Guide to Get a Police Clearance Certificate (Police Background Check) in South Korea with Wonderful
Updated: Nov 3
The Police Clearance Certificate or a Background Check Certificate is one of the documents that most of foreign nationals who have lived in Korea might need when they go back home. Typically many jobs such as teaching posts require for the applicant to submit a Police Clearance Certificate to prove that you did not commit any crimes during your stay. You might also need it if you are applying for an immigrant visa in another country such as the USA, you might also need one to prove your past criminal record.
The process to apply for a Police Clearance Certificate has been fairly well documented on this website for the Montreal Korean consulate. For most people this option should work, that is if you are able to go to the Korean embassy in your country in person to make the application. However, due to Covid-19, there have been many restrictions on movement, which has made this option much harder.
Based on recent requests, Wonderful has conducted research on how to help navigate this issue, if the embassy option is not available for you. The requirements for the certificate are the same for foreign applicants from all nationalities, despite their current residence status. The documents needed are:
Application form for Criminal background check
A recent passport size colour photo (3x4)
A valid passport (if current passport is different from the passport during your stay, then you need to bring both passports)
A passport used in Korea (when apply for ARC card)
A copy of your ARC card or a Korean visa
If your name is changed by marriage etc. you are also required to provide a notarized document to prove your identity.
For foreign nationals currently living in Korea, you should be able to go to the nearest police station with the documents and request for a 범죄경력조회 in Korean and they would assist with the process.
Please note that under Korean law it is ILLEGAL to request for a police background check that includes the lapsed record for any purposes other than checking your own criminal history. We have received this request a number of times, and it seems that some countries ask for this when applying for citizenship. However, Korean law forbids anyone (Korean or foreigner) from requesting for the record to submit to any other institution or third party. Therefore, you can only apply for police criminal background checks that does not have the lapsed record.
If you are not in Korea and do not have access to the Korean consulate, then these two options might be helpful for you.
By applying directly to The Korean National Police Agency
You can apply to the Korean National Police Agency via international courier. However, you would be required to add a finger print identification document from your country's police authority along with the basic required documents. You can find the format for the fingerprint documents by clicking the link. All your applications forms must be completed in handwriting, and you would then address the package/documents to the following Korean address:
Korean National Police Agency
Sinwonban, Foreign Affairs and Planning Division,
97, Tongil-ro, Seodaemun-gu,
[120-704] Seoul Korea. +82-2-3150-2676
When the Korean National Policy Agency issues the certificate, they will contact you, then you need to contact the international courier service to pick up your certificate and deliver it back for you.
Wonderful can assist with scheduling a courier service such as DHL/Fedex to pick up items locally and ship them to your location, as well as following up with them in case there are any issues with shipping them to Korea. Wonderful can make the payment on your behalf as well.
By applying through 3rd person (family, friends or agency)
Alternatively, if you have a friend or relative in Korea, then you might also be able to have your friend make the application on your behalf. You would be required to provide a Power of Attorney form, including your friend's fingerprints identification document.
Regarding our pricing, we charge for the time taken working on your request at 800 KRW/min (There is a 15% discount for first time users), and you can get a refund on the remaining time within 3 months. There are NO processing fees when you pay us via bank wire transfer. (You will pay only the cost of the item(s)). When we charge your bank card, there is an 8.5% processing fee that goes to the payment processor for their services. We do NOT benefit from this fee. For more information regarding our pricing, please follow this link.
You might also find these links useful: