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Navigating International Background Checks

Not all background checks are created equal, and this is especially true when conducting international searches. International screening may seem daunting due to cost, turnaround…

Navigating International Background Checks

ARTICLE BY: Sarah McCormick

Not all background checks are created equal, and this is especially true when conducting international searches. International screening may seem daunting due to cost, turnaround times, and legal requirements. However, it is a crucial element in providing comprehensive, best-practice reports for your candidates. The key is finding a background screening company that is familiar with the requirements for various countries and can walk you through the process. Below are the key aspects to consider when conducting international background screening.

Disclosure Requirements

Every country has its own disclosure and authorization forms for the applicant to complete. The screening company communicates with employers and applicants to provide all the necessary forms. Document requests range from passports, drivers’ licenses, and proof of residence depending on the country. Many countries often request maiden names and aliases as well. Make sure your copies of documents are legible and clear. Otherwise, they face the risk of rejection which causes delays.

In addition, signatures have requirements as well. You must verify an e-signature or provide a handwritten one. In order to reduce the likelihood of delays, it is important that the applicants review and follow all the instructions carefully.

Turnaround Times

Turnaround times also vary by country, time zone, and the specific court that receives the request. The screening company provides a general ETA upon the initial search request. This notifies employers of the timeline they are working with. Researchers will also be working with the courts to provide employers with up-to-date ETAs, or to request additional information if needed.

It is important that employers are checking on the status of their searches regularly to support the efficiency of the process and minimize delays. Turnaround times can also vary greatly depending on the country but usually fall between 2-10 days.


Pricing varies by country and by type of search requested, including the scope of the search (7 years, 10 years, etc.). In addition to the ETA mentioned above, the screening company provides an outline of the pricing upon the initial request.

If the applicant submits an authorization form with incorrect or missing information, employers are at risk of accumulating extra charges. This reinforces the importance of reviewing and following all instructions carefully. Researchers communicate with courts and employers to ensure the approval and applicability of all costs. Like turnaround times, the pricing for each country can also vary. Contact us today for a quote.

Verifying Employment, Education, & References

Any screening vendor that runs international verifications of employment, education or references, will do so very similarly to their domestic process. The candidate must sign and return standard disclosures and authorizations to the screening vendor. After identifying the organizations/references that will need to be contacted, additional required forms may require signatures by the candidate for the screening vendor to obtain information. Turnaround times vary, but on average are between 2 and 10 business days.

Conclusion and ATS Integrations

In conclusion, although there can be many nuances to obtaining background screening information on an international level, a top-tier vendor will help you navigate these nuances to ensure the processes are as efficient and streamlined as possible. For employers that utilize an Applicant Tracking System, international screening can also be initiated through an ATS integration, the same as if an employer were running a domestic search.

Speak with your screening vendor today to find out how they can help you streamline your international screening program!

Alliance 2020, Inc.
Corporate Headquarters
304 Main Ave S, Ste 101
Renton WA 98057

Mailing: PO Box 4248
Renton WA 98057


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