This is a follow-up to Eve’s FAQs about teaching English in Spain in order to answer some questions about the FBI Background Check. Applying for this document can be confusing, so this should clarify things a bit.
Disclaimer: Last year I figured out this process through trial and error. Hopefully the following steps will work for you too, but I can’t make any guarantees since there may be some variation with the different consulates. So, as they like to say in the program manual: when in doubt, check with your consulate.
And now for the FAQs:
When should I apply for the FBI Background Check?
Now. It can take up to 13 weeks for the background check to arrive and another 4 weeks to get the Apostille. Pay attention to detail in this process. If you make a mistake it will cost you even more time as you’ll have to resend things and wait.
How do I apply?
- Follow the steps listed on the FBI website.
- Complete the Applicant Information Form (pdf) .
- Obtain a set of your fingerprints on a standard fingerprint form (FD-258) .
- Obtain a money order or cashiers check for $18 (U.S.) made payable to the Treasury of the United States.
- Mail the documents in (certified mail like FedEx is recommended):
- FBI CJIS Division – Record Request
1000 Custer Hollow RoadClarksburg, WV 26306
get the Apostille.If you do not do this, the FBI Report may not come back NOTARIZED, which is NECESSARY for the Apostille. (This is where I and many people have made a mistake.)
- If you’ve already sent your FBI form without explaining that it needs to be authenticated, call the number on their web site. 202-324-3000. They are friendly on the phone and the hold time is only 5 minutes.
- If you get the FBI report back and it is not notarized, you’ll have to send it back to them and wait another 2 weeks.
I have my FBI Background Check now. How do I get the Apostille?
- Follow the steps listed on the Department of State (Federal) Website.
- Complete the cover letter (pdf) .
- Obtain a money order or cashiers check for $8 (U.S.) made payable to the U.S. Department of State.
- Include a self-addressed stamped envelope for faster return of your documents.
- Mail the documents (certified mail like FedEx is recommended):
- U.S. Department of State
518 23rd Street NW.
Good luck! If you have other questions about the teaching program or application process, feel free to ask and we’ll do our best to write another post.
Update: If you live in the DC area you can get a walk-in Apostille instead of mailing in for one. Eve explains in this post .
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