As a provider of resident screening services, we often get asked the question: “How should I conduct background checks on International Applicants”?
Though there is not a quick and thorough option currently available for international criminal background checks, there are a few things you need to know.
Credit Scores - Without a U.S. Social Security Number, and valid U.S. Address, it is impossible to obtain a credit report from the three major U.S. credit bureaus. We recommend advising your international applicant to prepare documentation of their financial resources (bank account funds, scholarship or employment agreement, etc)
International Court System – Researching criminal court systems outside of the United States can be both timely and expensive. On average, an international criminal background check can take between 3 to 10 days, and cost in the range of $75 to $250. Many U.S. background screening companies have partnered with global networks to provide a solution for employee screening. However when it comes to tenants, landlords typically do not have the luxury of time or budget on their side. To remain safe and compliant, it is important you still do some level of due-diligence. VeriFirst offers an International Watch List that provides a cost effective and efficient process for researching global Most Wanted databases.
National Criminal & Sex Offender Searches – Unlike the credit bureaus, a valid SSN is not a requirement for conducting a criminal database search. If an international applicant has visited or resided in the U.S. prior to their tenancy, it is still important to ensure they meet your standard screening and occupancy guidelines.
As the world becomes a smaller place, and the availability of global networks is strengthened, the integrity of international background screening is certain to expand.