FBI Criminal Background Check - Authentication Process


My boyfriend and I are moving to Taiwan to teach English starting August 25th. We got our FBI Criminal Background Checks (CBC) done a while ago but only recently realized we need to get them authenticated to use abroad. Does anyone have further clarification on the authentication process? We have two issues.

  1. To get our FBI CBCs authenticated (according to the sheets sent with our FBI CBCs) would cost $143 and take up to 2 weeks. We will be road tripping around the US from Aug. 14th - Aug. 24th therefor it will be costly and difficult to get the authenticated versions back in time before we leave.

  2. This article doesn’t mention anything about the document being authorized: Details on cram school background checks for foreigners finalized it only states…

  • Generated within the past six months.
  • Proof that there is no record of criminal offenses.
  • Record for whole country of origin.
  • Paper version submitted by the relevant government agency on its official letterhead.
  • Verification by TECO only required for 25 listed countries.

SO, is it worth it for us to go through the authentication process and have the documents sent to us (timely & costly) OR would we be ok bringing over the original background checks? We’re not planning on working at cram schools but, obviously want to be prepared for anything.

thank you!!

basically…how important is it to get the FBI CBC authenticated? Are they useless without it?

Presumably, if your country is not on the naughty list, you should be fine without TECO authentication.

Keep in mind though, that website does not speak for the government, which has yet to publish the actual rules.

My situation was pretty different than yours, I applied at Seattle TECO and got a Resident Visa in my passport before coming to Taiwan, then an ARC about a week after landing in Taiwan. My wife is Taiwanese and we moved earlier this year.

For my situation, I did have to get the FBI form authenticated, twice actually, and yes it was extremely annoying and a little bit costly.

Process was:

  1. Get the FBI form through a channeler
  2. Send form to Washington D.C. Department of State authentication office to be authenticated by US Govt
  3. Send form to DC TECO office to be authenticated by Taiwan Govt
  4. DC TECO overnighted the forms back to Seattle TECO for me (I paid for this of course) and finally, Seattle TECO issued me the visa

In all it cost around $250, plus more for the visa itself and other forms. I used an agent in DC to take my forms from the Dept of State office to the DC TECO office. That was the majority of the cost.

If you’re landing in TW with a visitor visa and then subsequently getting a Resident Visa/ARC, maybe you can avoid this process. I’m not sure.

Do you already have a job lined up with an English school that will be providing you a work visa? First of all, you need to communicate with them to double check. In terms of getting TECO authentication, according to the WDA official Taiwan News spoke to it isn’t necessary for cram school English teachers, unless they come from the 25 countries listed in the article you referenced.

This has the potential to be a CF of the most severe kind. At least if you are from the US and dealing with the FBI.

I have a family-based ARC, so I have already been “pre-vetted”, but the last school I worked at demanded an FBI report. I tried to explain to them it was unnecessary for me, but…whatever.

The NIA did the fingerprinting, and the first batch was rejected by the FBI. So, had to do it again. All in all, took 5 months and just shy of NT$3000.

About a month after I did the final fingerprints and sent it off, I was told they did not need it.

We do not have a job lined up yet as most schools have responded stating they want us to be in Taiwan before committing. Our plan is to avoid cram schools if at all possible (so it could all be moot) but we want to be as prepared as possible & cram schools were our back up plan. Most of the schools we’ve talked to will be providing a work visa and I don’t believe we’ll need a CBC if we’re going through the employer. It seems as though cram schools just want to see a clear background “certificate of good conduct” and according to the requirements listed in the article it does not need to be authenticated. So, we’ll just risk it and bring our original documents and figure it out as we go!!

Thank you, please keep us updated if anyone has any more relevant experiences!!

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If we hear any more detail from the government we’ll post news on the subject on Forumosa.

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The costs paid for you to have this completed was a little to pricy for the partial service that was completed. Individuals seeking to have their FBI checks should contact international Notarization Company. They will be able to handle the complete authentication process at a pretty reasonable price. They can also assist with authenticating your FBI check if you are currently located in Taiwan. Your FBI check can be shipped back to an address in Tawain if needed. Also, fingerprints can be obtained through a local channeler online, and the results can be emailed at processing is completed. Please feel free to contact: INC Notariation Company at: customer@internationalnotarization.com They will answer all of your questions.

Sorry for bringing up an old post, I plan to go to Taiwan in March to get my household registration.

I completed an FBI background check in November 2023, I had travel abroad (not Taiwan) with my husband due to his business trip the day after getting my fingerprints done. So I did not get a chance to get it authenticated yet.

  1. Does anyone know if I need to get the authentication form notarized prior to sending it to Washington DC Tecro? Or can I just send the forms in after signing it?

  2. Do you need to get the FBI background check professionally translated? Or can I translate it myself? Or can we get it translated in Taiwan?

I just did this, not the traveling with your husband part, but the FBI check.

I can tell you that TECRO is DC is way happier with electronic documents. I sent one paper ones, don’t open them btw, and it was a huuuuge hassle.

I’m guessing you had the FBI send you paper copies?

TECRO will ask you for the electronic code the FBI sends when you get the electronic background check done. If you did the paper route, you won’t have one, the FBI won’t send you one either.

It’s a pain in the butt, but if I were you I’d call the FBI and ask if they could change your stuff to the e-version . If not, send it in again, going the electronic route.

Not a joke, it took us weeks and weeks to unravel this mess. And we had former students who now work for the MOFA in Taiwan who actually called the office for us. :laughing:

This is not necessary. TECRO will authenticate the background check.

I have the electronic copy and will be emailing TECRO the pin.

I guess what I am confused about is if I need to notarize my signature on the “APPLICATION FORM FOR AUTHENTICATION” form.

I have the electronic copy and will be emailing TECRO the pin.

I guess what I am confused about is if I need to notarize my signature on the “APPLICATION FORM FOR AUTHENTICATION” form.

That’s great.

If it doesn’t ask for it, you don’t need it. I didn’t notarize my signature on the application.

Btw, you might as well get your driver’s licenses done here before your come over. It’s a similar ridiculous authentication process.

Does Taiwan allow transfer of driver license if I have a valid one from the states. I can get it transfer in Taiwan without taking a test?

There’s a website. You’ll need to get it authenticated, I believe at TECRO DC.

So no, there’s no easy switch over.

I’ve sent you a DM if you don’t mind. Don’t to spam unrelated questions here.

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