Obtaining a Korean Background Check Certificate

Obtaining a Korean Background Check Certificate

If you're a foreigner living in South Korea and need to obtain a Korean Criminal Background Check (범죄경력조회), also known as a "Criminal Record Certificate" or "Police Clearance Certificate," you'll find the process straightforward but essential for various purposes, such as visa applications or job requirements. This article outlines the requirements and instructions to help you navigate the process smoothly. 

Before applying for a Korean Criminal Background Check, ensure you meet the following requirements:

1. Valid Visa Status: You must hold a valid visa and be residing legally in South Korea.

2. Residency Period: You should have been residing in South Korea for at least six months to be eligible for a Criminal Background Check.

3. Required Documentation:
   - Passport: A valid passport with at least six months' validity.
   - Alien Registration Card (ARC): Your current ARC, which confirms your legal residence in South Korea.
   - Application Form: Complete the application form, which you can obtain from your local police station or online through the Korean National Police Agency's website.


1. Obtain Application Form:
   - Visit your local police station or download the application form from the Korean National Police Agency's website (www.police.go.kr). The application form is typically available in both Korean and English.

2. Complete the Application Form:
   - Fill out the application form accurately and legibly. Make sure to provide your personal information, visa details, and the purpose for which you need the Criminal Background Check. 
     - Please note that it is illegal to obtain a background check to submit to any other institutions or third party, so please make sure to request for Personal Purposes.

3. Submit Required Documents:
   - Gather your completed application form, valid passport, and ARC.

4. Visit the Local Police Station:
   - Take all the required documents to your local police station. Ensure that your local police station serves foreigners, as some may not.

5. Pay the Fee:
   - Pay the processing fee, which varies but is typically around KRW 30,000. Payment methods may differ by location, so it's advisable to check with your local police station.

6. Processing Time:
   - The processing time for a Korean Criminal Background Check usually takes about one to two weeks. However, it may vary depending on your location and the volume of applications.

7. Collect Your Certificate:
   - Once your Criminal Background Check is ready, you can either collect it in person from your local police station or request it to be mailed to your address.

Obtaining a Korean Criminal Background Check is a crucial step for foreigners residing in South Korea, especially if you need it for visa applications, employment, or other legal purposes. Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria, gather the required documents, and follow the provided instructions to obtain your certificate efficiently. Remember that processing times may vary, so plan ahead to meet your specific needs.