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Criminal Record Check: based on Citizenship, or residence?
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kitchenquiet



Joined: 08 Aug 2011
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:57 am    Post subject: Criminal Record Check: based on Citizenship, or residence? Reply with quote

Hello all,

My visa application was just denied by Korean Immigration due to my Criminal Record Check.

As an American citizen I obtained my record check through the FBI (a long and grueling process, as we all know), however it now seems that because my university diploma was issued in Canada (Vancouver), I need to submit a record check from the RCMP instead.

Has this happened to anybody else? Do I really need to organize myself a new record check from the RCMP, which will either take an eternity (I am no longer in Canada, to make matters worse), or cost me a fortune (if I book a plane ticket in order to take care of the matter in person)?

The school that wanted to hire me has agreed to try to resubmit all of my documents in the faint hope that perhaps the rejection was just a fluke.
I had been under the impression that your criminal record check is related to your country of citizenship, not your country of most recent residence ... this is what all application guidelines had seemed to suggest.

So: Americans who studied in Canada, and respectively Canadians who studied in the USA: Who issued your Background Check?

How frustrating it is to think that the past five months of patiently waiting for the FBI and the department of state may have been a complete waste of time ...

Many thanks.

Alexa Kirsten Stroth

P.S. I tried to conduct a keyword based search, but somehow encountered only error messages. I therefore apologize if a million people have asked this same question in the past ...
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kitchenquiet



Joined: 08 Aug 2011
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, I should probably add: Apart from my university diploma having been issued in Canada, I also lived there from January 2006 to November 2011. So, yes, it is most definitely my last country of residence.
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northway



Joined: 05 Jul 2010

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm also an American who went to school in Canada, and I have to submit a US check, as have all the folks I've known who were in the same boat. That said, most of us have had at least a year or so break from our graduation to the time we applied, so the situation is a bit different. Five years from now is Korea immigration going to be asking for a Canadian background check because I lived there ten years prior?
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kitchenquiet



Joined: 08 Aug 2011
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your response, northway. Unfortunately it is true that your case is slightly different.

My dilemma is that I need to know exactly where Korean Immigration want my record check to be coming from, because otherwise I will risk yet another rejection: Imagine if I go through the process of obtaining the Canadian record check, only to then be told that they do want the FBI one after all. To make matters even more confusing, I am currently (since November 2011) living in neither Canada nor the US, but rather in Germany (where my parents are, and where I was born and raised).

My recruiter was shocked by the rejection and she believes that it's worth a try to submit the same documents a second time. I was wondering whether anybody here has any experience contacting the Korean immigration with questions? The four-digit number on their website does not work outside of Korea, and I wonder how informative/informed they are?
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northway



Joined: 05 Jul 2010

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My gut feeling is that you might've gotten unlucky and drawn and overzealous (or misinformed) immigration officer. Everything I've always been told is that you need a CBC from your country of citizenship, regardless of where you reside, and that's after a couple years of perusing these boards and seeing pretty much every problem that's come through.

Contacting Korean immigration can be a bit frustrating, as you can ask the same question five times and get five different answers.
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kitchenquiet



Joined: 08 Aug 2011
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I had always just heard the background check being linked to your country of citizenship as well.

The most common case: Don't American teachers who are renewing their visa from within Korea have to get an FBI record check even though they've been residing in Korea for the past year?

Hopefully my school really is planning to resubmit my documents in all earnestness. I wonder how many times one can try?

And yes: Inconsistent information from Immigration officials is of course an international phenomenon. I recall the day I arrived in Canada in order to study and was promptly told by the immigration officer that he would only grant me a visa for one year (as opposed to the length of my university program), due to "insufficient documentation". Of course it later turned out that my documents were absolutely sufficient, and the error entirely on his part. This is why I do still have hope that my rejection from Korea was a mere fluke ...
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littlelisa



Joined: 12 Jun 2007
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it helps, you have ONE more option for a Canadian check.

Because even the local checks use the RCMP database, you can get a local check done and *important* get the Korean consulate in Canada to stamp it and immigration can accept it. On top of the consulates/embassy saying it is possible to do it that way, I just did it myself, and my visa was extended and the check accepted, so it's possible. It even says on the local check that it uses the RCMP database.

The local check takes 10 business days, but is more expensive than the RCMP check. My dad helped me to get it (I sent him scans of ID and he sent me back a scan of a document to print out, sign, scan and send back), so you may need the help of someone there to get it done, not sure.
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kitchenquiet



Joined: 08 Aug 2011
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is an (unfortunate) update:

I just received an e-mail from my school (well -- that is to say, hopefully my school) who have contacted Korean Immigration about this matter. They wrote,

"I called to immigration office and heard that they have been carefully examing all docs before giving permission to Foreign Workers recently. They told that any teacher who wants to come to Korea needs to hand in their Criminal Check if you lived another country more than 2 years. As the result, you need to go through this process."

I thought this might be of interest to other people here as well, since I assume there are a number of people who may have been living outside of their country of citizenship for more than two years ...
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northway



Joined: 05 Jul 2010

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, according to that, we need background checks for all the countries we've lived in? Fantastic.
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CarlWinslow



Joined: 12 Jan 2012

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WOW, if this is case I'm screwed.

Im a UK national and Ive been teaching in China for past three years on and off, currently waiting for my Korean employer to send me the Visa Issuance # (im a first timer to Korea).

Am a screwed?

FYI I submitted my Apostilled UK degree and Apostilled UK CRC to my employer that is currently being processed for the Visa Issuance number.
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kitchenquiet



Joined: 08 Aug 2011
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CarlWinslow,

I don't think that you are necessarily screwed. My visa application was apparently rejected for this reason, yes, but I have my doubts in the consistency of the immigration office. Even if they have indeed recently put a regulation like this in effect, I somehow can't believe that every official would enforce it, or even be aware of it. I have had my share of experience with bureaucratic inconsistencies ...

What this does mean for me is that my school now won't make a second attempt at submitting my documents, which means that I definitely have to get that Canadian CRC. This is indeed possible from overseas, but as I am being expected in Seoul at the end of February (one month!), I don't think I have time to do it by way of mail. It now looks like I either have to reject my job offer and handle the matter from overseas (and then find a new school), or fly to Canada and deal with it in person.

Mhmmm.
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kitchenquiet



Joined: 08 Aug 2011
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, I think it might work in your favour that your degree was issued in the same country as your Criminal Record Check.

In my case, I am an American citizen who not only lived in Canada for the past 5 years, but also studied there, which might have made matters worse. The first thing I heard from Immigration was that they want a record check from the country that issued my degree, and the second thing I heard was the above statement about having lived abroad for 2 years.
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CarlWinslow



Joined: 12 Jan 2012

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for your reply kitchenquiet,

Maybe you could ask your employer to wait while you obtain the Canadian CRC? In the UK a CRC (Disclosure Scotland) only takes about 2 weeks or so to obtain.

For me, I guess I'll just have to wait and see the next update from my employer whether or not the Visa issuance was successful. Expecting news any day now.

I'll update the thread when I hear back from them.
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kitchenquiet



Joined: 08 Aug 2011
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Carl Winslow,

I am curious as to whether you were successful in obtaining your E-2 visa with your British background check?

I ended up flying to Canada with air miles in order to take care of the Canadian record check in person. Had I done it by mail, I would have lost my job offer (minor problem) and my American FBI record check would have expired (major problem).

I have now finally arrived at the finish line, holding a visa in my hands. The final obstacle was when I received a call from the Korean Consulate informing me that the Immigrations officer in Seoul had entered my gender as "male", requiring me to phone them in order to correct the mistake in their system. Absolutely ridiculous.
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Skippy



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Location: Daejeon

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kitchenquiet wrote:
Carl Winslow,

I am curious as to whether you were successful in obtaining your E-2 visa with your British background check?

I ended up flying to Canada with air miles in order to take care of the Canadian record check in person. Had I done it by mail, I would have lost my job offer (minor problem) and my American FBI record check would have expired (major problem).

I have now finally arrived at the finish line, holding a visa in my hands. The final obstacle was when I received a call from the Korean Consulate informing me that the Immigrations officer in Seoul had entered my gender as "male", requiring me to phone them in order to correct the mistake in their system. Absolutely ridiculous.


Shocked I expect some incompetence from government office but that. Unless you look like PAT.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwT1kp0C3Ss


Also would like to now the details about the DUO CRC conflict.
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