Damian wrote:I'm a short-listed JET in Ireland set for the Irish departure, but I think this is where I should be asking my question...
I lived in the US for over a year and am therefore required to submit an FBI background check along with my Irish background check. I sent the fingerprints and application today on priority post so the FBI should receive it in the next few days... their website says approximately an 8-week wait... Does anyone know if that is an accurate figure right now? I'm really worried I won't get it back before my scheduled departure or visa issuance.
It's pretty common for the FBI to get a backlog in the summer time. That said, I did start getting FBI background checks around the time I released notifications, which would only be about 6-7 weeks after the interviews. So, judging by that at least, they do seem to be more or less on schedule. At present.
I do recommend notifying your coordinator that the FBI background checks are notorious for being problematic - rejected fingerprints, improper payment, and running late due to a backlog are common problems. They have streamlined the process in the past year, and so they are running more efficiently in the past, but there's still a chance it could be delayed. I do believe it will get to you before departure, but it could be later. When we have situations like that in the U.S., we often are told by the Tokyo office to get state background checks in the meanwhile, with the understanding that if they DO depart for Japan and there is anything problematic that comes up in the FBI background check, that could be grounds for instant dismissal. Since I'm presuming that you'll have a background check done in Ireland too, that may be enough to at least get your visa done on time.
Every country is a bit different, and I don't want to give you any information that may not be applicable to your situation. So, do run this by your coordinator, and if they want to get an explanation of how the FBI background check process works, they could email any of the U.S. Coordinators:http://www.us.emb-japan.go.jp/JET/contact.html