Obtaining Security Clearance

Ask Your Clearance Questions – Part 22

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  1. Avatar

    I’ve been waiting for a security clearance background investigation to complete for a year now. For the past 6 months, I have been working on unclass progrects while I have been waiting.

    Today, my company informed me that the government entity performing the clearance contacted my boss and had “questions about my clearance”. My boss found out they wanted to know if I was “mission critical”. Apparently, my boss said that if he were to reply yes I’m mission critical, I would be granted a clearance, but something about being red flagged in the system??? Anyone have an idea as to what that means?

    I have not been revoked nor approved for a clearance, but the company laid me off due to this unexplained circumstance.

    The company said they cannot find out anymore info about the status of my background check due to privacy laws, but I can find out this information. If I can find out and let them know what these “questions” are, or what the hold up is, I may be able to get my job back.

    No one I’ve talked to can explain what this situation means either. If the adjudication office has questions about something, why haven’t they contacted me? Also, there is nothing in my past that I did not divulge on my SF86, and if there was a serious issue with a past incident, wouldn’t they revoke the clearance or send another field investigator to interview me?

    • Avatar

      I call BS on your boss–that didn’t even make sense.

  2. Avatar

    I have accepted a job at a defense contractor and started the clearance process before going to work. It has been a month since I submitted my paperwork but no investigators have contacted me yet. I was planning to move to my new work location (several states away) in a couple weeks, but if I move before the investigation closes, will I need to refile the eQIP paperwork to show my new place of residence? What if I move before the investigation opens?

  3. Avatar

    Maybe this isn’t so complicated, but I do not know my status. Hel appreciated.

    The day my personal interviewed was finished, I sent a letter to OPM under the FOIA to request my full file when it was completed. The basic reason was I had never seen one and was just curious.

    Yesterday, I got it and to my horror, the following statement was made:


    “The investigation is CLOSED.”

    24 hours of terror feeling like I was going to go to work today and be dismissed within my probationary period at a DoD civilian GS11. So, after thinking about whom I could talk to in confidence, I went to my local agency security officer.

    He put my SSN into the JPAS and up comes “closed” and “SECRET eligible” with the date of yesterday – exactly one month after the date of the completed OPM report.

    The Security Officer told me that the Agency does not approve or disprove clearances. It is between OPM and the Army. There was nothing on the OPM that I could discern of heir reasoning for a finding of ‘do not grant’. No SOR has been received by me. There are no code sheets attached to the OPM report. In fact, there is nothing that indicated whom it went to after OPM. The cover letter states that the FBI will send me their report under a separate cover. The SO stated that “SECRET eligible” means “approved”. I am old enough to not make assumptions, but afraid to pursue my line of questioning officially – for concern that it will open a can of worms and lead to an unwanted reevaluation.

    1. Is the investigation really done until five years is up or something I do triggers a new one?

    2. Will the unfavorable OPM comments affect a later application for TOP SECRET – all others items remaining the same or improved in my personal and personnel history?

    3. I still have 9 months official probation in my new job; and it’s alleged that new employees are really on a 3 year probation. Will the OPM comments be considered when I apply for a GS12 slot next year?

    4. Is it true that failing a clearance application or having one revoked effectively ends State or Federal employment and nearly any future prospects to successfully re-apply (since it is made a part of one’s permanent file in DEERS (?) and other databases?

    5. Where is the appeal process located? I cannot find it on the Internet or in our Agency’s Intranet. The SO did not know, either.

    Thanks fellow warfighters!

    • Avatar

      All of the reports say that statement–don’t sweat it. The FBI will not send anything of consequence. They simply protect the info and how they obtain. You have nothing to worry about.

  4. Avatar

    Hello, I am in DESPERATE need of some guidance and information:

    I was chosen a few days ago as a finalist for the exclusive Presidential Management Fellowship. I never dreamed I would actually be accepted. In order to fully become a fellow, I must secure employment within 1 year. This of course entails a security clearance.

    I’ll limit my questions to the SF 85 only. While I ideally would like an SF 86 security clearance, perhaps to work at the State Department, I doubt I would be cleared.

    First, let me say I am currently in a graduate program. I last smoked marijuana on March 1. I used 1 month before that. Before that, I probably used marijuana around 10 times in the previous 6 months, though I can’t recall the exact instances. This was mostly done at parties.

    In addition, I took adderall I did not have a prescription for at least 4-6 times since December, possibly as many as 10, though I believe 6 is the closest number. The most recent time was extremely recent, though I took an extremely minor quantity, not even enough to feel any notable effects.

    I plan to disclose this information in full, of course, and to cease using any illegal substances from this point on.

    Do I have any hope of getting cleared for an SF 85 background investigation? What can I do to help mitigate this usage?

    Let me know if you need anymore information. I feel so bad about my drug use that it’s bothering me everyday. Thank you so much.

  5. Avatar

    Hello, I’m in DESPERATE need of help and information.

    I was recently named as a finalist for the prestigious Presidential Management Fellowship. It’s a huge honor and a dream come true, but to actually begin the fellowship, I need to start federal employment within the next year. Ideally I’d like to pass an SF 86 clearance, but I doubt that’s possible, so I’ll limit my questions to the SF 85.

    First, let me say I am currently in graduate school. About two months ago is the last time I smoked marijuana, taking about two puffs at a party. I did it a month before that, and maybe 10-15 times in the entirety of the past year, all within the last 6 months (October to March 1). I used in social situations, mostly at parties with friends.

    I also took small doses of adderall several times from a prescription that wasn’t mine. Usually I did this in doses small enough to feel almost no effect, but preferred it to coffee due to bladder-related issues. I did this perhaps 6 times since December, but maybe as many as 10. It’s difficult to remember exactly how many.

    I very VERY much regret these mistakes, and have zero intent of using drugs at any time in the future. At the time, I didn’t understand the consequences of these actions, and I never dreamed I would make PMF finalist.

    My question is, what is my likelihood of passing an SF-85? Some other factors to consider:

    I am at school far from where I lived/plan to live, where most of the drug use occurred. My environment will change in June, upon graduation.

    I do not plan to keep contact with friends I have used drugs with.

    I would be more than happy to sign a statement of intent to never use illegal drugs again, and to adhere to that promise.

    I have one year to find appointment, but my last adderall use was very recent. I would like to start work in September or October. (5-6 months from now)

    What are my chances, and what can I do to increase those odds? Thank you to anyone who has input.

  6. Avatar


    I’d honestly wait before trying to undergo the process. Your use is very, very, very recent and I highly doubt you’d be able to pass an investigation. Stay clean and maybe try again in a year?

  7. Avatar


    You will not need to refile your paperwork. Update your address with the investigator during the interview, if you’ve already moved.

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    It sounds like you were cleared. The information you were provided seems like maybe it was an internal thing? Like something may have been found but could be mitigated? I’m not sure. Your secret is good for ten years. you would only need to appeal if you were denied,

  9. Avatar


    If you posted twice–your own explanations contradicts itself. I suggest you post a little less personal info about yourself and just ask basic questions. Not trying to be a hard-ass, but if you proceed, you must be able to give an explanation to your investigator. If need be, write down the explanation in advance, so you are not giving varying stories. You do not have to provide the investigator your notes, but it will keep you on track. I hope it works-out for you, but I’d have to agree with Contractor–only passage of some time will help mitigate the issues IMO.

  10. Avatar

    Bob Kelly

    Was there a reason an investigator had to interview you? Typically, if you have a Secret–something triggered an interview. If so, if you feel comfortable sharing the info, let us know. Also, did any of your past employers or references get questionnaires?

  11. Avatar

    Thx for the response. I lived in Russia and was married to a Russian (who has been a US Citizen for 7 years – and we have been back I the US since 2001). I traveled extensively for other employers: Columbia, China, etc. and lived in other Countries as an expat. Other than that, I have to criminal, etc. Matter of fact, I am well known in that I am former military who help a clearance and more than 20 years CHL / CCW permit. Minor civil stuff as one would expect at age 57. So, maybe someone had nothing better to do. The odd part is that I could not understand to whom or where the OPM information went after they closed it.
    As I wrote, I should probably leave it ‘as is’ and accept my Secret Eligible until they bring it up again. However, my SO here says that they are some employees in this Agency with 40 years of service who have never been reinvestigated!

  12. Avatar

    How much time should I wait? Is six months appropriate?

  13. Avatar

    I have to start my job within one year. Does it matter that it’s an SF 85 investigation?

  14. Avatar


    The foreign affairs is no doubt what caused it. Good idea to let it go if you have already been adjudicated favorably. Don’t worry about the TS. It is essentially adjudicated the same way and of course you will get another interview. There are folks that have their clearances suspended for many reasons and then reinstated after a review. If you need an SCI, it may run into some snags, but if it’s just collateral TS, I see no reason you would have too much trouble……just my .02…..but, I would avoid travels to areas like China, Russia…..all of us retired military have similar issues with deployments…..etc…..foreign contacts

    Thanks for your service

  15. Avatar


    If it’s something you want and have time constraints–then try it. One sure way of not being cleared and landing what you want–is not trying. The worst that could happen is they don’t clear you yet. No harm in trying. Don’t let our opinions stop you–they are simply opinions and investigators do not make determinations.

  16. Avatar

    Well, I guess it doesn’t matter as much anyway, as I misunderstood being accepted as a semi-finalist for being a finalist in the fellowship. Pretty crushed right now, but I’d still like to be a federal employee more than anything else.

    How long should I wait before applying to a federal job?

    Are some agencies more lenient than others?

    Will the security clearance take longer if I decide to work abroad in France? How much of a problem is that?

    What else can I do to mitigate, besides passage of time?

  17. Avatar

    Thanks a lot BW, I appreciate it. Do investigators make recommendations or just report facts?

  18. Avatar


    Investigators don’t make reccommendations. We simply collect and report the information required by the adjudicators.

  19. Avatar

    Sorry I’m posting so much, last question. Can travel count against you? I frequenly visit my fiance in europe, but he’s a US citizen.

  20. Avatar


    Travel no big deal in Europe unless you have foreign contacts/friends or had trouble with any Police agency.

  21. Avatar


    You need to re-evaluate your career plans. Simply being a federal employee is not plan, you can be a federal secretary, attorney, doctor, test passer-outer, fire line digger, etc. If you want to work in a field requiring a background check, be it for suitability or security, time to stop playing around with drugs and stop abusing prescription medications.

    Maybe put some of your energy into gaining some experience. I had to intern for years, worked at the state and local level and finally was accepted into a federal student co-op and then full-time into a federal agency.

    Plus, have you paid any attention to what is going on with the federal workforce? It’s not like it was and it will be getting even worse as far as pay, benefits and stability.

    Just my two cents.

  22. Avatar

    I just found out my clearance has been denied and my company let me go because I can’t work there without a clearance.

    There is nothing major in my life that would get this clearance revoked except a bunch of little minor BS things that have happened to me in the past 7 years.

    Anyways, my questions are, once I get the SOR, I want to refute the decision, but if my employer has let me go because of this, can I even have the chance to refute the decision?

    And, will I even get an SOR letter if they let me go?

  23. Avatar


    I would think you would want to abstain from drugs for AT LEAST one year before you go for anything requiring a clearance or public trust access. Passage of time can mitigate the issue and your drug use was very recent. You will absolutely not be granted a clearance/ access anytime soon. Stopping only because you are up for a job you want isn’t going to mitigate the risk.

  24. Avatar


    What kind of little minor BS? I don’t about the SOR, hopefully someone here knows.

  25. Avatar

    Hello Fed Investigator. Thanks for your reply.

    I’ll give you the details of all the stupid unfortunate things that has been going in my life the past 20 years.

    * About 10 years, I moved three times in one year. I was in college, moved in with a buddy from school, he bought a house, then moved there. Forgot about one of those addresses, informed the field investigator when she asked me.

    * Got a DUI about 7 years ago which I disclosed. That was the first and only time I have ever had a problem with alcohol or a drug. The field investigator came back to ask me how much I drink because the client was concerned about it. I told her some weeks I dont drink at all, some weeks I’ll drink a glass of wine with my meal for a couple days. We estimated over the course of the year, about 5 drinks a week. In the state I was from, there is no law to blow or take a blood test and I didn’t take one. I simply accepted I was guilty and delt with the consequences. I told the investigator this when she asked what my blood-alcohol percentage was – there is no way of knowing.

    * Work conditions at my previous employer (not the one with the security clearance) deteriorated at the end of 2011; it became a horrible place to work. I did not get along with many people there because when I started, I did a good job, and was rewarded with a raises and promotions. People who were there for years were angry about that, some quit, others made life hell for me. Some blow up and yelled at me over frivolous things such as saying “yuck” to a place where they went to lunch, and I would get in trouble for it. So I decided to leave. I got the job at the new employer and started the background investigation while I was still working at the old employer. I couldn’t start at the new employer until I was cleared. A field investigator came by the old employer to investigate the clearance, and at that point, the employer gave me a raise. I felt guilty about this, and told them I had another job. Two bosses were cool with it, but the owner got all pissed off about it and he let me go three months later.

    The field investigator came back to interview me a second time to inform me that the ex-employer had in my personal file “violent behavior, smashing keyboards and mice” and they said I had foreign contacts I did not report.

    This violent behavior never happened. I never smashed keyboards or mice, but another coworker was verbally abusive towards me.

    And the foreign contacts they claim were my friends, one of them was the guy who was verbally abusing me! So no, him nor the other foreign contact at that place fit the description of a foreign contact in the SF86 questionnaire.

    I told the investigator all this, it was a vindictive ex-employer.

    * I admitted to smoking pot once in the past seven years. I was on a ski trip and some dude asked me on the lift if I wanted to smoke. I though, hey why not, I’m on vacation. I disclosed this on the SF86

    * When I see my friends being picked on, I stand up for them. I’ve had some martial arts training, and I will fight off an attacker. I have never been charged with anything, but the people that have attacked us have been taken to jail. I volunteered this information to the investigator. The investigator said that’s fine, she would do the same thing.

    * Six years ago, an ex girl friend locked her self out of her apartment late at night, it was cold and winter, I broke the door in so she didnt freeze. The neighbors called the cops because they thought someone was burglarizing the place. For whatever reason, the police decided to throw me in jail because we had been drinking. The next morning, we went to the DA, explained the situation, and the city dropped all charges.

    When I got my secret clearance, I was questioned about this, it wasn’t a problem, and I got that clearance. I disclosed this information for the recent clearance investigation on the SF86.

    * A foreign national I hadn’t spoken too in a couple years, found out I was getting a new job. This was right when the field investigation started. I didn’t report her on the SF86 because I didn’t talk to her in two years. As soon as I heard from her again, I let the investigator know. But this girl did not fit the investigator’s definition of “would you go to her funeral”. The investigator said that was ok.

    * After submitting the SF86, I dated another girl born in another country, who at the time I was dating her, said she was an American citizen. When the field investigation was going on, I told the investigator that she was from another country, but became an American citizen.

    But, looking back on this months later after we broke up, she may have not been an American citizen. But I just passed on the information that was given to me. How was I to know?

    * In the 90s, I smoked a lot of weed, but never ever did anything else and weed never affected my life in a negative way. I admitted this to the investigator, even though I didn’t have to. I wanted to be transparent about this thing. The only reason I stopped smoking weed was I went to college, then started working and just didn’t have the time to waste on it. I grew up. The investigator asked if I would ever smoke again and I said no, because its illegal at the federal level, even though I live in a state where its legal, and I will be working for federal clients. She said thats an acceptable reason.

    * Finally, 20 years ago there were domestic problems with my family right about the time I was 18. I went to jail for that, but everything was expunged from the record and my family and I are together and fine now. The investigator said, ‘teenagers’.

    So yeah, that’s my crazy life 🙂 But you know what, all this stuff I am not ashamed of, or I wouldn’t be posting this on a public web site and I wouldn’t have volunteered each and every item to the investigator or disclosed on the SF86. There is no way a foreign spy would be able to hold this over my head. I love this country and if one of those guys tried something like that with me, then they better hope their kung fu is strong.

    But I’m just speculating. I can’t wait to see the SOR so I can know for sure what has happened. Hopefully with the help of a lawyer who specializes in rebuttals, I can get this overturned. And if this has something to do with a vindictive ex-employer, then I will be getting another lawyer and suing for slander and lost wages for ruining my career.

    • Avatar

      Is it really worth all this invasive snooping to get what will probably be an average salary job? No one is perfect, everyone over age 30 has some type of skeleton in the closest. Whats so great about these jobs to be subjected to psy torture and endless questions?

  26. Avatar

    If anyone knows the details of the SOR and if I can still go throw the rebuttal process even though I’m no longer employed by my sponsor, please let me know.

    Thanks everyone!

  27. Avatar

    Forgot one more thing….

    A completely different employer I was working for, didn’t have a clear definition of what we could and couldn’t do with our computers. And they also weren’t providing us with the tools we needed. So I got the software I needed to get the job done. Several months later, they did a scan and found this software and told me to get rid of it and I did and they got me the software I needed.

    They ran a subsequent scan, and found remnants in the registry of the software I had previously installed. The idiots thought I still had the software installed and wrote me up. My boss found out and chewed out the IT department for it because I did what they told me to do.

    The investigator asked me about this, I did not report this on the SF86 because the SF86 never asked if question about this. It only asked about hacking networks, which I have never done. I told the investigator the above statement. She asked for the name of my boss, so hopefully she contacted him to verify this.

    When she asked me if I ever hacked a network I said no and that the only thing I have ever done questionable on line is read wikileaks. She didn’t even know what that was. I tried to explain it to her, and she said she would have to go check it out. lol

  28. Avatar

    Last year I accepted an assignment that required a clearance/access upgrade. This upgrade required taking a full scope polygraph. I had to take the polygraph several times over 2 weeks, almost a year ago. 5 or so months later, I was informed that security “was not going to recommend me” for this access. A week or so later I was informed that I would keep my current clearance, but not get this new clearance.

    I haven’t yet been able to get any information in regards to the process. No issues arose during my polygraph that weren’t disclosed on my SF86 and previously adjudicated. However I was grilled about one area in particular that is not discussed on the SF86.

    I had an adverse determination and clearance denial almost a decade ago, but I believe the factors that caused that have been mitigated because the agency that made that adverse determination has subsequently cleared me, as well, as the fact that I have been subsequently cleared by DoD.

    This access upgrade is for my current customer, but my current clearance by my customer was, as far as I can tell, a crossover from an adjacent agency. So in that sense, this might be the first time my current customer security has looked at my file.

    My company’s PSO has indicated that his Customer security contact has said that the Program Office or COTR needs to give an OK before they release to me any information or status about what went wrong.

    I do not know if I failed (DI) or passed (NDI) the polygraph examination.

    Based on what I’ve offered can someone intelligently speculate about what may have occurred, and what I might do in the future if asked to accept an assignment which would require a full scope polygraph?

  29. Avatar

    I am a contractor with a CaC and cleared around this time last year via SF-85 and OF-306. I have been offered a position with a Federal agency. They want me to complete another SF-85 via e-qip. I never used e-qip before and my BI was entered by my current sponsor. Does my new employer provide login information? They have been slow to reply to my questions. If I’m already in the system, can the investigation be transferred?

  30. Avatar


    Your list would appear to be more that just a few minor issues. My immediate reaction is to wonder if you’re a bit of a hot-head and that’s only from the bit you posted here. I could be way off base and there-in lies the rub.

    You have to remember, even though your investigator may agree with you or give their opinion as to think various concerns are no big deal, it’s only their opinion. They are not adjudicators and more importantly only have the piece of your case they are working on. They won’t have the entire issue.

    I think you have no choice but to want for the SOR, I assume you should still get one but I don’t know for sure. You can also FOIA request your investigation.

    Good luck man, sometimes this industry sucks ass.

  31. Avatar

    Rather, “they won’t have the entire case.” Also “wait” for the SOR not want.

    Long day, sorry.

  32. Avatar

    @Fed Investigator

    Thanks for the input, I really appreciate it. I found out I will be getting the SOR, I’ll just have to wait and see whats in it.

    I guess training a certain style of martial arts for so long, it has given me confidence to calmly deal with bad situations and not backdown that, I suppose, could come across as being hot headed or cocky. Or maybe I get that from gramps who was an old hard nosed navy guy.

    Anyways, thanks for taking the time out your day to give a little advice.

  33. Avatar

    My advice is worth every penny you pay for it.


  34. Avatar


  35. Avatar


    I was recently informed that I will have to apply for ADP/IT clearance. However I am on an antidepressant. Does this mean I have to answer yes to #21 and if so. Will they likely deny my interim clearance?

  36. Avatar

    Good morning-

    I’m trying not to ask silly questions and refer to the website as much as possible before resorting to the boards, however, the information from my current eQIP (v 3.04) and the article referenced on your website from January of 2011 https://news.clearancejobs.com/2011/01/26/relevance-of-criminal-conduct-and-security-clearances/ aren’t worded exactly the same and I’m wondering if the form itself has changed or if it is me who is interpreting it differently as it would affect information that I would or would not have to disclose on the form (SF86). The form on my SF86 has the following wording:

    Have any of the following happened? (If ‘Yes’ you will be asked to provide details for each offense that pertains to the actions that are identified below.)
    •In the past seven (7) years have you been issued a summons, citation, or ticket to appear in court in a criminal proceeding against you? (Do not check if all the citations involved traffic infractions where the fine was less than $300 and did not include alcohol or drugs)
    •In the past seven (7) years have you been arrested by any police officer, sheriff, marshal or any other type of law enforcement official?
    •In the past seven (7) years have you been charged, convicted, or sentenced of a crime in any court? (Include all qualifying charges, convictions or sentences in any Federal, state, local, military, or non-U.S. court, even if previously listed on this form).
    •In the past seven (7) years have you been or are you currently on probation or parole?
    •Are you currently on trial or awaiting a trial on criminal charges?

    Whereas your article states:

    The “Questionnaire for National Security Positions” (Standard Form 86—SF86) asks if an applicant has ever been charged with a felony offense or any offense involving alcohol, drugs, firearms or explosives. It also asks if an applicant: 1) has been arrested within the past 7 years (10 years for Top Secret clearance), 2) has been subject to court martial or other military disciplinary proceedings, or 3) is currently pending some court action for a criminal charge or offense.

    Am I missing something or has the form itself changed? Because the charge that I was cited for (which was expunged) is considered a misdemeanor, not a felony, and I have no other history or record of anything other than a speeding ticket here and there.

    Should I just make mention of it and then in the notes, say it’s something I’d like to address later in my interview section? Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.

  37. Avatar

    I am an OPM background investigations contractor and recently was suspended due to OPM revoking my clearance. I have no idea why, they’ve told me only that they are conducting an investigation. I have no idea how long this investigation will take, or if I’ll ever get my job back. I’ve had no contact whatsoever with my Human Resources department, so I don’t know if I can appeal the decision to revoke my clearance. All I can think is that I had a recent audit in which they requested I be more detailed in my note-taking. I subsequently was audited again a few months later and perhaps something similarly minor came up, but because there were two “incidents” so close together they required a full investigation. Any experience with this sort of thing – how long it might take to get to a resolution, or what my rights are?

  38. Avatar

    SarahB – do you belong to American Federal Contract Investigators Association? You may get some help on their blog.

  39. Avatar


    I have held a TS clearance since 2011 after passing the SSBI and a polygraph. I am thinking ahead, and considering employment with other federal agencies, which would likely require a new SF86, a new reinvestigation, and a new polygraph.

    I recently read conflicting opinions about Section 27, question C, and whether or not that question includes illegally downloading music and software. I answered “no” to that question in my 2011 SF86, because I did not interpret the language of the question as including this type of thing, and the topic never came up, either during interviews with the investigator, or during the polygraph.

    However, after reading an article on this website, I am now wondering whether the question does indeed cover illegal downloads, and whether I should volunteer that information in my future SF86’s. Also, would the fact that I hadn’t disclosed it in my previous SF86 be viewed as an intentional omission? Thank you in advance for any information and advice.

  40. Avatar

    I forgot to specify that I ceased the illegal downloading in question 2 years prior to completing the 2011 SF86. Thanks again.

  41. Avatar


    I took the FSOT a year ago, and almost passed. I’m planning to apply again this summer or fall.

    However, there is a problem. In my final months in college, I had a five-month period of using marijuana. I experimented once with psilocybinic mushrooms, which was the culmination of my little ‘living it up’ phase. After that experiment, I quit drugs entirely after having a very unpleasant experience. It was a mistake.

    Now I have a job, have been drug-free for 2 months since I graduated. I have no other drug history, and have no criminal or legal history. I’ve disassociated with the people I experimented with. Generally speaking, I’m a well put together, accomplished person with no serious problems.

    Now, this is my question. I intend to be fully honest and disclose all of this. However, I am aware this may not be mitigated so soon, should I wait longer before applying again? At least a year? Is this a serious issue that may disqualify me completely?


  42. Avatar

    @Fed Investigator

    I’d really appreciate some advice. A few years ago I had a college job at a retail store and once I was given a warning about saying a ‘swear word’ in an area where customers could overhear.

    Would this qualify as a job ‘Misconduct Warning’ that I should disclose?


  43. Avatar


    No one can tell what to list. I always go with the honest is the best policy approach and not worry what is qualifying and what is not. The adjudicators who look at your case will look at the ‘whole person,’ not just one incident or mis-step.

    Think of this way, if you don’t list it and it comes up in the course of your investigation, do you think the adjudicator would like to know why you just didn’t discuss it in the first place?

    Stuff comes up in investigations all the time. Stuff you won’t remember, stories you told friends and long forgot up often get repeated. Stuff in records, stuff your family may have heard about through mutual friends. It may not all be a big deal but why not just be honest and not worry if you have to be honest enough?

  44. Avatar


    If cursing disqualified you–all of us investigators are fuxxed 🙂

  45. Avatar


    I wrote that article in January 2009, and it was based on the July 2008 version of the SF86. I’m not sure why ClearanceJobs.com dated the article as January 26, 2011. If you look at the bottom of the article you will see the copyright listed as 2009. The current version of the SF86 is dated December 2010 but wasn’t actually released until summer 2011. This version of the SF86 eliminated all references to the SSBI and its requirement for 10 years worth of information. Almost all issue questions are now limited to 7 years, except for those that ask “have you ever.”

  46. Avatar


    Within DOD, ADP II (IT2) positions are non-critical sensitive positions and ADP I (IT1) positions are critical sensitive positions. They have the same requirements as Secret and Top Secret clearances, respectively. If you were prescribed an antidepressant because of depression (as opposed to some off-label use), you will have to list on the SF86 the doctor who prescribed it to you and a few other details. As of September 2012, DOD will not deny an interim clearance solely because a person listed mental health counseling/treatment that did not involve hospitalization on their SF86.

  47. Avatar

    SF86 and Downloads:

    I assume your referring to the article I wrote a few years ago on misuse of IT systems posted at: https://news.clearancejobs.com/2010/03/21/misuse-of-information-technology-systems-and-security-clearances/.

    You don’t have to rely on what I said in the article. Read ISCR Case No. 03-17291. There’s a link to it in the article. There’s a “fair use” exception to copyright law and an expanded fair use exception for copying music and movies for personal use, but there are limits. Basically if you didn’t download more than $1000 worth of music in a 6 month period, you did not break any law, regulation, rule, etc. I can’t comment on the software you downloaded, because only music and movies are covered in expanded fair use exception.

  48. Avatar


    Because your last use was only two months ago, this is a serious issue that could disqualify you for a security clearance. It’s also a potentially disqualifying issue (although not as serious) for federal employment.

  49. Avatar

    The SF86 says that you need to disclose “written warnings” and “official reprimands.” I personally don’t think a reprimand would be considered official unless it is in writing. So my advise is to list it on the SF86 if it was in writing. If you have a Subject Interview and the investigator asks this question differently, listen to the question carefully and answer truthfully but precisely.

  50. Avatar

    For contractor personnel the SF85 is only used for HSPD-12 credentialing (also known as CAC within DOD). It is not a security clearance. If you have even a one day break in service, the favorable determination made on the NACI investigation does not have to be accepted by a gaining federal agency. At any rate, if a prospective employer wants you to fill out an SF85 via e-QIP, do it regardless of whether it’s needed or not. Your prospective employer will provide you the information you need to log into e-QIP. They can have you do it before you are hired or up to 30 days after you are hired.

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    It seems to me that your company PSO withdrew your nomination for the clearance, probably under pressure from the customer. Their not supposed to do this, but it occasionally happens when the customer doesn’t want to go through the process of denying you the clearance and affording you the right to appeal the denial. With one exception, under the Privacy Act you have a right to receive a copy of any record a US Government agency has on you. You don’t need the COTR’s approval.

  52. Avatar


    I thought you left us. I was so sad.

  53. Avatar

    Not yet–but damn close. I’ll drop my web site here before I leave. Wait!!! Then everyone will know who I am–I’m scared 🙂

  54. Avatar

    BOOM–William drops some knowledge.

  55. Avatar

    No doubt, William comes through again!

    I can’t wait to find out your true identity BW, it’ll be like pulling the mask off of Batman.

  56. Avatar


    “My identity by itself causes violence.”

    Name that song lyric and I’ll tell everyone who I am.

  57. Avatar

    Wait. . . . You’re leaving? Why, where, when? Inquiring minds want to know.

  58. Avatar

    F*ckin with me cause I’m a teenager
    with a little bit of gold and a pager


    Such a great group, RIP Eazy. They really brought in the hay-day of gangster rap.

    I grew up on Rosecrans Ave. in SoCal and every time I hear it referenced in ‘California Love,’ it makes me smile.

  59. Avatar


    Tried to e-mail–undeliverable.

    Fed, Rosecrans Ave, funny–took you about a second to get the lyric. You are too hard to stump. I was already in the military when that was played by a traveling DJ and this was in the middle or rural Indiana. WOW!!!! Not a good reception for that DJ.

  60. Avatar

    I am applying for a public trust position, and I have a couple issues. From about late 2008 to early 2010 I smoked marijuana about 100 times, then from that time to late 2011 I smoked marijuana about 5 times. I also did mushrooms one time and MDMA one time around march 2012. Another thing, in 2009 I received a written arrest for holding an alcoholic beverage underage, which was a misdemeanor in which all charges were dropped because I did a diversion program which required a sheriffs work day.

    Is this going to hold me back from getting a clearance?


  61. Avatar

    I can only imagine how well that did not go over, rural Indiana.


  62. Avatar


    How much will a foreign girlfriend (unmarried/no children/daily contact) threaten my processing for a TS/SCI as a foreign influence? If so, are there any ways to mitigate the security concern without breaking up?

    To provide more background information, this girlfriend’s country is one of the United States’ biggest allies, albeit adjacent and shares blood ties to one of its biggest threats. Having said that, she does not work for her government although her father used to be a public servant before passing away over ten years ago.

    Thanks so much for your help. Although I was born in the United States and spent my whole life here, I feel like I will undergo extra scrutiny since my parents are naturalized citizens… so couldn’t help but reach out. Look forward to hearing from you!

  63. Avatar

    So she’s Canadian. You’ll be fine.

  64. Avatar

    Is foreign travel for vacation/ non business reasons a disqualifier for interim TS? My friend travels frequently and was denied his interim based on the frequent trips over the past ten years.

  65. Avatar

    My question is general in nature. For a secret clearance what is the actual process (what does the investigator do) when they look at Education? It states on the SF86 “provide the address where the records are maintained”. Do they call the school and pull transcripts? Do they check my military record and validate that way? Please let me know the process.

  66. Avatar


    It would all depend on how frequent and where the trips are to. For example generally speaking visiting Canada is not going to get you denied an interim, however those frequent trips to the Middle East would raise concerns.

  67. Avatar

    I’m looking into becoming a contract investigator. Can you guys give me company names as well as contact information for them where I can contact them about opportunities? I live in the Baltimore/DC area if that helps with contact info. I have review as well as Investigator experience. Thanks.

  68. Avatar


    For a secret–if records are needed, they are faxed in, not by an investigator, but a staff member.

  69. Avatar


    Keypoint Government Solutions

  70. Avatar

    Just to be clear, I’m trying to be an independent contract investigator. Hope that helps. Does anyone have contact information for people I can contact in order to start getting work and paid? Thanks.

  71. Avatar


    I am independent. Just drop your resume and if you have the experience, you will get called pretty quick. There is no way to accelerate the process with my company.

  72. Avatar


    I demand to know why you are leaving our ranks. This vexes me. I’m extremely vexed..

  73. Avatar


    You are no longer an independent contract investigator? Assuming so from Fed’s post. Why? Is there anything you can say as to why you are leaving? I’d like to know what type of money people make in the Maryland/D.C. area? Can anyone comment? Thanks.

  74. Avatar


    The money depends on how much you work, who you work for and how far you’re willing to travel for work. If you are proficient and self motivated the money can be pretty good. The flexibility can’t be beat, either.

    Some of the companies pay a flat rate per item worked with no reimbursements. Others pay by the hour and will reimburse mileage, tolls, etc. Some companies are easier to work with than others.

  75. Avatar

    I’m still working. Like contractor said, if you are willing to work and be a team-player, the money is good.

  76. Avatar

    Knocked on a door today hoping to interview a source at her residence and when she answered the door her right boob was out of her tank top. She fixed it, but did not apologize for flashing me. During the interview she kept fixing her tank top because it was way to small for her and her boobs kept falling out practically. Longest 15 minutes of my life.

  77. Avatar

    I am heading to new TS/SCI job next week, filled out my E-Qip and OPM has scheduled my investigation so I have an interim clearance (prior TS/SCI GS-12, got riffed, went contractor with a SECRET, now heading back to gov service)…

    I work in a restricted area on a military base, and today I forgot my phone was in my pocket. Figured it out once I was inside, turned it off, and returned it to my truck. That got me wondering if I should report this when I have my personal interview. I have done this probably three times in a seven year span at my facility.

    Thanks for your reply…

  78. Avatar

    Boobies are awesome.

    That’s all I have to say.

  79. Avatar

    I once interviewed a source at noon in a DC strip club on the Monday before Christmas. He was the manager. The interview was an extension from an investigator in Florida that came with a case message that sayd “Sorry, I didn’t realize what this place was before I scheduled it.” Source was the day manager. We conducted the interview by the bar in the back while multiple laides danced fully nude on stage. The only other people in the place were an old old old chinese couple sitting there eating hamburgers like it was a T.G.I.Fridays or something. Greatest source interview I ever did.

  80. Avatar

    Oh, and the soure asked if he could get me anything before I left. I said no thank you.

  81. Avatar


    I would of went VIP–what the hell were you thinking 🙂

  82. Avatar


    Yes, report it and anything else you think is pertinent, no matter how far back.

  83. Avatar

    I am currently awaiting a clearance decision for TS/SCI through my sponsor. I’ve undergone the background investigation and have been poly’d. My listed contacts have been interviewed as well. I am under the impression that I am currently in adjudication (though that can’t be confirmed or denied).

    My question is regarding the process itself. I’ve been told – and I’m hoping you can confirm this – that, depending how far along one is in their investigation, if they choose to leave their current sponsor before receiving a clearance decision, the process can and will continue. Once a decision is reached, you would be contacted by your former security representative and be given an “eligible” status that will allow you to be read into a cleared position. Is any of that true?

    I’m not currently looking to leave this position but I have been waiting over a year. If another position opened up that seemed like a good fit, I would consider moving, but I’m curious, since I *seem* to be pretty far into the investigation, if I could still be cleared.

    Any help is greatly appreciated!

  84. Avatar

    I am retired military. I have held a security clearance for over 20 years. In 2011 I accepted a job as a federal contractor. To cut the story short…the site director GS-14/15 and operations manager GS-12/13 created a hostile work environment, violated the contract I was working on, and ordered me off the job site.

    I filed an IG complaint about the hostile work environment. The next day an incident report was filed against my security clearance in JPAS. The contracting company I worked for released me from employment because I no longer met employment requirements…(ie) having a valid security clearance.

    It took 10 months to get a copy of the incident report. Every part of the incident report was fabricated or exaggerated. I filed a second IG complaint, Senate complaint, Congress complaint and submitted rebuttals to the incident report to the Sec. of Defense, Sec. of the Army, OPM, DSS, Staff Judge Advocate, and the contracting company.

    I applied for dozens of contracting jobs only to be turned down because of the red flag on my JPAS security clearance.

    I was suppose to go to Kuwait after I was finished with the Army contract and that job was going to pay $250k/year tax free. I signed a contract for $87.5k/year with another contracting company but after they checked into my security clearance they told me they could not hire me because it would take longer to get the incident report re-adjudicated. I let every company know there was a potential problem with my security clearance before I signed anything. This falsified incident report in JPAS cost me at least $300k in lost income. I spent 12 months unemployed and living off my savings.

    I applied for several federal positions that pay half of what I was making as a federal contractor. I was hired as a federal employee in February 2013. I paid all moving expenses out of my pocket (about $7000) and started working as a GS-07. I am on my 2nd month as a GS employee and still do not have a clearance (14 months after the falsified incident report).

    I was checking the site director’s and operations manager’s LinkedIn profile and found the site director was no longer a federal employee and is now working for a private company and the operations manager was demoted from operations manager to a department head.

    If the Army or OPM had cause to either terminate the site director’s employment or volun-told him to resign and demoted the operations manager to a department head then that would be an indication that something illegal had happened and I would have recourse to sue the Army in federal court for allowing their federal employees to act outside of their position’s responsibilities and sue the two supervisors in a civil lawsuit for lost wages.

    What do you think? 14 months after a falsified incident report was submitted to my JPAS I am still feeling the affects of these malicious federal supervisors who set out to destroy my career because of the political tug-of-war between the site director and the Pentagon.

    My current supervisor said my security clearance was “Archived” and someone had to physically go find it. My last security clearance adjudication was in 2009 . My clearance should have been good until 2014.

  85. Avatar


    You would be better served asking an attorney what to do. You may have waited too long to get resolution/investigation from the Dept of Labor.

  86. Avatar

    Recently, I applied for a Secret DOD Clearance.
    I was DENIED the Interim Clearance after 2 weeks of submitting the Questionnaire. As a result, the agency withdrew their Job Offer. Here’s what I think could have disqualified me:

    1. One-Time Recreational Use of marijuana 2.5 years ago, during college. I used with a friend at his house. I have never purchased any.

    2. A year ago, I did volunteer activities for 10 days abroad. While leaving that Country, I was asked for money by the Customs Officials just for being a US Citizen. They searched my items for money and then pressured/intimidated me to give them money. I was kind-of coerced to give them money. This was basically a “shake-down”. I am not sure if I should have answered YES to the question on coercion. Also, I am not sure, if just being pulled to the side and searched in a booth, constitutes ‘searched beyond normal customs requirements’. Their activity was obviously unethical/illegal.

    3. I mentioned 2 foreign contacts (non-immediate family members) that I contact monthly and quarterly, respectively. They have no government ties to that country.

    It’s awful to mention Item #1 and #2 since they were both One-Time events. With Item #1, I was told by a friend that DOD may have a 3 year drug-use policy like the FBI and DEA. Item #2 is just ridiculous because I was taken advantage of, It happened out of the Blue.

    I know that Interim Secret Clearances are really strict and are based on a one time pass of the SF86. I believed that I put enough mitigating info on Item #1. Not sure about Item #2. Still, I am truly disappointed it was DENIED! I think that I would have a great chance of having the Final Clearance approved but I will never know.

    Any insights and comments as of the seriousness or lack thereof of these potential pitfalls? Also, which Item(s) do you think caused the Denial? Finally, how would you mitigate Item #2, Will time be enough?

  87. Avatar


    I contacted the DOL and was told they do not handle these situations because hostile work environment was not based on race, creed, color, nation origin, sexual orientation, or gender.

    The DOL guy repeated this about 10 times during our phone conversation like he was reading from a script. Race, creed color, nation origin, sexual orientation, or gender.

  88. Avatar

    I have a question regarding getting the approval on classified data acces. I currently hold the TS and work on one federal contract. I applied for a job in DOJ they went through the TS verfication and asked for the security briefing package to be filled and faxed. After the security briefing and fair credit report forms submission how long usually it takes to get the approval?

  89. Avatar


    At this point, if it’s worth it financially, an attorney is about the best option. There are many clearance attorney’s. I do not know any, but I’m sure if you ask here–somebody may be able to get you a starting point. Just remember, what we say is just our opinions and approach it the way you see fit, not on my opinion.

    Good luck and thanks for your service.


  90. Avatar

    Anyone know a good security clearance lawyer that handles cases such as mine. Also I would like to pursue a lawsuit against the contracting company.

  91. Avatar

    There is a clearance attorney that posts on the federalsoup website under the security clearance thread.

  92. Avatar


    He’s watching it all for us—–Joe McHale along with Mankini. Oh, never mind, wrong Soup–my bad.

  93. Avatar


    Is that show still on? Is that network even still around?

  94. Avatar

    Contact me thru my website. I can give you names of some good, reputable attorneys.

  95. Avatar


    First, thanks for this amazing website. It’s a wonderful resource!

    I am a recent grad who was just offered a position requiring a Secret clearance. I have a very clean record for the most part (no arrests, no tickets, no debt, no foreign contacts) with only a few exceptions. In college, just a few times, I tried marijuana. This was 2+ years ago, and I’ve since parted ways with most of the people I used it with. I’m not particularly concerned with this, and my larger concern has to do with Question #21. In Fall 2006, while I was still in high school, I visited a counselor for some emotional issues I had been dealing with for a few months. I only ended up going to two sessions, and made the decision with my counselor and my parents to stop the counseling sessions. I wouldn’t really be concerned with this, except it falls within the 7 year window required on the SF-86. I know I will have to report this on the form, but I’m worried that the counselor I saw a) won’t have my records, or b) won’t remember me, or will remember me as not having completing treatment. Should I be concerned about my eligibility for an interim or final clearance, and if this will be an issue, what are my options for mitigation?


  96. Avatar


    Emotional counseling is not a clearance killer. You will not get an interim clearance though, with drug use and emotional counseling. This does not mean you will not be cleared. Just be candid and you should be good to go. Good luck.

  97. Avatar

    I applied for a Secret clearance and I am currently working in Defense. My main concern is drug use — I last smoked pot in mid-January of 2013 and that was basically near the time when my SF86 was submitted. I’ve been clean since then. I had two minor run ins with the law — once when I was 17 for simple assault and possession and when I was 18 for disorderly conduct. No charges since then and I’m 32. I’ve been smoking weed since I was 17. I really like my job and am still nervous waiting on my Secret Clearance. Should I be? I was forthcoming and honest with everything in my life, and I indicated an intent to not use drugs in the future, and am willing to sign any agreements. I moved to a new town for work so I dissociated myself from former users. I will honestly stop smoking pot for this job because I NEED it. My FSO and others continue to tell me not to worry. I’m not doing anything wrong these days and am proud of it.

    Never received an interim Secret, but did pass a thorough background check by my employer.

    Should I worry about not getting cleared? Should I start looking for another job?

  98. Avatar

    I have a question regarding Suitability and Secret Clearance. I’m currently applying for a supervisory admin job with DoD that requires Secret clearance.
    When I was in college, I was arrested for DUI in 1999, and then also in 2002. First one was reduced to less safe (lesser included), second was reduced to careless driving. Completed probation, fine, evaluation and counseling session for the first, and only received a fine for the second. In between (2000), I was ticketed for an ordinance violation of open container in public, paid $50 fine. No other aggravating circumstances of the arrests (wreck, injury, etc.). The convictions were both low level misdemeanors. I know the outcomes aren’t as important as the underlying issues, but those are the circumstances.

    Those are the only issues I have. Once I graduated, I basically grew up, stopped going out, and only have a drink occasionally at dinner now (none for about 5 years though). I made some stupid decisions while I was in college, young, dumb, and irresponsible. Like I said, no other issues, credit scores are high 700’s/low 800’s, have been employed by two states, stable personal life, no employment issues (excellent reviews, multiple awards, etc.), no bad debt, etc.

    How much will this affect suitability determinations and my chance at receiving favorable adjudication for the clearance?

    Thank you for your time,

  99. Avatar

    Time heals all wounds, which is a good thing for Joe, not such a good thing for Defense Applicant.

  100. Avatar

    I moved to a new town far away and I don’t associate with pot smokers anymore? Willing to take drug tests to prove my credibility. Any mitigating factors here? Also haven’t been in trouble with the law in 14 years.

  101. Avatar

    Smoked marijuana for 15 years and stopped four months ago because you had to fill out an SF-86? Like Fed, said, time heals all wounds.

  102. Avatar

    Time is your biggest mitigating factor and you need more of it. I’m not an adjudicator though, so just be honest and let the chips fall where they may. If you start skirting the truth or holding things back, it will blow up in your face.

    That, I do know.

  103. Avatar

    I recently received a tentative job offer pending security clearance and background check. This is for a federal job (Public Trust). I filled out eQIP and submitted it and mailed fingerprints etc. The security specialist received it over a week ago.

    Credit report has been pulled because I received a letter from credit bureau. I am worried because I had a judgement for a debt that was about $2000 but I paid it off and attached the letter from the attorney’s office showing settlement paid in full. Will that affect my application?
    Also, my credit score is in mid 600’s. Between my husband and I, we have a huge debt because we are both on both auto loans. However, I have no delinquent debts. I am currently unemployed and my husband pays our bills on time. Will this be held against me? The total debt amount.

    How long will the process for Public Trust clearance take, usually? Also, can I work elsewhere if this is taking a long time while waiting for the formal offer? Thank you so much.

  104. Avatar


    As long as you disclosed this on your eQip and if they have a face to face interview let the background investigator know what happened and the circumstances surrounding the delinquent payment. As long as you are paying on the auto loans its not a red mark.

    I don’t think the government is really concerned that you had a delinquency but they would be concerned if it repeatedly happened.

  105. Avatar


    In addition to my previous post…
    I’m not sure how long a public trust takes but if it is like a regular security clearance then it may be a few months.

    Yes, get another job somewhere until you hear back from the hiring manager that you were selected and have a firm start date. Do not give notice at your temp job until you receive a letter or email stating your firm start date.

  106. Avatar

    One year ago I was given a favaorablesuitable determination with Security Concerns. I was informed that my financial status was a security concern. The debt was due to circumstances outside my control. The memorandum notated that a follow-up would be given within a year requesting proof of payments and other documents mitigating the debt. What is the difference between a reinvestagation and a follow-up.

    Also, I have paid most of the debt listed along with payment arrangements on the remaining, with detailed documentations to contribute. Should I be concerned?

    Thank you,

  107. Avatar

    Worry Wart,
    What you describe is similar to the granting of a security clearance with a “condition.” Public Trust positions are subject to reinvestigation at 5-year intervals. The follow-up in one year implies that if there has not been progress in paying/resolving your debts in one year, you could have your Public Trust position eligibility revoked.

  108. Avatar

    I was recently granted an Interim Secret. My question is, since interims are apparently granted without anyone actually doing any background investigative work, what are the chances of the interim being revoked if I have an Honorable Discharge for Personality Disorder from the US Army from ~15 years ago?

  109. Avatar

    I have Secret Clearance as a DoD contractor. Recently I was noticed that there is a Pending Incident Notice report on my record, which prevents my re-employment. I sent a petition to know what the Pending Incident Notice is. I want to know how long it will take so that I could receive the answer to my petition?

  110. Avatar


    I signed an offer to work for a gov contractor back in Nov 2012 pending clearance. When I received my TS/SCI clearance in March 2013, I was informed that I will not begin training or working until August of 2013.

    Is this gap period common in the contract world? They told me they hired other people also and wish to train us all at the same time. It seemed odd to have to wait 5 months to begin work after being cleared to work.


  111. Avatar

    I am still waiting to receiving a kind reply!

  112. Avatar

    Does anyone know if they check with state unemployment agencies as part the clearance process?
    I”m asking because many different sources have told me different things on the subject, and most them have told me they don’t and that having collected unemployment benefits has no impact on an application for a clearance and is not not something that is looked at but i just want to be 100% sure that having collected benefits is not something that will impact me getting a clearance.

  113. Avatar

    So I’m totally confused about the current process for my TS/SCI and I’m hoping that someone could help me understand what is going on. Here is my timeline.

    Employer #1
    Granted a final collateral TS June 2011 (OPM investigation, cleared through Army CAF)
    Left Employer #1 in October 2011

    Employer #2
    Came on board in October 2011
    Reinstated my clearance to the Secret level only
    Submitted for SCI program access October 2012 (Three letter agency)

    Now it is my understanding that because I had a valid SSBI completed within 5 years then that investigation material should have been sent to the SCI agency for adjudication. Well I didn’t hear anything for months and assumed this was what was happening. Then I was told by my security officer that a new investigation was opened in April 2013. I then had an interview and all my colleagues and references were met with again. It appears that a brand new SSBI has been requested. Any idea why this may have occurred? I thought it was going to be a fairly quick process to get the SCI b/c I held a TS and had a current SSBI.

  114. Avatar

    I’m a college sophomore, and I’ll be applying to join a number of summer internships at government agencies that require a Top Secret security clearance next summer. When I was a senior in high school I had a serious lapse in judgement and made a handful of fake IDs (perhaps 5) which I gave (never sold) to my friends so that they could buy alcohol. I thought it was a victimless crime. I was curious to see whether I could do it. I wish I could go back and change things, and I deeply regret having done this. I was never caught and have since disposed of the materials and the friends have all lost or disposed of their IDs. I was never suspected or charged. Aside from this and perhaps a half dozen instances of smoking marijuana (I don’t enjoy being high and don’t ever plan to smoke again) that all took place more than a year ago and for which which I was never caught my past is entirely clean. Would the fake ID production immediately disqualify me from receiving a clearance? Should I volunteer the information, or if it does not come up in the interview/polygraph simply not mention it? I will be entirely truthful in my application, and if it is brought up I will not lie.

  115. Avatar


    Have you ever heard that old saying “Give them enough rope to hang themselves.” or “That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.”

    If no one knows about it then why worry. Tell them you were a casual pot smoker a few years ago, you didn’t inhale, and you don’t plan on doing it again. They will try to drill you how many times exactly you smoked pot. Tell them once or twice. They can’t prove that you did more or less.

    Or you could keep it to yourself and not tell them. It is what they can prove you did. If you got arrested for possession or smoking dope then yes I would tell them.

    The more you give them the more reasons they have to deny your clearance. Don’t forget…they are not there to help you. They are there to dig up dirt on you.

    Don’t give them anything that could possible implicate you in a serious crime. Remember, anything you say can and will be used against you. It goes into your secret little file that DSS or DMDC has on every one of us and they can use it against you for any reason.

    Anything you say during a polygraph interrogation is video and audio taped and also goes into your file for life.

  116. Avatar


    I’ve been waiting 18 months for a falsified incident report to be re-adjudicated on my clearance.

    Good luck getting anything in the next 2 years.

  117. Avatar

    Fed LEO seeking guidance.

    I am up for my 5 year TS Background reinvestigation and would like to know if a customs seizure notice for a very small amount of counterfeit clothing will be found? I was totally unaware that the goods were not legit and believed they were wholesale. No penalty or fine was involved. Other than that I am squeaky clean in every facet of life.

  118. Avatar

    Hello investigators and thank you for your attention.

    I am in the process of becoming a foreign service officer and am curious about my chances of potentially receiving a top secret security clearance.

    I am in a 4.5 year relationship (not married). Last week was really bad for us and I ended up having a one night stand with an ex girlfriend. I felt remorseful about it, cut off contact with that person, and admitted to my girlfriend the next day. At this point we haven’t made a decision whether or not to stay together, but I am committed to being honest with her.

    I am concerned that this may be too recent by the time my application process finishes, which would be around 3-6 months from now. I plan on complete honesty with the investigator, and would like to know if attending couples counseling would help mitigate the situation in the eyes of the investigators. Also, are there any other factors that should be taken into consideration here?

  119. Avatar

    @concerned about a recent mistake
    Why would you think the government needs to know about that? Unless your ex-gf is on a intelligence watch list or a foreign national why even go into it.

    Only answer the questions the investigator asks and do not give any thing else. The more you run your mouth the more dirt the government has on you.

  120. Avatar

    I have SCI access and was put in for a DOD TS collateral. Had my in person interview and the only thing the investigator had any questions about was my DMV record. I’ve had a few tickets in the last 10 years (I think 5), but none were more than the $300 fine, so I didn’t list them. Was he just fishing?

    Do tickets matter at all? My credit has no issues at all, and no security violations. Worst thing I could think of was walking thru a SCIF door with my cell phone accidentally, which I notified my FSO about. I mentioned that and the investigator didn’t seem to care.

  121. Avatar

    Doing my SF 86, there is a section for family members. It asks for my fathers naturalization number. My father left the USA to live the remainder of his life back home. I’ve asked him if he has that form and he said he will look for it. If the case he has lost it, what should I put for that number? My mother who is currently in the states has hers but not his.


  122. Avatar

    Polygraph adjudication (FSP) dragging on past 1 year. Had a TS/SCI and was submitted for an upgrade in March of 2012. Took the exam in July of 2012 and received no call backs – examiner said the results were good and clear. Heard from the gov’t agency in late Nov. of 2012 asking routine questions about my mother-in-law who is a 77 year old Russian citizen (w/ Green Card) and lives with us permanently – and will be eligible for citizenship in 2014. She sold her apt in Moscow in Oct of 2010, her husband is deceased as is her son (wife’s brother). No other immediate family in Russia as all are deceased. Both sides of my family have been here since the 1600s and 1700s – so no “foreign” issues on my side.

    I was laid off due to Sequestration on 14 June 2013 and another company was able to put my poly investigation under their cage code so it is still active.

    I’ve contacted my congressman and they will send a letter of inquiry – which I’m sure will be met with stone silence.

    How much longer will this situation drag on because the first question out of every potential employer’s mouth is,”Is your clearance active?”

  123. Avatar


    Many places are checked, but just to verify income. It has no bearing, really.

  124. Avatar

    Fed LEO

    Report it as you stated. Better to ask forgiveness than to look like you are hiding it and, it will be asked if there was foreign travel. We have all bought these items at one time if traveling. No big deal IMO.

  125. Avatar

    Stupid Question Guy

    Tickets are just a matter of record–no worries. The security incident, however, should have been discussed more in-depth, but those things happen every day.

  126. Avatar

    Worry Wart

    A better saying is “The truth shall set you free.” If you lie about your MJ use, you can bet someone else will tell the investigator and that is one sure way of not being cleared. Dumb things you did as a kid will generally be mitigated if you are truthful.

  127. Avatar


    Just put you do not know and explain it to the investigator.

  128. Avatar


    The three-digits generally do not take an older SSBI and they re-do it. It’s normal.

  129. Avatar

    Sattari–sorry, but nobody can tell you how long it will take. We have no control/part in that process.

  130. Avatar

    Can a spouses drug use make me lose my clearance? for drug involvement purposes is being exposed to secondhand marijuana smoke a couple of times over 15 years ago considered drug use? Is the unwitting purchase or possession of marijuana something that can be held against me in clearance adjudication?

  131. Avatar

    Hey Guys,

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

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

  132. Avatar

    I submitted a SF-86 for the Navy along with 2 close friends of mine for the job we picked orders for. We all had our SSBI’s for a TS/SCI done and completed successfully however when we go to check the status of our current clearance mine shows up at “TOP SECRET” while my other two friends show up as “SCI DCID 6/4”. Does this mean that I was denied SCI eligibility? It has been almost 2 weeks since my clearance was adjudicated and I have not received a SOR in the mail or anything like that. Is there a chance the person who submitted my SF-86 did not request SCI eligibility? If so is there a quick and easy way to ask for SCI eligibility without having to go through a whole new SSBI seeing as it hasn’t even been a month since I was given my TS clearance and from what I understand the standars for TS and SCI eligibility are the same? I’m just at a loss and slightly nervous because my position will require a TS/SCI clearance and I don’t want to loose the position due to having to wait on another full SSBI. Any help or insight on this matter is GREATLY appreciated! Thank you!

  133. Avatar

    Hello everyone, before I ask my question I would like say thank you for the help. I was
    a casual marijuana smoker for 2 years in college, and have stolen a few things in high
    school. I have a 1.5 years time in between me and my drug use. No criminal record whatsoever. Have downloaded music/movies intermittently for a while. What are my chances for obtaining a clearance at either SECRET, or TS level?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated,

    Thank you,

  134. Avatar


    If you have never been arrested or have any documentation in the criminal justice system about your wrong doings then why bring it to their attention. Remember, anything you say can and will be used against you in potential future investigations. If there is no record of your illegal activity then they can’t prove sh*t. Keep it to yourself. The background investigators are not there to help you.

  135. Avatar


    Thank you for the advice, but what I somehow forgot to include in my post was that I was inquiring about my circumstances in regards to the polygraph process. If one is being lifestyle polygraphed, how might one best respond, given my past history?

  136. Avatar


    Please review these sites.

    If you admit to drug use then it will go into your permanent record. A polygraph is an interrogation. They will use NLP techniques to try and fool. They will ask you if you researched any information about the polygraph process. They do not want you to know anything about the poly process.

    I spent 4.5 uncomfortable hours in the chair being asked the same stupid 6 questions and even being accused of lying and employing counter-poly techniques. After I told the guy that he was the one with the lie detector and I told him that I’ve been completely honest with him, he left the room for about 15 minutes, came back and said I passed and was finished with the poly.

  137. Avatar

    Hello, I am considering applying for a job with a security clearance but i do have a couple things in my past that i am questioning might be an issue. I used to be in military and when i got out i moved back home and fell back in with my old friends. I smoked marijuana with them 3 times over a 4 month period ending 10 months ago. Then about a month later i was drinking and ended up due to peer pressure trying a line of ketamine. After i tried it i ended up getting sick and ended up in the ER due to constant vomiting. After that i realized how my old friends were not the people i wanted to surround myself with and so i moved 1200 miles away and moved in with my family along with stopping all contact with all people who were clearly not good for me. I completely regret what i did and am 100% sure i will never touch drugs again. both occurrences were very minimal and i have not touched a drug since. i was just curious whether the drug use will cause an issue even tho it was 9 months ago and i have completely changed my life and left the people behind with no more contact?

  138. Avatar


    Honesty is the best policy. If you look at the Adjudicative Desk Reference, it will tell you that time must past to mitigate previous drug use. If you haven’t used drugs since college, have removed yourself from the environment and people where and with whom you used drugs, and are able to state your intention to abstain from further drug use, your prior use of Marijuana will probably be mitigated.

    IF you are coupling the polygraph process into the standard SSBI, I would suggest that you are as honest and candid as possible.

    And as a personal anecdote, I admitted occasional to habitual marijuana usage, as well as recreational harder drug use when in college, and was granted TS clearance about 3 years after college ended. I subsequently found myself in a situation where I “needed” to submit to a polygraph examination for additional clearance. I did so, and volunteered the entire truth (which was a bit more than I offered above) and was subsequently denied SCI access and my TS clearance was suspended, for lying on the initial investigation, as well as continued concerns about drug use because I was still living with people in an apartment when marijuana was being used. Approximately one year later I was reinvestigated, got the SCI granted and TS reinstated. That was my experience with withholding information on the forms.

    But, Alternatively, I have heard many many many stories from people who lied on the forms and it hasn’t caused them problems, and they never had their career set back for a few years by a clearance denial. Most of them however seem to only “need” the clearance as almost an afterthought.

    If you are in a profession/company where your clearance might get passed around to lots of different agencies/customers, where Clearance becomes an absolute prerequisite for coming to work everyday, you need to get past your prior behavior, and the easiest way to to that is to tell the truth and deal with the process. If you withhold information on your forms, you are currently engaging in behavior that is felonious and cast doubt on your character and trustworthiness.

  139. Avatar


    That was some great advice.

  140. Avatar

    I didn’t disclose my past marijuana use on my first SF-86 and was granted a clearance. 4 years later, I reported to my employer about my drug use and falsification and they filed an Incident report. My clearance was revoked because my report was not “prompt”. What are mitigating conditions for this when I try to re-apply after 1 year?

  141. Avatar

    I am currently a fed contractor and have had two opm investigations in five years . I was recently hired by federal govt . Three years ago I had a chapter 7 bk and all of my debt was cleared . I have no new debts since . My home was included in the bk but the mortgage company allowed me to live in the home as long as I could continue making payments . I started the deed in lieu process and eventually moved out and stopped making payments . I was told my the bank that no collection efforts would be made on balance as the loan was dissolved in bk . The deed in lieu process has dragged out and had to be started over three times in the last year . I am not living in the house but continue to keep it up and pay utilities while waiting for the bank to take it back. On my credit report it shows the loan as charged off . I put on equip that I was in deed in lieu process and now I have a govt person emailing me daily with questions about it . This person told me I was not going to have an opm investigation because I have a current one on file . But they want me to show that I’m not behind on payments and the deed in lieu is complete . How can this effect my clearance ? I have no idea when the bank will complete the process and can’t show I’m current on payments since the loan was part of bk . Any thoughts ?

  142. Avatar

    Thanks for the advice here.

    I recently was re-adjudicated for a Secret clearance about 7 months ago and was renewed.
    about 6 years ago I had a string of 3 DWI arrests in a short span of time, 5 months. This was obviously disclosed to on the SF-86 and discussed in my interview and the clearance was still renewed given evidence of the uncharacteristic nature of the offenses and the lack of any recidivism.

    Now I am applying for a job that requires a TS-SCI. My question is, since I had no problems renewing the Secret clearance, am I wrong to worry about the investigation for the TS-SCI?

    Thanks in advance.

  143. Avatar

    Also, the DoD was who I was dealing with. If I need to work on classified work for a different agency, does the 1 year waiting period still apply to other agencies? Does anyone know what document dictates the 1 year waiting period for reapplying for a security clearance?

  144. Avatar

    What positions are out there after being a security clearance adjudicator? I’m thinking of transitioning to something new, but don’t know what is out there. Anyone have any suggestions and any salary info? I have experience as a security clearance investigator, reviewer and now as an adjudicator. Thanks for your thoughts.

  145. Avatar

    just have a quick question if I am filling out a sf-86 will a small credit card debt under $3000 be an issue? And if I downloaded episodes of a show frequently a while ago will that have an adverse effect on receiving clearance? other then that everything else is clean

  146. Avatar

    My last contract employer did not report that I was working on a DoD contract that may have required me to use my clearance. Is there a method to have that time reported to extend the two-year expiration date? Note that I am no longer employed there and the two-year lapse in use is up in a few weeks. If they would have reported / got and held the clearance, that would extend the two year time. The five year re-investigation expires in several years.

  147. Avatar

    I’ve been a GS for 23 years, believe I came in with a secret clearance, but was never called for a renewal of any type. I’ve been with the same agency. I did have “Mini checks” for the global entry and nexus travel programs in the past few years. Now it looks like I may be joining State as an FSO and will need a full TS clearance. Will the fact I’ve been a fed in the same agency all those years and living at the same address for 15 speed things up ? How long can I expect this to take? I’ve been out of school for 30 years and I did hold other jobs prior to joining the govt, but that’s so long ago.

  148. Avatar

    Ancient fed,

    A TS background check usually goes back 10 years so your SF-86 should be short and sweet since you have the same job and address for a long time.

    Listing all your siblings and immediate relatives is what takes the longest because I could not remember their birthdays or addresses.

  149. Avatar

    I am in the process of my TS/SCI PR. My investigation has gone to the adjudication process. I am planning to take a job that requires a Secret clearance. My question is at this point do I have a new active TS clearance and just the SCI portion is being adjudicated or does the entire adjudication process have to finish before I have a newly activated TS?

  150. Avatar


    You can have a collateral TS without SCI. The TS has to be adjudicated and the SCI approved by the agency you will work for.

  151. Avatar

    ok BW an Investigator I understanding. I guess my real question is if I take a secret clearance position now with my TS in adjudication will I or not have an inactive TS or will my TS go away?

  152. Avatar


    I am hoping that I can get some clarity on my situation. I just started working for a consulting company that works with the USACE. I was told that I need to have a “favorable” disposition in the JPAS system in order to work on an upcoming project. I have filled out my OF306, PSIP and was fingerprinted. I have received the email about EQIP, filled it out (I have no criminal record), and submitted it.

    My question is: Is there anything else that I can do at this time or am I going to have to wait to hear back on my “favorable”/”denied” standing?

    Any info/advice would be greatly appreciated and will be a big help in getting to work on this project. Thanks!

  153. Avatar


    Your agency can accept the TS, but if not in a TS Billet, it will likely be downgraded. With that said, if the TS is adjudicated and you choose to leave for a TS position, much easier to do so.

  154. Avatar

    I work as a contracted OPM Background Investigator, and about six months ago I was suspended because my clearance was revoked. After 60 days of “investigation” the contractor terminated me. I was never given an SOR, no one I know has ever been contacted as part of an investigation, the contractor continues to insist the investigation is “ongoing” and will not tell me if they will notify me when/if it is ever complete. I have contacted OPM who has directed me to talk to my contractor. They’re hanging the threat of lawsuit over my head, but I have no idea why I was suspended, if I can re-apply to another company to do the same job, the real status of my clearance, if I have any means of appealing the decision, nothing. It’s a black hole of information. Any ideas?

  155. Avatar

    Thanks for your answer BS an Investigator. I take it by your comments that if I take the Secret clearance job with the TS waiting adjudication then I will still have an inactive TS with a downgraded TS to Secret. Is this correct? I mean it makes sense that the TS adjudication process will take place even though I am now taking a Secret clearance position with the TS being downgraded. Is this correct?

    Thanks for your help!

  156. Avatar

    I work as a contractor in a federal department where I filled a year of my resume with an internship I never had. I need to get interim public trust clearance. What are my chances? They already have my resume…will they cross check with the form I submit online?

  157. Avatar

    I have a pending DoS secret clearance being sponsored from company A. Recently I was offered a job by company B that will require the same clearance. I do not have a non-disclosure/non-solicitation/ non compete clause from company A, what happens now? Will the clearance still be processed by A or will I need to cancel my contract with A, so that I can take the higher paying job from company B?

  158. Avatar

    I am considering a position that requires an FBI SCI clearance without a polygraph.

    I have a SCI with CI Poly right now through a different Three Letter Agency.

    My past includes heavy adolescent and college-age use of illegal drugs, that ceased occurring 13 years ago, and has been fully reported and mitigated almost 8 years ago. Can someone speak to the FBI’s standards for prior illegal drug use?

    I have heard over the years that FBI will not clear you if you have some certain arbitrary number of uses of illegal drugs, even though you might be fully cleared by the other 3 letter agencies.

    I have read and been told that there is supposed to be “Reciprocity” IAW IRTPA and DNI Policy Directives, but it has been my experience that this isn’t necessarily true.

  159. Avatar

    Could someone help me understand what is going on? I had my interview and submitted all requested information for my classified security clearance for a civil service job six months to a year ago. Everytime I call the security officer to check the status, every month, he tells me “I just submitted a form to check the status a few days ago.” Some how I doubt everytime I call he just so happened to submit said request but he is the only person I can contact. I have been working for 4 plus years in civil service without a security clearance but recently a memo came down. I’m scared I’m going to lose my job because my paperwork got lost or because someone else doesn’t want to do their job. I don’t have anyone else to contact and my security officer says we are just waiting and there is nothing else for me to do. I have superiors coming up to me asking what the deal is and I can’t tell them anything because I don’t know. Originally my application was denied because they thought that I lied on my application but it was only a misunderstanding and I proved it and they said they believed me. I then had to supply a form they requested and have a interview with an investigator and that was about six months to a year ago. I mean I could understand if I was trying to get top secret clearance but it’s only classified. What can I do I can’t lose my job.

  160. Avatar

    Without hinting at the issues involved and what might have been misunderstood it is hard to give you a “don’t worry” or a variation of the inverse.

  161. Avatar


    I am a former Intelligence Specialist in the Marine Corps from 2003-2008. I held a TS/SCI but the vast majority of my work was with Secret. In 2008, I married my wife, a Russian citizen and DoNCAF revoked my clearance. I did not file an exception package at the time.

    Since then, my wife has moved to the USA and has lived here with me for five years and has acquired her Lawful Permanent Residence (green card) and will be working towards US citizenship soon. She travels back and forth to Russia to visit her family about twice a year. I occasionally accompany her and have spent about six months total in Russia spread out over the past six years. Last October, we had our first child, born in Russia and granted US citizenship through the Embassy.

    I have since graduated from Texas A&M University and many of the jobs I’m looking at require TS/SCI. What are the chances that I will ever be able to obtain a clearance again? We have very little debt and I have no criminal or drug history, and was Honorably discharged.

    Thank you in advance,

  162. Avatar


    I am currently filling out the SF86 form for work, and I had a couple of questions about what I can expect for my application. I appreciate any response. To star Ill say that I have no criminal history, no debt, no DUI’s, stellar credit, etc, etc. I’m squeaky clean at first glance. My concerns:

    1). I have light marijuana use in my history. I used MJ for several years, but during the relevant seven year period my usage was social and infrequent. I gave it up for good in the fall of 2012 and have since moved cities, so about 1.5 years removed. I only purchased MJ once in the last seven years, and that was for a very sick relative 4.5 years ago. I also gave away some of a prescription on a couple of occasions, but that was over 2 years ago, and I told the friend I wouldn’t do that again. I don’t think there’s a huge problem here, but I thought I’d throw it all out there and see if you agree. All of this is currently in my SF86 form.

    2). My real concern – I have over 20 people on my foreign contacts list and it is still growing. Most of them are living in the US. One of my better friends is Iranian. There are other Iranians on the list as well. I also worked for a foreign company for a year (but I was located in the US). As an academic, I find this all normal. You can’t throw a rock in an engineering school without hitting ten foreign students. Americans are the minority. But I don’t know how all this might look to an investigator. Some of the people on this list I haven’t spoken to in a few years, but I was told that since I was close and/or worked with them at some point during the 7 year period, I should leave them on.

    So, investigators with experience… What do you guys think? I know it won’t sail through, but should it get through eventually barring any unforeseen snags? Do you agree about leaving long defunct (5 years) relationships on the form or will that just bog it down?

  163. Avatar

    I will be candid here. I worked as an OPM background investigator for years.


    If possible, I would look for a job that doesn’t require any security clearance if I were you. Seriously. It is not about just the possibility of denial, you will always be under unique scrutiny and might have your clearance pulled at any time for no reason (from your perspective). Or worse, you could enter employment limbo that could consume a lot of your time and your sanity. I’ve heard the horror stories. Not knowing. No one to turn to or ask what’s going on. And when you start asking questions you draw even more suspicion.


    If you are up for a TS, you need to be upfront everything you mentioned here. Because someone else interviewed will make some reference to it, they always do. And when they do, even in some small way, red flags will be raised about you and you will be sunk (forever in government or government-related work/projects).

  164. Avatar


    I meant if a Source makes reference to something that you didn’t mention– for whatever reason however innocuous– will raise red flags. I saw this happen. It won’t end in denial. It’ll quickly slip into security clearance limbo.

  165. Avatar


    Thank you for your prompt and candid reply. I am applying for a Q clearance. (DoE) I don’t think there is anything else in my background that is very unusual, but I was worried about the combination of those things. I will do my best to proffer a complete list of foreign people that I have interacted with in meaningful ways.

    “Security clearance limbo” is exactly what I’m afraid of, and I am expecting the process to take awhile. I am in no immediate rush, so that’s good. I am encouraged that you did not tell me to not waste anymore time on it. :).

    Thanks again.

  166. Avatar

    Wow–I’m officially done. Sent everything back and proud to say that I didn’t lose anything after 9 years. I will say it’s a bit liberating.

  167. Avatar


    I agree with Darrow–look outside of the clearance world. It will be a lot less of the unknown for you. I would suspect in light of recent events, a Russian connection will make the process painful if not all-consuming.

    Either way, best of luck.

  168. Avatar


    Wow, a 9-year stretch! It will feel strange indeed to not have the aneurysm-causing inanity weighing you down 24/7. You’ll then start to miss the excitement and stress and pulling-a-rabbit-out-of-hat moments of completing a complicated case on time. I bet if there are opportunities in the coming BI process under DoD you’ll want to jump back in.

  169. Avatar


    For the past 8 years I worked for DoD contractors that did not require Secret clearance. I just started a new job with another contractor which does require Secret clearance. I am a naturalized citizen (for 9 years), but my mother and brother are Chinese citizens. My mother has green card and lives with me here, and my brother lives in China.

    I just completed SF86 and realized the foreign influence concerns. What are the chances that I can get clearance, or should I look for a new job?


  170. Avatar


    Had a question about an upcoming security clearance renewal.

    I obtained a secret clearance which I carried for a few years, including a deployment to Iraq. After that contract ended I ended up going to graduate school in the UK, so my clearance went from active to current.

    I’m currently applying for a job that requires a secret again. I’m under the impression that the secret should just be automatically renewed because I’ve carried a secret within the last two years, is that correct?

    I’m curious if my clearance will be renewed automatically due to my foreign travel. The Iraq bit was on official business and I carried the clearance during that time, so I can’t imagine a problem there. However, I went to grad school in the UK, so I will obviously need to include my ongoing contacts (really only one, my dissertation adviser) on the form. Will this impact my ability to renew, or will a UK/Australian contact warrant a complete re-investigation that may take months?

  171. Avatar

    Clearances do not transfer, once you leave a company who sponsored you for a clearance then it becomes inactive. If a new company you go to work for requires that you need a clearance, they will sponsor you through DSS, who will look to see if your previous investigation can still be used to grant a clearance, or if you will have to undergo a new investigation.

  172. Avatar

    I am currently a Fed with a public trust clearance. I just applied for a position that requires a secret clearance. I have not used recreational drugs since college, over 20 years ago; however, when they decriminalized marijuana recently, I tried it again- just because! I haven’t used it again since that time (a month ago.) I have also borrowed a couple of my friend’s Xanax during a stressful period, but have only taken two of them in the few months I’ve had them. I drink a couple of glasses of wine every evening, but I don’t think it’s a problem- they do this in Europe. I am also on anti-depressants for major depressive disorder. Would I qualify? Also, if I take the job and am denied the clearance, what happens to me? Will they place me in another position that does not require the clearance or will they just terminate my employment? Your help is appreciated. 🙂

  173. Avatar

    There are numerous issues in your scenario that could be disqualifying. When you say they have decriminalized marijuana, who is they? According to federal law, which trumps any state law, marijuana is still illegal to use, possess, buy, or sell. Here are potential issues for you:
    – use of an illegal drug by a federal employee (violation of the Drug Free Workplace Executive Order)
    – illegal use of prescription drugs (not yours)
    – diagnosed with depressive disorder (by whom?)
    – possible alcohol abuse
    – incumbent of a position of Public Trust and engaging in illegal behavior
    – possibly failure to follow rules and regulations/failure to report this behavior (depending on you agencies policies)
    Not to say these issues cannot be mitigated, but they will most certainly have to be disclosed and be taken into consideration for the decision as to whether to grant you a clearance. Policies vary in agencies regarding placement in other positions if you do not meet the position requirements.

  174. Avatar


    I recently joined the military and am slotted for an Intel MOS requiring a TS/SCI. I scored a 94 on the ASVAB and 110+ score on the DLAB and I’m currently 26 years old with a bachelor’s degree. I have an extremely clean record and pride myself on integrity and doing the right thing. I have no criminal history at all. I have no drug usage in the past 11 years, which was limited to marijuana seven times when I was 15-18 and I believe mushroom usage once in that same time period. On my SF-86 I can’t recall if I had listed a one time mushroom usage. When I was 15, my friend and I were hanging out, it was dark out and he told me to eat something. I obliged and became extremely paranoid and uneasy. I thought I was going to die so I went to the hospital and told them that I wasn’t sure what I ate and that I think it may have been mushrooms (I thought it was marijuana initially). They put me under observation for two hours and released me, no blood tests, nothing. Anyway, I went to my friend’s house to check on him to make sure he was OK and told his parents what I thought I ate and they basically ended our friendship even though it was their son who “tainted” me that evening. Years later they reconciled with me but I’m worried that if I omitted this on the SF-86 and the investigator speaks to them, I could be seen as untruthful. My issue is this: If I’m not sure exactly what I ate that evening do I contact my recruiter and tell him this or wait until an investigator interviews me about it if it comes up? There is likely a medical record of this incident but like I said I’m not sure what it was exactly that happened that night. I guess I need advice on what I should do. On the one hand, do I admit to one time mushroom usage and roll the dice on TS/SCI eligibility even though I’m unsure of what it was or on the other hand do I not shed light on the issue until it is brought up. Thank you.

    • Avatar

      The SF-86 only asks for illegal drug use within the past 7 years. The only exception is if you ever used drugs while possessing a clearance or as a law enforcement official. If asked in your security interview you can disclose it to the investigator.

  175. Avatar

    Correction: No drug usage in the past 8 years. Sorry, it’s late :).

  176. Avatar

    I am applying for a TSO job that requires an e86 or PF86 to be filled out for a background check. While in the army I had to take a urinalysis and pissed hot for cocaine, this happened 8-9 years ago. The only other thing on my record is a drinking under age 11 years ago.

    I see under Section 23.3 it ask “Have you EVER illegally used or otherwise been involved with a drug or controlled substance while possessing a security clearance?” I know they will find out about pissing hot, so I’m going to put it on their, but is that enough for me to be denied a security clearance now?

    • Avatar

      As long as you are honest on the SF-86 and during the interview about the circumstances of the drug use, have accepted responsibility for your actions, and there has been no drug use since, then enough time has elapsed to mitigate the concerns.

  177. Avatar

    Hello everyone,

    I recently graduated college with honors all around and was hired by a great government contractor. This is really the best employment opportunity I can ever hope for in my life time, however, I need to be able to obtain a security clearance for my position.

    I am 23 years old and my only concern is that I smoked marijuana once or twice back in 2009. At the time I did not realize that this incident may impact my future career choices. I have not smoked marijuana since then, and have had no arrests, convictions, or judgments made against me.

    I’m prepared to volunteer whatever information that is necessary and will provide in writing that I will not use any illegally controlled substance now or in the future and should I fail to do so then I know my security clearance will be automatically revoked and I will face prison time. The only question I have is how should I go about mitigating this issue so that it is not a big deal and I am able to obtain my clearance?


    Worried and Scared

  178. Avatar

    I found an awesome link that is very useful. It shows the reason why people did or did not get their security clearances. Very useful, check it out.


  179. Avatar

    I recently settled some bills that were in collections and these were deleted from my credit report. Should/Do I still need to disclose them on my SF86?

  180. Avatar

    Even though they are now resolved, you still need to list them in Section #26 Financial Record for the appropriate. It should not be an issue unless there is a recurring pattern of delinquency.

  181. Avatar

    I submitted a security clearance for one job about 3 weeks ago.
    Then, I got accepted into another job which also requires a security clearance. The information asked is identical to the other one. Both jobs are for the Navy. I called a woman for the 2nd job to ask her if I still needed to submit another security clearance. She called the Department of Defense and they told her there is no investigation in progress….

    Question #1, Do you think that means the security clearance submitted for the first job isn’t in progress anymore? (I never received an answer for that first security clearance)

    Question #2, Both security clearances asked identical information. When you are granted security clearance for one job, does that count for all other jobs as well?

    Question #3, Should I be submitting a security clearance for the second job, if I have submitted an identical security clearance for the other job 3 weeks ago?

    Thank you guys,

  182. Avatar

    I am getting my 5 year update for my TS. Today I had my initial interview with FBI investigator. She said, she was happy to get my case because I looked like an easy case with minimum issues. One thing that did come up was she said I had a few accounts on my credit report that were labeled R1 but her office needed me to sign a form that would allow them to check on these particular accounts. She said sometimes, even if an account is one day late it will trigger the need for this form to be sent. When I ran my own credit check, I had nothing late. I am confused about why why they are able to tell if I have something one day late? She told me it wasn’t a big deal and to not worry about it.

  183. Avatar

    I was told I’d need to fill out the SF-85 public trust with NACI, once I was offered employment. My issues lie with the employment section. It states to list any full-time, part-time, etc…work that you were *paid.*
    I’m a disabled applicant and haven’t had a paying position in the past 15 years, but I’m ready to get back into the paying workforce. I do a lot of unpaid volunteer work and have that listed on my resume. On the SF-85, do I list myself as unemployed, or do I go ahead and list all of my volunteer work for the past 7 years, even if I was unpaid? Thanks in advance!

  184. Avatar

    Hello, I’ve been given an offer for a federal contractor position and have completed the SF-85 and am still to turn in the OF-306 on my start day. My issue is, I have a terrible record. Here is a list:

    A dui (under a year ago), 2 public drunks, and a child neglect I recieved because I had my son with me at the same time I recieved one of the public drunks. I’ve also got an OTH discharge from the military 10 years ago.

    Is this not a lost cause or what? Some mitigating factors might be that I recently completed my Bachelors degree and have completed all my court requirements for any infraction. Is there a point where honesty is no longer the best policy and one simply has too much history?

  185. Avatar

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

  186. Avatar


    I was recently (last year) discharged from military with an Honorable discharge, and decided to attend college. Before getting out, my TS clearance was re-adjudicated, so I am current as of this moment. I had a lapse in judgement in November and decided to partake in some Marijuana with friends I had met at school. It was roughly 4 times over the course of 2 weeks. During that time I had also taken 1 dose of adderal, as the stress of class was getting to me. During the last time I partook in pot, it finally dawned on me how far from my own self I had fallen, the road I was going down, and that I had already betrayed the trust given to me.

    Now, 7-8 months later, I’m employed by a defense contractor, and am looking at trying to have my clearance reinstated. I plan to tell my employer of the situation *prior* to them reffering me for clearance activated, and *prior* to filling out my next eQIP (which should happen at prior to activation). I also plan to be forthright and candid about it on my forms and during any interviews.

    I realize now how big of a mistake I’ve made, and I’m going to work to rectify it at openly and clearly as possible, while hopefully trying to mitigate the circumstances as best I can… but I’m not optimistic. I guess I’m wondering how badly I’ve messed up, and whether or not I can rectify it, or if I should just expect the big ol’ boot kicking me out the door.

    Thank you for any response

  187. Avatar

    I left the military in match 2007 and shortly after, August 2007, I got married to a foreign national. Upon leaving the military I had a TS clearance. Feb 2008 I accepted a job that required a Secret clearance. I a nut shell I did not report the marriage occured after my last investigation to the company security office.

    I understand I was a fool for never reporting it. I guess I’m trying to determine how damaging this will be upon any attempt to renew my secret clearance or to get a TS/SCI clearance in the near future.

  188. Avatar


    I’m going for an interview soon with the FBI. I applied to this opening early 2012. I was 26 at the time. Anyways, in Nov 2012 I traveled to Amsterdam. I smoked MJ and ate MJ cookies. I went back and forth on trying it due to the application I’d filled out earlier that year. But I caved because I convinced myself, “You only live once!” And that it was legal there (which now I know it isn’t). Then last fall, I tried it again approx 4 times at parties and once at a concert (I felt nothing was happenign with my application and I was again curious). I do not plan on ever engaging in this behavior again BUT now I have an interview. Would the interview be the place to disclose this – when I initially applied I never had tried anything. Now I have. Or should I not say anything see how the interview goes. If I get a COE, then disclose everything in the SF 86? Would they be upset I didn’t say anything at the interview? I know for a fact I’ve tried it less than 15 times in my life but it was within three years – does that make a difference?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you!

  189. Avatar


    I was wondering if someone can give me some insight on the probability of obtaining an interim clearance. I was just recently offered a position at an aerospace company in the private sector where a secret clearance is required but an interim clearance must be obtain before the start of the position. I’m not very familiar with the process but after reading through numerous forums and checking out form SF 86, it looks like I would have to dig deep into my past. I’ll provide some information about myself:
    1) I was charged (never convicted) with a Felony for burglary of habitation in 1997.
    2 They also charged (never convicted) me with two misdemeanors: criminal mischief and trespassing also in 1997
    I had just turned 17 and was tried as an adult. Instead of jail time and being this was my first offense, I was given 7 years probation for the felony and 1 year probation for each misdemeanor all served concurrently. Fast forward 17 years later, I got all three charges sealed. I don’t do drugs. My credit is above average with a few collections also back when I was in my late teens and early 20s (was never taught personal finance 101). I’m definitely going to state it if asked “Have I EVER.” Can someone help me out with past experience if i’ll be able to obtain an interim clearance and ultimately a secret?


    • Avatar

      Update: I was granted the interim secret clearance. It took me 10 days to fill out the application. I provided all the requested information regarding my criminal records and I’m thinking time adjudicated the situation. I hope my information was helpful as I too scoured the internet searching for answers.

  190. Avatar

    Hi! Thank you guys so much for all these awesome answers. Here is my case

    I am gay, and my husband-to-be is applying a job that requires Secret-level clearance. I am pursuing a Ph.D in electrical engineering in the US. But the problem is that I am a Chinese citizen, and my family do not know that I am gay yet. My boyfriend and I got engaged before he applied his job… I know it’s complicated…All my family connections are Chinese (except an uncle-in-law, who is a naturalized US citizen), but none of their jobs are related to any intelligent agencies or high-level governments of PRC. My question is:
    1. Should my background be a deal-breaker to the security clearance of my husband-to-be?
    2. I am still planning to provide as much information of my family as I can to help to obtain his security clearance. I am worried that my family will be contacted, interviewed and told that I am gay, so will this happen?

    Thanks — so much — to whoever can give any answer/suggestion.

  191. Avatar

    How much extra time does having a foreign contact add to the clearance process?

    My girlfriend lives in England (always has). She’s never been in trouble with the police and doesn’t work for her government. We have daily contact.

    I have been granted a clearance before, which took what seemed like forever. How much longer is this clearance likely to take now that I have a foreign influence?

    • Avatar

      A girlfriend living in England is not such a concern to add extra time onto the completion of an investigation unless there are issues like her belonging to terrorist or criminal organizations.

  192. Avatar

    My 5 year update is being conducted by FBI now. I have two ex-spouses. My last one was just interviewed. We have been divorced 3 years. My second ex-spouse and I divorced 9 years ago. Will they interview her as well? My second ex-spouse was interviewed 5 years ago when my clearance was updated then. I am only a little concerned because my second ex-spouse is very bitter and said negative things about me 5 years ago. Obviously it didn’t matter because my TS and SCI have been adjudicated favorably. I just don’t want to have the investigation prolonged again. My recently divorced ex spouse did tell the investigator positive things about me.

    • Avatar

      If you had a reinvestigation completed after the time of your ex-spouse and she was interviewed during the completion of that investigation then it is not required to include her in the next update. Only the latest divorce spouse will be interview in the update.

  193. Avatar

    I am on a TS SCI clearance and I accidentally ingested pot cookies at a friend’s house(literally they were just in the fridge and i had now idea). Should I report this to my security officer? It was an honest mistake, and I don’t want to have to lie on a future SF86. Any suggestions?

    • Avatar

      This is actually not an uncommon occurrence. How did you know they were laced? You should report this immediately. Imagine the scenario where you are required to provide a urinalysis sample and this would be your excuse when questioned about why you tested positive after the fact. Not very plausible. However, if you voluntarily report this now then you have helped provide mitigation.

  194. Avatar

    I submitted by SF86 yesterday and forgot an incident I had with marijuana my freshman year of college. Is there someone I can contact to add this information? I suppose they haven’t started reviewing it yet.

    • Avatar

      Contact the person who initiated your EQIP and let them know you forgot to add something. They should be able to reject the EQIP back to you in the system for corrections, then you would have to re-certify and print out the signature release forms again.

  195. Avatar

    I currently have had a secret clearance since 2010. I was offered a position where I have to obtain a top secret clearance. I believe I am in the final stages of determining whether or not I will be able to obtain a Top Secret clearance. I have no criminal history, good credit, no drug use nothing in my past that would prevent me from obtaining a clearance. The only possible issue is my husband is not a U.S Citizen. I recieved the below email content from the Personal Security Operations Division:
    – Obtain facts concerning spouse’s legal entry into the U.S.; including reason and when subject’s spouse entered the U.S.; under what type of visa; documentation of spouse’s current legal status; determine what steps subject’s spouse has taken to become a U.S. citizen and whether the spouse’s mother and daughter intend to join him in the U.S.

    – Obtain statement by subject addressing the detailed circumstances under which she met her spouse; including inclusive periods of association and nature of association prior to decision to marry.

    Has anyone been asked questions like these? If so was the outcome in your favor? What are my chances of obtaining a top secret clearance if my spouse is an adjustment of status?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Avatar

      This is a standard inquiry for anyone who applies for a TS clearance. They want to know if your spouse has the ability to influence you to act against U.S. interests. Answer the questions honestly and let the adjudicators do their job.

  196. Avatar

    This is a standard inquiry for anyone who applies for a TS clearance. They want to know if your spouse has the ability to influence you to act against U.S. interests. Answer the questions honestly and let the adjudicators do their job.

  197. Avatar

    Hello, I have a brief question. I am currently up for a position that requires a Public Trust clearance. When I visited the security office, all they required was a OF306, fingerprints, and a credit release form. Is there any guidance on how long this process should take? It’s been about 4 weeks already and I have heard nothing back, I also see others talking about filling out an sf-85/86 form, yet I was not required to. Any reasons for why I was not required to? Any help would be great…. thanks

    • Avatar

      Based on the sparse details you provided, it sounds like you are in the pre-employment selection phase and they have not decided whether to go forward with you. If you are selected then you will have to fill out the SF85P used for Public Trust positions. Would need more details to answer further.

      • Avatar

        Hi Marko, thanks for the response. You would be correct, I was given a tentative offer, and then asked to fill out the OF-306, fingerprints, and a credit card check before it would become official. Can you explain why this is done, instead of just giving me the SF85P form from the get go?


      • Avatar

        Standard procedures, all the information that is pertinent can be obtained by those other items, the investigation itself will corroborate that the information you provided is true.

      • Avatar

        Hi Marko,

        Thanks for the follow up. Other than some minor traffic tickets, I do not foresee there being a problem. Do you have any idea how long this process normally takes? Is it 2-4 weeks, or are we talking multiple months here?


  198. Avatar


    I have been tentatively selected for a public trust internship and need to fill out an OF306.
    I have a felony arrest from 2010 that placed me under the first offender act with probation for four years, it has ended. First offender simply means there was technically no conviction of guilt. Do I have a shot at getting cleared? Can the hiring entity drop me for this? I have some factors that I feel mitigate. No prior or subsequent criminal history. Earned a BA and now am in Law school. Honorable discharge from the military. And have started a family.

    The charge was Felony theft by taking. I took a guys car and drove it a few blocks and got out of the car.

    Any information is appreciated.

    • Avatar

      As long as you are truthful on the OF-306 and there are no other issues then the felony arrest can be mitigated. I do suggest you obtain the court records to show the current disposition as a proactive measure in case someone asks.

  199. Avatar

    Standard procedures, all the information that is pertinent can be obtained by those other items, the investigation itself will corroborate that the information you provided is true.

  200. Avatar

    Dear FEDCAS,

    I’m not quite sure if you still reply to messages, but I thought I would try anyways.I find your website to be very informative and I am sure it also helps many others too..

    I spent four years in Korea. I was both working and going to language school those times. In my last 9 months, I unfortunately worked for a very small local company where in the end, we parted on very bad terms. I don’t believe I was at fault, but of course, who is going to believe me and there is no proof. I won’t get into details, but I would say that if they ever contacted the boss, he would categorize it under misconduct at work, and misuse of company information etc. (This is not true.)

    I have only just begun the application, and don’t know if I should even bother continuing. I have one contact from that previous job whom I will provide her information. My concern is, will they contact anyone else from that company? Will they pressure her to provide any other coworkers or the boss’ contact information. -Thank you for your help.

  201. Avatar

    I wanted to further clarify my question above. I spent four years in Korea. In my last year, I unfortunately worked for a very small local company where in the end, we parted on very bad terms. My boss started making sexual advances towards me. In the beginning, I refused him, but in the end, we ended up having an affair. We did not have sex, and really it is my word against his as we are the only two people who know the truth. On his side, he completely changed the story, and he blames everything on me and says I was the one who seduced him (of course, since he’s married). This is not true. His wife found out and it became a huge deal.I don’t know if I should just withdraw my application. I would be truthful but fear most that they would contact my boss. Your expertise is kindly appreciated.

  202. Avatar

    I am going to be filling out an sf-86 for the FBI. I was wondering how to classify my prior drug use. I gave some of my hydrocodene to some other kids in basic training because “their back hurt”, and I took a hydrocodene from another friend while in airborne school. I used it for pain. I cannot remember if I was prescribed the same pills as him at the time. We were both injured and in a holding patern. This was 8 years ago. Would this be illegal drug use that requires 10 years between or the prescription misuse that requires a 3 year gap?
    Thanks for any help.

    • Avatar

      The FBI conducts and adjudicates their own background investigations, so it is really up to them as far as timelines and types of illegal drug use. The only thing I can advise is to just be up front about it and they will look at the circumstances and apply any mitigation.

  203. Avatar

    Will I get interim security clearance? I answered yes that I was hospitlized over 7 years ago but I have been in therapy and my condition is in remission. I have included a mitigation letter from my current psychiatrist.

    • Avatar

      An interim clearance is an agency decision and a lot depends on the need, priority of the position, and level of clearance. Most agencies will wait to get the full investigation back before granting access when there are psychological issues.

  204. Avatar

    I am currently interviewing for a job that requires a secret clearance. In the last 7 years I have smoked Marijuana 5 times. The last time as recently as a year ago. I don’t plan on doing any drugs in the future. Will this cause me to be denied?

    • Avatar

      Curious to know, did you interview, fill out the SF-86 and get the job?

  205. Avatar

    Does the SF86 ask about past polygraph tests?

    • Avatar

      No it does not specifically about polygraphs, but does ask if you were ever had a clearance or access authorization denied. This means if a polygraph was required for SCI or SAP access and you failed then your should probably list it.

  206. Avatar

    I’ll be submitting my sf86 for fbi employment soon along with taking a poly. I used marijuana twice five years ago after getting off active duty (the only drug usage in my adult life) and enrolling in college. The problem is I was in the Reserves at that point and think I had an active clearance. Will using marijuana while holding a clearance for the reserves prevent my BI from being adjudicated? Thanks.

    • Avatar

      If you were inactive (IRR) then you were not in a cleared status. I can tell you that FBI positions are more stringent when it comes to illegal drug use so be prepared to answer honestly and show that it was a one time lapse in order to mitigate the concerns.

  207. Avatar


    I was recently offered a job that requires secret security clearance. This is my first time going through the process. I’ve read a lot of what is on this website and others like it, and I think I am making myself crazy, so I need some insight from someone in the know. The company will rescind the offer if I’m not cleared at the secret level on an interim basis. Here goes:

    1. I have a DUI from 2003, for which the record has been expunged (I know to still disclose).
    2. I have a speeding ticket from 2008 (I’m not even sure it actually falls within the past seven years timeframe, but I know it’s best to disclose if I’m not sure).
    3. I was ticketed for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana in 2012. The pot was not mine, it was a friend’s, who was in the car with me. As the owner of the car, I was ticketed. It was far less than one ounce, it was one joint.
    4. I sought mental health assistance for depression and anxiety for approximately one year, calendar 2012. Therapy was discontinued by mutual decision of both myself and my therapist because it was no longer needed.

    I plan on using some of the advice I’ve picked up from reading this blog and take the opportunity to write in some context about these issues, specifically 1) I have always disclosed my DUI at every opportunity, including my application to law school and to take the NY bar exam; 2) I sought therapy because my long-term boyfriend and I broke up and additionally, I was depressed and anxious about finding a long-term job; and, 3) the pot for which I was ticketed was not mine. I have never used drugs of any kind.

    Like I said, I need to pass interim for secret — the offer will be rescinded if not. Mr. Henderson, are these issues a real problem or have I made myself crazy?

  208. Avatar


    Maybe someone can help me out here. I have applied for a job with CBP, I am almost done with the process just waiting on my background (adjudication) to be cleared. This morning I was contacted by the adjudicator and he wanted to know information regarding my aunt. He wants to know my aunts immigration status in this country and for me to provide documents of her status. I had previously mentioned to my background investigator that I do not communicate with her, that I had asked her to tell me her status but she said she wouldn’t tell me or provide information because it’s not my business.
    I really don’t know what else to do here? Why would the adjudicator need this information if she’s not close to me, if she’s not my direct relative? Any advice??

  209. Avatar

    The DUI will not be an issue as it is out of scope and as long as no similar conduct has occurred. The pot issue may be an issue, but if you get ahead of it by volunteering all information up front, and attesting to the fact that you no longer associate with individuals who use pot (you didn’t say of you had ever used it yourself), and same thing with the counseling, get out ahead of it and describe why you got the counseling and that you no longer need it. That will be verified by your counselor. Interim decisions depend on the agency and position, so it is impossible to say if they will grant an interim. For a full investigation I don’t see these issues preventing you from getting cleared.

  210. Avatar

    Rod, with all the scrutiny on clearances and insider threats the investigator was probably just asked to get whatever information he could. If you can provide it then that should be that and it should not be an issue unless the aunt generated a hit in some other agencies database.

  211. Avatar

    I’ve been thinking about applying for DOD job that requires a Secret clearance. Apprehensive about doing so because I was arrested exactly 7 years ago and charged with ‘Terroristic Threatening’. What brought this about was me calling my deadbeat tenants and telling them I would be coming by to inspect the house they were renting from me prior to us going to court for their eviction proceedings. Out of frustration (they never answered or acknowledged my calls), I called them about 5 times over a two week period. There were no threats issued by me to them. Anyway, went to court and the charges were dropped by the DA once all evidence was provided. Crazy how that can happen…..

    Would that incident prevent me from getting a clearance? Everything else is good. Credit, employment, drug-free, etc. I’m retired military and my old clearance expired in 2010. Held that for 22 years.

  212. Avatar


    Sounds like you had a case of bad luck and as long the charges were dropped and there is no evidence of similar conduct you should be good to go. However, ensure that you provide full disclosure on all security forms where it asks for that specific information so that there is no appearance of being less than forthright and honest.

  213. Avatar

    I am getting ready to fill out the sf86 and I have a few concerns. My credit isnt horrible but I have some medical collections and a cell phone light and cable bill in collections. I have an auto paid off 2 personal loans and a c.c that im all current on and never missed a payment on. Will this stop me from getting a secret clearance. I have a perfect driving record and background?

  214. Avatar

    I’m filling out an e-qip for a GS12 job at the FDA, unfortunately 4 years ago I was arrested for a DUI in Arizona. The judge dismissed the case, gave me probation, a fine, and ordered alcohol counseling, all of which I completed.

    However, last year I was pulled over again on suspicion of DUI and during the test I was so nervous I fainted, the paramedics were called and all that. The police officer gave me a breathalyzer and I blew a .01%, he said that this was technically below the measurable limit for his breathalyzer, but that since I had fainted he had to write me up for a DUI anyways. I went to court again and the judge dismissed the case completely, and then I went and had the record expunged.

    My question is:
    1. Do I/should I put the second DUI arrest and expungement down on my SF86? (I’m definitely putting the first)

    2. Will this prevent me from getting the job at the FDA? I don’t think I need a security clearance, I think it’s just a background check because I’ll be working with trade secrets and regulations.

  215. Avatar

    @Jonathan Owens, the collections may not be a problem for a Secret level clearance, at the most I would say they may ask you to submit to an interview to get more details about them. If I were you I would do whatever you have to do to get them resolved so that there is no question about your reliability and responsibility.

  216. Avatar

    @Samantha, depending on which form you are filling out (SF85P or SF86), you have to answer the questions however they are asked, e,g, have you ever been arrested for, have you been convicted of, etc…I would disclose just so that there is no questioning your honesty. If the events happened as you stated then it should not prevent you form getting favorably adjudicated.

  217. Avatar

    I’ve looked around but not seen this. Are the standards for Secret and Top Secret different? Not the investigations, but the standard by which the results are adjudicated.

    I received a Secret 3 years ago, but I suspect I might have been a bit of an edge case. I have held progessively more responsible positions since then and am now up for a Q. Any conduct that could have raised any concern was raised during the previous investigation and there is nothing that would be held against me since. I’m mostly confident, but a little information from an expert would be welcome.


  218. Avatar

    @David, the adjudicative standards are the same, however, the higher the level of clearance the more emphasis is put on any issues. Also, the investigations themselves glean more information to look at and consider the higher the clearance. You should not assume that just because you were granted a Secret you will automatically get a TS. You know what the issues were, if you have the ability to provide mitigation I would plan on getting that information together beforehand.

  219. Avatar

    @Marko, Thanks very much Marko. The only issue was recency of use of marijuana and the by definition criminal behavior accompanying use of illegal drugs, which I successfully mitigated through my SF86 answers and the signing of a statement of intent not to use illegal drugs in the future. Three more years since last use should make it an easier decision than last time.

    You should put up a tip jar, your advice is appreciated and I would contribute.

  220. Avatar


    I originally got cleared in 2009. When it came time for renewal (2014) I filled out all of the paperwork. It took about a year for my interviewer to call me (so they called me in 2015) and then everything proceeded normally. I was informed the case was closed and everything is finished but am still waiting for them to enter it into JPAS. It has been 16 months since they opened my case for a renewal and I am still waiting. Any idea how long I will have to wait? My security officer put in an inquiry but with no reply and they can’t send another one because it still says the first inquiry is pending response. My initial clearance took 6 months, why is my renewal taking so long? Any ideas? Anything I can do? If I am looking to switch jobs to another cleared position is a pending renewal transferable?

  221. Avatar

    I am researching and interested to enlist in either the army or air force now. i lived overseas for 8 years and have been wrongfully terminated from 2 real estate jobs while living there. How can i give my employer references when we are not on the best of terms…? Also overseas i incurred a lot of debt from banks and left without paying them which in their country is a criminal offense but not here in the US . Will the above issues hurt my issues in getting clearance or enlisting?

  222. Avatar

    @Forever Waiting, unusual for a case to take so long to complete and be adjudicated. You didn’t say whether you are a contractor or govt. employee, but if you switch jobs the gaining company cannot request a new investigation unless it requires a higher level clearance. However, if you are moving to a Federal position then that agency can request a copy of the investigation to adjudicate themselves.

  223. Avatar

    @Simon, there are several concerns that would come up should you ever apply for a military service in a job that may require a security clearance. You don’t say if you are a U.S. citizen or why you were living overseas, but regardless, the foreign debts that you walked away from is a serious issue that would probably prevent you from getting cleared. It shows a lack of trustworthiness and responsibility, as well as being criminal.

  224. Avatar


    I will be graduating college this spring and have been interviewing for positions requiring clearance, most likely Secret level. I have a clean legal & mental record and a strong desire to serve, but I’m worried about recent but infrequent experimentation with marijuana. I tried it twice over 4 years ago, but in a major lapse of judgement I puffed off a pass in July. I will never use it again and regret that decision every day, but I’m very concerned about the recency. My past use was purely experimental and I didn’t like it. I don’t associate with people from the more past events, but the recent one was with my girlfriends’ stepmother who we don’t really like. Considering the recency and association issue, are my chances really grim?

    Thank you for any and all advice.

  225. Avatar

    @Hopeful, it really depends on the agency and position as to whether they consider it disqualifying or if it can be mitigated. If that is the only issue and what you described above is accurate then there is a chance for you to be eligible for a clearance, but as well, it could also be denied. You won’t know until you go through the process.

  226. Avatar


    So I need help! I currently work for TSA, when I filled out the sf-86 for TSA I didn’t mentioned that I had tried marijuana in high school (7 years ago). I then applied for CBP, passed the polygraph, met the investigator and now my file is with the adjudicator. He sent me an email asking why I didn’t mentioned on both sf-86 to TSA and CBP that I had tried marijuana and then admitted to have done it during the polygraph and during the interview with the background investigator. I sent a letter explaining my reasoning, etc.
    Now in freaking out, I know I should have mentioned from the get-go, could this be a disqualifying factor? Even though I came out clean on the polygraph, and that it happen while I was in high school just twice?.
    Could I get fired from TSA because of this? Someone help me please I’m freaking out :(.

  227. Avatar

    Good Day!

    I am a federal contractor, and my current position does not require a security clearance; however, my management wanted me to complete the SF86P. I did and was granted an interim approval. My question is if I receive an opportunity with another company while I am waiting for the final approval – will the investigation stop once I leave the company that sponsored the clearance? Any information is very much appreciated.


  228. Avatar

    I got my Secret security clearance a couple years ago and have been doing computer work with it. My girlfriend was brought into the country illegally by her parents when she was a child and now she has been granted DACA (deferred action for childhood arrivals) by the government that she has to renew every two years. I’m really in love with her, and want to marry her someday. Will my security clearance be in jeopardy if I go through with marrying her since she came over illegally?

  229. Avatar

    @Tania, Did you complete an SF85P or an SF86? An interim what? (you said your position does not need a clearance). Just because you complete the form doesn’t mean an investigation was started. If your previous investigation meets the requirement they can review the new form to see if any new issues of concern came up since the last investigation. If no new issues arise, then that is it.

  230. Avatar

    @Anonymous Poster, have you reported your relationship with this girlfriend (as you should have because you currently have a clearance?) If not then that will add to the concern of her being in the U.S. illegally. Not saying it can’t be mitigated, but you should really discuss this with your FSO.

  231. Avatar

    @Marko – No I have not reported it. I didn’t know if it was relevant since I was only casually talking to her when I got my clearance. I didn’t lie about anything on my SF86, it never asked about anyone I was casually talking to. It was mostly interested in spouses and relatives, of which she is neither.

  232. Avatar

    @Anonymous, did you miss the part in Section 19 Foreign Contacts that asks about having had and/or continuing to have close contact with a foreign national with whom you are bound by affection? I think wanting to marry someone qualifies!

  233. Avatar

    @Marko – Good point, I actually did miss that. I will mention it to my FSO. Back to my original question – do you think it will cause a problem?

  234. Avatar

    It is a concern and best to get out in front of it and provide as much mitigation as you can. You will need to gather information on her, her immediate family members, and the circumstances of how they got into the U.S., why they never sought legal status, and of course her current status. Provide all of this to your FSO to pass on to the clearance granting entity for evaluation.

  235. Avatar

    Hi, I may apply for a cyber-security job that requires clearance and want to know if a vacation to Cuba 3 years ago is an automatic disqualification for clearance. Also, I am a US citizen by birth but have UK citizenship through my mother, would I need to renounce this (no passport)?

  236. Avatar

    @MrMr, if you went to Cuba legally and there were no issues or continuing contact with Cuban nationals then it should not be an issue. The dual citizenship is also not an issue as long as you don’t seek to gain any benefits from that government.

  237. Avatar

    Thanks for the quick response. I’m not sure if my trip was legal as my primary citizenship is Usa and my British citizenship was inherited. It was not approved by the US government though. Taking the British citizenship out of it, would I automatically be disqualified for taking an unauthorized trip?

  238. Avatar

    @MrMr, it would be scrutinized and questioned, but if that was the only issue it should not prevent you from getting cleared.

  239. Avatar

    I have a question. I was filing for bankruptcy and was going to send my attorney the information next week. This year my daughters father stop sending support for my daughter which caused me to fall very behind on bills and inquire more credit because I was not able to support me and her and pay everything. So My credit literally dropped 200 points. I was doing really really good. And I realized I could not handle it. I filed for child support and last month decided to move back in with parents and find a better paying job there.

    So I was offered a position as a Secretary to a Commander who told me I would not need a clearance. But apparently I do. And it seems like forever to file out the information. Im trying to figure out if I should just go ahead and file bankruptcy because of how bad my credit has gotten. Before that I had one late payment which was from being on vacation 4 years ago and forgetting to pay. Other than that clean and crisp. They give you a place to explain your financial difficulty reasons and I did. I’m really concerned now because I need a job to support me and my daughter. Child support has not gone through yet. I remember my daughters father not being able to get his clearance when he was in the military, but he was able to stayed in and eventually got it. How does it work in the civilian world? Will I still be able to start work while the clearance is ongoing? Should I file a chapter 7 bankruptcy? and will this hurt chances? I thought about talking to the HR person handling my employment? Should I dress my concerns.

  240. Avatar

    @Marlene, adjudicators look at the circumstances of what caused the financial issues and whether or not they were beyond your control. Then they look at what steps did you take to resolve the debts. If you just let them sit and don’t take action (like filing for bankruptcy) you will not get a clearance. Filing for bankruptcy is a legal remedy and can be used to mitigate your situation, as long as you were financially responsible in the past and are in the future.

  241. Avatar

    Hello everyone, I think my question is relatively simple. I received a General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand for using a government vehicle outside of work and lying about it. My question is this, if this is on my permanent file and I apply for employment with a Federal Agency in future, will it be a bar to employment with them? Any response would be appreciated. Thanks

  242. Avatar

    @AD, an LOR would not prevent you from being eligible for federal employment. As long as you disclose it if asked on any employment or background investigation application, the issue in and of itself is not that serious as long as there is no pattern or recent similar behavior.

  243. Avatar

    I had my polygraph Nov 2013. I had an interview with an adjudicator in Jun 2015. We went over my polygraph and said he would be writing his report and the determination would be done in the next 7-10 days. I had a colleague who had a similar call and was adjudicated in approx 10 days. My case has issues, but is any timeline I can expect after this adjudication interview?

  244. Avatar

    My investigator was very rude to me while trying to schedule an interview (he hadn’t spoken with me at all). He made hollow threats about contacting my supervisor and tried to browbeat me on the telephone for no good reason. Is it appropriate for me to demand his supervisor’s contact information? What would be a good way to get that information from him and what if he refuses to provide it?

  245. Avatar

    @AS, You are saying you were interviewed a year and a half after taking a polygraph? And what came up during the interview? Regardless, either they make a favorable adjudication determination or not. You did not state for what level clearance or if you currently have one, so no further advice can be given.

  246. Avatar

    @Jason, if you truly feel that the investigator was acting inappropriately or was reporting false information them then you can report it to OPM’s Office for the Inspector General: https://www.opm.gov/our-inspector-general/hotline-to-report-fraud-waste-or-abuse/complaint-form/
    However, if you just had a personality conflict and didn’t much care for the way he conducted himself then you should just let it go.

  247. Avatar

    Hi there,

    My question relates to one-time marijuana use and a TS/SCI clearance.

    I consumed a single marijuana edible in February 2015, and I know it doesn’t matter now, but it was in a state where it’s legal. This occurred 6 months before I applied to the position in question, and my eQIP was submitted today (12/1/15). I have never been involved with or used marijuana besides this instance – no other drug use period. That being said, February is less than a year ago, and general consensus for abstinence seems to be a year. Is there any possibility of getting cleared? Or is it likely that my application will be denied?

  248. Avatar

    @uncle whiskers: Some factors that would be taken into consideration are what type of employment status were you in at the time: civilian with no govt affiliation; military; govt. contractor. If you did not violate any employment rules or regulations about drug use then it is a mitigator since it was legal to use marijuana in that state. One time use and the fact that you were honest in disclosing it are also in your favor. As long as it is not a pre-condition for the position I don’t see it as an issue that would prevent you from getting cleared, however, it is up to the agency granting you the clearance.

  249. Avatar

    I recently filled out an SF-85P (E-Qip), Questionaire for Public trust position form, for a possible Federal employment. Question 20 and 21.B ask If I was charged with any offenses in the last 7 years. I was charged with “possession of Marijuana” and was given an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal(ACOD) exactly 7 years and 4 months ago. Since this does not fall in the required time frame do I need to disclose this information to the investigator? Thank you for your time!

  250. Avatar

    @Ranger04, you are not required to disclose it on the form and the investigator should not need to ask about it, but in the event he does just answer truthfully and it will not be an issue (unless your agency/position has specific standards against any illegal drug use, e,g,. DEA)

  251. Avatar

    My question is related to employment. One of my previous employer was a call center no longer is business. On my Sf-85 I have list the previous address and I have noted that the call center location where I used to work is no longer in business. But beside that I don’t have any another information to list such as old co-workers or supervisor I have lost touch with everyone I use to work with. My question is will that info be enough for the background investigator?

  252. Avatar

    @Jo, You provide whatever information you can dig up and put in the comments that it went out of business, if it was over 5 years ago they would not be contacted anyways. This is more common then most think, not an issue.

  253. Avatar


    I am waiting on secret clearance for a contractor position. I had an interview in September, but the contractor says my clearance is still “pending”. He didn’t clarify what “pending” referred to. Does this mean my case is pending adjudication? If so, what kind of time can I expect to wait?

    I am a dual national, but don’t think there are any other red flags in my SF 86. I did, however, express willingness to renounce that citizenship.


  254. Avatar

    @Long wait, September is not that long to wait as the case my or may not be closed and then gets to the adjudicator based on priority. At this point there is nothing you can really do to speed it up.

  255. Avatar

    Do, you know how whats the standards methods for certain agency if my probation year is up before my background is cleared. Because it seems that OPM has a backlogs

  256. Avatar

    I have recently been given an engineering job offer with a contractor that is contingent on my obtaining an interim secret clearance. My biggest concern is that in July of 2014 my husband attacked me (tried to strangle me) and I have been seeing a counselor a couple times a month ever since. (My husband was arrested and received a spousal battery misdemeanor) I separated from my husband for good a year ago and we are in the middle of a divorce. I am wondering what my chances of being granted an interim clearance are based on a) the fact that I’ve been seeing a counselor for the past 1.5 years due to the abuse I was subjected to, and b) the fact that I have a divorce currently in progress? I have perfect credit and no foreign relations or anything of the sort.

  257. Avatar

    @Jo, Not sure what you are asking for, you can be on probation for a misdemeanor offense and still get a clearance. You will need to find out whether your investigation has closed or if it is adjudications.

  258. Avatar

    @Looking forward, sorry to hear about your situation and the abuse involved. Seeing a counselor is in now way an automatic disqualifier, as long as you provide the required information on the application and have supporting documentation (police reports, court orders,etc.)

  259. Avatar

    Last year I was in the process for CBP, everything was done and I had passed everything including the polygraph. During the polygraph, I admitted to trying weed in high school (6 years ago) just twice, but I didn’t mention this while filling out the Equip (sf86). They disqualified me of the process for not mentioning this from the gecko. I was told the re apply and I did, everything transferred over to the new process, but if my background investigation was denied/disqualified, isn’t there a cool off period, or grace period? I was told to re apply, but I feel that they will either disqualify me again? Any thoughts on this? Also, if my BI met with my reference 6 months ago, i don’t think they will do this again?

  260. Avatar

    I was hired a few months ago to work at an army recruiting center as a secretary. I filled out the sf85 and equip questionnaire and now in JPAS the background is showing closed- what does that mean? I’ve already received my CAC card; my question is, I was just looking over the equip answers I gave and realized that one of my jobs was left out (I don’t know how because I included it). Do I call the customer service line and let them know i just realized that? The job is no longer operating since they declared bankcruptcy and I was only there for 2 1/2 months. Any advice is appreciated.

  261. Avatar

    I have a quick question. I hold a TS and I have been offered a job doing security for grow houses and dispensaries. If I take this job will I lose my TS?

  262. Avatar

    Hi, I am in need of some peace of mind and desperate insight. I have been given an offer by a company that contracts with DOD agencies and my positions will require some type of clearance although I am not sure yet of which type. I used several drugs whilst in college (I graduate college December 2014):
    1 tried cocaine/mdma twice — most recent use July 2014,
    2 Psilocybin (mushrooms) approximately four times– most recent use october 2013.
    3. Adderoll that was not prescribed to me approximately 5 times — most recent use Nov/Dec 2014
    4. Marijuana — First use Nov 2011, most recent use Jan 2016. While in college between 2011 and 2014 I would abstain almost completely for 6 months and then use regularly for six months. I was a college athlete and did not use while in season. After I graduated college, I have used approximately 8-10 times as I have disassociated from all but 1 friend that I was associated with in college.

    I have never been arrested for anything. I have bought and sold marijuana from friends and to friends. I do not intend to continue this behavior primarily because it is illegal and I have matured, and secondly because it is not worth jeopardizing my career.

    I Will be completely forth coming on all forms, whether it be the SF85 or SF86, but just so I can be prepared can anyone tell me what types of clearances require a polygraph?

    Can anyone give some on site on whether or not I have a decent shot at receiving any kind of clearance???

  263. Avatar

    @John Journey, you would be putting your clearance at risk if you went to work for them. Federal law trumps state law and it is still illegal to use, possess, handle or distribute marijuana. Even though you would only be providing security, you would be abetting the operation.

  264. Avatar

    Hello, my question is pretty easy. How far back will they check for military service on a sf 85?

  265. Avatar

    @A Mac, if military service is listed on an application it will be verified during the background investigation regardless of how long ago it was.

  266. Avatar

    I have a question… I had over $200k in debt ( victim of joblessness and failed business during the recession) wiped out in bankruptcy but in the 4 years since, I have been gainfully employed and have a credit score over 700 with no debt or deliquencies.. Will the bankruptcy hinder me on my SF85p? Or will my success since then be looked at favorably…

  267. Avatar

    @Murilla, the bankruptcy is a legal means of resolving ones debts and the circumstances you sited are extenuating and beyond your control, so as long as you do not have current delinquencies then it is not an issue for a public trust position.

  268. Avatar

    I’m looking for a little advice.
    I met a girl from Thailand on line.
    She lives in NY and has been here on a visa for 15 years working in the medical field.
    We spoke for a couple months and finally met in person.
    I work for a contractor and have a clearance. I’ve had this clearance for 34 yrs mostly with the military but now through the contractor.
    After she and I met in person a second time I contacted my Security Officer and asked for guidance.
    I told him it wasn’t serious but I didn’t want to violate any regulations or protocol.
    I gave him her name and address.
    He replied via email “if the relationship is continuous” I would need to go to the corporate page and fill out an “ADVERSE information/activity report”.
    So as to not jeopardize my clearance I decided to end the relationship so it would not be considered continuous.
    Does anyone see a future problem with this or should I fill out the adverse activity file and risk my clearance?

  269. Avatar

    @ Bob, having regular contact with a foreign national in itself is not an issue as long as you report it and are cognizant of operational security measures. If it became a cohabitant type relationship then it might affect your clearance status. It sounds like your FSO was being a bit overzealous in his explanation.

  270. Avatar

    Thanks Marko for the input.
    It’s hard to find people to talk to about this without feeling like I’m already guilty of something.

    So do you feel I should submit and adverse information/activity file regardless and see what happens, or simply let sleeping dogs lie since I’ve discontinued the relationship?

    Thanks again.

  271. Avatar

    @Bob, chalk it up as a lesson learned and move on is my advice.

  272. Avatar

    I will.
    Thanks again, I really appreciate it.
    Take care.

  273. Avatar

    Hi Marko,

    Thank you for your postings. Reading your postings has been so informative. I would really appreciate it if you could give me advice.
    I received a tentative job offer for one year student trainee position with the government. The position is a secret position but on the federal government base in DC.
    I submitted my EQIP information seven months ago in December 2015. I disclosed my relationship to my then girlfriend who is from Istanbul. I wrote that it was a serious relationship, and that we would probably get engaged and marry within the next year. At the time I did not live with her, but I disclosed that we spent most nights of the week together. I also let them know she was here on a student visa but was potentially out of status, and that we were meeting with a lawyer to figure out her status. She was trying to transfer to another school but the one sponsoring her status terminated her enrollment because she had failed two classes. She hadn’t received any deportation notices from USCIS, and it was unclear at the time if she could continue her studies at another school. I reported all of this on the EQip forms. We got engaged in January and married in March. We filed the USCIS adjustment of status paperwork, the employment authorization, travel documents, etc and our case was accepted in June. She has had her biometrics/ fingerprints taken, and we are waiting for her to get her employment authorization card and for our in person interview. Before I got married, I contacted my HR specialist in February and told him I planned to get married soon. I asked him if I should re-file the E-Qip and how I should update them. He said to just update my investigator when I have my interview and that it was too late to change the E-Qip paperwork.

    My questions are:

    1- Do you think my offer will be terminated if the clearance takes too long to process? I was told they expected me to start working in late January or early February. I am afraid that my clearance will take so long that my one year position will expire once it comes through. I want this job so much that I would consider still being a one year student trainee even after I graduate from graduate school.

    2- Do you think my clearance will be denied because of my relationship with my wife? I disclosed everything at the time honestly. I just fear that since the filing of the E-Qip, I have moved in with her, I got engaged with and married her. I reported her name and address and my intent to marry her on the E-Qip. I even reported that we were going to travel with my family over the Christmas holidays and that her mom and sister were coming down to meet me in January. I imagine that spouses / cohabitants get a more in-depth check, so I don’t want it to seem like I was trying to evade her investigation. What if anything should I do?

    3- Do you think my clearance would be jeopardized if I travel to Istanbul in September for a week? I have never been to Turkey. Her family is from Istanbul, she has her parents and all of her siblings living there. None of them are involved in politics, they are middle class people. I have not met most of her family. But Turkey has been more unstable, especially these last two weeks. We had planned a trip to Istanbul in September to visit her family and for me to meet her almost eighty year old father for the first time. Should I disclose this even if I haven’t been interviewed? Or should I also just wait until my interview to update the investigator? Should I not go at all if it would jeopardize my clearance?

    Thanks for your help. My situation is tricky and I want to make sure I am doing everything properly.

  274. Avatar

    @Michael, disclosure of teh information certainly makes your chances better, but it does not mitigate the foreign influence concerns of your spouse being a foreign citizen, as well as her immediate family members who still live in that country and can have undue influence on you through her. A lot depends on the position, teh agency, and their tolerance thresh hold for your situation. Also taken into consideration was the fact that you aided in your spouse being in the country illegally, albeit for a short time and sponsored her to be able to stay in the country. I would not be surprised if the agency denied you a clearance, but if you do get a chance to interview then that is your opportunity to try and mitigate the concerns.

  275. Avatar

    I was arrested for DUI – first time- about 3 months ago and waiting for trial (2 month later). I am working in a FDA. I recently asked my lawyer if I need to report my DUI to my supervisor, and she said it depends on the agency’s policy. I tried to find the answer but can’t. Does anyone knows whether I need to report it or not? I thought I don’t need it since I am not convicted a crime yet and my lawyer told me I have pretty good chance of getting a DUI probation

    Any suggestions and comments are welcome

  276. Avatar

    @John, you did not indicate whether you currently hold a security clearance. If so then you must report the incident to your security officer. If not, the agency may still require reporting of arrests, alcohol related incidents or drug use. Look at it this way, you won’t get fired for one DUI, but you could get fired for failure to follow a regulation if you are supposed to report it.

  277. Avatar

    Hi Marko,
    Thanks for your response. I don’t have a security clearance. That’s why I am not sure whether I need to report to my supervisor or not. I talked few of my close co-workers in different FDA centers, and they said they would not report it unless I am convicted. I really cannot find the regulation of FDA about this..

  278. Avatar

    Thank you for all the very useful information already posted. I have my own foreign influence security clearance question, that I was hoping for your thoughts.

    I have only a public-trust clearance. I have had it for over 10 years. For the last few months, I’ve been dating an Korean/Chinese woman. She was born and raised in China. She went to college in China. After college she renounced her Chinese citizenship (gave up her passport) and moved to South Korea, and for about the last 10 years has only a South Korean passport. She worked in Korea for those 10 years as a teacher, teaching English to Korean students.

    About a year ago she came to the U.S. on a student Visa to get her masters. Her goal is to find a job in the U.S. and stay here permanently. Her father, mother and 2 brothers still live in China. She has not gone back to visit her family in over a year. She does communicate via phone with her family at least a couple times per week. Her dad is in his 70s and long retired. He was a non-officer in the military when younger. Her brother works for a local municipal government.

    Forgot to mention in my previous question just above that I am a U.S. Citizen, born in the U.S. to american parents.

    How would a relationship with this Korean lady (originally from China) affect my public trust clearance – ie what are the chances of losing the PT clearance?