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International Criminal
Records Search

International Criminal History Records Search
An International Criminal History Records Search is a search for criminal history outside the United States. Criminal Records Checks are available to some extent in most countries of the world.
Why Do International Criminal Records Searches
Employers have a moral and legal obligation to provide a safe work environment. Knowing whether a potential employee has been involved in criminal activity (such as drug or other substance abuse, reckless behavior, dishonesty, theft, or dangerous and violent behaviors) allows the employer to determine if an applicant is appropriate for the job and work environment. International Criminal Records Searches allow an employer to research locations where the applicant has spent time outside of the United States. This search provides an important element for the defense against negligent hiring claims.

What are the Sources of an International Criminal Records Search?
City Police Records are the primary source for International Criminal Records Searches. In some countries, record searches are available at the national, state or province level. In most nations, each city, state, or province must be searched to determine if a criminal history exists in that particular jurisdiction.

What are the Weaknesses of an International Criminal Records Search?
One of the greatest weaknesses of International Criminal Records Searches is the limited scope of any particular jurisdiction. There is normally no national source for criminal records. In most nations, each city, state, or province must be searched to determine if a criminal history exists in that particular jurisdiction. Each jurisdiction also has its own rules and regulations as to how records are kept and released. Most International Criminal Record Searches only cover a period of two to three years.

The researcher also has the challenge of identifying if the applicant has been involved in a case. If an applicant has a common name, the researcher may find many cases that need to be reviewed. Research is also sometimes required to interpret the local "legalese" (or court language) used. Once a case has been identified, the case information must be properly compiled into a report for the customer.

In addition to the limited scope of any particular international jurisdiction, the cost of these searches is substantially higher than the cost of a criminal record check in the United States, and the turnaround time is substantially longer. Few employers have the resources and time to search every criminal court in a country. Wise choices must be made to determine which jurisdictions to search.

How Long Does an International Criminal Records Search Take?
The turnaround time for International Criminal Records Searches varies widely. Results can be returned in as little as three to four days but can also take six months or more. The most common turnaround time is 3 to 10 business days. Patience is the key with International Criminal Record Searches.

What is Our Recommendation for an International Criminal Records Search?
International Background Checks should be conducted on any prospective employees who have spent time outside of the United States. Checking International Criminal Records provides an important element for the defense against negligent hiring claims.

Note: Federal, state and local laws and regulations are rapidly evolving regarding employer inquiries into and use of applicant/employee criminal records. See Background Check Laws and Regulations and Employment Background Check Blog. It is the employer's responsibility to stay current with changing legal requirements. A Matter of Fact is not a law firm and cannot provide legal advice. It is important that employers work with counsel to develop an employment screening program specific to their needs. Employers should obtain legal advice concerning their legal responsibilities, and to ensure that background check documents, policies and procedures are in compliance with applicable local, state and federal laws and regulations. For more see Legal Disclaimer.

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