IU-specific Procedures
Background Checks Q&A:
International Applicants

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 background check process using GIS. 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 GIS system. If they are a new resident they should technically have a SSN. If they do not have a SSN enter all 9’s in the GIS SSN field.

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).

Q: How long does it take to perform an international search?

A: International search 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: 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.

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.