F-2 visa, possibly in trouble with the FBI CBC



I'm 29 and I've been in Korea for about 5 years on several e-2 visas. Last year I got married and had a kid so now I'm on the f-2 visa. I've been teaching elementary in hagwons the entire time. I am from the US.

My Dilemma:

Up until now, I've only had to do my home-state background check, which is clean. Now, my employer (actually the MOE) is requesting the FBI background check (this isn't a surprise to me, I have been aware of all of the legal changes but my employer insisted that it wasn't urgent so I put it off until now). The trouble is, when I was 19 years old I got arrested for possession of a small amount of marijuana when I was in Kansas (not my home state). The record was expunged and all was well...I thought. So now, I'm waiting for the FBI CBC and biting my nails because everything I'm reading on the internet says that FBI records show even expunged charges. If this were to effect my employment it would make taking care of my family difficult, to say the least.

My questions:
Has anybody cleared visa requirements or MOE requirements with anything on their record?
Has anybody found that the FBI background check did not show an accurate local or state criminal history? 

Is there anything that I can do at the American end or the Korean end to clear this up if a problem turns up?

What kind of career options are there in Korea for someone like me considering this situation?

Am I SOL?  Do I need to urgently work on reworking my family plan?

Re: F-2 visa, possibly in trouble with the FBI CBC

Hey man, 

Situation sucks, seems that Korea is becoming a police state, which is unfortunate if you made a mistake 10 years ago. I have cannot answer your question, but I know that most places other than the MOE do not ask for the FBI check if you are and F-2(now F-6)...

That being said, I am wondering if it is coming soon and keeping a wary eye on the conditions in Japan and elsewhere.

I am also on an F-2, so I have never done the FBI check.

Re: F-2 visa, possibly in trouble with the FBI CBC

(South) Korea, a police state? Hmmm... no. Maybe you should review your understanding of the definition of "police state" my friend.

In any case, I do agree that it sucks that for a mistake you made 10 years ago, you can be barred from finding work in certain places. However, this is not the problem of Korea, but rather the US and how any small offense stays on your dossier forever. I might be wrong, but I think in Canada small offences get deleted from your record after X number of years.

But I don't think it's over the top to ask for a criminal record for teachers teaching kids... Or perhaps you wouldn't mind to send your daughter to a school where teachers might have criminal records?

Re: F-2 visa, possibly in trouble with the FBI CBC

F-2 (F-6) are visas issued to those who marry nationals in korea are they not? shouldn't have anything to do with work. that makes it "police state" (imo). I did MoE for 3 years, did there prescribed blood/drug tests. (luckily the rules didn't change and a hometown search was all that was needed) bunch of bollocks if you ask me, since the korean teachers don't have to. haven't heard or seen any evidence that they go through the same flaming hoops E2 or other visa holders do.

I'm pretty sure when i worked with MoE the korean teachers didn't have those tests done, and i wonder if they have their own criminal background checks. before they hire teachers. should go both ways, but as a guest i suppose they can make "special considerations" (it is their prerogative)

that said, the position i now hold also required a cursory criminal background check and i had it done in korea. seems pretty stupid to have CRC done from cananda when you haven't lived there for 15 years..

gotta love malaysia.

i hope it all works out for you in the end.


Re: F-2 visa, possibly in trouble with the FBI CBC

Lol well my friend you obviously don't know the meaning of "police state" either. OK, since you guys obviously aren't anything close to political scientists, I found the definition of police state on dictionary.com for you two.

police state 

a nation in which the police, especially a secret police, summarily suppresses any social, economic, or political act that conflicts with governmental policy.

Also, could you show me a reliable source that mentions that Korean teachers do NOT need any criminal/background check? I mean is it really such an exaggeration to ask for a criminal check when you are not a native citizen of the country AND you are a teacher, teaching young students?

So far, almost all of the jobs I have had here in Canada have asked for security background check. I have also worked in the past for a Canadian Crown Corporation and I had to pass a medical test (including urine sample), a hearing test, a vision test, and a physical test. And the same is required of teachers here. And we are a developed country, unlike Malaysia. And no, we are not a police state.

Re: F-2 visa, possibly in trouble with the FBI CBC

Easy tiger, it was a joke, one well received by many as the "crack-down" on many a person continues though an extreme few ever cause a problem in Korea( yes I am speaking of the foreign population).

Compared to a few years ago, the hoops to jump though have become ever more arduous though pay has scarcely gone up... working conditions at hagwans have not much improved and the specter of Korea's interest in who a foreigner is, where they are from and what they have done has increased.

I am all for a EVENLY placed Korean/Foreigner background check, meaning everyone gets one, it is simply too random here...

This OP could be a great guy/gal, could be not a great guy/gal. Just don't see punishing him or his families welfare for something that happened 10 years ago, especially when he is working for the MOJ and he is likely working for the same organization who does not require background checks on their own people(my speculation).

On another note, when I have read about crimes committed by foreigners the articles always seem to site the crimes as "on the rise" though they never contrast it with crimes committed by Koreans, I wonder why that is?

Re: F-2 visa, possibly in trouble with the FBI CBC

As far as I know what you commited was a misdemeanor . So i dont know how does that show up on an FBI check    In usa law its same as a parking or speeding ticket  in my knowledge of usa law . Korean law is not valid on usa soil . And usa lalaw is not valid on Korean soil  In Korea  you may dine on dog meat , cat meat , whale meat , but in USA eating such a meal is a felony that gives you a jail cell or a big fine .  A seafood shop owner was  serving whale meat and he was given a fine of usa 50 000  in the los angeles area . Laws of one country are not valid on a other countries soil so I do not see how that shows up on a usa FBI check . At usa universityies   there are boat loads of international students doing what you did or worse . However its just my knowledge I chould be wrong but I would never go by what a teacher told you . Perhaps call the usa embassy , the FBI center , or a lawyer in usa who knows what is on such a report .  Good luck on your matter .   

Re: F-2 visa, possibly in trouble with the FBI CBC

I hope your FBI check comes back clean.

I have an F5 visa which supposedly affords me the same treatment as Korean nationals. If I am asked for extra documents I'll get them but I will be mightily peeved if I am asked for an HIV test if Korean teachers don't have to get it done.

Re: F-2 visa, possibly in trouble with the FBI CBC

Your situation is a bit crap but hoenstly, I don't think it's as dire as you make it sound.

Firstly the CBC is going to be sent to you, not to your school or the ministry.  So you get to check it first and if the record is on you get to just get to burn it and pretend it never came.

If the school ever asks you for it again, just say "I'm waiting for it".  Administrators tend to be pretty lazy so I can't imagine them asking you for it too often. It's most likely they'll ask you if you got it every month or two to which you can just reply "nope, still waiting".

This should at least get you through th end of your contract or give you enough time find alternate work where the CBC is not required (having an F2 your options are wide open).

At the same time, if this is really an issue, I'm sure can hire a lawyer in the states to go through the process of getting this removed from your record.

Re: F-2 visa, possibly in trouble with the FBI CBC

Replying to Dogarse about "getting it removed" from your record.

Such a thing is impossible because of the way the justice system works. Even if your record is "expunged" it will still show on your record with an annotating stating that the record was 'expunged." Now an expungement shouldn't count against you but it most likely will. 

I'd like some clarification on how the Korean government utilizes the FBI CBC. Whether it is used by the employer to make a hiring judgement, or if there's a statute in play that prevents any employer from hiring someone with ANY record.


Re: F-2 visa, possibly in trouble with the FBI CBC

I'm not familiar with the way the CBC works exactly. Is the CBC supplied to the school so it can be sent to the Ministry of Education, or just as a document to help employers filter employees?

If the latter, and you know the boss you could always explain your situation and present yourself honestly.  But if its out of the employer's hands, I'm sorry.

TBH the FBI CBC is SO unreliable, so how it turns out for you can be a bit of a dice roll. It's painful how unreliable, and how inaccurate the FBI CBC can be, and even the FBI insists that its CBC records check shouldn't be used for employment purposes, but hey, that's another thread.

To give you a flicker of hope...

One way the FBI CBC works is that it gather's your local/state records via law enforcement/judiciary establishments. Each state actually has control of what records to actually send to the FBI. Lots of times, it doesn't report old AND low misdemeanor crimes.


Some states, not all, classify their misdemeanors. (i.e. Class, A, B, and C) some states like California do not, but do distinguish a high level misdemeanor and low level misdemeanor, and oftentimes these are left out of the FBI's CBC. If your record is old and is a low level marijuana possession charge, there's a solid chance it won't show.


Good luck

Re: F-2 visa, possibly in trouble with the FBI CBC

do you mean the crimes commited by koreans in korea  or the crimes commited by koreans in other cocontries         a few years ago there was the  shotter at Virginia Tech   do you remember where he was from ?   Well he was korean american meaning he was born in korea           but the korean media blamed  america for turning the apple bad     its called a doub le standard my friends    

Re: F-2 visa, possibly in trouble with the FBI CBC

Simply pointing out that crimes committed by foreigners are not contrasted with crimes committed by Koreans(in Korea).

Also of note, is that English teachers are in my understanding, the smallest group of foreigners(in terms of numbers) in Korea.

Re: F-2 visa, possibly in trouble with the FBI CBC

What I want to know, and I don't mean to hijack or start a flame war,

Is do you think F Visas and Gyopos will be given better consideration when it comes to the FBI CBC vs E-2 ones?


To the OP:


Stay positive man. Remember records shown from FBI CBC only reflect 70-90% of what the local, and state authorities choose to report to the FBI. So if your misdemeanor was a low level one, and if your local/state authority doesn't report so much, then you have a good chance it might not show.



Re: F-2 visa, possibly in trouble with the FBI CBC

I'm surprised you posted this! I hope you realize that they may trace the address. I hope you wrote this at Pc Ban, or just blame a mate(lol). Nevertheless, I think you'll be OK to be honest. It's a misdemeanor, you should be good. However, it's the kind of crime they like finger us for. If you haven't left Korea, why cant you do a normal Police check by the local police forces?

Re: F-2 visa, possibly in trouble with the FBI CBC

Traffic/parking tickets are not misdemeanors....to whoever made that French Train of a comment...

I know of someone who was arrested for driving without a licence...it is a misdemeanor...it also showed up on his FBI CBC....what didn't show up was his 20 plus speeding tickets which were the reason for his license being taken away in the first place....

Also...the CBC doesn't always or maybe never, show what you did. In my friend's case, it just shows a case number, a bunch of random codes, and your penalty...in that case, $250. So, you may be ok. Think positively.

Re: F-2 visa, possibly in trouble with the FBI CBC

I think it's BS that petty charges from a long time ago can stop you from teaching.  I know some teachers back home that have/are teaching with a background from their teenage days of possession.  I know they don't understand it here but... if you are screwed, this guy explains why the CBC process is a failure, aka, how you can get back a clean background check.  http://www.expathell.com/?p=4111

Re: F-2 visa, possibly in trouble with the FBI CBC

as far as I know   there are not many crimes commited by native teachers in pusan . I cant think of one . The people i know are not like that      they are hardworking people  . Perhaps i am wearing rose colored glasses but can anyone name some crimcrimes by native teachers        Sure some teachers were using drugs so thats why teachers are drug tested now . But besiedes that crime can you name some crimes teachers have done . I cant think of any . please help me .    

Re: F-2 visa, possibly in trouble with the FBI CBC

Well I am kind of with Robert on this one.

Also it is actually a bit jilarious the way all this has evolved.  Because when I got my first E-2 visa it was the fall  of 1996 and at that time I was fingerprinted and had no problems with it.  Maybe this is because I went through this process at least three times there, twice by the federal government and once by a local police department.  Eventhough I have never been arrested convited or book for a crime.

Then in 2004 when I needed to get a police check to start with the EPIK program I needed a police check but could not find anyone to do the fingerprints for me, although I had the card.  Immigration told me that they had stopped doing this because som many foreigners complained about it.  (Which I really do not understand why they would do so.  This is also done for your own good.  )

Re: F-2 visa, possibly in trouble with the FBI CBC

In Feb for a part time job i was told to get a drug test . They wanted it to be within 3 months .  Today I was told for a part time job the education board needs a drug test for an F visa within a month . Anyone else heard of this . Drug test cost near 100 000 .

Re: F-2 visa, possibly in trouble with the FBI CBC

Public Service announcement  (PSA)

Yesterday  some undercover Korean police came to my friends school .They were looking for illegal teachers . None were found . I heard the fine for illegal teaching is   10 000 000 for the school and 10 000 000 for the teacher .

Re: F-2 visa, possibly in trouble with the FBI CBC


Its dangerous to teach at someone apt .  Since there are many spies there . The guard downstairs or someone living next door may report you due to racism or jealousy  or simple greed . If a Korean reports an illegal teacher and he /she gets caught  they will get some money . In order to teach privately you need a license from the education board . Many Korean teachers have no licence so when they teach privately they are breaking the law too .   But they are not so easily seen when they go in apt since they are korean .      

Re: F-2 visa, possibly in trouble with the FBI CBC

29 june


first, dont stress about this; it could make you sick (really)

secondly, though koreans may seem rather dense, they are able to see your past charge for what it is.  you are not living in north korea.


just wait for the paper, i'm sure everything will be fine


if you cant work in korea anymore, you could try the middle east, specifically kuwait or uae or oman........i worked in kuwait teacing at the oil company there......3800usd/mo, tax free plus they threw in a free lux apartment with maid service 3x week


chillout dude



Re: F-2 visa, possibly in trouble with the FBI CBC

"Money is nice but not if you are killed or kidnapped ."

Looks like you've watched FOX TV slightly too much. How about getting out of your box and learning about the world? No, the middle east is not all about talibans and car hijackings. Kuwait has the highest GDP per capita in the world last time I checked. How about educating yourself before making this kind of comment?

Re: F-2 visa, possibly in trouble with the FBI CBC

Sorry mate , Never mentioned a car jacking . I just asked a simple question How is the taliban in that country . Perhaps you dont know that much english .

A car jacking is taking control of a car with a weapon .

a kidnapping is taking control of a person with a weapon .

Yea a know many people in that region get a government check for not even working . But even if they got alot of oil there   is still many people who are poor in those countries .

Yea a know Kuwait .Papa

Bush saved their asses when Saddam took control of Kuwait . THat led to the Desert Storm of the early 90s I clean fast war . After the war  Kuwait got their country .

so whats the answer is taliban strong in Kuwait ? Just answer the question yes or no without any anger You seem to be supersensitive about people thinking what is Kuwait so just help uswith your info 

Re: F-2 visa, possibly in trouble with the FBI CBC

It's quite ironic that you write that I perhaps don't know that much English, seeing the way you are butchering the English language yourself. You literally can't write a sentence without misspelling 2 or 3 words or without butchering the syntax.

In any case, perhaps you could direct me to the sources where you read that the Taliban are so strong in Kuwait? Because I've personally never heard about any Taliban power base being located in Kuwait, nor about any "kidnappings" or English teachers being killed in there. I'd love if you could enlighten me.

Re: F-2 visa, possibly in trouble with the FBI CBC

Actually Taliban was founded to fight the Russian Rebels in Afgan . They were funded greatly by the USA .That means USA gave them money and weapons .  It was a time of USA vs USSR . Yes its an Afgan group but it has ties with international terror groups like Abosaef , and the more Known Alkida . And its agents work all over the world .   The term Taliban is used for terror groups   the more correct term is ALkida but most people used the terms interchangeably .  Its leader was the well known Osama Bin Ladin . Sometime in his relationship with the USA it went from ally to enemy .   

Re: F-2 visa, possibly in trouble with the FBI CBC

Nice try mate  IRA is  a domestic organization      where as  Taliban , Abuasef , Alkada are global terror groups . IN no way can you compare IRA to those terrror groups .