Countries Where You Can Establish Residency Without a Criminal Check

Most countries require people to undergo a criminal background check when they apply for residency. This screening procedure may vary from local police certification to completing Interpol or FBI background checks.

A criminal record is one of the reasons why most people experience difficulty getting a visa or residency permit. Additionally, specific laws in each country can make applying for these documents more challenging.

Many individuals worry about authorities conducting a background check because the investigation might lead to a denial of entry or termination of a residency permit.

Consequently, if you have committed a minor offense before, you may find it more appealing to move to countries where you can file for residency with little to no background checks.

This article intends to provide vital information regarding countries that allow people to establish residency without extensive criminal background checks.

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Three Countries That Allow Establishment of Residency Without Background Check

Whatever your reason for seeking a way to avoid background checks, there are viable options for you to consider.

Below are three countries that do not require a criminal background check in their residency requirements.


Mexico may be one of the most well-known places people choose if they want to reside abroad. For instance, Pew Research reported that between 2009 and 2014, about a million U.S. citizens left their country for Mexico.

Moreover, it is one of the few places in the world that does not include queries regarding criminal records in its visa application and arrival card.

Why Do People Choose This Place?

Here are other reasons why many individuals may prefer Mexico as an overseas residential location:

  • Diverse lifestyle options: Many desirable lifestyle options are available in Mexico, including living in colonial cities, mountain regions, and beaches along the country’s Pacific and Caribbean coasts.
  • Familiar culture: Mexico’s culture is well-known even in predominantly white countries, such as the United States. These customs, which include Mexican holidays, traditions, and food, can foster a sense of familiarity among expatriates.

Moreover, Mexico may also be a popular choice among individuals of European descent because the country’s shops sell many products familiar to the English-speaking population.

  • Many can understand and speak English: Mexico has one of the largest English-speaking populations in the Spanish-speaking world.

Indeed, living in Mexico can be much more convenient if you understand the country’s native tongue. However, even if you are slow in learning the language, you can still communicate with many people in the country.

What Is the Residency Process?

Establishing your residence in Mexico is pretty straightforward. For instance, you can qualify as a resident in Mexico with savings instead of the typical pension.

Moreover, the minimum income requirement for residency is relatively attainable. For example, you must have a monthly income of 4,300 to 4,500 USD over the last six months to qualify for permanent residency.


Like Mexico, Colombia has one of the world’s most accessible processes for obtaining residency.

Moreover, there are growing expatriate communities in Colombia, making it a popular place to reside abroad. Listed below are additional reasons why people choose Colombia as their residency destination.

Why Do People Choose This Place?

  • Natural beauty: Colombia’s cities are typically situated in the mountains, benefiting from superb infrastructure and nice year-round weather.

For example, Medellín, a developed city in Colombia, has abundant green space. Small streams flow through the area from the mountains, their banks lined with dense patches of lush tropical vegetation.

  • Culture-rich lifestyle: Dining options range from a little shop selling homemade empanadas to upscale establishments serving delicious French cuisine.

Furthermore, the place has multiple museums and stunning art galleries.

What Is the Residency Process?

Colombia typically requires residency applicants to use their temporary resident visa for a time before filing for a permanent one. In many cases, five years is the minimum required time for a temporary visa.


Criminal background checks do not often apply to temporary visa applicants in Italy. However, the procedure applies if you intend to upgrade your visa or make your residency permanent.

Why Do People Choose This Place?

Italy is a top destination for expatriates looking to retire in Europe. This charming country is well-known for its cuisine, wine, and impressive high structures.

Moreover, some parts of Italy are inexpensive, and the natives are friendly.

What Is the Residency Process?

You have various options when filing for residency in Italy. However, most residency permit procedures include a background check.

To live in Italy, you must have a large amount of money. Applicants typically receive residency permits after relevant authorities have investigated their lifestyles and financial capabilities.

A residency application in Italy may undergo the following stages:

  • Individuals intending to reside in Italy may apply for and receive an elective residency visa permit. This visa does not allow its holder to work in the country.
  • The applicant can file for permanent residency five years after receiving a certificate of residency from the local jurisdiction.