How Long Does An FBI Background Check Take?

Last Updated on May 11, 2022 by Fair Punishment Team

An FBI background check is usually carried out with employment checks and helps employers recognize potential employees’ criminal backgrounds and sensitive information.

Background checks can take a while, and they can be a pain to speed up. In this article, we will tell you about the average time you will wait for an FBI background check and how to speed up the process.

What Is An FBI Background Check?

FBI background checks are carried out to determine a potential job applicant’s criminal and background history. The background check is usually carried out for jobs in law, federal and state jobs, government jobs, and medical jobs.

Any job with a serious and reputable role will require an FBI background check. An FBI background check will tell employers whether employees have fingerprint records, along with a comprehensive background of their criminal history, if applicable.

How Far Back Does An FBI Background Check Go?

FBI checks provide a comprehensive background history, but they cannot provide a full background history from the start.

FBI background checks can legally only check your criminal history within the last seven years. Any records you may have that are older than seven years will not be considered in regards to your potential employment.

How Long Does An FBI Background Check Take?

The FBI carries out fingerprint checks as well as background history checks. The average time frame you will be waiting for an FBI background check to be completed in, is four weeks, and this is rare.

If an employer requests a background check electronically, it will be received with a fingerprint card. This will take up to five business days, and it also depends on the mail service carrier.

If the employer has requested for the form to be sent back via mail, they may be waiting an extra week or so. If your potential employer requests a background check in the mail, they will be waiting approximately 2-4 weeks for the completion of the check, including getting the form there and back.

Why Would My Background Check Be Delayed?

There are various reasons why your background check may be taking a while to come back. It could be as simple as the mail carrier being swamped, or it could be the fact there’s a mistake in your form.

If you have ever lived in another country, the FBI may carry out an international background check, which takes longer. Inaccurate information and incomplete request forms are the most common reasons why your background check has been delayed.

What Is The Purpose Of An FBI Background Check?

The purpose of an FBI background check is simply to disclose a job applicant’s criminal and background history. In such a modern-day and age, it can be easy to fake things, so the background check ensures candidates are who they say they are, and they have no records.

This is especially true for careers with more skill and experience, such as the medical and law professions. People need to be truthful with their background to get the correct jobs and keep citizens safe, and an FBI background check simply reinforces this idea.

How Do I Know If I Passed My Background Check?

Backgrounds checks are usually carried out at the end of the interviewing and employment process. Employers will only carry out a background check on somebody they are truly interested in hiring.

If you are applying for a job within the law, the employer will discuss with you your results as well as welcome you as a member of staff.

Most of the time employers will let you know as soon as they receive the background check, and if they do not find anything damning, you will most likely be hired. Employers will always let you know, as it is their loss as well as yours if you do not get the job.

What Causes A Red Flag On An FBI Background Check?

There are a few things that pose a threat or a red flag in your background check, and these may lead you to ‘fail’ the background check and be unsuccessful in your job application.

You may fail a background check if you have an extensive criminal record, have previous convictions, or have committed crims related to the role.

For example, you will fail a background check for a banking position if you have been investigated for fraud. You will fail for undisclosed criminal records, false information and inconsistencies in your resume, poor credit history and loans, poor driving record featuring DUI and similar offences, drug test failures, bad references, and social media.

What Does A Background Check Specifically Check For?

This includes criminal charges such as arrests, convictions and incarceration, bankruptcies and blacklisting, warrants for arrests, and arrests that did not result in convictions.

The background check also checks drug history, driving history, and credit history. FBI background checks are only carried out for high level and publicly trusted jobs such as federal and government roles and medical roles.

What Will Disqualify You From Federal And Government Employment?

Any crimes or arrests made against you in federal criminal courts will disqualify you from federal and government employment.

Crimes such as fraud, embezzlement, tax evasion, and blackmail will ensure you will not get a job in this industry. Even if you have not been convicted for these crimes, they still count.

Any convictions, arrests, and accusations for most crimes will actively disqualify you from federal and certainly government employment, even if its a DUI conviction.

What Is The Fastest Way To Get An FBI Background Check?

The fastest way to get an FBI background check is to go directly through the FBI request form system, and it should be submitted online when it can. On the FBI website, it states that the new electronic system is the fastest way of processing requests, and you will be sure to get a response within 2-4 weeks.