Background InvestigationsObtaining Security Clearance

Ask Your Clearance Questions – Part 13

Our popular ongoing series allows you to ask your most complex questions regaring security clearances and our regular contributors of present and former clearance investigators and adjudicators will try to answer them. Here are the rules:

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Comment Archive

  1. Avatar

    I Have a few questions, and need some help here.
    I applied for a job, location Iraq, for a linguist company, I’m US citizen have a dual citizen ship,
    The job require security clearance, My credit is good, no drugs or alcohol problem, accept one arrest I have on July 2008 for domestic violence call it misdemeanor, anyway the judge ordered no contact, then the next day changed to order recision no contact, the state attorney did not file any charge and the case was dismissed.
    Can I get my clearance? That’s the only arrest I have and never been arrested before thank you and God bless you all.

  2. Avatar

    I have heard that under the new process that is supposed to be starting next year there will no longer be subject interviews or references for SSBI periodic reviews unless potential problems are listed on the forms. Is that accurate? Will they only be doing interviews for initial SSBIs? Will that mean they won’t need as many investigators anymore or will it just make things go faster because they won’t be so busy as they are nowadays?

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    Since I am not an adjudicator I will not be able to specifically answer if this incident will prevent you from getting a clearance. Yet as an investigator a lot more details will be needed regarding the arrest. This may have been the only time you have been arrested for domestic violence but were there previous occaisions when it occured? What exactly happened? Did you actually attack this individual? Or was it a misunderstanding and they accused you of domestic violence? If you did intentionally attack this person what got caused you to get so mad that you had to attackt them? Would you physically attack a supervisor or co-worker if you had a disagreement with them at work? I am sure the government or a contractor for the government would not want to hire a person who may have anger issues. I am not saying you do, but more details will be needed.

  4. Avatar


    I was offered a job by a contractor for DOJ. The job is a position of public trust. I smoked marijuana 5 times in my life the last being in about april of 2006. I reported it on my forms and have been waiting to hear back but am worried. Will this affect my job?

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    I have a question regarding my eligibility to apply for jobs requiring a security clearance in the future. During an interview with DIA in 2006, I informed my investigator that I had never used illegal substances when I actually had. A few months later, I interviewed with NSA and disclosed that I had used illegal substances. I was offered a position with DIA which I took but was forced to resign in February 2008 due to my failure to disclose my prior use of drugs. After leaving DIA, I applied with NSA again and disclosed all information to them. However, I was told that due to my prior employment history, I was not eligible to proceed with the employment procedure at NSA. I was also told that I could reapply in the future. I’m curious as to whether or not time will be a mitigating factor in determining my eligibility to work at NSA (or in any other position requiring a clearance). I am currently considering graduate school and would like to know what options are available upon completing grad school. I still hold a TS but my SCI is under readjudication and may be revoked. My drug use was minimal (3-4 uses of marijuana and 1 use of a controlled substance 4 years ago) and the investigation in which I lied occurred 2.5 years ago.

  6. Avatar

    just to add my record is clean and have good credit and these instance were in high school and college. Thanks!

  7. Avatar

    I currently employed with a TS/SCI, but the commute is too long for me. How does one look for another job, when your resume is subject to review for distribution?

    Do I simply not put the job in the resume at all and explain the time gap at an interview by stating “I can’t talk about it”?

  8. Avatar


    I currently hold a TS/SCI clearance with CI poly with the FBI. My fiancee is tentatively offered a marine corps intelligence job pending TS clearance. We are both squeaky clean in terms of financial and criminal background. My fiancee’s family are all US citizens for generations and have no foreign influence of any kind. I am a naturalized US citizen and so are all my immediate family; however, my mother and sisters are US citizens living overseas in Taiwan. I don’t have any ties overseas other than my mother and sister. We plan to visit them no more than once a year after getting married. Would this hurt my fiancee’s chances to obtain the TS clearance; or to keep my own? I’m uncertain how the adjudicator(s) may spin the relationship even though it was not a problem for FBI. I kept on reading adjudication guideline B and just get more confused each time.

  9. Avatar

    Your question was answered by William Henderson in the Part 12 blog posting

  10. Avatar


    I was offered a job by a contractor for DOJ. The job is a position of public trust. I smoked marijuana 5 times in my life the last being in about april of 2006. I reported it on my forms and have been waiting to hear back but am worried. Will this affect my job? just to add my record is clean and have good credit and these instance were in high school and college. Thanks!

  11. Avatar

    Hi, I recently got a job with a large government contractor. I submitted my clearance forms through my company’s security office. I just learned that my interim clearance was declined, but they are going forward with the rest of the investigation. My contact at our security office here said that DSS does not give reasons for interim declines. Is there any way I can find this information out? On the chance that it is a small error, I would like to be able to correct it and possibly obtain an interim clearance. My roommate had a similar situation recently, but they told her what the hang up was, and she was able to resubmit and successfully obtain a clearance.

  12. Avatar

    How old are you now? Do you ever plan on using any type drugs in the future? Age and maturity are factors that are looked at when issues are present. You were already honest about it on your SF-85P and you need to be honest and explain the details of each time you used when you meet with your investigator. When did you turn in your SF-85P and what part of the country do you live in? Some areas of the country are backed up with investigations so it may be a little while until you are contacted.

  13. Avatar

    I want to make sure I understand your situation. You are not allowed to discuss at all what you currently do for a living?

  14. Avatar

    Did you intentionally forget to list your drug use on your SF-86 and talk about it to your investigator?

    What do you specifically mean by what options are available to you after completing grad school? Having a higher degree does help in ones career so I am not sure what you are specifically asking.

    When you were forced to resign did the DIA tell you either had the option of being terminated or you had the option of resigning? Either way this will have to be listed on any case papers under section 22 you fill out in the future. You were able to maintain your TS even though you were forced to resign? It was not revoked?

  15. Avatar

    I was 18 the first time I used and 20 the last. No i never plan on using any drug ever again. I live in DC and turned it in 2.5 weeks ago, do you know if there is back up there? Do you think I would be granted the position?

  16. Avatar

    I was 18 the first time I used and 20 the last. No i never plan on using any drug ever again. I live in DC and turned it in 2.5 weeks ago, do you know if there is back up there? Do you think I would be granted the position? Also, my boss at the contractor nor the guy who fingerprinted me said I would be interviewed. Do all jobs of public trust have personal interviews? Thanks for your help.

  17. Avatar


    I don’t think anyone really knows where all of this is heading. Theory is to shorten time and make things more efficient and, what that will entail is anybody’s guess. I would bet if they do come up with a method like you mention, there will undoubtedly be a huge decrease in need for investigators. The need for SSBI’s falls far below a PR.

  18. Avatar

    The Washington DC metro area is the area of the country that is backed up the most since that is where a majority of the federal government and its contractors are located.
    As for not having an interview it all depends on what type of investigation you were put in for.
    I can not specifically say if you will be granted a clearance or not . I am not the adjudicator working your case and I do not know all the facts of your case. I can say I have completed investigations in which individuals have used MJ in the past and they still were able to obtain a clearance. So anything is possible.

  19. Avatar

    I have a question about Polys and their involvment in the clearance process.

    Is it typical to have individuals take the poly several times before sufficing that requirement? I have met several individuals who have taken it several times and others who have only taken it once. I hear stories people believe that EVERYONE takes it mutliple times. This is specifically for Full Scope and not just CI. I have had a lot of people ask me about this and I always refer them to these blogs but cannot find a specific question about Polys.


  20. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson, Investigator, anybody….

    I’m reposting (again) hoping I get a response…

    I’m confused, and our Security Officer is on leave, so I’m left with somebody at my unit who is less than helpful. Here’s where I stand…

    According to the JPAS Person Summary I have in my hands, it states:
    NACLC, 20080702, OPM

    (further down the page it states…)

    SAC FROM OPM, OPENED 20080626, CLOSED 20080627
    NACI FROM OPM, OPENED 20050801, CLOSED 20060123

    Can you tell me what this all means? According to my credit report, they ran my credit on 2 July 2008. I’m just curious how much longer this should take for my SECRET clearance.

    Thanks for all you do!


  21. Avatar

    I was recently denied a TS/SCI security clearance for a position with the FBI. Here is the reason: While interning at the State Department last year, I VERY unwisely removed Secret and SBU documents from the building. I did not intend to share the documents with anyone, but it was for my own reading purposes. The content of the documents did not pose a threat to US national security in any way, but regardless, I still did something that I clearly should not have done. I recognize it as a serious misjudgment on my part with no harmful intent.

    The adjudicative guideline for my case was Guideline K, Handling Protected Information. My security clearance denial letter stated: “The issue is not whether an individual has actually engaged in conduct inimical to the interest of the U.S. The issue is whether relevant factors make a person potentially vulnerable to coercion, exploitation, or pressure.” I fully admit that it was a serious misjudgment on my part and I regret my action. Because I acknowledge my misjudgment, I have decided not to appeal. I did not have any intention to share the information, however, and I believe that has some bearing for security clearance issues in the future if I reapply.

    1. Because of my security clearance denial, will my future chance of employment in non-federal government positions be significantly affected? For example, I have received a conditional offer with a city government in which I will not be dealing with national security information. When the city government performs a background check on me, will they see that I have been denied a security clearance, and is it likely that they will rescind the offer?

    2. If I choose not to appeal (because I recognize my failure to comply with the rules for protecting classified information), will this specific situation result in a permanent denial of a security clearance in the future? Or is there a possibility that this situation can be mitigated in the future?

    3. If there is a chance of obtaining a security clearance in the future, how can i show sufficient evidence over the next few years that I am trustworthy and reliable to safeguard sensitive and classified information? (I ask this because I most likely will not have a job that deals with classified/sensitive information in which I can build my credibility.) Also, this incident occurred last year, so not that much time has passed, although I believe I have learned my lesson. Will the passage of time in itself help my case for a future security clearance?

    Thanks a lot for your time and your help.

  22. Avatar


    I am trying to obtain a TS clearance for the DOD, and have some questions regarding my SF86.

    1. I am not married, but am engaged to be married in May 09. (which might be before i start the job, depending on the length of time it takes for my background check.) should I list my fiance and make a note that we are not married, but will be shortly? or should I just leave it blank? or should I just note it at the end on the lines provided?

    2. How necessary is it for me to provide exact dates for places that i have worked? i have one previous employer who I cannot contact, so I have a vague idea of the dates, but I can only say something like “fall 05” because I dont have the exact dates.

    thank you in advance for your help.

  23. Avatar

    Can someone tell me if my current clearance is updated as of now, or is it still awaiting further review? The front of the JPAS printout shows that the investigation is not open, via a N/A. The US Access block shows Secret in it, but I never had this show up on a print out before and I have had this clearance since 2001.

    The summary reads as follows:
    ENAC from OPM, Opened 2008 XX XX Closed 2008 XX XX(latest SF 86 submittal)
    NACLC from DSS, Opened 2000 XX XX Closed 2001 XX XX (original clearance)

    The Adjudication Summary
    PSI Adjudication of NACLC DSS, Opened 2000 XX XX Closed 2001 XX XX, determined Eligibility of Secret on 2001 XX XX clearing facility

    Am I waiting on another NACLC to be completed before I see an updated adjudication summary, or is the clearance updated with the 2008 date? Any help would be appreciated.

  24. Avatar

    I intentionally did not inform the investigator during my interview with DIA but did disclose the information to NSA. When I left DIA, I was given the choice of resigning or being terminated so I resigned.

    I’m stuck in somewhat of a difficult situation as my clearance was not revoked but is currently being readjudicated. (I was hired on by a contractor a few months after my resignation. The contract requires a TS/SCI clearance.)

    My main concern, aside from my clearance being revoked, is that I will be unable to work in a job requiring a clearance in the future (such as after going to grad school). I’m hoping that time will be a mitigating factor in determining whether or not someone is granted a clearance but I haven’t had any luck in contacting someone within security at DIA.

  25. Avatar

    Does adjudication have to be on the JPAS for you to have a finalized clearance?

  26. Avatar

    To any adjudicators….
    Do you know if DOD and DOE use the same adjudicating guidelines? I would think that they would but Im not sure?
    And also I have a question for you…While I was in the military I married a friend mainly to allow me to move off-base and out of the depressing barracks. Its very common in the military but to civilians it might look bad. Would that raise any red flags for marrying someone for that purpose?

  27. Avatar

    While working on a 6th month contract a year ago I was given the opportunity to apply for a secret clearance so that I could be moved onto another project and have my contract extended, unfortunately I was denied the interim clearance because I had been seeing a shrink for anxiety and on medication while in college. I was still eligible to get the full clearance but my contract/project ended and they had no other place to put me until it came through.

    Now I am looking for a new job and was recently contacted by a hiring firm interested in submitting my resume for another contract position that requires a DoD secret clearance. When I told them about my being denied the interim, they said that I still may be eligible and would possibly invest in my clearance knowing I wont get the interim and I wouldn’t be able to start working until the full clearance comes through. Though this sounded great it also sounded to good to be true because as much as I would like this job and to get a clearance, what is the chance a company will do this when I was denied the interim in the past and there is no other work available for me to do for them in the mean time?
    Now I am waiting to hear back from them. Have you ever heard of this happening, and if this is to good to be true, what are the chances of any other company investing in someone in my position who was denied the interim and the investigation was ended before a final ruling was determined.

    Any thoughts will be appreciated.
    Thank You.

  28. Avatar


    A NACLC is a National Agency Check with Law Check and Credit Search. It was openned or started on 07/02/08. A NACI is a National Agency Check and Inquiry and a SAC is a Special Agreement Check. NACI and SAC checks are done electornically or via mail to verify information you listed on your case papers such as a credit chaeck. For the most part as long as nothing questionable comes back from these checks and you listed no issues on your case papers your clearance should be completed soon. If there is an issue then a Special Interview (SPIN) will have to be conducted.

  29. Avatar

    I can not give you an answer regarding your city government position. Each city probably has their own protocol they follow regarding background investigations.
    I am not sure if there is a length of time which can mitigate such an issue. Maybe another poster can answer than quesiton. Yet I do know that for the rest of your life any time you have a federal background investigation you will have to list the fact that you removed classified/sensitive information from a federal government or contractor approved facility without authorization. You will have to explain in detail why you did it and if you will ever do it again.

  30. Avatar

    Do you live with your fiance? If you do not you are not required to list him anywhere on your SF-86. If you do live together then list him under the “Your Relatives adn Associates” Section and use code 19. Although the SF-86 does not ask for SSN for yoru relatives your investigator should ask you for your fiance’s if you live together during your interview. That is so the proper National Agency Checks can be completed on him. If you do not live together you can wait until your interview and tell your investigator about your situation and he or she will note it in their report.
    Be as accurate as possible regarding the dates of your former employments. It will make the investigators job easier and in turn get you investigation done quicker.

  31. Avatar

    I do not think you were asked to resign from DIA because your drug use it was most likely because you lied on your SF-86 as well as to your investigator (if I am reading your second post correctly). I am not sure if there is a time frame that can mitigate your situation. Maybe another poster can answer that question. But from now on when ever you have a federal background investigation completed you will have to answer yes to the questions 1.) have you deliberately concealed or falisfied relevant material on any form used to conduct investigaitons or determine security clearance eligibility; 2.) have you ever provided false or misleading information concerning relevant matters to any investigator, security official or other party involved in the personnel security determination. This is a violation of Title 18 U.S. Code 1001 which is explained on the SF-86 and SF-85. I also advise all SUBJECT’s of investigation of this Title and Code since there may be penalties of fines and or jail time if this Title and Code are violated. I am not saying this is going to happen to you but it has happened in the past.

  32. Avatar

    If an individual does not have to do a SPIN or get any other inquiries through mail or phone I take that as a sign that everything is looking pretty good…Would there be any situation where someone would be denied flat out without having a SPIN or anything else???

    In my case my investigation has been done for about 3 months (I think) and I havent had any follow ups or a SPIN or anything. My clearance if for a DOE “Q” and I know they have a backlog of adjudications right now so if they havent even got to my case yet would they even know to request additional info or is there like a case reviewer that looks over everything before it gets that far?
    Also does the PIPS system tell you the status of an investigation? I know thats alot but thanks your the man, or woman!

  33. Avatar

    SPINs are primarily for NACLC and ANACI cases. I have never done a SPIN for a DOE case. We obtain all the info we need from the PRSI and investigation. The adjudicator uses that info to make their decision. There are times when an adjudicator may ask for more info but with all of the checks between the completion of the background investigation and when it gets to the adjudicator that is very rare.
    The adjudicators for DOE cases are most likely just backed up in completing cases.
    How do you know about PIPS and since PIPS is a sensitive database used by OPM and I am not going to discuss anything about it. If another poster on here wants to talk about PIPS they may but that is up to them. Sorry

  34. Avatar

    I read something about PIPS on here or somewhere else on the internet I cant remember. Im not really sure what it even means but I know its some kind of OPM database. You can find almost anything on the internet.

  35. Avatar

    I retired from the military in October 2006. I have a completed SBPR investigation (Oct 2007, listed in JPAS), but the DONCAF added a statement in JPAS saying “Loss of Jurisdiction on 2008 07 01.” JPAS also does not say I am eligible for indoctrination. An RRU was submitted 2008 08 07, and I have a CI Poly from September 2006. This is preventing me from working in the job I was hired to do. I queried “loss of jurisdiction” and nothing came back. Help…

  36. Avatar


    I filled out the SF86 and it was turned in on 26 June 2008. It was filled out for the NCLAC so I could get my Secret clearance. Is a SAC normally part of that process? I know that the NACI from 2005 was completed when I became a DoD civilian. Apparently there were no problems with that (I never heard anything about it).

    I’ve been granted my interim Secret based upon the SAC that was opened 26 June and closed 27 June 08. I guess I’m just curious why the SAC was done. Other than a few credit hiccups from a few years ago (completely taken care of and fully disclosed), I’m clean. How much longer will this take?

    Thanks for your help!

  37. Avatar


    I am a recent college graduate who has just been initially hired for a Federal Career Intern position with DHS requiring a TS/SCI clearance.

    I have no criminal history (barring a speeding ticket 4 years ago), have never used illegal drugs (or consumed alcohol underage for that matter). I have never left the US, and am a full US citizen whose family has lived in America for generations. However, as a recent college graduate, I have no credit (I’m actually somewhat averse to credit card debt and have never applied for one preferring to use my ATM.).

    However, while in college and on a few occasions during the months since, I have downloaded files from the internet. My downloading was not substantial (a few software programs -less than 5, none of which I continue to use, >500 mp3s, 2-3 movies and ~20ish e-books), at least not relative to the downloading that many college students do, and most of it was due to the permissive college environment and my own highly constrained budget. I have never uploaded any material of any kind. Furthermore, when I was financially able, I attempted to purchase whatever materials possible on my own rather than to engage in such behaviors, although this in no way mitigates the fact that what I did was wrong.

    If I should cite this on an SF-86, where and how should I do so, and is this likely to negatively impact my clearance?

  38. Avatar

    See my response to your question at “Ask Your Clearance Questions-Part 12.”

  39. Avatar

    JPAS will indicated the level of access eligibility and the date–which means the samething as adjudication date and clearance level.

  40. Avatar


    SPINS are used by the DoD–don’t believe the DoE does this. Man, you’re gonna give yourself an ulcer thinking too much into this process. I know you are anxious, but I’m guessing you will be done soon. Hang in there 🙂

  41. Avatar

    Are you sure it says ENAC? An ENAC was an Expanded National Agency Check; it hasn’t existed for over a decade. See OPM’s Federal Investigations Notice No. 07-08, which lists all their investigative products.

  42. Avatar

    Guideline K lists three mitigating conditions, but I think they only apply to unintentional security violations. Deliberate violations are seldom mitigated.

  43. Avatar

    I have non-DOD clearances with both VA and DHS done by OPM. They are both public trust clearances. They are both current but not active, (if I’m understanding the terminology).

    I am currently seeking employment.
    Can/should I put this on my (publicly posted)resume?
    If so, how much info would you provide, and how would you present it on a resume ?

  44. Avatar

    My ex-spouse was interviewed by an investigator for my 5 year PR. I had an ugly divorce that lasted 2 years from 2003-2005. My ex told me she threw me under the bus during her interview. I have no idea what she said but I suspect she told them that she would not trust me and she probably accused me of cheating on her. I am happily remarried now and trying to move on but my ex has told me she plans to be a torn in my side for the rest of my life. By the way, I did not cheat on her, she was just always accussing me of cheating due to her own paranoia.

    All other parts of my investigation should be fine. All of my friends, neighbors and co-workers who were interviwed said great things about me. My initial interview with the investigator was fine, in fact it only lasted about 15 minutes and there were no issues brought up.

    I have had a TS/SCI since 1985 and am worried that my ex-spouse’s interview could cause me problems with my 5 PR. Will I be able to dispute anything she may have accussed me of?

  45. Avatar


    During my first clearance process about 10-12 years ago I was not totally forthcoming about the number of times and exactly when I had used illegal drugs in high school and college when the question was first asked during my polygraph exam, but I revealed all of the relevant information before completing the exam and I apologized for making it more difficult than it needed to be at first. My case was favorably adjudicated because I “came clean” with them and told them everything while I was still taking the poly. About 5 yrs later during my reinvestigation I asked did we need to discuss this again and the security officials told me that, no, I did not need to bring up this earlier issue again since it was already resolved in my favor at the time and it was no longer relevant as far as they were concerned. I work for another organization now and I do not know whether I should raise this issue during my next reinvestigation as your posting would seem to suggest would be required or if it is ok to just let it go as the other security office told me it would be last time?

  46. Avatar

    I apologize, but I am still a bit in doubt of the status of my situation. It shows in fact that I do have an ENAC opened and closed as of 2008 June. I researched the Notice No. 07-08, but it says nothing about the ENAC like you said. Be that as it may, my JPAS states ENAC. Is this opening and closing a good thing, or is there more investigating yet to be done? My current clearance is good for another 3 years, but the new military branch and position I am transferring to makes people accomplish the SF-86 again. Is this considered a PR or did they just prolong the current clearance?

  47. Avatar

    I have been offered a conditional offer with a company, based out of the Springfield, VA area, upon completeing a Customs Background Investigation. Reading through these forums seems to show the same that all of these take time. I am just curious as to how long I might be waiting for. I turned in all my forms the first week of August.

  48. Avatar

    When (month/year) did you submit your SF86 and when did your employment terminate? Were you interviewed as part of that investigation, and if so, did you sign a medical release during the interview? It may be possible to have your investigation restarted where it left off, thus reducing the time needed to complete it. If you were not interviewed, did you include mitigating information in the SF86? If a new SF86 is required, you can add more mitigating information to the new SF86 and possibly get an interim clearance. How long were you in counseling and on medication and how long ago did the mental health treatment and medication end? Of the 13 adjudicative criteria, “Psychological Conditions” is one of the least frequent reasons cited for clearance denial.

    It seems to me that if a company has multiple classified contracts or at least one mult-year contact, they might be willing to give you an offer of employment contingent on you getting a final clearance, if you have job skills that they are always looking for.

  49. Avatar

    Mr Henderson

    I was the very confusing person in ask about your clearance 12 . I told you i would ask my fso to make some light to what i was trying to tell you . below is that excerpt.

    Hi Charles,

    When you separated from employment with MTS, we separate you in JPAS. JPAS is the program which allows contractors to verify clearance status of employees. If there was an ongoing investigation at the time of separation and you did not affiliate yourself with another employer which required you to have a clearance the investigation would stop. This is something that is done by DSS, not an employer. When you were interested in coming back on board with MTS we initiated the clearance again and were told that it wasn’t necessary since the previous investigation was almost complete. At this time, I had to send in your information in order for an investigator to speak with you. As you know this was done and the case was closed. It is now in adjudication status and unfortunately I have no control over when a final determination is made. There is nothing that I or MTS can do at this point. The case was closed on 5/12/08. I am in JPAS several times throughout the day and also receive notifications if there is a change to a clearance status. There has been no update on your clearance. I did notice that Lockheed Martin opened up a request to check on the status of your clearance on August 5, 2008.

    Unfortunately, this is the only information and assistance I am able to provide you with at this time. As soon as a final determination is made we will contact you. I do not believe DSS will be able to provide you with any other information than I have. I have seen cases in adjudication status for well over a year.

    my question is why does it take so long to ajudicate? oppourtunities are passing me by because of this.

  50. Avatar

    Your security officer is correct to the extent that there is no information in JPAS that shows why an interim clearance was not granted. I assume that you and your roommate were both submitted through DSS/DISCO for the same level of clearance. I too have heard of a situation where an applicant sent additional information to DISCO and was granted an interim Secret clearance after they initially decided not to grant it. I don’t know if there is any official policy regarding this, so some DISCO personnel may be willing to discuss your case with you or your security officer. If you applied for a Secret clearance, there are only one or two documents on which an interim clearance can be based—your SF86 and possibly a credit report. You should know the exact contents of both and your security officer should know if there are any potential issues on your SF86. If you don’t know the problem, why don’t you do whatever your roommate did?

  51. Avatar

    What is your question? Who (a contractor or DON) sponsored your last SBPR and when was it initiated? Do you still have an employment relationship with this sponsor? Who submitted the RRU?

    Loss of Jurisdiction in this case means that DONCAF no longer has any cognizance over your collateral and/or SCI clearance. DONCAF believes that you no longer have an employment relationship with the entity that sponsored you for the SBPR.

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    I wouldn’t worry about what your former spouse may have said, if you didn’t do anything seriously wrong. If she made any serious allegations against you, you will be reinterviewed and given an opportunity to confirm, refute, explain, etc. Usually allegations by a personal source (including former spouse) become an issue if they are corroborated by another source.

  53. Avatar

    The normal investigation for a Secret Periodic Reinvestigation is an NACLC. Your clearance is not updated until a a new (current) access eligbility date appears in JPAS. The only person who can answer your question is your security officer.

  54. Avatar

    There is no published statistical information on turnaround times for Public Trust investigations and adjudications. There are three different investigations for Public Trust positions—MBI, LBI, and BI—which take different amounts of time to complete. If your company is working under a CBP contract, CBP has its own contract investigations supplier, which means that anything you hear about other people’s investigations and clearance has no relationship to your situation unless they are also working under contract to CBP. You company security officer may have some anecdotal information about turnaround time in your geographic area.

  55. Avatar

    Thanks William. What a coincidence. The FBI called me today to talk about some possible negative information that came up. They could no specify who it came from but I can tell it came from my ex-spouse. At the end of the conversation I asked the investigator if I had anything to be concerned about. She stated that she doesnt make the decisions about the final adjudication but if she was a betting person, she would bet I dont have much to worry about because it is mostly he said/she said and she told me not to lose anymore sleep over it. So I feel much better now.


  56. Avatar

    I have a TS/SCI Clearance that is currently inactive now that I have left my previous job. I have not been offered a job requiring a SF-85p to be filled out even though I already have a clearance. Since I have received that offer, I was pulled over and given a ticket for driving with a suspended license. I had underpaid a speeding ticket by $8 and received no notice about the underpayment or the suspension. My court date is the end of this month, but will not be completed until after the investigation should be complete. Will this be a disqualifier? I have already informed HR about this, so nothing is hidden.

  57. Avatar

    Question for Investigator,
    If you used no drugs with in the last 7 years then you do not have to list it on your SF-86. The drug question is one of the 7 year questions. Now if you “ever” used drugs while holding a security clearance or in a position of public safety then you will have to list it. Also if you have ever been arrested for drugs you will have to list it.

  58. Avatar

    Recent Grad,
    Currently there is no specific place to indicate illegally downloading files from the internet on the SF-86. Primarily because when the most recent version of the SF-86 was developed in 1995 the internet was in its infancy. Yet during your interview your investigator should ask you some questions related to Misuse of Information Technology. This is when you should admit to what you did. Be as detailed as possible. Think of the 5 “W” and one “H” questions. Who, what, where, why, when and how. Also explain that you no longer do it. I understand it is a common practice for college students to do this but the concern will be if you are going to try to illegally download any government files while in your program.

  59. Avatar

    My case was closed on 4/4 and i am still waiting final secret clearance. Is the ajudication backlog this bad?

  60. Avatar

    I have one more question . . . 3 years ago, I was ticked (not arrested) for driving without insurance because the officer could not find record of my having insurance in his computer. The car was indeed insured, and I took a certified letter from my insurance company proving that it was to court, and the case was immediately dismissed. Does this need to be reported on my SF-85P?

  61. Avatar

    The adjudication backlog occurred because of increased case closings late last year and early this year by OPM. This resulted in a higher than normal inflow of completed cases at adjudicative facilities that use the investigative services of OPM. OPM forecasted that the adjudicative backlog would gradually be reduced to normal levels by this summer. Obviously that hasn’t occurred at some agencies. DOE and DOJ were reported as being in much worse shape than DOD in February.

    If a larger than normal backlog continues to exist, 5 months is probably an excessive amount of time for a case with little or no derogatory information and within the norm for a case that involves a serious issue or multiple issues.

  62. Avatar

    Engineer Phd:
    The problem with anecdotal information available to people who are not polygraphers is that we tend to hear stories about people who are similarly situated. If a person does work for DIA, they tend to hear mostly stories about CI scope polygraphs done by DIA examiners. We are also told what others choose to tell us, rather than what may have actually happened.

    I’ve had professional contact with polygraphers who previously worked at a number of different federal agencies. Each seemed to have a noticably different attitude and style. I could never figure out if these were personal individual differences or acquired cultural differences. I suspect that the polygraph division of every agency has its own distinct culture resulting in wide variations in the non-instrument portion of the exam, as well as the acceptability of running more than three charts at one sitting and/or requiring more than one sitting. Of course the Subject has a lot to do with the success of an exam. If the Subject did not get enough sleep, has a temporary physical/medical condition, just received emotionally upsetting news, or anything else that might interfere with the exam, it would be prudent to schedule another exam at a later date.

    My limited peripheral involvement with polygraph suggests to me that a polygrapher might accommodate a particularly difficult Subject by scheduling a second or even third exam. But I don’t think that they are indulgent enough to schedule a fourth exam unless directed by higher authority. “Several” separate exams strains my credulity.

  63. Avatar

    Mr Henderson,

    I submitted my SF86 in Oct.07 and my employment terminated in Feb.08. I was never interviewed, but as part of the SF86 was a form releasing my medical records if this is what you are asking about. I had include mitigating information also. I was told by my employer that I was denied the interim clearance the beginning of November, and I was never told that the investigation would end when I left in February, I just figured it did.
    I was on medication and in counseling off and on for about 6 years to deal with social anxiety, and I was seeing a Psychiatrist up until the time I was offered a chance to get this secret clearance when I ended my treatment. I never knew that counseling would reflect negatively against me, and I believed it was a relatively minor issue.

    I am happy to here that the investigation could possibly be resumed where it left off, but I think it is doubtful that they will hire me on the contingency that I will eventually get the full clearance when they already told me I need the interim to start working.

    Do you think the length of time I was seeking counseling and the recentness of it will effect my chance of getting the full clearance if they do proceed with my investigation?
    Was my previous employer and this new company paying for me to get this security clearance, if so, how much does it cost them?

    Additionally, I didn’t mention this earlier, but after my contract terminated I moved to Poland for five months to live with my girlfriend from college. I just recently returned when I was offered this new position. How will this effect my chances of being cleared?

    thank you for you insight.

  64. Avatar

    William Henderson

    If you were in the situation that AJ was in where your case was in adjudication for over 5 months what would you do? That seems completely ridiculously regardless of a backlog.

  65. Avatar


    I’ve been posting here on and off for quite some time. I started off with a bit of frustration about my security clearance being suspended, etc.

    It all started in 2005 when my security clearance was suspended on some allegations made.

    Long story short. I stuck it out, sought and listened to advice and as of last week, my clearance was FINALLY granted. I was in a bit of a catch 22 and no matter what, it seemed that something always popped up to slow it down, etc. But long story short, I got it.

    I’d like to thank the team running the board who’ve helped me out, and Mr. Henderson as well. I’ve purchased his book and read it, and it provided a great amount of information, but I also spoke to him personally and he was just as helpful.

    Now that I’m back in the cleared sector, I can post from time to time from the other side…as someone giving advice, not needing it.

    Thanks all

  66. Avatar

    Glad to hear everything worked out for you.

  67. Avatar

    The company that I applied with over a year and a half ago was finally granted permission by the government to submit the paperwork for the processing of my clearance. The investigation took place starting in June and the investigator informed me he had to submit his results by July 15. I took the full-scope poly on July 2. By early August, I was told I was in the adjudication phase. This seems rather quick to me, but I did have a previous TS/SCI which had only recently expired. My question involves the timeframe for the adjudication process. I have seen various averages online with some as low as 30 days. What averages are you seeing as typical? Or is it impossible to come up with a “typical” scenario as there are so many disparate numbers of days? Appreciate the response – I’m pretty desperate to get this job and the wait is like Chinese water torture.

  68. Avatar

    In reference to the above post, the adjudication facility would be DOD-related.

  69. Avatar

    Trying to obtain a US Customs & Border Protection clearance, received a letter that says my employment suitability is in question because I admitted to experimenting with drugs when I was 14 and 15, got counseling and support from my parents and went on to receive the honor roll in high school. Do they have a no tolerance policy, even if it was 25 years ago and no arrests or other offenses??

  70. Avatar

    Im currently active duty military and hold a TS/SCI clearance that was adjudicated earlier this year. In my current specialty i dont need the clearance and i will not need it anytime soon. I plan on getting out of the military in 2011. What is the process of transferring the clearance to a civilian job? Also im Infantry so i really dont have any specialized skills of any value other then infantry skills, is there typically work available for a person of my limited capabilities or would i be better of forgetting the whole clearance job concept and go back to college and let my clearance expire?

  71. Avatar


    Good on you. It’s rare someone would stick it out so long–you’re alot more patient than me. Hope all goes well and I’m betting you will be a wealth of information for others.

  72. Avatar

    I have a TS/SCI Clearance that is currently inactive now that I have left my previous job. I have not been offered a job requiring a SF-85p to be filled out even though I already have a clearance. Since I have received that offer, I was pulled over and given a ticket for driving with a suspended license. I had underpaid a speeding ticket by $8 and received no notice about the underpayment or the suspension. My court date is the end of this month, but will not be completed until after the investigation should be complete. Will this be a disqualifier? I have already informed HR about this, so nothing is hidden.

  73. Avatar

    Wahoo! Good for you! Thanks for the positive update on your clearance, it is a nice refresher!

  74. Avatar

    Given what you wrote; you would not be denied a secret based on just the counseling and Rx. DISCO is very hesitant to grant an interim when counseling is listed, regardless of type or amount of time, etc. Once the dr. is questioned, “does the person have a condition effecting his judgement or reliability in the context of handling classified information?”, which is No; you should be good to go.
    The company would probably not have terminated you in JPAS because the contract ended. YOu are still sponsored for a clearance, I imagine. Ask the FSO for the company you were working for, and have them explain it to you.

  75. Avatar

    I have a question regarding background checks for non-sensitive positions.

    I have been offered a non-sensitive biologist position with the USDA. However, I am very nervous about the background check. I have three blemishes on my criminal record.
    First, when I was 17, I got into a fight and was convicted of 3rd degree assault in Nebraska. I had one year probation and community service.
    Two months after I turned 18 in 1993, a group a us broke into a house and stole some electronics. This ended up as a class IV felony in Nebraska which is a very low felony. I was sentenced to 90 days in jail, but only served 23 because of a 45 day waiver and good behavior. I also got two years probation. I was released from probation 6 months early. The court documents stated that all of my “civil rights have been restored just as if I was pardoned.”
    Finally, in 1998 I got into a bar fight and was again charged with 3rd degree assault in Colorado.I was released early from probation here as well. No jail time. And actually, my felony did not show up on the CO criminal background search.

    I have a clean record for the last 10 years, have a sparkling credit record, do not hang out with the same crowd, am married with a 3 year old son, have excellent job and personal referencs and completed both a B.S. and M.S. with many awards.

    My only worry is my criminal record. What are the chances that I will pass the background investigation for a non-sensitive position.

    Thank you

  76. Avatar

    I am curious if AFCAF, (could be any adjudication facility), has time limits on responses written inquiries on specific matters? For instance, if the adjudication facility caused DSS to request a polygraph, and a written inquiry was done to find out the reasoning behind the polygraph request.

  77. Avatar

    I have an active SCI and I am currently using it. It does not show up on JPAS. I had my SSO submit it to be adjudicated at the end on July. How long does that process take?

  78. Avatar

    I am applying for a secret clearance, i held a secret level in the ARMY. but recieved an article 15 back in 02′ for a positive urinalisis and recieved a general under honerable conditions discharge.

    Will i be able to obtain a secret level with this occurance in my past?

  79. Avatar


    Don’t sell yourself short–No infantry–No victory. You have gained many skills in what you do. Infantry skills with a clearance has alot of advantages. Many of the larger security contractors and Govt agencies need people. I’ll tell you many or almost most of people in the field only possess DOS Secret. I retired after 20 years and had a clearance–it opened some doors. Don’t give up on the jobs, but DO get that degree. Good luck and thanks for your service.

  80. Avatar

    I took the poly last month, and they said I had problems with the serious crime question( caught or not caught). Not caught the only things were I keyed a car in hs bc a guy destroyed my property. Not a big scratch. Also first year a college, a couple of college buddies and I paintballed a house. Its been over 6 weeks and I havent gotten a call to come back and I am still in security processing. Also I was recently released from a job with the SSA, another dept at the ssa wanted me and I wanted to go there, bc I didnt like the dept I was at and it apparently is impossible to move depts. So they let me go.

  81. Avatar

    Also I saw two psychologists bc my dad committed suicide. So what are my chances of being rejected from a clearance? My future (hopefully) boss said she wanted to have me hired before Oct 1st, however no references have been contacted yet.

  82. Avatar

    Hello, I am a contractor for a federal agency. I am in the process of getting a PIV badge and I have submitted an SF-85 almost a year ago and a NACI is underway (to satisfy HSPD-12 requirements). I failed a urine test for mj in December 2006 and voluntarily resigned from a previous job. On the SF-85 I answered no to the question about having used illegal drugs within the past year (it has been almost 2 years). There has been a wait of almost a year and I haven’t received the PIV card yet. There is obviously an issue, although I have not been contacted yet. Other have gone through the process in about 2 months. Am I at serious risk of being denied access to the base? Any insight would be much appreciated.

  83. Avatar

    DoD contractors do not pay for investigations or clearances—DoD pays. The potential new employer can offer you a position contigent on getting a clearance (interim or final). In other words they will not hired you until the clearance is granted.

    Sometimes the medical release that is part of the SF86 is sufficient, but frequently a form OFI-16A “Specific Release” is necessary. You can call your psychiatrist and ask if he/she was interviewed about you and if so when. Because your counseling and medication ended less than a year ago and covered a period of six years, it can probably only be mitigated by a favorable interview with your psychiatrist. With a favorable interivew of the psychiatrist, there should be no problem fully mitigating the mental health issue. If you are asked to submit a new SF86, you can try appending a letter from you psychiatrist describing your treatment and addressing the question on the SF86 medical release.

    Your previous employer should have notified DISCO immediately about termination of employment. This would have resulted in your clearance investigation being cancelled within a few days.

    Foreign travel is not a security issue; things that you do and things that happen to you while traveling abroad could be security issues. Five months is a long time. I think an adjudicator will want to know what you were doing, how you paid for the trip, and who you met. BTW if your girlfriend is not a US citizen who just happened to be in Poland temporarily, this raises a whole other issue.

  84. Avatar

    I don’t know whether AJ’s case involves only minor issue information or significant issue information; that makes a big difference. If the case is being adjudicated by DISCO/DOHA, a company FSO is permitted to call DISCO and request that a “case file be written up” when the case status hasn’t changed in over 120 days and the case has been open for more than a year. This often shakes things up and moves a case more quickly to completion.

  85. Avatar

    The ticket you received 3 years ago regarding auto insurance does not have to be listed because it did not result in a fine of $150 or more. Your ticket for driving on a suspended license would not result in a denial of a security clearance and should not result in a denial of the Public Trust position for which you completed the SF86P. Most contractor PT positions are based on an investigation that includes a Personal Subject Interview (PRSI). Tell your security officer about the ticket now and tell the investigator when you have your PRSI.

  86. Avatar

    There are 9 or 10 DoD central adjudication facilities (CAF). The latest stats available indicated that adjudications for all DoD CAFs was averaging about 3 months. That was in Feb 08 and OPM was predicting improvement by this summer. But averages mean nothing to most people, because the CAFs do not operate on a first-in/first-out basis. Even with an overall average of 90 days, people with relatively clean cases can experience an average adjudication time of 40 to 60 days.

  87. Avatar

    Are you serious? How did this even come up during your investigation? What was the purpose of the letter you received?

  88. Avatar

    There is something very strange about your question. There are two reasons for a polygraph exam: 1) it is a standard part of the investigation or 2) there is a security issue that can not be resolved by other means.

    AFCAF is the Air Force Central Adjudication Facility. If AFCAF wanted an applicant to be polygraphed because of a security issue, an investigator would be directed to contact the applicant and ask if the applicant was willing to take an exam. Prior to this the applicant would have been interviewed at length about the issue (probably more than once). I suppose that AFCAF could also contact the applicant directly and ask, but in either case the applicant should be told why they are being asked to take a polygraph exam. I can not think of a situation where the applicant would not know why an exam was being requested. So there would never be a situation where an applicant would ask AFCAF about the reason for a polygraph. I’m not aware of any time requirement imposed on AFCAF to respond to the type of inquiry you are asking about.

  89. Avatar

    I don’t think anyone at this blog is an expert on federal employment suitability. It is covered at 5 CFR 731 (specfically subpart B, 731.202). Good luck.

  90. Avatar

    I don’t understand your question. If you have an active SCI, why is there a need for adjudication?

  91. Avatar

    Maybe. I haven’t seen any case decisions on people who illegally used drugs while holding a security clearance. Perhaps someone else has more insight to this type of issue.

  92. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson, Adjudicator, and whoever else,

    I’ve been trolling these boards for the past few months. I appreciate the assistance that you provide, and I’ve purchased my copy of Mr. Henderson’s Security Clearance Manual. I highly recommend it to others reading this forum.

    Here’s my situation. My company has put me in for a TS in late June. I was given an interim Secret within 48 hours. A few weeks passed, and my investigator contacted me regarding past dual citizenship. When I was a minor my mother obtained dual citizenship for me with her country of origin, Chile. This was not of my doing. Anyway, the passport expired in 1995, but I still had it in my possession as I’m a packrat. Based on how it was explained to me, the Chilean citizenship should have expired when I did not renew my passport or join the Chilean military by age 25. I explained to the investigator that my allegiance lies to the US solely and that I will gladly renounce any dual citizenship I may still have, and burn my Chilean passport. All seemed well.

    Two weeks ago my FSO contacted me and stated that the investigation indicated that I hold a current foreign passport. (This is incorrect, it expired in 1995.) It went on to say that I should take the passport to the presence of the FSO, have it destroyed, and the FSO should fax confirmation of the destruction. Otherwise, the case will be referred to DOHA if this didn’t happen within 5 days. My FSO was not given a name or phone number, just a fax number.

    I explained to my FSO the situation, told her about the conversation with the investigator, and gave her the expired passport. She has faxed a copy of the passport showing that it expired in 1995, but she is not getting a response. I have been calling my FSO nearly every day, but she doesn’t know what else to do at this point.

    It’s been well past 5 days, and I am troubled that it appears that my clearance may have been sidelined…any ideas or suggestions on where we can go? I did contact the investigator who said that she definately reported that the passport was expired. Help!

  93. Avatar


    The general discharge isnt an issue, it will be the reason you got one that is the issue. I have a general myself and have have had a clearance granted since then, about 6 years after it.

    Have you used since then? If so, how long and how long ago did you stop? All that will be what is the deciding factors.

    I would expect that you would be granted a clearance if you hadnt used since the incident and had learned your lesson from it, and it was several years ago, you’d likely get your clearance, but may have to be tested prior to granting it, or provide more information than usual to investigators or adjudicators.


  94. Avatar

    I am using my SCI, it doesn’t show up on my JPAS therefore it makes it difficult to apply for other positions. It is pending recertify eligibility from JPAS. My SCI does show up on other systems. My last SBPR was closed August 2007.

  95. Avatar

    I believe the test was a false positive back in 02′. but i cannot prove that so im just gonna be honest and not dispute what happened then, i have never had a drug problem so it should’nt be an issue…

    Thanks for the feedback,

  96. Avatar

    Do u think being let go from the SSA will effect the ability to obtain a clearance??

  97. Avatar


    If you did as they asked you should be fine. Were you traveling on the Chilean Passport at one time -vs- a US Passport and why? This will cause some interest.

  98. Avatar

    William Henderson,

    THE SF 86 I completed said if the use was prior to age 16 or within the last seven years, so I put no, but when the investigator came to my house he said have you ever!!! So, I said yes and when. Am I screwed???

  99. Avatar

    William Henderson,

    One more thing based on the sf86 form, I have had a dod secret since 1999, so how can I figure this out?

  100. Avatar


    Thanks. I did travel once as a minor in 1989 to visit relatives and used the passport upon entry to Chile. Upon return to the US I used my US passport. This was the protocol that my mother told me to do. I explained all of this to the investigator, and she seemed fine with it.

    I’m crossing my fingers that I’m not derailed…



  101. Avatar

    The drug question on the SF-86 asks “Since the age of 16 or in the last 7 years, which ever is shorter…..” The ever question for drug use is “Have you ever used drugs while holding a security clearance, while a court room official, in a law enforcement position or in a position of public trust…..” So it sounds like your investigator may have asked the wrong question for your drug use and then when you answered it your answer has to be put into the ROI. That is why I always recommend a SUBJECT have a copy of their SF-86 in front of them during their SUBJECT Interview. Investigators are human too and we make mistakes.

    Were you already a CBP Employee when you had your interview or still a DOD employee?

  102. Avatar


    I was wondering if taking the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, once on the job is part of determining suitability for a position. It seems to me to be a basic psyche eval. Anyone have experience taking this test? I hear its 500 questions.


  103. Avatar

    Within the next month or two I will be going for a public trust clearance that requires filling out the 85P-S. I have made a few bad choices in the past (using marijuana 5-times span-5yrs last time 1.3 years ago). I have seen similar people post about this question, but I really haven’t seen a definite answer. I know there are several factors that influence the outcome of a case, so assuming the ideal candidate with minimal marijuana use. Would this cause a definite delay in processing, and do candidates in this situation typically receive a clearance?

    Thank you for your time

  104. Avatar

    I recently submitted an SF86 to receive a SECRET clearance. I have 3 alchohol related arrests covering a long period of time 25 years (which were listed on the form). Surprisingly, I was granted an interim clearance. The other day I was called by the investigator to set up the interview. The intresting/shocking/worrisome aspect was he/she mentioned it must be done in a federal building or local police station. I have many friends with clearances and have never heard of having the interview anywhere other than at home or the office of employment. I asked the investigator why this was being done but he/she would only state it deals with my SF86 and no further comment could be made. The interview is rapidly approaching and I would like to know what to expect, whether this was common, and why (note: I wasn’t asked to bring any documents to this special meeting)

  105. Avatar

    Engineer X:
    I don’t know what the standards are for issuing a PIV card at any federal agency. I believe that every federal agencies may have its own standard.

  106. Avatar

    So your SSO did not submit your active SCI for adjudication at the end of July as you previously stated. Your SBPR was completed in August 2007 and has been in adjudication since then. I have no idea what your SSO did in July. Sounds like you need to have a long talk with your SSO or his supervisor. The record of your prior SCI eligibility determination is sitting in the Scattered Castles database. Some IC agencies haven’t been too conscientious about migrating this older information to OPM’s CVS database which JPAS can access. When your current SBPR is adjudicated your new access eligibility will be posted to CVS.

  107. Avatar

    What was the stated purpose of the letter CBP sent to you?

  108. Avatar

    That was the next question I was going to ask Forrest.

  109. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    Thank you for your response, but in my case, there has never been anything truly fair about my case, which is now approaching 10 years old.

    The investigator, did contact me, early this year, but was only able to refer me to AFCAF for the reasoning.

    A letter went to AFCAF in early Mar 08, without a response.

    The evidence sited, now coming up on 10 years, although no statute of limitation exists for security clearances. I would think AFCAF would be disinclined to consider evidence that old.

    If item 1 or 2 was applicable. I would think AFCAF could have given a reference, and a some explanation as to why it was applicable.

    However, I’m being told that a new SOR is coming down the pike. I will certainly know something soon, on paper anyway.

  110. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson
    I was there with my SSO when he submitted the paperwork, it was actually 08/05/08. Is there anything that I can do to speed up the process. I have several companies interested in me working for them but as soon as they see my SCI doesn’t show up in JPAS they loss interest. Several of those jobs are about 40% pay increase. So it would helpful to know is there anything I can get my SSO to do?

  111. Avatar


    Don’t worry–sounds like a SPIN or special Interview to clear-up any alcohol incidents. On a technical level, interviews are to be conducted in a Federal Space when possible. A person’s home is something we do not do unless there is no other option. Don’t worry about the location, the interview is the same–you just have an investigator following the rules to the letter.

  112. Avatar


    Be advised many agencies in the government use an adapted like MMPI exam. It is typical to take such exams if you working directly as a civilian and not a contractor.

    Best advice on these exams, they are easy and just answer truthfully. DO NOT answer how you think they would want you to. These exams are actually very good at identifying decietfulness and they are reviewed by highly qualified professionals. Good luck!

  113. Avatar

    Investigator and William Henderson

    Since the age of 16 or in the last 7 years, whichever is shorter, have you illegally used any controlled substance, for example, marijuana, cocaine, crack cocaine, hashish, narcotics (opium, morphine, codeine, heroin, etc.), amphetamines, depressants (barbiturates, methaqualone, tranquilizers, etc.), hallucinogenics (LSD, PCP, etc.), or prescription drugs? This I answered no, as I did them at 14 and 15, not 16 or in the last 7 years. The ever question for drug use is “Have you ever used drugs while holding a security clearance, while a court room official, in a law enforcement position or in a position of public trust…..This question I answered NO

  114. Avatar

    Dave: What paperwork did your SSO submit on 8/5/08?

  115. Avatar


    I have been a contractor with a TS/SCI w/full scope for 3 years. In July of 2008, I had an accident in which the police administered field sobriety tests. He stated that I failed them and said I was being arrested. He then stated that if I didnt take the breathalyzer I would go to jail. I stated take me then because I was not drunk and hoped that would be noticed and that I could be breathalyzed there as there was something odd in the cops behavior. He stated then that he was not going to take me. He gave me citations and took me home. I reported the incident and gave them my court date. They want to speak to me 1 day after court. A week after the incident I had an alcohol evaulation and have completed 14 hours of alcohol education even before the courts decision to mitigate the security concern. I was not drinking that night, but was around alot of drunks hence the smell of alchohol the officer indicated. I have never been in trouble with the law, and was only evaluated to be a “social drinker” .What do you think my chances are of keeping my clearance? Thank you

  116. Avatar

    I have a situation where I have a clean record, good credit, nothing unfavorable at all. However when I filled the sf86 out and submitted it electronically, I forgot about a cruise that I took 5 years ago in the Carribean. I had stated that I had not traveled to a foreign country when in fact I had. I do not know why this slipped my mind. I reported it to the FSO and he said I had nothing to worry about. Is this something that will come back and bite me later?

  117. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson, Adjudicator 101, or anyone else with sufficient experience:

    In 2002, I transferred from one federal agency to another. At the time I left the first agency, I was under investigation for misconduct (I wanted to make a whistleblower complaint, but I didn’t want to sign my own name to the complaints, so I signed 2 letters with someone elses name). The agency I transferred to never had me complete any background investigation forms (not even an OF-306) — I literally slipped through the cracks. I only occupy a low risk position right now. It has been 6 1/2 years since I wrote the 2 letters. I have read all the adjudication guidelines found in 5 CFR part 731, 732, and 736, as well as a lot of other related information on the internet. I know that frequency and recency of the conduct will be considered. Is 6 1/2 years enough time to mitigate this issue to qualify for a Top Secret clearance? If not, how long does one have to wait until a background investigation can be favorable adjudicated with this incident? I would appreciate even an educated guess.

  118. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson
    The SSO submitted for adjudication on that date. How long does that take?

  119. Avatar

    I repeat, what paperwork did the SSO submit on 8/5/08?

  120. Avatar


    Don’t know the specific test, but many of us have taken similar tests as a matter of suitability to match a specific job. Seems to be common practice in alot of places these days.

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    I have held a Secret security clearance now for 8 years while working for a DoD contractor. I will be applying for a TS/SCI clearance in the near future and I have some concerns about 2 arrests I had while holding the secret clearance. The first was a Publix Intoxication charge during the time I held the interim clearance which was dismissed. I was 20 years old. The second was a DUI a couple of years later that was later dismissed after attending an educational awareness class and 3 months of probation. I was 22. Since my company policy stated to only report convictions and my security handbook and awareness training did not cover these types of incidents, I never reported either of these instances. These are the only areas of concern on my application. I will disclose all information accurately when I complete my updated sf-86, but what are the consequences of these two incidents? Should I have reported these incidents when they occurred? If so, is there anything else I should do in the mean time that could help my situation? Thanks

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    I have been a contractor with a TS/SCI w/full scope for 3 years. In July of 2008, I had an accident in which the police administered field sobriety tests. He stated that I failed them and said I was being arrested. He then stated that if I didnt take the breathalyzer I would go to jail. I stated take me then because I was not drunk and hoped that would be noticed and that I could be breathalyzed there as there was something odd in the cops behavior. He stated then that he was not going to take me. He gave me citations and took me home. I reported the incident and gave them my court date. They want to speak to me 1 day after court. A week after the incident I had an alcohol evaulation and have completed 14 hours of alcohol education even before the courts decision to mitigate the security concern. I was not drinking that night, but was around alot of drunks hence the smell of alchohol the officer indicated. I have never been in trouble with the law, and was only evaluated to be a “social drinker” .What do you think my chances are of keeping my clearance? Thank you

  123. Avatar

    Thanks BW. I truly appreciate the time and effort you spend to answer all these questions

  124. Avatar

    I have a situation where I have a clean record, good credit, nothing unfavorable at all. However when I filled the sf86 out and submitted it electronically, I forgot about a cruise that I took 5 years ago in the Carribean. I had stated that I had not traveled to a foreign country when in fact I had. I do not know why this slipped my mind. I reported it to the FSO and he said I had nothing to worry about. Is this something that will come back and bite me later?

  125. Avatar

    Good afternoon. I am currently employed by a government contractor. I am required to get a Secret clearance. 7 months prior to being hired I was a school teacher who was arrested and charged with 4 felonies because a couple of students decided to they did not like me and wanted me fired. All of the charges were dropped. At the time of being hired I was still in the process of having my record expunged. I am still currently waiting for a court date. I applied for my clearance and was denied an interim. Other than the felony arrest I have no credit, mental health, foreign problems.

    I will have my expungement in the next month. After I have the expungement is there a chance I can get my interim denial reversed? My job will not fire me but it is keeping me from doing the travel I need to train and move up in my career.

  126. Avatar

    Please disregard the comment by worriedaboutnothing? that was me, I double posted because I thought my entry was not posted because of the name I chose.

  127. Avatar

    Yes, you should have reported both arrests to your FSO. I hope you have or can get a copy of the company policy that indicates only criminal convictions needed to be reported, as well as a copy of the company security handbook. With these two items in hand, you should have no difficulty should you be questioned during your PRSI about failure to report the arrests. Two alcohol-related arrests in the past 8 years with the last occurring 6 years ago should not result in a clearance denial, provided your used of alcohol during the past 6 years has been consistently moderate and responsible. I recommend you double check the court record concerning your DUI. In my experience DUI charges are not dismissed after completing probation.

  128. Avatar

    employee and worried about nothing,
    Your FSO is correct. Forgetting to list a cruise to the Caribbean five years ago is nothing. Now forgetting to list you traveled to Iran or North Korea five years ago would be an issue. Just tell your investigator about it during your interview.

  129. Avatar

    Sounds like a non-issue to me. Unfortunately you were arrested for DUI, and you will have to report it during all future PRs.

  130. Avatar

    Here is my situation, any feedback or comments would be helpful.

    I applied for a security clearance back in June (this year) and disclosed on my SF-86 form that I had not used any illegal drugs in the past 7 years and I had not been arrested in the past 7 years. When I was interviewed by my investigator, I reaffirmed those statements.

    Then about 3 weeks later, I called up my investigator and came clean about lieing on the SF-86. I told him that I had used marijuana about 8 times between the years of 2001-2006, and had stopped in May 2006. And I also disclosed that I had been arrested for possession of marijuana and paraphernalia in July of 2006, but explained that I was a victim of the situation and my case was dismissed and expunged without even going to trial.

    I have been clean since May 2006 and have moved myself out of the situation I was previously in during 2006, and have shown steps to bettering myself and my situation. I have received notification that there was an issue with my investigation from OPM regarding these omissions.

    My question is, what is the next step for me in resolving the issue and also what is the next step in the process from OPM’s standpoint?


  131. Avatar

    Your FSO is correct, there is nothing to worry about. People often forget to list Caribbean cruises and day trips to Mexico/Canada. If you are being processed for a Top Secret clearance, you should also tell the investigator about your omission during your PRSI. If you’re in for a Secret clearance, write yourself a Memo For the Record and include what you told your FSO, the date you told him and his name and file the MFR with your copy of your SF86..

  132. Avatar

    I doubt it. The granting of interim and final clearances should be based on conduct, not outcomes. I can only guess that you were not granted an interim clearance because something happened that resulted in you being arrested for alleged felony offenses. Even if the court record is expunged, an adjudicator will want to know the facts surrounding the allegations and arrest before granting a clearance. Because you were charged with felony offenses, even if your court record had been expunged before you submitted your SF86, you would have still had to list the felony charges on the SF86 and in all likelihood you would not have been granted an interim clearance.

  133. Avatar

    So, either way my interim would probably have been denied? Do I need to worry about my final clearance? I have all documentation both by the school, child protective services, and the dropped charges by D.A. along with the expungement once it is finished to prove that I did notthing to ever warrant the arrest and felony charges.

  134. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson:

    Thank you for all you do on this site. I do have copies of the Security Handbook and past copies of the annual awareness training. Neither discuss reporting arrests of any kind. I do not have a copy of the company policy. I will be checking on the dui dismissal to ensure I have the correct information on my form. Should I report this information to my current FSO or should I just include it on my sf-86 form, along with detailed comments? thanks

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    William and Investigator,
    Thank you very much for your responses. I can now sleep better. I appreciate you taking the time out to answer my questions.

  136. Avatar

    The issue OPM is concerned about most likley is not the fact that you used drugs it is the fact that you lied about it on your SF-86 and you lied about it to your investigator. From your post you intentionally did not put your drug use on your SF-86 and you intentionally did not tell your investigator about your drug use during your interview. You did eventually “come clean” yes but it may be too late. As I, along with others who post here involved in the personnel security process, have said you violated Title 18 US Code 1001 which is a federal offense. You lied on a federal document (your SF-86) and you lied to a federal investigator or contractor representing the federal government. I do not know if there is a way for you to resolve this. One step OPM or the agency you were suppose to work for may take is filing charges against you. Even if no charges are filed against you I have a feeling you will not get your clearance and it most likely will be difficult for you to get one in the future because you lied two times regarding a federal investigation. Sorry to be so blunt but lying is not a good thing.

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    Providing all of your documentation proving you did not do anything is what you should do. If you have no other issues then there should not be a problem getting your final clearance.
    It is sad that students get so mad at a teacher that they make false accusations. I hope they had consequences to face.

  138. Avatar

    Thank you investigator and Mr. Henderson. I have one further question. After my interim was denied I went over the sf-86 again with my sister. Actually I did this today. I forgot to list 4 jobs I had because I literally worked there for a few days or weeks and also I was not aware that you had to list juvenile offense (I have one curfew violation from when I was 16, I am now 25). The minute I got off the phone with her I emailed my security officer the information. She told me to tell the investigator when I see them, I have not yet had one call to set up an appointment. Will this all be harmful or is it good I realized now and spoke up?

  139. Avatar

    As you indicated you were a juvenile when you had the curfew violation so it should not be a big deal. What happened as a result of the curfew violation?
    As for the employments, just discuss them with your investigator. Explain the reason you forgot about them was because you only worked there for a few days or weeks. It is not a big deal. Now remember the SF-86 employment section indicates you need not list any employments before your 16th birthday unless they were federal civilian service employments. All of these type jobs have to be listed no matter when they occured. Also since you are 25 we as invesitgators will not cover anything before your 18th birthday.

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    One further note. Since your application is for a Secret clearance and the curfew violation occurred more than 7 years ago, it does not have to be listed on your SF86, and I see no reason why you should volunteer this information.

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    Since you are going to submit a new SF86 in the near future, listing these items on the SF86 will be sufficient. Include as much mitigating information as possible in the SF86.

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    I missed that you indicated you were in the process for a Secret clearance not a TS.

  143. Avatar

    If there is anyone who can give me some good advice, please, help me.

    I didn’t understand the importance of complete honesty and full disclosure on my SF85.

    I failed to admit to my past marijuana usage, mostly because of general emabarassment. I had prior to my appointment to the Dept. Of Treasury worked in position where I was injured on the job. I failed a drug test for marijauna, after a work injury. It was recent, 11 months ago, 2 months before I completed the form. I failed to admit to my past marijuana usage. I met with an OPM investigator, awnsered his questions honestly. I really need this job. Will they take into account that I was 22-23 years old at the time of my past drug usage. Or will they terminate me? I have my first son on the way, I’m ready to start my family. Is this going to cost me my career.

    I’m sure, I’m just spinning my wheels. Assuredly, nobody on here knows defintivly. If anyone has experince in this “type” of field please let me know. Should I wait out my appeal and hear word or take an offer in the private sector which is not nearly as good?

  144. Avatar

    So for ques. #19 is a general under honorable cond. considered other than honorable?

  145. Avatar

    When they ask about misuse of information technology, are they only talking about really bad stuff like computer hacking or watching x-rated websites in your office all the time, or is it like if its something little like forwarding an email with a picture to a freind from school from your personal webmail that probably you shouldn’t have in retrospect or writing something that might have been inappropriate for work in an instant message with some freinds once or twice that is bad enough that you need to confess to it? We are allowed to use webmail or to use instant messenging on the web in my company, so that was not against the rules, and none of us ever got in trouble with the boss or anything, only maybe the content of one or two messages I wouldn’t do again now that I think about it is all. My friends say I am being way too self-critical about it, but I was not sure and have seen this is a good place to ask questions like that. Thank you for your time and efforts.

  146. Avatar

    That is how I interpret it.

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    Two of my fellow investigators had to go to court in August due to the fact the two SUBJECT’s they conducted background investigations on were both denied clearances and both individuals appealed the denials. The investigator’s report of investigation (ROI) was the primary document used during the trial. The judge’s final decision for each case was not made that day. Both of my co-workers said it was quite an experience.

  148. Avatar

    Would applying for a Canadian permanent residency (and staying in the United States until it’s granted) result in losing an existing top secret (TS/SCI CI polygraph) clearance? Would actually getting a Canadian permanent residency result in losing the clearance?

  149. Avatar

    I currently hold a Secret clearance with DHS since 2002. In 2004 I applied for a job with DOJ, which required a Top Secret clearance. A background check was conducted by OPM and the investigation revealed no derogatory information. In 2005 I declined the job offer because I was unable to relocate to the assigned location.

    Did my declination of the job offer automatically cancel the Top Secret clearance that was issued?

    Now, I am applying for a job with DoN that also requires a Top Secret clearance. Will DoN reference the background investigation conducted in 2004 by OPM?

    Will DoN conduct a full SSBI or a SSBI-PR? All of my information has remained the same since my Secret clearance was granted and no deragotory information exists to my name.


  150. Avatar

    Greetings. I am in month 11 of a 12 month contract with a government agency and they have just informed me that my key employee on the contract has a background that is “Not Acceptable”. To be clear, this is a janitorial position. The employee is an individual who is in on a valid TPS Visa and was cleared by immigration just a month before the contract started. We have done a complete background check on him through the databases to which we can buy access and he comes through squeaky clean. Is there any way to challenge this type of result so I can get him back on the job site. Also, can anyone tell me where I can find the criteria that determines someone is “not acceptable”. This kid is now out of work and will be for some time. He has an FOI request in to see the file, but has been told this is a 20-30 day process. Is there any way to expedite this request. Any help or guidance is much appreciated.

  151. Avatar

    Hello, I posted before regarding the DUI, I have the TS/SCI w/full scope poly. I fully reported the DUI, the charges and the fact that I was not drinking at the time. Although I was not drinking at the time of the DUI pull over, I did go to alcohol education as advised by my lawyer and i hoped that would mitigate any security concern that I have a drinking problem or am trying to hide something. I was evaluated to only be a social drinker. Would the fact that I went to alcohol eduction look suspicious to my security interviewer? we are suppossed to meet 1 day after I go to court.Also, if for some odd possibility I am found guilty or get a PBJ would that count against me in terms of a security concern? Thank you

  152. Avatar

    Has your lawyer ever handled a DUI? I think any investigator would want to hear why you or your attorney thought it was necessary to get an alcohol evaluation and attend an alcohol education class. Whose idea was the alcohol education class, yours, your lawyers, or the person who did the alcohol evaluation? What is important is your conduct during the hours prior to your arrest, whether you have had other alcohol-related incidents, and your history of alcohol use. I’ve never heard of anyone having their clearance revoked because of a single DUI, unless there were other problems or aggravating conditions.

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    If you are certain the investigation in 2004 was completed and favorably adjudicated by DOJ, then DoN should accept it without any further investigation.

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    There are only five things that will definitely result in denial/revocation of SCI eligibility. Applying for or obtaining permanent resident status in a foreign country isn’t one of them, but it comes close to one of them. It definitely raise the issue of “Foreign Preference” and depending on your reasons, it could also raise the issue of “Foreign Influence.” There are a number of disqualifying conditions under the Foreign Influence and Foreign Preference criteria of the Adjudicative Guidelines, most of which have mitigating factors. There is no mitigation for any action to acquire foreign citizenship. Apply for permanent resident status in a foreign country could easily be viewed as the first step in obtaining foreign citizenship.

  155. Avatar

    Will H:
    If you haven’t done anything malicious, unlawful, or against company rules, don’t worry about it.

  156. Avatar

    I have a conditional employment offer with a government contractor that requires me to obtain an interim top secret security clearance. I am concerned that my mental health history may be a problem in obtaining an interim clearance. I was diagnosed with depression in March 2008 and have been under the care of a psychiatrist since then. I take depression medication but the condition is completely under control, and hasn’t been a problem since undergoing treatment.

    How big of an obstacle will this be in obtaining an interim clearance? I have no other problematic situations in my background. Are there any steps I should take in the application process to help mitigate these circumstances, or will my mental health history automatically disqualify me from an interim clearance? I plan to inform my doctor of the situation, and I’m confident that he will be willing to interview with OPM officials. The job offer will be rescinded if I do not pass the interim requirements. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

  157. Avatar

    I am an American citizen. I have a job working for a defense contractor. I hold a DOD secret clearance. I want to apply for Irish citizenship that I have a right too because my father is an Irish citizen. I want the citizenship because I am going to have a child and unless I am an Irish citizen at the time of it’s birth it will not be entitled to it…ever.

    Can I lose my secret clearance?

  158. Avatar

    I have another question. I have submitted for a secret clearance. The only thing that might possibly be held against me is I lived with my brother in law before I married my wife right at 5 years ago so I had to include him as someone who knew me. I have never met the neighbors there because I basically just slept there and spent the rest of my time hanging out with my fiance she lived with her parents at the time. He and I have had a falling out recently and I am worried that he is going to try to sabotage me. My questions are 1. Are they going to check with him on anything whatsoever? 2. If he does try to sabotage me what would the result be? Sorry I have so many minor questions but it makes me nervous to think that I could start this job and then lose it down the road.

  159. Avatar

    My lawyer recommended doing the class on the chance that if I am NOT found not guilty that I could get a PBJ. This is my first DUI, no history of alchol abuse and barely am a drinker. I wasnt even drinking that night but had been with drunks all night, especially the person that I took home because they were too drunk to drive! Im just wondering if I should tell them my lawyer told me to do it or say that I volunteered to do it. The results of the evaluation confirmed that I do not have a problem and I am only a social drinker

  160. Avatar

    I didnt even want to go as I thought it was silly, but this is what my lawyer always has his clients do. He only brings up the alcohol class and evaluation if he gets a conviction on the DUI to get the person a PBJ

  161. Avatar

    For a secret clearance an investigator will most likely not contact him. Even though you are required to fill out residences 7 years back on SF 85P forms and ten years back on SF 86 forms we as investigators do not go back that far. How far back the investigation goes depends on what type of investigation is being conducted on you; i.e. BI or LBI. Even if he is interviewed his testimony is only a part of the “whole” picture we get of a SUBJECT regarding their background. If he says something negative about you but everyone else we interview has only positive things to say then it is understood that he may have something against you.

  162. Avatar


    I have a potential job offer at DCMA (Defense Contracting Management Agency). Do you know the level of clearance required to work for this agency?

    Also, there is “nothing” adverse in my background other than a spouse from a Middle Eastern country. My spouse is a US citizen, and we are likely getting divorced in the near-term.

    Based on the level of clearance that DCMA typically requires, can you wager how much of a problem my spouse’s country of origin may be in terms of me getting a clearance with this agency?

    Thank you!

  163. Avatar

    Forgot to mention, the job offer is as a contractor with DCMA. Thanks.

  164. Avatar

    To whoever is knowledgable – help is greatly appreciated,

    I recently enlisted in the USAFR and my job requires a TS clearance. I am also a dual citizen. Passport expired and not using it. Have no ties to the other country. I am officially going through the motions to renounce my non-US citizenship.

    Here’s the problem: My unit is hoping that I can at least get a Secret clearance while my TS is pending – which the security manager over at the wing headquarters told me would take a good year and a half. He looked me up on JPAS and said it is showing me as a dual citizen. He said even though as a dual citizen I can obtain a secret clearance, showing as a dual citizen, I will not be allowed into the secure area on the other side of the fence where my unit operates out of, even though I may have a secret clearance.

    He said that unless that information gets taken off of JPAS, he thinks there’s no way I can ever work with the unit I signed up with. How do I find out who or what source put that into JPAS? I need to get that off.

    Is this even possible? Why can I not wait until the investigator asks me about my dual citizenship and then I can just tell him “no I’m not anymore. I renounced. Here’s the paper”? I don’t know what to do or how to find out who might have reported that? I need to get that piece of information changed so I can work with my unit?

    Any help is ever so greatly appreciated.
    Thank you,

  165. Avatar


    Thank you very much for your help. I have one more question. Would applying for Canadian permanent residency require notifying the security officer/updating the SF86 form right away, or could that wait until the clearance comes up for reinvestigation as part of the normal 5 year cycle? As I reminder, this is for a TS/SCI clearance. Thank you again.

  166. Avatar

    For Gray: Anyone with SCI eligibility is required to report any potentially disqualifying condition enumerated in the Adjudicative Guidelines (see Annex E, DCID 6/4). Applying for foreign permanent resident status is not specifically listed as a potentially disqualifying condition; however, applying for foreign citizenship is listed as a potentially disqualifying condition (for which there is no mitigating factor). I feel that the spirit (but not the exact wording) of the regulation requires you to report it.

    For other readers: The requirements in Annex E, DCID 6/4 are also contained in DoD 5200.2R and therefore applicable to anyone with a DoD collateral clearance. Many other agencies have similar requirements.

  167. Avatar

    See my response to Gray (above on 16 Sep 2008 at 10:24 pm). You must report your application for foreign citizenship to your FSO, and you can loose your clearance. If you haven’t done so already, I recommend you check with the Embassy of Ireland for their current citizenship laws. Present your question to them in terms of your future child’s citizenship eligibility. If you father is an Irish citizen, who was born in Ireland, you may not need to do anything to ensure your future child’s eligibility for Irish citizenship.

  168. Avatar

    It is a big problem for an interim clearance, but probably not for a final clearance. If your psychiatrist will cooperate, you can obtain a letter from your psychiatrist stating that you “do not have a condition or treatment that could impair your judgment or reliability, particularly in the context of safeguarding classified national security information or special nuclear information or material.” The letter should also include the psychiatrist phone and fax number and a statement that the psychiatist is willing to discuss your case by telephone or in person or respond to a fax inquiry with/from any government security official. Including other information in the letter about your condition/treatment would be helpful, such as diagnosis, dates of treatment, medication, and prognosis. Attach the letter to your SF86 or have it submitted separately by your FSO at the same time your eQIP is submitted. I don’t know if this will work, but it’s the only thing I can think of and it’s definitely worth a try. Your psychiatrist will want you to sign a release at his/her office.

  169. Avatar

    If your lawyer advised you to get the evaluation and take the class, then of course that is what you should tell the investigator.

  170. Avatar

    Just for clarification—the investigation for a contractor employee being processed for a Secret clearance is normally an NACLC (unless the position is for both national security and public trust). NACLC’s do not include any reference interviews, unless there is an issue that requires the investigation to be expanded.

  171. Avatar

    Like most other DoD agencies, DCMA and its contractors, probably have positions ranging from non-sensitive to critical sensitive (no security clearance to Top Secret), Public Trust positions, and possibly positions that require SCI eligibility. If your spouse is a US citizen, there should be no problem regarding your spouse; however, if your spouse has close relatives who are not US citizens, they could create a “Foreign Influence” issue for you, depending on the relationship, occupation, and location of the relatives. There would be probably be no issue if you divorce and discontinued any contact with the relatives.

  172. Avatar

    My cohabitant refuses to provide her SSN. Will this cause me to loose my TS clearance on a re-investigation?

  173. Avatar


    I’m a long time reader of this blog, and have also purchased Mr. Henderson’s book.

    I just had my PSI with the FBI for a linguist position. In submitting my SF86, they required me (a middle aged man) to go back to my 18th birthday for basically all the relevant sections. I will also be taking a polygraph test. I have a couple of questions regarding this.

    First, based on this, would do you think this would be for a TS clearance, or a TS/sci clearance? I originally thought all FBI linguists got the former, but I’m wondering because they asked me to go all the way back to when I was 18, That’s 20 plus years ago. Or maybe everyone does that for the FBI?

    Second, in writing down my foreign connections, I erred on the side of telling too much. Only one of the about eight foreign nationals I wrote on my form fits the description of “close and continuing”. However, I forgot to write down the name of one on-again off-again acquaintance. This is a person that writes me an email….say once every two months. I believe the special agent that did the PSI with me has already finished her report. How should I handle this? Is it so infrequent that they won’t care? Should I report it immediately? Should I wait until the poly and mention it? Or, should I just not return the (foreign) person’s email and thus end the relationship?

  174. Avatar

    Need Assistance:

    I recently accepted a position with a defense company that requires a secret security clearance. I submitted all my necessary pre-employment paperwork and was denied an interim clearance for undisclosed reasons. I’m pretty positive it’s because of my financial records within the last year. I’m paying on all my accounts but 2 have reached collections in which now I am paying collections. I’m in a little bit of a pickle and don’t have resources to fish myself out. What I don’t want to do is quit my current job making a descent living, start this new job and get fired a few months later for having my final clearance denied. Your advice is greatly appreciated.

  175. Avatar

    It took DOD 8 weeks to tell me I need to come in for another polygraph.. Do you think they already have done a background check and interviewed my work sources already or no??

  176. Avatar

    To whoever is knowledgable – help is greatly appreciated,

    I’ve applied for a TS and have received an interim secret clearance. My interview with the investigator is next week. I’ve heard I will be asked about ‘misuse of information technology’. About 5 years ago when I was a senior in college, I sent a hoax email from someone else’s email account (they had mistakenly left themselves logged in on a computer in the computer lab). The hoax email was personally damaging for the other person. I was caught a couple months later and admitted to doing it. I had to spend time doing community service in exchange for it not appearing on my transcript. But I was told a note would be placed in my files (but there is no notation on my official transcript). Will this disqualify me? How do I talk to this in the interview? Thanks for your help

  177. Avatar

    I am currently awaiting the adjudicator to review my package for acceptance or deny… The reason i was initially denied my clearance was an incidence that happen 4 years ago in college. I took my ex-girl friends debt card from her car (which was open) and put $23 worth of gas and returned it to her. We were together for 4.5 years and now $23 of gas may cause me to not get my clearance. I am curious how you veiw this and what problems the adjudicator will see with this…. since that specific incident i have graduated, married, and father of a 2 year old with a career and plan to return to college to get my masters.

  178. Avatar

    i am trying to get my Secret Clearance. I am hoping that the lifestyle change and maturity change will be thought of when making this decision.

  179. Avatar


    If there is an adjudiactor out there that can answer this. I’m going through my 5 year well 10 year update thet finally caught up to me I guess. I took my poly today and have not heard back from any of the investagators and I was told after the test I passed. It was a CI poly. Friends of mine that just recently went through their updates have not heard anything since they took the poly and one person it has been since May. So does that mean she is updated and that I have completed my update after taking the test? Please advise because I’m expecting in Feb. and I don’t want to have to go through anymore stressful situations once I hit my last trimester.

  180. Avatar


    I hope I’m not posting this in the wrong area.

    While in the process of joining the Army, I’ve scored high enough for any job, however, i am 36, and have 18 years of dirt behind me.

    I’m told I’ll need a T.S. or at least a S. clearance for the best jobs.

    If I undergo this, what should I expect? Is this check done before or after I am enlisted? What are they going to dig through other than criminal records? How long will this take?

    And most importantly, if this is done after enlistment, and they see something they don’t like, will they discharge me? Or, if it is done before enlistment, will they not allow me to join at all?


  181. Avatar

    I am awaiting my approval and have seen where there are lawyers that claim that they can help… I’m hoping that the adjuicator will see that the class C misdemeanor happen over four years ago. Well if I do not get my secret clearance is it worth seeking legal help to obtain my clearance.

  182. Avatar

    The SF86 doesn’t require a cohabitant’s SSN.

  183. Avatar

    I don’t know if the FBI requires everyone to go back to their 18th birthday on the SF86. The FBI uses the form for both hiring decisions and clearance decisions, so they may have some exception to policy for their dual use of the form that I’m unaware of. Most linguist positions at the FBI require TS/SCI, except possibly those who work only with open source information.

    I would contact the investigator who did your interview and tell her about your inadvertent omission. She can always do a supplemental report and your conscience will be clear before you go in for the polygraph.

  184. Avatar

    Don’t accept the new job until your final clearance is granted.

  185. Avatar

    Different DoD IC agencies do things differently. There’s no way to tell how far along you investigation is based on what you said in your post. Have you had your Personal Subject Interview yet? Have any of your listed references been interview? Have you lived in the same general location for the past seven years? When did you submit your SF86 or eQIP?

  186. Avatar

    During your Personal Subject Interview, you simply answer the investigator’s questions as honestly and candidly as you can. Almost every issue listed in the Adjudicative Guidelines (including those under Misuse of Information Technology Systems) can be mitigated. Mitigation for your issue is passage of time. And don’t forget to express remorse.

  187. Avatar

    S. Soler:
    Please explain, “initially denied my clearance.” Are you talking about the declination of an interim Secret clearance or have you received and responded to a Statement of Reasons? Also, does you former girlfriend know that you stole from her? Did you make restitution? Was there law enforcement involvement?

  188. Avatar


    Don’t worry about the SSN, she or he has the right to not give it. Just list the Co-Hab. The investigator will ask for the SSN as directed, so just tell him/her the person will not give it out.

  189. Avatar


    Word to the wise, do as Mr Henderson said. I know the incident is not in your transcripts (and never are) but the Dean or school’s Judicial Officer will have the record….Hint-Hint 🙂

  190. Avatar


    They’re right. If that’s what you’re worried about, and it’s all youre worried about, just be honest about it. You’ll be fine.


  191. Avatar

    Hey Mr Henderson,

    None of my listed references have been contacted. I have lived in the same place for the last seven years and I submitted my SF 86 at the end of June of 08. I am scheduled for another polygraph on October 1st. Any information on how far along would be helpful..


  192. Avatar

    You state that my co-hab’s SSN is not required on SF86 form. My employer’s security officer responds to this by telling me that each customer is different and that some customers require this information. Is it possible that some customers make this an absolute requirement? My employer’s security officer tells me that they will not submit my form without this information.

  193. Avatar

    Well since putting in my SF85p the beginning of August I now have an interview with the investigator next Tuesday. He has already interviewed my employeers, references and neighbors. So it seems like things are moving along nicely for me. I just have to track down some documents that he says will make the interview go faster, ie birth cert, marriage cert, Selective Service record, high school diploma, DD214, driver license and finacial records for the past 5 years. Everyone that meet him said he was nice and liked the bowtie he was wearing.

  194. Avatar

    My Interm clearance was denied becuase of my incident with my ex girl friend. 4.5 years ago I took her debt card from her unlocked car on campus. At that time we were seperated for 4 months but still talked at least once a week. Well i had forgot my wallet and cigeretts and noticed her pack of smokes so i went to get a cigerette and seen her purse. She had owed me close to $700 so i took her debt card and put $23 in my vehicle. I then returned the debt card to her place. she wasn’t there so i left it on her porch. I know this wasn’t the smartest thing to do but I rationalized me using the card because i left my wallet at my place and my car needed gas, plus the fact she owed myself and parent money. We were together for almost 5 years and seperated bacause i caught her cheating on me.

    Well a week or two later i was arrested for this incident. The police told me not to contact her at all so i didn’t, but my parents went to her house and offered to pay the money back plus which didn’t work.

    Since then i have graduated college, gotten married , had my son and have been working with a company in the feild i recieved my degree in for three years. My mistake with my ex has caused a great amount of stress almost 4.5 years later since my interim secret clearance has been denied and i am hoping that the adjudicator will see that the incident was with an ex-girl friend and i have had a huge transfermation since that time.

    I am curious what problems could the adjudicator see with this… i know you can’t account for the result , but i am hoping you may provide your thoughts and hopfully relieve some doubts that this will put off my career goals

  195. Avatar

    What position are you applying for and for which agency?

  196. Avatar

    I left the military in April ’08 and my TS/SCI clearance is now considered inactive. I’m currently applying for a position that requires my clearance be reinstated. On the security questionnaire it asks the date of my most recent background investigation. My original investigation started in June 2004. My questions are:
    1. Do they mean last time I did a periodic interview for
    my clearance or my initial investigation?
    a. Start of my initial investigation or when my full
    clearance was granted?
    2. Where can I find out the dates for my previous
    interviews/investigations? Are they kept on record?
    (I cant really remember when they were)

  197. Avatar

    It’s a Communications Tech III, company I’ll be employed with will have me contracted out to CBP in the sunshine state.

  198. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    Thank you for your reply. You do indeed know your stuff. This has got to be one of the best sources online for the field. Kudos.

  199. Avatar


    OK–sounds like you have a dilema. Your co-hab has the right to decline releasing the SSN. I suppose your FSO has the right not to submit you if the hiring authority says not to. I guess you should challenge the FSO’s assumption to get clarification. Just because someone says it’s so–doesn’t mean it is. If the SSN is needed once submitted it will be asked for. Ask where this policy is documented. Sometimes you have to challenge people. Remember, it is your clearance not the FSO’s. Of course tact and diplomacy goes a long way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  200. Avatar

    I currently work for a big govt. contract company on a USCIS contract, and I called the security person today to inquire about my contract security clearance and what level it was. She said I currently have a T2 NACI. She also said that an upgrade to BI was submitted on Oct 2007. I had my interview on Jan 2008 for the BI upgrade. She said she still has not heard anything about my final BI clearance, but she that that is not unusual, and didn’t seem concerned. Well I got a job offer for a government job with DHS under CIS, and I did not have to fill out the 86P they only required the SF85P. I was wondering if you think that my green card holding spouse from Mexico would delay my clearance? I know they didn’t even ask about her relatives on the 85P.

    Also on my E-qip it asked if you are delinquent on any federal debt or anything. I am making payments on my 2006 tax returns, since I couldn’t pay it all up front. I asked the IRS about my situation and what I should put on my SF85P and they said you don’t have to list that you are delinquent since you are making payments and everything is current. Do you think this is correct? I hope they gave me correct information, because I said I wasn’t delinquent on my 85P.

  201. Avatar


    WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Could it be the Bowtie 🙂
    Will the inv bring a retinal scanner and seize a cup for DNA Analysis. A BI on an SF85P mind you 🙂

  202. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson or any investigator,

    Hello. first of all i want to thank you for this service you are providing to the public. i looked around for the last two days for any info about updating my clearance and was really getting nowhere until i stumbled upon this site. just a short backgrounder – i was in the Air Force for 12 years, honorable discharge with a TS/SCI that was going to expire in 2010. I came out here to the Middle East with *TT in 2006 and they just pulled a Secret since that’s all they had on their contract. now I am here in Iraq with another company and they were reviewing my records and saw that i had a TS/SCI so they asked me if I wanted it reinstated and that would require a re-investigation. the FBI (is this standard? the last time it was OPM or some company out of Oakland, CA) just recently interviewed my ex-wife and she of course brought up the fact that we got divorced due to infidelity. the whole world knows about it since I had a son from that relationship outside the marriage (my little one was born after my divorce was finalized so it doesn’t look as bad).

    My question is – can the adjudicator decline or disapprove my TS re-investigation because of infidelity even if that cannot be used against me for blackmail or whatever?

    thank you so much for your help.

  203. Avatar

    BW and Sam,
    I was thinking the exact same thing. I have never asked for copies of anything for OPM related investigations. Always the chance of doctored documents. Yet since Sam said his position was for the CBP he might have to bring all of those documents with him. We have a CBP contract and even though they follow the general guidelines of OPM investigations they have some specifics of their own. Sam don’t be surprised if your interview takes up to 3 hours even if you have no issues. In addition to the SF-85P, the CBP has its own I believe 20+ page form that has questions on it that need to be asked by the investigator. It is called the BIPI now I can not remember what that stands for specifically since it is around 5:30am on Sat. and the only reason I am up is because of my dogs. BW, have you done Bureau of Prison cases? If so it is kind of like their extra paperwork. Sam could you let us know how long your interview takes and how your investigator identifies himself before the interview. Who does he say he is retained by or with? Thanks

  204. Avatar

    Will do..He’s already said to be prepaired for at last 3 hours if everything goes well. And I believe my boss said he flashed a Treasury badge. But will let you know definately on Tuesday…I hope the retina scan is not the flashy pen from Men in Black???

  205. Avatar

    How likely is it to obtain a top secret clearance when adultery is involved, whether the spouse knows or doesn’t know? I have no other blemishes in my past. No traffic tickets, great credit, no foreign national family members, etc. Thanks.

  206. Avatar

    For employment references from jobs you left under good circumstances, will the investigator only want to interview former supervisors and co-workers or will they also want to interview human resources managers, security personnel, and others? If that is to be done also, will I need to find all of their names and phone numbers or just provide former supervisors’ numbers?

  207. Avatar

    could you explain the difference between active current and expired clearances, and how the ‘continuous evaluation’ changes would work for each? does ‘continuous evaluation’ only apply to active clearances?

    if you leave a cleared position for an uncleared position at another company and then seek mental health counseling would that be required to be disclosed to anyone? is it correct that it would no longer be an active clearance at that point but rather a current one? could the later counseling cause a current non-active clearance to be revoked, or would that be something reviewed at potential reinstatement to active?

    would it raise suspicion that mental health issues may have been present during the time one held an active clearance, and is there a precedent for retroactive investigations like that?

    thank you

  208. Avatar

    Hello..I’m currently applying for a job position that requires a security clearance. Not exactly sure what level of clearance yet. But I was arrested for a drunk in public outside a bar in a college town where the cops are really strict. The case was dismissed after completing some AA meetings. What are my chance of obtaining a security clearance?

  209. Avatar

    If a person has a security clearance that he obtained while in active military and then has an intimate relationship with a foreign national that includes the birth of a child, it is required that this person report this relationship and child even though there was no marriage? Does it make any difference if the SF86 form was completed prior to the birth of the child? Is it also required that this person report the court-ordered child support that he owes to the foreign national? If he does not report these events, could this jeopardize his security clearance? And to add one more question, what if this person did not pay the child support to the foreign national and has potential arearages of $20,000? Could this jeopardize his security clearance? In reality, what would happen if this was all discovered? Would he be given a second chance to make things right?

  210. Avatar

    Sounds like your field investigation investigation hasn’t started.

  211. Avatar

    I don’t know. If they do, it’s not covered by any overarching federal regulation or directive that I am aware of. There are many things that specific agencies do that are not supported by written requirements. See James’ post above on 17 Sep 2008 at 8:03 pm. He’s being required to submit 20 years worth of information on his SF86. There is policy and then there is practice; often they are not congruent.

  212. Avatar


    I was just making a little investigator humor. I’m quite sure your investigator is doing what has been required, so I guess what I’m saying is, I was just having a little fun.

  213. Avatar


    I caught that. Just a little exciting and scared breaking into the federal job area and leaving my nice and cozy job of the past 6 years.

  214. Avatar


    Hoping someone can help me with this. I haven’t been formally offered a job, but the agency interested in hiring me has done reference checks and will bring me in for a second interview. I have no criminal history, but my credit isn’t so great. 3 years ago, I had to file bankruptcy. In an effort to rebuild my credit, I took on 2 credit cards. Initially, I was current with payments and everything was fine.

    However, I fell behind and the two cards went into collections. I set up a payment plan with one of the creditors and I’m about to do the same with the 2nd. If I have bad credit, will it prevent me from getting a security clearance? Again, I haven’t been formally offered, but I have a feeling that’s not too far off.

  215. Avatar

    Keep in mind that the individuals you list under the “People Who Know You Well” section of your SF-86 may not even be interviewed. They are just some people who “may” be interviewed. The best judge to determine when your investigation is underway is when your neighbors come by and let you know an investigator came by to ask them questions about you.

  216. Avatar

    Do you think that OPM is getting the investigations done quicker here lately? Mine was done in about 4 months from EQIP submission to being finished which is a little long but manageable. Do you think they are getting done quicker now? One thing that drives me crazy is the adjudication, my case has been in adjudication a little over 3 months which I think is ridiculous but hopefully they will speed those up too.

  217. Avatar

    Second try on this message which did not go through the first time. Do investigators need to get in touch with HR people and security officers at current or previous places you have worked to review files or whatever or just the current and former supervisors? I know the form only asks for the boss’ info, but someone told me it was good to list your HR and security people in the comments area if you know their info, too, but I don’t think I have it handy.

  218. Avatar


    Don’t let this process worry you. I know the wondering is stressful, but you will find at the conclusion that things were not so bad. The worst part is sitting through a long interview which can be very boring, BUT A GUY IN A BOWTIE SHOULD MAKE THINGS INTERESTING 🙂

  219. Avatar


    Do you wear a bowtie? If so, no offense 🙂

  220. Avatar

    I currently have an interim security clearance and my paperwork is going through for my clearance. I disclosed on my application that I have been arrested for Domestic Violence 4 years ago. How will this affect my application? I never had a criminal record before this incident and have nothing in my record after. I am still married to this guy and we have undergone anger management classes and couples counseling. He also has a Top secret clearance. All charges were dropped, but how will this affect my clearance?

  221. Avatar

    Steve W

    The investigator will find them, so if you don’t have it–worry not.

  222. Avatar

    From what I’ve read, a history of depression COULD deny an interim clearance. But, is that automatic? Will it always be denied, or are there cases where someone could obtain an interim with a history of depression? I’ve been treated several times, even as recently as a few months ago, but I’ve always been fully functional and have even gotten performance awards at work while suffering from depression. Can I still get an interim clearance?

  223. Avatar

    AB –

    When in doubt, report it. It’s not against the rules to associate with foreign nationals. You do need to report this however so that you can prove you mitigate the foreign influence requirements for a security clearance.

    Remember grant/deny/revoke decisions are made on the whole person concept when automatic disqualifiers are not at play (which is the case here). You should report it as soon as possible with all available information. You didn’t do anything wrong (other than not paying your child support) so don’t worry.

  224. Avatar

    No bowtie here.

  225. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson, I’m curious if I may get your thoughts to my entry sept 19?

  226. Avatar

    regretful –

    You will have to mitigate your susceptibility to blackmail due to the adultery. If your wife/husband knows about the adultery there is no problem. If he/she does not, then the investigator may consider you too risky for a clearance due to the potential for blackmail.

  227. Avatar

    Jay –

    Bad credit by itself does not prevent you from receiving a security clearance. You should approach the clearance process from the standpoint of proving you are financially responsible. You should continue efforts to pay down all debt, seek outside advice, work overtime/another job, whatever you need to do to continue making progress. One thing to note is the investigator does not have access to your salary, just your credit report. Thus debt/income ratio is not reviewed.

  228. Avatar

    Chris –

    How long ago was the drunk in public arrest? It can be mitigated by time. It doesn’t matter that the charges were dismissed. If you completed your AA meetings and have taken steps to drink responsibly since then I would not worry. The investigators will likely see the arrest as cause to investigate your drinking habits further through references/interviews etc., but the arrest itself is not an insurmountable problem in my opinion.

    I would cut your drinking down to a very low social minimum, or better yet abstain completely. That shows the arrest was an isolated incident and not an indication of alcohol abuse.

  229. Avatar

    Whozit –

    Just your former supervisors’ numbers are required. It doesn’t hurt to have a co-worker or two available either. I’m sure the investigators can get the numbers they want from your former supervisors/corporate department of the company, but I doubt it would be required if you left under good circumstances. Sometimes former employers are not contacted, sometimes they are. I think it depends on each case and how many references the investigator was able to develop.

  230. Avatar


    The terms Active, Current, and Expired are just shorthand expressions to describe the status of a clearance/investigation. In reality there is no such thing as a “current” or an “expired” clearance. A person either has a clearance (active) or the person has been “debriefed” (clearance terminated). Clearances don’t really expire per se, but there are two time limits that preclude a terminated clearance from being reinstated. When either time limit runs out, the investigation (and the clearance) is referred to as having “expired.” When a clearance is still eligible for reinstatement because neither of the two time limits has been reached, the clearance is referred to as being “current,” but in reality “current” really means reinstateable.

    “Continuous Evaluation” isn’t really continuous. The JSRRT is considering that TS clearance holders be subject to “continuous evaluation” once a year and Secret clearance holders be subject to “continuous evaluation” once in 5 years. This only applies to people with active clearances. People who do not have an active clearance are not required to report anything. Only active clearances can be revoked. If and when a person attempts to have their clearance reinstated and apply for a new clearance, that is the time to report any issue information. Adjudicators do not care how long a person suffered from a mental health condition before they seek counseling, as long as they seek counseling.

  231. Avatar

    Jay: When a significant financial issue surfaces during an investigation, there will be an interview with the Subject of the investigation. During that interview the investigator should determine the Subject’s ability to pay his/her debts. That means asking about income, debts, expenses, other liabilities, and assets. When a person has debts problems after a recent bankruptcy, it is a significant financial issue. If both the past bankruptcy and the current delinquent debt is/was even partially due to financial irresponsibility, it becomes extremely difficult to mitigate the issue.

    CE: Amount of debt is rarely reviewed when there is no triggering financial issue, like delinquent debt, bankruptcy, judgments, etc. When a financial issue that requires case expansion surfaces, debt-to-income becomes a very important factor in adjudication. Investigators can get access to salary data. They can also get access to any other financial data they require, provided the Subject signs a release. Refusal to sign a release when a legitimate need exists, usually results in a clearance denial.

  232. Avatar

    Absent any aggravating or complicating factors, a single misdemeanor offense rarely/never rises to the level of being a potentially disqualifying condition. I hope you listed the anger management class at Question 21 (Your Medical Record) on the SF86.

  233. Avatar

    Rodney: NO.

  234. Avatar

    You should list the completion date of each investigation. If you don’t recall the dates, enter approximate dates and explain in the comment section that the dates are estimates.

  235. Avatar

    A foreign spouse for a Public Trust position should not be a concern. I agree with the advice from the IRS.

  236. Avatar

    It really gets confusing when you change your screen name. Absent any aggravating or complicating factors, a single misdemeanor offense by itself is almost never considered a potentially disqualifying condition.

  237. Avatar


    What are the best ways to mitigate conditions for blackmail?

  238. Avatar

    Regretful: (From the Adjucative Desk Reference)
    No Longer Vulnerable to Pressure: Behavior that caused vulnerability to blackmail, coercion or pressure may be mitigated if subsequent developments have eliminated this vulnerability. This might happen, for example, if the information has already become public knowledge, subject has advised spouse or family or security personnel of the activity, or if subject has separated from spouse. A commitment to advise spouse or family of the behavior, or to advise the security office, in the event of attempted pressure or coercion may also be considered a mitigating factor.

  239. Avatar

    I was issued an ‘interim secret’ clearance at the beginning of August. The OPM office called me to set up an in-person interview asap. Is this normal? What should I do to prepare for the interview? This was unexpected so I am concerned and appreciate any advice and comments.
    Thank you!

  240. Avatar

    Following up on the discussion between regretful and CE, if asked is it enough to tell the investigator something like “I met someone at a conference in Florida five years ago and one thing led to another, it was when my husband and I were discussing splitting up, I never saw the other guy again, and I already told my husband about it and would certainly never do it again,” or would it be expected that you would need to answer very detailed questions about exactly all that you know about the other person, specifically details of what things you did with them, and other things of an extremely personal or intimate nature like that?

  241. Avatar

    Thanks Mr Henderson and Investigator for your answers. They are well appreciated. I have to go for a repolygraph again. I was talking to my friends and one had to go back 3 times for the CIA and another 3 times for the NSA. They both got the job, I am just nervous and the way they treat u during the polygraph is very intimadating. I mean the worst thing I have ever done was paintball a house, but its still very scary. I can feel my heart beat really fast as soon as I am hooked up which is a scary feeling..

  242. Avatar


    Don’t do it again and tell folks of the mistake you made. The more it is in the open, the better. I’m not telling you to confess to everyone–do what you think is best. Usually friends and family are OK. If the spouse knows, you are better off. If you are hiding it from the spouse, no doubt it could cause a hiccup. It is rare that adultery results in a denial. Also, the investigator does not make any determination of your worthiness–we simply report facts for others qualified to decide. We do not interject opinions into the case–besides you know the old saying about opinions!!!!

  243. Avatar

    sorry for changing my screen name , but it wasn’t vague enough.. I explained my entire case with my ex girl friend. So I guess I have to wait for my paperwork to go through the approve/deny process. I am on week two and the investigator advised me to wait a month before I contact the company on my status….. Thank you for your encouraging words on my situation….

  244. Avatar

    I separated from the Navy in Summer 2007 after a 7 year enlistment in which I hold a TS/SCI clearance with CI polygraph. Finally, after a year of searching in the Seattle area, CSC/Boeing made me a contract-to-hire offer in June 2008. Boeing and CSC ran me through JPASS to see that my clearance was still current(up to 2 years after separating), and gave me the OK. It has now been 3 months and they say they are still having “red tape issues” with the security clearances, not just for my position but all the new hires with clearances. They also said that the position is still mine when it comes through, but on “permanent hold until further notice”.
    Is there anything I could/should be doing in the mean time?
    Should I be looking for another job etc?
    Understanding that it may depend on the individual cases, does anyone have any idea how long this may take?
    Thank you for any help that can be provided.

  245. Avatar


    I recently accepted a job that needs an L clearance and just submitted my SF-86. In the past I held a Q, but it expired in 2003. In the meantime, during the past 7 years I had a job in the nuclear field with a contractor that required extensive travel, about once a month, to Russia, Central Asia, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. Except for a few vacation trips to non-sensitive countries, my travel was all done as a federal contractor on official government business, cleared by cable through the US Embassy in whichever country I visited (I stated as much in the comment section for each trip I listed–there were about 60). In addition, I bought as a vacation home a one-bedroom apartment in a seaside resort town in Italy two years ago using my savings. (It was extremely inexpensive!) My mom and dad (who are US citizens now and live in DC) were originally from this area and I thought it would be a nice way for us to reconnect as a family. Everything else on my record, aside from one speeding ticket, is fine (excellent credit, zero drugs, etc.).

    My question is, will all the travel and the foreign property delay make receiving an interim clearance–or worse, make getting the L–difficult? (I read your response to someone else re: speeding tickets, so that probably will not be a problem). The job is in the international field…ironically, I could not have gotten this job without having significant overseas experience (ps–I never lived overseas, just traveled there). Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated!

  246. Avatar

    I have a secret clearance while I was in the military, but was ADSEP for drug abuse. The question I have is that, is my clearance still vaild? I know that they did not revote my clearance, because I also work in admin.

  247. Avatar

    William –

    Ah. Thank you for the correction.

  248. Avatar

    Well did my interview today, the investigater was 30 min late, hiccup on his part. Spent 3 and a half hours going over 27 pages of questions for CBP. Everything from tell us everything about this and that and time has no bearing on when it happened, unlike the sf-85p that only wanted 7 years. Covered every item from drug use, employment, if anyone in my family had been arrested, (dam step brother) finacial history of myself and wife, do any relative work for the federal govt and foreign intrest, which includes my wife and her family.

    All in all it seemed to go pretty well the investigater said he worked for an investigation company that started with an O, I want to say Omni_____, but forget the rest. Now it seems that once his write up is done and everything is mailed back my BI for the CBP should be done and I’ll be in a new job.

  249. Avatar

    Thank you, investigator.

  250. Avatar

    CBP investigations are tough and in depth. So many questions and so much writing and typing. Like I said before I have only done a few of them but always dread when I get one.
    The Omni____ company is another contract company that does background investigations yet I believe they do not do OPM investigations.
    Hope everything works out for you Sam and you get the position.

  251. Avatar

    Sam, et. al.

    Once again I am totally baffled by what some agencies are doing. The SF85P is for a Public Trust position and the investigation should be adjudicated based on suitability (as opposed to national security) criteria. The main difference between suitability and security criteria is suppose to be the absence of any consideration for family and associates for suitability adjudications.

    How in the world can an investigator conduct a PRSI or any interview properly when his face is glued to a list of questions?

  252. Avatar

    I obtained my secret clearance in July of 2008. It is now September of 2008 and I just filled out all the paperwork for a TS and submitted it.

    My question is, will this process go extremely quick since they just got done doing my secret in July?

  253. Avatar

    Mr Henderson,

    During the questions and answers portion on the interview, the investigator did stop and reminise,sp, about his earlier days as a CBP officer working in the southwest. And when I would do the same about my past history ie US Army/Law Enforcement/ IT Field, it seemed he was checking my reaction and responses.

  254. Avatar


    I am currently awaiting my secret clearance for a position with DHS.

    I completed the SF-86 back in July of this year and about a month later received interim Secret Clearance through DISCO.

    On September 11th I had an interview with an Adjuticator. The foreign nationals I listed on my application had brought up some “flags”.

    Both my mother and mother in-law are not US citizens. My mother has been in this country for the past 25years or so and gave birth to my sister in the US about 20 years ago. My mother in-law is a foreign national that has been in the country for over 20 years.

    After the interview I was told to check with my FSO about the status of my application. He mentioned that he could not see any reason why it would take much longer for me to get my clearance. But when I followed up with my FSO she said that my case was still open and that I will probably be waiting a “while longer”.

    Can anyone provide insight as to how much longer it should be for my clearance to go through after interviewing?


  255. Avatar


    I’m currently in marine corps and i’m going to lat move(switch my job) to linguist which requires a Top secret SCI.

    I had suicide attempt last year.I took 20 vicodin and 30 motrin. I was never suicidal and never will be.

    i went to couple classes and to be honest, i think i got stronger.

    one more thing, my parents are not U.S citizen

    they lived in US for 8 yrs and have green card and will get
    citizenship as soon as they can

    however, will these be problems for me to get TS-SCI ?

  256. Avatar

    I have a question regarding psychological conditions.

    I previously held a job that required a secret clearance, and left it in 2003 to start a business. Since that time I have not had any employment with any company that did any work for the US Government at all, so I have not needed any type of clearance.

    In 2006 I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I have been on medication and stable for two years. However, I will have to be on medication for the rest of my life (and therefore will have to continue seeing a psychiatrist). My prognosis is very good, and my psychiatrist also holds this opinion – and would convey that to investigators. I also see a therapist 2-3 times a week, not for any ‘bad’ or ‘dangerous’ reasons, just to help better deal with stress and to help set goals, etc.

    I currently have a position with a lot of job-security (important in these current economic conditions). I am thinking of taking a job that requires a TS clearance. That job fits my interests and professional experience *very* well.

    The position description clearly states:
    A top secret background investigation will be required for this position. Continued employment will be subject to the applicant’s successful completion of a background security investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to successfully meet these requirements will be grounds for termination.

    I do not want to give up my stable job, only to take this new job and then lose it if I cannot obtain a TS.

    I see other posts on here that deal with people who had depression and took medication a long time a go and are no longer on any medication. But I do not see any posts reflecting my situation. Do any of you have any knowledge about situations like mine? Or can anyone recommend any resources about this kind of situation and the affect it will have on my ability to obtain a TS?

    Thank you in advance for any information that you can provide.

  257. Avatar

    I have been out of the Marine Corps for app one year now. I had obtained a SECRET clearance while I was active. I now am employed at a company and am going to be upgrading to TS. I again of course have to fill out a SF 86. Unfortunately I did not know enough to get a copy of the one I filled out in The Marines. Is there a way to obtain a copy of the completed SF 86? Is it archived or destroyed? Any help would be much appreciated.


  258. Avatar

    I am looking to work for a job that requires a top secret security clearance. I have a bs in accounting from a good business school. I speak a little bit of spanish and russian. I was arrested when i was 17 for possesion wiht ntent to distribute cannabis. It was a class 4 felony and i completed a first offenders program which stopped the arrest from showing up as a conviction. Will i be okay? I have not used drugs or engaged in any illegal activiy since. I am a completly differant person as far as that aspect of my life is concerned.

  259. Avatar

    Should i give up and go to law school? i really desire to serve my country and i feel i would be most useful in a government agency rather than in the military. I was initially in nrotc (for 4 days) then i was arrested and transfered schools. It was the single biggest mistake in my life. I did it for social acceptance despite the fact that i was always the most popular kid in school. What should i do?

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    I gather that you are a contractor. I question whether you actually had an interview with an adjudicator, rather than an investigator. If your FSO said that your case is still open, that usually means that the investigation has not been completed. The investigation will not be in the hands of the adjudicator until it is “closed completed.” DISCO/DOHA adjudicates 80% of its cases in about 40 days after the case is closed at OPM. It sounds like you had a Special Interview (SPIN) on 11 September to delve into your non-US citizen family members. It could take a couple of weeks for your investigation to be reviewed for completeness before it is sent to DISCO for adjudication.

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    If needed, you will get an interim TS immediately. Unfortunately the time involved in completing an investigation for a TS clearance (SSBI) will not be shortened because of the recent investigation for a Secret clearance (NACLC). The SSBI includes all the components of an NACLC, plus a considerable amount of field investigation that is not part of the NACLC. In an SSBI the field investigation and the NACLC portion are done concurrently and the field investigation almost always takes longer than the NACLC portion.

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    I haven’t received the official statement that I was approved for my clearance , but I have gotten the word that the company I will be working for HR department contacted the locations manager overseas and wanted to get his ok on having a father/son working there … When I heard this I got the impression that I was approved. Why would HR contact the manager when my interim clearance was not given to me and I had an investigater come to my house… I was told by HR that once my investigation was done and if I was approved they would use that approval to continue with my employment process…. Am I correct by thinking I have been approved?

  263. Avatar


    I’m currently in marine corps and i’m going to lat move(switch my job) to linguist which requires a Top secret SCI.

    I had suicide attempt last year.I took 20 vicodin and 30 motrin. I was never suicidal and never will be.

    i went to couple classes and to be honest, i think i got stronger.

    one more thing, my parents are not U.S citizen

    they lived in US for 8 yrs and have green card and will get
    citizenship as soon as they can

    however, will these be problems for me to get TS-SCI ?

  264. Avatar

    Not sure if my post above was seen due to the flood of posts around the same time. I’d appreciate any help or speculations. Thank you.

  265. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    You are correct, I am a contractor and I believe you are right about it being a Special Interview as well.

    Thank you for the help.


  266. Avatar

    I served 10 years in the military intelligence field. Upon arriving at my first duty station, I experimented with several different drugs including acid, pot, and inhalents. I had an interim top secret clearance at the time. I stopped hanging around that group of friends and became serious about my career. However, three years later when my reinvestigation came up, I had been married two years and had just had a baby. I did not admit to any use of drugs because I was still on active duty and the military would not have needed anything else besides a self-admission to give me a bad conduct discharge. So about four years later I took a lifestyle polygraph for NSA where i admitted using different drugs and not reporting it. I quit working for a few years and have now started another job using my clearance. I am concerned that my nondisclosure is going to be a big issue. I know that the DOD uses the whole person concept but how bad is my nonadmission being that it was over 10 years ago since I used drugs?

  267. Avatar

    I’m currently completing the application for the security clearance. My question is concerning employment. There was a place I had worked for only 2 days and left because it wasn’t the right environment for me. I asked to not be paid for those two days and did not receive payment. Do I have to list this as employment? I asked a few people and they told me to not list it since employment requires payment and since I didn’t get paid it’s not on my record. Please advise. Thanks.

  268. Avatar

    My a request through FOIA to OPM to have them send you a copy of all of your background investigations. They should include a copy of your filled out SF-86. If you go to and search around it will tell you how to do this.

  269. Avatar

    Dear Investigators,

    as a college student I applied to an internship with FBI. I had smoked marijuana as a freshmen in college one time. I was barely aware of this, as it was that one time in college whereby I was very drunk. I do not remember specifically smoking marijuana, but I did remember playing around with it. Afterwards I moved to another dorm and distanced myself from the users, never attempting it again. Being unsure of having actually smoked, I said NO on my SF86. This became a problem during my polygraph. I filled out an addendum, and later received a cryptic message stating that the job offer was being rescinded but I was not denied a clearance. Since I was not denied a clearance, is this something I should be elaborating on in future SF86 forms? Do you happen to know anything about the phrasing on the you were not denied a clearance letter? Thank you for your time.

  270. Avatar

    I’m a new employee for a DoD subcontractor that processes health care claims. We are required to get “Confidential” clearances. I submitted my paperwork a few weeks ago and a response hasn’t been received yet.

    I have a Chapter 13 bankruptcy (repayment) from this year along with 2 civil judgments, and of course the resulting poor credit from the same. I don’t have a “great” reason…just bad with money though I see a counselor and am working on it, plus I attend SDA meetings.

    Most of the credit/bankruptcy questions have related to Secret or Top Secret clearances. Are they more lenient with Confidential or am I screwed? I answered every question truthfully on the application.

  271. Avatar

    My fiancee holds TS/SCI clearance, we are getting married next month. Unfortunately my credit history is a bit of a disaster. Will this effect his clearance? BTW, We are doing a prenup to keep my debts separate.

  272. Avatar

    NOTE – This thread is closing soon. Please post clearance questions to the newer thread with the same subject line.

  273. Avatar

    The adjudicative standards for all collateral security clearances (Confidential, Secret, & Top Secret) are the same. If you haven’t read them already, I suggest you review three articles on “Personal Finances And Security Clearances.” All three are posted at

  274. Avatar

    You were non-selected for the internship, probably due to their perception that you falsified your application form. You do not have to list this on future security clearance applications as having been denied a clearance. You should fully disclose any illegal use of drugs on any future clearance application. The clearance application may change significantly in the near future, so I can’t say whether there will be some question on the future form that will require you to disclose the fact that you were non-selected by the FBI following a polygraph exam.

  275. Avatar

    Investigator or Mr. Henderson

    I am currently work for a Federal agency and may be going through a reinvestigation for back ground (5yr though I have been here more then 6). I am former military (10+yrs). When I first joined the Mil I told the recruiter about previous marijuana use and wanted to honest about it all. The recruiter then took about three days (along with two other NCOs) and talked me out of it. I checked to drug use. I never was given an interview so I did not lie to an investigator. During my career this bothered me to the point that I went to JAG and disscussed this with an attorney. He basically stated to let sleeping dogs lay. I only had to go through one more sf86 before I was medically discharged and the time frame for that one was outside of 7 yrs. Then I applied for the current job. The use also fell outside of the 7 yr so I did not check yes and the investigator never asked about it.

    Now my agency is currently doing SSBI for recerts and they are going beyond the ten yr by presenting a BIPI?? This form asks the EVER question. I do NOT wish to lie. I wish to be honest about the action that took place in 1990. I feel that they would find out as I was suspended from school as a junior for being caught with MJ. I am planning on revealing this information but am concerned with the reprocussions. I would like to have pre-knowledge of what to expect so that I may prepare myself and family for the worst and prepare a defense if acceptable.

    I have not used ANY narcotics in ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM since 1988. My use ranged from 1983-88.

    Any advice would be appreciated and that includes from others with any insight.

    Thank you for all that yo uare doing on this site.

  276. Avatar


    1) How long would last for Public Trust clearance, if I leave the job?

    2) Where can I check my Status for Public Trust clearance?


  277. Avatar

    Hello; My TS/SCI and all access to classified information was suspended in 2006 pending the outcome of a security violation investigation. I was in fact later found guilty of the violation, 18 USC//1924, (Unauthorized removal and retention of classified material- a Class A Misdemeanor)

    I pleaded guilty to the charge in federal court and was fined $500 in mid-2007 with no other penalties imposed. The agency I worked for washed their hands of me and I was forced to resign while the incident was still under investigation.

    How can I find out if my security clearance has been revoked and if there is any action that I can take to appeal the revocation? No one at my previous agency is willing to provide any information nor has DSS sent me a revocation letter or intent to revoke.

    Yes, what I did was very foolish but I would like to know if there is someone that I can call or otherwise contact. Can you help me?

    Thank You

  278. Avatar

    I am about 8 years into a Secret Clearance. About 4 years ago, I had some health problems (heart arrhythmia) and my doc prescribed anti-depressants for the accompanying anxiety. I took them for about 3 months. He also suggested I see a counselor to deal with the anxiety, which I did and which ultimately became marriage counseling. I was not aware until recently that counseling sessions should be reported to an FSO. Should I report this to my FSO even though it has now been 4 years and am closing in on on my re-investigation.

  279. Avatar

    I have filed an Appeal of a “decision” made by DSS not to remove a false JPAS incident report even though I furnished documentation from an investigation performed by a State agency (granting me unemployment benefits) that these charges were false. My Appeal FOIA/PA #818-28(2) was filed on September 1, 2008. HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO WAIT for a reasonable intelligent review of my record. DSS has been jerking me around for over 6 months! I have had a Secret Security Clearance since 1965 and now cannot get a job because of this false report.

  280. Avatar

    I was recently offered a GS-11 Construction Rep job with the USAF. I only have to complete the NACI investigation with a start date of Dec.8. Everything was going well until recently, I was arrested for Violation of Injunction (2) counts. I have hired counsel, and she intends to have this dropped before the state officially files charges. Is this “Pending” issue going a disqualify me from this position? I did explain the incident on the OF306.