Monday, July 27, 2009

Update on Criminal Background Checks and DUI's for Teachers in South Korea

I still get endless questions about DUI's, so I thought I should keep everyone updated about the current state of immigration and how they are handling DUI's and other crimes that show up on criminal background checks. This is from Ask Now, the only recruiter on "The Expat's Trusted Recruiters" list.

I just wanted to update you with the latest on the DUI and minor incident situation with immigration. Things seem to have gotten even tougher. A week or two ago, we had an applicant for a job in Ansan who sent all his docs and was in the last stage of waiting for his visa number. He had one DUI from 12 years ago and immigration denied the visa. The submitting of a letter of explanation didn't help any. It seems as though even areas outside of Seoul now are getting tougher. I think it's because of the recent court cases involving immigration and I think they are saying "fine, we'll deny anything that we can." This is just my guess, but it seems to be the case.

For us, we have decided that we can no longer accept applicants with even something minor or something from a long time ago. In a situation like this, the visa was cancelled at the last minute and the teacher had spent time and money on preparing and also, the school was depending on this teacher to arrive for classes very soon, and then they were put in a very difficult situation suddenly being without a teacher and no time to find a new one quickly.

So, since it is too risky and immigration is being tougher, we have decided to go ahead only with 100% clean records. That's not to say that some random immigration officer won't issue a visa to someone, but there is no way of knowing.

It looks like the teachers market is getting stiffer. I think that a lot of recruiters are going to be stricter about who they accept, so I too will no longer advise people that they can get around background check. I don't want to cost anyone money.


Kara said...

Wow. This seems a little strict to me, but then again it isn't up to me. I do think it's a good idea that they run background checks on prospective teachers, but this seems a little over the top. I could understand if it was a recent DUI, but 12 years ago? Come on.

archbishop said...

I don't know where the person with the DUI is from, but in California, you can get that dismissed from your record. My last girlfriend is an attorney and she was explaining it to a friend with a DUI.

You can start with a felony, get that reduced to a misdemeanor and then get the misdemeanor removed from your record. I don't know all the details because my record is clean.

RMislander said...

Actually, I have a good friend who worked in Korea previously, and wanted to come back after the new law had been put into effect in Korea. He had a DUI 6 years ago, but it was expunged from his record. However, the expungement also shows up on the criminal check, and explaining to Korean immigration what that is and what it means legally in the United States proved too much, and the immigration office denied the visa.

He had a clean record other than the dui, and even after expungement, he was still rejected. Also, it definitely varies by state. States like Virginia, for instance, offer no possibility of expunging a DUI, and based on the above incident, it seems like expungement won't do much good either.

The Expat said...

Thanks for the update. The market is getting tighter and tighter, so there's no need for Immigration to even bother.

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