-print card to the RCMP.

1.Through a Private Finger Printing Service such as Commissionaires.

2.Through police services with electronic vulnerable sector checks. If you decide to use the police then make sure they have the resources available to submit your finger-print card electronically.

– Link for the locations of police services for electronic fingerprints submission,

CRUCIAL: Please remember that name and DOB based checks are no longer accepted by the Korean authorities.

For more information, visit:

RCMP homepage:

Recommended Finger Printing Service:

1. Commissionaires -

2. Police services –

UK Criminal Record Check Requirements & Information 

Getting a Basic Disclosure for UK Cittizens  UK citizens must submit an apostilled copy of a Basic Disclosure. This copy must have been issued within the last 6 months. The process takes at least 14 days so please apply for it ASAP!   Step 1: You can apply online, if your current address is in the UK and if you have been living at this address for at least twelve months.

– Apply Online– If you do not satisfy these criteria, you will have to apply using a paper application form. The fee for a Basic Disclosure is £23. You will need to pay using a credit or debit card. All major cards are accepted. This will appear as BT Disclosure Scotland on your account statement. Please have your card details handy before you proceed.

You will need the following information/documents on hand to fill out the online application:

  • Passport*
  • Driving Licence*
  • National Insurance Number*
  • Electricity Bill
  • Previous Disclosure
  • Address details covering at least the last five years
  • Employer’s address if your Disclosure is to be sent there
  • Credit or debit card

You must be able to provide at least one of the following: Passport Number, Driving Licence Number or National Insurance Number.

Step 2: Please send COPIES of the following:

•A utility bill (e.g. gas, electricity or telephone) or another document issued by a government dept. or your local authority which confirms your current address, and

•Either your passport, driving licence or birth certificate which confirms date of birth details.

You can email, fax or post the COPIES of these documents to Disclosure Scotland, see contact details below. Please do not post the original documents. When sending your supporting documents please ensure that you quote the 16-digit reference provided at the end of the online application process. Disclosure Scotland is unable to process your application until these supporting documents are received.

Send the copies via:

•Email –

•Fax – 0870 609 6996

•Post – Disclosure Scotland, Basic EHU, PO Box 250, Glasgow, G51 1YU

If you want to check on the status of your application, you can contact:

•By phone – on 0870 609 6006

•By email – to


Ireland Criminal Record Check Requirements & Information  

Getting a Police Certificate for Ireland Citizens   Irish citizens must submit an apostilled copy of a Police Certificate obtained by the Gardai. This copy must have been issued within the last 6 months. The whole process takes at least 3-4 weeks so please apply for it ASAP!

Step 1: Apply in writing (by post) to the Superintendent in charge of the District where you live. Click here for a directory of Garda Stations.

•If you go in person to your local Garda station and leave your application for forwarding to the Superintendent for the district, you should take note of the Garda’s name or shoulder number.

•If you are an Irish citizen living abroad, write to the Superintendent of your police district here in Ireland and request a Police Certificate.

Include the following information in your application letter for a Police Certificate:

•Full name as on birth certificate (including maiden/married name if applicable)

•Date and place of birth (or copy of birth certificate)

•Current address

•All addresses at which you resided in Republic of Ireland

•Place & Purpose (i.e. Embassy) for which Certificate is required

•A copy of your passport, driving licence or similar for identification purposes

•A stamped, self-addressed envelope for the return of your Police Certificate

*There is no fee for the issuance of a Police Certificate.


Australia Criminal Record Check Requirements & Information  

Australian citizens must submit an apostilled copy of a National Police Check criminal record check. This process takes at least 3 weeks, so please apply for it ASAP!

Step 1: Print and complete the National Police Check application form, found online. Click here

Step 2: Mail the following documents to the Australian Federal Police:

1.Completed National Police Check application form. Ensure all the necessary details have been completed and the form is signed and dated. Complete all sections in black pen using BLOCK LETTERS in the boxes. Mark the appropriate check boxes with a cross (X).

2.$43.00 cheque or money order payable to the Australian Federal Police. Do NOT send cash.

3.A copy of an Australian driver’s licence, or another form of acceptable identification (passport, full birth certificate, or marriage certificate).

Mailing Address: Australian Federal Police, Criminal Records Locked Bag 8550 CANBERRA CITY ACT 2601

Note: Below is contact information for the Criminal Records Office if you want to inquire about the status of your Police Check.

Tel. Number: (02) 6202 3333   Click to e-mail Criminal Records


New Zealand  Criminal Record Check Requirements & Information  

New Zealand citizens must submit an apostilled copy of a criminal record check obtained from the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry of Justice says this process takes 20 working days, but they are often delayed & getting the apostille will add several more days. So the entire process takes almost 2 months, so please apply for it ASAP!

Step 1: Complete and print the PRIV/F1 application form, found online. Click here

Step 2: Get a scanned copy of either your driver’s license or passport

Step 3: Write a coversheet stating the following:

– Your application is for work as a teacher in South Korea

– You require the result to be on original letterhead with ink signature – You give the Ministry of Justice permission to forward your document to the Department of Internal Affairs for Apostille, address below.   If your request is urgent (i.e. your arrival date is upcoming and you need to get your Criminal Check soon!), you can get your Criminal check processed in 24 hours and sent to the Authenticiation Unit for the apostille in one day. To do this, you must include a copy of your contract of employment or official letter from your school and make a note on your coversheet that your request is URGENT.

Mailing Address:    Carlee Reid, Authentication Unit, Department of Internal Affairs, PO Box 805 Wellington

Step 4: Contact the Authentication Unit of the Department of Internal Affairs for the Apostille and delivery of your record check. Their contact phone number is 0800 872 675 or send an e-mail The fee is $65 NZD (incl. GST) for one Apostille certificate and $31 NZD for each additional Apostille certificate submitted at the same time. You can pay by VISA, Mastercard or American Express details (card number, expiry date and name of cardholder), or cheque/money order to The Department of Internal Affairs. You must arrange to pay for the apostille for your Criminal Record Check before e-mailing your application to the Ministry of Justice. Also please purchase a return courier bag so that your apostilled criminal check can be mailed back to you quicker than regular post! It only costs NZ$5, please pay for it at the same time you pay for your apostille.

Step 5: E-mail your application form, scanned copy of your driver’s license or passport, coversheet, *employment contract (only if request is urgent) to the Criminal Records Unit In your e-mail, please state again that the report has to be printed on an original document with an ink signature.

Mailing Address:    Criminal Records Unit   Ministry of Justice    National Office    P O Box 2750    Wellington    Below is contact information for the Criminal Records Office if you need to ask about the status of your Criminal Record Check. Tel: +64 (4) 918 8800 E-mail:


South Africa Criminal Background Check

South African citizens must submit an apostilled copy of a Police Clearance Certificate. The whole process to get an apostilled Police Clearance Certificate takes at least 1-2 months so you must apply as soon as possible!

If you can provide the Police with a sample contract, the process will be expedited and you can receive your Police Clearance in 7-10 business days. Please contact us to get a sample contract!   The Police Clearance must have been issued within the last 6 months. If you already have a Police Clearance and just need to get it apostilled, please note that the Legalisation (Apostillization) Service only apostilles Police Clearances that are less than 3 months old.

*We STRONGLY recommend that if you live in/near Pretoria to go to the Legalisation Office in person to apostille your Police Clearance. You can get it back the same day! If you cannot go in person to the Legalisation Officein Pretoria, when you first request your Police Clearance, please ask that it be legalised (apostilled) before it is returned to you. This will save you time & money so please carefully follow the directions below!

Getting a Police Clearance Certificate

Step 1: Fill out an application form (Annex 23B), click and download here.

Step 2: Get a full set of your fingerprints taken by your closest Police Station or nearest South African Diplomatic or Consular Representative, if you are abroad.

Step 3: Mail the following documents & payment to SAPS Criminal Record Centre in Pretoria:

  1. A completed & signed application form (Annex 23B)
  2. A full set of fingerprints
  3. A photocopy of ID document/passport
  4. Cover letter to SAPS – Criminal Record Centre. Request a signature & stamp by the Criminal Record Centre of the South African Police Service so you can get it legalised (apostilled). If you cannot go to Pretoria in person to apostille it, it is important that you say in the letter for the Police Clearance to be sent for legalisation before it is returned to you.
  5. Proof of payment  •A fee of ZAR59-00 (either a South African bank guaranteed cheque, bankers draft, money order, or electronic payment into the South African Police Service account made payable to the South African Police Service, is acceptable).

1.**For expedited requests only: A copy of your employment contract

2.**Only If you cannot go to Pretoria in person to apostille your Police Clearance:

•Include a cover letter to the Department of Foreign Affairs – Legalisation Section indicating country in which certificate will be used (Korea), how many documents you want legalized (one), and your full contact details (Name, address, and phone number).

•Include a self-addressed, pre-paid (no cash will be accepted) A4 size envelope to allow the Legalisation Section to return the documents to the customer upon completion.

Mailing Address:   The Head (Attention: Police Clearance Certificates)   Criminal Record Center – SAPS   1st Floor, Room 14 Botongo Plaza West   271 Schoeman Street   Pretoria, 0001   Republic of South Africa

Below is contact information for the Criminal Record Centre if you want to inquire about the status of your Police Certificate.

Tel. Number: (012) 393-3928 Fax Number: (012) 393-3900

E-mail: / – refer to information under the heading FAQ’s – Application for Police Clearance Certificates (PCC) for further information

**If you can go to Pretoria in person to apostille your Police Clearance: Office Hours Opening hours to the public (Monday – Friday, excluding public holidays) 08:30 to 12:30 The Legalisation Section will give 7 days notice of any closure that is not a public holiday.

Physical Address: Legalisation Section NE2A-Ground Floor 460 Soutpansberg Road Rietondale Pretoria  Tel: (012) 351 1269, (012) 351 0033, (012) 351 1232, (012) 351 1490, (012) 323 4372