University Human Resources
Background Checks Q & A
Q: What is the university’s policy on when it is necessary to conduct a criminal background check on a foreign national?
A: If the person has been in the United States for over one year, the university’s policy is to conduct a criminal background check covering that period of time using the normal GIS process. A criminal history check in the individual’s prior countries of residence is to be performed only if the individual’s visa and/or authorization to work in the United States was issued before implementation of the Patriot Act on October 24, 2001. The university will not require that a criminal history check be conducted in the individual’s prior countries of residence if the visa or authorization to work was issued or renewed under the provisions of the Patriot Act.
Q: What information does GIS need to conduct the search? (As a new resident in the United States an international applicant may or may not have a Social Security number and even if they do, it will be new without any credit history associated with it.)
A: All of the required fields have a red asterisk next to them in the standard GIS application. If they are a new resident they should technically have a SSN. If the person is not a resident, and they are simply visiting from another country, then that country should be selected from the country drop down box when initiating the order. The order form will dynamically update to ask for the required information for that country. For example, if the applicant is from Canada, the Web form will change slightly by asking for the social insurance number. Likewise, if the candidate is from France, the Web form will ask for the candidate's personal identification number.
Q: What are the costs and where can a user find out the cost?
A: Please contact your campus human resources office for the cost of a search for a particular country.
Q: Are Canadian searches the same price as the U.S.?
A: Canadian searches are different from the United States in that the entire country must be searched through the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police). The price of a search in all of Canada is $62.00 in 2005. Please contact your campus human resources office to determine if there has been a change in this cost.
Q: How long does it take to perform an international search?
A: International turnaround time typically is around 7 to 10 business days.
Q: Are there countries for which GIS recommends not doing a search? Is there such a list or how does a user learn which countries are on that list if it exists?
A: There are countries for which GIS recommends not doing a search, however, they change from time to time. Your campus human resources office will contact GIS if there is a question about the country in which you are interested in conducting a background check.
Q: What type of screening does the State Department do on a person entering the country and requesting a work permit? What does it consists of and are the results available to IU as an employer?
A: They access the FBI's NCIC (National Crime Information Center) to conduct the criminal portion. GIS does have a partnership with the largest visa processing company in the nation--Visa Now. Visa Now is a relatively inexpensive way to quickly automate an employer's visa processing program by using pre-populated forms and internet technology. This solution may be a good fit for certain departments. Contact GIS to meet their sales representative.
Q: Is the process any different if the person: (1) has just arrived, (2) is not yet in the U.S., or (3) has lived in the United States for a period of time?
A: The process should be identical regardless of whether the person has just arrived, has lived in the U.S., or is not yet in the U.S. The key is to select the appropriate country from the drop down box when initiating an order.