Getting your FBI check in the U.S. – Regular 6-8 weeks processing time

The easiest and fastest way to get your National FBI Criminal Background Check in order to come to Korea on an E2 visa is to visit a Live Scan Location. Because Live Scan technology offers digital fingerprints, the processing time for the background check may take less than the standard 2 month time frame.

Easy steps to get your FBI check done in America

1. First download the required documents for the FBI check from the FBI Website.

  1. A Check list so that you don’t forget anything.
  2. A fingerprint card (FD-258)
  3. The Fingerprint card instructions
  4. Credit Card payment form
  5. Application Form

2. Go to a Live Scan center: Live Scan fingerprinting simply means that there is some office or service in your state which offers digital fingerprinting. This is the best form of fingerprinting because they are sent digitally to the government. This service also takes much better fingerprints than the traditional paper and ink method. Thus the digital prints are much more likely to be accepted than paper and ink prints. In California there is a huge list of live scan locations and hours on the Department of Justice’s Website. Simply click on this link and find the nearest location to you. Attention: Make sure you check the FBI criminal background check box on the Live Scan center’s application forms. The DOJ box only checks your history in the state.

3.  Mail your documents to FBI CJIS Division: 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.

  • Mail all required items listed above
  • Applicant information form
  • Original fingerprint card
  • Note requesting pre-authenticated check
  • Payment to the address below

Address to mail:
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 when it is 4 weeks after the application date.

 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 checkIt’s absolutely crucial to include this letter/memo when you submit your request! Pre-authenticated checks come with an FBI signature and seal.

4. Apostil your FBI check when it returns: First check at the nearest Secretary of State Office in your state if they apostile FBI check. Then it is the easiest and fasted way to get Apostil the same day.

There are 3 ways to secure the Apostille authentication for an FBI check:

  1. Through at the nearest Secretary of the State Office in your state (1-2 days)
  2. Through the Department of State office (4-6 weeksDOS Website
  3. Through a private company (expedited option 3-5 daysUS Legalization Service Website

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.   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.).

5. Wait for the final apostilled documents to be mailed to your home. Once you have the notarized and apostilled national criminal background check documents you may mail them to your job in Korea. Your employer will take them to an immigration office to get processed along with your other documents.

Getting your FBI check by FBI approved Channelers – 2-3 days Processing Time

TEK/PlanetESL strongly recommends all our U.S. Teachers to process FBI check through this method currently since we have had no issues getting working visa (E-2 Visa) at Korean immigration. FBI authorized these channelers to do electronic FBI check application so that it takes only 2-3 days time. Many teachers question if this FBI check validates, however so far our teachers of PlanetESL for private language schools have had no issues getting an E-2 visa through FBI checks done by approved channelers by FBI.

*Note: EPIK/GEPIK public school programs require FBI checks done by mailing to FBI CJIS division with their own policy.

List of FBI approved channelers info:

It is up-to your decision which channeler you use, however make sure to use only the ones that are listed on FBI website from the link above.

The first step in obtaining your FBI Background Check is to contact an FBI Approved Channeler.

FBI channeler agencies we have had the results from our teachers;


National Background Check, Inc.- TEK’s Pick! With our experiences, this company has been very reliable with our teachers and their website is also very informative to follow step by step.

(877) 932-2435


Accurate Biometrics

(773) 685-5699

You will first need to contact one of these companies in order to start the process.  They will instruct you on what steps you should take in order to obtain your FBI Background Check results.  You will also need to request a letter signed by the Criminal Justice Information Services (Biometric Services Division) signed by the Section Chief Kimberly J. Del Greco.

Some companies will e-mail you this letter which is not acceptable. You can’t just use a regular paper to print out and use for Apostile authentication. You must have the FBI result printed out on a security paper. We recommend you to request FBI channeler to send the FBI result on a security to you by mail.

Note: If you make a copy of the original, the copy will display the words “Copy Unauthorized” in reverse.  Please send the original copy you received from the Department of Justice – Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).


Apostile Expedite Agencies that we have had our teachers used;

These Apostile Expedite agencies do apostile on your degree and FBI check, but it needs separate fees and individual apostile on each.

US Legalization

(410) 349 – 4900


Apostile FBI



US Authentication



*Example of FBI check



*Example of Apostile