Obtaining Security Clearance

Ask Your Clearance Questions – Part 21

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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  1. Avatar

    Hello. First, thanks for the great site. It’s been very helpful over the past few months as I’ve been going through my first clearance process.

    I am a 29 year old married male with no kids. I have not held a security clearance previously. I recently started a new job for which I need a security clearance. I completed my SF86 around the end of March 2009, and the investigation portion of my process just completed a couple of weeks ago. My investigation was an SSBI for TS/SCI eligibility.

    I was granted an interim TS clearance a couple of weeks after submission of my SF86, and to my knowledge, it is still active. My first question is, given that I was granted an interim TS, and my investigation was completed without it being revoked, it that a likely indicator of a successful adjudication? Also, is an investigation without follow-up interviews or SPINs a good indicator that no major discrepancies were found, and thus an indication that adjudication will be successful?

    For my interview, the investigator brought a second person along. I was told that it didn’t have anything to do with me, but my boss said he had never seen two people do an interview. The second person didn’t do much in the interview other than observe, but the primary interviewer asked the second person if he had any questions after my responses regarding substance use, which he did not. Do you think any of this means anything?

    The only real concern I have is based on somewhat recent minor illegal substance use, which I documented and attempted to mitigate on my SF86. Over a period of about 2 years, I used marijuana on a handful of occasions at parties (4-5). That period ended around April 2007. I used the substance one additional time at my bachelor party in May 2008 under heavy peer pressure.

    The other substance I have used is nitrous oxide (laughing gas). It is a substance that is legal to purchase (though I did not purchase it), and it is inhaled much like helium from a balloon. I used it on a handful of occasions (5-6) over a period of about 12 months with the last use being around December 2008. At the time I filled out my SF86, this was only about 3-4 months prior. Now it has been 7-8. Do adjudicators take this into consideration?

    I stopped using both substances primarily because of concerns over long-term health effects and legality.

    In both cases, I indicated that I will not use any substances in an illegal manner in the future, both verbally during my interview and on the SF86. I never purchased any substances or used them by myself. My boss, wife, and most friends are aware of the use, so I don’t consider myself susceptible to coercion or blackmail as a result of the usage. I also indicated on the form that I intend to make efforts to avoid environments where I suspect these substances may be used.

    I also had a minor incident where I got in trouble with computers a long time ago. The incident involved my Internet Service Provider at the time, and there was no legal action taken or even mentioned. I did not mention it on my form or in my interview because I had completely forgotten about it. In talking with a friend of mine after his interview about me, he mentioned it. Thankfully it was more than 7 years ago, so I don’t think it matters.

    Otherwise, my case is clean. I am a natural US citizen with no foreign relatives or contacts, I have never had any financial trouble, late payments, etc. I’ve never been arrested or had anything other than speeding tickets, none more than $100 or so. I’ve lived in the same basic area my whole life.

    Do you suppose the issues I mentioned are cause for concern that my case will not be successfully adjudicated? I know this has been asked before, but would you have any idea how long to expect the adjudication to take? I’ve seen the 39 day average in the FAQ and the 17-147 day range average in the recent report, but I don’t know how dependent on case details those numbers are. If the adjudicator is not able to make a positive determination, what would happen first? I believe the case would be sent to DOHA. Would my FSO see an indication of this in JPAS? Would I receive any indication? Or do they basically pass the case back and forth until they can make a determination? If it is not successful, would my FSO see it in JPAS, or would I receive an SOR first? If it is successful, my first indication will likely be from my FSO seeing it in JPAS, right?

    Thanks for your time!

  2. Avatar

    I have held a secret clearance for approximately 20 years military,and held secret and confidential for my government job.I currently hold a confidential clearance for my government job.My security reinvestigation was due 2008.I filled out my SF86 in march 2008.I answered yes to Question.21 figuring I should be honest.My security liason emailed me in may,and said they would like to have a meeting with me.They gave me a letter,which stated doncaf requested a medical evaluation from me.I said is this because I answered yes to question 21,and they said yes.I chose to go to the doctor whose name I put on the SF86.He wrote a favorable letter stating my mental status and symptoms were stable with no signs of serious mental illness,and my condition was in remission.The letter doncaf gave me was dated november 2008,and I was just getting it in may 2009.I don’t understand this.I am a combat vet of Enduring Freedom,and Iraq Freedom.I scheduled and attended four appointments with the doctor,and the issue was related to the military.I have been through enough since 2000 also serving in operation southern watch in 2000,and I am a Viet Nam era vet.I just want to keep my nose clean,and retire from my job.I didn’t break any laws all I did is dedicate my life to this country.It has been fifty some days since I sent them the letter.This whole issue is very disheartening to me.I just want to go on with my life.I would like your opinion on my situation.How long will it be until they get back to me ?

  3. Avatar

    Jonathan Dough,
    I am not going to answer your adjudication related questions because I am not an adjudicator. Yet regarding having two people at your interview, it did mean nothing. It was probably one of two scenarios:

    1.) The investigator conducting the PRSI was training someone new and that person had to observe your interview as a part of their training. As a previous post indicates USIS is hiring 200 plus investigators so if it was an investigator with USIS who interviewed you this could be the case.

    2.) The investigator who conducted your interview was being evaluated. Just like in any job a supervisor has to evaluate how the investigator is doing. Since the PRSI is part of the investigators job duties his/her supervisor needed to observe him/her conduct it.

    Do not read into having two investigators there.

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    Thank you in advance for any help/guidance you can provide!

    My question regards a DHS-ICE suitability investigation I am currently undergoing – the position requires likely a mid-level Public Trust (Level 5 if I had to guess), and is going through a contractor (not direct to ICE). I have excellent credit, references, work/living history, family/friends/wife that don’t get in trouble, etc., and I filled out my SF85p completely and honestly. I have three criminal offenses from 2006 – two convictions, one dropped/changed to one of the other “lower” charges – which are all cleared up, all fines paid, sentences served, etc. Again, I was upfront and detailed about these on the form. From what I gather from other sources, these all are classified as “A” offenses (i.e. the most benign category) due to their all occurring on one day over 36 months ago.

    So a couple questions, actually:
    1) What are my chances of getting a favorable suitability determination with the above history? And what are the chances of the process going quickly/normally?

    2) I understand the timeline is generally 4-6 weeks. I submitted all forms, fingerprints, etc. on 6/25. It is now 7/20, and neither I nor any of my references/employers/etc. have been contacted. Is this normal? Does it mean my investigation is running behind schedule (e.g. the investigator was on vacation for 2 weeks), or has already been denied, or is just going great and there is no need for references?

    2) Is there any way to check on the status? The FSO at the contracting company has not been any help as far as updates, but is there anything I can do to find out where I am in the process?

    Again, thanks for any and all help & guidance you can provide. It is nearly impossible to find answers to these questions, as most advice seems to be in response to DOD clearances.



  5. Avatar

    I am currently employed by federal subcontract company, and I just recently received my Clearance. I have one rental property are under water at this time. I purchased this property for $400K and I put down $100K, and still ow the bank for $300K. The house now worth about $250K, and I am losing $400 each month from renting. I am thinking about to give this property back to the back because there is no business case for me to hold on. Since I have a SC, should I notify my employer about the decision to foreclose the house? I also have some credit debts, but I have never been lated with the payment. Will the employer fire me due to my personal financial situation? Any advice what I should or should not do is greatly appreciated.



  6. Avatar

    I filed for a public trust position and placed on app that i was arrested once for retail theft it was a misunderstanding there where no charges and no conviction for this incedent will this prevent me from getting the position it was about three years ago other than that ive never been in any trouble other than moving violation the app sd do not disclose anything under $150.00 so i made special notes in regards to this. thanks for any info you could help this is for a position with D.O.E

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    Mr. Henderson (et al), you are definitely the most knowledge person I’ve found on the web regarding security clearances/suitability. Thank you for this forum. Can you give me your thoughts on my situation, please. I currently hold a Public Trust position (Minimal/Moderate Risk, I believe) since 2002. I was convicted of DWI in 2000, which I disclosed on my original OF 306. This was prior to having a family. I was arrested again for DWI last month and am concerned about the possible consequences. I haven’t been to court, yet, but if I am convicted of a 2nd DWI do you think this will prevent me from getting a favorable suitability determination during a MBI, which I believe will be in the next 3-7 years (not sure if reinvestigation is done every 10 or 15 years). This is with the understanding that I have no other incidents of any kind between now and then and that I comply with all court orders and close the case. I have requested alcohol counseling through my agency’s EAP program and I have started attending AA meetings. I have not drank any alcohol since the incident. My family has already suffered too much grief for my mistake and it has really opened my eyes to the fact I need to abstain from alcohol completely. Please give me your thoughts – this has really caused me a lot of stress and sleepless nights. I don’t know if it makes any difference, but I previously held a TS/SCI clearance while in the military. That was some time ago though.

    Thank you.

  8. Avatar

    To anyone who knows:

    I’ve had a TS/SCI in place for over 22 years; prio military. I switched companies last March and when my PR came due August 2008 “the boxed was not checked” for SCI, only TS which was re-granted in October 2008. I only came to find this out when my previous employer asked me to come back where a TS/SCI is needed and that FSO discovered it. This mistake has been done and I had no way of knowing.

    My question is this: What can be done/ is there anything to do to expedite this? Is it possible to expedite this and any gueses on the time it would take? My job offer has been put on hold until the SCI is in place.

    The FSO at the new place said it wouldn’t be a problem since I’ve had it for so long but I don’t think it’s automatic.

    I am really looking for some insight from anyone with knowlegde as this affect many things.

    Thank you very much for reading/replying

  9. Avatar


    Something doesn’t sound right about your interim TS. If a person’s e-QIP is submitted to DISCO for a TS clearance, DISCO will automatically consider them for an interim Secret which can be granted within 3 days. DISCO will later consider the applicant for an interim TS, once the NAC portion of the investigation is completed. This usually takes at least 4 weeks from the time your FSO releases your e-QIP to DISCO and forwards your fingerprints and releases to OPM. Because of your recent illegal use of drugs, I’m very surprised that you were granted any interim clearance.

    If you in fact have an interim TS clearance, then your FSO already had you sign a Non-disclosure Agreement, gave you a security briefing and you now have access to TS information. If this isn’t the case, then you don’t have an interim clearance.

    Because you need SCI eligibility, when your investigation is completed it will be sent from OPM to DISCO. DISCO will not adjudicate and they will not send it to DOHA; they will immediately forward your investigation to the adjudicative facility responsible for determining your SCI eligibility (whoever the government customer is for the contract you will be working on).

    Normally if a person is completely honest on an SF86, is granted an interim clearance, and no unexpected derogatory information surfaces during the investigation, he/she is almost always granted a final clearance. But as I said before, I’m very surprised you received an interim clearance. Your drug use is a cause for concern. The fact that there was no SPIN only indicates that 1) everything was cover adequately during your PRSI, or 2) there was nothing that triggered an automatic SPIN. SPINs can and often are requested by the adjudicative facility after they have made a preliminary review of the investigation. The absence of a SPIN does not indicate that there will be a favorable adjudication, and the presence of a SPIN does not suggest that there will be an unfavorable adjudication. If the adjudicative facility decides that a SPIN is required and you in fact have an interim clearance, there is a good chance that your interim clearance will be withdrawn and replaced with the notation “Loss of Jurisdication.”

    It’s an exercise in futility to try to estimate the adjudication time on a case with a moderate to serious issue by trying to extrapolate from average adjudication time. If you are granted a final TS/SCI, it will be posted to JPAS and you will receive another security briefing and sign another non-disclosure form. If a preliminary decision is made to deny your SCI eligibility, you will receive an SOR (sometimes called a Letter of Intent—LOI) either directly or through your FSO.

  10. Avatar

    I am currently conditionally selected for a job at an intelligence agency that requires an SCI. I currently hold a TS. But after looking at the criteria for an SCI more closely, I am wondering if my foreign connections would disqualify me from a final offer of employment. I am a naturalized U.S. citizen living in the U.S. for the past 14 years. My wife is also a naturalized U.S. citizen living in the U.S. for the past 5 years. However, my mother, father and brother are British nationals, although my brother is currently living in Chicago with his American wife. My wife has a mother and two sisters in India with whom I never speak to due to a language barrier although my wife regularly does. Apart from the foreign connections the rest of the SF-86 is pretty clean. So, would these six foreign connections likely disqualify me from being able to obtain an SCI?

  11. Avatar

    The quote below from John Berry is from this article:


    “Another Fed who’s working smarter is Kathy Dillaman. Kathy is the leader of OPM’s Investigative Services Division. In 1997, investigative services worked through about 5,200 investigations per year to grant Top Secret and higher level clearances.

    Now, in the post-9/11 era, we do 100,000 of these high-level investigations. That’s over 19 times as many. We do them more quickly — from 380 days at the height of the post-9/11 backlog to 72 days on average now and we are on track to reaching 90% in 40 days this year! And just as important we’re literally twice as efficient ¿ the workload has increased nearly twice as much as the workforce.”

    To me it sounds like he is giving OPM total credit for doing all of the “100,000 high-level investigations”. If it was not for OPM’s contractors OPM would not even be close to the “72 day” turn around. Give credit where credit is due Mr. Berry!!!!

  12. Avatar

    Can someone please answer my questions as I was recently granted a clearance which was sponsored (not sure what this means) by a government contractor.
    The background investigation was done by OPM.

    1). Did the contractor or government pay for my background investigation/clearance? If the contractor paid for the clearance, how do they get reimbursed for the cost?

    2). Will I receive some sort of clearance card/certificate/reference-ID number for
    verification purposes for myself and others?

    3). How long does my clearance last?

    4). What happens to my clearance if I quit working for the contractor that sponsored my clearance before or after I complete a contract? Will I owe them reimbursment and/or be penalized?

    5). What happens if some other company wants to hire me for a contract even though they did not sponsor my clearance? What I really want to know is, can my clearance be transferred to another contractor?


  13. Avatar

    Hello, I am new at this but I thought I would give it a try. I was forced to resign over $150 worth of Amazon Gift certificates. I stupidly thought they were promotional since they were not addresses to anyone in particular and well I paid a huge price for my error in judgement. My security clearance was suspended and I was forced to resign or be terminated. That was almost 2 years ago. Am I doomed or will I be able to get my clearance back and another government job? I had 20 years service at the time of this issue and I have never been in trouble before. I was an exemplary employee and always received awards on my yearly reviews. My boss has even statede that I got dealt a rotten deal but there was nothing that could be done at that time to help me.

  14. Avatar

    Two years ago I successfully filed my periodic reinvestigation using eQuips. It still has not adjudicated. I have a Secret clearance.

  15. Avatar

    I posted my question on july 19th.Other people posted their questions after mine,and they were answered.The question was posted so I figured it would be answered.I looked at other posts to see questions similar to mine,but didn’t find any.Am I missing something?Could someone have the courtesy at least to tell me why it is not being answered?

  16. Avatar

    I did not reply to your question because it sounds like it is an adjudicative type question and I have no knowledge on the adjudication side of the house. You can see that from my posting for Johnathan Dough. Another person hopefully will be able to answer your question but be patient. This is something we do on our free time.

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    How does the reference system work with TS clearance? Obviously the investigator talks with everyone on the list, but who else will they talk to?

  18. Avatar

    Mr. Investigator,Thank you for replying to my question.I truly appreciate what you people are doing on your own time.I am sure it means a lot to everyone.

  19. Avatar


    A year is a long time–have your security officer check into this unless you were deployed to a war zone during this time, then that may explain the delay.

    Also, you may hear nothing back and may have been cleared already. You do not always hear back in these circumstances. Doesn’t sound like they wanted anything, but to confirm your health status. Have your security officer check JPAS on you.

    Thanks for your service and best wishes.

  20. Avatar


    I can’t give you an opinion on your mental health issue, because you didn’t say anything about your condition or treatment. Statistically, less than 1/100th of a percent of all clearance decisions result in a denial or revocation due to a mental health issue. Usually when the government requests a mental health evaluation, the government wants the evaluation done by a “duly qualified mental health professional employed by, or acceptable to and approved by the US Government.” Unless your doctor says that your condition or treatment impairs your judgment, reliability, or trustworthiness, there should be any problem. Most people whose clearances are denied or revoked due to mental health problems are those who act bizarre and refuse medical treatment and those who have been diagnosed with a serious mental health problem and refuse to take medication that can control their problem.

    Because you did not say that you were contacted by an investigator and asked to sign a specific medical release, and because you did not say that your doctor was previously contacted and responded to the standard medical release, and because of the unusual delays in your case processing, everything about your case seems somewhat out of the ordinary. There is no way to predict how long it will take to resolve, but there is probably very little chance that your clearance will be revoked—and even if it is, there will be an opportunity to rebut their findings and later, if necessary, to appeal their final decision.

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    Without know what you did or the exact nature of the position, I doubt that anyone can tell you your chance of getting a favorable suitability determination. Every agency can create its own job-specific suitability criteria (i.e. a single misdemeanor domestic violence conviction is an automatic disqualifier for jobs to entail carrying firearms).

    Four to six weeks for an MBI plus adjudication sounds much faster than I would have guessed. A Moderate-Risk Public Trust position (Level 5) can require a NACI plus Credit, Minimum Background Investigation—MBI, or a Limited Background Investigation—LBI. The MBI and LBI both have a Personal Subject Interview component. All of the investigations involve some type of reference checking—either in person by an investigator or by letter inquiry. Sounds like your investigation hasn’t started yet. Is there a possibility that you were eliminated from the process after a review of your SF85P? Ask your FSO if the investigation has started. If not, you may have to consider this possibility. Suitability determinations for contractor personnel do not operate under the same “due process” rules as security clearance adjudications. I don’t know if there is anyway to check on the status of your case, except through your FSO. Try the ICE website to see if they have any method for an applicant to check their own status.

  22. Avatar


    Foreclosure is something the lender does to the borrower. You can offer the lender the “deed in lieu of foreclosure,” but the lender doesn’t have to accept. You should notify your Facility Security Officer of the situation. You are probably required to do so under the rules of the federal agency that granted your clearance, but the exact point at which the notification must occur depends on the exact wording of the federal agency’s rules.

    I have no idea whether your employer will fire you under these circumstances. Regarding the revocation of a security clearance, I can say that the important issue is whether there is a legally collectible deficiency balance after the property is eventually sold and how you handle that debt.

  23. Avatar


    A single misdemeanor offense (even if you were found guilty) usually does not amount to a potentially disqualifying condition for a security clearance, unless there are aggravating circumstances.

  24. Avatar

    Nathan: I responsed your question on 23 July at the same location you originally posted the questions as “Worried in Texas.” Check the Q&A under the article on “Employment Suitability Versus Security Clearances” over at the “ClearanceJobs.com” website.

  25. Avatar


    Was it a mistake? Were you read-on to an SCI program at your new employer in March 2008? Unless you occupied an SCI billet at the time of your SSBI-PR was initiated last August, your company at the time could not request that your PR be adjudicated for continued SCI eligibility.

    At any rate your last SSBI-PR will have to be adjudicated for SCI eligibility. Under the new rules (which I don’t think anyone is following) you have to submit a new SF86 if there has been a 2 month break in access, but a new investigation should not be necessary. Clean case adjudication for SCI usually takes about 30 days or less, but times vary from agency to agency.

  26. Avatar


    Of course most of the work was done by contractors. From 1996 to 2005 OPM didn’t even have any federal investigators. And even today the federal investigators represent less than 20% of the total workforce.

    Once again Kathy Dillaman mixes apples and oranges. First she talks about Top Secret and higher level clearances. Then she says they are on track to reaching 90% in 40 days. But 90% in 40 days has nothing to do with Top Secret and higher level clearances. It pertains to investigations for all “initial” security clearances. OPM’s investigations for TS clearances represent less than 15% of their total initial security clearance investigations. And investigations for TS clearances always take longer than investigations for Secret clearances.

    In 1996 when OPM privatized their Office of Federal Investigation (OFI) and USIS was created, there were about 770 OFI employees who went to work for USIS. At last count there were over 9,000 investigative personnel (employees and contractors) working for OPM’s Federal Investigative Services Division. By my count that’s about a 1,200% increase in personnel. By OPM’s count they had a 1,900% increase in investigations for TS clearances from 5,200 to 100,000. For these investigations to increase twice as much as the workforce OPM would have to do about 125,000 TS investigations. Okay, she used the word, “nearly.” But more importantly Dillaman is focusing on one type of investigation that increased dramatically at OPM because prior to 2002 OPM did a disproportionately small number of “higher level investigation (primarily for DOE Q access authorizations). Before 2002 much of OPMs work involved suitability investigations, not security clearance investigation. To put this in perspective in 1990 DIS completed 47,100 BIs, 62,700 SBIs, and 61,000 TSPRs (totaling 170,800 investigations for TS and higher level clearances) with 3,000 investigative personnel.

  27. Avatar

    Hi sorry to ask a second question, but in applying for TS clearance will all of my medical records be accessed?

    About four years ago I was admitted to the emergency room for what I thought might be appendicitis because of very bad and unusual stomach pain.

    I was released after a few hours when all the tests came back negative. I don’t know what my medical records say, but I did tell the doctor I’d had some drinks that night. If that’s noted in the medical report is that going to be a huge red flag like I’m being admitted to the emergency room for excessive drinking?

  28. Avatar

    Mr Henderson,

    Thanks for your time. As usual, you are correct. I did not have an SCI billet last March which ,I guess, is why this happened. I was told they would put me on one.

    Lesson to everyone: make sure when you are up for SSBI/PR, the correct billet is utilized or you’ll end up like me.

    Let’s hope you are also right on the 30 days or less adjudication. A lot is riding on this.

  29. Avatar

    When filling out the SF-86 I disclosed I’d used pot a couple times (under 10) in college. A month or so later I realized there were a couple other times that I wasn’t sure about. I asked to get in touch with the investigator, but my FSO said “wait until your interview”. When that happened I told the investigator that it was somewhere between 5 and 10 (it is probably more like 8) times, that once might have been a few months after I thought the last time was. Also I told them about a time I paid money for a dude to make me pot brownies—I remembered eating them, but didn’t remember paying them until I found a note in my pocket.

    All the drug use was over a year ago. I still have my interim Secret clearance, but they didn’t give me an interim Top Secret, they just sent it straight to adjudication. I have been in adjudication for over 2 months now and nobody has asked me anything. Should I be worried? If they found a big problem, would they have asked me about it, or would it not be my concern?

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    I am suppose to be interviewed today by the FBI for my spouse’s clearance. He already has a Secret Clearance and I am sorry I don’t know what type this is…he said it is hard to explain.. He is subcontracted to the government. The FBI agent said I do not need an ID because the interview is about him…but we need to fill in some gaps….
    My questions…my past mistakes…will they disqualify my husband for his clearance? they were a LONG time ago..(misdemeanor) He told me if he doesn’t get this clearance he will loose his job. He said it was not a T/S..but a special clearance. So how much do they go into my history?

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    Hi I was discharged from the military in 2008, I held a secret clearence while in the military, is it still valid?

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    I obtained Security Clearance in March 2005. I am no longer employed with this Company, where I had to have it, in order be employed. (contractor for USPS) As of May 2009 I was let go, due to a Quality Auto Fail. I am entitled to Unemployment through the state, due to no fault of my own. If I receive Employment at my new job, that may require this SC, will I have to provide the information necessary again. Or does the original stay intact?

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    My house has devalued so I am unable to sell the house in this current economic climate. I must move to Virginia for this new position I’m currently working in. Only 2 options left; Foreclosure or Short Sale… both of which I have no influence over. Remember this mortgage business has been declared a national crisis. What can any of us do, but roll with the punches.

    I am currently in a Federal level interim investigation
    for what is called an agency level clearance. The position is with Department of Homeland Security.

    My history:
    Most of my history is pretty boring (now to my advantage for clearance), and I have never been involved with the law, nor have I done any substance abuse. Don’t drink, and don’t smoke. Really hum-drum lifestyle. I am a consultant, and have had a number of contracts ‘which have been completed’ of the course of my career so there are various former employers around the country which of course required relocation; so moving is just another transition I’m having to make in this process.

    I plan to inform the security officer at my company that I intend to foreclose/short sale my home in order to relocate. Yes; I’m aware this will negatively affect my credit but I can recover over time. I’m wondering what influence the Foreclosure or Short Sale will have on the clearance process.

    I have never been in any financial distress before so all my accounts are current. This will be the most negative thing that I’ve been through financially.

    Will this be a problem?

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    3 months ago I took my fist poly…a week later I was scheduled to take a follow up but had to reschedule due to mandatory training from my current employer. since then 3 months have gone by with no follow up. Should I be concerned? Is this normal? I have sent multiple emails to my sponsor requesting an update but the only response I get back is, “thanks for checking in and that I’m in the pool”

    The only reason I’m asking for advice is because this will be my second TS from a different customer and the poly process the first time around seemed quicker.

    Thanks for your advice,


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    NO!!! There are not an abundant amount of folks to conduct polygraphs.

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    Contractor told me to be expecting a phone call to initiate my TS clearance. I have never had security clearance. In researching and preparing for the process I have found out quite a lot, thank you to this forum btw.

    In July 2001 I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, no insurance, no longer able to work my job waiting tables, and a Full Time Student on summer break. In the subsequent year to two years my medical debts and existing debts were charged off. The total amount of charged off debt is less than $5000.

    I was informally advised that bankruptcy wasn’t an option; but that I should let the debts charge off as I rebuilt my life. Within a few years and with proper maintenance of my credit going forward, that they would gradually fall off of my credit report. My understanding at the time was that a charge off meant that I was no longer liable for the debt.

    Fast forward 7-8 years, my credit is clean, and my charge offs are no longer on the report. However, after reading some sample clearance judgments from DOD website it appears that 1.) I am still liable for the debts and 2.) The credit beaurea still has that info (even though they aren’t reporting it) and the government can access it.

    So, naturally, I want to settle these debts. My question is, as I have no records for who or how much, where do I get that information if it is older than seven years?

  37. Avatar

    How can I find out if my clearance is still valid. I retired from the military in 2003.

  38. Avatar

    JP & Glenn:

    Employers commonly used the terms “active,” “current,” and “expired” to describe the status of a security clearance. “Active” applies people who occupy a position where they hold a security clearance. “Current” applies to people who previously occupied a position where they held a security clearance and whose clearance can be reinstated without a new investigation because certain time limits have not been exceeded. “Expired” applies to people who previously occupied a position where they held a security clearance and whose clearance can not be reinstated because certain time limits have been exceeded. Generally the time limit for clearance reinstatement is 24 months since the person last occupied a position where they held a security clearance and:

    1) No more than 5 years since the last investigation or reinvestigation for a Top Secret clearance or,

    2) No more than 10 years since the last investigation or reinvestigation for a Secret clearance, or

    3) Nor more than 15 years since the last investigation or reinvestigation for a Confidential clearance.

    If a person left a position less than 24 months ago where they held a Top Secret clearance, their TS clearance can be reinstated if the last investigation for their TS clearance was completed less than 5 years ago. This same person can also have a clearance reinstated at the Secret level, if their last investigation was completed less than 10 years ago and 24 months have gone by since they left the position where they held a TS clearance.

  39. Avatar

    Oops. I left out the word “not” between “have” and “gone” in the last sentence.

  40. Avatar

    It could be a problem if your use of marijuana exceeded the 6 times recommended by the “Adjudicative Desk Reference” as the definition for “experimental use” and your adjudicator applies this definition exactly. If they found a big problem that was not completely covered/resolved during your Personal Subject Interview (PRSI), it would be normal to reinterview you. This usually happens before the investigation is completed and sent to adjudication, but sometimes the investigation is reopened for an additional interview at the request of the adjudicator. If the explanation you gave during your PRSI for your mistake about the number of times you used marijuana and the date of last use (as listed on your SF86) is plausible, this mistake should not present a big problem.

  41. Avatar

    Worried D:
    You should not be asked about your past conduct during an interview for your husband’s security clearance. The only security concerns regarding you are current/recent criminal activity and foreign connections.

  42. Avatar

    Sharon Wolf: See my response (and correction) to JP & Glenn above.

  43. Avatar

    Foreclosure or Short Sale:

    A foreclosure falls within the definition of “inability or unwillingness to satisfy debts” under the Adjudicative Guidelines and is therefore a potentially disqualifying condition for a security clearance that needs to be reported. The existence of a potentially disqualifying condition need not result in the suspension, revocation, or denial of a security clearance, if sufficient mitigating conditions exist. For a security clearance adjudicator, the most important considerations are 1) the underlying reason for the foreclosure, 2) the amount of any debt resulting from the foreclosure, and 3) whether the individual acted reasonably and responsibly before, during and after the foreclosure.

    In today’s economic environment many foreclosures have occurred because of circumstances “largely beyond the person’s control.” This is a mitigating condition under the Adjudicative Guidelines applies to foreclosure on a home when the owner must move to another location because of employment and is unable to sell the house. If Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) or other mortgage insurance exists, the insurance will pay the deficiency balance remaining after the property is sold by the mortgage lender. In some states a foreclosure does not result in a legally collectible debt, even if there is a deficiency balance.

  44. Avatar

    Thanks for your prompt answer. Nobody came back to interview me or ask any other questions. I don’t know if it makes a difference, but I already hold a clearance with someone else. I told my client about the issue and they didn’t seem to care. Is it possible that I could hold a clearance with someone else and be rejected by DoD?

  45. Avatar

    Max: If the information you provided in conjunction with your earlier clearance application is the same as the information you ultimately provided during your current investigation, DoD will probably grant your clearance. If not, there is a possibility DoD could deny you a clearance and give the information they have to the agency that granted the clearance you have, for their consideration.

  46. Avatar

    Trang: The answer to your question is covered in Chapter One of my book, Security Clearance Manual. Chapter One is posted at my website at http://www.lastpostpublishing.com/Pages/Chapter1.aspx

  47. Avatar

    bratt_baby: After 2 years you can not get your old clearance back. But you might be able to get a new clearance. I can’t give you much of an opinion on how successful you will be, because you didn’t say exactly what happened. The first step is to find some federal contractor or government agency that is willing to sponsor you for a clearance. Most potentially disqualifying conditions for a security clearance can be mitigated. You should review the “Adjudicative Guidelines for Determining Eligibility for Access to Classified Information”—particularly Guideline E: Personal Conduct and if applicable Guideline J: Criminal Conduct. Just Google “Adjudicative Guidelines.” I like the one posted at the State Department website because it has hyperlinks. Make sure you are looking at the one that was approved in December 2005.

  48. Avatar

    Mary/Moira: It’s past time to get your FSO or security manager to find out what’s going on. Sounds like someone lost or misplaced your case.

  49. Avatar


    1. The government pays for all clearance adjudications and the vast majority of all investigations. In the rare instances where a contractor pays for the investigation, it is either a business expense for them or they obtain reimbursement from the employee.

    2. You will not receive any document from the government indicating that you have a clearance. All federal clearances reside in government databases. Authorized officials who need to verify your clearance can do so using one of the online databases or by letter inquiry to the agency that granted the clearance.

  50. Avatar

    I am conditionally selected for a job however for the SF86, I have to list all previous drug use. I experimented with marijuana for a span of 6 months (about once each month),and have stopped using for about a month now and don’t plan on using ever again. Will it affect my ability to obtain a security clearance?

  51. Avatar

    Thanks again. The information I provided during my current investigation is different from what I gave in my earlier investigation. As I said, I told my client FSO and my client investigator; they said it was not a big deal as long as I just updated the forms. I was told it was not a material omission and not to worry, but DoD is taking a long time.

    It seems to me that the clearance process is not anywhere near as cut and dried as people make it out to be (and maybe as it should be). I cannot decide if the process needs to be standardized more and made more uniform, or taken in the other direction with a wider degree of individual discretion. The halfway point is unpleasant.

  52. Avatar

    AJ: It’s a little to early to tell what effect the issuance of ODNI Intelligence Community Directive (ICD) Number 704 last October will have on SCI applicants with non-US citizen immediate family members. The wording of the Directive is a little ambiguous, but the intent was to make it easier for first- and second-generation immigrants to obtain SCI eligibility. ICD 704 (and its implementing Policy Guidance 704.1 thru 704.5, all of which can be viewed at the “electronic reading room” of the ODNI website) rescinded and replaced Director of Central Intelligence Directive 6/4. You might be interested in my article on “Foreign Influence and Security Clearances,” which was written in September 2008 before ICD 704 was issued. It can be found at https://news.clearancejobs.com/2010/09/05/foreign-influence-and-security-clearances/.

  53. Avatar

    I have been an OPM Reviewer for one year as well as an Investigator with USIS for one year. In addition to that, I just obtained a Masters Degree in Integrated Homeland Security Managment. While I still feel like I need more experience in the Investigator/Reviewer field, I don’t feel like I make enough money as well as I would to know where I can go in the future.

    What career paths I should look into with this experience in order to advance in my career? What type of money should I expect to make in the future with the career paths and if I stay in my current career path?

    Thanks for your response.

  54. Avatar

    I’ve been offered a conditional internship position with the condition that I have to be able to obtain a security clearance. I’ve experimented with drugs (marijuana) within the past year a less than 6 times-just taking a puff. I stopped taking it recently (within the past 2 months) and was wondering if this would deny my security clearance. I have nothing on my records and that is the only blemish in my sf86.

  55. Avatar

    I have been hearing rumors that some agencies are going to be “leaving” OPM’s process of background investigations and either starting their own or going with the Office of Director of National Intelligence. Just wondering if anyone else has any info on this.

  56. Avatar

    Many thanks for the prompt response to the Foreclosure for moving question.

    You’ve really put me at ease, and it is much appreciated.

  57. Avatar


    I had actually heard the opposite-that some of the other agencies were going to be moving over to the OPM process. So much for the consolidation of the process…

  58. Avatar

    I am currently trying to obtain a secret security clearance for a government contractor.

    Recently, four of my friends and I were driving to a concert and were pulled over. One of them had a small amount of marijuana (less than one gram) and a pipe. Upon questioning, none of us incriminated the owner of the substance, and so the officer wrote all four of us possession / paraphernalia tickets.

    Our lawyer was able to secure a plea bargain in which we are only charged with the Paraphernalia ticket, which is just a fine – no jail, no community service, etc.

    Will this paraphernalia ticket exclude me from getting a security clearance? The investigation is through OPM. I have until August 12 to take the plea or to fight the tickets with a jury.

    Thank you.

  59. Avatar

    Forgot to mention, I was not smoking the marijuana, and I took a drug test a few weeks later for my employer which was clean. Will this be a contributing factor in clearance?

  60. Avatar

    I had a security clearance when i served in the Marine Corps.1970-1978.I am wondering how difficult it woul be to get another one.I retired from DOJ..Federal Bureau of prisons and am currently working in Afghanistan.I am also wondering if there is a age limit for these jobs?

  61. Avatar

    Have you considered becoming an adjudicator?

  62. Avatar

    Question: recently accepted an offer to work in Afghanistan as a contractor. Work requires SF85p. I am a recovering alcoholic/addict with a significant past history! I used, bought and sold drugs -anything and everything.. nickel and dime small time; alcohol related arrests DWI’s, and financial problems, long list of dirty laundry -all of which has been resolved, settled, and/or addressed. Specifically, I sought inpatient treatment and have been since been rehabilitated. I have been in recovery now for 4.75 years (after a 25 year history).

    Mitigating factors-considerations in support of my application:

    I demonstrate significant change, continuous personal and professional rehabilitation as evidenced by the following:
    1) Sought help through AA/NA 12-step programs
    2) Sought outpatient medical treatment
    3) Sought inpatient medical treatment
    4) Sought personal counseling for unresolved issues related to death/loss of friend in 1991; and break-up/loss of fiancé’ in 2002
    5) Changed environments; moved to a new city
    6) Discontinued associations with previous “using” associates
    7) Continue to avoid “high risk” drinking/drugging people, situations, and environments
    8) Continue active participation in AA (step & service work)
    9) Work “steps” and addressed character defects and related issues; ongoing
    10) Continuous abstinence for an extended period of over 4 years
    11) Actively nurtures physical, intellectual, and spiritual development building/enhancing resiliency as evidenced by gym membership; formal continuing education, and church participation
    12) Actively (almost daily) participated in recovery support to military service members and contractors while in working in support of OIF/OEF for a continuous period of over 2 years
    13) Actively (almost daily) participated in recovery support to folks on military bases/in Germany for soldiers/civilians
    14) No legal problems or violations of ANY sort in last 4 years
    15) Willing to seek a prognosis from a medical professional –PhD/MD specializing in sub abuse recovery

    During the last 4 years, I completed professional development activity in the following significant areas:
    1) Licensure – as an Independent Clinical Social Worker
    2) Board Certification as a Diplomat of Social Work, anticipated
    3) Qualification as a Department Of Transportation Substance Abuse Professional, anticipated
    4) Certified Employee Assistance Professional (CEAP)
    5) Certificates & advanced training in Critical Incident Stress Management
    6) Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR); First Aid; 2008
    7)And, volunteered on the Disaster Assistance Team(DAT) with the American Red Cross Southeast Louisiana Chapter

    Loyalty-Support of Country
    1)Worked over 2 years in support of OIF/OEF in Theater responding to need/providing EAP/CIS< services in extremely hostile areas.
    2) Currently working as a sub-contractor on behalf of Office of Secretary of Defense

    Do I have a shot at basic SF85P? Thanks, MikeT

  63. Avatar

    I recent resigned as a federal employee from the Department of Energy (DOE) and I have a Q clearance w/ HSPD12 (understanding it’s still active for 2 years provided employment).

    I’m interested in doing some contracting work and would like to transfer my Q clearance to a DoD clearance under some type of reciprocity clause between DOE and DOD. I contacted our headquarters security officer (HSO) and she stated that this was an easy process and that DOE puts there clearances into DISCO and not JPAS. She also said that whoever would pick up my clearance would need to fill out the proper paperwork to transfer/reinstate my clearance and the paper work would go through DISCO, and then to OPM, who would then send out the clearance info to the contracting agency.

    My questions is: 1. what paperwork does the company need to fill out? 2. I thought clearances went into JPAS. Does this paper have an OMB number that I could lookup/download to see an example? 3. Does a Q clearance equal a DoD TS or DoD TS/SCI?



  64. Avatar

    Are there different rules for judges and adjudicators?!?! Applicant with frequent drug use up to 1 month before submitting an SF86 gets her clearance http://ogc.osd.mil/doha/industrial/08-09699.h1.pdf). I know they say they don’t make security clearance decisions in a vacuum, but geez.

  65. Avatar

    This blog is awesome…

    So in April, I was conracted to a commissioning program with the US Army, set to leave for training in early September. I turned in my SF86, and I was under the impression it had been initiated, but I have no way to really tell. Now, my company is being sold and my references are off to bigger and better things, in all different directions. I was hoping the inquiries (basic secret, maybe DNACI because I’m prior service) would have made it out already, but nobody here has seen or heard anything from anybody. I’ve also checked my credit report every few weeks, hoping to see OPM on my credit inquiries section, but no such luck.

    My questions are:

    When OPM checks the credit report, does it always show up?

    Is it (I’ve heard it is) normal policy to begin working the clearance while someone is waiting in the Delayed Entry Program?

    If I don’t see a credit check, should I assume that the most that’s been done is the finger print check when I was at MEPS?

    Very Respectfully,

  66. Avatar

    Thank you first of all for this valuable resource.

    I recently was submitted for a DoD secret which the interim was denied. After which, the full investigation proceeded and I was subsequently interviewed a month ago. I have heard NOTHING of the result of adjudication since then only when I recently asked the sponsoring contractor about it, the response was “I do not have a clearance” – which I take to mean that I was denied the secret – nor will they answer me as to why “I don’t have a clearance.”

    My question is, shouldn’t I be contacted by SOMEONE / ANYONE giving me the result and reason of the adjudication?
    So far, I have had no communication from anyone and like I said, the sponsoring company is not telling me anything. What do I do to find out what happened??

    Any tips / suggestions / information is GREATLY appreciated!


  67. Avatar

    Ponga: The process is explained in my article, “Rebutting and Appealing Security Clearance Denials,” posted at https://news.clearancejobs.com/2009/11/14/rebutting-and-appealing-security-clearance-denials/

  68. Avatar

    J_Jo: Thanks for posting the link. I read the case and was surprised at the decision. Clearance adjudication is all about trying to predict future conduct based on past and current conduct. This case stretches the predictive value of 13 months of abstinence in combination with graduating and leaving college (and college friends) and starting a new life.

    This case probably went through 3 levels of review before it was reviewed by the judge at a hearing. The first three people all felt that it was not appropriate to grant the applicant a clearance. Of course they all made their decisions before the applicant left college and before 13 months had gone by since the last use of marijuana.

    I think most adjudicators (DOHA judges are also adjudicators) view graduating and leaving college as a major life altering event, similar to marriage, starting a family, and completing military basic training. I think that completing military basic training significantly changes a person’s life and things that happened before basic training are probably not at all predictive of what a person will do in the future.

    Of course some so called life altering events can be faked long enough to get a favorable clearance determination. I remember back in the ’80’s when I had a rash of drug using applicants who abruptly stopped doing drugs a few days before their security interview, because they had “found” God and this experience had turned their life around.

  69. Avatar

    Thank you Mr. Henderson for your reply.

    With the information you provided, I now assume that my case has been sent to DOHA.

    Would you happen to know how long the DOHA process is taking these days for a DoD secret or how long I can expect to wait for a decision?

    Thanks again!

  70. Avatar

    I agree that the girl is probably not going to do drugs again, and leaving college is very much a transformative experience. What is surprising to me here is the timeline, especially with the frequency of her drug use. I would have expected the judge to deny her but with a “future potential” (you guys really need to define that term legally) for clearance in a year or so.

    What the case really hammers home for me is that there is tremendous leeway in pretty much every category. At its best the system does try to afford as much personal consideration to the applicant, rather than enforcing rigid rules that may not apply. This is important because ultimately rigid rules will not determine whether or not a person should be in a position of trust. On the other hand, it makes work like yours a lot harder.

    Also I don’t think anyone should try to predict anything based on adjudication time. I know someone whose case took 3 years end-to-end when he didn’t even have any red flags. Sometimes your paperwork gets lost. Sometimes the adjudicator has an enormous backlog. Sometimes a new presidential administration comes in and contractors have the least priority…

  71. Avatar

    I am a consultant with a TS clearance. I bought a home three years ago in SW Florida and the home is now worth $150,000 less then what I paid for it. I have a great credit score above 800 and currently and no other debt issues besides being “upside down” with my condo. The current contract I am working on ends a the end of 2010. My goal is to move to the DC area within a year for better job opportunities in the security field. I want to be positioned in the DC area in case my current contract is not renewed. My only options are a short sale or foreclosure or deed in lieu of foreclosure. I am wondering how this will effect my TS clearance as I go forward? I have never missed a mortgage payment, credit card payment, any payment at all. I don’t plan to just walk away without contacting my lender. I plan on exploring all possibilities with them. Thank you for your help.

  72. Avatar

    I’m a government employee of six years. I recently got arrested for DUI. I immediately disclosed the incident to my supervisor. I have court coming up in September. This is my first arrest and first DUI charge. I have seeked help from EAP and I’m awaiting their assistance. I hold a secret clearance with my current agency.

    Issue one: How will this affect my current job? Will I be fired? What sort of disciplinary actions am I looking at?

    Issue two: I just received a conditional offer of employment from another government agency (law enforcement). I plan on disclosing the DUI arrest when submitting my e-QIP, which will be within thirty days.

    Will the DUI arrest be an automatic disqualifier for continuing in the hiring process? Do I have a chance of getting hired?

    Any help will be greatly appreciated!

  73. Avatar

    Under the new clearance procedures that go into effect next year, what is the “enhanced subject interview” that is required for all TS (Tier 3) clearances? Does “enhanced” mean that a polygraph is always used? I know that some TS clearances currently don’t require polygraphs.

  74. Avatar

    I have been working in defense contracting for the past two years but have never held a clearance. I always avoided jobs with clearances because I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder over 10 years ago and take medication. I also used street drugs sporadically (although I never sold) for about a 10 year period starting when I was a young teenager. The last time I used was in spring 2006 when I snorted a line of cocaine at a party. It was only the second time I had used such a hard drug (most of what I did was pot smoking). Since that incident, I have been 100 percent clean and straight and do not even hang around anyone who uses any type of drug. My criminal record is clean; I only have a few traffic tickets over the years on there, and I have never sold any drugs to anyone.

    I found a job listing with the FBI that fits me to a T, but it requires that I be able to obtain a Top Secret with SCI clearance. Will my disorder (under control for many years) and my past drug use disqualify me? I am very enthusiastic about the job and think I make a good candidate, but I do not want to go for a job that I will be fired from if I can’t pass the clearance.

    Thank you!

  75. Avatar


    Thanks for the response. I have considered becoming an adjudicator. I’m not sure what agencies are hiring for that and what money there is to be made in that field for contractors or federal employees. What are the salary possibilities, advancement opportunities, and where could I go to find a job as an adjudicator? I live in the Baltimore/Washington area, so I know there are opportunites.

    Even if I become an adjudicator, is that the last step in terms of job growth in the security clearance field?


  76. Avatar

    Mike: Under the most recent BRAC the military will relocate most of their Central Adjudication Facilities to Fort Meade, MD. Most of them are already in the greater Washington/Baltimore area, except for DISCO and part of DOHA which are in Columbus, OH. Many adjudicators will not want to move and may choose to quit or retire. This should result in a number of vacancies at Fort Meade. I believe these positions range from GS-09 to GS-13(senior supervisory adjudicator) with perhaps one or two positions at each CAF at the GS-14 level (just guessing).

  77. Avatar

    Thanks William! If anyone else has suggestions, I’m all ears!

  78. Avatar

    I just found out my case was sent to DOHA about a month or two ago. Aside from some people getting letters to check about my residences, nobody contacted me. Do I need to start preparing for the denial process now?

  79. Avatar

    (clarifying above) That is to say, since it’s been at least two months since my case went to DOHA, and nobody’s contacted me, should I assume they’re preparing to send me an SOR? I can’t help but think that since they’ve been holding onto my case for so long that they just want to deny me.

  80. Avatar

    Personnel Security Specialist or FSO may be next for you after adjudications. There is a little more responsibility with these positions as you know.

    I would be very interested in becoming an adjudicator. I think being an adjudicator would be more rewarding than a reviewer.

    Good luck in your endeavors!!

  81. Avatar

    I was wondering if an investigation for a SECRET security clearance, or SSBI looked for any records from the Medical Information Bureau? I ask this because i don’t have a personal file under the MIB because i have always been under a parents health coverage. If this is looked into, will not having my own file of records slow the process down significantly?

  82. Avatar

    I don’t have a current security clearance. Why do most government contractor jobs require it in advance? Isn’t this a form of discrimination by requiring it when all other skills are present? Is there a government requirement that says a person has to have a clearance prior to working for a government contractor? This is very frustrating when you can’t do anything about it. Thanks for any help.

  83. Avatar

    Hi William, Thanks for the earlier response dtd 29 July 2009. I did follow your advice and contacted the DSS in OH regarding the status of my clearance. Per them it is still current and my problem at my last position and the fact that I was forced to resign was not in their database or if it was they did not indicate that it was. I mentioned the problem when I wrote to them. Is there somewhere else that this negative information would be reported? I almost had a position earlier this year but the agency rescended their offer because of the past resignation. I did what I thought I was suppose to do and answered yes to the “have you ever resigned because you knew you were going to be terminated” question on the OF 306 form and told a brief statement of what had transpired. I have been told that I most likely will not be able to work for the government again by my previous boss. I keep applying and keep hoping. Will it help to attach the letter I received from DSS stating that I still have a favorable clearance or will it just not matter?


    Bratt Baby

  84. Avatar


    If you are under 37–get out of this business and use that degree to work for DHS as an investigator or special agent. Most folks with that degree are hired fairly quickly as the program was designed in conjunction with DHS.

  85. Avatar


    Usually this is a contract requirement as the job must be filled quickly. I agree with you in the fact that many good folks are overlooked because of the clearance. If I were you, I would apply for jobs that require clearances. There are times companies will pick folks up without and sponsor their clearances. Start getting your name in front of people irregardless of the clearance requirement.

  86. Avatar


    Thanks for the info. Can you tell me where to find jobs in that field? What websites, how to look them up, etc. I just cannot seem to find them. Thanks!

  87. Avatar


    Try searching on jobs boards for keywords like “clearable” or “clear-able” or “eligible” AND “clearance”. Also, government agencies (i.e. CIA, NSA, DoD agencies) tend to be more willing to grant clearances.

  88. Avatar

    I got my clearance.
    Got the job offer in September.
    Started processing clearance in January.
    I had dual citizenship, I had to renounce that.
    My credit is ‘fair’, but to my defense I had paid off all delinquent accounts and incurred the delinquencies when I was a poor college kid.
    My parents/siblings are not citizens so I had to have a personal interview with the investigator.
    Once got fired from one of my retail jobs for a cash register shortage but I didn’t take the money.
    I was honest about all of this on my SF-86 and interview.
    The case got closed out in March (Pretty quick) but adjudication seemed to take forever.
    Got the call today, that my clearance had been granted.
    Just wanted to encourage anyone who might be in my situation. Keep hope alive people! 🙂

  89. Avatar


    Google the agencies and link directly to theit site and follow the links to apply. Don’t forget agenicies like Fed Air Marshal Service or (FAMS) and ICE and Border Patrol.

    Also go to USA Jobs and query series numbers 1811, 1810 and 0080.

  90. Avatar


    Great advice–I had never even thought of something like that. Hey, may come in handy for me 🙂

  91. Avatar

    Bratt_Baby: Almost any unfavorable issue information in a person’s background can eventually be fully mitigated for both security clearance and employment suitability. Getting a job offer with potentially disqualifying issue(s) in your background is a different matter. It’s an area where I have no special knowledge or experience. Good luck,

  92. Avatar

    In 2006 I was disqualified from a police dept. BI for using marijuana. I now am getting an SSBI going back ten years for a position with Customs. I fully disclosed my drug usage on my eQuip. My question is will a background investigator be able to find my application from the police dept?

  93. Avatar

    I have a question regarding Mental Health and a TS SSBI clearance.
    I had filled out an EQIP in late 2007 for a contractor position with DHS. I had to go 10 years back and had an interview with an investigator. The investigator talked in person to all of my references,neighbors,employers etc..I was under the impression this was a TS clearance as the investigation was so extensive. I think the clearance was classified a a C6?

    Now fast forward to current time. I have applied for a fed position with a government agency. I passed all the interviews and am currently going through the Security Clearance process which requires a TS SSBI. When I went in to complete the EQIP it still had all of my old information. I updated the last years worth of info and submitted.

    The problem I am running into is as follows. When I completed the EQIP for DoS. Question 21 asks about counseling for mental health. It states to list everything except Combat Stress/Non violent-Marital counseling. I was deployed to Iraq from 2006 to 2007.I had witnessed some pretty traumatic events which led to some anxiety issues. I visited a Combat Stress specialist and was placed on anti anxiety meds. I have made 2 visits with civilian shrinks since returning home to evaluate the medicine. The last doc told me that it was no longer needed.

    considering ALL of the counseling was related to the Combat Stress I answered NO to question 21 on the EQIP. The investigator interviews my ex wife who tells them I had seen a counselor. The investigator brings this info to me and I explain the situation, i stated it was combat stress related but he insisted i provide the doctors info which I did. Now the clearance is being worked by the adjudicator and he calls me up letting me know that he needs to have medical history forms filed out by both Civilian shrinks? Am I going to get dinged for answering NO to question 21 even though its all related to the Combat?

    The next problem is when I filled out my first EQIP in 2007 for DHS I had just returned home from Iraq and I answered NO to question 21. This was before they modified the verbiage to the question. At the time I had not see any civilian shrinks and had only seen the military combat stress clinic in Iraq. I didn’t list this as I did not consider this a “Mental Issue”.. Now in hind site I wish I would have. Are they going to go back and look at my old EQIP?
    Am I going to be denied my clearance for listing NO on the first EQiP, considering it conflicts with the information they now have? I should have just never seen the counselor and saved myself a LOT of trouble.


  94. Avatar

    Going through a security clearance right now and am concerned about my credit. Mainly late payments and a couple of accounts closed by the credit granter after payment in full. Will this disqualify me?

    If I answered no to all the questions does that mean I am good to go or do they research further than the questions?

  95. Avatar

    Kaine, without getting too personal. What was your credit like? Late payments? 30 days, 60 days, 120 days?


  96. Avatar


    I may be going for a job that will either require an 85p or 86 (Secret) and was curious about a couple of things:

    Does the 7 year scope run from the day of the form back exactly 7 years to the day? That is, if it’s August 15 2009 when and I fill out the form, do I go back only to August 15 2002 when listing any incidents?

    If I have incidents that fall out of that 7 year scope, I assume a BI will uncover them, but are they relevant to the process considering they fall outside the scope in question?

    Thank you.

  97. Avatar

    I was granted a Interim Secret on March 29, & it was withdrawn April 03. They claim the granted me an interim in error. What does this mean?

  98. Avatar


    7 years back is correct. If it isn’t required listing than don’t. If something comes-up out of the 7 years, you will just be asked to explain.

  99. Avatar


    Denial of an interim does not mean you will not be cleared. Sounds like there was an issue listed and the authority granting the interim messed up. There are a lot of reasons interims are denied, but most issues are mitigated in the investigation.

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    I submitted my SF86 on March 29, I left off a conviction because it happen in 2004. However I was instructed that where it says have you “Ever” been convicted of a crime I didn’t need to place it there either because I was told that it still pertains to the 7 years. Today an investigator called me to set up a private interview, I never imagine that it would be this soon. Should I be concerned being that I just submitted my Eqip on March 29? Also I don’t remember every little thing from the past, will they look at me as a liar if something pops up that I didn’t provide information on my SF86 about. I’m so nervous, I really need my job & it depends on this clearance. Also my interim was withdrawn on April 3rd is it possible that after this interview it will be re granted?

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    I have a situation that I’m not sure if this is the forum for it but I’m desperate looking for guidance.
    I’ve been accused of military demotion and own money to the department of defense but I’m a civilian and that person it’s not me. I opened a case with them but they closed it as resolved once they took all the money from my taxes. How I can find the right way to get a fair investigation and people to fix my credit and return my money?
    I will appreciate and help or guidance!

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    Going for a new job opportunity will requie SF-86 , T’S clearance.
    I have an offense from 1993 , charged no conviction, expunged.

    I understand the look back is 7-10 years. This was 20 yrs ago & squeaky clean since not even a parking ticket.

    My Question is when SSBI is completed, will record search on Fed database still see this? Or will record search go for just last 10 yrs.

    If I’m asked is there anything they should know about me? Do I reveal to be honest saying 20 yrs ago & say charge, & advise record expunged?

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    My question is regarding whether an ongoing investigation (TS/SCI) can be stopped if the individual being investigated quits their current position before or after it goes to adjudication. The investigation has been initiated and all of my references have been interviewed. When I return from overseas I will complete my personal interview and that should be the last step of the process. If I quit my current position beforehand can the investigation be stopped? I have been told that once it starts it doesn’t stop unless something extraordinary happens but I have no idea if this is accurate. The security office I must go through has a poor level of personnel support and I don’t want to ask this for obvious reasons.

    Additionally, how long should it take from the time a request is submitted to schedule times for my personal interview until the time I am informed when the interview will occur? I have to do this on my R&R and haven’t heard anything after requesting these dates 3 weeks ago. I’m sure it varies but it don’t understand the delay and haven’t received a response from the security official. Thanks!

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    Hello. I received interim security clearance in May. Today I was informed that my interim clearance has been withdrawn. Therefore I had to turn in my badge, etc (humiliating experience). I dont understand what this means. I didnt lie on any of my forms (to my knowledge). I had an interview with the investigator back in May when I originally got the clearance. She informed me that everything seemed ok (although she did say that she isnt the one that has the decision making power). My security officer also informed me that a withdrawal of an interim clearance is really rare, and that I wont know the reason until later on (if I am fully rejected). This is extremely stressful. Any advice?

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    Prior active duty. Had a secret clearance. Clearance was suspended for a positive urine analysis. Received an administrative discharge and a general discharge. No court martial, no criminal record resulted as of all this. Still qualify for things like student aid and va benefits. Administrative discharge reason was misconduct.

    To my understanding a suspension is in place until after an adjudication is reached in whatever criminal investigation was conducted. Once the criminal side was completed, then the clearance is determined if its going to be revoked.

    I’ve read a positive drug test would require some sort of rehab therapy to be completed prior to being eligible for clearance again.

    What do you guys make of my situation? Its been 10 years. Am I sol on a new clearance for a aerospace/defense (like raytheon) position?

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    I had a NACI investigation conducted back in 2005. Since then I’ve worked as a contractor for several civilian agencies which only required Public Trust in order to obtain a PIV card.

    I just got a contingent offer to work at a new civilian agency that depends on me passing the NACI background investigation. My questions are as follows:

    1. How long do NACI investigations last? I’ve heard that they can remain active for 10 years but I’m not certain. If that’s the case, would the agency be able to just confirm one exists or would they begin a new one altogether.

    2. Is a credit check required for a NACI?

    3. On average, how long does a NACI take to complete? Fortunately I haven’t yet resigned from my current position until the NACI investigation is complete, but would like to be able to plan ahead somehow.

    4. I have a Federal Debt (Taxes) which I’m paying as part of a payment plan agreed with the IRS. I reached this agreement with the IRS about 18 months ago and since then I’ve been making consistent monthly payments as required. I am able to submit written proof of both the agreement as well as payments made. Would this issue prevent me from passing the NACI investigation?

  107. Avatar

    I am in the process of filling out an SF85 form so I can get a NACI investigation for my new job as a federal contractor. I have a few questions/concerns regarding the process:

    1. How does the inquiry part of the process work? Are all of the references I list contacted and questioned or just a handful? If the latter, how are they chosen?

    2. What kinds of questions do they ask my references and how many questions/how long will it take my references to complete the inquiry? (so I can give them an idea of what’s going to happen/what might be asked of them)

    3. Throughout the end of high school and the beginning college (2009-2011), I went through somewhat of a “phase” where I smoked marijuana “frequently”– on the weekends with trusted friends. I never got in trouble with the law and never had any signs of addiction. The form only asks me about my drug use in the past year. How do I handle my past marijuana use? Will the interviewer ask my references about drug use prior to one year ago, even though the form does not ask about it?

    4. During my freshman year of college (February 2010), I was involved in an incident where a girl attacked me and I responded by fighting back in self-defense. She got beat up pretty badly (she was about 100lbs. v my 130lbs.) and her mom pressed charges against me (assault and battery). When I found out that there was a warrant out for my arrest, I immediately turned myself into the local police. We went to court, where the only charge against me was DROPPED (and my record was later expunged). To my knowledge, the form doesn’t ask about charges that were dropped. How do I go about mitigating this incident?

    5. What is the deal with traffic violations? I am in the middle of getting a speeding ticket taken care of (just finished an online driving course and am waiting for the certificate to get sent to the court). I also have one unpaid parking ticket that I got last week, but I plan to argue it (however I will pay it off ASAP if that will help the process). This will be my third traffic violation and the end of a long list of parking tickets (all of which, except the one, have been paid. How will this affect my chances?

    While it seems that I have many issues that could bar me from receiving a favorable NACI check, none of them (besides the tickets) have been in the past year, and I have (what I think is) a reasonable explanation for everything. Overall, I am a trustworthy and responsible person, and I have several references who I’m pretty sure will agree. What are my chances that any or all of these incidents will prevent me from receiving a favorable NACI investigation?

    Thanks so much for your time.

  108. Avatar

    During my adjudication for my 5-year periodic re-investigation (SSBI) for TS/SCI access I was laid off and the adjudication was subsequently never completed.

    It is currently 7 years since my last adjudicated investigation. I have never received anything indicating my clearance was revoked or denied. My question is: Am I still cleared?

    A follow up question is : What can I legally saw on my resume regarding my clearance.

    Thank you in advance.

  109. Avatar

    Six months ago I had my TS and working for a company that requires a TS. I left that company and my new company requires a Public Trust. Does that mean that I’ve lost my TS and can’t apply for jobs as an active TS holder?


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      That is correct. You should have been debriefed when you left your TS position and it would have been administratively withdrawn. You are allowed to state when you held the previous position you had a TS.

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    Does an adverse employment suitability determination from the NSA mean that you will never be reconsidered for employment there again?

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      You are allowed to reapply unless they issued you a debarment letter, however, you would have to disclose the fact that your last investigation was not favorably adjudicated.

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    I currently possess a TS clearance with a CI polygraph which was being upgrade for an SSBI with another agency. The agency who is upgrading me was expediting my clearance so they can start me as soon as possible. OPM called me last week stating that they have a concern that I may possibly be subject of concern to be blackmailed because my parents who I reassured them I am not close with are not given full details on my relationship with my boyfriend and how we live together. They asked me if I had their cooperation to have them tell my parents everything about my boyfriend and I explained to them that I am not close to my parents, am moving back to their house in 2 months, and that they are going through marriage issues because my father was cheating on my mother so it is not something I want to put on their plate right now. I reassured OPM that my parents knew my boyfriend just not full details of our relationship and that my brother even sent them pictures of us. OPM told the agency who wanted to hire me that they were requesting to extend my clearance time which the agency withdrew their offer to me because they need someone immediately, this also stops the entire investigation for my SSBI clearance with OPM. The agency said once I resolve whatever issue I can give them a call and they will resume my application for employment. I am moving back to my parents and have broken up with my boyfriend (do not have a boyfriend at all). I am going to contact the agency in 3 months in hopes to resume my application for employment which will restart my investigation over. Do you think this issue will continue of OPM wanting to speak to my parents? Will this be noted on my record whenever I apply for another clearance? Also, if I denied OPM the right to speak to my parents about my boyfriend why would they tell the agency they wanted to continue to investigate? Would they just talk to friends and family to see why I wasn’t close to my parents or why I didn’t want them to know full details of my boyfriend?

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    Back in 2012 I got stopped in Walmart for theft. I never got charged, never got arrested, no police reports, no actual punishment but I just had to pay double of what was taken which was about $25-50 total. Although I was not arrested or charged a police officer was there for security purposes. Is this something I should report on my SF86? The form itself asks if I was arrested (no) and if I had any charges (no). I am unsure as to informing the investigator of this situation considering the fact it was very old and nothing really happened.

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      To be on the safe side I would list it under additional comments or other information just to be on the safe side so that there is no chance whatsoever anyone could accuse you of trying to hide this information and then have your honesty and integrity questioned. The incident itself is minor and if that is all you have issue-wise it will not impact your ability to get a clearance.

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    I have an opportunity to be a supervisor security officer -chief security officer,(CSO),w/GS14(10) with EX privileges.I would need a top secret/SCI. In my background I’ve had security clearances in the army, and high tech industries including medical and high risk buildings. From being outside of the bureau I’m looking to learn some of the acronyms just to update or clarify my understanding and or any changes that may have occurred since leaving corporate America for 10 to 12 years to run my own company. This opportunity avails itself with little to no competition with my 25 years experience in doing mission critical voice video and data that includes physical security, intellectual security, Internet Security, espionage and leading a very large amount of corporate executives to. I don’t have anything in my past to think about that would keep me from getting my security. I held those levels as well being an NBC commander at headquarters in Europe. Everything I feel comfortable with and would like to know more about these 58 forms and what forms I might see moving forward after being selected for an interview followed up by classes etc. Please advise of some of the processes for currently obtaining security clearance from the Bureau. I have a CBI for 16 years to conceal carry and would have that to fall back on as well as the corporate security from the last 25 years. Please advise an A to Z and or resources I could read and brush up on security lingo and acronyms. Thanks,

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      You should do your own research for the duties specific to the job, but the best resource for all things security is: http://www.dss.mil/

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    Questions (top secret clearance investigation)- SF 86 submitted Feb 7th, subject interview in march, investigator submitted for adjudication at end of march. Late may, clearance has not been adjudicated, but I have not received a letter of intent to deny yet.

    I have a foreclosure as of this year- ex girlfriend was supposed to sell house within “reasonable amount of time” per court order, but let it foreclose instead. Ex girlfriend sued me, got a settlement stating she got my equity but needed to get house in her name. Had previous written agreement that was not a solid contract. (Hence lawsuit). Explained to investigator that I wasn’t going to see a dime from house after lawsuit, which is why I did not attempt to get it out of foreclosure.
    Heavy consumer of alcohol, but no alcohol related charges. Made it clear I drink twelve beers or more on days off, 4 or 5 on days I work.
    Have been accused by wife’s ex husband of child abuse, interviewed by police but not charged.
    Have had cops called on me when my stepson ran down the street, and neighbor walked them back. Had consumed alcohol at time, neighbor was social worker and called cops.

    Any idea how much longer I will be waiting for a response, and whether I have a good shot at getting a clearance? (again, no letter of intent to deny yet, been almost two months since investigation turned in? If the adjudication phase takes a while, is that a sign it might be denied?)

  115. Avatar

    I currently have a TS/SCI clearance. I’m about to renew my clearance and have a question about marijuana use. Through a lapse in judgement, I used marijuana two times while on a trip to Amsterdam in 2010. This was five years ago and I’ve not touched the stuff since. I plan on being honest in my Sf86, will this affect my chance of keeping my TS/SCI?

    I’m worried since I had the clearance when I did it, not sure how this will look on me.

  116. Avatar

    I am getting a BMI background check for a job at a hospital as a nurse. I had a physical control 6 closer to 7 years ago 2009. Will this show up on my back ground check? I did not add it, when it ask about being convicted of a crime. Will this prevent me from getting job?

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    @vivian, not familiar with your terminology (BMI, physical control), however, not disclosing required information on security applications is disqualifying if found out, depends on the organization and how they view it.

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    HI I really appreciate for creating this page which helps number of aspirants. I have a question for which I was searching internet since couple of months. I have bad credit history in UK, will that have negative impact on SSBI clearance. Because some of the sources online mentioned that SSBI will track the 10 years of candidates personal and financial information.