This is more for my personal records than anything else, but hey, some of you might be sitting in Australia twiddling your thumbs as you await some sign that the FBI actually got your record check request. Here’s a bit of a timeline for you.
Today, November 15, payment left my US account for my FBI record check.
That’s the record check that I sent off on September 24. So, from the time it left my hands at an Australian post office to now, it’s a bit over seven weeks. The FBI website claimed that processing times are around 5-6 weeks, but keep in mind that my application likely reached them the day the government shut-down started, and they weren’t processing requests at that time. The shut-down lasted what, three weeks? Which puts this application somewhere around the 4-week processing mark. Not bad.
Now, here’s hoping that I get a little sheet of paper that says “you have not committed any crimes” rather than a sheet of paper that says “please submit more fingerprints, yours were not of good enough quality” like last time.
For those of you who haven’t been following my “Woe Is Me Requesting FBI Record Check” saga, it’s gone something like this:
MARCH: Sent off first record request with just one set of fingerprints. Did not send via registered post, but payment went out of my account shortly thereafter.
APRIL 22: Received papers in the mail from FBI. “Sorry, we need more fingerprints, but don’t worry, you don’t have to pay an additional fee. Just send the fingerprints in.”
APRIL 26: Get fingerprints redone at the police station; send in one set of fingerprints with paper saying no further pay necessary. Did not send via registered post. FBI waiting time estimate: 8-10 weeks.
MAY – AUGUST: Waiting game. Did not hear anything at all from the FBI. Have no idea if fingerprints even reached them. Couldn’t find phone number to call to check (don’t worry, I’ve since located it!). Waited a little extra while, then gave up on them and made the decision to get fingerprints redone. Again.
SEPTEMBER 24: Get two copies of fingerprints done. The very nice people at the police station, who at this point are getting sick of seeing my face, give me the second set for free after I explain how fail-tastic my government is at communication. I finally think to send the things via registered post. However, I was confused about which envelope to use, so I went up to the post office lady and said, “I need to send some sensitive documents to the FBI and need to know that they get there. Which envelope will show me where my package is at all times and inform me when someone signs for it at its destination?” Post office lady points to envelope. I send documents off.
SEPTEMBER 25: I learn upon attempting to enter the tracking number that this envelope doesn’t actually have any tracking or confirmation of receipt. Great.
OCTOBER 1: Government shut down. Add three weeks. Do not pass go.
NOVEMBER 15: Payment for request leaves US bank account.
Fingers crossed I get an envelope from the FBI within a week or so. Fingers crossed it does not arrive on a Thursday during a thunderstorm (our mail box is not that big, and that is the only day I’m not at home). Fingers crossed it contains an actual record check rather than a request for more fingerprints. If the latter, I will a) cry b) finally fork over the money for 10 sets of fingerprints and say, “If this isn’t good enough for you, FBI, I don’t know what is.” (It costs $25/fingerprint card at the local police station, or I would have done this already.)
Meanwhile, my Australian police check, which I requested in March and which arrived within a week, is going to expire in four months.
What’s your FBI record check story? Or police check story in general? Leave tips and tricks to speed the process up here! If you’re interested in seeing more updates from me about my partner visa, follow these links: