FBI background check apostille: What is it?


The apostille is a document that certifies the legality of the document that accompanies, in this case, the FBI background check. It is a French word that means ‘official certification‘. This type of apostille is a certificate issued by the United States Department of State in Washington D.C., to verify the legitimacy of a person’s FBI report.

The apostille is a separate document that is attached to the FBI background check to verify that it is real and authentic, so that it is acceptable in one of the member countries of the Hague Apostille Convention.

An FBI background check contains information such as federal employment, military service, naturalization, and arrest history, etc. If you have any arrests on the criminal record sheet, it usually shows the date, motive, and disposition (even if the charges were prescribed or the charges dropped).

You can see what an apostille looks like on the right image.

FBI background check apostille sample

Why do you need your FBI background check apostilled?

The FBI background check apostille has become an essential document.

You may need the FBI background check and the apostille for any of the following circumstances:

  • Apply for residence in Spain or another country.
  • Working abroad in certain fields, such as government areas, that require security clearance.
  • Couples who want to adopt in a foreign country.
  • Students or workers traveling abroad can also undergo criminal background checks.
  • Sephardim who want to apply for Spanish nationality.

The common feature of all these situations is that the foreign country must be part of the Hague Convention in 1961. Otherwise, the legalization of the FBI report would be carried out in the traditional way.

Whenever a person is considering moving, working or adopting a child from a foreign country that is a member of the Hague Convention, it is imperative that they obtain a criminal background check from the FBI with its corresponding apostille authentication.

As you can see, it is very common for foreign agencies and countries to request apostille authentication on certain required documentation, especially when it comes to a criminal background check.

Some countries, such as Korea, require every American citizen to have an FBI criminal background check certificate to obtain a work visa, with no exceptions. If an apostille authenticated FBI background check is not obtained, the work visa is denied. In these cases, the importance of apostille of this type of document is palpable.

Additionally, it is important to understand that there are certain countries that only accept documents that are authenticated by the apostille issued by the US Department of State.
Why? Because it is a demanding job to ensure that all foreign requirements that have to do with the FBI criminal background checks and the apostille are met. Therefore, it is recommended that people who require an apostille for the FBI report hire a professional company that specializes in obtaining these types of documents.

By hiring a professional apostille agency, a person can be confident that all the requested documentation is correct, which is essential to speed up the process of applying for work visas, child adoption, residence in other countries and a series important situations in life that require this type of authentication process.

On the other hand, although it is possible for a person to have all their documentation verified with an apostille, it can be easy to lose a document. Also for this reason, working with a professional agency reduces the possibility that some aspect of the process will become paralyzed. It can be extremely frustrating for a person, after going through all the steps necessary to obtain their documents and their corresponding apostilles, to realize that something was not done correctly and their application has been denied. Having to start over in the process can be disappointing, which is why it is recommended to hire the services of a professional company to apostille documents.

Anyone planning any of the previously listed actions should find out and confirm if they require a criminal background check certificate from the FBI. It is not a bad idea to have an up-to-date background apostille on a hard drive or personal computer as it can reduce the waiting period associated with the application process.

The apostille authentication process is clearly different from other authentication processes and is given more importance when foreign governments and agencies have to validate the authenticity of the documentation they require.

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