Ask Your Clearance Questions – Part 19
Our popular ongoing series allows you to ask your most complex questions regaring security clearances and our regular contributors of present and former clearance investigators and adjudicators will try to answer them. The rules are listed below. Failure to abide by them will mean your question will be deleted.
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My Brother took out a car loan which I co-signed for in 2005 for $20,000. I found out he has only paid one payment of $375 so far and put no money down to get the car. I got a call today saying my security clearance was void, and I needed to call the Credit bureau, my credit score has dropped for 720 to 618. How can I fix this so that I can get security clearance?
So here is my situation…
I am applying for a Background Investigator position with a government contractor. The only situation in my past 10 years was an arrest for possession of marijuana and paraphernalia. This charge was dropped and my record was expunged. This happened 3 years ago. I was just wondering if this would disqualify me for a security clearance.
Hello, I will be starting work as a consultant for the public sector soon. I would like to know if there are certain projects that do not require a clearance and simply a background check? Would a simple background check consist of an NAC or no?
I recently received a layoff notice from my current employer. The town that I live in has many defense contractor job openings.
I was previously in the Navy with Secret clearance. But received a General Discharge under Honorable Circumstances (Medical – Personality Disorder) (1994). During my discharge processing, I signed a form that stated that I would not be able to hold a clearance in the future.
I’ve been in medically fit condition for over 10 years now. What I would like to know is if there are any appeals processes that I could use to have the ability to get a clearance again.
Any advice would be appreciated!
There is no disqualification based on the number of foreign countries you have visited. There is no disqualification per se for living and working abroad no matter how long. If the investigative agency is unable to satisfy all the investigative requirements for the type of clearance you need, adjudicators are authorized to grant you a clearance with a â€œdeviationâ€ from the investigative standards, if they feel that the benefit of granting your clearance outweighs the risks involved. Much will depend on what you did in China and South Africa and the ability of the investigative agency to satisfy investigative requirement by interviewing people in the U.S. who can adequately verify or corroborate your activities outside the U.S. I recommend you read the â€œForeign Influenceâ€ and â€œOutside Activitiesâ€ criteria in the Adjudicative Guidelines to get a better idea of what is and is not important regarding these matters. A copy of the Adjudicative Guidelines is posted at my website. Just click on my name above and navigate to the â€œresourcesâ€ page under â€œabout security clearances.â€ Iâ€™m not qualified to give an opinion about the probability of getting hired because of a potential employerâ€™s perception of how long it will take to get a clearance.
You are not â€œautomaticallyâ€ disqualified for holding and using a foreign passport in preference to a US passport. However, it does present a significant obstacle. People in your situation have received security clearances when they voluntarily surrender the foreign passport and renounce foreign citizenship early in the clearance process. The only other situation I know of where a person was granted a clearance while holding a foreign passport is when the individual obtained the foreign passport with the approval of the US government because it somehow was in the best interest of the US.
I greatly appreciate this site and wanted to ask a question dealing with security clearances, I don’t think this has been asked previously, at least I was unable to find a post about it.
I am currently in the process of finishing graduate school and applying for jobs in the federal government. One position which I am slated to interview for also requires me to fill out a SF86 I am very embarrassed to share this but I want a straight answer.
I was dismissed from two previous jobs for viewing porn on company computers, neither of them are very recent, the first was in 2001, and the second was in 2005. I have since sought therapy and have not repeated that action.
In relation to this situation I have 2 questions.
1) Will this stop me from being able to obtain a security clearance?
2) The SF86 asks for 7-10 years of information. Once more than that time has passed should I still include that information, for example since we are now in 2009 would I have to include the incident from 2001?
Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated.
Hi! Some Qs.
– I have references who know me really well, but they live in different states. If I put them down, will OPM interview them? And is it true that they do some reference interviews by phone? I have about 50 potential references, sorted by location, I just want to know if OPM people will travel a ways.
– Is it common practice to interview people you lived with? I signed a lease with some folks some years back, and I have other references for the time I lived there, like neighbors and friends, but I never actually talked to the people I lived with. For all they know I’m a serial killer.
– I got an interim secret as part of a process for a top secret. Am I going to get a secret, then an interim TS? Or just an interim TS?
In addition to what Mr. Henderson said be prepared to answer some questions regarding your foreign passport. The questions should include date you obtained it, why you obtained it, what countries did you visit using it and when did you use these. If you have a U.S. passport why did you use the foreign passport instead of your U.S. passport when visiting these countries. Were there any benefits from the respective country since you got a passport from them?
I am in the hiring processes for a position over seas and it requires a DOS secret, whats the difference between a DOD and DOS?, which is harder to get and do they both use the same criteria?. Appreciate any info you might have.
Will a bankruptcy disqualify me for a security clearance? And will it keep me from getting a job with Lockhead martin as Surveillance Specialist?
Hello, I am writing to determine my eligibility to maintain my current SECRET clearance, and my eligibility to obtain a TS/SCI SSBI security clearance or Top Secret PV clearance in the future.
Roughly five years ago I became an enlistee in the NAVY. When filling out the enlistment paperwork I failed to disclose previous mental health counseling and medication for depression, which had ended about four months prior to enlistment. About 3 weeks prior to boot camp I refilled my prescription to take with me as a precaution.
I was assigned to work in the nuclear field, so I believe around the enlistment timeframe I also applied for the SECRET clearance within all the paperwork.
When I arrived to boot camp, I immediately submitted my medication to medical as normal procedure. When the “moment of truth” came along, I disclosed my mental health past after hearing the repercussions of it being later uncovered, possibly through a Top Secret investigation.
Minutes later I was then given a mental health examination, which I passed, but was still separated due to the fact that I failed to disclose my mental health history. I appealed my case all the way to the top of recruitment command, but was still discharged and sent home under the technicalities that I failed to disclose, and that it had not been at least six months since last issued medication (I believe). I was given “Fraudulent Enlistment” as my reason for discharge. I was in boot camp only about 36 hours before being separated, if that makes any difference. I went home and did not look back upon it, the reasoning being that I did not plan on enlisting again after the huge disappointment of being separated for about a month during the appeal process, proving that I was more than capable of performing during this time, and failing.
Fast forward roughly three years later- I received a job with a DoD contractor requiring SECRET clearance. I got into the company without even the slightest problem, and when I arrived was expecting to re-apply for the clearance, but was told that I already had one and was issued a badge immediately. I have to admit, I was very nervous about applying for a clearance again, but figured I would go with the flow, and whatever was uncovered I would deal with one step at a time. The fact that I was then given the SECRET badge so suddenly was very relieving, so I stopped worrying about it.
I’ve held this job for almost two years and have had various “need-to-knows”, without any problem or mention of the NAVY discharge.
Now I am starting to look into other opportunities within the company. I am looking to apply for a position in which I will need to satisfy requirements for a TS/SCI SSBI security clearance or Top Secret PV clearance. I have done some research online, but the answers to my case seem disconnected and very unclear, especially since my SECRET clearance was not revoked after the NAVY discharge and things have been going so smoothly for so long.
My question is really in the form of three:
-Will I be able to satisfy the requirements for a TS/SCI SSBI security clearance or Top Secret PV clearance?
-If I apply for the above clearance, will the investigation then uncover the NAVY past (which has never seemed to be an issue), subsequently causing my current SECRET clearance to be revoked?
-About a week ago I took the DoD security refresher which raised another concern. When the 10-year clearance “re-check” occurs, will my current SECRET clearance be revoked?
I would very much like to stay continue with this company and working in defense, but the ability to hold a clearance is everything. If there is something that needs to be done to clear my record I will do it, but I would also like to know ahead of time (this time), if I will be fighting a battle I cannot win and need to start looking at employment opportunities outside the defense industry.
Thanks very much for your time,
There really isn’t any substantive difference between DOS and DOD clearances. They use the same investigative and adjudicative standards. The only differences may be in who processes the application, investigates the applicant and adjudicates the investigation. DOS does some of their own processing and also uses DSS/OPM for some of their cases.
There is no “automatic” disqualificaton for a security clearance due to having had a bankruptcy. Each case is evaluated on its own merits. I don’t know the answer to your question about Lockheed Martin.
I submitted my SF86 in mid-November for a job that requires a Secret clearance. I still have not heard anything. When I called to check on the status I was told only that there was something that required further investigation so it had not been granted.
I have no credit problems or criminal background and have worked and lived the same place for the past 5 years. I could think of only 3 things:
1 – I have received treatment for depression in the past.
2 – I inadvertently deposited a counterfeit $100 bill many years ago. I was contacted by the Secret Service and interviewed by phone regarding the incident.
3 – I put on my form that I had never been involved in a lawsuit. I have since realized that in my current job, I am occasionally named as a plaintiff in collections or foreclosure actions. None of these cases were personal in nature, but a check of the court dockets would most likely show my name as a party.
Could any of these three things be what is holding up the process? Is there any I can/should do at this point to correct the ommission regarding the lawsuits?
I have finished my E-QIP for a general contractor for secret clearance. I have a perfect record, nothing to note other than experimenting marijuana over two one month periods during college (last time was October, 2007). I listed it with a detailed paragraph in the “additional notes” part clarifying the mitigating factors (change in location, atmosphere, friends, from college to real life, and the length of time/infrequency of use). I just got an email from the company saying that my clearance will likely take 90 days. My question is, there has been no mention of interim clearance in all my conversations with this company, so is it normal for some companies to not give them out? I am currently unemployed, so waiting for this job for 3 months is going to be very tough, and if, for whatever reason, I don’t get the clearance (and the job), I will have wasted a LOT of time that could be used for job hunting. Should I be continuing my search, even though I’ve submitted a signed offer letter, pending my clearance?
Thanks in advance.
Will it a juvenile felony 12 years ago when I was 11 1/2 stop me from getting a S clearance?
A single misdemeanor offense is not a potentially disqualifying condition for a clearance. Any illegal use of drugs can be a potentially disqualifying condition. The “passage of time” without recurrence aspect of rehabilitation is the most common mitigating condition for past drug involvement. If you haven’t had any illegal drug involvement in the past 3 years, the only drug you used was marijuana, and there are no other complicating or aggravating circumstance, your case is borderline at 3 years of abstinence. The shorter your period of past drug use is the better your chances of getting a clearance.
I used to work for the federal govt. as a student employee. I recently resigned a few weeks ago. If I apply for a public trust position or security clearance, will OPM look at the SF-50’s in my Official Personnel Folder and examine the details/reasons for resigning? Any help is appreciated.
If I am denied a Public Trust clearance (SF-85P), how long do I have to wait to apply for a new one? Thanks.
Hello. I would like to apply for a job that requires a DOE “Q” Clearance. I have been reading that this will involve interviewing my previous employers, previous spouses, etc. Regarding employment, while I have never been fired, all separations are somehow “bad” and I would not like my previous employers to know my current whereabouts. Regarding my previous spouse, I am sure she has some good things to say about me, but obviously she can also say bad things about me, that’s why we divorced (No battering, drinking, drugs, debts or any other issue).
My question is: Are my previous employers and previous spouse going to be interviewed? I don’t even know what is my ex-wife address or phone right now, how are they going to find her? Thanks in advance.
In response to Franklin Guttenburg and Mr. Henderson:
Is the assessment that the possession of a foreign passport poses a significant obstacle in attaining a clearance still valid considering the recent issuance of ICPG 704.2, which seems to relax foreign preference guidelines by emphasizing that
“the fact that a U.S. citizen is or has become a citizen of another country does not establish [foreign preference][…] The same is true for the exercise of any right, privilege or obligation of foreign citizenship or action to acquire or obtain recognition of a foreign citizenship by a U.S. citizen”?
Under ICPG 704.2 C.2.c it appears only the failure to report possession of a foreign passport may be disqualifying… or am I misinterpreting the new guidance?
I requested a copy of my investigation report under the FOIA. For a lot of the testimonies on the report, I have an issue code 11. Is there any resource online that lists what the issue codes are? In addition to the 11, I have a few others as well in various places in the report (03A, 06A etc). Thanks!
The issue codes you are seeing in your report are codes we as investigators have to list when there are various issues on a case. The issue codes are really just “red flags” to let a reviewer and adjudicator know that there are issues in the case. From what I understand adjudicators have a completely different set of issue codes they use.
I am not aware of any online resource that explains what the various codes stand for. I do not think Mr. Henderson’s book has that information either since the codes an internal guide OPM uses.
What issues did you list on your SF-86?
Investigator, Thanks for the response — the issue codes pertained to interview reports of references I had listed on the SF86 as well as other sources the investigator located. I couldn’t find a common thread between all the interview results except for perhaps the fact that most of the interviewees had talked about my foreign travels with the investigator (leading me to believe that an ’11’ refers to issues with foreign travel)
If I left off summer employment on an SF-86 form, but have not met with the background investigator yet, will it hurt my chances of clearing the investigation? The job was for a couple of months for a college painting company.
What does a security officer do for an agency?
Do they have final authority on a new hire?
Security personnel have different roles depending on the company. I have see some screen applicants, but I have never known one to hold hiring authority. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen somewhere. Mainly, FSO’s focus on Facility and Site security, maintaining documentation and briefing personnel, but I know alot who have also taken on some HR duties. Did you run into one with hiring authority?
I have an interview with a defense contractor this week that I may receive an offer on. I have 2 charged offs reported on my credit report that I haven’t made payments since May 2008 because I didn’t have the money.
Is it safe to assume that my Interim will be denied? I don’t want to take this job if I am going to lose it within a week. Is there any way to do the interim before I leave my current job?
I have received an initial offer of employment with USAID. USAID is now doing a background investigation for a top secret clearance. I have a question regarding my foreign-born spouse (from Uganda).
We were married in January 2009, about a week before my interview with USAID for the position. Her father is a retired career ambassador for Uganda.
I didn’t mention this in the security interview, because I didn’t realize that it might be important, and the forms don’t specifically ask for this information. I have a feeling the investigator will have found or will find this information out
Does anyone think that this is a disqualifying factor that cannot be mitigated for a top secret security clearance?
BW AN Investigator,
No, I haven’t. The question arose after reading some of the questions from various people, I thought they may have some say. It’s all new to me, and a little different than the military.
Can OPM or the investigator view Labor Relations files at former places of federal employment? I know that Labor Relation files do not go in the Official Personnel Folder but I am wondering if they can still be viewed during an investigation.
This is for anyone who might know the answer. How does the presidant go about getting his clearance? iv’e been told that the presidant doesn’t have to go thru the hole process like everyone else. And that goes for all other persenal working on the presidential staff.? I have just always been curiouse.
By position–the country has determined trust.
Ditto to what BW said. The president’s staff must submit to the same process as everyone else.
Thanks for the info guys.
BW AN INVESTIGATOR,
Thanks, I haven’t met one, I was curious as I have seen some comments which made it seem as FSO’s have hiring capability.
Mr. Henderson or BW,
I have heard rumors the OPM lawyers want to bring back the requirement of affidavits for all SPINS. What do you know?
Haven’t heard anything. But, what a waste of time that would be. Having worked as a SPIN Inv for 3 years, I had always found the written affidavit quite senseles. It’s not as if we are charging anyone criminally. More times than not, we were simply getting info the subject had already admitted to. Now, I suppose if an unadmitted offense was discovered it may make more sense especially if there appeared to be intent to deceive.
I think we need to go back to the old days. Seems as if this would shorten the length of these investigations. Time and time again I get the case and am amazed at some folks who are being submitted. Makes no sense to spend 3 months of man hours, just to say no on the clearance.
When I was an FSO (many years ago), I also managed the security department that conducted pre-employment investigations. I made recommendations to the HR Director regarding all employment candidates. Since my recommendation was always followed, you could say that I had the power to reject candidates. I only had the authority to hire security department employees. Back then under the Defense Industrial Security Program, we could not submit anyone for a clearance until they were actually hired and onboard.
I haven’t heard anything about it. However, I think it is highly doubtful that OPM lawyers would have any interest in such things. I don’t think that anyone in OPM would want investigators to use anything that couldn’t be signed and transmitted with their report. If there is anyone who would want an affidavit, it would be the adjudicators, particularly those at DOHA who hold themselves to a higher evidentiary rules than other adjudicator and who have heard applicants claim time and time again, “that’s not what I said.”
Well, Im all done my poly and I feel that it went pretty well. I was able to disclose the information I was concerned about before the poly started and it made me more at ease (11/2008 PBJ for DUI).
Due to the recency of my PBJ for DUI (11/2008) in your experience, will the adjudicator consider mitigating circumstances and possibly give a favorable decision OR Is it more likely than not in your opinion that I would have to go in front of a review board?
Does the investigator administering the polygragh give a recommendation to the adjudicator?
I recently was granted a Secret by DOHA. It took 9 months of adjudication due to a Guideline H issue. I was advised both by an attorney (who specializes in clearance matters) and by members of this blog that the circumstances I described made it unlikely that it would be granted. This tells me that I must have been in the subjective grey area for adjudication, and given a different adjudicator, it more than likely would have been denied.
My question is this; If I apply for a TS does that whole issue get re-adjudicated? Obviously, I will report the matter, again. I would assume it will trigger the same red flags. I’ve been told that an interim TS is automatic for Secret holders. Would this matter affect that, as it did my interim Secret? Will the whole thing be looked at again? Could I end up losing my Secret by re-opening this “can of worms”, and getting a different adjudicator who did not feel the issue was mitigated?
I have nothing additional derogatory to report, either in the additional three years, or in the period since my clearance was granted.
Dave in VA:
Congratulations on receiving the Secret clearance. You were indeed fortunate given the recency of your drug involvement. I guess the 9 months of adjudication helped your situation, plus the fact that your indiscretion was limited to a very short period of experimentation. The adjudicative standards for Secret and Top Secret are the same. With a TS clearance the investigation is more extensive. Provided there are no new problems and no one raises any new allegations, your past problems will not be readjudicated, at least not if DISCO/DOHA is the clearance granting authority.
Adjudicators must consider all mitigating factors regardless of the recency of the potentially disqualifying condition. If a person does not have an alcohol problem (and is not perceived by others as having a problem), a single DUI usually does not result in a clearance denial, if it appears to be an isolated incident.
Hello. I would like to apply for a job that requires a DOE â€œQâ€ Clearance. I have been reading that this will involve interviewing my previous employers, previous spouse, etc. Regarding employment, while I have never been fired, all separations are somehow â€œbadâ€ and I would not like my previous employers to know my current whereabouts.
My question is: Are my previous employers and previous spouse going to be interviewed, given that I have a current employment and married again? I donâ€™t even know what is my ex-wife address or phone right now, I wonder how can they find her in order to interview her.
Thanks in advance.
what constitutes a( expierment vs use ) when it comes to drugs? sf-86?
If I was denied a TS clearance in 1998, would that information be available now? I am currently undergoing the clearance process and have gone through the BG investigation and now have my poly scheduled. Would that information have shown up during the BG investigation? Should I discuss that information from my previous clearance failure during my poly? I want to play by the rules, but at the same timeâ€¦.if it isnâ€™t relevant, it isnâ€™t relevant. Thank you in advance for your help.
Thanks for your input.
I am being considered for two federal positions requiring secret clearance. I have a couple of derogatory issues: a chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2004 due mainly to extended unemployment, with quick action (no 120 day delinquencies I think), a full discharge, and a clean record since then. I also am being treated with meds for chronic mild depression (dysthymia), with supervision, at my own initiative. I was recently medically oked to work on a NOAA ship that was out of range of medical evacuation, FWIW. As far as I can tell none of this is a serious issue for the final clearance, but is there any way to handle this in such a way to maximize the chances of getting an interim clearance?
“past problems will not be readjudicated, at least not if DISCO/DOHA is the clearance granting authority”
That’s great news. Thank you. BTW – I have purshased Mr. Henderson’s book, albeit after I had already submitted the SF-86. I would highly recommend to anyone new to the process.
Could someone clarify if a TS interim is automatic if you already have a Secret, and you don’t have any additional derogatory info that wasn’t provided for the Secret?
As always – Thank you so much!
With regard to my post about psychiatric issues, would it help to include a copy of the relevant form (SF86-2) filled out and signed by my doctor as a “pre-approval” when I submit the SF86?
This is the situation; I have an active secret clearance from one sponsor. A different sponsor (changing jobs) has submitted my application for a top secret clearance; it was denied (unknown why) how does this affect the active secret clearance previously acquired?
I just wanted to post and let everyone know that my clearance came through yesterday. It took almost six months – it would have been six months on Monday. Hopefully this can help someone in the future. My previous posts were in “Ask Your Clearance Questions” Part 17 and Part 18. Also thanks to all who responded with advice!
Dave in VA:
Even if you have a Secret clearance, an interim TS is not automatic because someone has to review your new SF86 and insure that there are no new issues.
Just to clarify: if there is any new issue, previously adjudicated issues can and probably will be considered during a new adjudicated.
Dave in VA:
read: “new adjudication.” in place of “new adjudicated.”
This is my first time going through the security clearance process so I have a couple of questions regarding the process:
1) I was told that I was approved for expedited processing for my TS clearance. I want to know how much “faster” is the expedited processing compared to regular processing.
2) Is there a difference between processing times for TS clearances between OPM and the intelligence agencies (CIA/NSA etc.)?
3) Let’s say I start another clearance process with another agency. Will this conflict or result in something negative concerning my ongoing clearance process? Are they at all related?
Thanks for all the great info on this blog.
Hello. I recently received a tentative offer for a civil service engineering position at a federal agency. In 2006, I failed a drug test for using marijuana and quit my job working as a federal contractor. I have had an excellent employment record otherwise and I began work at another company immediately following the incident. I have no other issues (no arrests, no foreign ties, good credit, excellent military record, ect.) I submitted my SF-85P and OF306 for this new position a couple of weeks ago and I am waiting for a response. On the OF-306, I indicated “yes” to the question of whether I had ever been fired from a job, quit a job after being told I would be fired, or left by mutual agreement. Although, I was not specifically told I would have been fired at my job in 2006, and quit completely by my own decision before facing disciplinary measures (that could have included termination), I indicated “yes” to that question to try to be on the safe side (I wouldn’t want anyone to think I was trying to be deceptive). I provided a brief explanation on the form and indicated that I have no intention of ever doing it again. On the SF-85P, I didnâ€™t mention anything about it, as there is no question that pertained (the question about drug use asks if used in the last year, and the answer is an honest “no”). Given that this is my only negative issue, what are my chances of being denied and having the agency rescind their tentative offer? Would a person in this situation typically be considered “suitable” for a public trust position, or not? Thanks!
Fourteen years ago, I had a shoplifting charge. The charge was dismissed and expunged in Virginia. There are no other incidents.
What are my chances to obtain a secret and a top secret clearance?
If the shoplifting offense was not a felony you do not even have to list it on your SF-86 since it happened more than 10 years ago. See question series 22 on the SF-86 version 07/08. The only “ever” questions on the SF-86 under the question series 22 are felony offenses, firearms/explosive offenses or offenses related to alcohol or drugs. Read over the entire SF-86 to get more information on what you are required to list on it. Go to the OPM site to find a copy of it.
I have been told that my clearance is in scattered castle and they provide me a thing called AIN! What is AIN and what is the difference between Jpass and scattered castle?
thank you so much
I am retired military and I held a secret clearance for a short time during my military career. I am applying for government jobs that require a SC, but 5 1/2 years ago I was arrested for DUI. I plead guilty to reckless driving and received 1 year probation and 50 hours of community service, which was completed without incident. I have no other arrests or alcohol related incidents, my credit is good and I would have no problems getting references on my character. I am wondering what my chances are of getting an interim secret clearance.
I was recently a contractor for DHS and finally had a TS security clearance issued in Spring of 08. I then took a job in the private sector winter 08.
Is my clearance still active? Or does my previous employer (contract company) “own” my clearance? Not sure if the TS stays with me where ever I go for the next five years.
How serious would my situation be? I am applying for a support position with the NSA requiring a ts/sci clearance and suitability polygraph. After reading the security forms I have only two issues of concern.
First, I was a child of the seventies and was a recreational user of Marijuana. I started around 1974 and stopped in the early 1980’s. I used about two or three times a week. I had about 20 years of no use and then decided to use it again from around 1999 to November 2003. I again used about 2 to 3 times per week. I was 47 years old when I finally decided to stop.
I also had a DUI arrest in 2003. I was convicted but did not serve any jail time. I have been alcohol and drug free since 2003.
Seeing that it has been about 7 years since my last incidents I am guessing I might be asked alot of questions to determine if I am still using anything but once they see I am not, I should get approved. I have heard of people with much harsher incidents than mine getting approved with no major problems other than an extended wait in process. Do you think I will have any issues other than possible extended processing time? Thanks for your insight.
There are no official definitions, but the unofficial Adjudicative Desk Reference uses the following:
ï‚· Experimental Use: Initial use for a maximum of six times, or more intensive use for a maximum of one month.
ï‚· Occasional Use: Once a month or less.
ï‚· Frequent Use: Once a week or less, but more than once a month.
ï‚· Regular or Habitual Use: More than once a week.
Thanks for all the great info!
Here’s a question: I am currently a contractor with a recent(less than one year)active TS. I recently took a government position at another agency. This means re-submitting the ol’ SF86 and waiting for an interim TS before I can start. What really happens in a situation like this? Does someone really re-investigate, same as the first time around? Or do they just make sure everything looks good and sign-off? Is this process expedited; and if so, how? Thanks!
I had joined a DOD Contractor after the Initial Interim Clearance, but quit the job in about three months as it was not in line with what I was recruited for. During this three months, I gave my initial interview towards the actual Clearance. It has been more than a year now since I left the company now, but received a call from the investigator stating that my credit history needs to be checked. Is it possible that the security clearance process is still active and going on, even though I had left the company?
I had a job offer contingent upon clearance – I had interview with the investigator, got interim clearance – but, in the mean time the job scope / dimensions have changed and am not interested in the job anymore. I have officially informed the company about my decision.
What happens now? Would my clearance process still go on or they will stop it?
Thank You for any help!
VR: If the employer does what it is suppose to do, the clearance processing will stop.
I have been offered a job that requires a secret clearance and I have a few questions:
1) If I don’t have a high school diploma, but I am 4 classes away from graduating college, will this impede on me obtaining a secret clearance? My high school information goes outside of the 7 year scope.
2) I currently hold a position of trust job and upon the initial background checks, my NAC revealed 3 minor incidents. 1) A suicidal gesture that I made and as a result the military police was called by my spouse. No action was taken. 2) Two domestic disputes that are labeled as “No action taken”.
3) In 2001 I filed BK7, but since have maintained a clean credit report with all debt listed as pays as agreed. There was one collection that was reported on one report (but not on the other two) that I paid in full today. Other than that 1 collection, never had a late payment showing.
I really appreciate any insight you can provide.
Also, is your (William Henderson) book available electronically for purchase?
I am in the process of e-quip, and purchased your book,while I followed the book closely. I still have 2 areas that I am concerned about:
I am a naturalized American (born in europe) and have a lot of overseas travel,visiting family. Outside of family, am I supposed to list each and every extended family member as foreign contact?
2) I had a old state tax lien,that has been satisfied and paid,and no longer appears on my credit report,and was just 1 month outside of the 7yr requirement – do I need to list it?
3) Is there a total amount of current debt in relation to income that would be a flag of concern. I don’t have any bad credit,just some credit card debt which I am paying off.
Thanks for the info. I also have 2 questions,if a expierment happend more than 7 years ago, does a person have to list it on the sf-86?. I’ve been told yes and no?
#2_ If a person was granted a q level clearance with in the last year and the job fell thru, and they decide to apply to another agency, will they have to go thru the ssbi again or will the new agencey be able to pick up the old clearance at the ts level? Just wondering if youv’e known anyone in this type of situation?.
I am a naturalized US citizen for over 2 years now and is being processed for TS/SCI clearance. The country I moved from (India)has a long term visa which they call OCI (Overseas Citizen of India)- which is not a dual citizen ship, but something similiar to the green card in USA.
I want to apply for OCI as I visit my relatives in India and have an ancestral property. Does applying for OCI jeopardize my clearance process?
While applying for the Border Patrol I stated on my SF86 that I have never tried any illegal substance. When I was interviewed by the investigator I remembered that during a party in Amsterdam about a year before my friend gave me what I believed to be a hashish brownie and I told him this information.
About a month later, I was informed I was not suitable to become an agent due to the drug consumption was within three years. The investigator that called me told me that it was better if I was to withdraw from consideration in which I did. Furiously I spoke to my friend that I went with to the party in Amsterdam and told her what happened and she then told me that she didnâ€™t give me the cake that contain hashish in it and it was a rum cake. I assumed that the one I ate contain hashish in it cause all the cakes and/or brownies was all very similar and the one I was eating looked like the one that was labeled made with hashish.
About two months later, I received the packet for Customs and stated again “NO” on my sf86 pertaining to drug use. I was then sent a Notice of Personal Action saying that I was unsuitable due to illegal drug use and dishonesty failure to disclose. I had 20 days to reply and I did explain what happened and then I was still deemed unsuitable despite nothing in my record suggesting that I would do anything pertaining to drugs, no prior record for any thing or any testimony from any one supporting this finding beside my own admission.
I appeal this unsuitable determination to the Merit System Protection Board.
For about five months I have been going back and forth with the lawyer for Customs proving to the Board that the Board does have jurisdiction. The judge requested that Customs negotiate but they refused unless the Board rules on Jurisdiction. I received my background investigation and there was nothing derogatory on my record the only unmitigated situation is when I replied to the Notice of Proposed Action (NOPA) I referred to the food as a cake and in the interview I stated it was a brownie. Thus I am not being honest because I was not consistent because I didnâ€™t call what I have by the same name in both instances.
Currently about a week ago the judge suspended the case for further negotiates btw my self and the agency but the agency wants the case thrown out due to a lack of jurisdiction by the Board. It seems if the judge is leaning in my favor because Customs have no case against me except my own admission which I recanted. The Attorney is using the savings provision saying the NOPA was on March 25 2008 and the law changed on the 16th of June allowing excepted service applicants to appeal suitability determinations thus the board has no jurisdiction. I am afraid the case will be thrown out I am also doing my research to find again that the board does have jurisdiction but its becoming difficult. I need help to find what my next course of action would be if my case is dismissed. Also if Customs does negotiate under the terms to erase the derogatory information off my record and/or give me reconsideration to be come a Customs Officer or Border Patrol agent what is the chance of them really calling me offering me a position?
Strictly for security clearance purposes, drug use that occurred more than 7 years ago (provided the applicant was not in a position of trust at the time) does not have to be listed.
However, there are some federal agencies that have modified the scope of the SF86 drug question to cover longer period of time, because they are using the SF86 for both security clearance and employment suitability purposes.
By government policy DOE “Q” access authorizations should be reciprocally accepted at the TS level by other federal agencies within the 2 year break-in-service and the 5 year expiration of the SSBI (whichever occurs first). The policy does cover some exceptions to this rule. Also understand that all government agencies do not follow all government policies all the time. If you are dealing with DISCO, there shouldn’t be any problem.
I just saw your post regarding references. Ideally we don’t want to interview all the references a SUBJECT lists on her case papers. We don’t want the SUBJECT “guiding the investigation” We interview a mix of listed references as well as ones that are developed. It does not matter where the references live in the United States. OPM and the contractors the agency uses have investigators in all 50 states, DC, P.R. the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam.
We do conduct interviews by phone but as a last resort. Ideally we want to interview all sources in person.
We try to interview neighbors and or roommates who know a SUBJECT the best for the residence we are covering. How many years ago did you live with these individuals?
Are you sure you got an interim secret for your TS? Usually one gets a interim TS prior to getting a full TS. The depth of the investigations are different for secret and TS so one does not get an interim secret before getting a TS. But each agency does its own thing so you could be right.
thank you for the info, I applied for a airmarshal position and am not sure what security department the TSA uses?. If you know who does their clearances i would appreciate it. Thanks again for the insight.
I have a quick question regarding the background investigation process for TS clearance for employment with a FLE agency. With regards to medical records/psychological records – does OPM typically request or review one’s actual records as part of the clearance process? I’m inquiring about one’s own past medical records and insurance policy records. Thanks!
I had an interim clearance for almost a year before it got pulled due to Guide line B due tohaving family members who are Saudi Citizens, Which I am in contact with on a regular basis. I am 37 years old working as a Military contactor for the last 15 months. I have been living in the USA since I was 17, collage educated. I have requested a hearing from DOHA to appear before a Judge to hear my case, what do you think I need to do in order to get a favorable outcome, or what are my chances?
You recently answered my question regarding the settlement of credit cards back in 1999/2000, and I appreciate the help.
Here’s my new concern:
I have HUGE law school debt, and because I couldn’t work much while studying for the bar exam over a couple years (and couldn’t work in law), I incurred tens of thousands of credit card debt. I happen to live in a very expensive area, too.
I have now applied (during the past 3 weeks) to some series 1811 & 1801 positions requiring TS clearance. But, I am now afraid that if I don’t settle one of my two credit cards, then I won’t be able to pay my bills unless I find a new job. My FICO recently dropped from 800 to 500-550 due to a late loan payment that’s classified as five. I doubt the settlement will kill my credit much worse, but I don’t want it to knock me out of the running for these great jobs.
Am I already out of the running? Should I settle this credit card to improve my financial situation? Will that prevent me from obtaining clearance or the job? I’m trying to do the responsible thing, but feel I’m in a lose-lose situation now. But, if I get this job, then I’ll be 100% fine financially. What do you recommend?
I am applying for a number of jobs requiring clearance. It has been 15 years since I was in the Navy (Secret and interim Top Secret). I had a DUI (4 years before the Navy) and no criminal offenses since. My issue is high credit card debt. I am current on payments, my mortgage, and no car loans. Since I am unemployed, I am sitting on cash and paying a little on the cards (more than minimum but far from the balance). My references are very good (half have Secret or better clearances) and in high standing.
How much of a concern is the high consumer debt? I can pay off at least half right away once I am employed and can pay down the rest over the course of a year.
Would much appreciate some advice or insight on what I might expect.
4.5 years ago, I submitted for a TS clearance for my government job. I never received anything in writing, but was told I was cleared and subsequently sent to training. Thought all was well. I’d previously had a TS in the military. Although it was probably 5 years expired at the time, during the process the person coordinating the submission of clearances for my group said they were looking into the old clearance and might be able to use it, which I didn’t understand. Flash forward 4.5 years, and I’m being told that I’m still under an interim S. How can this be after so long? I have nothing in my background at all, but, since the submission of the SF86 I did marry a foreign national (Philippines) who now has her green card, SSN, work permit, no government connections, but her family of course is there. There was no “formal report” made to anyone about the marriage, but on the other hand everyone knew and both my former and current boss are in my wedding photos.
I’m trying to figure out my next move. Of course I want to protect my job, but I’m more concerned about protecting my eligibility for clearance.
Again, any advice would be most appreciated…
Hello. I recently received a tentative offer for a civil service engineering position at a federal agency. In 2006, I failed a drug test for using marijuana and quit my job working as a federal contractor. I have had an excellent employment record otherwise and I began work at another company immediately following the incident. I have no other issues (no arrests, no foreign ties, good credit, excellent military record, ect.) I submitted my SF-85P and OF306 for this new position a couple of weeks ago and I am waiting for a response. On the OF-306, I indicated â€œyesâ€ to the question of whether I had ever been fired from a job, quit a job after being told I would be fired, or left by mutual agreement. Although, I was not specifically told I would have been fired at my job in 2006, and quit completely by my own decision before facing disciplinary measures (that could have included termination), I indicated â€œyesâ€ to that question to try to be on the safe side (I wouldnâ€™t want anyone to think I was trying to be deceptive). I provided a brief explanation on the form and indicated that I have no intention of ever doing it again. On the SF-85P, I didnâ€™t mention anything about it, as there is no question that pertained (the question about drug use asks if used in the last year, and the answer is an honest â€œnoâ€). Given that this is my only negative issue, what are my chances of being denied and having the agency rescind their tentative offer? Would a person in this situation typically be considered â€œsuitableâ€ for a public trust position, or not? Thanks!
I was a contractor for DHS up until the end of 2008 and have since pursued other career opps (private sector). Do I still hold my TS Clearance or is that kept by my previous employeer (consulting company)?
TSA (or at least part of TSA) uses the services of a contractor that supplies investigations. I don’t recall which one (i.e. MSM, USIS, Omniplex, CACI, Kroll). I’m not sure if TSA adjudicates their own cases or if it is done at some central adjudication facility at DHS. DHS is a very fragmented organization with little standarization among its subagencies.
I am a contractor, my last BI was in 2002. The agency who I work for has not started a reivestigation. They are extremely backlogged. I know people who have gone almost 10 – 12 years without a new BI for this agency. I am now in the process of looking for a new job outside of this agency and I am running into road blocks because of the date of my last BI and poly. This is no fault of my own. I cannot initiate the BI. Am I stuck with this agency until they initiate a new bi? Or is it just like saying I do not have an active clearance because of my bi date? I have a TS/SCI with FS Poly and have worked for this same agency for almost twenty years. Half as staff then as contractor.
Just a quick question… I am applying for a contractor’s position (Information Technology) and am a little worried on whether I will receive my TS clearance.
I’ve never done drugs, no criminal record, spotless credit… but I do have two blemishes. The first was that my contract was terminated (not by the Federal agency, but rather by my sub-contractor) for a comment I made after I had interviewed for and was offered a new position. Someone asked if I planned on “burning bridges” with my sub-contractor, to which I replied “burn them, heck I blow them up”. An immature comment that cost me dearly, as that was not how I really wanted to leave the contract, it was simply a stupid comment. Needless to say I was terminated.
Fast forward to late 2007, I was stressing out over issues at home related to trying to be a stepfather to a 16 year old and arguing with my wife on how he should be raised, stressed over rumors of our division being shut down, and was somewhat short and discourteous in meetings (namely interrupting people before they were finished, disagreeing with management directives). In April 2008 I was put on 30 days probabation and given the chance to get myself together rather than be let go. I sought counseling to help learn new coping mechanisms, worked closely with a member of our supervisory group as well as Human Resources, and exceeded all the expectations put forth during my probabtion. I’ve been a model employee ever since (up until our division was closed).
I was offered a position with a new sub-contractor and now am filling out my SF86. I’ve been forthcoming about my two issues of personal conduct providing detailed information as well as what steps I took to change. I learned valuable lessons from both and am now a very happy person and looking forward to a positive new position and direction in my life. I just hope I am given the opportunity.
Should I be concerned about receiving my interim and final TS clearances based on the information I provided above?
Thank you for the info Mr Henderson.
i am being charged with a class I misdemeanor by the start of arizona for posession of paraphernalia (marijuana pipe). this is the only offense i have ever had. as part of my plea, my charges will be dismissed in 3 months. i have had my secret clearance for 3 years. should i be worried about my clearance being revoked at this time. when i am reviewed in 7 years, what is the likelyhood that they will not renew my clearance?
my job is relocating me, and it is a very big move (thousands of miles), and i am worried that an issue such as this might affect my current clearance, thus me losing my job.
I’m in my 40s and applying for a job with a civilian contractor that requires TS/SCI (they will sponsor me).
Concurrently I’m thinking of asking my doctor (general practitioner) about prescribing me Strattera for a mild case of (self-diagnosed) ADD. I’ve never had any kind of evaluation for ADHD or been to any kind of counseling. Have talked with friends who have similar mild cases of ADD, I think I would be a better employee with something like Strattera helping me focus on the task at hand, but I don’t want to risk not getting the clearance.
Exactly what is considerd a position of trust?
Thank you for your recent advice. I am now wondering the following, though:
Due to the current general economic environment, my present job has essentially stopped earning me any sufficient income. I fear that I must settle one of my two credit cards to lighten half of my unsecured debt load. Unfortunately, to do this, I would first have to go at least 90 days without making any payments (I’m currently up-to-date).
I am wondering how a settlement will look, and how it will affect my potential TS/SSBI clearance. The thing is… if I had any of the GS-11/13 positions I’ve applied to, I could easily pay off my debt, so it’s really a catch 22.
Should I continue to carry the debt until after I hear about the applications (which could be a long time), or simply attack it now, and risk never getting the job/clearance due to my age (I’m already 35) and settlement?
Your guidance is greatly appreciated! Thanks again!!
A position of Public Trust is exactly what the name says. It is a position an individual has that the public trusts him or her to have. The position may not require the individual to handle classified information but they may have to handle sensitive or proprietary information. A very good example are Correctional Officers at the Bureau of Prisons. The public trusts these individuals with watching and guarding federal prisoners. There maybe no national secrets at prisons but the various routines and procedures at the prison are sensitive in nature. Hope Mr. Henderson doe snot mind me adding this.
I was using the term “position of trust” in its generic sense to cover all positions in the SF86 drug question that asks about any drug use that occurred “while possessing a security clearance; while employed as a law enforcement officer, prosecutor, or courtroom official; or while in a position directly and immediately affecting the public safety.”
I am a student of age 20, who was just offered an internship with a defense contractor. I am required to get a interim clearance and a secret security clearance for the position. What is the likeliehood that I will be denied if my father is born in Trinidad? He is a permanent resident but does not currently live in the United States. He is a deadbeat and has not been present in my life since I was aged two. My record is clean other than this fact about my father. My mother is a citizen and was born here in the United States. I have not spoke with my father in about 11 years and he has no interest in my life or the life of any of my sibilings.
I’m in the middle of an OPM investigation for a TS clearance for a federal law enforcement agency. My question was the following: Can or will my investigator look at my personal medical records/psych records if any, and look at my insurance policy records for medical/psych history? Thanks for any info you can give me.
Why would DISCO continue processing the clearance , even after employer has cancelled the process? This is what is happening in my case..
I am applying for a Secret Clearance. Yesterday my friends and neighbors (4 of them, don’t know who else) just called and said they got some forms to fill out about me for investigation. What will happen next?
Also, I went back to the copy of SF86, and realized 2-3 people on the form might not know that I am applying for federal positions and the worst they might not rememeber me any more, or they moved (I put them on the form any way b/c I could not think of anyone else in my mind). If they won’t help to fill out that form or don’t remember who I am, what can expect to happen? Thanks for any help.
I’m currently processing for a top secret clearance right now and my investigator called recently to set up my personal interview. During our conversation, he asked that I bring 2 former roommates and 2 people who know me well to my apartment during the interview. I’m graduating in May so this isn’t that difficult as all those people are on campus, but from what I understand about clearances it should be the investigator calling these people and scheduling interviews. Is this normal practice?
I am in a very, very sticky situation.
I went through my first investigation, told the truth, passed, and got a TS/SCI. I have an interim clearance from the DOD since we don’t do reciprocal stuff.
A few months later and I realized I forgot about something. I forgot about three times I used drugs and once where I paid $50 for a small amount of weed that I ended up giving away. I know it sounds like something impossible to forget, but I have suffered chronic memory loss my whole life and take medicine for it.
I didn’t lie. Nobody confronted me with this information; I just remembered it one night while thinking over it. I want to be honest. I want to tell everybody everything. But I’m scared as hell of losing my clearance. My boss loves me and wants to get me on the intel career track. I am afraid of what’s going to happen to me if I tell the truth.
Do I contact my FSO and tell them about incidents I forgot about? Do I wait until my meeting with the DoD investigator to tell the truth? Is anybody going to believe me when I say I didn’t lie, I just honestly forgot? I’m going to risk losing both my clearances, aren’t I?
I am applying for a position that requires a TS clearance–not sure if there is a polygraph involved or not.
After looking at the SF-86 and reading some of the comments on this website, I have a couple of questions:
1. About 9 years ago, I tried MJ one time–that’s all. I never used it again and never want to again. I know the question asks for drug use in the last 7 years, but for the SBBI for TS clearance, a lot of the questions are for 10 years. Will I have to disclose this and if I do, is it anything to be concerned about?
2. I know that this question wasn’t asked in the SF-86, but I have seen comments where this might come up in an interview or polygraph–where you might be asked if you have ever cheated on a test. I did only once in my life in the entrance exam for a graduate school. I didn’t cheat with answers or anything like that. Instead, I ran out of time on the first section and didn’t answer a couple of questions. Then when it was time to begin the second section, I went back and filled out the remaining answers quickly–just guessing at them. It was more that I just panicked. I consider it different than actually having the answers and cheating that way, but it is still likely cheating. I am not proud that I did it, but it’s the only time in my entire life (11 years ago by the way) that I’ve done anything like it. Anything to be worried about?
Other than these two things, I have a perfectly good record and think that the interviews with family, friends, etc. would go very well.
Are these things that would keep me from getting TS clearance? Should I even bother? The job sounds interesting and great, but I don’t want to take it only to be let go a year later if I fail the clearance. Thanks!
Boy, funny how when you ask a question like that, you already know the answer. I talked to my boss and told him everything. I am meeting with both my FSOs tomorrow.
So I forgot about the weed. I also forgot about giving a friend half a sleeping pill (without a prescription) when she asked, and I may have messed up the dates of my drug use (possibly a couple months later…still no more than 8 times total, at absolute most; probably more like 6).
I swear I didn’t lie about these things. As soon as I found out I tried to contact everybody. I don’t care if I’m risking both my clearances. I can’t pretend like it’s okay when it isn’t. But I’m also completely scared to death. I feel like nobody is going to believe me.
Does anybody have any insight?
Hello. I am currently almost done with my bachelors degree in Global Studies (security track) and I now must choose whether to go abroad to either Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt, or Morocco…in order to finish my degree. I was wondering if one of these would make me more of an asset for a high security clearance or even just a federal job in the future?
I am currently filling out an SF-86 for a security clearance as a civilian for the military. I had a DUI in 08/2000, violated probation drinking in 02/2001. Then I voluntarily went into a rehab program in 02/2001 for my alcoholism and stayed until 07/2002. I have never had a drink since. I go to AA meetings, I have worked the 12 steps, sponsored other AA people, and have led Big Book studies for many years. I have been completely sober for over 8 years, and plan on staying that way.
My question is: what is the appropriate answer for question 21, regarding “mental health”? The rehab had counselors. I know I should answer the question 24c in the affirmative. Should I also count this as mental health consultation, answer “yes” for 21, and fill out the HIPAA form? Or should I assume that they consider “mental health” separate from alcoholism and drug treatment.
Either way, I am definitely putting it on the form somewhere.
Do you think I’ll have a problem getting a clearance? Also, do you think I should explain my activities towards recovery in the “Continuation Space”, or just wait for them to ask me what they want to know?
I am hesitant to answer your question because a few months ago an individual posted a similar question to yours and when I answered it he/she responded with a very rude posting about violating their privacy. Many other posters on here repsonded to him/her indicating that applying for a federal position and filling out an SF-86 is a voluntary process. If you fill out the SF-86 and submit it to which ever agency for what ever position, you have voluntarily given us as investigators the right to investigate your background for the position. Read the General Release and the Medical Release that are attached to the SF-86. So before I answer this question I want to make sure you are not going to respond with a rude posting regarding violation of your privacy.
Also–it would be helpful to have your series number. It may not even be OPM doing your clearance.
I applied for a job with Government Contractor end client is IRS. This position requires a Public Trust Clearance.
I was arrested for DUI last month (This is after I applied for a job) for which I have a court date on March 19. As per my lawyer the charges will be dropped since this is my first offense.
However I received an offer letter with OF-306 which I have to fill and send back to the Contractor. The timing is really bad unfortunately.
• Can my application be denied before the process starts if I put my current DUI charges in OF-306 form?
• Should I wait until (March 19) the court date is over and I have an outcome of the case?
age 17-simple possession of marji-pti expundged
18-simple possession of marji, possession of alcohol,-license suspended 9 months-paid fine expunged.
25-public disorderly-paid fine
26-indecent exposure(mooning)dropped by district attorney-but expunged, but had an addition public disorderly during the same occurrence,-paid fine.
since then i have received a bachelors, with honors 3.8 GPA, Now 28 years old
My state records just show two public disorderly
Would I be able to get a security clearance for border patrol agent or military…if not …ever??
hello I got charged with a paraphernalia charge possessing a glass bowl beginning of January 2013. Recently just graduated out of college with honors and have been clean since then from the law and substance. Now a job requires me to go under getting a TS with SCI.
What are my chances of getting a security clearance as of right now?
if not how much longer will it take for me in a time frame for that charge to not be of much of an affect?
If you are a GS 15 – step 7, can you be on medication for anxiety and work for the USAID or any government agency?
I am due to be terminated next week because I have been unable to gain a Public Trust in enough time to hold my contracting position. My Secret was revoked in 6/2013 due to Financial COnsiderations (Divorce Debt from 2009). I retired from the active military after 17 years of honorable service. When I was hired I thought all the FSO had to do was resubmit my information and my mitigation plan that has been effect for the last couple of years. However the FSO thought the government agency we work for would push my package to CAF, but they didn’t and so the FSO pushed an RRU to downgrade me to Public Trust. My job requires a NACI/SF85. I provided my previous OPM investigation (SF86). The RRU was submitted late August. Now I have one week remaining before my firing due to inability to obtain/retain a clearance. Other than annoying my FSO, what other steps can I take? They said they only deal with DSS, and to date do not see a change in JPAS for me to remove the revoked status. My management says they have never seen any favorable outcome for people in similar circumstances. Please advise.