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Criminal Record

U.S. citizens and some foreigners 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 adoption, school attendance, employment, etc. U.S. law enforcement authorities may not be familiar with such a procedure since it is not commonly requested in the United States. There are a variety of options available to U.S. citizens and foreigners seeking to obtain proof of their lack of a criminal record.

Criminal Record Affidavit: It is our understanding that a sworn statement attesting that the applicant has no police record (criminal record affidavit [pdf/7kb]) is generally acceptable for U.S. citizens applying for an Austrian visa, but the authorizing official at the field office level has the authority to request the full FBI fingerprint check (authenticated/with apostille) when considered necessary (see FBI Records Check info below). This is not an official criminal record!
Please check with the Austrian visa office for a definitive answer.
A criminal record affidavit can be executed at the Consular Section, Parkring 12a, 1010 Vienna. Office hours are Mon – Fri 08:00 – 11:30 am, bring your U.S. passport and pay the fee (please click here to see the fee). Please click here to schedule an appointment.

Local Police Check: Go to your local police department where you reside or last resided in the United States, request that the police conduct a criminal records search and provide you with a document reflecting that there is no history of a criminal record. Local police departments may require your personal appearance in order to conduct the search. Your local police department can phrase this in whatever way they deem appropriate. The document should then be authenticated for use abroad following our guidance on the Apostille page.

FBI Records Check: The Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) centralizes criminal justice information and provides accurate and timely information and services to local, state, federal, and international law enforcement agencies, the private sector, academia, and other government agencies. The subject of an identification record may obtain a copy thereof by submitting a written request to the CJIS. The request must be accompanied by satisfactory proof of identity (consisting of name, date and place of birth, and a set of roll-inked fingerprint impressions) and a certified check or money order for the $ 18 processing fee. The FBI will not provide copies of arrest records to individuals other than the subject of the record. Requests should be directed to FBI CJIS Division, Attn: SCU, Mod. D-2, 1000 Custer Hollow Rd., Clarksburg, West Virginia 26306. If there is no criminal record, a report reflecting this fact is provided.

Getting Your Fingerprints Taken: U.S. citizens and foreigners should download the fingerprint cards  from the FBI homepage.
Fingerprints in Austria are taken by the individual police headquarters (“Bundespolizeidirektion”). In Vienna please contact:
Landespolizeikommando, Landeskriminalamt/Erkennungsdienst (“criminal identification”), Berggasse 41, 1090 Vienna, 2. Stock, Zimmer 242;
Tel.: (+43 1) 31310 37885; E-mail: lpd-w-lka-ab-ed-erkennungsdienst@polizei.gv.at (by appointment only); the fee is € 49.20 minimum (cost varies depending on requirements of last U.S. state of residence); the certificate will usually be issued on the same day.

Please Note: Austrian government offices may require an “APOSTILLE” authentication on documents presented to Austrian authorities, please see the Apostille page.

Does the FBI provide apostilles*?

(*An apostille is a certification that a document that has been “legalized” or “authenticated” by the issuing agency through a process in which various seals are placed on the document.)

Yes. The CJIS Division will authenticate U.S. Department of Justice Order 556-73 fingerprint search results for international requests by placing the FBI seal and the signature of a division official on the results if requested at the time of submission. Documents prepared in this way may then be sent to the U.S. Department of State by the requester to obtain an apostille if necessary: Office of Authentications. This procedure became effective on January 25, 2010 and will apply only to documents finalized after that date. Requests to authenticate previously processed results will not be accepted. This procedure replaces the letter formerly provided by the CJIS Division that indicated the service was not provided. The apostille service is not provided to individuals requesting search results for Canadian immigration, as it is not required for this purpose.