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Thread: Traffic Violations and FBI Background Check Before Interview Panic

  1. #1
    Senior Member simplesam's Avatar
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    Default Traffic Violations and FBI Background Check Before Interview Panic

    Hello all. I'll try to keep this short, but I need some advice on how to proceed.

    When I applied for the JET Program, I made the mistake of saying that I did have a criminal history. According to the JET site, minor traffic violations do not count as criminal history for the purposes of application. I must have panicked and while trying to be as thorough as possible marked yes on the application and prepared the FBI Background Check for submission.

    Fast forward to this week. I was fortunate enough to have been asked to go in for an interview but have yet to receive an FBI Background Check or even a confirmation that they received it. I'm going to submit another, but there is absolutely no way I will get it before my interview next week.

    My questions:

    1) Did I even have to do one in the first place if I only had two minor traffic violations? One was a crossing a red light and the other was a ticket for a bad turn.

    2) Will I be automatically disqualified for this? Considering I may not have even had to submit one in the first place, I wonder if (read: hope) that it's not as big of a deal..

    I've already emailed my coordinator and have had no response so far. I'm hoping that I will be allowed to interview and plead my case as I think I can explain the situation well enough and have done everything in my power so far to rectify the situation. A friend of mine was a former JET and said she knew people with similar situations that were still accepted as recently as a year ago. From her own experience, besides the strict initial application deadline, the program coordinators are somewhat forgiving and understand that accidents happen. It would really help a lot if I could have any guidance or suggestions. I would hate to miss out and be disqualified just because I was too thorough...

  2. #2
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Traffic Violations and FBI Background Check Before Interview Panic

    One of the coordinators that comment on here will probably have a more definitive answer, but I would say it's no problem. If it was the other way around and you were now saying you had neglected to mention a crime it would probably be a bigger deal. But now they see you as better at obeying the law, worse at filling out a form.
    If they liked you well enough to give you an interview, I find it hard to imagine this being a deal breaker.

  3. #3
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Traffic Violations and FBI Background Check Before Interview Panic

    Oh, and for number one, everyone needs a background check, but I don't understand why you would need to do another.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Traffic Violations and FBI Background Check Before Interview Panic

    Don't sweat it. They'll ask you about it during the interview, you'll tell the truth, they'll flag it as an error, and life will go on. If you haven't been disqualified already, this isn't going to be what stops you.

    Are you shooting for early departure? That's the only "problem" that might result from this.
    I've been here, I've been there, I've been every f...where

  5. #5
    Official JET Staff miamicoordinator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Traffic Violations and FBI Background Check Before Interview Panic

    Quote Originally Posted by simplesam View Post
    Hello all. I'll try to keep this short, but I need some advice on how to proceed.

    When I applied for the JET Program, I made the mistake of saying that I did have a criminal history. According to the JET site, minor traffic violations do not count as criminal history for the purposes of application. I must have panicked and while trying to be as thorough as possible marked yes on the application and prepared the FBI Background Check for submission.

    Fast forward to this week. I was fortunate enough to have been asked to go in for an interview but have yet to receive an FBI Background Check or even a confirmation that they received it. I'm going to submit another, but there is absolutely no way I will get it before my interview next week.

    My questions:

    1) Did I even have to do one in the first place if I only had two minor traffic violations? One was a crossing a red light and the other was a ticket for a bad turn.

    2) Will I be automatically disqualified for this? Considering I may not have even had to submit one in the first place, I wonder if (read: hope) that it's not as big of a deal..

    I've already emailed my coordinator and have had no response so far. I'm hoping that I will be allowed to interview and plead my case as I think I can explain the situation well enough and have done everything in my power so far to rectify the situation. A friend of mine was a former JET and said she knew people with similar situations that were still accepted as recently as a year ago. From her own experience, besides the strict initial application deadline, the program coordinators are somewhat forgiving and understand that accidents happen. It would really help a lot if I could have any guidance or suggestions. I would hate to miss out and be disqualified just because I was too thorough...
    If it was just an error on your part, and a misunderstanding, you should be fine. You just need to explain to them in the interview. Speeding tickets are no big deal, DUIs though are serious.
    Anything I say here is my personal opinion. Always consult with your coordinator if you have any doubts, especially if you are applying from a country that is not the United States.

  6. #6
    Senior Member JestersJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Traffic Violations and FBI Background Check Before Interview Panic

    I submitted a background check in October when the application was released.
    Received zero confirmation...
    and then randomly received my background check two weeks ago and they didn't charge me a cent for it. Good enough I suppose

  7. #7
    Senior Member simplesam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Traffic Violations and FBI Background Check Before Interview Panic

    Thanks everyone for the advice! Turns out my FBI check never reached the FBI, but my coordinator got back to me and let me know that it wouldn't be a problem as they have the initial request on file. I am applying for regular departure, so it doesn't seem like the background check is a total priority. That being said, I was told that if I pass the interview stage, they'll "hold my spot (within reason)" while they wait for my background check. I'm not exactly sure if they're referring to being shortlisted or something else. Decided I'm not taking any chances and I'm sending off another FBI check. Just glad I can get that stress off my mind considering the interview is this week.

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