An official website of the United States government

U.S. Citizen Services
FBI Background Check and Fingerprint Clearance

Individuals requiring a U.S. Criminal History Check are required to apply to the FBI directly. U.S. Embassies and Consulates are unable to provide this service. Information regarding the FBI Criminal History Check, including the required application forms, can be obtained from the FBI’s website



Applications for an FBI Criminal History Check must include a set of your fingerprints on Standard Fingerprint Form (FD-258). The fingerprint form can be downloaded from the FBI’s website and printed on standard white paper stock. The fingerprint impressions can be obtained from local police stations — the U.S. Consulates are unable to take the ink-rolled fingerprints that the FBI require.


Following up on an application

The U.S. Embassy and Consulates General do not directly provide this service, and therefore are unable to give guidance or advise on the status of mailed applications. The FBI’s processing time is approximately 16-18 weeks upon receipt of a complete application. To follow up on the status of the request, please contact the FBI directly at identity@ic.fbi.gov, or +1-304-625-5590.