All applicants who want to teach English in Korea must sign up for a criminal background check. No matter which country you come from, this is a mandatory step of the process. Korean immigration has strict rules for background checks for teaching in Korea. You must follow the instructions!
Depending on your nationality, the exact name and organization of the background check will vary. However, no matter where you are from, the background check must be no older than 6 months! There can be no more than 6 months between the date that the check is issued and the date when the Korean immigration office processes your visa.
American citizens must get background checks through the FBI. It is possible to go directly through the U.S. government via the State Department. However, the State Department is notoriously slow and typically takes 2-3 months. If that happens, your start date could be delayed by 3 or 4 months. In the past, teachers lost positions because of those kinds of delays!
To save on time, we strongly recommend ordering through Accurate Biometrics Inc., an approved FBI channeler. This company offers the lowest rates for FBI fingerprinting and completes FBI background checks within 1-2 weeks!
Once you have the FBI check, you’ll need to get it apostilled. Be sure to also use a private apostilling organization, which can apostille your documents in 1-2 weeks.
Canadians must get a background check through the RCMP. Just follow the instructions on the website to get the electronic fingerprinting version! There are a few other options for simpler background checks, which are NOT accepted by the Korean immigration office.
Unlike all of the other nationalities, Canadian background checks do NOT need to apostille authentication. Rather, the Korean consulate must approve the checks. Simply take your RCMP check to the Korean consulate in Canada so they can approve it.
- Australians must order Federal Police checks (http://www.afp.gov.au).
- British citizens must order Basic Disclosure checks (Disclosure Scotland).
- Irish citizens must order Police Check Certificates (http://www.garda.ie/).
- New Zealand citizens must order Police Clearance Reports (http://www.justice.govt.nz).
- South Africans must order Police Clearance Certificates (http://www.dfa.gov.za/consular/policeclear.htm).
***Checks from ALL of these countries must be apostilled!
Ordering background checks for teaching in Korea is easy! Just remember that the check must be less than 6 months old. So if you aren’t planning on teaching immediately, you should wait to order your check so that it doesn’t expire!