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Limitations Associated with International Background Screening Services

International Background Screening is Very Different than the Background Screening Employers Use in the U.S.

Criminal Records:

  1. For International criminal searches, ESR is limited by the rules and practices of each country where the search occurs. Each country has its own set of laws and practices when it comes to assembling and releasing criminal records, and ESR does not guarantee in any way the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of records obtained from foreign sources.  Nor can any other provider.
  2. For international criminal searches, ESR will utilize available resources which are primarily the local court or police agency that is closest geographically to the address of the provided that is permitted by law to provide such information. However, every country is different in the scope and availability of information.
  3. Searches may not be national in scope and just like in the USA, a person may have a criminal record in a court that is not searched. In addition, other factors can affect accuracy, such as the completeness of court or police records or if such records are fully computerized or indexed or if a record is allowed to be released. Sometimes the local search will only encompass the closest police station.
  4. Generally speaking, the available court or police records will have felony level offenses (based on the local country laws). The availability of misdemeanor level offenses depends upon the country in question.
  5. Just like in the US, Courts and police authorities do not issue any official documentation showing the lack of a criminal record.
  6. Searches usually cover a period of 3-7 years but this varies by country.
  7. For some countries, a special form, or forms, may be required. 

Criminal Records Required Information:

  1. For all Central American Countries, both surnames for the applicant are required. An example would be 1st-2nd-Fathers-Mothers, i.e.: Jose Luis Rodriquez Vasquez.
  2. Date of Birth (DOB).
  3. Local street address formatted for the countries postal system. (Search will be centered at this point using the local court systems jurisdictions)
  4. Applicant’s foreign passport number (not required in all instances but can be very useful).
  5. Applicant’s foreign driver’s license number (not required but a useful secondary identifier).

Employment & Education Verification Information:

  1. For employment and education verifications, there is a worldwide problem with so-called ‘diploma mills’ which are defined as “largely online entities whose degrees are worthless due to the lack of valid accreditation and recognition.
  2. Educational verifications do NOT include degree equivalency evaluations to US degrees. However, ESR can provide a degree equivalency service at an additional cost through an established third party service that specializes in degree equivalency services.
  3. In order to perform any international verification, all required information and documents MUST be provided before an order will be processed: a) For education verification, ESR requires the school’s full name, city, country and degree. For countries where ESR has identified a need for additional documents, such as a copy of a degree or a ‘seat’ number, that must also be submitted in order to begin work on an order. Additionally some schools will require that we send a scanned copy of the degree certificate for verification. b.) For employment, ESR requires the employer’s full company name, complete postal address of where they worked, contact name and title if possible, local phone number, email address if available. c.) Certain employers will require an employee ID# or actual letter of experience or relieving letter. In these instances, ESR will request this information. d.) In order to expedite this service, ESR recommends that supplemental forms prepared by ESR be utilized.  (Note: In certain countries due to political circumstances, problems with telecommunications, a particular educational institution or employer and/or other similar issues, it may be necessary to utilize services within a country to obtain the employment or education verification. Such additional resources are in addition to the standard ESR pricing. If such additional services are needed and available, ESR will advise the client before incurring additional fees. Clients should be aware that it is not always possible for ESR to obtain an employment or education verification in all countries of if circumstances arise beyond our control.)


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