The importance of international background checks
Whether you’re expanding globally or seeking candidates with international experience, including international background checks benefits your organization.
It’s important to be consistent with your company’s screening policy and conduct screenings on all new hires.
Protect your company, customers and employees by hiring trustworthy, qualified candidates.
Make informed decisions
Understand your candidate’s complete background, no matter where they’ve lived, before you hire.
What you’ll learn from international background checks
Get a complete picture of your candidate’s background, no matter where they’ve lived, studied, or worked.
Check employment history
Verify each previous international employer listed to confirm dates of employment and titles or positions.
Verify education credentials
Confirm attendance dates as well as degrees, diplomas, or certificates earned in the US or one of 200+ countries.
Understand criminal history
Review criminal records returned for the country selected as well as possible inclusion on a global watchlist.
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Checkr’s global background checks
Checkr’s global screening suite eliminates the hassle of disparate systems. With an offering that includes global background checks in 200+ countries, you can manage domestic and international checks in a single platform built to promote compliance, including data privacy laws.
International criminal search
An in-country search leveraging multi-jurisdictional repositories, database and agency sources to return major offense conviction records. Available in 200+ countries in which criminal screenings are allowed.
Global watchlist records
Determine whether a candidate is listed on a domestic or international watchlist for criminal activity or sanctions, including the FBI and Interpol’s most wanted lists, OFAC and Department of State sanction lists, and more.
Adverse media search
In nations where third-party access to criminal record information is restricted, adverse media checks can be performed which access public sanctions lists, media sources, and other public and private record repositories.
International education verification
Verify a candidate’s national and international education credentials of any educational level such as high school, college and post-grad. May be used to confirm degree received, course of study, and dates of attendance.
International employment verification
Verify a candidate’s last three employers—domestic or international. Reports may include employer name, dates of employment, position or title held, employment gaps, comments, and salary when available.
International identity document verification
A multi-level validation across three document types—passport, driver’s license, national ID—to help evaluate whether the identity document presented is authentic and not stolen, lost, expired or invalid.
- Select a topic to scroll directly to it:
- What is an international background check?
- How to do an international background check
- How much does an international background check cost?
- What compliance laws do global background screenings require?
- Add international background checks to your screening program with Checkr
frequently asked questions
Learn more about international background checks
International background checks enable employers to screen job candidates who have lived, worked, or attended school outside of the US. Below, we’ll delve deeper into the screening process and provide information on what the check is, when international background checks for employment are required, how long the process takes, and more.
What is an international background check?
An international background check is a type of screening used for job candidates who are living and working outside of the United States or for those who have previously worked, lived, or attended school in another country.
A global background check may include the following:
- Criminal history may be included in an international criminal search and determines if a candidate has a criminal record. Depending on where the applicant has lived or worked, an international criminal background check searches the appropriate database for any criminal offenses in the country selected. This search reveals any major offense conviction records.
- A global watchlist search determines whether a candidate is listed on a domestic or international watchlist. The search checks numerous international, government, and regulatory databases to determine if the individual has criminal activity or sanctions in a foreign country, including the FBI and Interpol’s most wanted lists.
- Education verification confirms academic credentials, both nationally and internationally, and may include dates of attendance, degrees received, and course of study.
- Employment verification confirms a candidate’s last three employers (domestic or international), and may also include dates of employment, titles held, employment gaps, and salary when available.
- Identity document verification is the process of validating a candidate’s passport, driver’s license, or national ID to help confirm the document is authentic. This search helps reveal if the document is stolen, lost, expired or invalid.
- An adverse media check may be included in situations where third-party access to criminal record information is restricted. This search accesses public sanction lists, media sources, and other public or private repositories to find any negative media associated with the candidate.
Performing an international background check for employment enables you to make informed hiring decisions to ensure candidates have the appropriate qualifications for the position.
How to do an international background check
Conducting an international background check is similar to running a background check in the US, but may require a few additional steps, supplementary documents, and additional time. The following is how to do a background check on an international person:
- Determine which checks are needed. Depending on your company screening policy and the position, you may consider different checks, such as education verification, employment history, criminal record, and more.
- Learn more about background check laws and requirements in each country. This can be a difficult part in the global screening process as each country has different laws regarding which information is available for release, as well as the type of documents required for submission by the candidate. For example, France only allows employers to order background checks relevant to the job position. Employers may wish to use a third-party provider, like Checkr, to more easily determine what information can be obtained and help maintain compliance.
- Obtain authorization. Prior to running a background check, you must obtain consent from the individual. This is true for candidates both inside and outside of the US. Failure to do so may result in legal consequences. Additionally, should a candidate currently reside in the US, federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) disclosure and authorization requirements apply.
- Order the check. With authorization obtained, you can now order the background check from a qualified screening provider, like Checkr.
How much does an international background check cost?
The cost of an international background check will vary depending on which searches are included and which screening provider you use. The screening can cost as little as $30 or as much as $500. At Checkr, international background checks range from $32 to $300, depending on the country you’re searching in and which screening packages you select. Background screenings that include a single check such as a criminal record are typically less expensive than those that also verify employment or education history.
What compliance laws do global background screenings require?
If you order a global background screening, you must comply with the laws specific to the country where the individual is being screened.
In the US, companies must comply with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) when using a consumer reporting agency for background checks for employment purposes. The FCRA regulates who can have access to information about an individual’s credit or record history, how the information is collected, what information appears on a background check, and how background checks are used.
When screening international candidates, employers must remain compliant and adhere to any applicable international data protection laws. For example, if applicable, when screening individuals in Europe, employers and consumer reporting agencies must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which ensures personal data is kept secure. When a background check is performed on someone residing in the EU, regardless of their citizenship, they receive protections included in the GDPR.
It’s crucial to ensure your international background check process complies with applicable regulations to help mitigate the risk of private lawsuits or other legal ramifications. Using a qualified, professional screening provider like Checkr helps make compliance easier.
Add international background checks to your screening program with Checkr
While international background checks can help ensure you’re hiring qualified candidates, the process can be complex. Using a qualified background screening provider, like Checkr, can simplify the process. We conduct background checks in more than 200 countries on a single platform, allowing you to easily scale your hiring and screen candidates from around the world.
Checkr is designed to promote fair and compliant practices no matter where you’re hiring. From global watchlist and criminal record checks to employment and education verification, Checkr’s background check platform eliminates the administrative hassle and lowers risk of global background checks. Get started today.
The resources provided here are for educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. We advise you to consult your own counsel if you have legal questions related to your specific practices and compliance with applicable laws.
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