Criminal Background Check

Please note: The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the entities or individuals whose names appear on the following lists. Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department or the U.S. government. Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance. The information on the list is provided directly by the local service providers; the Department is not in a position to vouch for such information.

U.S. citizens, Portuguese, or other foreign citizens who resided in the U.S. may be asked to present a “certificate of good conduct” or “lack of a criminal record” for a variety of reasons for use abroad including employment, residency, citizenship, adoption, and school attendance. The U.S. Embassy cannot provide criminal record information for individuals who have visited or resided in the United States.

Only you may request to the FBI a copy of your own criminal background check.

The FBI website at http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/identity-history-summary-checks, provides information on the available options to submit your request to the FBI in the USA, as follows:

Option 1

For requests submitted to the FBI electronically, the current processing time is estimated to be three to five business days upon receipt of the fingerprint cards sent by mail. An e-mail address must be provided in order to initiate the application process. You will receive a response electronically, to the e-mail address provided, with a secure link and personal identification number for accessing all results, both foreign and domestic.  Additionally, you have an option to receive a response by First-Class Mail via the U.S. Postal Service.

Option 2

For requests submitted to the FBI via the mail, the current processing time is 14-16 weeks. You will receive a response by First-Class Mail via the U.S. Postal Service.

Option 3

You may choose to submit your request through an FBI-Approved Channeler. To use the services of an FBI-Approved Channeler, you must have residency in the USA.

There is a processing fee payable to the FBI in the amount of US$18.00.

You may also contact the FBI Customer Service Group by phone 001-304-625-5590 or fax 001-304-625-5102.

Your fingerprints should be placed on a standard fingerprint form FD-258, commonly used for applicant or law enforcement purposes.

The U.S. COOP of Lisbon, located at the U.S. Embassy in Lisbon, provides the service of collecting your fingerprints on the FBI FD-258 form for a 60.00 Euro fee. A set of two FBI FD-258 will be provided.

Portuguese authorities may require legalization of the original FBI record and its translation.

U.S. Embassies and Consulates are not legally empowered to authenticate or legalize criminal background checks or any other state-issued public document.

The FBI will authenticate all U.S. Department of Justice Order 556-73 fingerprint search results by placing the FBI seal and the signature of a division official on your criminal background check at the time of submission.

Documents that are prepared in this manner may then be submitted to the U.S. Department of State in Washington by the applicant, in order to obtain the Apostille seal (legalization) on the document.

Any document which bears an apostille seal is legally valid for use in all countries party to the Hague Convention of 1961 which is the case of Portugal.

For State Department contact and additional information please visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/travel-legal-considerations/internl-judicial-asst/authentications-and-apostilles/authentication-certificate-requirements.html.

For information regarding fingerprinting, fees and to set up an appointment with the U.S. COOP of Lisbon, please email cooplisbon@state.gov or contact us at 217 702 378.