how to get the FBI background check

On July 22, 2022, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued Resolution 5477, establishing some changes in Colombian visas. One of the new requirements is the certificate of judicial, criminal, or police record of the country of origin or residence. 

As we know, this is new information for those foreigners who wish to start a Colombian visa process. Here, we bring you step-by-step how to request your rap sheet, so you can comply with all the requirements and have a successful application.

What is the FBI Background Certificate?


a).  Sample of FBI Criminal Record Certificate

The U.S. criminal record certificate is a document that certifies whether a person has a criminal, judicial or disciplinary record. 

On the other hand, the certificate by the FBI lists specific data taken from fingerprints, with information related to arrest and arrest charges.

From where does the background certificate have to be issued?

The competent entity of your country of origin or residence must issue this certificate. For the case of the United States, we recommend requesting a background check from the FBI. 

You can request your judicial records on the Colombian National Police website if you are a Colombian resident. Also, remember that the Colombian government may require your criminal records from your country of origin.

What are the initial characteristics of the FBI criminal record certificate?

Like all documents issued from abroad, the U.S. criminal record certificate issued by the FBI must be updated, apostilled, officially translated into Spanish, and with an issue date of less than three months

Likewise, all documents must have the following characteristics to be accepted and valid for visa processes:

-Up-to-date date (date of issue cannot be older than three months).

-Full and legible name of the client

-Signature and official logo of the entity, in this case, the FBI.

Please note that with the above certificate, the application process may begin, but the Colombian government, at its discretion, may request additional information.

What happens if there is a registered record in the report?

Although it is possible to try to apply for a Colombian visa, the applicant must keep in mind that with a registered record (even if it is expired), the Colombian government may decide to deny or deny the application.

How to apply for the FBI criminal record?

The FBI offers three ways to request your rap sheet: 

  1. Online
  2. Mail. 
  3. FBI-approved channeler.

Let’s get started!

Step-by-step to request FBI criminal records online

  1. Click here
  2. Enter your e-mail address and select submit.
Submit fbi record request

3. You will receive an e-mail with a link to complete the online application and a PIN. Important: to review your request’s status and results, you’ll need the same link and PIN.

identity history sumary request

Important: to know the status and result of your application, you must log in through the same link and use the same PIN.

4. Click on the link, select continue and enter the Pin.

5. Accept the privacy terms and enter your data.

6. Enter your mailing address.

7. Select your preferences.

8. Send the card with fingerprints

  • If you are in the U.S, you can go to a post office to have your fingerprints taken. See the list of participating U.S post offices
  • If you are outside the U.S, you must send your fingerprint card, using the form FD-258, along with a copy of the confirmation e-mail to: 

FBI CJIS Division


1000 Custer Hollow Road

Clarksburg, WV 26306

For those in Medellín, the company Inveatentos offers the service of fingerprinting at home.

  1. Proceed with payment.

How long does the FBI background process take?

Once the FBI receives your fingerprint card, you’ll receive the results within 3 to 5 days. Please take into account that if your fingerprints are rejected this may cause a delay in your visa application process.

US FBI criminal record certificate via traditional mail

2. Fingerprinting: perform fingerprinting on a standard fingerprint form (FD-1164). This service may be available at your local police department.

3. Payment: make payment either by credit card payment form or by money order or certified check for USD 18 made payable to the Treasury of the United States.

4. Send mail the signed applicant information form, fingerprint card, and payment for USD 18 to the following address:

FBI CJIS Division – Summary Request

1000 Custer Hollow Road

Clarksburg, WV 26306

5. Response: if you do not have a record, you will receive, via mail, a document certifying that you have no prior arrests on file with the FBI, or you will receive a criminal history summary if you do have a record.

US FBI Criminal Record Certificate through approved channeler

These approved channelers help expedite the delivery of identity history checks, and it works as follows:

  • They receive your application, along with relevant fingerprints and personal data.
  • You pay the fee to them.
  • The selected channeler sends your fingerprint card and necessary information to the FBI.
  • They receive the result of the background check and share it with you.

You can check the list of the different channelers authorized by the FBI here.

How to apostille your FBI criminal record?

You can use the UPS apostille service in the United States or Colombia. It has a cost of 260 USD. 

The shipping of the apostilled document costs 30 USD domestically and 80 USD internationally. 

To request the apostille service with UPS, fill out this three-step form: 

  1. Enter your personal information

2. Enter your shipping information.

3. Attach your FBI criminal record and make payment.

Trust your processes to experts

We know the implementation of the new Resolution 5477 brings many doubts among the expatriate community, as it comes with new requirements and restrictions that the previous resolution didn’t request. 

Although this can be interpreted as a higher demand to acquire a Colombian visa, the truth is that it is still a process with high success rates if you meet all the criteria. 

That is why we invite you to consult with experts to increase your chances of successfully obtaining your Colombian visa.

Contact us