Thursday, 28 October 2010

Step #5 - Criminal Records Check (CRC)

This is one of the most important documents you will need to get in order to obtain a Korean visa. It is also one of the documents for which regulations keeps changing.


At the moment,
if you are from the U.S. a state-wide check is acceptable but a local police check is not. HOWEVER, regulations are once again changing and as of the end of 2010 it will be compulsory to get a nation-wide FBI check done. You must therefore make sure that you leave plenty of time to receive this document, as it currently takes approximately 13 weeks to receive the FBI check and another 2 weeks to get it apostilled by the U.S. Department of State.


If you are from the U.K. a Basic Disclosure Certificate will suffice to obtain your visa. I would therefore suggest going to the Disclosure Scotland website and ordering it online. After you receive your certificate, you will need to Apostille it before you send it off to Korea. In order to do this, you will need to have the document notarised.


After you order your certificate online, you will need to send Disclosure Scotland an email telling them that you want your document signed by their notary. There is no extra charge for this and it will save you the hassle of having to pay a lawyer to do it for you for a whole load of dosh!
If you don't order your records check online and you get the local £10 police check, you will need to get it separately notarised by a solicitor/lawyer. This can be expensive, so I do not advise this.


In England, there are two ways of otaining an Apostille. By post and in person.

Via Post

To get your document legalised via post, you will need to go to the FCO website and order your Apostille. At the time of writing, the postal application will cost you £34.80. After you order the Apostille online, print out the receipt that you will receive in your email and send that, along with your CRC, to the following address:

Norfolk House West
437 Silbury Boulevard
Milton Keynes

The turnaround time for this service is usually around 2 days. Any delays in the turnaround time will usually be listed on the FCO website legalisation page. Expect delays after public holidays.

Note: It is advisable to send your Disclosure Certificate to the FCO via registered post for the quickest turnaround time and in order to avoid it getting lost in the post!

In person

If you can get to the FCO office in Milton Keynes, this is by far the most economical option in terms of time. The turnaround time is said to be 90 minutes, however, if you catch a good time of day you can be in and out of the FCO bulding within about 20-30 minutes. I suggest coming in the morning. After lunch the queues start to elongate rapidly.

Norfolk House West
437 Silbury Boulevard
Milton Keynes

If you need to get any other document certified, for example your University degree, there are also a number of solicitors within walking distance (2 mins) of the FCO office.