As the number of immigrants entering the country continues to rise, policies are constantly being reviewed by California officials to ensure immigrants have proper access to documentation needed live and work.

Part of immigration policy regarding gaining visas includes obtaining a records clearance and background checks. Though procuring a visa, whether it is for marriage, school or employment can take time, starting with a background check will get the ball rolling.

The California Department of Justice has certain steps in place to help those who would like to apply for immigration visas obtain a background clearance. There are different procedures that must be followed for both in-state and out-of-state applications.

In-state applications require an electronic submission. The steps for this type of submission include printing out the proper request form, getting fingerprinted at an approved Live Scan location, submitting with payment and waiting for processing.

For out-of-state submissions, steps are slightly differently — though just as important. Out-of-state applications must be submitted by mail as opposed to the electronic applications.

The given procedure to obtain this type of background check includes printing out required forms with instructions, contacting a local law enforcement agency to obtain a blank fingerprinting card, getting fingerprinted through an approved service and mailing in submissions along with payment.

It doesn’t matter if the application for a background clearance comes from in-state or out-of-state, the given procedures to request one must be followed carefully to ensure applications are not rejected.

Obtaining a background check is just one of many steps required to procure an immigration visa. While the process may take time and can require a variety of legal avenues to achieve, starting with the most basic step of retrieving a background clearance will help get the process started.

Source: oag.ca.gov, “Visa/Immigration,” last accessed July 21, 2014