If you plan to apply for a China visa, you may be required to submit an FBI criminal background check.
Getting an FBI criminal background check is a common requirement for individuals planning to apply for a China visa, especially for those who intend to stay in the country for an extended period.
The Chinese government has implemented stricter regulations for visa applicants, and one of the ways to ensure the safety and security of their citizens is to require applicants to provide a certified criminal background check from the FBI.
This can be confusing for many people, especially if you've never obtained an FBI background check. In this blog, we'll guide you through getting an FBI background check for a China visa.
What is an FBI Background Check?
An FBI background check is a detailed criminal history of an individual by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). This check is often requested by organizations or individuals who require a person's criminal record check for employment, volunteering, or other purposes.
The FBI background checks provide information about any arrests, convictions, and other criminal records on file with the FBI and are conducted using fingerprints.
It can only be requested for legitimate reasons, and the process typically involves submitting a set of fingerprints to the FBI along with a request form and payment. Once the FBI receives the request, they will search their databases to compile a comprehensive report of the individual's criminal history.
It's important to note that the FBI background check is not the same as a local or state criminal background check. While these checks may provide similar information, the FBI background check is considered more comprehensive and reliable as it includes records from all states and federal agencies.
How to Get an FBI Background Check?
The process of obtaining an FBI background check can be daunting, especially if you need to become more familiar with the procedures and requirements. If you're in the United States, you can get an FBI background check by applying to the FBI.
Submitting FBI background request involves these steps:
Fill out the FBI's Applicant Information Form (AFIS).
Get fingerprints done: You can get fingerprinted through local fingerprint services at the police station or a private company. You'll need to provide a government-issued photo ID when you get fingerprinted.
Submit your application and fingerprints to the FBI: Mail your application to the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division (CJIS) or use an FBI-approved channeler.
Wait for the results: The processing time for an FBI background check can vary, but it typically takes about 12-14 weeks.
It's important to note that the process of obtaining an FBI background check may differ depending on your circumstances and the state where you reside. Therefore, you must check with your local FBI office or the U.S. Department of State to ensure you follow the correct procedures and guidelines.
How to Authenticate an FBI Background Check for China?
After obtaining your FBI report for your China visa application, Chinese authorities require that it be authenticated. To authenticate the document, there are three steps you will need to do:
Get your FBI background check notarized by a notary public: Before sending your FBI background check for authentication, you'll need to have it notarized by a notary public. This ensures that the document is valid and recognized by the government.
Have the notarized FBI background check authenticated by the Department of State: When you receive your notarized FBI background check, you must send it to the U.S. Department of State for authentication. The Department of State will certify the authenticity of the notary public's signature, which is a necessary step in the authentication process. Since the department does not allow you to submit forms electronically, you must submit your request for authentication via mail or in person at the Office of Authentications in Washington, D.C.
Get the Chinese consulate authentication: Once your FBI background is authenticated by the Department of State, you must send it to the Chinese consulate or embassy with your visa application. The embassy or consulate will then authenticate the FBI background check for use in China.
It's important to note that the authentication process may take several weeks, so starting the process well in advance is recommended. It's also essential to ensure you have all the documents and information required by the Chinese embassy or consulate to avoid delays or rejection of your visa application.
Do You Need a China Visa?
Whether or not you need a China visa depends on your nationality and the purpose of your visit. You'll need a visa to enter China for most purposes if you're a U.S. citizen. Several types of visas are available, including tourist visas, business visas, and student visas.
How to apply for a China Visa as a US citizen?
iVisa currently offers the China Business Visa, making applying easy. You will need to complete these steps:
Step 1: Fill out our simplified iVisa form with your Business travel details.
Step 2: To submit the required documentation according to the instructions.
Step 3: To send the documents to the Chinese embassy.
Step 4: Wait for the Chinese embassy's answers, receive your visa, and get ready to travel.
One of our agents will carefully check all your information and supporting documents to ensure no inconsistencies. If there is some problem, we will reach out to you via email before processing your request.
Read our guide to the China Visa for more information about the documents and requirements you need to meet for this specific visa aside from the FBI background check. Also, read our ultimate guide to China for tips, tricks, and sites to see before planning your trip.