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How man years of history will FBI do in background check?

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background check during the N400 processing will definitely be the critical factor to decide the speed. the past weekend i found out from other forum that a guy from my home country has his N400 pending over 2 years so far. he tried every passibility from internet but ended up no success. it's just like his case is dead forever.  USCIS ask FBI to do the investigation.  Surely, FBI doesn't have equal amount of staff working on immigration section as USCIS has.


Curiously, what exactly does FBI do in the background check ? 

  1. how many years window will they check ? will they just look the past 5 or 3 years since PR approval ? as they already checked the history of the years before PR approval. people stay in the U.S most of the time after being PR.
  2. What content will they look at ?  criminal, work, marriage, credit history, tax, financial , education ,organization membership, what else ? will they only look at those things associated in the U.S.?  these information should be very straightforward and easy to access in their system and internal channel.  ----i dont think this section will be the reason causing the check pending that "Long".
  3. will FBI also check the whole history in your mother country ? and what they look for in your mother country? ---- this section might be the reason causing the check pending that "Long".? i dont know. A folk in this forum got his background check cleared within 2-3 weeks as he is canaddian? this made me wonder if your mother country is the factor affecting the speed of your background check ?


thanks for any comments.

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  1. FBI checks will go back until you were born. They provide all relevant information about the individual that they have on file. As for what USCIS cares about, they look at the last 3/5 years (depending on if you file under the 3 or 5 year rule) for determining if a criminal offense is to be considered for the good moral character requirement.
  2. Nobody can say for sure what they look at it. FBI checks are a black box. USCIS requests them and FBI either provides it (if they have the info available) or has to do a manual verification (i.e. if they got certain hits or the info matches more than one individual / name checks). That said, USCIS cares about criminal offenses (and maybe verify some information like names, marriage history, etc.), not your credit history or financial situation or whatever.
  3. Again, this is a black box. Most FBI checks come back within days...I have them done at least once every year for my security clearance dealing with government agencies. Sometimes they take a little longer or even much, much longer (even if you had them done previously). As far as I know, they don't need to look at anything from a foreign country (although that doesn't mean they do or don't have records about any such travel).

As for what makes it take long, it could just be a manual review/audit, a name check, or maybe they hit something and they need to manually verify it.

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geowrian, thanks a lot for your input. 

if FBI is simply running their system for any possible hit. If there is no hit on the name check, the turn around time shouldn't  be that surprisingly slow,  a few months on average i presume. there should be a waiting line for each USCIS and their associated  FBI field office to conduct individual check according to the request order.

if they dont check the home country, things might be faster and easier unless the name check has a hit and need to be done manually. 



Edited by marcusa

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