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FBI background checks

Discussion forum for expats moving to or living in New Zealand.

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FBI background checks

Post Posted: Sat May 13, 2006 12:55 am

I am an American wishing to emmigrate to New Zealand--was wondering if any other american's had to do the back ground checks through the FBI and what did it entail--what do they check for and can we go through the local police or does it have to be the FBI--ANY help would be very much appreciated---and NO!!!! I AM NOT A CRIMINAL--just curious---(lol)--thanks--you can IM me or what every you do in here--this is my first time posting...thanks


Re: FBI background checks

Post Posted: Sun May 14, 2006 6:44 pm

I didn't know NZ required these checks for immigration but a quick google confirmed there is something to it. Crazy, since the crims in NZ just get let loose. Myself immigrating to the US only required my affidavit saying I have no convictions.

Here is a block of text I found that might help:

"...as far as I know, the local/state police are not involved in any of the checking. All US checks go through the FBI office (CJIS) in Clarksburg, WV. The only thing you'll need from the local/state police is the actual fingerprinting (just tell them it's for a FBI criminal background check, it's form FD-258). My wife and I just had ours done at the county sherrif's office for US$10 a piece. It was rather nice too as they didn't use ink (all computer-based now, a lot less messy). Per the NZIS documentation, be sure to include:

1. Letter signed by all fingerprint card submitters stating that you require a background check as you are applying for residence in New Zealand (must be signed by ALL fingerprint card holders)
2. A cashier's check or money order (no personal checks, cash, or credit cards) for $18 made out to the "Treasury Department of the United States" . Also note that it is $18 for EACH fingerprint card included. For my wife and I it's $36.
3. Mail it to:

FBI CJIS Division – Record Request
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, West Virginia 26306

You can view www.fbi.gov/hq/cjisd/fprequest.htm


Re: FBI background checks

Post Posted: Sun May 21, 2006 5:19 am

Hi Shane,

I had to do the same thing when I migrated to Australia. It's fairly straightforward -- just follow the instructions on the website in Paul's post. It takes anywhere from 8 to 10 weeks to process, BUT if you put a deadline on the envelope, they will try to have it back by that date. If you're not a criminal ;), they just send back the fingerprint card laminated with a stamp on it. Then you're good to go!

Yes, the things we do to migrate...


Yanks Down Under - Americans living in Australia


Re: FBI background checks

Post Posted: Mon May 29, 2006 10:47 am

- shanenme1999

I am an American wishing to emmigrate to New Zealand--was wondering if any other american's had to do the back ground checks through the FBI and what did it entail--what do they check for and can we go through the local police or does it have to be the FBI--ANY help would be very much appreciated---and NO!!!! I AM NOT A CRIMINAL--just curious---(lol)--thanks--you can IM me or what every you do in here--this is my first time posting...thanks


Background check is good, but the only thing that annoy's me is to see my own record. showing my driver, high school collage, ssn, etc. see www.backgroundcheck-explorer.com, thats where i tried to run mine, though my ssn shows up.


Re: FBI background checks

Post Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 10:46 pm

Unles syou have had a serious mark on yoru record, I wouldn't worry. In most places you can get a fingerprint card from local authorities (police, immegration, etc) then send it to the FBI.

I have had many a speeding ticket and nothing showed up. So I am sure you will be fine.

Good luck.


On my way from USA to NZ in November!


Re: FBI background checks

Post Posted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 6:33 pm

This is what and why the FBI background check immigrants coming into the USA.
Why USCIS Conducts Security Checks

USCIS conducts security checks for all cases involving a petition or application for an immigration service or benefit. This is done both to enhance national security and ensure the integrity of the immigration process. USCIS is responsible for ensuring that our immigration system is not used as a vehicle to harm our nation or its citizens by screening out people who seek immigration benefits improperly or fraudulently. These security checks have yielded information about applicants involved in violent crimes, sex crimes, crimes against children, drug trafficking and individuals with known links to terrorism. These investigations require time, resources, and patience and USCIS recognizes that the process is slower for some customers than they would like. Because of that, USCIS is working closely with the FBI and other agencies to speed the background check process. However, USCIS will never grant an immigration service or benefit before the required security checks are completed regardless of how long those checks take.

How Immigration Security Checks Work

To ensure that immigration benefits are given only to eligible applicants, USCIS adopted background security check procedures that address a wide range of possible risk factors. Different kinds of applications undergo different levels of scrutiny. USCIS normally uses the following three background check mechanisms but maintains the authority to conduct other background investigations as necessary:

• The Interagency Border Inspection System (IBIS) Name Check— IBIS is a multi-agency effort with a central system that combines information from multiple agencies, databases and system interfaces to compile data relating to national security risks, public safety issues and other law enforcement concerns. USCIS can quickly check information from these multiple government agencies to determine if the information in the system affects the adjudication of the case. Results of an IBIS check are usually available immediately. In some cases, information found during an IBIS check will require further investigation. The IBIS check is not deemed completed until all eligibility issues arising from the initial system response are resolved.

• FBI Fingerprint Check—FBI fingerprint checks are conducted for many applications. The FBI fingerprint check provides information relating to criminal background within the United States. Generally, the FBI forwards responses to USCIS within 24-48 hours. If there is a record match, the FBI forwards an electronic copy of the criminal history (RAP sheet) to USCIS. At that point, a USCIS adjudicator reviews the information to determine what effect it may have on eligibility for the benefit. Although the vast majority of inquiries yield no record or match, about 10 percent do uncover criminal history (including immigration violations). In cases involving arrests or charges without disposition, USCIS requires the applicant to provide court certified evidence of the disposition. Customers with prior arrests should provide complete information and certified disposition records at the time of filing to avoid adjudication delays or denial resulting from misrepresentation about criminal history. Even expunged or vacated convictions must be reported for immigration purposes.

• FBI Name Checks—FBI name checks are also required for many applications. The FBI name check is totally different from the FBI fingerprint check. The records maintained in the FBI name check process consist of administrative, applicant, criminal, personnel and other files compiled by law enforcement. Initial responses to this check generally take about two weeks. In about 80 percent of the cases, no match is found. Of the remaining 20 percent, most are resolved within six months. Less than one percent of cases subject to an FBI name check remain pending longer than six months. Some of these cases involve complex, highly sensitive information and cannot be resolved quickly. Even after FBI has provided an initial response to USCIS concerning a match, the name check is not complete until full information is obtained and eligibility issues arising from it are resolved. --- Independent background free people search done by the private sector is not accepted by USCIS or the FBI. However, the information obtained from a private sector background check can let you know the type of information that the FBI is likely to find out about on the immigrant.

For most applicants, the process outlined above allows USCIS to quickly determine if there are criminal or security related issues in the applicant’s background that affect eligibility for immigration benefits. Most cases proceed forward without incident. However, due to both the sheer volume of security checks USCIS conducts, and the need to ensure that each applicant is thoroughly screened, some delays on individual applications are inevitable. Background checks may still be considered pending when either the FBI or relevant agency has not provided the final response to the background check or when the FBI or agency has provided a response, but the response requires further investigation or review by the agency or USCIS. Resolving pending cases is time-consuming and labor-intensive; some cases legitimately take months or even several years to resolve. Every USCIS District Office performs regular reviews of the pending caseload to determine when cases have cleared and are ready to be decided. USCIS does not share information about the records match or the nature or status of any investigation with applicants or their representatives.


Re: FBI background checks

Post Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 4:41 pm

- shanenme1999

I am an American wishing to emmigrate to New Zealand--was wondering if any other american's had to do the back ground checks through the FBI and what did it entail

Your question has been answered and I couldn't help anyway but the post made me realise just how much things have changed.

When I arrived in NZ (from the UK) back in 1973 I gave my British passport to the immigration guy and when he asked how long I planned to stay I told him I thought I might be staying permanently. All he said was good on ya mate, hope you enjoy the country -- and then he stamped my passport permanent resident.

No forms, no applications. Just bought a plane ticket and went. Simpler times.


Regular Poster
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