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When it comes to various professional and legal endeavors such as employment, immigration, or adoption, obtaining an FBI background check is often a crucial requirement. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of obtaining an FBI background check for employment and immigration purposes, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience.

Understanding the Importance of an FBI Background Check

An FBI background check is a thorough examination of an individual’s criminal history, conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) based on fingerprint submissions. This check provides crucial information about a person’s criminal record, if any, and is often required by employers and immigration authorities to ensure the safety and security of workplaces and communities. Employers rely on these checks to make informed hiring decisions, while immigration authorities use them to assess eligibility for visas and residency.

Eligibility Criteria for Obtaining an FBI Background Check

Before proceeding with the application process, it’s essential to understand the eligibility criteria for obtaining an FBI background check. Generally, individuals who require this check for employment, immigration, or other official purposes are eligible to apply. However, certain restrictions may apply based on the specific requirements of the requesting organization or agency. It’s crucial to review the guidelines provided by the FBI to ensure eligibility before starting the application process.

Step-by-Step Guide to Obtaining an FBI Background Check

Step 1: Gather Required Documents

Before initiating the application process, gather all necessary documents, including a valid form of identification (such as a driver’s license or passport) and any additional forms or paperwork required by the FBI or the requesting organization. These documents will be needed to complete the application accurately and provide proof of identity.

Step 2: Complete the Application Form

Next, complete the FBI’s standard application form for requesting a background check. Ensure that all information provided is accurate and up-to-date to avoid delays or complications in the processing of your request. Double-check the form to ensure there are no errors or missing information before submission.

Step 3: Get Fingerprinted

Once the application form is complete, you can schedule an appointment with us at PDXFingerprinting to get fingerprinted. We offer convenient fingerprinting services on-site, ensuring a seamless experience for our clients. Simply visit our website to book your appointment online. Make sure to bring along the necessary identification documents and any additional forms required for fingerprinting.

Step 4: Submit the Application

After being fingerprinted, submit your application along with the required fees to the FBI either electronically or by mail. Be sure to follow the specific instructions provided by the FBI for submitting your application to avoid any errors or delays. Include all necessary documents and payment information to ensure a smooth processing experience.

Processing Time and Fees

The processing time for an FBI background check can vary depending on various factors, including the method of submission, current workload, and any additional processing requirements. Typically, processing times range from a few days to several weeks. It’s essential to plan accordingly and submit your application well in advance of any deadlines to account for potential delays.

As for fees, the cost of obtaining an FBI background check may also vary. Be sure to check the latest fee schedule on the FBI’s official website or contact the agency directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information. Include information on acceptable payment methods and any additional fees that may apply based on the method of submission or specific request requirements.

Different Purposes for Obtaining an FBI Background Check

When it comes to obtaining an FBI background check, individuals may have various reasons for needing one. Some of the common purposes include:

Each of these purposes may have specific requirements and procedures for obtaining an FBI background check, so it’s important to follow the instructions provided by the requesting organization or agency closely.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What information is included in an FBI background check?

An FBI background check typically includes information about an individual’s criminal history, including arrests, convictions, and any outstanding warrants. It may also include information about past employment, education, and other personal details obtained from public records.

Can I request an FBI background check for someone else?

In most cases, individuals can only request an FBI background check for themselves. However, certain authorized entities, such as employers or government agencies, may be able to request background checks on behalf of others for specific purposes, such as employment screening or licensing requirements.

Are there any expedited processing options available?

Yes, the FBI offers expedited processing options for certain types of background checks, such as those required for visa applications or employment purposes. Additional fees may apply for expedited processing, and processing times may vary depending on the specific request and workload.

How long is an FBI background check valid?

An FBI background check is typically considered valid at the time it is issued. However, some organizations or agencies may have specific requirements regarding the age of the background check or may require periodic updates to ensure the information remains current.

What should I do if there are errors in my background check report?

If you believe there are errors in your FBI background check report, you can request a review and correction of the information through the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division. Provide any supporting documentation or evidence to substantiate your claim, and follow the instructions provided by the FBI for disputing inaccuracies in your report.


Obtaining an FBI background check for employment and immigration purposes is a straightforward process that requires careful attention to detail and adherence to the FBI’s guidelines and procedures. By following the steps outlined in this guide and ensuring all necessary documents are provided, you can obtain your background check efficiently and effectively. Remember to plan ahead, be thorough in completing your application, and follow up as needed to ensure a successful outcome.