Background InvestigationsCareer AdviceObtaining Security Clearance

Ask Your Clearance Questions – Part 17

Our popular ongoing series allows you to ask your most complex questions regarding security clearances and our regular contributors of present and former clearance investigators and adjudicators will try to answer them. The rules are listed below. Failure to abide by them will mean your question will be deleted.

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Comment Archive

  1. Avatar

    I worked for a retail store that went bankrupt, how can my employment be verified?

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    Oops, the real question is: I got fired from a store that went bankrupt and out of business. Do I need to include this in my SF-86 since the store went out of business?

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    Yes include it. It is the investigator’s responsibility to obtain coverage of every employment a SUBJECT under investigation has had in the coverage period. When they do get coverage for the employment and it is developed that you were fired and you did not indicate it on your SF-86 then you are looking at a falsification issue which is never good.

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    I was selected for a position with FEMA (DHS) back in early August contingent upon a suitability detremination and a security background check. I was asked to fill out he SF-86 within seven days and I did. I also submitted all of the other security documents required. In Early September an investigator came to my place of employment and conducted an interview with me as well as my staff members. They also received a credit check report ( I received a notification from the credit bureau). My neighbors notified me that an investigator also interviewed them as well.

    In speaking with HR, as well as the group who sent me the package, I was told it would take about 2-3 months to complete this process but it now has been 4 plus months and I have not heard a word. I left messages for the HR folks as well as the investigative side and have not heard anything. My credit is excellent (score of 785), and my record is clean. The only challenge I have is my name. Everytime I go through airport check-in I get stopped. When I ask why I’m told my name is on a watch list but I’m usually cleared right away. Does it normally take amount of time to complete the process. I’m a bit concerned since I haven’t heard a peep. Any information regarding amount of time and process would be verymuch appreciated.

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    Did you live in more than 1 state? I highly doubt it is because of your name–if it was a concern, they would speak to you again. It’s possible DHS is backlogged in adjudication. Lately, 4 months is not the norm. Recommend you contact your security rep, not HR if you have not done so. Little frustrating sometimes, but wait a little longer and you should be done.

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    Do background ground investigations for top secret clearances go into checking account records? This is not normally part of your credit record, but I’m just wondering if they are able to look inside my checking and savings accounts.

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    In the 6+ years I have done this I have never looked at anyone’s checking or savings account. I believe there is a process to check to make sure a SUBJECT under investigation has not received or is not receiving significant funds from other accounts but I do not believe they look at checking or savings accounts. Mr. Henderson may be able elaborate.

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    I owe the IRS 90,000 dollars thanks to my Wife, I have a payment plan and have a lawyer working this issue. Will that deny me a personal trust/NACI clearance? I have submitted the paper work to them.

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    Montana Sam,
    More info is going to be needed regarding your issue. What is the exact reason you owe $90,000 in back taxes? Did you or your wife not pay taxes for a number of years? If so why didn’t you or your wife pay? Did you or your wife make a mistake filing them each year you filed which caused you to owe so much money? These are just some of the questions I would as during your interview?

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    She just claimed the maximum exemptions wanting to get more money back on her pay check. This was before I started filing joint and married, which made me somewhat liable for the debt.

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    If access to account records are needed to resolve an issue, the applicant is asked to sign a specific release for the records. This happens very rarely. I only did it a few times in my career, such as when trying verify the source of funds a Subject claimed was a gift from a relative. What I was looking and found was a suspicious incoming overseas wire transfer.

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    Sorry, I just realized that there was one more update to this thread… (this one). Didn’t mean to post my question in an earlier version : (

    For the past 3 months my husband has been trying to get an interview for a job that requires at least an interim security clearance. He was able to get the interview today, and they did the interview for the interim clearance, as well. My question is… as this interview dealt with information about his life over the past 10 years, he disclosed that he shared a “joint” with friends in 1999, when he was 18. He also disclosed that he was fired from a job in 2000, when he was 19, for “stealing”, although he explained that stealing was not his intention. He was a mechanic at the time, and was occassionally checking parts out of the parts department, and keeping them in his bay in order to be able to fix cars and get them out more quickly (he was working commission, and drowning in a sea of “big dogs”, just trying his best to keep up. It was a stupid decision on his part, but there was no malice or ill will intended. This job hinges on his ability to get an interim clearance. What do you think his chances are?

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    Will a family hardship causing a home foreclosure affect a federal employees security clearance?

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    This is what I’m concerned about. As I mentioned in “Ask Your Clearance Questions – Part 17”, I owned a business in Japan, while I was on a SOFA visa (my spouse is a US Federal Employee stationed here). I had two bank accounts in Japan, one personal and one business, both with the same Japanese bank. When I finally closed this business, I transferred $30,000 from my Japanese business account, to my personal Japanese account. Then I transferred $30,000 from my Japanese personal account to my US bank account.

    This was my money from my business, but I’m a little concerned about the fact that it came from Japan. I’m not sure if I should bring this up because I didn’t do anything illegal or unethical and it’s not a question on the SF86. And the Japanese accounts are closed now so I know it’s going to be a huge pain in the behind to get the records because it’s Japan and there is a language barrier.

    Should I bring it up?

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    Now that you provided more details about your situation a better answer can be provided. Question 20 a1 of the new SF86 asks “Do you have or have you EVER had any foreign financial businesses, foreign banks accounts, or other foreign financial interests of which you have direct control or direct ownership?”
    Your situation sounds like it falls right in line with this question. Therefore you will have to bring it up and fully discuss it.

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    The information you gave about your spouse doesn’t seem to be serious enough to decline granting an interim clearance.

    But the process you described sounds strange. The granting of an interim clearance is not based on an interview. Interim Secret clearances are based on a favorable review of an SF86 (clearance application form) and the submission of a request for investigation. Interim Top Secret clearances are based on a favorable review of the SF86, credit report, and advance results of a National Agency Check.

    Sometimes pre-nomination screening interviews are conducted on candidates for Sensitive Compartmented Information eligibility.

    Is the prospective employer a government agency or a federal contractor?

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    If the foreclosure results in delinquent debt, it can negatively affect anyone’s federal security clearance. The security concerns surrounding many financial problems can be mitigated. Recommend you read my 3 part article on Personal Finances and Security Clearances posted at

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    Hi, I just had a question. My fiancee is going to become a nuke, he wants to be on a carrier and he leaves for boot camp in march. His credit is better than mine in the respect that he has nothing on his credit report, bad or good. I have three things on mine. One was a credit card I had when I was seventeen which I am not even sure is legal for them to have given to me (which I lost my job immediately after having had it for one month despite having steady employment for 1 1/2). A collection agency for a cable bill I didn’t know about but that happened during a family hardship in which my mother was almost paralyzed and couldn’t work so I had to support my family, there are six of us total, my dad is also disabled. I didn’t know about that one until doing a credit check. Also, one from the power company I am currently having to investigate since my deposit came off of the last bill. I am not sure if the last one will even be an issue.
    At any rate all of these debts will be paid off by the time he goes to boot camp. I just wanted to know if it would be better to marry before he leaves or to wait. I don’t want to cost him his clearance since this is something he really wants to do. Honestly I am very responsible as a general rule, I have a stable work history and have even worked for an alarm monitoring company for which I had to pass an F.B.I. check. I have numerous people to vouch for me, but I don’t have any good marks on my credit report. I hate having bills and don’t want to go into debt so no credit cards other than the one I had when I was too young to appreciate I was destroying my credit. I am currently making car payments on a car I bought in November but the dealership where I bought it from is having issues with their credit reporting and until they get it sorted out it won’t appear on my credit report. I can get a letter of credit but do not know if that will help me at present.
    Ultimately, I really want to be with future husband but do not want to cost him this. I am going to have it all fixed but it looks on paper like I am a horrible person. If we get married before he leaves will I be enough of a liability to cost him clearance? What should I do? Also, is there anyway that other things could be on my credit report that they can see and I can’t? There were two other things on my credit report that were invalid and I wanted to make sure it isn’t going to be any worse than it should be.
    Thank you so much for all of your help….

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    Also I am 22. The credit card was at 17, the cable bill was 2 years ago, and the power bill which seems invalid was reported in November this year.

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    Hello Mr. Henderson, this is Ellen from the previous thread. I’m on a different computer.

    I appreciate all your help. However, I feel a need to explain what’s happened. It’s not quite as you say.

    Here are the facts of my case; rather, the facts about my case:

    – I am working for a federal contractor and am up for TS/SCI.
    – My personal interview with the investigator lasted about 25-30 minutes. I had spoken to another investigator, but only to provide references.
    – My case was submitted several weeks ago. (The interviewing investigator told me.)
    – I received a call from the client facility about my SF86/background.
    – The woman *clearly identified herself* as my case manager and adjudicator, not an investigator. She said she would be responsible for making the clearance recommendation, which would then be passed along to people higher up.
    – I was asked a few questions about my foreign contacts and experience with foreign nationals.

    Now this is not what you told me in the previous thread, but it is what happened. I was assured by the secretary at the facility that this is all very common and that everything was normal. So, um, am I in an alternate universe, or are we both crazy?

  21. Avatar

    Secret Clearance Question

    I have a missed court date for disorderly conduct from 5+ years ago. The actual “disorderly conduct” was very minor. I was escorted out of a bar and and then a police officer began rushing me off the street,to which I said something to(nothing crazy, but you know how law enforcement can be belligerent), and I was then put in the back of squad car.

    Initially the officer said that it would be a 2-3 hundred dollar fine, but wasn’t able to make an appearance in court for whatever reason. I recently contacted a law office about it and they said it would count as a criminal offense, and that i’d have to hire an attorney.

    I’m going to talk to an attorney, but is this something that would keep me from getting a security clearance? I don’t think anyone that’s ever met me would consider me a “criminal” of any sort, and I although I am going to talk to an attorney soon about the matter, I kind of chalk this one up to being young and dumb.

    Will an investigator be understanding and give me a pass, or is a criminal mark on my record automatically going to disqualify me from a secret clearance?

  22. Avatar

    I have two questions, but first, here is a quick background.

    Earlier this month, I was pulled over while driving for a rejected inspection sticker, and subsequently received a civil citation for an open container of alcohol (as well as a citation for the rejected sticker). My wife does not know about this incident, and I would rather not inform her about it. I’m planning on going to court and hoping to have the charge dismissed (since I have had no prior offenses), but I’m not terribly optimistic.

    Now for the questions:

    1. My wife is considering applying to a state department English Lanugage Officer position. In the process of her security clearance, is there any reason for me to be concerned that my open container incident would somehow come to her attention?

    2. If I were ever to consider applying for a position requiring a security clearance, I presume based on reading previous posts that even if I have the civil infraction dismissed in court, I would still have to report it as an alcohol related incident that I was charged with. I’m not terribly concerned that this, in it of itself, would hurt my chances since I have no other alcohol related offenses (or any other criminal/civil offenses other than a few minor traffic tickets over the years). However, should I expect that the fact that my wife does not know about the open container offense to come up in the interview process and/or would an interviewer contact or ask my wife about that offense in the process of doing the background check?

    Thanks in advance.

  23. Avatar

    Over my lifetime I’ve lived in 5 states but only in VA for the last 10. I hope it’s only a backlog and not any other issue. Thanks for your reply.

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    At one point in time I was a member of an adult online site and posted some pictures of me that I’m worried could be considered as a possibility for use as blackmail. It was all completely legal but if the investigators were to find out about this would I have trouble getting secret clearance? I figure the only way they could know is if the FBI was looking at the sites I was on through my ISP (which I doubt happened but who knows whats possible). I don’t personally feel it could be used as blackmail against me but that doesn’t mean an investigator wouldn’t see it that way. Is this something that should be of concern?

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    Posted this in “Part 16” before I saw the new thread.

    I am transitioning from active duty military into a federal service job but it is contingent on receiving a clearance. I currently hold a Secret and will need a TS/SCI for the job. I am a US citizen, my wife is naturalized for over 20 years and my daughter has dual citizenship until 18 yrs old because a birth abroad. I’m not worried about my immediate family; it’s my in-laws that give me concern. My father-in is a US citizen and my mother-in is naturalized and they are missionaries living overseas. We have no affiliation with any other person living there other than my in-laws but by the nature of there work they do. Will their living in another country hurt my chances of receiving a TS/SCI clearance?

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    My husband has a top security clearence. I am looking at getting my citizenship in my mothers native county as well as the US. How can this affect my husbands clearence?

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    One question,
    Who else knows about you posting these pics of yourself on this adult website? Have you already met with an investigator or are you still waiting to meet with one? Your post sounds like that either you did not tell your investigator about the pics if you already did meet or you do not plan on telling your investigator about them and you hope that your investigator doesn’t find out about them. You say you don’t feel you could be blackmailed about it but you should really think about. If someone out of the blue told you he or she knew about the pics and would tell your family, your friends and everyone you worked with about the pics unless you provided them with classified or proprietary info from the location you worked at, what would you do? You also want to consider how the gov’t agency or contractor you are applying to would feel about the pics if/when they find out. Would it be an embarassement to them? Even if you don’t think you could be blackmailed about the pics would they think you could be.

  28. Avatar

    No one knows about them and I have not met with an investigator yet. I guess I could be blackmailed but I didn’t put my name or anything anywhere on the site so I am hoping they would decide that I can still be given secret clearance. I guess I will have to wait and see. My start date isn’t until June so I wont be doing the investigation for a couple of months. I just didn’t know if I should keep looking for other jobs in case.

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    And I guess I should also add back in September, even before I got this offer/interview for the job, I canceled these sites and the pictures are removed. So, unless someone saved them to their computer, then were to later realize it was me, they can’t be gotten anymore

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    I was wondering if you could tell me how logging into a boyfriend’s email to discover if he was cheating would affect the likelihood of being granted a clearance since this falls under misuse of information technology. Is it relevant that he had earlier shared his password with me? This was a one-time incident and I immediately confronted the boyfriend (who was in fact cheating). Also, this took place almost 3 years ago.

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    My SSBI closed in December 2003 and my TS clearance was adjudicated in January 2004. I submitted my PR in September of this year, but as far as I know my SSBI is still ongoing.

    Do I need to get an interim clearance? When does my access expire? Five years after my SSBI closed or five years after adjudication? Who in the Army can grant an interim secret or TS? How long does that take?

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    Hi… I posted a message a little bit ago on 17 December. Just wanted to quickly update you, Mr. Henderson, that I may have been somewhat mistaken/misleading about the form that requests information on previous polygraph tests in order to obtain TS/SCI. Having looked over that form again today, it is something internal to my company–apparently a way for managers to “nominate” employees for SCI access, and thus be handled by the company’s personnel security office. I hope that clarifies that particular point. Thank you for answering the other parts of my question!!

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    I agree there should not be phone conversations of this nature. there are many correct ways to get information on such matters and, the telephone is not one of them. I have not and will not discuss any private matters on the telephone. Now, if I slipped a little and missed a date..etc… (non-important items) I may ask by telephone. Also, hard to complete a thorough Subj interview in such short of time. My MBI’s take longer!!!! Now, with that said–I’m guessing the inv was not adequately trained and may not be at fault here–hard to say. On the other hand–if training was inadequate “OPEN THE MANUAL” and read.

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    one question,

    Remember, just because someone said they would try to blackmail you, doesn’t mean they can. If you are not afraid of others finding out–than I guess blackmail would not apply. Also, I am no computer expert but once on the web always on the web (Somewhere).

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    When I hear about situations like yours, I sometimes think that there are very few bastions of professionalism left in this field. Perhaps I’m the one living in an alternate universe—a universe in which things are done the way they are suppose to be done. There is a legal term, “ex parte communication,” which is any communication between one party to an action and the judge. In legal proceedings ex parte communications are prohibited. In administrative proceedings, such as security clearance processing, procedural rules are not as strict, but the intent of the rules should apply. There should be no informal communication, such as telephone conversation, about substantive matters between the applicant and the adjudicator or the investigator and the adjudicator. Adjudicators can communicate directly with applicants through formal means, such as written interrogatories, SORs, at hearings, and written appeals.

    A Personal Subject Interview (PRSI) of 25 to 30 minutes totally inadequate for a normal adult and only marginally adequate for an 18 year old or a cloistered nun. I sure hope that your PRSI was conducted in person and not over the telephone. The investigator that contacted you for names of references should have requested this information from the investigator that conducted your PRSI. It seems to me that the only reason the case manager/adjudicator asked you questions on the telephone was because the investigator who did your PRSI failed to ask all the necessary questions and the adjudicator did not want to delay the case by sending it back to the investigator to have the PRSI done properly. This is not the proper way of doing things.

    Unfortunately there are over 100 federal agencies that adjudicate investigations and some are staffed with personnel who have not been trained properly or who have been cutting corners for so long due to the enormous pressure that previously existed to move cases through the system that they have forgotten the proper way of doing things.

    I hope the investigators and adjudicators who contribute to this blog agree with me on this. I would welcome their comments.

  36. Avatar

    Get married when you want to get married. Your financial delinquencies that occurred before marriage will not affect your future spouse’s security clearance, unless the problem gets worse. Correct your financial problems in a responsible reasonable manner and everything should be fine.

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    You have two criminal charges against you—disorderly conduct and failure to appear. Both are misdemeanors. There may be an outstanding arrest (bench) warrant for you. Your conduct will not automatically disqualify you for a clearance. Five years is probably sufficient to mitigate you past misconduct, but your failure to take responsibility for your actions (i.e. go to court) will be more difficult to mitigate. It doesn’t matter what the investigator thinks about your actions, he/she will investigate and report all relevant information; it’s the adjudicator’s opinion that matters. BTW, I disagree with your characterization of law enforcement personnel, and I recommend that you be a little more circumspect when talking about them. Many in the security clearance field have a law enforcement background, and you don’t want to insult an investigator who is in a position to help you present mitigating information.

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    That fact that your in-laws are missionaries in a foreign country probably won’t have much of an effect on your clearance, unless the country presents a hightened risk of exploitation. I’m confused by your use of the term “naturalized.” If your father-in-law is a native-born US citizen, then so is your wife. Don’t assume that your daughter has dual citizenship just because she was born in a foreign country. Check out the citizenship laws of the country where she was born at

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    Just obtaining foreign citizenship (by you) shouldn’t have any affect your husband’s clearance.

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    If your former boyfriend gave you his email password with the intention of allowing you unlimited access to his email account, then yes it is relevant. The fact that this occurred 3 years ago, that you told him what you did, and it was a one-time incident are all mitigating factors. What you have described is not very serious and if it’s the worst thing you have done, you should have nothing to worry about.

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    Your traffic offenses will have no affect on your wife’s clearance. The “open container” offense is alcohol-related and will always have to be listed on a security clearance application. Unless you are a “secret drinker,” I don’t understand why you are making an issue of hiding this information from your spouse. You may be asked by an investigator “who else knows about your open container offense?” If the fact that your wife doesn’t know becomes an issue, then just tell her and it will no longer be an issue. You wife will not be interviewed unless there is some special reason to do so.

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    I received the following response elsewhere…is it true about the situation I posted earlier?

    Unless you are undergoing a Lifestyle Polygraph exam, this issue would not even come up during your investigation. If you undergo the Counter-Intelligence (CI) poly, the examiner is not allowed to probe your lifestyle, but only issues that bear on criminal behavior. I don’t think you have anything to worry about.

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    Hello. I worked for a defense contractor in 2002 where I was fired for some alledged impropriety. I did not contest any of the employers assertions and accepted termination of employment, (Let me know if you need details of this event.) I had held a secret clearence at the time of termination. Now, I am looking at gaining employment at another contractor that requires the ability to obtain a secret – but I am not sure I can because I have a suspicion that my former employer may have left an adverse action or incident report in my DSS records. I have requested any relevant records from the DSS under PA/FOIA but so far they say all they have found is my initial background investigation on file (The DSS employee states: “Based on a search of your automated indices here at DSSHQ, we only have
    a 2001 background investigative file pertaining to you. I have requested a copy of that file from our repository and will forward it to you upon receipt”).
    My question is: How do I know if anything was left in my records by my previous employer?
    Given the response from the DSS, should I assume that my records are clean but if not, what can I do to make sure that they are clean or not, as the case may be? Thanks in advance for all your help!!! -Jason

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    Thanks for the response to my previous question. An unrelated second question – my current boyfriend of more than two years is Israeli (we met at a previous post). I already hold a TS clearance and I followed all the appropriate procedures when we started dating, so DS has already done an investigation and everything is fine as far as I know. This shouldn’t be an issue with renewing my clearance, should it?

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    I was given an OCS slot and I am very excited to start my career in the military. I have a spotless record with awards in organizations from college and also from the job I had. On the SF 86 form I listed the times I smoked in high school since it was a long time ago but I was scared that I would be denied the opportunity and did not list the few times I did in college and the few times I did prior to applying to the military. I haven’t had any background check performed yet and I’m unsure if my form is even submitted yet. I was told by people to just leave it alone since there is absolutely no proof that I even did it and to just stick to my story since it’s just my word vs. theirs and none of my friends would rat me out. Should I try to add that information now or should I just wait until I am contacted by an investigator. I have read some of the current officers that are in this situation but several years in and I don’t want that to happen. I also don’t want to lose this opportunity. I’m such an idiot and am so worried about this that I can hardly sleep. I need advice and I thank you in advance for the assistance.

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    Hello. First let me say this has to be the most informative, well structured security clearance related website I’ve seen and I would like to say “thanks” to all the contributors for taking their personal time to reply. I’m an old Army guy and I can only imagine if information such as this was available when I completed my first paper SF form.
    My questions are as follows: I have an active secret clearance from DoD granted Feb 2004. I just finish my eQIP to determine suitability for a DHS job I’m applying for. The suitability process seem allot like my clearance process so I’m not entirely sure is involved in determining suitability so that would be my first question
    1. What is the process for determining suitability for DHS?
    2. Will they take into consideration my current clearance information and status?
    Also my family has been affected by the recent housing problems and in March of this year we lost our home to foreclosure. We have not received any amount owed as of date and we are in communication with the bank. I listed this on my eQIP as well but fear this could be a issue.
    3. In your opinion, will this affect me being found “suitable” for employment?
    Once again thank you all for your help. This is truly a great site.

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    By obtaining the foreign citizenship, your husband’s clearance will need to be re-adjudicated. Your husband must report your dual citizenship to his command. If your husband has a TS/SCI clearance, depending on the agency, they will decide whether there is a compelling need for him to keep his higher level clearance and then submit their recommendation for adjudication. The adjudicators will then decide what level of risk is associated with the country you are obtaining citizenship from and make their decision on his clearance.

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    I had a child with an ex-girlfriend. My name was placed on the birth certificate but I never saw the child after that, I had no idea where she was or where she was living until recently when I was served with a termination of parental rights. Upon contacting an attorney I found out that she had married and wanted her husband to adopt the child. My lawyer represented me saying I would not contest the termination of parental rights. The judge ruled in her favor and my parental rights were terminated. Could this situation hurt my chances at a clearance?

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    I am a former Marine in the HUMINT field and have worked as a contract intelligence worker for the past three years in Iraq. I have held a clearance for the past ten years and have recently submitted for my periodic update. When I was 19 I was charged with statutory rape. The charges were dropped and expunged and I was told by the prosecutor then that “This never happened”. I took him at his word and had not stated anything about it up to this point. I recently, out of curiosity, checked my previous state arrest record and found the arrest still there. I have attempted to contract someone to correct my answer on the SF86 regarding felony charges without any success. I do not want my clearance to be in jeopardy because they question my integrity. Does anyone have any ideas of what I should do? Also, what are anyone’s opinions regarding how this will effect my clearance situation.

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    I am a federal government contractor and have an interview with DoD in January for a position as a civil servant. I currently have a TS that was granted January 2008. If offered the position, I will be required to get processed for a TS/SCI.

    The kicker, I’m in the middle of a bankruptcy and foreclosure on a home my wife and I own. I can fully justify the bankruptcy/foreclosure based on economic and unavoidable circumstances.

    If offered the position, will they rescind the offer when they see this on my record? Should I fully disclose this at the outset after accepting a job offer? Will I be able to get approved for SCI? Thank you for your insight.

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    Investigative and adjudicative standards are being changed right now. Even the interval for reinvestigations (soon to be called continuous evaluation) will change next year. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

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    How long does it take to get an SCI. Can a candidate get it on his or her own? Who requires an SCI? Is it the company you work for or the client?

  53. Avatar

    … for all the info and insight into the investigative and adjudicative process for clearances.

    For the readers of the blog this was my full timeframe:

    04-08 applied
    05-08 Interview, SF86, fingerprints, physical
    07-08 Investigation complete
    12-08 Adjudication complete, clearance granted

    thanks again.

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    Mr. Henderson,
    You have provided a lot of solid advice for people on this blog. I am hoping you can provide some insight on a question regarding a pending security clearance background check that will be conducted on me shortly. I was employed as an investigator for over five years with a contractor of OPM. I was later terminated over a year ago due to possible falsification. I have denied the reason for termination and will be pursuing the matter down the road within the court system. I felt that the matter was handled in a manner which was unprofessional by my former employer. I enjoyed and took a passion to my work everyday. I am currently seeking to become a contract investigator and would like to know if this termination will ultimately lead me to being disqualified for the security clearance needed for the position? I have had no prior issues with this employer and no other issues financially or criminal. Again, I am really hoping to again start my career as an investigator. Thanks in advance for any input and good luck to all!

  55. Avatar

    I am wondering if the following time line is typical:

    Completed EPSQ for TS/SSBI June 2004
    Interim Secret granted July 2004
    Input all of the data again into e-QIP February 2007
    Secret granted July 2007:
    This email is to inform you that your recent security
    clearance initial investigation and access adjudication has been
    completed. Your information is as follows:
    Eligibility Type: Secret
    Eligibility Date: 2007 07 27
    Investigation Type: National Agency Check, Local Agency Check & Credit (NACLC)

    I have a suspicion that my employer changed the requirement from TS/SSBI to Secret but they will not comment. In addition, no one contacted me. No interviews. Is three years for a Secret typical?

  56. Avatar

    Thanks so much for your answer William. I actually have a different set of questions now (which might shed a little light on my hesitancy to reveal the open container ticket to my wife).

    I left out of my original post that leading up to this ticket, for the past year and a half, I’ve developed a habit of frequenting strip clubs and massage parlors, which my wife has no knowledge of. The ticket has been something of a wake up call for me (as I got it on the way to a strip club), and a motivator for me to get some professional help and stop this behavior.

    I realized after my last post that its probably unlikely I could ever get a security clearance since all of this would theoretically be information that someone could use to blackmail me (unless I told my wife). My questions are only related to her getting a security clearance.

    1) If she tries to get a confidential or secret clearance, is my understanding correct that I, as her spouse, would probably *not* have to also submit to some kind of background check where the truth of my indiscretions would come up?

    2) If she tries to get a top secret clearance, should I expect that I would have to submit to some kind of background check and interview where my indiscretions would inevitably come up?

    3) In general, regardless of what level of security check she goes through, if for whatever reason the investigator comes across information of my indiscretion, how would they handle it? Would they tell her outright? Would they just tell her she was rejected because of something in her husband’s background?

    As a footnote, I really don’t want to confess what I’ve done to my wife, or if I do, I would like a good deal of time to pass by so at least I could be able to demonstrate that I’ve changed my ways. Regardless, I’m almost certain it would probably be the end of our marriage. However, she is *really* gung-ho about a government job, and frankly, if it’s inevitable that this will all come up during a security clearance check, I would rather tell her myself beforehand, than have her find out via the investigation. I understand that there may not be absolute, black & white answers to my questions; I’m really just trying to get a better understanding of how a spouse’s history and behavior can impact a security clearance.

    Again, thanks in advance for your help.

  57. Avatar

    Just to clarify one thing above – when I said she really wants a government job, I meant to say she really wants a job with the Department of State. It seems like most openings here require being able to get and maintain a Top Secret clearance…

  58. Avatar

    Why do TS/SCI clearances get adjudicated every time my employer/contract company changes? In some cases it is a year, other times just a few months. The customer is the same federal agency but nonetheless a new SF86 must be submitted and reviewed. In some cases the delay is just a few months but causes workflow issues.

  59. Avatar

    The investigation for Confidential and Secret clearances is either an NACLC or an ANACI (the ANACI is used for federal employment plus the clearance). The investigation for a Top Secret clearance is an SSBI. Chapter 1 of my book, Security Clearance Manual, is posted at my website and explains each investigation. As for your questions:

    1. Normally no investigation of spouse for a NACLC or ANACI.
    2. Normally only a National Agency Check on spouse for SSBI.
    3. I’m not sure.

    I don’t see how your susceptibility to blackmail could affect her clearance, because in order for a blackmailer to put any pressure on her directly or through you she would have to be told about your conduct, which eliminates the basis for the blackmail.

  60. Avatar

    Hopeful Investigator,

    Tough spot to be in. I am kinda curious as to why you haven’t pursued court action as of yet. I know we investigators can walk a thin line on these falsification charges. We are many times at the mercy of others involved and I sometimes wonder if complete and thorough investigations are involved in these allegations. I believe if you did nothing wrong, you should pursue soon to clear your name or your struggle to regain a position is going to be very tough. I wish you luck and I know there are alot of folks in your same position.

  61. Avatar


    This is a very common problem. Always list these type of things even if expunged as the arrest record will show. Lawyers do not live in the same “Cleared” world and I’m sure they do not distinguish this process any differently than a simple job application. Tell your Security Officer right away and explain the incident to the investigator so he/she can help you clarify your side of the story. The more clear and concise details you have to give the investigator, the better. Good luck and thanks for your service.

  62. Avatar


    You will not find any contributors to this blog, who will tell you it’s OK to purposely conceal the info. I recommend you correct your mistake now or you may very well be asking the same questions again in five years or sooner depending on clearance needs. Sounds like you want to do the right thing or you wouldn’t be losing sleep. As a Commissioned Officer you will be held to high standards, so don’t start your career in such a negative way. Never assume we will never find out. If it is found out and you intentionally lied, I bet you will have a hard time convincing an adjudicator to clear you. Again, BW’s ole saying–Better to beg forgiveness than to be caught in a lie. Tough spot and I wish you the best of luck.

  63. Avatar

    I work for an contractor and have been nominated for a TS/SCI.

    I already have a full TS/SSBI.

    What is the process in obtaining an TS/SCI? My understanding is it is not handled by OPM but by the military branch I’m contracted through?

    My record is clean. I have heard nothing from any party since I was told by my boss I was being nominated for an TS/SCI. Is the military branch already adjudicating it and I’m just awaiting the results? It has reportedly been a few months now since the nomination.

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  64. Avatar

    Thanks again William, I really do appreciate all your help. Your link was really helpful and helped clarify for me the process a spouse goes through when obtaining a top security clearance. If I understand correctly, the spouse has a background check done (the NAC), but there is no subject interview? In other words, there really shouldn’t be much reason for me to be concerned about my indiscretions coming up because there wouldn’t be any form that I would have to fill listing such activities, or interview where I might face questions regarding such things?

    I do just have one final question (I’m sorry I’ve had so many posts and I really do appreciate all your help and time taken to answer them!) I assume that I would still talk to an investigator with respect to being a reference for my wife. When interviewing spouses in this capacity, do investigators typically just keep the focus of those questions on the person who is actually applying for the security clearance, or is it possible (or even typical) for them to begin asking personal questions of the spouse (or in other words, could the investigator start asking me point blank questions about my past fidelity)?

    Thanks again, and I promise, this is my last question!

  65. Avatar

    Were you required to pay child support prior to your parental rights being terminated? If so did you pay on time? Is it common knowledge you an your ex-girlfriend had a child out of wedlock? Could you be blackmailed because of it?
    As long as you were not late on any child support and you can not be blackmailed about having a child with your ex g/f out of wedlock I do not see any problems.

  66. Avatar

    We only interview spouses as a last resort or if they have direct knowledge of an issue their respective spouse is involved in.
    If a spouse is interviewed we keep the questions related to the person actually going for the clearance. We will not ask your background.

  67. Avatar

    There is nothing typical about your experience. Your Secret clearance did not take 3 years; it took 5 months. My best guess is that your initial application in 2004 was terminated before the investigation was completed. There are no routine reference interviews or Subject Interview in a NACLC.

  68. Avatar

    Hopeful Investigator:
    Falsification of government documents is a potentially disqualifying condition that is very difficult to mitigate. Even if your new SSBI is favorably adjudicated for a critical-sensitive position, I’m not sure a government agency would issue you investigative credentials unless you disprove the allegations against you. When the opportunity presents itself (i.e. during a PRSI) ask for an exculpatory polygraph exam. Some agencies can accommodate such requests.

  69. Avatar

    Ghost Rider:
    I suspect that they are only reviewing your new SF86 to see if any new issues exist that where not present when your last investigation was completed. Even so, I don’t know why they are doing it. It is not required; in fact it is prohibited by OMB and DNI policy. There are just too many agencies out there doing things as they please without regard to national policy.

  70. Avatar

    A candidate must be sponsored for a clearance by a government agency or a cleared federal contractor. The requirement for a TS/SCI is based on the need for access to classified information at that level to do a job. The length of time (end-to-end) to get a TS/SCI varies greatly from as little 4 months to as much as 18 months.

  71. Avatar

    As Mr. Henderson said unless you listed something on your case papers that fell with in the Special Interview (SPIN) criteria or the various checks developed something that fell with in the SPIN criteria you nor any friends, neighbors or co-workers would be contacted/interviewed for a Secret Clearance.

  72. Avatar

    BW and Mr. Henderson,
    As I am sure you know BW OPM is taking a closer look at the work its contract investigators are doing. One of my co-workers, who I actually helped train, recently was removed from the OPM contract and is going to be terminated from my company because he was not doing his job. He was always noting out items he could not cover. OPM recognized his pattern of doing this. They asked us to follow up on some of his cases. I worked on one of them and was able to obtain an employment record and sources for the employment item he noted out. I think as of last check they had gone back on 23 cases of his in which he noted out items he could not cover. OPM has since taken over re-working all of his cases until they find a solid number of cases in which he did actually do the work.
    I was wondering to myself if he may have been on a “investigator watch list” so to speak since I had to do some internal investigations on him about a year or so ago in which he was asking inappropriate questions to SUBJECTs under investigation as well as contacting them numerous times for information he already obtained from them. He was also contacting SUBJECTs at inappropriate times, like at home on a Sunday evening at 9pm or 9:30pm.
    It frustrates me a lot since I helped train him and he knew better. On the flip side two investigators that I did help train are top producers for our team and one of them was investigator of the year for our business unit. What are you going to do?

  73. Avatar

    I’ve recently transitioned from a Navy Contractor to Navy Civilian. I currently have an active “Secret” Clearance with my contracting company, but was told I needed to re-do the entire clearance process again once I joined the Government. The explanation I was given by the command was “the navy does a more thorough investigation…”

    I was wondering if there was any validity to this statement. Is a “Secret” Clearance not standard? If so, how would I go about challenging this, if the security officer is wrong? Thx in advance…

  74. Avatar

    I have worked on and off for DOE subcontractors since 1985. I have held both DOE ‘L’ and ‘Q’ clearances in the past. In 1991 I filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy (excessive credit card debt) which was promptly reported to DOE. The bankruptcy was discharged in 1991 (I held a ‘Q’ clearance at the time, and did not lose the clearance). Now, in 2009, I am again facing financial difficulties (excessive credit card debt and recurring medical debts monthly due to a chronic medical condition). I currently hold an active ‘L’ clearance. If I cannot reconcile with my debtors and have to file a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy again, will this be considered a recurring ‘negative financial behavior’ and result in a loss of my clearance? Not having a clearance will result in the termination of my employment.


  75. Avatar

    I have just been granted a higher clearance for a DoD contractor job I’ve held for the last 5 years (Gov’t changed the requirements). I’ve been looking to move-on to other opportunies for the past year because my long commute takes me past many potential jobs. I paused my search for the clearance investigation.

    What happens if I switch jobs for a job that requires my level of clearance (so soon)?

    Should I wait a certain about of months?

  76. Avatar

    Quick question:

    I currently have a DOE Q-Level clearance. If I apply for other employment, will this be accepted as a TS clearance or will I have to start the investigation process over again?


  77. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson and BW,

    I am about to graduate college with my masters degree. I have been offered a job that requires a top secret clearance and have filled out forms for the company disclosing issues that would be brought up during the clearance process.

    Everything except prior drug use fine. However, I am very concerned about my experimentation with harder drugs when I was 16 during the summer after 10th grade (year 2002) in high school. I snorted heroin and cocaine less than 8 times (It was so long ago I can’t quite recall but am sure it was no more than this). I also did MDMA twice, mushrooms twice, and marijuana less than 15 times during this period. Since ~February of 2003 I have used no illegal drugs except marijana once in May 2004.

    I am no longer in contact with anyone I used these drugs around and have placed geographical distance between myself and these people. I did not use any illegal drugs in college or in graduate school and certainly do not plan to in the future.

    To be honest, I’m surprised the company offered me a position knowing my past history of drug use. What are my chances of getting the required top secret clearance? Of course, I plan to be 100% forthcoming and honest during the entire process.

    Thoughts are greatly appreciated!

  78. Avatar

    I think my former landlord is considering taking me to court to sue for damage to the rental house I moved out of last year. I am willing to forfeit the security deposit to cover the cost of repairing the minor damage that I feel was my fault even though I think many landlords would consider it nothing more than a reasonable amount of “wear and tear” considering the amount of time I lived in the property.
    Some of the damage, on the other hand, was in my view clearly caused by the landlord’s failure to properly maintain the house and I have indicated that I do not feel I should have to pay for the problems that were caused by his own negligence and inattentiveness. I reported those problems promptly when they arose a couple of years ago and he took no action to deal with some problems and responded up to a year late in regard to other problems while I lived in the property. I am pretty confident I would win if we ended up in court, and my lawyer thinks the same, but if we are wrong and the ruling is against me I will certainly promptly pay any damages beyond the security deposit that the court may award to the landlord. Will this be an issue for me when I have my reinvestigation later this year? How should I handle it now to keep it from being a problem later on? Is it simply a matter of keeping my security officer informed and complying with any court rulings if there are damages awarded to the landlord or do I need to be doing anything else? Thank you for your help with this very frustrating situation and happy new year to everyone.

  79. Avatar

    Who is notified when an application is adjudicated? In my case the (industrial) sponsor lost interest when the interim was denied but left the application in and I since had the interview etc. The sponsor has not replied to my inquiries as to status. For all I know it might have been approved or denied already – will I be notified directly if this happens or only through the sponsor? I learned from Mr Henderson’s book that an applicant has a limited time to respond to a denial (SOR) so I’m rather concerned if it goes to the sponsor and he doesn’t pass it on.

  80. Avatar

    Mr Henderson

    I have a question, i was cleared for a q clearance in nov 08, i did not get the job. I think i will apply for the same position in a few years, my question is will i have to go thru the hole investigative processes again. And will they go back the same amount of years or will they just investigate froom the time i was cleared to the time i applied again for the position?.

  81. Avatar

    I accepted a promotional transfer, we have just begun the buying process on a home in our new location, however, the renters in our prior home have begun to default on rent. We have asked the mortgage company to reduce the rate to help us cover the payment. The renters have 6 more months left. If we have to let the house go into foreclosure, how will it affect my TS clearance when it is re-don in 4 years? It is the last option, we are about to try to get the m. company to allow us to short sell… We had the house listed for sale for 6 months before we took the move, and had 1 person look at it. All other homes (10 total) in our area were short sales listed at approx. 100,000 below what we owed on ours.
    Sorry if this has been asked, a little hard to drill down through all the posts here.

  82. Avatar

    To any contributor,

    I posted a question on 30 December that I have not yet received a reply to. Can someone please provide some insight into my question? Thank you so much for your help. The message was as follows:


    I am a federal government contractor and have an interview with DoD in January for a position as a civil servant. I currently have a TS that was granted January 2008. If offered the position, I will be required to get processed for a TS/SCI.

    The kicker, I’m in the middle of a bankruptcy and foreclosure on a home my wife and I own. I can fully justify the bankruptcy/foreclosure based on economic and unavoidable circumstances.

    If offered the position, will they rescind the offer when they see this on my record? Should I fully disclose this at the outset after accepting a job offer? Will I be able to get approved for SCI? Thank you for your insight.

  83. Avatar

    The investigation for federal employment is a NACI. The investigation for a Secret clearance is a NACLC. The investigation for both federal employment and a Secret clearance is an ANACI, which is a combination of the elements of a NACI and a NACLC. To become a Navy civilian you will need at least a NACI (since you already had the NACLC), but they could do an ANACI instead.

  84. Avatar

    First off I want to say how happy i am about finding this website. Here is my situation. I am active duty in the US military and have held a secret clearance for almost a year now. After my investigation was completed, but before the clearance was granted I was convicted of DUI while home on leave during christmas. The situation was me being inside of my vehicle in a parking lot, not driving down a road. I still have my secret clearance, and i am about to change my MOS(military occupation specialty) to a job that requires the clearance that i have. I am wondering if the will do their own investigation, or if the clearance i have will work? I am also wondering if they do another investigation if this will cause problems, as i plan to be honest as i have before on the SF-86 concerning an underage drinking charge. Thank you very much for your time.


  85. Avatar

    If you were actually granted a “Q” access authorization (clearance) before the job offer was withdrawn, you can have your clearance reinstated by DOE or reciprocally accepted by another federal agency at the Secret or Top Secret level anytime before November 2010. After that a new investigation will have to be conducted from scratch.

  86. Avatar

    To who ever can help?

    The staffing company I was working with informed me my interim clearance was approved 4-5 business days after it was submitted. The next day I went in to complete paper work and get my prints done. A few hours after I arrived home from their office they called me and told me the approved interim clearance was taken back and has now declined, but they would still be going forward with the full clearance. Two days later the staffing company informed me they were no longer going to continue with the full clearance investigation.

    The staffing company told me they weren’t informed why the interim clearance was approved and then declined and that the investigating party did not have to explain why.

    How can an approved clearance be later declined and is it correct they do not have to explain why?

  87. Avatar

    Your bankruptcy from 1991 should not be a significant factor in evaluating your financial responsibility. Whether or not your clearance is revoked will depend primarily on the reasons for your current indebtedness and your efforts to meet your financial obligations.

  88. Avatar

    The government doesn’t care if you switch jobs 2 days or 2 years after being granted a clearance. The government is only concerned with your perceived abilitiy and willingness to properly safeguard classified information.

  89. Avatar

    If your “Q” access authorization (clearance) is based on an investigation that is less than 5 years old, your clearance should be reciprocally accepted at another federal agency at the TS level.

  90. Avatar

    Hello. I worked for a defense contractor in 2002 where I was fired for some alledged impropriety. I did not contest any of the employers assertions and accepted termination of employment, (Let me know if you need details of this event.) I had held a secret clearence at the time of termination. Now, I am looking at gaining employment at another contractor that requires the ability to obtain a secret – but I am not sure I can because I have a suspicion that my former employer may have left an adverse action or incident report in my DSS records. I have requested any relevant records from the DSS under PA/FOIA but so far they say all they have found is my initial background investigation on file (The DSS employee states: “Based on a search of your automated indices here at DSSHQ, we only have
    a 2001 background investigative file pertaining to you. I have requested a copy of that file from our repository and will forward it to you upon receipt”).
    My question is: How do I know if anything was left in my records by my previous employer?
    Given the response from the DSS, should I assume that my records are clean but if not, what can I do to make sure that they are clean or not, as the case may be? Thanks in advance for all your help!!!

  91. Avatar

    Hello all, I’m currently about to begin the background investigation process for a TS clearance with a federal law enforcement agency, to be conducted by OPM. My question is rather simple – will I be required to submit copies of my tax returns or W-2s or Soc Sec. records as part of the process? Nothing funny in my past, just trying to get a glimpse of what to expect/be prepared – it can take a while to get those docs and I want to be adjudicated quickly. Thanks!

  92. Avatar

    Nervous Nelly:
    If there are no other issues in your background, 4+ years of abstinence from illegal drug involvement combined with your change in associates and lifestyle should be sufficient mitigation. Your abstinence is important, but so is the perception of your friends and associates. If they fully corroborate that you have not had any involvement with illegal drugs for over four years and further attest to your good character and responsible conduct, your chances of getting a final TS clearance are good.

    Potential employers are not allowed to use information you provide for your clearance application to influence their hiring decisions.

  93. Avatar

    Pretty Steamed:
    Although you may be questioned about it, the government does not expect you to pay a claim that you do not legally owe. If this matter is not resolved before your next reinvestigation, it is perfectly acceptable to tell the investigator that you disagree with the landlord’s claim against you for the reasons you have stated, you have retained an attorney to represent you in this matter, and you will comply with the judgment of a court. Of course keep your security officer informed of any major developments and document your actions.

  94. Avatar

    You will not be notified directly. All information will go through your sponsor’s FSO. For the purposes of submitting a response to an SOR, the clock does not start ticking until you sign a document acknowledging receipt of the SOR.

  95. Avatar

    The foreclosure per se is not very significant. What is significant is how you handle the debt you owe after the foreclosure. If you have PMI or some other mortgage insurance, no worries. BTW your reinvestigation may occur much sooner than you think. Sometime within the next 20 months reinvestigations for TS clearances will be replaced by “continuous evaluation” which really means annual security checks.

  96. Avatar

    Have a LBI,on a sf85p/Pulic trust/ now after 5 yrs having PR. well after trying to dispute some past due debts i could not come out with proof so i ended up paying, this depts over the 7 yrs period, but each time i requested a investigation they up date it. anyway do i have to still put it down even doe they are paid. creditors told me they ware going to send letters to credit Co. to eliminate the balance. One was settle for 493.34 from 986.68 the other was for 670.00 but they gave a 20% off because it was over ten yrs old. so i ended up paying 536.with some cents. i discover this depts when i requested a credit report from annualfreecreditreport.I recomend evry body should do it. you never khow.

  97. Avatar

    I don’t know if they will recind the job offer. That’s a personnel decision, not a security clearance decision. The better your reasons for the bankruptcy and foreclosure, the better your chances of mitigating the financial issue. If you haven’t already, you should notify your FSO about the pending bankruptcy/foreclosure. Don’t make your situation worse by not complying with security regulations. You will probably have to submit a new SF86 for the TS/SCI. I would be totally upfront with the personnel staff about your situation. You have to satisfy both employment suitability criteria and security clearance criteria to get the job.

  98. Avatar

    Hello everyone,
    I have just got out of the United States Army on an Honorable Discharge because of a Personality Disorder. I just found out that my Secret clearance was “suspended” because of the incident, and I was told that once I got out, it will never become active. I know that this will effect me getting a government job, and with the economy being the way it is, people are scrambling to find work. Is there any way that i can get my secret clearance reinstated? I have worked so hard for 8 years to keep my Clearance, and I deserve my Clearance back. Thank you so much for the advice.

  99. Avatar

    Does the Dept of Homeland Security have a policy signed by the Sec of DHS (or his designated rep) that requires all individuals being put in for national security background investigations to submit as part of their initial packets “signed medical release forms”, that would allow any health care provider to disclose to DHS any aspects of your mental or physical health?
    note: this is even though the individual applicant does not have a mental health issue, and the individual being investigated DID NOT say yes on their SF-86 in EQIP to any mental health treatment within the last 10 years

  100. Avatar

    Clearance Processing Question:

    I applied for and received a conditional offer of employment from the government (conditional upon getting the TS), and submitted my SF-86 a few months ago. Prior to the holidays, I was told by the agency’s clearance department that the investigation had wrapped up and that my case manager had submitted my file to the next stage in the process, and that I should call back after the new year to get my results. I was also told previously that they had expedited my clearance application due to a shortage in the department through which I was getting my clearance.

    However, when I spoke to the department again yesterday, I was told that I would have to wait another 2-3 weeks for an update, since the case manager was now waiting for “several” more leads.

    To the best of my knowledge, I don’t have any derogatory things that would be deemed worthy of further investigation, and I disclosed everything I could think of on the SF-86. However, should I be expecting a SPIN interview simply because they’re now supposedly looking for more leads?

    I have 2 additional Questions:

    1) Does the file automatically gets reinvestigated once it gets kicked back to the case manager for whatever reason? For what reasons would the file get returned to the case manager?

    2) Could this whole thing be just due to a backlog? (i.e., they’re probably not reinvestigating, but just didn’t want to tell me that they’re behind.)

    I would love to have some clarification on this matter. I bought Mr. Henderson’s book and tried to think of anything they could possibly question according to the adjudicative guidelines, but couldn’t think of anything that would trigger an investigation.

  101. Avatar

    Clearance Question,

    Hello. At my current job I am up for promotion that requires a Secret Clearance. I a while back 10 years ago I joined the Marine Corps and finished boot camp only. During my Infantry training I felt terrible because I my last year In high school I was too close to s guy. During training I said I was gay when I was really confused back then and I got a uncharacterized discharge while in training. Leaving I got back to into church and later got married to women which I divorsed 4 years later. How would the investigator see this. I never got out because I couldnt hack it. I am now well qualified professional certifications and 2 Master Degree with a clean record and great credit. Will this be a problem. THanks

  102. Avatar

    Anxious A
    You should feel lucky that your case is moving as fast as it is, mt case has been in adjudication for almost 6 months now and I am about to lose my mind. Hope you have better luck with this ridiculous process.

  103. Avatar

    Oh by the way… Anyone have any experience or knowledge of DOE adjudications on here????

  104. Avatar

    Hello! In August I left a DoJ contractor with a TS/SCI based on a CI Poly of Jan 08 to work for a DoD contractor with just my TS. There has been talk of “reading me in” on my current position because it doesn’t require a poly, however now I have an opportunity for a position that requies an active TS/SCI. How much of a reach is it to think I could be acceptable for the new job because I had an active SCI as recently as August? Thank you in advance!

  105. Avatar


    Good luck to you with this process as well. I definitely feel lucky about the speed of my investigation (I’m not sure if it’s in the adjudicative stages yet, but hopefully it is). Did they tell you the reason for the lengthy adjudication? Does a long adjudication indicate that they’re going to restart the investigative process and make it even longer? I’ll my fingers crossed for you as well.

  106. Avatar

    The main reason for the length of the adjudication is the backlog of DOE. I dont think a long adjudication will have to have the investigation start over again unless there were some major omissions or changes during that time frame. Good luck.

  107. Avatar

    It is not a general practice for SUBJECT’s under investigation to submit W2s, taxes or any Social Security documents. If there is a question regarding your taxes that is discovered during a check of your credit then you will most likely be asked to fill out and sign a IRS form 4506-T which will allow OPM to obtain your tax records for what ever year is needed.
    For the most part we do not want a SUBJECT under investigation to provide any documents. If we need any documents we want to obtain them on our own so we know they are authentic.
    When you have your background investigation interview just have a government issued photo ID (i.e. driver’s license) and answer truthfully to all questions ask by the investigator.

  108. Avatar

    I do not know if DHS has a policy regarding an individual under investigation to be required to sign a mental health release even if you answered “no” to the mental health question on your SF-86. Are they making you sign one? If they are and you have had no mental health counseling then why are you concerned?
    The medical release form associated with the SF-86 is for mental health consultations only. The three questions on the form are the only questions we are allowed to ask. If the answer to the first question on the form is no then we do not even ask the other two. If the answer to the first question is yes then we ask the other two questions. We then recontact the SUBJECT under investigation and have him/her fill out and sign a specific release which allows us to ask more detailed questions to the medical provider.
    Also understand we do not ask you the names of doctors you have seen in the past 7 years during your PRSI. If you answer no to question 21 on the form and during the PRSI that is that. It is not like we go around trying to find out all of the doctors you have been seen for what ever reason for the past seven years. You answer no, we take your word for it since you are required to tell the truth on the form and during the interview. If it is developed through a source that you did have mental health counseling and you did not list it we will follow up the best we can with the info the source provides us. In a case like that, which has happened during investigations of mine, the SUBJECT under investigation should be more concerned about the fact that they lied on the SF-86 and to the investigator. As I and other contributors have said before falsification is never a good thing.

  109. Avatar

    I’ve posted on this site under several different names before. (What can I say? I’m trying to be covert.)

    I received word today that I was approved. I cannot thank everyone here enough for their kind words and help. We all owe Mr. Henderson and the investigators a big debt of gratitude for answering our questions. This process is not cut and dried, and it requires a lot of in-depth attention.

    It might be helpful to have a thread about people whose clearance investigations were outside the norm, like Ellen’s above. I am curious about what has happened sometimes.

    Thank you again!!!

  110. Avatar

    Anxious A,
    If you had a TS clearance investgation likely will not have a SPIN if you are recontacted. Any and all information need for your background investgation should have been asked during your PRSI. You had PRSI correct? If more info is need then you will be recontacted by an investgator but it will not be a SPIN. For the most part SPINS are for DOD NACLC and ANACI cases. I do not think I have ever done a SPIN for any other agency except DOD.
    In the past ten years have you lived and worked in many areas of the country? If so that means numerous investgators are working on your case. Some parts of the country complete cases faster than others. So the adjudication process could be waiting on the other portion of your investgation.

  111. Avatar

    To any contributor:

    I am waiting for DHS to grant me a TS/SCI before I am able to begin my position at DHS I&A. I had a previous TS/SCI granted by DOD which had lapsed (5.5 years since SSBI investigation). Here’s my timeline:

    Aug 08: All required paperwork submitted to DHS
    Sept 08: Informed by DHS Ofc of Sec that they were requesting a copy of my previous investigation and that once they received it, they would begin a reinvestigation.
    Jan 09: Still ‘pending suitability’ according to DHS Ofc of Security.

    So, all told it’s been 5 months since I’ve submitted all my documentation. Every time and ask about the status of my clearance (about once a month)I receive the same answer: that my clearance is still ‘pending suitability.’

    1) What questions should I be asking the DHS Ofc. of Sec. when I call them and what might the steps in the process be? 2) I’ve yet to meet with an investigator. Is that because an interview is not necessary in my situation (a re-investigation)?

  112. Avatar

    MR Henderson

    Thank you for youre response, i was actually granted accesses authorization, but it was not activated. The reason for the original qustion is that i am trying to go over seas with a security company and they require a secret clearance, they looked me up in jpas but did not find anyhting, which i knew they wouldn’t,so i shouldn’t have to fill out the sf-86 again right?, anyways i appreciate the info you give me, thank you for your time.


  113. Avatar

    The issue is not about integrity it is about that this country is still a Republic and not a police state and we are Americans with inalienable rights as guaranteed by the Constitution and our Founding Fathers.
    And just because we are working for the Federal Government doesn’t mean we have waived, lost, or can be deprieved of our rights as American citizens to include to privacy by ignorant, negligent, or abuses of power by individual investigators or civil servants who do not know the law and their own policies.

    I have had a TS/SCI w poly clearance working within the Intel community and homeland community for quite some time.

    Your response was outragous in selected areas. And presupposes that Americans that enjoy and desire to protect their rights from abusive and unnecessary intrusions into their freedoms are hiding something or possibly lying……this is akin to if a police officer comes to your door without a warrant you have to let them in or you are hiding something…..these are exactly the types of abuses of power and mindset that our founding fathers fought a revolution for to lay our our Constitution as written, and for which many men and women have died or been wounded to protect to include members of my family. Your response is a disservice to those of us who continue “uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies both foreign and domestic”.

  114. Avatar

    I am sorry you feel that way. I was just asking you a question to better understand your question. I was then explaining to you the process OPM has regarding how mental health counseling is handled. I was not accusing you of anything and if you took it that way I apologize.
    When I use the term “you” in my answers I do not mean you personally I mean you as in the individual under investigation.
    There are people out there who do lie to get into the federal government or a government contractor position to hurt the USA. It is my job along with the other thousands of background investigators out there to try to help stop these individuals from getting into a position dealing with national security.
    I am proud to be a U.S. Citizen, proud of what I do and I do a damn good job at it. Please do question my patriotism to the U.S.A.!!!!

  115. Avatar

    Dear William Henderson,

    I currently hold a secret security clearance. I was arrested recently for soliciting prostitution and I am gonna see the judge in a few weeks. I got a lawyer and he assures me nothing will happen and will get rid of the charges and it will look like it never happened. However, I am probably going to have to report that I was arrested. In the worst case, my question is what could possibly happen if found guilty? My lawyer says everything should be fine and he’ll knock off the charges. If found guilty, will I lose my security clearance? if I have a chance, what is the procedure to follow?

  116. Avatar

    I recently completed the computerized sf86 form and other forms at MEPS, joining the Navy. I require TS Clearance. I mentioned to Before going to MEPS. I filled out the computerized form for the sf86, and I answered everything truthfully to my ability. There were some other forms I filled out, and I mentioned to my recruiter/s about an incident that I had 5 years ago, when I got too curious at a store and walked out with something extra in my bag. I was taken aside, handcuffed, but never taken to a police car or to jail. They let me go after 30 minutes or so. To make up for this, because of my clean record, I payed a small fine, and did a few hours of community service, to stay clean. However there was never a case, I never went to court, so there can’t be records to be expunged or sealed, right? I told this to my recruiters and they did the check at the area I mentioned, the fax form they received stated the incident, but there was nothing there, and they told me I am perfectly fine not mentioning anything while at meps. At first I didn’t believe him, so when it came down to signing with their chief at meps, I wanted to mention this to him, and he gave me the same response, which made me feel relieved a bit. My recruiters and him said the investigators for my ts clearance will see what they see and will find nothing there as well. When I am interviewed for this clearance at some point, I will explain this. Will this be a problem for me? I told the chief and recruiters time and time again, I don’t want to be accused of dishonesty. But they both said I’m fine. They themselves both have ts clearance, and said they had more trouble than I have (i have no traffic or speeding violations and have never done drugs or had alcohol problems). Did I answer correctly? Or could I be in big trouble?

  117. Avatar


    If you didnt require a clearance and worked a standard job, you would enjoy the privacy you speak of. However, you’ve decided on your own to go outside the norm and meet additional stringent lifestyle requirements and live under somewhat of a microscope.

    I feel it’s nobody’s business but my own, of where I’ve traveled abroad and what I’ve done with my life, but I’ve also made the choice to have a job that requires alot more of me and for me to have adhere to a stricter code in life, so I provide all the info that’s required for the said employment.

    By applying for a clearance you’re asking for the privilege of access to that information, and the government is assesing the risk in granting you the privilege to have access and work in that enviromment.

    In short, the request for medical release forms is apart of you asking for clearance. Nobody is forcing anything on you, you can turn and withdrawl your application and leave at any time.

    If this were an abuse of power or a police state they wouldnt ask, nor would there even be a form. They would just look.

    The problem is people thinking clearances are a right, and not a privilege.

    There’s almost no greater intrusion than the security clearance process, but I’ve never been forced to submit. Nobody forced my application nor my signatures. A forced investigation would not require my release and permission to investigate.

    So if you feel that you need more privacy, look elsewhere. As employees we made the choice to be held to higher standards and give away some of our privacy.

  118. Avatar

    Well put Typical. Hence the name of the process “background investigation”. Ones background will be investigated so there will be an intrusion into ones privacy.
    I know I want everyone who is handling sensitive and classified information for the government or for a government contractor to have a thorough background investigation.

  119. Avatar

    Mr Henderson

    Thanks for the info i’ll let the recruitor at the security company know where to look. Again i appreciate the info.

  120. Avatar

    Not all FSO are aware of the bridge in JPAS that allows access to OPM’s CVS database. OPM’s investigations for DOE and DOE’s clearance records are stored in CVS, not JPAS. No matter what happened when DOE adjudicated your investigation, there should at least be a record of your investigation in CVS and that investigation can be adjudicated by DOD to grant you a DOD clearance.

  121. Avatar

    Hi. I would really appreciate it if somebody can answer my question. My boyfriend just got accepted to work for the FBI. I am a not a US citizen nor am I a greencard holder. I’ve been in this country under an H1B visa for 3 years now as a public school teacher. However, I have every intention of getting my greencard and is already in the process of securing my labor certificate. I want to be a naturalized US citizen but with the process, I am still very far from it. I want to ask how it can affect my boyfirend’s job. He declared his affiliation with me on his first day of work. We havent gotten any word yet if we can still continue with the relationship or not. I know this FBI job is more important to him. Do all FBI employees need a TS/SCI clearance? If we wait until I get citizenship — it’ll be like 10 years from now — and my parents would still be foreigners anyway. My boyfriend and I are waiting for what FBI has to say — his brother also works for the FBI as an intel analyst and he said he has a similar job although not the exact one — can I also affect his brother’s clearance since when also do activities with his brother and his family?
    What about the waiver? Can that also apply to a girlfriend?
    What are the chances that he can get a clearance if we stay as bf-gf (not living together) or if at some point develop as co-habitation partners?
    Thanks …
    I’ve been holding my breath for a while now… the waiting is killing me and with all that I’ve read on the net … I’m starting to lose hope.

  122. Avatar


    Typically your FSO can see this by clicking the “Perform SII Search” at the bottom of your person summary in JPAS.

    Or they’ll have to call OPM.

  123. Avatar

    I am being medically discharged from the military after 2 years of service. I went through the Russian program at DLI, but no DLPT, unfortunately. I have a TS/SCI clearance, a B.A. degree and I am 1/2 way through a masters. My question is…What chance do I have of being able to be hired in a job that I will be able to utilize my clearance…say in the CIA or NSA, etc? Before my injury, this is what i wanted to do anyhow and one of the reasons I joined the military was for the clearance and the chance to be hired after my enlistment by one of the federal agencies.

  124. Avatar

    am interested in finding out what type of background investigation is conducted when the following is printed in in the announcement.

    The reason I ask is I have had TSBI but has been over 10 years. I have no liens or judgments against me or bankruptcies. I do however have a credit card with high amount on it and pay it off and have never been late also it is not over the limit and is current. Is that a disqualifying factor? I have not filled out anything yet for the background and of course will disclose all when I am requested.

    SENSITIVITY LEVEL: Public Trust Moderate Risk*

    *NOTE: Candidates being considered for this Public Trust position must
    have received a satisfactory/suitability clearance prior to placement

  125. Avatar


    Thanks for your prompt response! I had a PRSI, and have not been contacted for additional info. You’re right. I’ve lived and worked on both coasts, and spent 30 days or more (mostly for school) in 3 countries over the last 5 years, and my investigation is with DOS and not DOD.

    Hopefully things will speed up now that the holidays are over. However, do you think the administration transition will cause significant delay in existing files, b/c so many new administration people are going to have to get clearances? If so, do you think it will delay most of us by more than 1-2 months and/or cause a large backlog?

  126. Avatar

    Oh, hm, I do have a real question after all. Now that my clearance has been approved, I have to get a separate clearance through DoD. Will they do my investigation all over again, or will they just accept the clearance from the other folks? The clearance I’ve just been granted is higher than the one I’ll need from DoD. I would feel bad if my references had to set up interviews again.


  127. Avatar

    When you do a PA request, they will send you whatever you request. It sounds like you only requested your investigative file. You need to request your adjudicative file and any information maintained in JPAS.

  128. Avatar

    The SF85P only asks for delinquent debts that are currently 180 days past due. It does not ask for information about delinquent debts that have been paid off. If there is a debt listed on your credit report as currently 180 days past due but that you have paid off, list it in the comment section of question 22b of the SF85P and explain the situation.

  129. Avatar

    Only a person who holds a position that requires a security clearance can have a clearance. A clearance terminates as soon as a person leaves the job where they held a clearance. The only way for you to get a clearance is to secure a job that requires a clearance. If you secure such a position, your previous clearance probably can not be reinstated because of the existence of potentially disqualifying information, so a new investigation will be required.

  130. Avatar

    I think your problem will not result in a clearance denial. You may be asked to explain the circumstances surrounding your military discharge, but your explanation sounds plausible and should be acceptable to an adjudicator. As long as you can not be blackmailed about this, it shouldn’t be a big problem.

  131. Avatar

    It should be possible for DOD to reciprocally grant you SCI eligibility without any futher investigation. At most they may ask for a new SF86.

  132. Avatar

    A Personal Subject Interview (PRSI) is a normal part of an SSBI-PR. So if you haven’t been interviewed yet, your investigation has not been completed. You should ask for the date your investigation started (opened), who is conducting the investigatin, and the type of investigation that is being conducted. I don’t like to comment specifically on DHS, because they seem to do things differently than other agencies. Under the old rules it was possible to reinstate a TS/SCI provided the last investigation was less than 7 years old and a request for a Periodic Reinvestigation was submitted. The new rules (1 Oct 08) are very general and don’t cover all situations, such as yours. And, some agencies don’t seem to be following the new rules yet.

  133. Avatar

    Concerned Guy:
    You don’t have a choice; you must report your arrest to your security officer. Don’t make your situation worse by not reporting this promptly. For the most part clearance adjudication is concerned with conduct, not with outcomes. So, whether or nor you are convicted is not nearly as important as what you did to get arrested. How many times and over what period of time, you engaged in similar conduct without being arrested is also of adjudicative concern. If this was an isolated incident, your chances of keeping your clearance are fair to good. Of course it may be difficult to convince anyone that you were arrested on the one and only time that you ever solicited prostitution. Also of concern is your susceptibility to blackmail because of your conduct.

  134. Avatar

    You are not in big trouble. I can’t tell you if you answered correctly, because the description you gave of what happened is a little sketchy. But it doesn’t matter. You will have a Personal Subject Interview (PRSI) as part of your investigation. During the PRSI, tell the investigator about the incident, about disclosing this information to US Navy officials, and about the instructions you were given by the Navy officials. Do this before you are asked about it. You should be fine.

  135. Avatar

    Jane Dane:
    No, there will not be another investigation.

  136. Avatar

    Jane Dane,

    You are sneaky 🙂 Congrats and glad things went well.

  137. Avatar


    Thanks for the history lesson, but you do “NOT” have the right to hold a clearance. You do however have the right to decline signing anything you would like. A process is a process–I signed the same forms as you and have done so for 20 years of military service, now an investigator. Investigator has taken his/her valuable time to help many others (FOR FREE) and a little respect of his service to the country is warranted.

  138. Avatar


    Also if I may ask–Do you ask for permission from the people you are collecting Intel on? Just trying to make a very small point!!!!

  139. Avatar

    Thanks. I have a feeling he was just looking to pounce on someone and since I replied first to his post I was the lucky one. I don’t think we will see another post from him. Kind of like the former Marine who posted one time a few months back bashing all background investigators because his clearance took so long. Yet I hope Mosby does post again so we can see a response to my post, Typical’s post and yours. Thanks again for the support and you along with the other regular contributors to this blog who are involved in the personnel security process deserve the same respect.

  140. Avatar

    Anxious A,
    I do not think there will be a slow down in processing clearances because of the change of administration. It is just business as usual for investigators.

    What type of position is it with DOS if you are at liberty to say?

  141. Avatar

    I am in the process of completing form SF86 for my security clearance. Here is my concern:
    I have a step-brother (not born in the US) whom i have very little contact. He became a US citizen via the naturalization process. I am having a very difficult time reaching him to get his naturalizaton information. And to top it off, he may have changed his last name recently.
    I know his full name and DOB, but beyond that not sure what info I can get.
    What is my course of action here? I guess a better way of asking this question is, what do you do when you cannot get the needed information on close relatives if you are estranged from them or you can’t contact them?

  142. Avatar

    My boyfriend and I want to get married. He has top security clearance (forgive me as I am not 100% sure on all of the correct lingo). He is currently serving in the military and needs his clearance for his job. My question is this, I have some late payments on my credit report and one collection account, for a small amount less than $300, that was paid. This has only been in the past year and my credit prior to that was excellent. I fell upon some hard times losing a job and am working to reestablish myself. Anyway, long story short, we would like to know if my late payments and less than stellar credit will 1)prevent him from being reissued clearance when the time comes 2)cause him to lose his clearance currently, were we to marry. Although we would like to marry ASAP we don’t want to if it will affect his livelihood.
    Thank you for your response.

  143. Avatar

    William Henderson-
    I had a talk with my adjudicator back in November regarding some things needing to be clarified with my initial Q access authorization. He told me he was going to grant me clearance and would be finished with whatever he does in no more then two weeks. That was almost 50 days ago now and I know the holidays slows the government down but are there in other steps with getting a clearance Im not aware of? Does it have to go DC or something since its for DOE? thanks…

  144. Avatar

    I currently hold a SECRET but I am starting the process of updating my SF86 for a TS upgrade. Since the last time I did my SF86 I have left a job under what I think qualifies as having “Left a job for other reasons under unfavorable circumstances.”.

    At the time I was in a position as an instructor for aircrew. This was not a military position but a contractor. There was significant turn over and rotations as everyone in the shop was on a fairly regular travel/deployment cycle. It was very common for a multitude of instructors to be involved with the same student do to this rotational cycle.

    While in the position I was asked if I could help fix a students training folder since the instructor that incorrectly filled it in was now out of town. My direct supervisor asked me and since he was the head of training I saw no issue. I was asked to rewrite one section of a form (One sentence) from a training event stating that the event took place nothing more. I did not certify I was the instructor.

    A few days later I was called into the office because there was an issue with my newly redone paperwork. The company’s training records dept. raised the question on why I did the paperwork when I wasn’t the instructor. I was subsequently put on 30 day paid suspension along with the supervisor who originally asked me to fix the record while the company investigated. The suspension was a standard company policy for investigations.

    During that 30 suspension I tendered my resignation which the company accepted. I resigned do to the fact that I felt there would be ongoing issues between myself and the management since they had requested me to make the change then subsequently suspended me for it.

    My questions are, does this fall into the category of “Left a job for other reasons under unfavorable circumstances.” and how much impact does will this have on the investigation?

    Thanks in advance.

  145. Avatar

    William Henderson, et al. Thanks SO much!

    Just a quick follow up question. What I am trying to assertain here is if I now have the ability to obtain a clearence. I understand that’s the whole point of an investigation BUT, most job reqs state “Must have x clearence or the ability to obtain one.” So, I ask, how do I know if I am able to obtain a clearence?
    (Again, I ask this because I suspect there might be something adverse in my DSS records entered by my previous employer.)
    What I want to avoid is applying for a job with said description and then being rejected because thier security officer finds something “bad” in JPAS (for example). I have requested info on my file from DSS, so far they have not found anything, but I have yet to see a final report.
    Any suggestions, tips, etc on avoiding this situation is greatly appreciated!

    Thanks for this blog!!

  146. Avatar

    In 1996, I had a charge of shoplifting and the charge was dismissed due to a misunderstanding. There have been no incidents ever since. There are some jobs that require a secret clearance.

    1. Section 22 of the SF-86 form is ambiguous. Section 22 requires the applicant to list any charges, including dismissed charges. However, Part A and Part B only asks for events in the past 7 years.

    Since more than 7 years have passed, is it safe to respond “no” in Part A and Part B?

    I can honestly answer “no” to Parts A and B for the 7-year time frame. I can also honestly answer “no” to Parts C,D and E.

    2. IF the record was expunged and I honestly respond “no” in Parts A,B,C,D and E, then what should I do?

    The last sentence reads, “If you answered yes to any question above, explain below, providing information for each and every offense.”

    3. What are my chances of obtaining a secret clearance?

    Thank you for your feedback.

    Just Curious

  147. Avatar

    I need to submit an SF86 to get an interim clearance pending final clearance for a new job I just started. I have three issues: First, I owe over $4,000 federal taxes from 2007 but am paying it under an installment agreement with the IRS. Second, a little over five years ago, I was arrested for simple possession of marijuana. As a condition for dismissal of the case, I was required to attend a counseling/treatment program. I completed the treatment and the case was dismissed less than one year later. I had the case expunged only a couple of months ago. Third, at my prior job about 7 months ago, the Secret Service contracted with my employer for some environmental work to be performed at their training facility. I was assigned to perform the work. The Secret Service only asked for my basic information (DOB, social security #), and I was later informed by them that my clearance was denied, so someone else from my company had to go instead. I was told that I would be sent a letter stating the reason but I never received one. This happened before my criminal case referred to above had been expunged so I’m thinking that was the reason. I guess I have to report this on the SF86 that I had a “clearance” or “access authorization” denied?
    What are my chances of getting an interim (and final) clearance? Thanks.

  148. Avatar

    what does this investigation involve? type of investigation,? is the same for example as a secret clearance?

    SENSITIVITY LEVEL: Public Trust Moderate Risk*

    *NOTE: Candidates being considered for this Public Trust position must
    have received a satisfactory/suitability clearance prior to placement

  149. Avatar

    People going for Public Trust positions fill out a SF-85P instead of a SF-86. The investigation is not as in depth since one will not be obtaining a national security clearance.

  150. Avatar

    I was granted a TS by the DoD in Oct 08. My company then put me in for an SCI at the end of that month. It’s been about 9 weeks now and I haven’t heard anything. I’m told that if you have a current SSBI, an SCI should be granted in about 6 weeks. Should I be concerned?

  151. Avatar

    Would being bipolar prevent clearance? I have been recently diagnosed yet with proper medication and treatment, no one would ever even suspect as I am a successful software engineer.

    Also, previous to the proper treatment I got charged with trespass, a serious misdemeanor. I was on the wrong medication, ended up in someone elses house.
    Due to the circumstances, I was given a deferred judgement in which the charges will be expunged once my probation is complete. I was only given probation to show the courts I have taken my illness seriously and maintain my treatment.

    Now that I am in remission and doing great, I know I would be fit for many software engineering positions in the industry that may need clearance.

    What in your opinion are my chances of being able to do so?

  152. Avatar

    At my website, navigate to “resources” page under the “about security clearances” tab. Near the bottom is link to an “Investigative Chart for Security and Public Trust Clearances.” It will have the info your looking for.

  153. Avatar

    On the SF-86, for ‘places of residence’ is it sufficient to say ‘lived on xxx college campus for years xxx – xxx’, known well by xxx xxx and xxx, or do I have to list every single dorm room, roommate, and a neighbor for each (for me, that comes out to something like 9 different places because of switching semesters, not because of conflict)?

    Does the answer to this question change based on the amount of time that has passed since college? I would have to actually go look everything up through the housing department at the university because I remember very little in the way of details.

  154. Avatar

    William thank you for your help.

  155. Avatar


    I am considering applying for a job with a gov’t intel agency that would presumably require a TS/SCI clearance. My concern and question is whether my taking (for 3 years now) of prescription medication including anti-anxiety medication for a diagnosis of anxiety and a form of bipolar disorder would automatically disqualify me? I am currently taking the prescribed medication, have been since prescribed, and feel fine and functioning perfectly “normally”. If it comes down to feeling well or stopping the medications and working for said organization, I will choose the former. Will this be a choice I am asked to make? And if it isn’t an automatic disqualify, is it a major hindrance or problem? Thank you for your time and advice!

  156. Avatar

    If your JPAS record is still in the database and not moved to the archives and if an “incident report” was submitted by your former employer, its existance will be apparent (in red letters) in your JPAS record. I’m not sure how long old records remain in the JPAS database. I don’t think a potential employer can withdraw an offer of employment based on information in your JPAS record or in your SF86. The words “must have a clearance or the ability to obtain one,” gives the employer the right to withdraw the offer of employment or terminate the employee, if the applicant/employee is denied the clearance.

  157. Avatar


    A government agency has recently extended me a Conditional Offer of Employment. It is actually an intern position.

    I will, however, have to go through the same tests and processes as a regular employee would.

    Is there anything I should be prepared for? Everything I’m reading about the security clearance is scaring the hell out of me.

    Also, is it worth taking an intern position? I am basically dedicating the next 5 years of my life (and my youth) to the agency.

    It’s quite difficult making a decision after reading everything I have to go through.

  158. Avatar

    I worked for a local company and we were under contract to Unisys, which is one of the companies that Dell uses for it’s support work. In our area, we had 3 airports that had TSA and we provided support to the TSA computer systems. I had to fill out an SF85 and had the fingerprint cards done. Is there a way to find out if or what security clearance I have?

  159. Avatar

    I am considering going into the air force as a cryptolgic linguist and was wondering if I would get my top secret clearance before I go in. I want to do a 6 year contract in the linguist career.
    I am afraid that if for some reason I am denied clearance after I sign on for a 6 year term I will be stuck in the air force in a career that I really hate for a really long time. I have some fairly recent delinquint debt due to being laid off, which is my concern for being denied.

  160. Avatar

    According to JPAS I have a favorable secret clearance from 1998 (when I joined the USMC) however I do not remember what I wrote or didn’t write on my SF86. Because I was 17 at the time and in a hurry to fill it out I want to make sure that for my upcoming TS SF86 information is not contradictory to the one filled out in 1998. Is there anyway I can get a copy of that SF86? Will the investigator cross check the forms?

    Secondly, I’ve been trying to get a copy of my SRB (Service recrod book) to double check it and see if there has been any unit awards given post my End of Active Service…can the investigator look into my ENTIRE SRB book and perhaps get me a copy of it? I never had a copy of the SRB and would like to have one for my records; I figure he might be able to get it easier than I can.

    Any information would be greatly appriciated.

    Thank you,


  161. Avatar

    Anthony S,
    Through FOIA/PA you can request any previous investigation and your SF-86 should be a part of it. Check the OPM website for the exact address and information needed for the request.
    For new investigations all previous investigation forms will be looked at and cross checking will be done to make sure information listed on previous SF-86s is listed on current SF-86s.
    As an investigator I have never looked into a SRB for any current or former military members. Your military record is reviewed but we look for dates of service, branch of service, and negative issues which might be in your record, if the individual is a former military member we want to see the type of discharge and any info related to that. We also check on previous security clearances through military service. What ever information we find we report and as mentioned above you can obtain a copy of it through FOIA/PA.
    Investigators do not directly provide any type of record we review to any SUBJECT under investigation.

  162. Avatar

    Anthony S,
    I just read my post and I need to clarify what I wrote.

    I have never looked at a SRB for medals or awards won for current or former military members.

  163. Avatar

    Investigator, please delete this if I am out of line commenting on your blog.

    Anthony S,
    Awards and medals are listed on your DD214 and you can request a copy at eVetRecs It takes about a month to arrive and they will send you a copy of the one you signed when you got out. After you receive the DD214, you can make a request through the same website to add awards/medals that were awarded after you got out. You may need to request two medals which were awarded to almost everyone on active duty after 9/11. The medals are Global War on Terrorism Service Medal – GWOTSM – and the National Defense Service Medal. GWOTSM is considered a campaign medal which makes you eligible for VRA status and 5 point preference when applying for federal jobs.

  164. Avatar

    Thanks for the input.

  165. Avatar

    To who ever can help?

    I guess my sarcasm was not welcome; my apologies. Please can you give me some sort of feedback on my previous question; I have provided it again below. In the event you can not comment on my question please tell me so and I will attempt to alter.

    Thank you for your time.

    The staffing company I was working with informed me my interim clearance was approved 4-5 business days after it was submitted. The next day I went in to complete paper work and get my prints done. A few hours after I arrived home from their office they called me and told me the approved interim clearance was taken back and has now declined, but they would still be going forward with the full clearance. Two days later the staffing company informed me they were no longer going to continue with the full clearance investigation.

    The staffing company told me they weren’t informed why the interim clearance was approved and then declined and that the investigating party did not have to explain why.

    How can an approved clearance be later declined and is it correct they do not have to explain why?

  166. Avatar

    Thank you for your reponse Mr. Henderson. My question though is whether or not I can be considered for a position that requires an active TS/SCI if I had SCI 5 months ago but only needed a TS now? What happens to your SCI when you leave a job needing SCI for one that only needs TS? Do I technically still have an SCI?

  167. Avatar

    I am hoping someone can help me. I have been working for a DoD Contractor since April 2007. I completed an SF85P in May 2007. I was contacted by an OPM investigator and asked to fill out a financial statement and was interviewed by them in July 2007. I was concerned about the interview as when I completed by SF I did not fully indicate all of my debts. I had expressed concern to my FSO when filling it out that I did not know all the information at which time she instructed me to check yes to the two financial questions about bankruptcy and being late more than 180 days and that when I was interviewed I would be able to amend, etc. I did list the major items I had information on at the time though. When I was interviewed the OPM investigator we went over my debts, he pointed out some that I did not know and I told him I would take care of them immediately (which I have done). I have mitigated all outstanding debts on my credit report. The only thing I have financially outstanding are delinquent income taxes from 2000/2001 that resulted from my divorce. I have worked with a Tax Attorney and have a payment plan with the IRS and have been paying for the last 4 months on it.

    To make a long story short, my JPAS person summary says the following:

    Investigation Summary
    NACLC from OPM, Opened: 2007 06 06 2007 09 19

    Adjudication Summary
    PSI Adjudication of NACLC OPM, Opened 2007 06 06, Closed 2007 09 19, determined Eligibility of

    What does this mean? My FSO seems to be completed unconcerned and said if there was a problem with anything she would of been notified. I have asked her several times over the last year to check the status and it has always remained the same as above. As I read it, it sayts my adjudication was closed 09 19 2007 but why is there no eligibility listed?

    This entire situation is causing me great anxiety. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

  168. Avatar

    I work for the civil federal community, but have had a top level security clearance for many years. In April 2008 I separated from my wife. The divorce proceedings have dragged on for 10 months now, but are nearly complete. I am in no financial difficulties now, nor do I expect any problems once the divorce is final.

    My question is this; During the summer of 2008 after separating from my wife, I began dating a foreign national from Mexico. She is a top level PhD student at her local university, and after my divorce is complete, we intend to marry. I have made several trips to visit her and her family over the past six months and we communicate frequently by email and phone. Last week I had my first SCI refresher in many years and realized that some of these recent events may cause problems, either now that I am reporting them or during my upcoming 5 year update.

    In my position, I have frequent liaison work with the intel community, but have zero access to classified materials and no “need to know”. This is unlikely to change. I don’t discuss any of my intel related work with my lady friend, and she doesn’t ask any questions about this.

    Can someone please comment on any adverse consequences that may result from my recent reporting of these life changing (separation, divorce, dating foreign national)and potential life changing events (future marriage)?


  169. Avatar


    I am an Army reservist. I applied for a secret clearance in Oct 2007 and the investigation closed and the matter was sent to adjudication in Jan 2008. I was granted an interim and it is still good. It is now Jan 2009 and I am still waiting on the adjustication. I have had some past credit problems–I filed for ch. 7 bk in 1997. My credit since then has been just about spotless–just a small deliquent medical bill in 2002 which was disputed but I paid it off anyway after it went to collection. I have some significant credit card debt which is at really low rates, so I have been carrying it, but have always paid in time and have the means to pay it off. What is the likely cause of the delay in adjustication? When can I expect some sort of determination, one way or the other?

  170. Avatar

    I am interested in a job that will require a DOE L or Q clearance. I have no financial issues, no drug issues, no employment issues, and have a “simple” background having lived in the same neighborhood for the past 25 years. But, I have a single incident that haunts me – 33 years ago I was cited for shoplifting. Will this be an issue in the security clearance process? Thanks

  171. Avatar

    I worked for the city as a database admin and was recently fired for allegedly deleting my own citations. I deny the accusations, however they apparently had enough evidence/suspicion to terminate me. It has been a few months now and they haven’t filed any criminal charges, for the sake of this question let us assume they don’t. Other than that accusation I have always been an outstanding employee, donating my time and money to nonprofit organizations; I have had no issues with the law, drugs, finances or any other guidelines. What would my chances be to obtaining Secret security clearance, naturally working on information systems? And would you recommend I spend the money on a security clearance attorney to improve my chances?

  172. Avatar


    SCI is not a clearance–it is an access level. Your TS stays in place and you should be or have been read out of the SCI program. I would assumed you are still DCID eligible, which means you could be read-in to SCI if needed or if it becomes necessary for a new position.

  173. Avatar


    Saw nothing wrong with your question–guess it was overlooked. Unfortunately, a private company does not have to tell you. An interim is granted in lieu of a full clearance. The interim is not denied per se, it is just not granted. Sounds a little odd but keep looking for the answer. I’m guessing they have no idea why interim was withdrawn. Good luck.

  174. Avatar

    My husband has a contracting opportunity with IRS for which IRS MBI clearance is required. One of our tax returns was examined by IRS lately and we paid off the adjustments and the interest due as judged by the IRS examiner.

    Does this examination of our tax return have any negative impact on my husband getting MBI clearance?

    Thanks for your help in advance. This forum is very helpful and informative.

  175. Avatar

    Thank you BW! I was being considered for another position, but they stated they want an “active SCI” which they said I don’t qualify for. It is confusing to me- and correct me if I’m wrong- but even if I had an “active” SCI, I would still have to be read out and read in to their program. This is why I thought I might be missing something and I was trying to establish what the mentality was behind an employer wanting an “active” SCI clearance.

  176. Avatar

    Investigator, Bill

    Thanks for your response. I don’t believe I was investigated, JPAS stated “favorable secret” So if I was not investigated can they still cross check that particular SF86? Secondly, when you view my SRB is it electronically or do you have my actual book on hand? I can’t imagine an investigator just browsing through an SRB book and not checking out how decorated someone may be.

    Bill, thanks for the feedback, I got out in 02 and those medals never made it into my DD214. I’ll look into it.

    Thank you,


  177. Avatar

    I filled out an SF86 for the army, as a security clearance is required to be a warrant officer, and a pilot. The selection board is coming up in march. my SF 86 was returned to me this weekend. It states that I need proof of my wife’s citizenship. My wife’s parents lived in North Dakota, and the best hospital was in Canada. Both of her parents are U.S. citizens by birth, married at the time, and continuesly lived in the U.S. before and after my wife’s birth. So this makes my wife a citizen by birth. But, her parents never filled out the paper work for her certificate of citizenship, witch is what the SF-86 asks for to prove citizenship.

    my problem is that getting a certificate of citizenship is a long drawn out process, costing 6 months of time, and $460.00, I don’t have that kind of time, or money. I know that one way to prove citizenship is a U.S. passport, cost a little less, and if expedited can be done in a week or two.

    So with all that said, my questions are, can a U.S. passport be used as proof of citizenship on the SF-86, and is there anyway to expedite the investigation process?


  178. Avatar

    I am about to apply for a secret clearance and I have a question about the criminal background check.

    As a teenager I had a shoplifting charge that was “expunged”. Also I had a disorderly conduct charge 6+ years ago that was dimissed. The question for the security clearance says to list any “charges or convictions”. My question is, since these things are expunged/dismissed from my record should I have to list them? If the investigator checks my record will it show “charge expunged”? Thanks.

  179. Avatar


    I was recently offered a Conditional Job Offer for an intern position by a federal agency requiring a TS/SCI clearance for all interns. I previously had an INTERIM SECRET clearance issued in April 2008 that was terminated in August 2008 following the end of an internship requiring clearance.

    This agency requires information going back to age 18 (I’m 21)on the SF-86. However, one of the questions has me worried. Under Question 27, Part C, it asks if “In the past 7 years, have you introduced, removed, or used hardware, software, or media in connection with any information technology system without authorization, where specifically prohibited by rules, procedures, guidelines, or regulations?”

    This question is so vague that I’m not sure what would constitute a violation-I used BitComet over 2 years ago (when I was 19) without thinking about the legality of my actions; I deleted all P2P software and downloaded media off of my computer soon thereafter. As a polygraph is required as part of my investigative process, I’m a little worried, as I had forgotten to list this on my previous e-QIP as this question did not exist at the time (it was added in the July 2008 e-QIP). Even if I admit the one-time use of this software within the past 3 years, would this be grounds for denying an interim TS/SCI?

  180. Avatar

    This question is for anyone who might have experience with DoS Foreign Service clearance procedures, but I think anyone could give their opinion.

    Hello. I am going thru the clearance process for the DoS Foreign Service. I believe I am at the end of the process and the investigator called me today. He wanted to know why my SF 86 stated that I used only marijuana 8x in the last ten years (true), but an online application I filled out for the FBI four years ago was terminated on-the-spot because I marked down that I used cocaine 2x in the past ten years. I explained in a lengthy e-mail that I had never used cocaine but was advised by friends to “play it safe” in regards to the FBI polygraph – since I had knowingly been in the presence of others using the drug at parties while I was in grad school I answered “yes” to the use question (true). I explained that I planned to clarify the remark in the follow-on interview, which never occurred after the on-line dismissal! I provided even more detail than this and when I spoke with him (I assume my case manager) he said he was satisfied with my response and was writing up his statement and forwarding my packet ahead for “final review.”

    My record is good and I don’t think they are going to have any other issues with my clearance. My questions:

    1) Although this answer sounds logical to me and those who gave me the advice, will it make sense to an investigator?
    2) Does the case manager forward the case along to the Final Review Panel with a recommendation, or just the facts?
    2) If the DoS Final Review Panel wants more information will they return to me to ask them, or just make a decision?

    Thank you tremendously for your assistance.

  181. Avatar

    There is no logic to your employer’s requirement for an “active” SCI. DOD needs to grant you SCI eligibility based on your prior DOJ SCI eligibility. This reciprocal granting of SCI eligibility by DOD can be done just as easily for an active DOJ SCI as it can for a recently terminated DOJ SCI, provided the DOD SCI is at the same or lower sensitivity level.

  182. Avatar


    You are correct. Not sure what they meant by active SCI–unless they planned on hiring within. Your SCI eligibility should last as long as your TS.

  183. Avatar

    Interim Secret clearances are granted based solely on a favorable review of your SF86. If agency involved was DISCO, they grant the interim Secret clearance, then forward the SF86 to OPM for investigation. Interim clearances are usually “withdrawn” as soon as any potentially disqualifying information surfaces. If your interim was withdrawn within a few days after it was granted, the only investigative action that could have been completed within that timeframe was a credit report and a check of federal investigative indices. So, my best guess is that there is either something unfavorable on your credit report that doesn’t match with information on your SF86 or there is a record of a prior investigation containing unfavorable information. It is very likely that your staffing agency has no idea why your interim clearance was withdrawn. The Privacy Act prohibits government agencies, such as DISCO, from releasing any investigative information to a private company.

  184. Avatar

    The process for USAF crypto-linguists in effect in spring 2007 was: 1) SF86 submitted for Secret clearance when applicant went on DEP, 2) another SF86 submitted at BMT, Lackland AFB for a TS/SCI, 3) SSBI completed while applicant at DLI. So, if the process is still the same, the answer to your question is no. Recommend you read the 3-part article on “Personal Finances and Security Clearances” at . If you follow the advice, you will greatly improve your chances of mitigating any financial concerns and getting a TS/SCI.

  185. Avatar

    Craig Moore:
    An SF85 is used for “non-sensitive” positions. The investigation conducted for a non-sensitive position is either an NAC or an NACI. No security clearance or public trust clearance can be granted based on either investigation. The most common reason for conducting a investigation based on an SF85 on a contractor is for a Personal Identity Verification (PIV) card required under Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12).

  186. Avatar

    I have applied for a position that requires that I obtain a ‘Secret’ security clearance. Back in September of 08 I was arrested for Solicitation of a prostitute. The case was dismissed and it never went to trial. I have never been arrested before for anything in my whole life. How, will this impact my ability to obtain the ‘secret’ level clearance? Also, will my wife be informed of this occurance durring the FBI backgroung investigation? Thanks for your assistance on this issue.

  187. Avatar

    There are basically only two reasons a clearance is denied due to mental health: 1) the person’s judgment is impaired because of his condition and/or treatment, and 2) the person is mentally disturbed and fails/refuses to consistently follow treatment recommendations. Out of the 1300+ cases reviewed by DOHA judges last fiscal year mental health was listed as a concern in 3 cases. I am not aware of a clearance denial in any case involving only anxiety disorder and/or mild bipolar disorder where the applicant was consistently following doctor’s orders.

  188. Avatar

    There is nothing in the instructions for the new or the old SF86 that says you must list a neighbor or a roommate—it just asks for someone who can verify your residence. You can list the main address of the college and explain in the comment section that you lived in a college dorm, building & room number unrecalled. You have to list residential references back 3 years from the present. You have to list all residences back 7 years for a Secret clearance and 10 years for a TS clearance. If you are going for a TS clearance I recommend you be as detailed as possible. The more information you provide, the faster the investigator will be able to conduct the investigation. But I’m not suggesting that you try to obtain your dorm records from the college. If you lived in a dorm anytime in the last 3 years, the investigator will review the dorm records. I recommend you list at least two college associates (peers) with whom you had contact at least twice a month who can verify that you lived in college dorms for the period you list in your SF86. Dormmates or classmates are useless unless you have current contact information for them.

  189. Avatar

    See my reply (on 14 Jan 2009 at 12:35 am) to Mike’s question above.

  190. Avatar

    Your TS clearance was adjudicated by DISCO. Your SCI eligibility will be adjudicated by another adjudicative facility and the length of time involved will depend on the current case backlog at that facility and whether there are any foreign influence, foreign preference, or outside activity issues present in your case. There are 7 or 8 other DoD adjudicative facility that could possibly be involved in adjudicating your SCI. They all have different case backlogs and average turnaround times.

  191. Avatar

    Really Concerned:
    The SF86 asks if you have ever been denied a “security clearance.” You can definitely answer “no” to this question. You were never considered for a “security clearance” by the Secret Service. They did a cursory check on you and decided they didn’t want you working at their facility. They had no obligation to tell you why. I think your chances of getting a clearance are fair to good, provided there aren’t any other problems or complicating factors.

  192. Avatar

    Just Curious:
    For a Secret clearance you do not have to list anything at questions 22a or 22b of the SF86 that happened more than 7 years ago. If this is the only security issue in your background, your chances of getting a clearance are good to excellent.

  193. Avatar

    Based on your explanation, I would characterize your situation as “left a job for other reasons under unfavorable circumstances.” The impact of this incident will depend on the information in your personnel record, the information collected during the company’s investigation, and how your supervisors and coworkers remember it. If by making the change to the training folder, there was no intention to mislead or falsify, I don’t see where it would be very significant during the clearance adjudication.

  194. Avatar

    It’s my understanding that a case file is send to DOE HQ only if the regional security office recommends clearance denial.

  195. Avatar

    Cocerned Applicant:
    You do the best you can and explain in the SF86 why you were unable to get the needed info. Expect to be asked if you have enlisted the aid of your mother or father to get the info on your step-brother. If you can get his SSN and his former Alien Registration Number from him or one of his parents, that would be a big plus.

  196. Avatar

    At present a credit check is not conducted on a spouse of cleared person, so your credit should not affect his continued eligibility for a security clearance. Even if he accepted full responsibility for your past credit problems, the problems are so small that they would only be a road bump in the security clearance process and would not result in a clearance revocation. Obviously you want to take care of these problems as soon as possible to protect and improve your and your spouse’s future credit rating and avoid any security clearance road bumps.

  197. Avatar

    Hello Everyone,

    I was granted interim secret clearance 3 days after I submitted my paperwork. My concern is that I have a lot of credit card debt ($25-$30k) due to a laid off spouse and home renovations that were intended to flip the house before the market tanked. Nothing is or has ever been late or delinquent. Does getting interim clearance mean my chances of getting full clearance are good? Am I being too paranoid about this? I just feel like I’m taking a big risk in leaving my current job before getting full clearance.


  198. Avatar

    I have IT-1 clearance (with 10yr SSBI completed and adjudicated in Jan 2006). My clearance was active until 12/31/2008. Now how do I get that clearance transferred over to new project requiring “Secret” clearance?

  199. Avatar

    sweet, finally got my Q after 10-11 months….its been rough but it finally happened. thanks for all the help. this is the best site for clearance info. I think one thing that should be done with this process is have the ability for people to track the progress of their clearance. If UPS can have literally millions of pieces of mail and packages tracked then the GOV should be able to come up with a workable system. I didnt like the fact of not knowing what was going on and what stage my clearance was in. Peoples lives sometimes depend on getting these things but thats just my 2 cents. Thanks

  200. Avatar

    Mack – congratulations. I’m sure all of us in clearance limbo agree with you. If you are entitled to the information under the FOIA, surely it would save time and effort to make the information available on line. Perhaps they could modify JPAS to allow a person to see their own record (subject to confirming identity – and if you used e-qip you already have a login and password). This would also save FSOs from being bugged to check all the time too (mine ignores requests anyway).

  201. Avatar

    i just completed my sf86 yesterday and i am a bit stressed about a couple issues in my past. 5 years ago i was charged with a misdemeanor count of furnishing a place for minors to consume alcohol after a going away party my roommate had got out of control. the charges were later dismissed and i received no conviction. i was in the coast guard at the time and received no black marks for the incident. then three years ago, i was charged with a misdemeanor count of criminal trespassing and resisting arrest after an altercation occurred at a buddies apartment between one of our friends and a neighbor residing at the same apartment. the police were called to settle the disturbance and my buddy refused to let the police into his residence. eventually, he opened the door when the landlord came and the police burst in and arrested all of us–even our girlfriends. once again, my case was dismissed and i received no convictions. the resisting arrest charge was dropped before my arraignment and the criminal trespassing was dropped after a deferment program. i reported both of these occurrences on my sf86 because all summons, arrests, etc. must be reported regardless of a conviction. other than these two issues, my record has been crystal clean. i have also been the recipient of numerous coast guard commendations and medals. i am stressed that i will be found unfit.

  202. Avatar

    i forgot to post that my sf86 was for DOHS.

  203. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson:

    I have a few questions about Top Security Clearances.

    My fiance is in the Navy, and has a Top Security Clearance. Will they have to do a background check on me?

    I went through a really bad seperation not to long ago with an ex-boyfriend of 5 years. During that time I got a DUI (2005), I ran a business with him, we owned two houses together, and after I broke up with him, he stole all my money, kicked me out of the house and business, accused me of Domestic Violence (all charges were dropped), and I basically lost everything, and had to file Chapter 7 and filed a lawsuit against him for the business, house and defamation of character because of the Domestic Violence claim, which I won. Really such a bad period of my life.

    Can this effect his Top Security Clearance. I am very worried.

  204. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,
    Thank you very much for your reply. After I wrote my inquiry, I read through some old work e-mails and discovered that I did in fact fill out an SSF 3237 at the Secret Service’s request, which I believe is an internal USSS contractor access form. The purpose of the form was so that I could gain access to the facility for a site walk so that my company could make a bid on a contract to do work there. It was only a couple of days later when I was told by the USSS Contractor Officer’s office via e-mail that I would not be allowed access to their facility for the site walk. (I called to ask why and was told that they could not provide that info. over the phone but that I would receive a letter which I never did.) Does this change your answer that what they did was only a cursory review and not a “security clearance” or an investigation of my background? Thank you.

  205. Avatar


    It’s about time!!!!! Sorry you waited so long and you make solid points. But hey, now you are practically an expert on this process 🙂

  206. Avatar


    Yes–you are worrying for nothing. If you are managing your debt–you are OK. Good luck as alot of folks do in this horrible market.

  207. Avatar

    Really concerned,

    The USSS doesn’t do clearance of folks. I have been through I don’t know how many cursory checks by them. Some get in–some don’t. I would not worry about that, but I would conduct a check on your name to see if anything comes up you don’t know about. You can check local courts for free or pay the local PD or Sheriff for a check. Usually $10-$15 bucks covers it.

  208. Avatar

    I’m in the process of being investigated for Top Secret clearance. I understand that it is valid for 5 years. During these 5 years, if I lose my job with the comapny who is sponsoring me for the clearance, can I use this clearnce to find another job that needs clearance? In short- the question is can I take my clearance with me to use in another job that needs the same kind of clearance?

    Appreciate any help! Thank You!

  209. Avatar

    Hello. I was hoping someone could help me with my circumstances. I submitted my SF-86 on 8 Sept 08 and my interim secret was denied the following day. We were not given a reason. My FSO said there is nothing to do now but wait. He also looked over my application to see if he could determine what might have caused the declination. He saw that on the drug question I had entered yes. I made a mistake and interpreted the question as ‘Do you take any” not “Do you illegally”… I answered yes and wrote Prescription strength ibuprofen 800mg in conjunction with Imitrex to aid in migraine relief a few times per year. I asked if I should get a note from my doctor to submit and was told by the FSO no.
    My investigation was closed on 15 Oct 08 and we have not heard anything. Several other clearances that my company submitted have been processed in the meantime. Other than the question regarding the drugs I have great credit, no criminal record, or anything else I can see that would cause an issue. I have not been contacted for an interview.
    Last week my FSO submitted a letter of compelling need and have been told that we still have to wait. I have not seen the letter but do not think that he wrote about this mistake on that question. Nobody seems to be able to give us any further info or tell us what the problem is. The DISCO rep said OPM is still in adjunction.
    My questions are:
    1. Does anyone think my final clearance determination will be granted?
    2. How much longer should this take?
    3. Is there anyway to contact anyone else to help get this resolved or shed some light on that question.
    I really appreciate any help or insight anyone has. I am also afraid of this answer negatively affecting the outcome when I made a huge mistake.

  210. Avatar

    When enlisting into any service and filling out pre-screening forms, you are asked have you committed a crime whether charged or not. I was told that to say yes to that or to any question pertaining to criminal activity, you would require documentation showing that it happen, like court documents and police records. I once had a small petty theft incident, but did a pretrial diversion and never saw a police station, jail, court, or anything. I did a few hours of community service, and paid a small fine, and because of my clean history and I never did anything like it again for the set period, it was dismissed. I told this to my recruiters and they ran a check at the county, it only mentioned the arrest but nothing else, and there were no court documents. At MEPS I said no to everything, and my FBI fingerprint search revealed nothing. Now, I have no idea whether what happened was dismissed, expunged, sealed, I have no idea, and we couldn’t find anything on it. To be safe, my recruiters and the chief liaison at MEPS, included faxes from the police and court records, which showed that there was an arrest and no record of a court case. Is there a chance that this could come back to haunt me? Like not get clearance, or even discharged? If I mention and explain the arrest first thing to the investigator, will it be okay?

  211. Avatar

    Thank you again for your feedback, Mr. Henderson. Your service to this country is much appreciated.

    In Section 22 of the SF-86 form, the first sentence also instructs the applicant to list any expungment.

    If the dismissed charge was successfully expunged over 7 years ago, then should I list the expungment?

    I can honestly answer, “no”, for Parts A,B,C,D and E of Section 22.

    Thanks, Just Curious

  212. Avatar

    I am now being considered for at least four positions that require a security clearance. Given that I have left the government for over 24 months, the one I was previously granted has become inactive and I am told that I need to go through the whole process once more.

    Now, my problem is that I was terminated from a position in early November. However, the whole way it happened was very odd. I was recruited and my very first task on the job was to go to Lebanon where I was to attend a conference. I arrived a day before the conference and throughout the event I had migraines and was jetlagged. My supervisor was also in attendance and I did explain to her how I was feeling. She left after the conference ended and I was to stay for a few more days to get acquainted with the staff over there. However, I continued to feel unwell. I was then contacted by my supervisor who asked me to return to the States because she feared for my health.

    Two days after my return, I was called into a meeting with the HR Director (over the phone) and my supervisor to discuss my “performance at the conference”. When I explained that I was not feeling well and had migraines during the conference, she told me that it was not a good enough reason and that I would be terminated. All of this happened in the course of one week, hiring, travel to Lebanon and termination from the position upon return.

    Hours later, she called me to offer me a settlement to assist with my transition, which I accepted. The settlement I signed, however, prevents me from suing them in the future. Also, when they sent me my termination letter, they did not state the reason why they terminated me. They also mentioned that I would be eligible for unemployment insurance but wanted me to apply with the DC government. Since I previously had a claim opened in California, I was asked to file again with the CA Government. However, I learned through the CA Unemployment Office that they are protesting my claim.

    I am about to fill the SF-86 but I do not know what to put when asked if I had ever been fired and why? I don’t want it to look like I did something wrong when I didn’t. I am not sure why i was terminated but looking back now, I am sure that something happened and that they were wrong in some fashion.

    Can you please provide some advice?

  213. Avatar

    I am retired from federal service but would still like to have something to do. I have maintained a TOP SECRET SCI clearance since I was 18 years old. 23 years in active service with Army Security Agency and 19 as a DoD with the clearance updated every 5 years. The last update was 4 years ago. Is there something I can continue to do even though I have retired from DoD service?

  214. Avatar

    Here is the question…

    In college I sold an ounce of marijuana…does this count as drug trafficking? I sold the marijuana in grams, so and the whole thing took about 2 or 3 weeks. Will this prevent me from getting a clearance?

  215. Avatar

    John M. Stone –

    Perhaps try consulting for a contractor that would sponsor you for your TS/SCI?

  216. Avatar

    AJ –

    Always be completely up front and honest with investigators. You’re not an expert on the justice system and it sounds like an incredibly minor charge so if you’re honest you have nothing to worry about.

  217. Avatar

    NeedAnswers –

    I am not an investigator/adjudicator but I would list the termination on your SF-86. They’re going to verify your previous employment anyways so it’s better if they hear your side of the story first. Just explain that you believe it was wrongful termination.

  218. Avatar

    Finley –

    1. Does anyone think my final clearance determination will be granted?

    Of course! They have no reason to deny you. It sounds like you are 100% clean. If they did deny you, it would be a paperwork error, you could appeal and you’d be granted your clearance.

    2. How much longer should this take?

    4 months isn’t very long to wait unfortunately. It took me 6 months for my first Secret.

    3. Is there anyway to contact anyone else to help get this resolved or shed some light on that question.

    Just keep your FSO pushing. I think it’s probably premature to write to your congressman etc. Some people on this blog have reported waits of over 2 years for a Secret because of lost paperwork, etc.

  219. Avatar

    VR –

    The rule is: Once you leave the employer that is sponsoring your clearance you have either 2 years from the date you left, or 5 years from the date your were originally granted your TS, whichever comes first. So if you leave your employer say, 2 years from now on Jan 16, 2011, you would have until approx. Jan 16, 2013 to find a new job and have them reactive your clearance.

    When you are unemployed for less than 2 years between jobs your clearance is inactive but it can be reactivated without a new investigation.

    Things get a little more complicated with transferring SCI because paperwork tends to get jammed up between agencies but I’m guessing you don’t have to worry about that.

  220. Avatar

    I’ve had a TS clearance since last May. I recently applied with a company that asked me to completely re write my sf86. Apparently there was a revision to the sf86 in July. Today I received an email asking if I wanted to take the chance of upgrading my clearance. But in the event I don’t get the upgrade…I would lose my clearance?…is that possible?..How can I lose my clearance just for going for an upgrade?

  221. Avatar

    Benjammin –

    IANAL (I am not a lawyer), but I found these links that may help you.

    I can’t find any minimum requirements for selling drugs that draws a line between misdemeanor and felony.

    As contributors to this blog will frequently state, drug use can be mitigated by time and abstinence as well as the “whole person concept”. But this is selling/distribution of drugs so maybe it would be considered a felony.

    My 2 cents, perhaps a lawyer is prowling around here and can give you a solid answer.

  222. Avatar

    John Stone,

    Yes sir there is something you can do–Go golfing everyday and have a beer 🙂

    On a serious note, try a job as an investigator on the sub-contract side. It is a good part-time gig.

  223. Avatar

    Thank you very much for the reply. I am very happy to have found this site. There is a lot of great information here. I will also post my results as they may help someone else in the future.

  224. Avatar

    This message was posted last week and was in reponse to yet another post I had made two weeks ago. If anyone else has additional feedback it would be greatly appriciated.

    Thank you.

    Investigator, Bill

    Thanks for your response. I don’t believe I was investigated, JPAS stated “favorable secret” So if I was not investigated can they still cross check that particular SF86? Secondly, when you view my SRB is it electronically or do you have my actual book on hand? I can’t imagine an investigator just browsing through an SRB book and not checking out how decorated someone may be.

    Bill, thanks for the feedback, I got out in 02 and those medals never made it into my DD214. I’ll look into it.

    Thank you,


  225. Avatar

    Im about to begin Air Traffic Control training in OKC and I’m considering Bankruptcy. I recently got divorced, my once high paying job turned into a very low paying one over night, and the majority of my savings was lost in the stock market crash. As of today I have $40,000 in credit card bills! My credit score is perfect for now, but I won’t be able to keep my head above water for much longer. If I file Bankruptcy once in training will my security clearance be revoked? Will I be fired or washed out of training because of a BK? Or can my Bankruptcy remain secret?

  226. Avatar

    Really Concerned:
    No, it does not change my answer.

  227. Avatar

    Just Curious:
    You don’t have to list the expunged conviction because the conviction occurred more that 7 years ago.

  228. Avatar

    A National Agency Check (NAC) is conducted on the spouse/cohabitant of a person who has or is applying for a TS clearance. A spousal NAC is limited to a check of records at FBI Headquarter (no FBI fingerprint check), Defense Clearance and Investigative Index (DCII) and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). No credit check is done on the spouse/cohabitant. If the spouse is not a native born US citizen, citizenship/legal status will be verified. I don’t think you have reason to worry about your fiance’s security clearance.

  229. Avatar

    I think the incidents as you described them will not result in a security clearance denial. If you are applying for a federal employee position at DHS, I can’t give an opinion on your chances of receiving a favorable employment suitability determination, because there are numerous federal employment suitability standards that vary by agency and specific job.

  230. Avatar

    If your SF86 was completely accurate and there are no discrepancies between what is on your SF86 and your credit report, your chances of getting a final Secret clearance after getting an interim clearance are excellent.

  231. Avatar

    Whether or not you are denied a security clearance for solicitation of prostitution will depend on you past conduct, not on how many times you were arrested. It is not possible to give you an opinion on your ability to get a Secret clearance without knowing the extent of your past criminal conduct that did not result in an arrest. There is almost a presumption that anyone who was arrested once for this type of crime probably committed it several times before being caught. An investigator will not tell your wife about the arrest. You may have to in order to completely mitigate the potential for blackmail.

  232. Avatar

    Anthony S.,
    If you had a favorable secret clearance it most likely means you had a NACLC type investigation. There were no issues that were on your cases papers or developed through the various checks which required you to have a SPIN.

    As for your second question, when ever I have done military record checks the record check was done electronically. Actually I usually talk to a member of the military who looks up the record for me and I ask him/her the specific questions I need to and they search for the information in the record on the computer.

  233. Avatar

    If in the past 7 years you sold marijuana for more than you purchased it, then you must answer “yes” to question 24c on the September 1995 version of the SF86. On the July 2008 version of the SF86 question 23c covers any possession, purchase, transfer, or sale during the past 7 years. So anyone answering “yes” to 23a, would also have to answer “yes” to 23c. Any illegal drug involvement is a potentially disqualifying condition. Whether or not you are granted a clearance will depend on how well you can mitigate this condition.

    Whether or not your past charges were dismissed or convictions expunged makes no difference. If the shoplifitng and the disorderly conduct charges/convictions occurred more than 7 years ago, you do not have to list them for a Secret clearance. If they occurred less than 84 months ago, you must list them. I’m assuming that alcohol, drugs, firearms or explosives were not involved with either offense.

  234. Avatar

    Out of time:
    Yes, a US passport can be used as proof of citizenship.

  235. Avatar

    An MBI is not a clearance; it is an investigation. MBIs are usually done for a Moderate-Risk Public Trust clearance. There are no overarching federal rules regarding the granting of Public Trust clearances to contractors, only OPM recommendations. So, I can’t give you an opinion on your husband’s chances of getting the clearance.

  236. Avatar

    Mac: No, it will not be an issue.

  237. Avatar

    You didn’t mention anything that could explain such a long delay in getting a clearance. One year is way too long for adjudication. You need to get your security manager to make some inquiries. If your security manager is unsuccessful, it may be time to get a congressman involved.

  238. Avatar

    I recently completed an SF-86 background investigation (and was cleared after about 6 months), via the lovely folks at FIS/OPM. I am now wondering if some information I did not list, due to how I understood the question, could come back to bite me in the butt.

    It is with regards to question 21. I had seen 4 counselors within the time period requested. 2 of them were specifically for mental health issues. Obviously, I listed these. However, I did not put 2 other docs on the SF86 because I saw them due to “grief counseling:” severe hardship getting over a relationship that had just ended. I remembered later that one of the 2 had talked to me about my mental health history… I immediately e-mailed all of his contact information to my investigator. I never mentioned the 4th, though, because all we ever talked about was my breakup and issues stemming from that (none of which were mental health related).

    Did I do things right?

  239. Avatar

    I currently have a TS but no SCI – I was looking for SCI forms online but cannot seem to find any. Are there any standard forms for different SCI compartment clearances? Are they available online anywhere? Thanks.

  240. Avatar


    Not an SCI expert, but believe most SCI info is FOUO. Get with your Security Manager. Some items contained in certain instructions cannot be discussed in this forum.

  241. Avatar

    How do investigators regard “developed references”?

    Let me put it this way:

    I’m interested in applying for a position that requires a TS security clearance/Background investigation. I have no financial delinquencies, I have no criminal offences, no past drug history, and I rarely even drink. I have many friends but I also have many people who just don’t like me.

    If one of those people who “don’t like me” somehow end up as a developed reference, and decide that he/she and his/her friends want to screw me over and make up some allegation (i.e. drug use or trustworthiness who knows), how does this usually go with background investigations? I want to be 100 percent honest and tell the truth and take polygraphs if necessary, but I just worry about people who would try to produce slander to try and smear my chances of being successful. What happens if this is the case?


  242. Avatar

    I filled out an security suitability form with my application. To my understanding, the form is for the company to see if it is even worth their time offering a position and going through the clearance process. On this form, I answered that I have never used any drugs. I had a feeling that if I answered yes, I wouldn’t have been offered a position. The same questions will be on the SF86. If I answer truthfully, will the company be able to see that I was dishonest in their suitability form and visa versa.

    Not sure what I should do. By the way, I am totally clean now. I haven’t touched hard drugs in years but I have periodically smoked marijuana up until June of 2008.

  243. Avatar

    I have received some money from my father over the last year and a half. He got the money from his sister, who got it from inheritance. She lives overseas and is planning to move over here. Over the last year, I have opened CDs in her name (rather than just keep the money in a deposit box). The total is 130,000. I am 27 years old, I have been working for 11 years however the last four years have been part time because I am a student. Will this money in my name be a flag?

  244. Avatar

    Sorry, I made an error, the accounts are under MY name.

  245. Avatar

    Investigator…Thank you for that info. Is there any way I can view the SRB(s) I have filled out? maybe online or request them over the mail?

    Thank you,


  246. Avatar


    Is it possible to determine an approximate timeframe to obtain a secret clearance. I have applied to the FAA and am awaiting clearance. It has been about 6 months so far of waiting. My husband is an active army officer with a clearance. I am originally a ukrainian citizen. I came to the US in April 2003. I became a US citizen in Dec 2006. Because it had only been about 5 years between completing the SF 86 and the time I arrived to the US, there was a couple of years I had to put down my residence in Ukraine along with people who knew me (since only being here 5 years I did not know anyone in the US). Will they attempt to contact people who knew me in Ukraine? Also, one of my friends who has known me from Ukraine lives in Germany. I can imagine that this will take a while. Perhaps much more than 6 months so far?

  247. Avatar

    Thank you so much for taking the time to answer. I appreciate your help. I will most certainly make every attempt to get back on track, but am happy to hear that it won’t affect his clearance in the meantime. Thanks again so much.

  248. Avatar

    I’ve had a TS clearance since last May. I recently applied with a company that asked me to completely re write my sf86. Apparently there was a revision to the sf86 in July. Today I received an email asking if I wanted to take the chance of upgrading my clearance. But in the event I don’t get the upgrade…I would lose my clearance?…is that possible?..How can I lose my clearance just for going for an upgrade?

  249. Avatar

    I wanted to thank you for the feedback. Judging from the activity on the site, the knowledge and information you impart is of great interest and value. Thanks for making this available.

  250. Avatar

    william, thank you very much for the information regarding my situation. the only thing i can do now is be positive, honest, and hope for the best.

  251. Avatar

    Exactly what form are you looking for?

  252. Avatar

    Mr Henderson I have a general question reguarding MY clearance that’s in adjudication Since my interview was based on my credit im had a chance to clean up
    Some deragatory items and i have a letter from A credit restoration angency that says they are working on my behalf to clear the negative items. is there a general mailbox I can mail it to so that it can be attached to my case?

  253. Avatar

    I had a job offer from a private company which required that I be able to qualify for a secret clearance. I went through the process and was told that I had failed the polygraph test. That was the only problem sited when I received notice that I was not granted the clearance. I have filed an appeal but have been told that it may take 24 to 36 months for that process to be completed. I am a new college grad with a criminal justice degree and this is a big blow to my options. Can anyone give me input regarding pushing the appeal through more quickly?

  254. Avatar


    The way you describe it–sounds a little odd. What upgrade are they referring to since you already have a TS? Is it that they need you to be SCI eligible? Also, the new form wouldn’t change things. Try to give a little more info if you can. I’ve never heard of anyone asking you “To roll the dice” and if you fail–you lose. That new company has no say-so to whether or not you keep a clearance issued elsewhere.

  255. Avatar

    I currently have Secret Clearance and I am looking for another job. I came across a job that needs TSC with Polygraph. Can I seek TSC on my own? How long is the process? Also, what kind of questions should I expect? I do not have a record just a traffic violation (car accident at fault)that went to court and settled back in 2000.

  256. Avatar

    There isn’t just one facility that adjudicates federal security clearances; there are dozens. The largest adjudicative facilities do not have mechanisms for receiving unsolicited correspondence from clearance applicants and perfer not to communicate with applicants until they initiate contact. I don’t believe a letter from a credit restoration agency that says they are working on your behalf will have any adjudicative significance. A credit report or a letter directly from a credit grantor showing that the debt is satisfied or was an error, is adjudicatively significant and may mitigate a security concern in whole or in part. I recommend you continue your efforts and be prepared to respond to any inquiry from your adjudicative facility.

  257. Avatar

    It may be that the company you are dealing with has had experience with applicants who had security/suitability issues in their background that did not surface during their investigation for a collateral clearance (Secret or TS). When they applied for an SCI program that required an Extended-Scope polygraph (also known as full-scope or lifestyle polygraph), a potentially disqualifying issue was uncovered. When this happens, the agency adjudicating the SCI eligibility is authorized to pass this new information to all other concerned government agencies and the applicant’s existing clearance could be subject to re-adjudication, depending on the nature of the new issue information.

  258. Avatar

    Greetings all,

    I would like to avoid applying for a job, then having the security officer at look in my JPAS and give me bad news because in my records, I have “elgigibility administrativly withdrawn” – because I was terminated from my last job that required a clearence (2001). The DSS person stated that they had to pull this information from the archives. (I have requested and received everything the DSS has on me under FOIA/PA). In addition is the actual letter from the security officer from my old job stating that I was terminated and why, again, from the DSS archives.

    My question is this, will this information come up on a pre-employmentment screening by a perspective employer’s security officer, or will it come up in the course of the investigation itself, or will it come up at all?

    Thanks for any reply, I’m just trying to solve for as many variables as I can here.

  259. Avatar

    CE and/or BW
    Is there an easy way to know how to get in contact with someone that is a sub contractor that requires a TS/SCI clearance?

  260. Avatar

    I just realized that I made an honest mistake when I submitted an SF-86 at least five years ago.

    The SF-86 asked about any charges in the past 7 years. I thought my charge was 7.5 years old, but the charge was really 6.5 years old. The NACLC was successful, but I didn’t realize it till now.

    Any words of advice?

  261. Avatar

    I am unsure how to answer SF86 questions 26c, and 26m, and 26n with regard to taxes/debts. Would those questions have to be answered “yes” if for a tax year I filed a federal tax return on time, but couldn’t send the full amount of tax owed with the return, so instead filed the return with a partial payment and a request for an installment payment agreement? The installment agreement was approved by the IRS, and I paid all taxes, interest, penalties in full over a 12 month period.

    If I do have to answer “yes”, should I provide a supplemental answer explaining about the installment payment agreement?

    Thank you.

  262. Avatar

    bw investigator
    I have a question for you?, i was wondering what if a native american appliyed for a job that requires a security clearance, what if that native american takes part in a tradition that involves huligens, can that be held against them?. Just wondering if anyone had any thought about this?.

  263. Avatar

    I ment hulicigens (paiouti) sorry about the spelling.

  264. Avatar

    I plead guilty to domestic violence (assault-intent/reckless/injure)in 2005. I did not get any jail time but was in provation for one year and attended domestic violence counseling. I currently have a secret security clearance. Will I loose my security clearance?

  265. Avatar

    John M Stone:
    Go to – you can search by security clearance level and see who is hiring. You don’t have to register with the site in order to do a search. You can also search for TS/SCI on other job sites like Monster, Dice (for computer jobs) or Indeed. is another site to try.

  266. Avatar

    I recieved my FOIA request today and am having trouble deciphering the text. On the case closing transmittal it has a section at the bottom titled Investigation Summary. I’ll recreate it and hopefully someone can translate. Note I’ve ommitted some detail due to OPSEC/PERSEC

    *****Investigation Summary******

    case type case # status CA date req. agency SC F
    ********* ****** ****** ** **** ***********
    ofi79NACL ****** closed CM **** ***********
    sac ****** closed CM **** *********** F
    sac ****** closed CM **** *********** F
    NACI ****** closed DC **** *********** N Y
    LBI ****** closed DC **** *********** N Y
    naclc ****** closed CM **** *********** Q Y

    In particular I’d like to know what the abbreviations below sections CA, SC & F stand for.

    Also, if a SPIN is required for a clearance and one cannot be conducted due to the employee being deployed can the investigation still be adjudicated favorable without it? I recieved documentation for this anclc but have yet to find if it was granted or not. All it says is that it has been adjudicated and the case closed. this is the same case requiring the SPIN.

    What kind of investigation is a SAC-PRT?

    Thank you

  267. Avatar


    Good question, but a drug is a drug. I understand the importance of heritage, but these drugs are illegal in the United States. WOW!!! You ask tough questions and hopefully an adjudicator will chime-in on your question as well. On the Investgator side, we would treat the use as an issue with many questions asked. Adjudicators do things differently and they are the final stop. Not sure how this would be mitigated.

  268. Avatar


    Developed references are simply names we uncover ourselves through whatever means. We all may have folks that don’t like us. If you have 8 people say what a great person you are and suddenly one person bad mouths you, more times than not it is easy to see what is up. That is why many different folks are interviewed. The adjudicators are smart people and can weed through the BS.

  269. Avatar

    I’m in the process of applying for a job that may require secret clearance. I’m worried about two items that may disqualify me from receiving the clearance.

    1. 13 years ago (at age 19) I was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor for marijuana possession. I received deferred adjudication and fulfilled the requirements of the agreement (probation, fines, drug education). I now have no involvement with drugs and haven’t for at least 10 years.

    2. 5 years ago I purchased a used car. The seller gave me a signed but otherwise blank copy of the title transfer form. When I submitted the form I reported the sales price as significantly less than actual and therefore paid less sales tax than I owed. One year later I hired an attorney to help me correct my mistake. He was able to contact the manager of my county tax office who allowed me to pay the remaining taxes I owed without penalty.

    The phrase “correct my mistake” reads like I was trying to correct a clerical error. It wasn’t a clerical mistake. On the advice of the seller I reported a supposed “book value” as the sales price rather than the actual sales price. “Make amends for my poor judgement” is more appropriate.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  270. Avatar

    BW Investigator

    Thanks for the response, i’ve just always wonderd about thattype of situation. If there is a adjudicator that can chime in on this type of situation.

  271. Avatar

    This is probably not a unique question it is a problem that haunted me for over a year now. In 2007 I obtained an internship for the DOD requiring a Secret Clearance. At the time I didn’t thing my prior drug use was relevant. I was granted the Clearance and after College I applied for Border Patrol due to recency . After filling out my equip I retained the same answers but admitted everything to my Investigator. I was denied employment but the adjudicated offered for me to withdraw my app so as to not send the results to OPM. I did just that. I have since started the process as a DOS Special Agent and will need a TS/SCI upgrade. I would love this go around to be truthful but I don’t see if doing either will help my situation. I made bad choices 4 years ago and never looked back but it seems that considering the adjudicator told me my admission was why I was denied, I regret trying to be truthful. Am I permanently screwed by trying to be truthful?

  272. Avatar

    The use of peyote as part of a bona fide religious ceremony by Native Americans is legal under Federal law, and in many States. Congress specifically exempted this after a divided Supreme Court decision on whether it was protected by the First Amendment (freedom of religion).

    Since the question asks whether you have “illegally” used any controlled substance I think Jason should take advice from a lawyer familiar with these laws as to whether his particular use was legal or not.

  273. Avatar

    Welcome to the club of those who are unemployable based on a JPAS entry. Mr. Henderson’s statement…”Even if there was unfavorable information about you in JPAS, according to the rules the prospective employer is not permitted to use that information to make a hiring decision,” is naive and misleading. Potential employers will NOT hire you if there is an unfavorable (true or false) statement in JPAS about you. Employers are not willing to wait > 2 years for adjudication. JPAS permits past employers to enter unfavorable statements WITHOUT any government OVERSIGHT and without notifying the terminated employee. The Obama administration appears to be aware of these injustices and hopefully can restore independence between Government Security personnel and Defense Contractors.

  274. Avatar

    Everyone who terminates from a job where they held a security clearance, has their clearance administratively withdrawn. Bad information is having a clearance suspended or revoked, or having an unresolved “incident report” on file. If your file was in the archives, a prospective employer’s security officer will not be able to see any record of you in JPAS. Even if there was unfavorable information about you in JPAS, according to the rules the prospective employer is not permitted to use that information to make a hiring decision.

  275. Avatar


    No you can not apply for a clearance by yourself without sponsorship.

    The length of time necessary depends on the agency involved.

    The questions on the application form and the Personal Subject interview generally cover the same topics. You should review the new application form (SF86) dated July 2008. The polygraph questions depend on the type of polygraph exam—there are 2 types.

  276. Avatar

    I have 5 marks on my record. The twist however is this, 3 of those charges were dismissed, and 1 occurred as a juvenile and has been expunged. The fifth is an alcohol related charge where I payed a $200 fine(no probation or any such thing). Also, 2 of the charges occured in high school, and 3 within a 6 month period in college. It’s been 6 years and I’ve been squeaky clean. Will this prevent me from obtaining a secret clearance?

  277. Avatar


    Hoping someone can shed some light for me. I was selected for a Spring ’09 Internship with the State Department and Secret clearance is required for the position. I completed my e-QIP back in October, but had to make a couple of corrections that delayed official submission until early December. I was denied tentative clearance because my wife is a foreign national. I don’t really have any skeletons in the closet, clean debt, etc. I have spent a significant amount of time abroad – 3 years in China and interim periods in Bulgaria – where my wife is from. I tried providing as much data as possible to verify any employment and/or addresses while abroad. Anyway, I was hopefully supposed to have a final decision today and I contacted Diplomatic Security (DSS); my case has apparently been returned to the case manager to collect more information. Diplomatic Security also told me that the case will automatically be referred to adjudication because my wife is foreign born (green card holder, but not yet citizen, here since 2004 with a good job). This will supposedly add another 2-4 weeks to the process. They also told me that I may be restricted from working in Bulgaria because that’s where my wife is from, but that’s where I’m supposed to intern. No one ever mentioned this to me prior to today. Is this the rule? I’m just wondering if I should stick with it, or just give up on the internship, since I can potentially graduate by May. I’m planning on calling the Embassy people tomorrow to see what they have to say. Also, although I may miss a spring internship, could I stick with the process just to finish and make things potentially easier in the future?

  278. Avatar


    Sound advice.

  279. Avatar

    Thanks for your time and answers to my previous post. Our agency has stopped trying to give guidance on this issue, as I am sure they are inundated with requests for answers. Thanks for your time in trying to fill that void with the effort on this web site. My concern, primarily, is that after 10 yrs of fed service with a TS, and perfect credit rating, that, if we have to let this house go, I would loose my TS, and subsequently, my job. My wife and I have always had perfect credit scores, and a great credit history, so we haven’t established a track record of bad financial decision making. This would be the first bad financial mark we have received. However, with the transfer, and the renter situation, coupled with the current market, it is a very real concern for me right now. It is an 80/20 mortgage, fixed rates, no PMI (pretty traditional as far as 80/20’s go). Like I said, we have submitted to the MC’s to request help, however, we don’t expect much. We don’t have that much credit to manage if this hose is lost, as a matter of fact, if we have to let it go, we will probably pay off the rest of our family debt in approximately 6 months. Besides being completely open/honest about this with my senior management (which I have, I have talked to them about the situation to ensure they are aware, and that it is not something that could ever be used to blackmail me into jeopardizing my security clearance), are there any other steps that would make my re-investigation go smoother? What else would you expect the investigator to look for to prove that we exhausted all of our resources to prevent this?
    Thanks for anymore help or answers you can provide, and have already provided.

  280. Avatar


    First of all, thank you for providing such detailed information on this blog. I have a question about obtaining a security clearance. Three months ago, as a result of a terrible misunderstanding, I was arrested and charged with two felony charges for taking another’s items in a dark club. However, I am innocent and in the process of negotiating with the prosecutor. I have been offered a disorderly conduct violation, which is a noncriminal disposition, however we are working on getting the charges completely dismissed since I am innocent.

    Other than this one instance, my record is completely clean. I have an M.Sc.-level specialized education from an ivy league school and a clean financial history.

    Will the pending charges disqualify me from obtaining a clearance, when I know in fact, that in the worst case scenario I will have a noncriminal violation?

    Thanks and I look forward to any help on this issue.

  281. Avatar

    Okay, now I have my own question (again). I have been working the OPM contract for almost 3 years and had my investigation completed by FISD in 5/06. A clearance was never activated, as none was needed for the work I was doing (OPM contract). I do not know if the investigation was even adjudicated. I am now looking for work at other agencies who are trying to confirm the investigation, as the company I have been performing work for is almost out of business-no more work. Problem is, my information is not in the CVS. It’s nowhere. So they have been unable to confirm that I have ever been investigated. My security office has a history of being less than cooperative with individuals trying to get information and has a history of being only a little more cooperative with other agencies regarding these matters. Does anyone know where else I can look to find my investigation? Any help would be appreciated!

  282. Avatar

    Contract Inv

    Have the FSO contact OPM. Your SSBI was done, but not adjudicated to the TS.

  283. Avatar


    I am currently a federal LEO with a TS clearance. I am applying to another agency and am filling out another sf86. I got to the drug use section, and realized I took a prescription Adderall back in college, 2004. I guess either I didn’t see the prescription part or didn’t even remember doing it when I filled out my first sf86. So I know I need to include it in this one, and I’ve never done any other drugs. Will it be a problem when they look back at my previous 86 and see that I did not list it in that one?

    Thanks for the time and help

  284. Avatar


    Two questions: My interim secret was granted earlier this month within a few days of submitting my paperwork. Can someone tell me what the average wait time for a final secret is these days?

    I am separated from my Middle Eastern spouse, but under the same roof when my spouse is in town. My spouse is a US citizen of many years. Does anyone foresee a problem with my spouse’s nationality?

    Thanks in advance!

  285. Avatar

    I am trying to get a Secret security clearance. I have a few items on my credit report. But no criminal background. My question is will they check my wife’s credit as well and her background? She has numerous deliquent debts on her credit, many are from before we were married. She also has had several speeding tickets and wrote some bad checks at sometime in her life. Will this keep me from getting a security clearance?

  286. Avatar

    I am going to be foreclosing my home. Up until recently I had TS/SCI clearance which I’m told has lapsed to secret (it’s been over five years since the initial clearance was granted). Other than my impending foreclosure, I have good credit. Am I going to lose my clearance? Anyone with good info please help.

  287. Avatar

    I currently have a TS clearance, however, I am being reinvestigated because of financial concerns. I have been addressing my problems with my finances but I have not gotten everything taken care of. I have an upcoming interview with an investigator. If my clearance is revoked can I appeal this? If so, will I be placed on administrative leave or will I be terminated until the appeal is heard. I would really, really appreciate a response. Thank you very much.

  288. Avatar

    I have been granted a NACI in 1999 and 2002 and BI and NACIC in 2007. A few months a go I married to a convicted felon who had two drug possession charges in 1987 ( i was 9 years old at the time) and a firearm charge in 1996. He has since served the sentences required and has turned his life around. I am wondering if my clearances will be revoked. If so, would getting a divorce allow me to be have my clearance reinstated.

  289. Avatar

    I guess my response to your question at “Ask Your Clearance Question – Part 18” has been overtaken by events. Whether or not a person is placed on paid leave, unpaid leave, detailed to unclassifed work or terminated between the time a clearance is revoked and the appeal to completed depends on your employer. Obviously you don’t want things to progress to that point. I recommend you read my 3-part article on “Personal Finances and Security Clearances,” as well as my article on “Rebutting and Appealing Security Clearance Denials.” Then come back here with whatever questions you may have or use the premium Q&A service offered at this blog. The recommended articles are posted at

  290. Avatar

    Hi, I’m currently joining the army however I am unable to choose a job that I want due to a security clearance. I owe money to credit card companies and have a lot of hospital bills due to no insurance. I recently quit a job at a cafe because they said I was stealing. And this is not true. My boss and I had a terrible falling out. I have no other criminal convictions. Just late payments, and minor traffic violations which have all been paid for and will if anything happens again. I am twenty years old.

    My question is, if over the next few years I clean up my credit, pay off my debts could I be considered for a secret or top secret clearance?

    What are the chances that my investigator would believe me over my former boss. It’s solely my word against his.

    And my recruiter told me not to mention any hospitalization over the past two years. I’ve been to the hospital for depression, family problems, i’ve been on anti depressants, also I’ve been in two or three accidents, also sick which i’ve had to go to the ER and spent the night. Will this come back to haunt me? I can assure you that all my hospital visits have not resulted in long term damage. Mentally and physically I am both healthy now.

  291. Avatar


    See my response to JP20 (the response may take a day to appear because I included a link to the articles I recommended he/she read).

    I’m glad you already notified your employer about your situation. Failing to do so would only compound your problem.

    Most mortgage company approved short sales result in deficiency balance (debt) that is not absolved just because the mc agreed to the short sale. What are your intentions regarding any deficiency balance that may remain after a short sale or repossession? As indicated in my 3 articles on “Personal Finances and Security Clearances,” there are factors that can mitigate the negative effects of bad debt on security clearances. You should anticipate that at some point an incident report regarding you financial situation will be sent to your clearance granting authority. This may trigger an investigation long before your next regular reinvestigation.

  292. Avatar

    Maybe one of the investigators on this blog can help you. I am completely confused by your use of the terms non-criminal disposition and non-criminal violation. What state did this occur in? I’ve never heard of “disorderly conduct” being anything but a criminal (or penal) code offense.

  293. Avatar

    I have SCI and am being reinvestigated. Four years ago on my birthday, I drank too much and was hospitalized. There have been no other incidents. Is this something that needs to be reported, and will it ruin my future access?

  294. Avatar


    If the hospital was because of alcohol, the answer is “Report it” The form asks if you have received treatment for alcohol–you did.

    I don’t see any reason you should worry–one time incident and excessive B-Day celebration. I think you are fine.

  295. Avatar

    What happens to a clearance/investigation if you are going through a SSBI and leave sometime after the interview to another company before it gets adjudicated? Will the investigation continue so long as the new positions is still a cleared position or will it stop completely and the process starts over?

  296. Avatar


    I am hoping an investigator can give me an idea on whether or not I might be denied. My situation is as follows. I have worked on an Army program as an information assurance SME for ten years. I have had a SECRET clearance all that time. Well, my clearance is up for renewal, and the prime contractor (which I work for) wants to submit me for a TS clearance.

    My concern is this. I currently have about $27,000 in credit card debt. My current
    income is in the mid sixties. I have ZERO delinquencies or issues of any kind. I own a home, and have a clean criminal record, and have no other issues to speak of. I have a FICO in the 700’s and am working to pay the debt down. The debt was accumulated by putting myself through my degree, helping the wife with hers periodically, and extensive dental work that needed doing.

    I am concerned that I will be denied because on paper I must look like I’m at risk as someone who would sell out his country for money. Or at least I’m worried I’ll be seen that way. The one mitigating factor here is that both the wife and I received significant raises in the past five months and are working to start taking big chunks out of this debt.

    So, will I be denied?

    Worried and needing advice

  297. Avatar

    I’m in the process of renewing my secret security clearance and I have a couple of questions:

    1)I experimented with meth and pot in 2002, I already had a secret security clearance at the time. I used maybe 3 times and have not used since. Will I be denied a security clearance?

    2)I gave my child up for adoption, do I put that on my security clearance even though I am not the child’s legal guardian?

  298. Avatar

    I am trying to get a Top Secret clearance for a Job in the Air Force. I was filling out my questioner when I came up to a question regarding taxes. I had a tax warrant come to me in the Summer of 2012 regarding state taxes not paid for 2011. It was a mistake that I looked over when I filed my taxes online earlier that year. Never the less, I paid the amount what the Warrant required. It was no more than $200 or so. Will that go against me? Even though I paid off my fine as soon as I found out?

  299. Avatar

    Hi, I’m about to do my secret clearance but a few things concern me, even tho I don’t have a bad credit history a do have several debts. The two major debts which are 30,000 and 20,000 are due to a car accident I had and never had any insurance no the car companies are wanting the money i owe them i am currently getting in contact with them to make payment plans, but is something like making a mistake and not knowing the area i was driving in going to effect my pass, the other two debt will be payed off within the next 2-3 months and prior to enlistment.

  300. Avatar


    Don’t sweat it–happens a lot.

  301. Avatar

    Needing advice

    In our business, that is not a lot of debt–we see much worse. You have nothing to worry about IMO.

  302. Avatar


    Typically carries over.

  303. Avatar

    I got my TS/SSBI Clearance few months ago. Out of curiosity, I asked the copy of the investigation. This note caught my eyes;
    The Investigator sent the SF-86 to the previous employer. The Previous employer HR said the fax was came out blurry.
    Ok, is this a normal thing? Really? SF-86 to an ex-employer? The whole form? Isn’t my information and the whole family members should be confidential?

    Thank’s in advance for your explanation.

  304. Avatar

    Thank you in advance for any information you can offer me. I will briefly summarize and then offer more detail.

    I learned this month, May 2013, that after denying my interim Secret clearance in Sept 2011, No Further Action/Investigation was conducted. This despite the fact that the DoD contractor continued to sponsor me for clearance/employment until March 2013.

    From Sept 2011 to Mar 2013 DoD reported to my sponsor that clearance status was “Pending”. Of course I never got the job with original sponsor and have not been able to even get an interview with employers requiring clearance because they can learn that I have a “Pending” status. I would appreciate opinions on if I have any legal recourse from getting OPM/DoD to perform an investigation to suing for damages caused by failure to perform the investigation given that I still had a sponsor.

    I was offered a job–which required a Secret Clearance–in July 2011 with a DoD Contractor. I completed the online e-QIP Application and had interview with OPM contract investigator in Aug. 2011. My interim clearance was denied, but DoD contractor continued to sponsor me for employment until March 2013. During this time DoD contractor indicated my clearance status showed”pending.” To learn both why interim clearance as denied as well as why clearance was “pending” for nearly 2-years while DoD contractor continued sponsorship, I had to go to my US Senator and get them to contact OPM and then DoD liaisons and finally a freedom of information act request. From this I have learned why my interim clearance was denied. I believe that had a complete investigation been done, the two issues raised could have been explained. But no reason for why no further investigation was conducted, given that I continued to be sponsored for this same job/clearance for another 18-months.

    Thank You,

  305. Avatar

    Two questions –

    1. I have a contractor who had a DUI after his 18th Birthday almost 4 yrs ago. I am putting him on a contract that requires a low risk NACI. Will this affect him passing?

    2. I myself, got a DUI in January after a long night of hanging out with college friends in town visiting. I went to sleep and everything, woke up the next day, running late for work and had a fender bender. I wrote down my information for the woman and gave it to her, but she was screaming and yelling in the middle of the street and wouldn’t move the car to the gas station. I told her I was going to pull into the gas station on the next corner which I did. Long story short, I got a DUI because the cop who arrived smelled alcohol on my breath from the night before and he gave me a hit and run for moving my car and “leaving the scene”. Both misdemeanors. There was no damage to either car, though I think she is trying to get money from my insurance.

    It has been horrible, I even had to do jail time, classes, counseling, more classes, and don’t get me started on how empty my savings account is now. I would never intentionally drink and drive and while I felt a little hung over in the morning, I certainly didn’t feel impacted or that my driving would be jeopardized. I’ve felt worse driving from a lack of sleep.

    Anyway, my question is, I now am up for some big DoD contracts that require a Facility Clearance where I will be the Project Manager. Will we be denied this because of my DUI and Hit and Run? Also can I pass a regular NACI background check at this point?

    Please advise.. thank you.

  306. Avatar

    I have a question about national agency checks of an immediate family member (father-in-law). What does the naturalization verification entail? Does the status (asylum) through which his initial residency was granted make a difference? The position I am applying for is a limited appointment at a consulate/embassy.

  307. Avatar

    I know someone who has a top secret security clearance and has cheated on his wife. They are going through a divorce now. If his friend were to come forward and bring up evidence of this would he lose his clearance or for that matter his job?

  308. Avatar

    My fiancé and I are planning on getting married in two weeks. He has a top secret clearance. We were told by someone that my having a misdemeanor for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Is this true? It is the ONLY thing on my criminal background at all! Just in case you need more info on the charge….. My ex boyfriend whom my children and I lived with was a VERY mean person… He left bruises on my son’s bottom with a belt. For my own safety and the safety of my children’s lives I would not tell the courts what really happened until I got away from that situation and then came forward and told them what had happened…. I was then charged with the contributing as he was charged for abuse…. I pled guilty so that I would be able to fully testify against my ex he was then found not guilty…. I am in the process of having my charge overturned however out wedding is set for 2 weeks and I know it will not be off my record by then. Could this affect his Clearance? He can not do his job without his clearance.

    Thank you

  309. Avatar

    In 1994 I was arrested for marijuana. I plead no contest, paid a fine and moved on. I later hired a lawyer to expunge my record. 19 years later and several employers later, I have always answered no I have been arrested and no drug offense because my record was expunged. In my current company I recently took a position which requires a NAC SF86. So all of my stuff is good, credit score, job history, finances, where I lived. I haven’t been arrested in 19 years, a few speeding tickets but nothing out of the ordinary. So I don’t think I will have a problem with the clearance the issue that I am concerned about is answering, have you EVER been arrested for drugs, which technically I have but its been exunged, so how to I answer the NAC and do I open myself up to be terminated by my employer cause they now have access to information that was technically not avaialble to them?

  310. Avatar

    The security questionnaire specially instructs you to list offenses even if they were exunged. Your employment forms may not have contained such specific language about disclosing arrests.

    Some food for thought – a) Records are not the only way to find out about drug use/arrests. b) What if your next position requires a higher level clearance? Will you keep lying and therefore falsify multiple federal documents?

    We always tell Subjects that lying about an issue can have a greater effect on the outcome of their investigation than the underlying issue. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether or not to disclose this information.

  311. Avatar

    Hey Guys,

    I need some career advice. I was an Investigator at USIS for one year and have been working as a Reviewer for more than five years in the federal government. Now, I have been given the opportunity to become an Adjudicator of background investigations at another government agency. My only problem is that the new agency wants to pay me less money than I’m making now. It’s about a 6 grand difference. I’d be going from a GS 12 to a pay band which is equivalent to an 11, but I would be at the top of the pay band. Then next year, I’d go back to a GS 12 equivalent pay band. I’ve already gone back and forth with HR about trying to get more money and they are not budging.

    My questions are: is this a good move for me? After becoming an Adjudicator, I would have experience working background investigations from beginning to end. My other question is: what are the possibilities for my next career move after I put in some time as an Adjudicator? I really want to know if having all of this experience in background investigations is good for my career and where I can go after being an Adjudicator. Thanks.

  312. Avatar

    I am planning to travel to Mexico for visit for a month or so. Will this travel jeopardize my clearance? Currently, I am not working anywhere but I have final clearance. Also, do I have to report my travel if yes who should I report to?
    Thank you

  313. Avatar

    I just got a job that requires me to fill out an SF86. I am worried because I am married, but while I was separated from my wife for a few years, I had a girlfriend in Thailand. I sent her small amounts of cash through Western Union. Will this cause a problem? Is it even traceable? I really didn’t want to include it because my wife, who I am currently reunited with, is helping me with this and will see.

  314. Avatar


    I’m applying to a contractor and I need to submit the SF85P. I have a good credit score and no criminal background. However, I’ve been fired and resign in lieu of separation twice in the past two years. This is a public trust clearance. The first one the company first (verbally) told me that they were releasing me b/c of $$ problems, but when I applied for unemployment they stated that I wasn’t doing my job correctly. I won the appeal and unemployment was still granted. The second time they needed someone with more expertise so they decided to release me. I will provide this information in my form, but do you think that this will hurt me in getting this job? I had no misconduct on neither of the jobs.

    I’m looking forward to your comments

    Thank you

  315. Avatar

    Currently work as a contract guard (CSO) for a Federal courthouse. In the past, I ran for mayor. Days following my announcement several (3) local police agencies started running my name through the D.A.V.I.D ( Florida’s Driver And Vehicle Information Database) and National Crime Information Center (aka NCIC) looking for dirt to slander my campaign. I recently did a public records request to obtain my drivers license audits and FDLE tar reports. Low and behold there are NUMEROUS (45) hits on my records. I requested an internal affairs investigation into why was my information accessed since I haven’t been pulled over. IA investigation report came back last month. Officers lied under oath and gave false claims of pulling me over. Some actually putting me at the scene of an accident (actual report does not list me as a witness) I have proof that I was no where near these locations. I have time slips, on work cameras and even have travel itinerary that puts me out of state. My question is…in 2014 i will have to undergo my 5 year background check to continue with my CSO position. Will all of these hits on my DAVID report & FDLE tar report come up in the background check and hurt my chances of continuing my employment as a CSO?

  316. Avatar

    Dear Investigator(s),

    My scenario is as follows. I recently accepted a job as a Federal Contractor. The job will require me to receive and obtain a Secret Clearance.

    My concerns are primarily related to my work history/previous jobs and credit card debt:
    Job History over the Last Three Years:
    (A) I have been at my current job for almost one year. My midyear review did not go well due to performance reasons. I was told that I was trending to getting a rating of unacceptable performance at year end and would most likely be placed on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) by or at year end. I had a conversation with my supervisor and asked if he could hold off on the PIP and give me a shot to work out my issues. They said since I had a really good attitude and worked hard they would hold off on the PIP. At the conclusion of my project I was notified I was not meeting expectations and was placed on a PIP. Management suggested I look for another job that was a better fit. I did this and have secured a job as a Federal Contractor (with my previous employer). My current manager is nice from the perspective that she told me I will keep my eligibility of “being eligible for rehire” with the Company (i.e. when I apply for a job and someone calls HR I won’t be in the we fired him category). However, for the SF86 I will need to put my former supervisor down as a reference. She will say I am a nice guy who worked really hard but that I fell far short of what they expected of someone in my position. (This position was a step up for me. Prior to this I had not been in a management position). Since they (management) knew I was looking for a new job they had me sign the PIP, but did not have me work it (i.e. have weekly meetings with me to tell me if things were going bad or good, etc.) because they knew I was looking for another job and would leave in January (which I have and am). They are also letting me stay on until my new job starts.

    (B) I was at my second to last job for sixteen months. That job did not go well from a boss/relationship perspective. Essentially, the VP hired all is former colleges, who I was not one of, and provided them with lots of great opportunities. When I asked for other opportunities/projects to expand my skill set he denied all of them. In my annual assessment he told me I was an underperformer and gave me a verbal tounge lashing but gave me a favorable review on the form that was submitted to HR (he agreed that I met all my goals), but wrote no verbiage on strengths/weaknesses. As a result I got my raise and a bonus. In 2012 I was working on a subteam of 2 people. The other person left. In addition, a new person to manage the subteam I perform on was hired. He was based out of Asia. We do an annual project that takes 2 people (myself and the other coworker) three months. For 2012 I was assigned to complete the said project single handedly. Based on manpower, and my manager being based in Asia (I was on the West Coast in the United States), this was impossible to complete and the project was not going well. Since I left the department has vacancies for two positions (one for my position and one for a manager) to fill the work I was expected to do singlehandedly both of which have been open for fifteen months. I knew that I would eventually be written up, placed on a plan, and fired after the project was over. Seeing this coming I provided a one month notice and submitted by resignation notice. Prior to doing this I was never placed on a performance plan and/or served with any written warnings/notices regarding my performance. When I went to pick up my final check my termination paperwork said I am not eligible for rehire. Again, with the SF86 I need to put the VP or my manager in Asia (both of whom hates my guts and are very close friends) down as supervisors. I know they are going to butcher me when the Background Investigator contacts them. Additionally, there are a lot of people at that Company, in my former department, who my VP got hired, and I am sure they will not have nice things to say about me either. However, I do have one former coworker from the department who no longer works there who will put in a good word for me as a reference.

    (C) I was at my third to last job for three years . The first two years I got good to outstanding reviews. During my midyear review of my third year I got a review saying I needed to make some improvements and would have to keep them up to keep my favorable review (which I received at the 6 month mark), but based on my recent projects I was headed in the right direction. I closed out my last project before year end with an awesome review (I have a written review from the manager to prove this). However, after that they benched me for a couple of months because there was not enough work for the whole team. When my year end review came the manager butchered me and one of my colleges. She said even though I did a good job on my most recent project the review was for the entire review and I needed to do more. The review was pretty ugly. It essentially makes me sound incompetent and incapable. Essentially, she wanted a couple of us gone to free up budget for promotions of other employees. I ended up resigning a few months later and provided a months notice. I know that I am eligible for rehire because the job I just accepted (that requires me to get the security clearance) is with the same company on the East Coast. I am not sure what type of reference this manager will give me. I did not have to good of a relationship with the people she promoted to manager and the ones I use to work for (who I have good relationships with) are no longer with the company.

    Finances: I have $35,000 of credit card debt. About $10,000 of this was incurred from frivolous spending with the remaining $20,000 being from moving twice (cross country once), being unemployed for a few months, medical expenses, and my dog getting sick (doggie chemo treatments), and a couple of Graduate School Courses. I’ve had a couple of 30 and 60 days late payments over the last 2-3 years. They were attributed to not getting my mail. However, I am current on all my bills. I make $100,000 a year. I have a plan to have this paid of in the next 3-4 years. I don’t live an extravagant lifestyle.

    1. For my last three jobs (A, B, and C above) what should I put as the reason for leaving – Fired, Quit After Being Told You Would Be Fired, Left by Mutual Agreement following charges of allegations of misconduct, Left by Mutual Agreement Following Notice of Unsatisfactory Performance?

    2. With the information provided above (those are my major negatives. I have never been arrested, never had any misconduct charges at work (using the computer to look at porn, etc.) what are my chances of getting an interim secret clearance and final secret clearance?

    Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You to all the investigators who answer these questions. Have a great Thanksgiving.

  317. Avatar

    Hello, I am in the tail end of joining the navy and my job will more than likely require a secret security clearance. I submitted my packet with no problem. I recently did a credit check for the first time and found 2 delinquent debts in collections well over 180 days and a judgement against me (which I wa not properly served for but that’s beside the point). Now I do not go to meet with my background investigator for another week. My questionis, should I take the initiative and set up a payment plan for these things beforehand? Or just tell him what I uncovered at the meeting? The three things total to about $2000 and should not be a huge problem paying off.

  318. Avatar

    i just got an mos that requires a secret security clearance. i did not fully disclose my NJ driving record to meps just three out of the eight tickets i have had, nothing major and all fines were paid. Is my driving record gonna be checked? Will this disqualify me?

  319. Avatar

    I am currently a member of the Army Reserve and my MOS requires me to have a secret clearance. My home was foreclosed on over two years ago due to a layoff, the subsequent loss of income, and the housing market crash. Since that time there have been no negative issues on my credit and I have built my overall score back up to the 700’s. The Army recently renewed my clearance without any questions regarding this issue (they never even contacted me). However, I am currently in the hiring process for a Federal Law Enforcement job that requires another E-Quip and background check. I am curious if this will create an issue for me. I feel that I have a valid explanation for what happened and I have shown in the years prior to this incident and since its occurrence that I am indeed financially responsible.

  320. Avatar

    Ok here is my situation & eventually my question…

    Due to the economy tanking my government contract was cut short and I was forced to take another job making significantly less. Instead of loosing everything, I filed for chapter 13 bankruptcy. During this time I was in the process of awaiting adjudication of my TS/SCII w/full scope poly, which because of time (13 months), never happened so I ended up loosing that job. I immediately got hired at another agency who was willing to pick up the investigation, but during this time I was not working. I thought it wouldn’t take but a month or so to pick it up and adjudicate me, but that was not the case. In the mean time, I found a couple of short term contracts that paid next to nothing (literally they paid barely enough for gas to get to and from work). One year later my investigator realized that it was because I was not receiving a full paycheck she decided to close my case; citing lack of full time work, so they would rush it through adjudication. Needless to say my file sat on the adjudicators desk for over 3 months before it was even looked at and again, I was de-sponsored because the company could not wait any longer for them to investigate me.

    Now this put me at 2 years of unemployment or underemployment, and my lawyer converted my Chapter 13 to a 7. I had some back taxes but before the unemployment I had been paying them early every month. After I realized that it was going to be even longer before I got another long-term contract, I contacted the IRS with my situation and they put me in a “non-payment” status until I was working full time again and was able to apply for another payment agreement.

    So here we are in 2013, almost 3 years to the day that I was laid off and I finally found another permanent job. I began trying to get my bills back in line, was actually able to get a used car and keep my utilities from being continuoulsly cut off. In the fall my company moved me to a contract, which required a DHS TS clearance. I’m thinking, no problem, but oh was I wrong.

    The papers were filed in October, I finally heard from my investigator at the end of November requesting my tax transcripts to prove hardship, but here is the kicker they gave me 10 days to submit the transcripts and it takes 7 to 10 business days to get the documents from the IRS, so I submitted my full tax documents (all had been prepared by the same accountant) instead. In mid January my investigator contacted me explaining that he needed the transcripts and I explained to him the timeline to receive them, but he still ave me only 10 days to get them and closed my case. Well his manager stepped in and extended my investigation so that I could send in the documents, and I did. Once they were received my investigator stated that none of them showed documentation of a payment plan nor my current non-pament status. I explained that they only show tax records and any changes that may have occurred via myself or the irs to those filings. He never asked for proof that I was in this status, but I did provide him with notes that I took every time that I spoke with an IRS agent from the date, time down to the name. I even found some old records from 2007 that proved I had a payment plan and was paying it every month until the bankruptcy. What happened you ask? He declined my clearance stating the reason(s) as being, “due to questionable information developed during the investigation and/or preliminary checks.”

    I have passed two polygraphs on the first time, each time I had to go (they are only good for one year and since the clearance took so long I had to retake it one year later), and the same info and statuses that he was seeking, but never asked for proof or explanation of, was asked and the same answers that I gave him I gave my polygrapher and I passed. My question is after I supplied him with every piece of documentation that he asked for, if there were any inconsistencies or questionable information, why was I not asked specifically about them so that I could supply him with any necessary documentation, why couldn’t he call the IRS and get anything that he needed? I gave him those documents, and it was transcripts for 6 years, on the 29th of January, and was declined yesterday, less than a week after he got them.

    I am an extremely responsible person, never been in trouble with the law, don’t do drugs, and I just love my job. I have been a government contractor for most of my career (since 1996), and because of 3 years of hardship it is about to come crashing down. How can i fix this??

  321. Avatar

    If I said I didn’t smoke pot on an naci investigation, admitted it for a security clearance (which was denied)…what are my chances of getting a new naci at my job if I’ve been clean for a year?

  322. Avatar

    I am applying for a job that requires DOE Q (TS) clearance and then a SCI. Both of my parents are US citizens and I was born in Texas. However, I lived most of my school age years overseas until graduating from High School as my father works for a US based international oil company. I don’t have any attachments to anyone or anything overseas, and neither do my parents. Will living overseas in Dubai, UAE and Jakarta, Indonesia be a problem for getting clearance?

  323. Avatar

    I recently went through a divorce that I initiated and the ex got her car that is in my name. You can see where this is going already. She now refuses to pay for it and my lawyer will get a lawsuit together against her, but the car is already 2 months behind. The house note in another state has been one month behind continuously because she wont pay it either and it is her responsibility according to my lawyer. The way this works is, once the house in AL sells then the house in GA gets paid off by me. Ok no problem, however that also is in my name. Because the property is court ordered to her but in my name what are the ramifications to my clearance. I can show the SSO all of this but right now, I am up for renewal and it has been over a yr and I havent heard anything about my clearance. HELP.

  324. Avatar

    My spouse is currently planning on joining the Navy and will be going through OCS. If I were to publish erotic novels on amazon for sale through their kindle device, would that count against his security clearance in any way?

  325. Avatar

    As long as you are doing everything legally and aboveboard there should be no issue with it. A Spouse’s legal employment is usually not an issue unless it involves criminal activity, drugs, or foreign involvement.

  326. Avatar

    I currently have a top secret security clearance and am thinking about getting married. The problem is that he just went to jail for 1 year under a sexual assault case. I don’t know what kind of charge, whether it was a misdemeanor or felony, but it was through the military so it’s a federal case I think. He gets to appeal at 6 months but I want to know what could happen to my clearance if we get married.

    • Avatar

      Two things for you: If he was convicted of a crime that resulted in being jailed for a year or more then it is a felony; if you currently have a TS and are getting married (especially if he is a convicted felon)you are required to report this information to your security officer or agency that granted you your clearance. It does not mean it will affect it, but it will be reviewed as a potential concern,

  327. Avatar

    I have a question about a top security clearance and MEPS. I am in DEP right now and I decided to switch my job to something that requires a TS Clearance. there are some things that I forgot to mention at meps while filling out medical history and background history. Things that were 10 years ago, such as removing my tonsils, surgically removing a teeth. I’m not really worried about those because I honestly forgotten about those, but there is one pressing issue I am concerned about. I left out that I went to talk to a therapist (twice). The only reason I talked to the therapist is because my sister thought I was weird for not talking much. This was purely based on what her perception of me was and convinced me and a therapist to talk. All I did was talk about myself and that’s it. I didn’t receive any medical treatment or prescription, and I wasn’t diagnosed with anything and nothing happened. Will I get a fraudulent enlistment charge when I tell the truth when talking to an investigator/MEPS investigator? I plan on telling the truth and disclosing EVERYTHING when being interviewed. What are my chances, if I have a chance, of getting a TS Clearance? and what should I do?

    • Avatar

      You should fully disclose the situation and circumstances during your security interview and explain why you did not disclose it on the form. Mitigation can be applied as long as you have voluntarily come forth with it instead of it being found out later.

  328. Avatar

    Quick question,

    I worked for 2 years as an OPM investigator and then was laid off for force reduction reasons/no work in 03/14. I was hired by another company as a contract Investigator in 05/14 but when they submitted my info to OPM to get my credentials back I was denied. HR has no idea why, I called my previous company just in case and Security said she has no idea why either. No security violations or anything in my file. It’s only been 2 months since I last worked as an investigator so this is strange. There have been no changes in my situation either. Any ideas or suggestions? I have requested a copy of my investigation with OPM but i really don’t think this is a clearance issue. Thanks!!

    • Avatar

      When you say you were laid off for no reason/work, it does not sound entirely above board, as there is always work for those that want it. Contractors providing investigative services to OPM usually identify those that are strong investigators that put out a good work ethic with good reports and give them the bulk of the cases. On the flip side, those that do not submit good reports are slowly weaned off the caseloads. If I were you I would find out from your previous company why exactly you were laid off and how it was reported to OPM.

  329. Avatar

    I’m very worried about this,

    I went to see a counselor once when I was feeling very pressured about maintaining a high GPA. Now, I’m graduated, but my bank statements show a debit payment to “Psych Health Center.” Would this be found in a top secret security search? What if I closed this account and opened a new one with a different bank?

    Thank you!

    • Avatar

      It is not an issue that would prevent you from getting a TS, but should be disclosed on the SF-86 under Section 21 under Psychological and Emotional Health. If you don’t disclose it and it is found out during the investigation then the dishonesty will be an issue.

      • Avatar

        Thanks so much for the advise! I was just afraid because I was hoping for military intelligence and I know the Army frowns on any psych care. So I was trying to decide if I should settle for something other than intelligence in the military or shoot for an institution outside of the military that is more forgiving of that sort of thing.

        I have to ask though, in TS background investigation, do you know if they check debit transaction histories? Also, how do they find your bank to begin with?

        Thank you again for your advise.

      • Avatar

        An investigation includes a credit report check from all three major credit reporting agencies, it does not check individual bank accounts unless there is suspicious or illegal activity associated with it that was reported by the bank to Treasury.

  330. Avatar

    I had a written offer for a VA Medical Center. The start date was June 2. My last day was May 20. We rented our house, our lives were packed and ready to move our family of 7 1700 miles for an exciting job. I got a call at 430pm on May 20 stating that my job offer had been rescinded. One of the persons I listed to fill out background investigation, listed that I had an issue with internet porn 11 years ago. This person is a pastor. I had confessed to him in private, then my denomination helped me through a rehab process. I sought help and got it. This issue didn’t happen at work. Anyway, this is the reason my offer was rescinded. Now, no job, no house and lost. I just don’t understand how this can be a significant enough issue to deny employment, especially considering the fact that I sought help, unlike so many. Thanks for any insight.

    • Avatar

      Before your question can be fully explored additional information is needed. How do you know that was the reason the job offer was rescinded? Was that in writing or verbal? Any issues beyond 9 years are considered out of scope if no similar behavior has occurred since then, therefore, IAW with OPM guidelines it should have not been disqualifying. The VA may have it’s own specific criteria depending on the position sensitivity, but that should have been stated up front. Unfortunately, there are no appeal rights for having a job offer rescinded, but I would definitely have the VA provide you in writing the specific reason for rescinding the job offer if they have not done so.

  331. Avatar

    I recently got a job offer with a federal contractor and I would be working directly with USAID for this position. To be able to start the job, I would have to obtain an interim clearance and then obtain a final Secret Clearance.

    I was born and raised in the U.S. but both of my parents are naturalized U.S. citizens from India. I’ve grown up traveling to India to visit my grandparents, but as the years have progressed I am not at all close to my extended family. I only speak to one maternal uncle and a paternal aunt, which I indicated on my form, other than my living grandparents because I’ve lived in the US my whole life and been out of touch with everyone else. A few months ago, I obtained an Overseas Citizen of India Card (OCI Card) which basically grants me a life-long Indian visa. The State Department has indicated that this is by no means dual nationality, and basically the equivalent of a green card that allows me to visit India. In addition, I went to graduate school in France(that too a university accredited by the US) and have done a lot of traveling throughout Europe in the last 6 years (study abroad in college, language courses, summer backpacking trips, etc) and volunteered for a summer for an NGO in South Africa. The only Asian country I’ve been to in the last 7 years other than India is Singapore, and that too for a day as part of an extended layover. I studied abroad in Turkey, but it was a program arranged by my undergrad university and it was with all American students. I am in my early twenties and have a very clean record with no history of arrest, tickets, drug use, etc. My financial history is also very clean with the exception of graduate student loans, which have been deferred to July due to the fact that I just graduated and haven’t started work yet. Although my work history consists mainly of internships and research positions, I’ve never been fired. I just really love to travel and I’ve taken advantage of my years as a student by traveling as much as possible.

    My question is this: will my foreign travel and the fact that I have an OCI card affect my ability to get an interim clearance? My security officer told me that everything looks good and that the only problem to secure an interim might be my foreign travel. If I can’t get an interim than my job offer will likely be rescinded. I’m currently waiting on the interim which I reckon will be determined by the end of this week. Any thoughts or answers will be appreciated!!!

  332. Avatar

    I was recently fired for cause because of working from home without permission.

    If I come clean on the investigation questionnaire, would this prevent me from getting a secret clearance?

    • Avatar

      Not necessarily. Telling any untruths about it will hurt you. Best to be humble and make clear you violated the rules for your job. Obviously the boss felt it was a bigger problem than you did. If you are remorseful and feel you learned a lesson be clear on that point. But be honest across the board. Don’t try to give “good boy” answers. We all made bad choices along the way. If we learn from them and press forward not repeating the bad behavior…that is a good thing. If you can somehow demonstrate you now adhere closely to the rules and can show that in a few evaluations, even better. However, if there is more to that story than you alluded to, that as well will be weighed.

  333. Avatar

    I applied for a few local county and city Law Enforcement positions and reached the background phase but was not selected. Will my background Personal History Statements that were submitted for the Law Enforcement positions be pulled and reviewed by the investigator for my security clearance? Thanks

  334. Avatar

    I am curious how the process’s work for employer history references for an SF-85P:

    1. How exactly is my employment verified at previous companies? I am not trying to lie about my previous employment, I am just trying to figure out what is needed to be done to get through that aspect of the investigation, for example:

    – Does the investigator send a inquiry letter to the HR folks or do I need my old supervisor’s information for them to send it to?

    – Who all do they interview there if they do that?

    – Do they actually pull your personnel file there?

    Again, I am curious as to how much effort it should take since my old company is going to have to put in (they are VERY slow) and I am not receiving an interim clearance to start and am unemployed at the moment because of previous health reasons.

  335. Avatar

    I recently received a tentative job offer for a government agency pending I am able to receive a secret security clearance. However, my current job (contractor) also requires a security clearance (although I believe it is only a NACI check). Will it cause any issues that both investigations are happening at the same time (I just recently started the contract job when I got the offer with the government)? I do not want to tell my current employer that I am looking into another job, just in case the new one falls through.

  336. Avatar


    I am currently under investigation to recieve a intermim clearance. My question is, I have had a lot of debt. Mainly because I have not had the money to pay my bills on time. I currently work part time and that doesn’t even pay my rent. I have been evicted once and not by my own fault. I just didnt have the money to pay because my job cut my hrs. Will this prevent me from getting a security clearance???

  337. Avatar

    I am sure something similar to my situation has been posted before but this thread is so long and everyone’s situation is different so I will post my specific anxieties about the background investigation.

    I did a 3-month internship while in college 2 years ago but did not get a full-time offer of employment after graduation because they felt I would not be a good fit. Is that something that I would need to disclose on the SF86 or that would be found?
    My other anxiety is regarding a traffic citation for a late emissions fee. I was operating my father’s vehicle (which I never would have driven had I known) and there was a late emissions fee tied to the car’s registration so I got the ticket. Even the state trooper realized he should have written the ticket in my father’s name and advised me himself to take it to court and plead not guilty!
    Will either of these occurrences affect my ability to received a Top Secret Security Clearance?

  338. Avatar

    Will a UTH for AWOL in 1985, keep me from passing a NAC-I background and become a federal employee now. I have since served in the merchant marine and volunteered with the USCG Auxiliary and have a clean record.

    • Avatar

      An OTH that happened almost 30 years ago will not affect passing a background investigation and obtaining federal employment. Only dishonorable or under dishonorable conditions types of discharges ones of concern.

  339. Avatar

    I currently have a security clearance with poly. If my security office finds out I have committed adultery can this affect my clearance?

    • Avatar

      The adultery itself is not the issue but rather because of the fact that it could be used to influence you into doing something it is a concern, so yes it could affect your clearance, especially a TS requiring a poly.

  340. Avatar

    I had some drinking issues in the past when i was in the military after a very tough seperation with my wife in 2012. I received 2 dui’s within 2 months and was discharged under general conditions in November 2012. I also was criminally arrested for a DUI when my car was in a parking lot but the case was thrown out because I was not driving in 2013. My credit has been steadily getting better since 2012 as I have been working very hard to restore my credit. I am a university student now and Im constantly doing volunteer work in my neighborhood. Is there any chance that a security officer would look past this being that the incidences are so close together?
    This following is what I filled out on my security form.
    Last year in December, I had done a stereo install in my car and my wife and I walked to the park where I had been installing my system. While we were there, my car was parked and the engine was shut off and we listened to music while I adjusted my sound levels. While we were sitting in the car, a car pulled up behind us with their high beams blocking my view of the vehicle parked behind us. At this point my vehicle was still turned off. I waited about 2 minutes while we sat in silence wondering who was behind us and why they were parked less than a foot behind us, blocking us in the parking space with their car running. I began to fear that this would turn into a hostile situation and turned my car on. At the moment I turned my car on, the car turned on its police lights making me realize that there was no danger and that the car was a police vehicle. I immediately turned my vehicle off and waited for an officer to approach my vehicle. The officer asked me if I had been drinking and driving and I told him that I had not been driving and that my car has been parked here all day as evidence of the speaker boxes, loose wires and tools that were scattered all over my vehicle from the install. The officer made me do a field sobriety test, arrested me, and took me to the station. I was completely cooperative with the officer and explained the situation to him at the station. I appeared in court and the case went to trial where the case was dropped and I was found not guilty of any charges.

    While working at BLANK, I agreed to work there under the conditions that the first 5 months would be “long hours” but after the initial start-up period, the hours would normalize to 8 to 9 hour days. Under this pretense, I agreed that I would work there on a salary basis and would not get paid for overtime for the duration of my employment. For the two months I worked 50 + hours a week which was the least amount of time that I worked in any given week at BLANK. After the first two months, I worked anywhere between 63 to 73 hours a week which included weekends and holidays. After being employed with this company for 9 months and having their initial promise broken, I informed my employer that this was not what I agreed to and that I’ve been working over 60 hours a week 6 days a week without overtime for 9 months and I could no longer continue working here under these conditions. I also explained that I will not be able to work on the weekends. I explained to him that I would work at uni select as long as I could but I could no longer secure child care for the extended hours. I was warned that if I did not continue to work weekends and work a minimum of 10 hours every day that I would be terminated. During this meeting I told him that I understood and I will continue to come to work until I was no longer needed. I received my first write up a month after our conversation. On this occasion, I “mandated” to work a 12 hour shift on Saturday and only given 1 days’ notice to make arrangements. I had previously informed him 2 weeks in advance that I volunteered to be the host of a festival for Fairfax County and I was under contract and could not cancel. My second and finial write-up was given to me when I left after working 10 ½ hours saying that “I left without notifying him.” I was asked to leave in June of 2014

    • Avatar

      Sorry, my post did not load properly as a reply:

      2 DUI convictions and a charge of DUI that was dropped is a major concern. You have not stated what your alcohol use is now or if you have completed any rehabilitation. Your story about walking to the park does not ring true and even though the charges were dropped, you had obviously been drinking when the incident occurred. Based on these bare facts an adjudicator would find it hard to make a favorably determination.

  341. Avatar

    2 DUI convictions and a charge of DUI that was dropped is a major concern. You have not stated what your alcohol use is now or if you have completed any rehabilitation. Your story about walking to the park does not ring true and even though the charges were dropped, you had obviously been drinking when the incident occurred. Based on these bare facts an adjudicator would find it hard to make a favorably determination.

  342. Avatar

    I was laid off about 6 months ago from employment that required a security clearance. This made my security clearance inactive because I am no longer employed.

    I have been aggressively seeking employment through resume submissions online. One company I submitted a resume to asked for a video interview using the Skype application. I complied and attended the interview through Skype. The job I was applying for is located in at a US branch of the main company. When the interview started I was presented with individuals from the US branch, who were doing the interviewing. An additional interviewer was present from the main branch in Praque, Czechoslovakia. After doing this interview, I became concerned about issues that may arise in my security clearance. Were there any problems from this pertaining to my security clearance?

    • Avatar

      The Czech Republic is now a member of NATO and is considered an ally of the western nations. Unless they were asking you specific questions concerning your previous level of access or specific proprietary and/or classified information then there is no issue. Should you get your clearance reinstated ensure you put this interview information on the SF-86 update.

  343. Avatar

    At my previous job I once (maximum twice) looked at porn in the office and then it was when the office was closed, I was the only one, and I was in a locked room. I also (once/twice a week) would go to the a private restroom and look at porn. Is this enough to risk a TSSCI security clearance? This was a few years ago when I was 19-20.

    • Avatar

      This was also on my own (personal) computer and ipod. Also, it may have been more recent. Going through the listings of why people have been denied clearances I have not found where someone in my situation did not get a clearance, but I want to get another opinion nevertheless…

      • Avatar

        The situation does not sound like it would prevent you from getting cleared as long as no pattern of similar behavior currently exists., however, just because you were on your own devices does not mean you weren’t in violation of agency/company IT use rules. If you were using a government Wi-Fi it is still a violation.

  344. Avatar

    Ok so I was wondering if an investigator could answer this question for me:

    During my sophmore year of college I took an internship that required a secret level clearance. Six months prior in Jan 2012 I used marijuana less than 4 times when I was with some high school friends. It was the first and only time I ever used any type of drugs. The security officer/personell when I was filling out my SF-86 forms for the internship had specifically told me that “if I had smoked pot with some buddies in a basement a few times but never got caught, then they dont need to know about it.” scared and embarrassed to report it I think I said I never used it. I remember at the time I was back and fourth in my own head if I should report it. I was only 20 and had no clue how serious it could be to not report it and only wouldnt b/c of what the companies security officer said.

    two years later now I am about to graduate college and still have my secret level clearance. I work for a different company and they want me to get my TS w/ full scope poly. I want to know if I will get denied for the TS if I did intentionally lie? Is there a way to go back and see my old SF-86 answers. I plan on reporting that yes I did use drugs within the past 7 years and will say yes I may have lied and only because I was instructed to. I would never lie now that I worked in the defense industry for 2+ years and know how big of an issue honesty is. I was only 20 and dumb and believe I followed the security officials statement and lied.

    If I am denied will I lose my Secret clearance and could I possibly face legal issues?

    Help please!!!

    • Avatar

      You may be questioned as to why you did not disclose your drug use previously, and it will be up to you to convince them that you were following the advice of a security representative. Your age at the time, experimental use and circumstances are enough to mitigate the drug use itself. Nothing you can do but be up front about it now, or continue the falsehood and risk being found out and then your clearance revoked and find yourself looking for a new job. No legal action will be taken against you.

      • Avatar

        Can a security manager disclose information to my command regarding an honest response I put to the drug use question? I was trying to tell the truth and be brutally honest like i was told to, and i was pulled aside and told the information i put could get me in alot of trouble and i shouldn’t put it down. I thought before you get to the question that it specifically states that the information you post cannot be used against you in future legal proceedings, so how can the security manager disclose this information to the command?

      • Avatar

        More background is needed: Are you currently in a cleared status? Was the drug use during the time you were granted a clearance? Did you report the drug use as required? Or are you just now coming forward about it during a reinvestigation? Was it required to be disclosed on the initial investigation? No one should be telling you how to answer the questions. They can disclose issues of concern to your chain of command if the information indicates criminal conduct or violations of laws or regulations. The security manager has a responsibility to provide all derogatory information to the responsible CAF as well for them to determine whether to grant, deny, or revoke a clearance.

  345. Avatar

    Please help, Im about to submit my eqip. I work for the federal gov. and I lied on my app twice in the past 7 years. I applied for customs 2 years ago and lied during my polygraph and ended up telling the investigator that I had driven with a boyfriend many, many times to sell drugs and I tried my self a few times but did not like it, four years ago. I am now applying for another federal job (its a contractor job that I need a secret clearance for) and it uses the eqip. Should I lie to keep my job and get the new one or do I tell the truth, to clear my mind but cut my chances of not getting this job and maybe messing up my current career? Do I not apply at all? My gut is telling me to tell the truth especially since I had to sign a Miranda warning after my polygraph.

    • Avatar

      Eventually these falsehoods and deceptions will catch up to you and the consequences serious. If you plan on trying to make working for the government a career then you should come clean with this now and hope that there is some mitigation that could be applied to help you keep your current job.

  346. Avatar

    help! my dad is filling out his security clearance paperwork for his work and one of the questions asked for my date of marriage. While he thinks that my date of marriage was in 2010, I actually got married in 2006. Will they check on the date of my marriage or will this be minor and surpassed? I really can’t afford for my father to know. Please help me.

    • Avatar

      Background investigations do not have interests in children of the subject, unless a foreign national or criminal conduct is involved.

  347. Avatar

    I once transferred $200 to my then boyfriend’s american bank account for a car payment while he was in India. Does this count as “providing financial support to a foreign national”? Also, with this, having a history of mental illness (with mitigating evidence from my psychiatrist that my condition will not affect my judgement in the foreseeable future), having lost used pot 4 years ago, and being fired from job due to performance (not misconduct) prevent me from getting interim clearance?

  348. Avatar

    If I forgot trying marijuana once when I was 15, I am almost 21 now, and didn’t list it on my sf86 will that be automatic denial of my clearance if I let the investigator know about it. They asked the reason I didn’t list it and honestly I forgot, never thought about it. I listed other adverse items, just forgot this one.

    • Avatar

      Your one time use at age 15 is not the issue, and if you have never before filled out an SF86 then the fact that you came forth voluntarily about it is a big mitigator. If that is the only issue then it should be favorably mitigated.

      • Avatar

        Thank You for your response. The process is so confusing. I didn’t remember until after I left employment, was only employed a couple of months, then a few months later was hired and needed a public trust, no one tells you what the process is, what to do if you forget something. I was never interviewed for the secret, it seems like they just gave that. I have since started a file to keep everything organized. Confusing!

  349. Avatar

    I’m 33 yrs old and ex military. 2013 was a tough year for me. In October of that year, saddened by my midterm grades I decided to smoke some pot. I’m a California resident so I went about it the legal way, obtaining a medical prescription and buying from a licensed location. After about two times smoking I decided that it was not for me. I go to church regularly and even participate in ministry so i felt guilty. I then went to the VA psych dept for counsle. They diagnosed me with some adult adhd and tested me before giving me a prescription. The pot was detected but I was given time to test again and given medication. How should I go about listing these events on my SF 56 clearance form and what is the likely outcome in respects of me gaining a clearance?

    • Avatar

      You list them exactly as you have on this forum. Depending on clearance level and position (if only a Secret) then the issues could be mitigated through medical documentation showing rehabilitation and a favorable diagnosis from the doctor.

  350. Avatar

    I have 2 question:
    1. I because US citizen in June 2014. Can i get security clearance in Feb 2015. does it matter how long you have been a citizen?

    2. would by husband’s record considered- he is convicted of medicaid fraud(before marriage) and is fighting it.

    • Avatar

      There is no set length of time you have to be a citizen to get a clearance. However, they would look at what country you were previously a citizen of, foreign relatives, property, connections, and determine what, if any, concerns there are. For a Secret there would be no reason for them to consider any information regarding your husband, unless he was currently engaged in criminal activity and you knew about it.

  351. Avatar

    I’m being reinvestigated (TS-SSBI, non-military agency). The guy talked to me, my friends, etc and I’m guessing my paperwork is in adjudication. My question is simple: no news is good news, right? Wouldn’t they have contacted me if there were any issues they found? I haven’t done anything that I know of that could cost me my clearance, and nothing came up during our interview, but I’m an anxious person in general. I guess I’m just seeking reassurance that the investigator would have spoken to me if he’d found anything concerning. Or do they submit derogatory information without asking the subject to explain?

    • Avatar

      The investigators only report information, they have nothing to do with reviewing the entire report of investigation. Don’t assume the investigation is closed, sometimes certain checks hold up the process. If it is closed then ,depending on the agency and their workload, adjudication times vary. If there was an issue of concern you would have gotten a letter outlining them and a chance to respond.

  352. Avatar

    The investigator asked me about my parents, who were both Vietnam-born. I am American-born. My dad mentioned off-handedly a few years ago that he was a junior officer in the South Vietnamese Army. He never saw any action but somehow resigned his post after a few short months. The investigator made a big stink about this and pressed me for more information.

    Am I under any obligation to disclose information regarding my father? I told him everything I know. The investigator wanted me to dig down and get the dirt. I’m not happy with the idea of playing spy against my dad. Shouldn’t they conduct their own separate investigation against him?

    • Avatar

      You are correct, any questions about your foreign contacts or relatives should only require you to disclose what you know, not go out and inquire or solicit more information. You didn’t not say whether your parents are no U.S. citizens or legal residents, but it sounds like you may have an over zealous investigator.

  353. Avatar

    I was fired from a job for performance issue which I find it not true. I am working for another security company right now. i want to know can i be eligible for secret clearance for future jobs?


    • Avatar

      Job performance is not an issue considered under adjudicative guidelines, but rather is a job qualification consideration by the hiring authority.

  354. Avatar

    Hi, I used marijuana off and on from 2002 to march 2012. From 2009 to 20012 i used it once per year. I am about to finish my Masters Degree and have accepted a position at a National Lab. I am required to get a TS clearance. Are my chances good?

  355. Avatar

    How can someone figure out there was an investigation if the charges were dropped and you were not processed and without knowing about it initially?

    • Avatar

      Go to the court system that has jurisdiction over the law enforcement agency, as the prosecutor would be the one who has to determine whether or not to drop or file charges based on the evidence at hand.

  356. Avatar

    I’m a contractor getting ready to deploy again with my company but I have to renew my clearance since I’m approaching my 10 year mark. I originally obtained my secret clearance through the military and I got out with an honorable discharge back in 2010 at 22 years old after completing my enlistment with no problems. After I got out, I went through a rough patch up until 2012 when I finally got hired and deployed with this company. In that two year period that I just mentioned, I was evicted, on the verge of having my car reposed, collection accounts, pulled over 3 times for driving on a suspended license, and my credit score went down. I was never arrested for the suspended license nor have I ever been convicted of anything, the state dropped the case, but I was required to maintain SR.-22 insurance for a year and a half, and I fulfilled that obligation back in 2013 and I haven’t had a moving violation since. Since then, I’ve paid off my debts with the eviction, collection accounts, and paid off my auto loan early. My credit score has gradually been rising and I haven’t been late on a bill since I got hired. I’ve also maintained steady employment, and I have a good reputation at work. Will that rough patch have an adverse effect on getting my clearance renewed?

    Also, I would like to add that I haven’t had a moving violation since 2011. The way the sentence reads makes it seem as though my last moving violation was in 2013.

    And one more thing. Since I’ve gotten back on track these past three years, my credit score went from poor to average. I know they look at credit scores, so will they take the fact that I’ve been improving my credit score into consideration?

    • Avatar

      As long as you have resolved any delinquent debts adjudicators can see that you took the initiative and responsibility, and had a legitimate reason for the debts (we call it life). Credit scores have no bearing on clearances. Traffic tickets are not an issue as long as they are paid and do not reoccur. Sounds to me like you have mitigated any concerns.

  357. Avatar

    I am applying for a TS SC. I haven’t told my parents that I am applying for this position yet, I figured I will mention it IF I am accepted, I don’t want to rock the boat just yet. My question is: for the SC interviews, will they just interview my references (friends, supervisors, colleges, etc.) or will they inevitably also have to speak with my parents at some point? they are immigrants that were naturalized as US citizens, if it makes a difference.

    • Avatar

      Family members and current spouses are only interviewed when corroboration about required items for the investigations cannot be obtained from other sources. Just because they are naturalized citizens does not mean there are any concerns, that is, unless you know of some.

  358. Avatar

    My fiance has a felony record (drug addiction,theft,etc) that happened almost 8 years ago. When I met her she was clean and neither of us have had any problems with drugs since I’ve known her. Will this affect my chances of getting a Top Secret clearance since they would also investigate her? I plan on being honest about all that on the application.

    • Avatar

      There is nowhere on the SF 86 form that would require you to disclose the information, however, if it did come up then you would just communicate the same information you have on this forum as mitigation for any concerns.

  359. Avatar

    My 20 year old son went to meps with the navy and was offered an intelligence job but then was denied his top security clearance due to a medical bill on his credit that we thought had been paid by the secondary insurance company. we have paid it and they are removing this from his credit report. can we appeal this denial? the recruiter keeps telling my son that the meps guy thinks he lied and is not interested in resubmitting it. He has a car loan and credit card also on his credit that have never been late.

    • Avatar

      The “MEPS” guy does not determine who does or does not get a clearance, all he is supposed to do is review the security applications and interview the individuals to go over the information and resolve any potential issues. Is it possible your son has not provided full disclosure to either you or the MEPS Security Officer? Or perhaps other processes during the enlistment prevented it? Did he sign up? If not, then he can always try again.

  360. Avatar

    Mr.Henderson or Investigators… Last year I was arrested on a petty theft misdemeanor charge. I was offered a program which I was informed would exempt me from this charge and cased was dismissed. This is my one and only arrest.

    Regardless that I did not have a court case for this arrest and attended the program, I am still very worried about my future.

    I am in the process of starting my career in the cyber security field as a cyber security officer…

    My question is, will this prevent me from establishing my career and getting clearances as a Cyber Security Officer?

    I am very worried… I have taken two “regular” back ground tests since the arrest and have been approved on both. Verizon/Sprint <- companies that did the first two bc.

    Recently I had a background test for a financial institution (Wells Fargo), which I only applied to see if id get the job which I did.. Of course once the results came in the manager for the bank called and said they could not offer me a position based on the results… (my credits not great either) BUT she didn't say I failed the BC test, just that they could not honor their original job offer.. I didn't really care about it seeing as in this is not the field I want to career to be in.

    My question is, will this prevent me from my career as a cyber security officer?….. Or should I just quit now save myself the school debt.

    Any answers are appreciated and helpful… Im very worried about my future and I keep thinking about this.

    Thank you for the help….


  361. Avatar

    Hello there

    Question: I have a secret security clearance from the DOD already from the military and it is currently Active. I am attempting to get a job which requires a DOE clearance. I have financial debt due to a substantial pay cut with a previous employer. It really hit and hurt me. Mostly credit card debts. I have since quit using any credit cards but have been waiting to get a job like the one I am applying to find a way to consolidate and begin paying the debts back because I haven’t been able to due to the substantial cut. I know it’s an opinion, but what is the best guess on that getting my DOE clearance approved or denied?!


    • Avatar

      If you have not initiated any actions to resolve the debt like setting up payment plans or settling for a lower amount, or if you have not made cuts to your outgoing expenses, etc… then you most surely will get an SOR and have to answer as to what you are doing to address the delinquencies. Depending on the amounts, and any mitigating factors, you may or may not be able to overcome the concern.

  362. Avatar

    i have two of my children living with me here in united states and they have a green card. also one of my wife’s cousin who is an alien processing to have a green cars. my question is can the government refuse to grant me a clearance because of those reasons?

    • Avatar

      Foreign influence will be the concern and yes, depending on their country of citizenship, how long they have lived in the U.S., circumstances of why they are not U.S. citizens, etc… are questions that you will have to answer and mitigate in order to overcome the concern.

  363. Avatar

    Hello!! I recently had an interview with background investigator. He called me back to verify information about a step brother who was in federal prison for drugs about 7 years ago. I did not know about those charges because I have little to no contact with my step brother. I am worried because I don’t know how it might affect my public trust security clearance. I feel someone else’s faults should not be my detriment. I feel sick to my stomach because of this. Will I be denied a security clearance because of this?

    • Avatar

      Interesting that he even found out about it, did he state how he did? Regardless, there is no reason for him to be asking you questions about a step-brother and it will not affect your background investigation at all. If you were being processed for a TS with SCI access it might be a concern, but even then it is easily mitigated.

      • Avatar

        Thank you so so much for your response!!! He told me that it came up while interviewing some of my references (perhaps relatives). I got very concerned because he made me go back and initial the change to the background paperwork he did with me during my personal sit-down interview… This is the part where it asks if any of your immediate family members have ever been arrested. I had previously answered “no” to that question. He told me to get as much information about it as possible. He asked me about my communication with him and untold him that sometimes, very rarely I see him and say hello and we do not socialize much. After I was able to get all the information about it, I told him and he said he heard a different story about it. He said that as long as I did not knowing about it previously it would be okay. I am just very concerned because I had to go back to the background forms I signed and initial where we changed the answer to “yes” along with the details. To me, going back and changing an answer looks very bad. He told me it was better that he found out before he left and had to come back again. This is a background investigation for CBPO, not sure what kind of clearance it entails. This has made me loose my sleep very much… Please advise if this can hurt my background investigation and clearance. Again, thank you for your response!!! GOD bless you!!

      • Avatar

        So this is an additional form or document required by CBPO for the specific position. Much like corrections jobs, they ask these questions to ensure you will not/are not able to exert influence on the system for any family members who may be incarcerated. It sounds like this was an honest mistake and you did not have any intent to hide information or deceive, which is the way they will most likely look at it. Not to say it won’t be a concern, but they should work through it.

  364. Avatar

    Wonderful!!! What a RELIEF to hear that!!! THANK YOU!!

  365. Avatar

    I am planning on joining the military (MAVNI). I will need an SSBI clearance. I got into a mess a year ago, some student in school thought I cheated in an online class. Everyone in the graduate school thought I did it, one student (not in our department) even blatantly called me a cheater in open area with a couple of people. The security personnel heard her and started telling the professors even the librarian. I did not say anything about this, I do not want to cause a scene because I am an international student. Nobody asked about it and I did not want to tell them as I would look guilty. They never asked me about it but I can sense that they look at me differently and the atmosphere is just different. If the SSBI investigator asks about this from the professors and students, will that cause me to fail even if I am telling the truth? How will this affect the investigation since they will have nothing good to say about me because of what they thought I did?

    • Avatar

      First, are you a U.S. citizen? If not you are not eligible for a clearance. Second, if there was no official action taken against you by the school and you were not formally charged with cheating, then there really nothing that can be levied against you except 3rd party innuendo. Yes it will be addressed by an investigator if it comes up, but hearsay cannot be used in an adjudicative decision.

  366. Avatar

    My husband has to submit for security clearance and I am concerned over our bankrupcy. It will be 7 years ago in Oct. And fall off our credit but he will still have to answer yes to the bankrupcy question. We were discharged in 2013 and his credit looks fine with nothing delinquent on it. Will this affect him getting clearance? Thank you.

    • Avatar

      A bankruptcy is a legal remedy to discharge debt and is of itself not the concern, but rather what were the circumstances that led to it. As long as there is no current pattern of financial irresponsibility or delinquent debts he should be good to go.

  367. Avatar


    I am currently attempting to enlist in the US Army as a 31b military policeman. I am nervous as can be because one of the requirements for this position is to be eligible to receive a secret clearance. I was arrested back in 2008 for two nonviolent felonies due to being dumb and immature but the charges were dropped 3 months later. Since then i have recieved a couple traffic infractions and i have accounts in collection that are also old that i am working to clear off my credit. Is there a possibility of me being granted a secret level security clearance with all this on my record? Please Help!!!! Thanks

    • Avatar

      It is difficult to say, as the position for which you are applying for has special considerations over the normal everyday non-law enforcement jobs. Your age at the time of the felonies, the circumstances, etc. all have a play in the decision. Minor credit issues will not prevent, but may add to the whole person concept, so I would get them resolved ASAP.

  368. Avatar

    I have heavy hard drug use in my past before I was 18. I also have minor Marijuana usage (less than 10 times in 17 years). Most recent Marijuana usage was 13 months ago. Will this stop me from getting a secret clearance? I have no drug convictions.

    • Avatar

      A lot of factors play into it( position, level of clearance, agency, age, etc)so it is not possible to say yes or no; see previous questions/answers regarding illegal drug use.

  369. Avatar

    Hey there!
    I have accepted a tentative offer for a public trust position with the DHS. I haven’t received any paperwork but I’ve heard they require the SF-86. This doesn’t make sense to me – there is no security clearance. It seems odd to have to fill out that form instead of the SF-85P. Unless, I don’t understand what a public trust position is – I’ve tried researching it and it seems there are different levels of public trust. If I have to fill out a SF-86 does that mean I have a security clearance of some sort? I feel like that would make me more valuable… but maybe I’m just wishful thinking…

    • Avatar

      So agencies (like DHS) require that you be eligible for placement into a sensitive position without actually granting you a security clearance. Other examples are ADT (IT) positions. If you want the job then you fill accept it and fill out the questionnaire.

  370. Avatar

    Hmmm good to know. There doesn’t seem to be any exact formula for the DHS on determining your employment eligibility. I recently went through a similar process with DEA – however I was deemed ineligible because I had tried MJ 5X (4 in Amsterdam almost 3 years ago and once here in the states almost 2 years ago). I was 27 at the time. I was hoping it would fall under youthful experimentation but I guess I wasn’t youthful enough. I never got to meet with anyone at the DEA to mitigate anything – once they saw my forms they were able to tell me I wasn’t eligible. I’m really hoping that the DHS will let me try to mitigate these crimes. I’ve been looking at a lot online and it appears many who have similar issues as mine have been able to mitigate (though most of the examples were from the DOD so I’m not sure how well that speaks for the DHS). I was hoping the public trust position would only ask for the SF-85 because it only goes back one year for MJ. The fact they want the SF-86 makes me think they are specifically trying to ensure people with this in the past 7 years aren’t hired… which rules me out.

  371. Avatar

    I am a Army Reserve Soldier have a SSBI-PR coming up in a 1.5 years and have been worried about possible denial of my clearance. I understand that any answer given is a matter of opinion only, but I would like someone who understands the process to answer candidly.
    In 2003 I engaged in 3 acts of prostitution within a span of 3 months in a country (Mexico) where it is legal prior to joining the military, I have not engaged in any such behavior since then.
    I have successfully completed a SSBI and a SSBI-PR in the past without disclosing this information as pertaining questions were not asked,it wasn’t criminal in nature, and it was nothing that could have been used as blackmail due to anonymity and discretion. In addition, my spouse knows about the mentioned activities.
    During a polygraph test during another federal agencies hiring process, I disclosed this information voluntarily when asked. I also failed the polygraph test due to a question regarding undisclosed foreign national contact- though I honestly do not know why. I was completely honest during the examination but failed regardless.
    My past behavior in 2003 (I was 20 or 21 and this was prior to my marriage) was due to a short period of poor judgement and does not indicate a pattern as there has been no such recurrent behavior since. Also, my wife knows about this so it cannot be used to blackmail me.

    My questions are:
    1) Will the information in this scenario disqualify me from a clearance during my SSBI-PR.
    2) Would I be in trouble for not volunteering the above information during previous investigations
    even though I was never asked about on the SF86 nor by the investigator?
    3) Would a polygraph failure from another agency for a reason unknown to me hurt my chances for
    clearance renewal?

    I would like to continue to serve, but fear the denial of my clearance. What is your take on this?

  372. Avatar

    Without knowing the details of the particular agency and position for which the polygraph was taken, I can only surmise that may have been other issues present as well because the issues you described would have been mitigated in accordance with ICD 705 Adjudicative Standards. The failure of a polygraph does not affect a current clearance status and it does not sound like you will have an issue in the future, but consider this: how do you know you failed the polygraph? were you issued a letter stating you were not eligible for access based on the results of the poly? You really need to ascertain what actually transpired so that when you complete your PR you know how to answer the question about whether you were ever denied a clearance.

    • Avatar

      DHS(CBP) requires that all potential employees for a certain position pass a polygraph examination during their pre-employment process. The polygraph examiner told me I failed a couple of questions during the test. Later I received a letter from DHS (CBP)stating that I was unsuitable for employment due to polygraph failure. As previously mentioned, I really don’t know what went wrong during the test on my part, but the results were the results.

      For my next PR, would I get in trouble for not mentioning the ‘other issues’ during my previous investigations since I was never asked? I imagine such would be frowned upon. Most likely the investigating agency would be OPM and the adjudicating agency would be DoDCFF/ArmyCCF. Thanks again for your insight.

      • Avatar

        You only have to answer the questions asked on the form and if the investigator asks follow on questions during the security interview. Don’t overthink it, juts be honest about what you are required to disclose.

  373. Avatar

    Can anyone please help me out. I have the opportunity of getting a job offer from a DoD contractor and Fed. job offer. Both positions require a secret clearance. My problem is in 2009 I failed a random drug test while in the military reserves at the time I had a secret clearance. I don’t know if my clearance was revoked or not I did not get anything saying that it was. I had proof that the positive result was not from drug use. The military conducted an administrative discharge, but it was later removed from my file and I was allowed to retire with an Honorable discharge. During the same week I failed a random drug test for my job as a city employee and was terminated, both random tests were a week apart testing positive for the same thing. I do have proof that both tests failed because of something else besides illegal drug use. Because I held a state certification I successfully completed substance abuse counseling with random drug testing per an administrative law judge to keep my certification in good standing. I might add in 2010 I found a specialized drug testing laboratory that tested using finger nails that gave an 8 month history, which I passed. I took this test just to show that I was not addicted to or using any illegal drugs. I did see a mental health professional in 2011 and 2012 just from dealing with what happened. I took medication for mild depression for several months but have not taken anything since 2012. I recently visited a mental health professional just to let them know that despite what’s happened I’m doing well and did not need any assistance. I have no criminal history, and I do have some late payments on my credit but that’s all. I know that failing a drug screen while holding a clearance is really bad but, I can explain the reason for the positive result. My question is should I not even bother accepting either of these positions due to my past and just stay in the private sector. Thank you in advance for your time.

    • Avatar

      No one can give you a foolproof answer as to whether you would be found eligible for a clearance, as your issues are complicated and much more in-depth information is needed in order to analyze each issue. Every case is adjudicated based on the merits of that particular case.

  374. Avatar

    6 Years ago, I was with someone who unbeknownst to me intended to commit fraud using checks received online. I went to a casino using my own money, while he used the fraudulent checks, and he was stopped, questioned, as was I. I was never charged with a crime, cooperated fully, allowed FBI to enter my home to search for any evidence pertaining to this case. I complied fully. To my knowledge there is no criminal record for me on file. I would like to apply for a clerk position in the “company”, and have no idea how they will treat this. Would this prevent me from working in a clerk capacity? I have no arrest record, nothing other than a speeding ticket (paid in full), I did have a bankcruptcy that has since fallen off. I am working with the IRS to correct past due taxes as my past employer failed to pay into social security during my time as their employee(daughter). I really need a job and want to use my past job skills to work for the federal government, but worry if any of this will be problematic for them in hiring me. I have no past anything, lived a clean life. Do you think I stand a snow balls chance in getting hired?

    • Avatar

      The FBI incident would not prevent you from getting a clearance seeing as you were never charged with a crime, but it will show up in an investigation that you were involved in their investigation. It sounds to me there are some minor issues that could be mitigated, so if you meet the job qualifications then there should be no reason you can’t get hired.

  375. Avatar

    I’m having trouble finding my post 416 can anyone tell me what I may be doing wrong. Thanks

  376. Avatar


    I have a TS/SCI (no poly) and am not / was never read-in to a program that required it yet. About 3 months after I received my clearance, I was international and smoked what would be an illegal substance in the USA (hashish). A year later, when updating my form for being read-in to a program, I declared my error and an SBPR was created, and my SCI access was debriefed based on the customers requested.

    I guess i’m trying to understand if I will have a favorable adjudication or not? It was the first time I had ever done any drugs and indicated as such in my SF86. Also, if favorable, would this effect my ability to be read-in to any programs in the future?

    Thanks for any help

  377. Avatar

    Thank you Marko for your honesty, if offered I will accept either position and just explain my issues, I certainly have nothing to hide.

  378. Avatar

    I understand that investigation is important for a TS and that the SSBI is required but after doing a lot of research I am still unsure of the measures taken. For example is the investigator allowed the following things.

    1) Can they obtain a legal warrant to obtain cell phone records and text message history, on the same note can they obtain a warrant to get information from the ISP to see i visited this site and wrote this post.

    2) Do they have access to email history because they ask for all email addresses as well.

    All this being said I have nothing to hide however I do value privacy to some extent. I also do not believe it is right for an investigation of this manner to get warrants because the is no reasonable cause and I am not a criminal. If you could provide any insight to this I would be very grateful as I cannot seem to find the information anywhere.

    • Avatar

      Warrants are issued for terrorism, counterterrorism, and criminal investigations; phone records and email are the same thing. However, a basic source of publicly accessible social media sites is permissible to generate other lines of inquiries.

  379. Avatar

    Warrants are issued for terrorism, counterterrorism, and criminal investigations; phone records and email are the same thing. However, a basic source of publicly accessible social media sites is permissible to generate other lines of inquiries.

  380. Avatar

    I have been given a tentative offer for a job that requires security clearance and am waiting for the investigation to begin. I have been led to believe, both my my potential employer and others, that this process will take 6-12 months given my international background (dual-citizen, work, live, travel). While I wait for my clearance I am looking for temporary employment/internship. Will working in another country impact the process?

    Thank you.

    • Avatar

      It depends on if you are working for a foreign entity or for the U.S. military, State Dept., or some other U.S. affiliated organization that has national interests in hand. It will add to the workload for sure, but does not necessarily mean you won’t get cleared.

  381. Avatar

    Hello. I recently left my federal job for personal / familial obligations. Upon leaving my position I learned that my TS/SCI security clearance was due for reinvestigation (investigated in October 2009), but was told due to a backlog in security investigations it was not uncommon for employees to both still work and be due for reinvestigation. Since I’m no longer working and using my security clearance, is my security clearance now completely expired? Or is it “current” and could be picked up by another agency within two years of me leaving my former job? I read that recent legislation was passed that potentially extended security clearances durations. I’m wondering where I stand. Thank you in advance!

  382. Avatar

    Hello. I have two questions. I am currently in the TS clearance process with the FBI. I was offered a position in March and just completed the polygraph a month ago. I haven’t heard anything since then. I am assuming they would have informed me by now if I had failed the polygraph, correct? I would appreciate it if you can give me an approximate idea of how long the process will take after the poly.

    Second, I am a naturalized citizen with a naturalized parent (mother) and a foreign national father living overseas. I immigrated to the US with my mother when I was 10 and grew up here (I am 26 now). My father is a retired doctor that works on hospital development in different countries. Problem is, most countries he travels for work are problematic places like Russia, Iraq, Iran and Sudan. I am not very close with him, since my parents were divorced when I was in high school and were estranged for a long time before then. We were together maybe for 6-8 months total in the last 10 years. Will his foreign travel negatively effect my clearance process?

    • Avatar

      It is not the polygraph that you are waiting on, but rather the investigation into foreign influence concerns because of your father. They will also look at the reasons of why he never obtained U.S. citizenship after becoming eligible. A TS for the FBI is done thoroughly, so you may have to wait a while longer.

  383. Avatar

    I currently hold a secret security clearance and a govt job. I was recently involved in a traffic incident, and although I self-reported the incident I did not do so immediately at the time of the incident because I was not in a position to be able to do so (I had to leave the scene due to a family emergency). If I am given a citation for leaving the scene of a traffic accident in which I was involved in, do I need to report this to my local security office and if so how soon? Other than this I have a clean driving record with no infractions or violations.

    • Avatar

      leaving the scene of an accident is never a good thing in the eyes of the law and could result in a felony charge if injuries were involved. Even if no injuries were involved, it would be best to report it as soon as possible to alleviate any concerns of you trying to hide the information later on.

      • Avatar

        there was less than 500 dollars worth of damage to both vehicles combined, no injury whatsoever to either party. It was barely even a fender bender. according to the officers, had contact information been exchanged this would have gone down as a non-reportable accident and settled out of court. I have a lawyer, and because I did self-report the incident (although it was later that day) on my own, I plan on using this and my clean record to get the charge dismissed. still think I need to report it if I get cited for the infraction?

      • Avatar

        It would not hurt to report it. It will show your conscientiousness and honesty and should not be of any concern to the security folks.

  384. Avatar

    I am applying for a federal job, but I need security clearance which requires taking the polygraph. Can they ask me I ever cheated in school? If I answer yes will that count against me?

    • Avatar

      A polygraph has baseline questions, depending on the type, and only when issues come up do they deviate from them to flesh out information. Just tell the truth no matter what they ask and you will be fine. Everyone has cheated at something at some point in their lives.

  385. Avatar

    My first home has just entered foreclosure or foreclosure has been initiated after 2 years of trying to work on a short sale. We bought our current home in 2013 as it was our dream home and we had a renter for our first home but unfortunately the renter backed out on the day he was to take the keys. This left us in a bind as without the renters income we could not afford both mortgages. Repeated attempts to reach some resolution with the lender failed and since we were not making payments we attempted to submit for a short sale which was denied time and time again. The last short sale application was denied on Jun 30, 2015 with the lender telling our realtor that the loan had been initiated for foreclosure. Will this steamroll my application for a Secret Clearance with a job offer I just received? I think it would as it shows a failure to pay a debt despite what I feel are honest attempts by us to reach a resolution.

  386. Avatar

    So I was about to enlist under an MOS for the Army that required a top secret security clearance, everything was going good but then I got hurt so now I’m technically out of my contract with the US Army until I can get cleared by a doctor, so what I would like to know is what is going to happen with my clearance, I had already had an interview with an investigator (so did everyone I’ve contacted in the last 2 years) I was told I would find out if I got the clearance by october if I get it, (which the only thing that might stop it was a trolley ticket I had forgotten about that was sent to collections, but I have set up a payment plan and made the first required payment). I’m concerned with the fact that now that My contract with the Army is over they wont pay for the investigation so I have to do the process all over again please reply anyone with knowledge.

  387. Avatar

    @Chris, you can go to OPM’s Federal Investigative Services website and find the information to submit a FOIA request for a copy of the investigation to see if it was actually completed or if it was discontinued. If it was closed then it can be used within 24 months by any agency to grant a clearance.

  388. Avatar

    Invaluable commentary. I am thankful for the insight! Does someone know if my company could possibly find a template ICD 705 document to complete?

  389. Avatar

    I submitted my SF-86 last week for a tentative offer. My concern is that recently filed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy due to a foreclosure.
    Bought the house in 2004 in poor condition: exposed asbestos tubing in the basement, roof needs replacement and dry rotted windows.

    My initial purchase contract was for a VA loan, however, at the closing, the loan at closing was adjusted rate and a balloon mortgage.
    I tried a loan modification to lower the payments so I can make the necessary repairs but the bank didn`t cooperate so I had no other
    choice so I filed Chapter 7. How will this play out since my Chapter 7 was just discharged 3 weeks ago?

    Any advice is well appreciated

  390. Avatar

    @Stevek, bankruptcy is a legal remedy to take care of a debt and in an of itself is not an issue. Rather, what caused you to file and past and current history of fiscal responsibility is what will be looked at.

  391. Avatar

    I submitted SF85 2 months ago and started working for gov job. But I don’t have some access at work because they don’t have my clearance yet. My background is all cleared not criminal history, but I am naturalized U.S citizen with US passport. on U.S passport I have indian visa for travel(OCI). Does it denied my clearance. Thank you

  392. Avatar

    @kal, Did you disclose that you have an Indian visa used for travel? If yes then it is not an issue. If no, then you should be prepared to answer why not.

  393. Avatar

    I was wondering if someone can help me? I am 29 y/o and starting working for a satellite imaging company. The job I was hired on to do involves me getting a secret clearance. I have never applied for a clearance before and am filling out my SF86 now. My question is: I have a felony charge for possession of ecstasy from 6.5 years ago. I also have an infraction (just a fine) for possessing one beer outside a college party when I was 19 (so 10 years ago). I am disclosing both openly on the forms. After my felony charge (which was dismissed/not convicted) I was subject to periodic drug tests which I completely cooperated with and never failed. I have been drug free since the event. I am currently a 4.0 gpa masters student and have turned my life in around and learned form my mistakes. What are the odds that I will get denied? Interim denied?

  394. Avatar

    If I expunge my FBI Record from the CJIS database, and remove my DNA from CODIS…will an adjudicator see anything when I’m applying for a security clearance?

  395. Avatar

    @Brad, although the felony charge is a serious issue, because it happened over 6 years ago it can be mitigated by time and no more recent similar behavior or other drug use on your part. As long as that is the only issue I would say you have a pretty good chance of getting cleared.

  396. Avatar

    @Emilio, expunging one’s records does not mean it is automatically removed from all law enforcement databases. Regardless, you would still have to disclose it unless it falls under one of the specific circumstances listed in the instructions on the SF-86. Failure to disclose the information will result in a clearance revocation if it is found out later on that you falsified the application. The whole concept of being granted a clearance is that you have been found trustworthy and honest.

  397. Avatar

    I am a honorably separated vet who is entitled to zero government/va benefits or care. I ETS’d in 2005. As a civilian, in 2005, I was employed by a private company to work on government contracts, holding a TS, & was issued a CAC card. I ended my civilian employment with the company in 2010. I see on my Experian credit report that DEERS/DOD ran a current credit check on me. I was under the impression that under law, DOD must have my signature to run a credit check. Why did this credit check happen now after all this time?

  398. Avatar

    @em, it does not appear that there is a legitimate need for DEERS/DOD to run a credit check on you if it was not part of a reinvestigation for employment. I would contact the credit bureau to obtain more information on who ran the check and why. Fair Credit Reporting Act requirements require that a signed release must be provided in order to run the check.

  399. Avatar

    I recently went through the process of getting my SF86 (I have held several clearances in the past), so I filled out the forms and all of that info was sent to OPM. About a month later the company that had started the clearance process lost the position, hence my background check/clearance process was terminated. I now have a different firm on the same project that is looking to bring me on…my question is: is my information/paperwork, etc. that was submitted in Sept. 2015 still valid and accessible by OPM for this new firm or would I have to initiate the process from the beginning? Thanks!

  400. Avatar

    @Dan, the sponsoring company will have to reinitiate an EQIP application for you to go in and make any needed changes to the information saved previously, and that would then get submitted to OPM. OPM will only have to complete the items needed for the investigation that weren’t already done last time.

  401. Avatar

    Ok thanks for the info Marko

  402. Avatar

    While working as med tech in a group home I was arrested in October 2014 for two felony charges of embezzlement of a controlled substance. I did not commit the alleged crime and the charges were dismissed (voluntary dismissal) the day before the trial was scheduled on August 31, 2015. In March 2015, when my lawyer waived probable cause to open the files so we could see the prosecution’s “evidence,” it was revealed, that at the time of the arrest the arresting officer possessed unequivocal evidence that clearly exonerated me. The detective provided the DA with a completely illegible copy of that document. I wondered how he could continue prosecution given this withholding of evidence (a Brady violation). Nonetheless, the detective went before a grand jury, and changed the date of the offense and the drug that I allegedly “embezzled”, and again, withheld evidence that exonerated me from this new, altered charge (this evidence was immediately obtained upon subpoena). I am currently seeking a lawyer to sue the detective.
    I have worked as a FEMA subcontractor with PARR Inspections as recently as 2012 after Hurricane Sandy (also in 2005 after Katrina). I have never had a felony charge before. I was 55 years old when arrested. Will these arrests result in an unfavorable check? Also, I want to apply for a Office of Disaster Assistance (ODA), Damage Verification Center (DVC), position with the SBA. I passed the background check two years ago. But I had no felony arrests then.

  403. Avatar

    I am up for re-investigation. I am wondering if they will talk with my attorney or my x-wife’s attorney in reference to a recent court action I filed to clarify child custody. We didn’t go to court so the affidavits are not filed but the lawyers have copies. Can they ask to see those? Will they?

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    I would like some advise as to if the judge would likely revoke my clearance. I am up for re investigation. Just over 7 years ago while on Active Duty in officer school I checked myself into the substance abuse program and went to rehab for alcohol. What I didn’t tell the army but did tell the rehab was that I felt I was really addicted to pain medication. I was self medicating my PTSD with narcotics. It started with a minor surgery but the pills were readily available where I was in college so I used them. Fist infrequently then all the sudden I realized I was really hooked on them. I used many types to include heroin when the pills weren’t available so that I could avoid being sick and finish school. I then left which I knew I had to do because they were to available. I still did them irregularly until I finally left for the Army. I had a clearance during this time but was only in the National Guard. I didn’t tell the NG about my problem. I can’t describe in words the amount of shame that this puts on a person and suicide seemed like a better option that telling someone. I did seek help at the VA where I was diagnosed with PTSD and provided medication and counseling but I didn’t want to go into a rehab because I had obligations to get done. After the rehab event which was 7 years ago I still drank but refrained from drug use. I was prescribed pills (Vicodan) twice for back pain and took them but I declined to take them any more or go back to the doctor. I would rather live in pain than go back to that misery. I have since moved outside of the US. I now live and work in Kuwait. I have drank on leave but I don’t over drink. I would even be willing to quit. I recognized at a briefing with my company about 5 months ago I should have reported this to my security officer but up until that point I really didn’t know that I needed to and I assumed it best to just wait till re investigation since it was so soon. I understand the guidelines about time being a mitigating factor for the drug use but I am worried because it was pretty severe and was in association with PTSD which was very difficult for me for several years. I am also worried that my not reporting at the time might make me appear untrustworthy. I would tell you that anyone on drugs is untrustworthy about giving you information about their drug use but my clear mind now feels terrible about it. I am now a top employee, have been employed with the same company for 4.5 years and been promoted twice. I’m a go to guy that makes things happen. I’ve disassociated myself with everyone I knew in college except some online persons however they were not a part of drugs. One of the people I knew who did them is now dead from suicide because of them. My brother also killed himself when withdrawing from the same type of drugs. I lived in an area that is front stage in the national opiate problem. I have no desire to ever enter that life again and feel I am lucky to have gotten out alive. I’m just wondering if something like this would be hard to get out from under. I love my job and I don’t want to go home because of that period of my life. I know I should have reported it and sinse I had a clearance it was a breach of trust so I’m not sure if they would let me get away with that.

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    @Bob, investigators do not interview attorneys in civil lawsuit cases. Your ex-wife might be interviewed if you are granted a TS or if coverage in the investigation cannot be obtained from other sources. As far as your illegal drug use/addiction issues, yes, there is a good chance that you will have to answer a statement of reasons as to what you used, why, how often, current status/diagnosis from a medical professional, rehabilitation, etc… As well, more serious is your lack of disclosure while in a cleared status. I suggest you get out ahead of it and provide as much mitigating information up front before you have to answer the mail.

  406. Avatar

    Question: I’m up for a reinvestigation after hitting the 10 year mark on my S clearance. Should be pretty straight forward. Only thing that flagged in my brain is I’ve previously sent money to overseas missionaries via western union. I know my credit gets checked, but are WU transactions looked at as part of a routine S clearance investigation? I didn’t see a spot on the form to list it, but was curious if that might be a potential item I need to answer? Thanks!

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    @Mark, it sounds like you are making a charitable donation which is not an issue. All single transactions in the amount of $10K and over will get picked up by Treasury and may show up on an investigation. If this is the case you simply have to show to whom the money went and why. No need to disclose up front of it does not fall into any categories listed in Sections 20A or 29.

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    Question: I have been under investigation for a T.S. clearance going on nearly for year now, I was wondering if bank accounts that I have been the secondary signed on not the prime holder that were closed and never paid will affect my clearance. The total is less than $1,500 on 2 accounts. It has been 2.5 to 5 years since they were closed. In my investigation, bank accounts were not mentioned, but I am worried because I don’t want it to cost my clearance.

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    @Will4524, any accounts where you can be held legally liable and are delinquent can be an issue. When you co-signed you agreed that you would pay the debt if the main party could not. Less than $1500 is usually not an issue that would prevent getting a clearance, but if you did not include the debts on the application then that is a different issue of which you would be questioned about before a decision was made.

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    I just started filling out fs 86 application for Q My problems are ive gotten all the places where I have worked and pretty much all the dates, but I did work for a company while I was working for another company even though it was only a few weeks and they did report it to the IRS and it is also a company that I’m including in my work history I don’t have the exact dates on the two weeks I had worked for said company. Also on the part where it asks about family I lived with my mother who remarried and my dad also remarried do I have to put the step brother and step sister if they never really lived with me and also the stepmother because they don’t really know me that well?

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    @jack, just check the estimated dates blocks for the employment. If you did not live with any of step-relatives it is not necessary to list them.

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    I am seeking for SSBI clearance in order to join in Military and I am an international student. Will the SSBI process check the credit history of the previous countries where I live. I had bad credit history in UK where I live for couple years before I came here.

    Will that have any negative impact on my clearance.

  413. Avatar

    @Furture Aspirant, overseas coverage consists of criminal checks with Interpol, and references who knew you while you were there. You will still have to disclose any information asked for in the financial sections if it falls within the scope. As along as you don’t have continuing current debts it should not affect getting granted a clearance.

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    Hello, I have a Secret level clearance and about to transition into a job with Top Secret clearance. I have no arrests, no convictions, no DUIs or anything like that. Aside from my wife having some concerns about my drinking habits, there has not been any affect to my personal life. I was being proactive in stopping my drinking before it got out of control and I “hit bottom”. I’m currently in A.A. with over 3 months of sobriety and doing very well. Should I disclose this as an alcohol problem? If so, will that affect me getting a Top Secret clearance?

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    Sir, I currently have a rating of 30% from the VA for PTSD, they want me to get re-evaluated (which I am sure I will come out with at least 50%). My Question is since I am still waiting on word back from my investigation for my TS(About a year now) can I get a higher rating and still hold my clearance? I have never needed to seek help in reference to question 21 (Have you ever consulted with a health care professional regarding an emotional or mental health condition or were you hospitalized for such a condition?)Should I be worried?

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    @Bronco7, you should answer yes to Section 24.3 and provide the information asked for. If you don’t and it comes out in the investigation that you have been going to AA it would not look good. It will be looked at but if you have it under control and there are no other issues with it it should not prevent you from getting cleared. As a caveat, if you are currently cleared and you have not reported this to your security representative, I advise you to do so ASAP.

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    @BillyT, it seems strange to me that you would get a disability rating for PTSD without seeing a mental health professional. Regardless, disability ratings have no bearing on whether you can hold a clearance as long as the condition is under control and no other conduct issues are associated with it.

  418. Avatar

    Needing a Secret Clearance. Here are somethings I’m curious about:

    1) Five year old $60 medical bill my old university athletic dep was supposed to pay and I didn’t know it dinged me until I pulled my credit, found and paid for. Also have a decent amount in student loans, credit card and a car payment, all are current.

    2) Job I quit a long time ago but my Manager wasn’t a huge fan of me, not sure if he will say I am eligible for rehire or what he will say at all

    3) It’s also been 5 months since my 86 and I know my employers were contacted, does this seem long?

    Thanks for any input.

  419. Avatar

    @Caliber, nothing you have stated is anything to worry about. You say you are current on all bills, previous employment issue was long ago with no recent similar history, and 5 months is not long at this point in time.

  420. Avatar

    I am applying for a job that requires security clearance. I am afraid my siblings and parents criminal record will affect my chance of getting clearance. Have my biological father that was in prison and my adopted father in prison. Both for gross sexual imposition. Also some of my siblings have issues. One for drug trafficking and another for Tax evasion. I am squeaky clean for the most part. My biggest issue would be my credit. I currently have a score of 681. Have one sent under $1,000 that fell off my credit report. I have student loans but they aren’t outstanding I make payments on time every month. Never been fired from a job.
    If you could let me know that would be great. Thank you so much.

  421. Avatar

    @Rachel, unless you actively participate in illegal activities with your kin, you are not expected to control their behavior and it should not have an impact on your own eligibility. Credit scores have no bearing as well, just whether you have current delinquent debts or a recent history of not paying your debts.

  422. Avatar

    I’m about to apply for Secret clearance. I have drug charges from nearly 20 years ago that I believe should be fully mitigated. I was sentenced to a few months in jail, rehab, and probation. Successfully completed and stay out of trouble. Nearly 7 years ago, on a drive back home from another state, a friend and I were pulled over and a large sum of money (under $50k) was found in the car. A civil case was made for it for seizure but neither of us claimed it. While getting pulled over, my friends actions and something he said, made me feel that the situation was a little sketchy. He later said something in front of the officer and me that implied he knew about it. I continued to say nothing but I was extremely upset with him. I believe he had been through something similar and that he had minor drug involvement in previous years but thought he had cleaned up. Everything began to make sense why he didn’t want to be added as a driver to a car I rented but he was willing to drive, and was while I was asleep. I’m worried because in the report, the officer tried to make the connection between both of us knowing about it and that we both made incriminating statements. I know to seize the money, the officer was trying to make any connection he could to illegal activity. He even pulled me to the side and questioned me about my past charges. I told him that I paid my debt to society, I was clean and sober, and I did not like his tone and what he was insinuating. I told him there and I told him at the station that the money was not mine and I did not know how it got there. It was a civil matter so we were not arrested. They just impounded the car and gave us directions to a hotel we could walk to. Since this occurred, my attitude with friendships had changed. The experience of having a friend perhaps put me in a situation like that without my knowledge really upset me. My circle became very small. I started only hanging out with my girlfriend at the time and people I absolutely knew were not involved in anything sketchy. I went back to school, got my BS, and I am where I am now.
    I guess my question is, will this event cause me to get denied clearance? I knew nothing about it but had my suspicions right when we were getting pulled over that something was wrong, just not sure what. However, the way the officer wrote the report up, it makes it sound like I too was involved.

  423. Avatar


    I currently just recieved a job overseas with a company doing HVAC work. All the recruiters and what not seem to know very little about the sf-86 and that bothers me because it is an extremely detail oriented form.
    My question is, 11 years ago I got an impaired driving which was a misdemeanor on my record. Last year in december I was in a motorcycle accident where I was cut off by another car and crashed the bike. Being that it sounds bad enough, the police went out of there way to find a few drinks in my system and are now trying to charge me with a second offense.

    Question 1. Would I even be able to get a clearance with two alcohol related offenses on my record?

    Question 2. This is all going down while I am fighting this second alcohol related conviction and I am pleading not guilty. If I think I’m gonna win, do I really need to mention it?

    3. I am going to Iraq, and it is not a glamorous job to say the least. My skillset is also highly sought after and very few of us are at my level. Could that have any play in getting the clearance?

    Thanks for your time, nobody else seems to know very much about sf-86 and if you think I really wont pass, what other clearances might I be able to attain that would allow me to work abroad? I already currently have an sf-85 and a TWIC clearance and currently work for the government through a sub contractor at the moment.

    Thanks for your time!

  424. Avatar

    I got a job that requires a NACLC, I do have a valid NACI. My question is, does my bad credit or credit settlement affect getting the NACLC?

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    I am 22 and recently got a job as a contractor with booz allen hamilton.
    I had to do the SSBI (SF86) security clearance that I submitted back in February 2016 but in April 2016 I got a possession charge at school and my court date is not until October 2016. My lawyer is pretty confident that my charge should get dropped but I am worried about this ruining my chances of being cleared. I still have not heard back from the clearance yet and its been about 3 months.

    I don’t know whether I should inform my clearance investigator about this because it happened after I submitted my clearance and right now I am not guilty of anything.

  426. Avatar

    @Mariah, you have an obligation to let the agency or FSO that initiated your investigation know about the charge, regardless of what the disposition is, as it will come out eventually and will look worse for you if you are not up front about it before being called out on it.

  427. Avatar

    @Jacob, a history of not paying your debts could definitely affect your eligibility for a clearance, as that is the number one reason for a clearance denial. Get ahead of it by making agreements and payments towards any delinquent debts.

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    I am up for initial Secret clearance. I have co-workers who are foreign nationals. Some are close friends, I have attended their weddings and been to their homes, and I am reporting them as foreign contacts. Others, I do not associate with outside of work, and do not feel, “bound by affection, influence, common interests, and/or obligation” to them. However, I wonder if an investigator or adjudicator would consider working on the same projects and in the same place as a “common interest”. If a BI were ever to interview former co-workers, he or she would likely quickly learn of other un-reported foreign co-workers. Do I need to list every foreign national I have had as a co-worker in the reportable period or only those to whom I feel bound by “affection … etc”?

  429. Avatar

    @C., coworkers with whom you have no association outside of the workplace need not be reported. Think of all the military personnel staioned overseas who work alongside foreign nationals, they are not required to be reported.

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    I was suspended at school twice in college once for weed and once for alcohol. If a secret security clearance is performed will they find out this information?
    I went to MEPS and did not disclose this information, can I be kicked out the military, in really worried

  431. Avatar

    @Mike, a check verifying your education credentials will be done, but if the clearance is at the Secret level no interviews will be done and the disciplinary record most likely will not see the light of day.However, if you ever in the future need an upgrade to a Top Secret then it will come. In my mind, since your drug use was associated with an official suspension, you should remedy this situation by talking to the security officer at the MEPS and amend your SF-86. Otherwise you will end up propagating this lie for the rest of your military career.

  432. Avatar

    Hello. I had a TS/SCI while in the military but it expired since I have been out. I got hired and now they are running the clearance process again. My question is, I am suspended at school for the Fall term for GPA purposes, will this effect my clearance? Also, I have acquired some debt and read we are only allowed to have a certain amount. It isn’t late fees or collections or anything of that nature just purchases I made during my move and new furniture, will this effect my clearance as well? My credit score is good. How long does the process usually take with federal agencies? I cannot begin working until my clearance comes back complete and I just want to have an idea. I was told my paperwork was at the OPM stil but it has been three months since I submitted my eqip.

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    @SJ, The question will be asked “why are you on suspension” at school? If only because of coursework or some valid reason why you can’t make it to class then no, it is not am issue. As long as you are not delinquent on your repayment obligations or are living beyond your means, taking on debt is not an issue.

  434. Avatar

    If I had highest level security clearance and, through gross negligence, allowed unencrypted top security documents to be exposed to unauthorized and potentially malicious agencies, what would happen to me as a civilian in that context?

  435. Avatar

    I receives a job offer with DHS and I sent in all my paper work. It been 3 weeks going on 4 and I haven’t heard any thing back. I know my background is in progress that’s all i know. I do have bad credit about 5,000 dollars. Will this stop me from getting the job or is my investigation on hold?

  436. Avatar

    I recently received a GS job and in the process of getting my TS/SCI. This morning I received a TRO from my ex-fiance and have to go to court next week through a family court. Can this hurt me getting my TS/SCI? I’ve read that it is a civil penalty since she’s the one who put the claim and should be fine. Any assistance would be truly appreciated.

  437. Avatar

    @Simplepnoi, without knowing the specifics, as long as you comply with whatever court actions/requirements are made it should not be an issue.

  438. Avatar

    @Marko Hakamaa, Thank you for your assistance and insight.

  439. Avatar

    I might be up for an initial Secret clearance. I have a tutor who is a foreign national and has very good technical credentials. He offers his tutoring services at a rate of $xx.xx per hour. I meet him only to seek his tutoring services. I have met approximately 2-3 times a month since the past six months, and usually spend approximately one hour discussing engineering topics. Importantly, although we both have an interest in improving my technical capacity through his tutoring services, we do not have any other interest outside of engineering. Thus, I am not bounded by affection, influence, or obligation. However, I wonder if an investigator or adjudicator would consider his tutoring services as a “common interest”. Do I need to list this person as a foreign national?

    Please keep in mind that the relationship between my tutor and I is strictly transactional. I pay for his services, and in return, he explains important topics in engineering.

  440. Avatar

    @J, it would be the same situation as if you were attending college and the professor of the class you were taking was a foreign national. In my interpretation of the requirement it would not need to be reported.

  441. Avatar

    I am applying for TS clearance. I do not remember if I filed my tax return for 2011. I did not owe federal taxes and may have owed state taxes. I have never been contacted by the federal or state IRS in regard to the year in question. Should I declare that I did not file? If so would I need to prove that I have now remedied the situation in order to mitigate this?

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    @K, if there is doubt about whether you did or not you probably didn’t. If I were you I would contact the IRS (both federal and state) and inquire as to whether you did or not. Whichever it was, at least you can answer honestly and take care of it so it will not be an issue.