Obtaining Security Clearance

Ask Your Clearance Questions – Part 24

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

NOTE: Due to the volume of questions we receive, we cannot answer all of them. Selected questions that have not been answered in the past are most likely be answered.

Note: All questions are moderated. After you post, it can take up to a week for the question to be “live” on the site and our panelists to see it and answer it.

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  3. If you have questions regarding careers, job hunting, salaries, interviewing, or other career-related topics, see the other threads dedicated to this purpose.
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Comment Archive

  1. Avatar

    Hello, i have a question.
    Back in 2006 when i joined the military, i filled out the SF86 form and under relatives i only put my mom, dad (deceased) and my sister. I am a naturalized citizen so i thought it was asking for relatives only in the USA. So that was why i only put my mom and sister.

    Now, 11yrs later, i am now a civilian and about to start a new job and i’ve been given the SF 86 to fill out. Its asking for relatives living or deceased even if they reside in foreign countries. I have a brother and half-sister.

    Should i add them on the new SF 86 i’m about to fill out? Or should i leave them out just as i did before. I want to add them on the new SF 86 but im afraid they might refer to my old SF 86 and see that my brother and half-sister were not mentioned.

    Half-sister is in London (i last saw her when i was 16yrs. – i’m now in my 30s and through Facebook i have been able to get in touch with her recently.)
    My brother is in a 3rd world country and i have not seen or spoken to him since 2006.

    I do not want to falsify any information but the previous SF 86 i filled out was a long time ago and i dont even know why i did not add them to the list. **Sigh**

  2. Avatar

    I’m waiting on a security clearance for the Department of State. During the interview my investigator told me that they would not be contacting my references. It’s been a few months and no one has been contacted.

    Is that usual protocol for a clearance investigation at the secret level?


  3. Avatar

    @Long wait, the State Dept runs their own investigations and yes, it is normal not to interview/contact references on a Secret if their are no issues to run down.

  4. Avatar

    Are there any updates on how the OPM SSBI backlog is being handled? The request for my investigation was sent in October 2015, but I have yet to be contacted by the investigator.

  5. Avatar

    I submitted my e-QIP application in the beginning of August 2015 for secret clearance. Within two weeks I was denied interim clearance because of something on my record from two years ago. This prompted an interview with an investigator which occurred in the middle of December 2015. I know the investigator was active in gathering my medical background information about two weeks ago when I was required to sign several disclosure documents for some of my past doctors. However, everything has been silent since then. My question is, based on this timeline, does anybody have an educated guess on how much longer this process should take? This situation is preventing me from starting a new job which I am afraid I will lose the opportunity to ever start if this takes much longer.

  6. Avatar

    For secret security clearance is there a rule concerning talking to a person on parole?

  7. Avatar

    @army_reserve, the average SSBI takes at least 6 months to close and the security interview is one of the last items, so there is nothing you can or should do that will speed up the process.

  8. Avatar

    @Steve, it is not possible to give you an answer based on the information provided. Sounds like medical and/or mental health counseling issues that will need to be reviewed by the adjudicator once the case is closed. They will get to it based on priority and current backlog.

  9. Avatar

    @Orvil D. Bradley, your association with someone who is on parole in and of itself is not prohibited, as long as they are not still actively involved in criminal behavior.

  10. Avatar

    I was recently told by my office that my case, which is currently open and “pending” may never be closed. Is that a possibility? What would lead to such an outcome and what recourse do I have?

  11. Avatar

    @Nomenissa: You don’t have a choice. You must provide all information required on the SF86. Intentionally omitting relevant information is a federal crime. You will have to explain why you made the mistake in 2006. Don’t compound the problem by omitting information the second time.

  12. Avatar

    @Long wait: Someone in your “office” has been eating tainted mushrooms. There are cases that take a long time (several months or more) in either investigation or adjudication or both, but provided the applicant doesn’t give up or their employer doesn’t withdraw sponsorship, all cases get completed. If your case is stuck somewhere, it’s up to your security officer to get it moving again by sending submitting an RRU (or similar request).

  13. Avatar

    I submitted my eqip for a secret clearance in mid January of 2016. My investigation began and I was granted an interim secret on 2 February. How long can I expect to wait for a full clearance? I have no known issues or anything that may pop a red flag for an investigator.

  14. Avatar

    Thanks for the response. My FSO says my JPAS record has been updated to reflect a “pending” status. As far as I’m aware, “pending” refers to interim eligibility determinations. Is the term “pending” used in JPAS to reflect a different point in the process?

  15. Avatar

    Hello, I have two questions. DoE SF-86 is what I’m filling out.

    In relations, do I have to list former step-parents or just my current step-parents?

    Also, section 21, that mental health question. I participated in a mental health day at my college almost 6 years ago and had one follow up appointment that was billed to insurance to go over my answers. Is this then a yes for that question? If so, how on earth can I look up the doctor’s name as I do not recall it because it was a non-issue and I wasn’t even diagnosed with anything.

  16. Avatar

    @Soconfused: You must list current step-parents. It’s my opinion that you do not have to (but you can) list a former step-parent. It’s the same type of situation as former parents-in-law, which I’ve never seen listed on an SF86 for people who have been married more than once. If the former step-parents are not US citizens, you will probably want to list them at section 19. You should list the mental health consultation. If you don’t recall the name/address of the doctor, indicate “I don’t know” in the appropriate data fields and use the “Add Optional Comment” function at section 21 in e-QIP and fully identify the school and that the school referred you to the doctor.

  17. Avatar

    @Long wait: JPAS can indicate “Action Pending” or “Eligibility Pending.” Eligibility Pending is usually posted to a JPAS record on or about the same day that OPM receives and opens an investigation. Eligibility Pending means that an interim clearance was not granted. Action Pending usually happens much later when an interim clearance is withdrawn and/or an SOR is being processed.

  18. Avatar

    @Gordo: The latest stats available for DOD contractor cases handled by OPM and DOD CAF are from September 2015. On average it was taking 132 days (end-to-end) for the fastest 90% of Secret clearances. But the range of completion times was probably between 45 and 210 days for the fastest 90%. Things slowed down and backed up some more from October to December because of funding restrictions due to the delay in getting the federal budget approved.

  19. Avatar

    @Gordo, 6 months is the norm for processing a Secret clearance application if no issues or foreign contact information need to be resolved, however, it depends on the workload, priority and backlog.

  20. Avatar

    @Soconfused, You do not have to list former step-parents. I would just list it exactly as you have here and if needed, perhaps your insurance company can provide the contact information to you, but I doubt it would be followed up on. Better to be safe then have to explain it later as to why it wasn’t listed.

  21. Avatar

    @Marko Thanks for the insight and the reply. Just out of curiosity, is there any way my FSO could speed up the process? I’m in a bit of a jam for time to say the least.

  22. Avatar

    @Gordo, there is nothing your FSO can do to speed up the process, your investigation is dependent upon getting closed by OPM and adjudicated by DSS.

  23. Avatar


    I uncharacteristically lied to a former employer about why I was leaving (I said personal, death in the family, yada yada, instead of the truth, which was for another job) I did this because my employer had a history of taking it out on employees who were looking for other employment. I have excellent conduct at this former job otherwise, and superior performance, and no history of lying on the job at any job. I did not receive any resignation benefits, in fact it was the exact same treatment as for if I had told the truth, except for the risk of retaliation from my supervisor.

    Both were within my rights, both were willing, neither would have resulted in penalties, and neither would have helped me in any way.

    I waffled back and forth on whether I should comment on this in the form, and wound up not doing so because I gave the form the honest reason why I left.

    Maybe I’m just nervous because I’m a pretty young person and this job I have now is my first real job, and I’ve never applied for clearance before but I am worried I messed up here.

  24. Avatar


    I first want to say thank you for all those that take their time to respond to this area. Thank you for all of your help. I am curious how long is normal for the interim secret to be decided? My FSO said a week. I followed up and have been told nothing was updated yet. I don’t think I have many anything that would stand out aside from my wife’s family aunts/uncles are foreign contacts that didn’t feel comfy giving me previous/current employer information. My father in law is a naturalized citizen and I had to provided his passport info.

  25. Avatar

    @aaaaaaugh, it appears you were honest on the form and stated you left for other employment. That was good. Your employer will state, if contacted that you left for personal reasons. Both are voluntary, no employment misconduct or termination, so all is good.

  26. Avatar


    I recently interviewed with an investigator for a co-worker who is trying to obtain TS with SSBI for IC.

    I said I know the person as co-worked and somewhat socially and answered all questions about their good behaviour and them not having any problems.

    In the end when I was asked if I would recommend this person for national security position – the investigator asked me “Yes” or “I dont know them well enough to answer”.

    I said I dont know them well enough to answer.

    Would that be a problem or grey area for my co-workers decision and would they get rejected because of me?

    Please help me as I feel very guilty.

    Should I try to contact the investigator and change my answer?

  27. Avatar

    Kay- it’s fine if you answer that you don’t know them well enough to make a recommendation. Don’t sweat it. It just means you may not know enough about them all around to give them your stamp of approval. If you had indicated that you didn’t recommend them then it would be an issue.

  28. Avatar

    A colleague of mine belongs to a D.C.-area professionals’ group that organizes speaking events featuring prominent figures in government and foreign policy, including foreign ambassadors. Some of these events are held at foreign embassies in Washington.

    For defense contractors with collateral clearances, would attending such an event held at a foreign embassy need to be reported to their FSO?

    I can’t seem to get a clear answer. The aforementioned colleague insists no. A different one says yes. My FSO initially said no, provided contact with the embassy staff was casual and not ongoing. But, she later turned around and said yes. She also said collateral clearance holders must report all foreign travel, but later retracted when the company policy turned out to say no, they don’t have to. She doesn’t seem to know the actual rules.

    My company’s clearance reporting policy states that contact with foreign nationals is required only when: a) the contact is an ongoing personal or business relationship, b) a foreign contact attempts to extort or elicit classified information, or c) the foreign contact is a known or suspected intelligence operative. No mention of visiting an embassy at all. I can’t find any mention in NISPOM either. That says to me that visiting an embassy is only reportable if one of those three things is the case. Is that correct?

    Or, is visiting an embassy something that, although not technically reportable by regulation, is informally, but nevertheless mandatorily reportable? Or, does it depend on the country of the embassy? That is, attending an event at the Canadian or British embassy wouldn’t be reportable, but attending one at the Russian or Chinese embassy would be?

  29. Avatar

    I am about to graduate from college next year with a degree in logistics. Most of the jobs in my area are contracting with the government so I would need a security clearance. I am not yet a U.S. citizen…been a permanent resident for six years (married to American). I have a German citizenship. I would like to have U.S. citizenship regardless of the security clearance because I live and work here and plan to stay for the rest of my life which is why I have begun the application process, but I do not want to give up my German citizenship because I’m still young and I don’t know what might happen down the road. I am, however, willing to give up my German passport. Is that enough to obtain a security clearance for a job that is contracted by the government and not working directly for the government?

  30. Avatar

    @Cornelius: No. That is no enough. At least not in accordance with the current Adjudicative Guidelines for collateral security clearances. You have to be willing to renounce German citizenship. If the US Government cannot rely upon you to permanently remain a US Citizen without exercising any benefit or right of German citizenship in the future or having any current or future divided loyalties between the US and German, then the US Government cannot trust you with classified information.

  31. Avatar

    @PLane: Self-reporting requirements are one of the most misunderstood requirements. Some agencies require people with SCI eligibility to report just about everything related to foreign contacts and travel. For collateral contractor clearances the NISPOM doesn’t provide any meaningful guidance. I wrote an article about it, which is posted at: https://news.clearancejobs.com/2011/11/07/self-reporting-potential-security-clearance-issues/. As extreme as it may sound, a DOD contractor with a collateral secret clearance doesn’t even have to report marriage to a foreign national. ODNI has been working on a national policy on reporting requirements for people with security clearances for over three years. Perhaps a new policy will be issued this year. In the meantime the answer to your question is no. If anyone tells you different, I challenge them to cite an official DOD, ODNI, or OMB policy document.

  32. Avatar

    My husband is in the interview process for a secret clearance. They asked the question if any of his immediate family members have been arrested. He answered truthfully that I (his wife) had been arrested as a teenager, far before we were married. The charges were later dismissed, and have not held me back from having a very successful career myself. This is something I haven’t thought about for many years, and I am worried about being asked about specifics by his investigator, because the details are cloudy. I tried to access the police report, but the agency said they no longer had it. Even worse, I am worried that an indiscretion of my youth is going to hold him back from attaining his dream job and all of the hard work he has put into it. How serious is this in him getting a security clearance?

  33. Avatar

    @Barbara, It is unusual for an investigator to ask that question about immediate family members, as that is not required information to disclose at the Secret level and spouses records are not a part of the investigation. Regardless, if the conduct was not recent and there is no evidence of any on-going criminal conduct then there is no reason to worry.

  34. Avatar

    Marko, thank you for your prompt reply. I made a mistake, and it is actually for a top-secret level clearance. Glad to hear that I have no need for worry. Thanks again!

  35. Avatar

    What is definition of being fired when answering the SF-86? Is being fired the sames as being laid-off, let go or terminated without cause. Generally, I understood being fired as being terminated due to the employee’s performance, is this correct? About 2 years ago I was let go from a company after an individual threatened to sue them, since I facilitated him getting arrested. To avoid litigation, they terminated me instead. Thus, I don’t know how to mark my SF-86 as whether or not I was fired. It also wasn’t mutual agreement, since the company agreed that I didn’t violate any company policy. They also paid me a severance bonus and agreed to let me collect unemployment. How should I handle this with my Bi. Thanks.

  36. Avatar

    I had been working at a very renowned company for 3 years and 2 months where I lived in 4 different places. Out of these there are 2 places where lease was not on my name. One other place was a private landlord who I do not know would even remember me (but had an official lease).
    Will such lack of proper records lead to my clearance being denied (ssbi). The only record I might have of those two residents would be on my employment or tax record.

  37. Avatar

    Can anyone speak to the DoD CAF adjudication process and current backlog?

    Is it the case that you receive a spot in line, and when your case is up it is adjudicated? Or are there cases put at the bottom of the pile because they’re more challenging?


  38. Avatar

    @Tony, fired means leaving an employment involuntarily, either by mutual agreement or a decision by the employer. Getting fired is not necessarily a negative thing, and unless there is a pattern of reliability issues or misconduct, then it is not something that would prevent you from getting a clearance. Not disclosing it, however, would be a serious issue and could be disqualifying.

  39. Avatar

    @Nh10, you still need to list the residences and explain in the comments about the situation. Whether anyone remembers you or not, as long as you make a good faith effort to provide a reference it will not affect getting cleared.

  40. Avatar

    @Long wait, Cases are distributed based on when they close and priority (special agency requests). As far as I can tell based on limited information, they are still working through a backlog and don’t anticipate getting through it until the end of the fiscal year.

  41. Avatar

    The agent that performed the fieldwork process and interviewed me recently informed me that her part of the investigation is complete and she has passed on her report. What are the next steps in the process? Is there a general timeline that you are aware of from here on out for when this will be completed?

  42. Avatar

    @Steve, just because she completed her portion of the investigation does not mean it is done. There may have been locations outside of your immediate geographic area that needed to be done as well, once all required items are closed and it is reviewed by OPM then it gets sent to the requesting agency for adjudication. For a Secret it is safe to say 6 months fastest, probably closer to 9-12 months for the entire process.

  43. 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

  44. Avatar

    @Rod, your story is a bot confusing as you say you passed everything but were then disqualified. Were you issued a statement of reasons and denied a clearance in writing? Or were you just not selected for the position based on then results of the poly? Likely, they decided to eliminate you from the candidate pool based on your nondisclosure of drug use. If did not get a letter specifically saying you were disqualified for a specific length of time you should be eligible to reapply at any time. If the background investigation was completed and closed they could still use it but have you update your SF-86 for review.

  45. Avatar

    @Marko Hakamma, I was told I passed the poly, then the BI interviewed friends and family, 2 months later I received a letter asking why I didn’t disclose the drug use on my SF-86 at first, sent a letter back explaining why. 2 months after that, I was sent an email saying that Internal Affairs stated that I am not suitable for the position and if I needed more information I needed a FOIA. I tried requesting a FOIA, haven’t been lucky yet. I decided to re apply immediately, after I received that last email, so now everything is clear except the background which is on the security office (IA). Hopefully this time they won’t disqualify me…

  46. Avatar

    @Rod, you didn’t ask a question, so I guess you already know what you did wrong.Each agency has its own ways of handling applicants who reapply for positions after being found not suitable.Unless they specifically said you were disqualified or barred from applying I guess you can keep trying, but be sure you are totally forthright about what happened.

  47. Avatar


    I obtained a secret clearance in 2011 and was submitted for TS in January 2015. I had my interview in October 2015 and confirmed with my investigator that he finished the investigation in November. JPAS still indicates OPEN status as of today and OPM refuses to give my security officers information on what the hold up is. Is there really no way for my security office to get information on the exact status of my investigation? How much longer could this possibly take? (DOD Contractor) Also, I have only lived at one address and do not travel at all.

  48. Avatar

    I recently signed my army contract and am currently undergoing the SSBI investigation. I just realized that I didn’t mention two traffic tickets on my sf-86. I had a deferred adjudication expunge one (over $300) and I didn’t mention the other because I paid $40 for it (forgetting the initial fine was actually over $300). One was a speeding ticket while the other was a failure to maintain financial responsibility ticket(no insurance). I don’t want to seem have lied on purpose. I plan to come clean if contacted for an interview, but it’s been over a month and I have heard nothing from any investigator. My recruiter says its fine, that the investigators only use FBI’s database for which I have no criminal records. Can anyone tell me how SSBI investigators check driving records?(by the way I never resided in any of the counties I got tickets in)

  49. Avatar

    @Mike, if your security officer had access to OPM’s CVS database he could go into PIPS and look at the items that are still pending which would tell him why it is still open. DCII files and FBI name checks have been notorious for holding up investigations.

  50. Avatar

    @Bennet, Minor traffic omissions are no big deal and you can explain them during your security interview.

  51. Avatar

    I was denied interim clearance this week after the potential govt agency gave me a start date and I had a release date from my current govt agency. Huge inconvenience… HR nor security will tell me when it was actually denied. All I know is that it was granted in Jan 2016.

    I’m wondering what are my chances for getting Secret Clearance…
    -in April 2015, arrested for 2 misdemeanors (Simple Battery & Theft by taking under $1500) both Dismissed in October 2015. Long story short, me and my boyfriend got in a argument that escalated and I stole his eyeglasses but gave them back in front of the police but they arrested me anyway. I did anger management and wrote in the comment section about what I learned. This is the only criminal activity.

    Any insight would be appreciated.
    Thank you!

  52. Avatar

    @Bella85, with recent criminal charges a denial of an interim is pretty standard. They want to wait to get all of the facts from the completed investigation before granting eligibility for access. If that is all you have and the charges were indeed dismissed then you have a good chance of getting cleared.

  53. Avatar

    I’m applying for a position and it requires an SF-85. They are asking for people who knew me at my previous addresses. However, at our last apartment, we had literally NO visitors for the entire period we lived there, with the exception of my wife’s father driving down one day to help us move furniture. We never interacted with the neighbors (it was a huge multi-story apartment building) and the staff in the leasing office rotate in and out and we didn’t know any of them by name either. How should I go about listing someone to verify my residency? Would the leasing office staff be able to at least pull my rental records? Or would a friend who never visited but knew that I lived here be all right? Suggestions? Thank you!

  54. Avatar

    @Zig, you would list the property manager or agent that you rented from. The most that would be followed up on is a voucher sent to them for them to verify you lived there,m the dates, and whether there were any issues with you.

  55. Avatar

    I’ll be transitioning out of the Active Duty Army into the Reserves this summer and seeking civilian employment. I’ve had a TS Periodic Reinvestigation open since January ’16. Based off others experience, does the civilian industry “care” that a potential employee has previously held a TS and is in the midst of a PR, or is life more black and white (you have an active clearance or you don’t).

    I’m simply attempting to set expectation management as I transition to the civilian world. Thanks in advance!

  56. Avatar

    @Michael, if you get picked up for a job that requires a clearance it is always good for a potential employer to know you previously held one, and if the investigation is within scope (two years of your separation)it can be used by the new agency to grant eligibility.

  57. Avatar

    Hello, I have a few questions about my clearance and the SF-86. Thank you to the people who are in the know for answering questions here.

    I was in the delayed entry program in 2005 and decided not to join the military. I never received any paperwork associated with this.

    Do you believe I should disclose this on the military history portion of the SF-86? Also, do you believe this will prevent me from obtaining a secret clearance for a federal LE job?

  58. Avatar

    @Rodney, you never entered into the service, therefore you have no obligation to disclose your dropping out of the delayed entry program. It will not affect getting a clearance.

  59. Avatar

    I got a disorderly conduct citation out of state. The location is not listed or mentioned in my SF86 form or any person listed as a reference living in the place I got a citation. The citation was municipal violation and not a misdemeanor or a felony. Can a investigator even find a citation out of state?

  60. Avatar

    I have a question I was recently plead to a no-contest for possession of drugs and received a fine for 45.00 and pbj for six months, I have also completed counseling and removed myself from people I was associated with and as well as taking counseling for drugs. Would I be denied a public trust security clearance now? Because of this?

  61. Avatar

    @John, Law checks may or may not find it. I would have informed the security officer that requested the investigation to explain the omission from the form on to OPM-FIS just as a precaution.

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    @lawyergirl24, it may depend on the position you are applying for and the agency, but if that is all you have then the chances are good it would not result in an adverse adjudicative decision.

  63. Avatar

    My husband had a DUI 26 years ago nothing since. Does he need to disclose this on the security clearance?

  64. Avatar

    @Brndndal, the timelines on the SF-86 for alcohol related incidents asks have you ever?, so yes it must be disclosed. It should not be an issue at all if no recent similar behavior has occurred.

  65. Avatar

    I had a 2nd mortgage of $60,000 ,000 and i tried to settle with my lender on a reduced amount. I was told that they had no record of my information and would not work with me. I stopped payment and eventually the 2nd mortgage amount was forgiven and the lien was released. I have the release of lien document and the letter stating that I am no longer responsible for repayment now or in the future. I declared this on my sf86. Will this prevent me from getting a clearance.

  66. Avatar

    @Mikow, if it was an isolated instance of not being able to pay with a valid reason then no, it should not prevent you from getting cleared. However, if there are additional accounts or a history of the same then it will be an issue.

  67. Avatar


    I am in need of some guidance. I was granted a S-security clearance with DoS in March 2015 and re validated it in October 2015. They were for internship programs. In the DoS SF-86 I forgot to disclose that I had used marijuana. I used it sporadically before I was 18 and only one time after 18; it was in Holland. I thought there was no reason to disclose it because it was before I was 18 and the scope of the BI are 7 years or until your 18 birthday and my only usage after 18 was in another country. I am only 23. Anyways, I applied to a DHS position and I applied the same rationale for the SF-86. The problem was that when I did the poly I disclosed my usage and I amended my SF-86 with the examiner present. I was found non-suitable. I am assuming it was because of my amendment. I am now in the process of an SSBI and I did the same thing because I was a afraid they were going to look at my DoS SF-86 and say something. I am confused and I don’t know what I should do. Should I disclosed my insignificant usage to DoS? Will it have any consequence on my already granted clearance?And disclosed it to my investigator for the SSBI? I would like for all of my SF-86 to be in line. I did not mean to lie or not disclosed; I misread and misinterpreted the Sf-86.

    Thank you for your response in advanced!

  68. Avatar

    @John Smith, you seem to be a bit confused about the question about drugs on the SF-86. The scope of the question is in the last 7 years, it says nothing about 18th birthday. Therefore, if you are 23 now you should have disclosed all drug use to the time you were 16 years old. Yes, this may affect your current clearance if these additional disclosures eventually wind up in the same file/adjudicator’s hands.

  69. Avatar


    i have been offered position with the Dept of state and am currently waiting for my interim secret clearance. It has been about 4 weeks since i have sent in my fingerprints and submitted the SF86 form.. I have a clean record and have never left the country. After reading online i am getting alot of information about the OPM backlog. How much longer may i have to wait? Over a year ago i was granted an interim secret clearance for a job i did not take within 1 week. It seems a bit weird that it takes so long just for an interim clearance.

  70. Avatar

    @michael james, a lot has changed in the last year and CAFs are backlogged along with additional constraints in granting interims. Nothing you can do but hang on and hope it gets through the grind soon.

  71. Avatar

    A lot of the anecdotal evidence I have read on this blog has said that the turnaround time on interim clearances is about 8 weeks.

  72. Avatar

    I’m a non-federal prosecutor considering applying for an AUSA or other federal attorney position. Been squeaky clean for my ten years on the job then took one hit off a joint this past December. I am aware that I am an idiot, a lawbreaker, and a hypocrite for doing this. Prior drug use was rare instances of weed smoking during college in the early 90s and a couple times before I started my current job. LSD one time in 1989.

    Where would I stand for a security clearance or public trust? Do they complete the entire investigation before making an offer or do I risk quitting my current job then being terminated from the new one? Thank you.

  73. Avatar

    @SS, Investigations are not completed until you are offered and put in to position that requires one. A one time use of MJ may raise an eyebrow and a warning about the federal drug free workplace, but would not prevent you from passing a public trust background investigation or even a Secret clearance as long as you state your intent never to use again and are honest and up front about it.

  74. Avatar

    Thanks very much.

  75. Avatar

    I have been offered a job recently at a contractor, performing advanced work in the cyber area. I have never held a clearance before. It is quite possibly the most interesting job I have ever encountered.

    The only potential issues seem to be related to drug use. All were done in university. I changed my peer group entirely and have not had any contact with illicit substances for over 3 years. I would stay away from future activity regardless of whether I were applying for such a job.

    Regular (weekly) weed use for around 3 years that completely ended over 3 years ago, LSD once 5 years ago as well as two different psychedelics of a different type spaced multiple months apart 6 years ago, 50 uses of a schedule 4 stimulant called modafinil (the last of which occurred 3.5 years ago).

    All other areas of my life are clean.

    Thank you in advance for your advice on my chances and any problems that this may present for me or my employer.

  76. Avatar

    I have a foreign influence security clearance question, and was hoping for your thoughts.

    I am a U.S. Citizen, born in the U.S. to American parents. I have only a public-trust clearance, which I have had for over 10 years. For the last few months, I’ve been dating a Korean/Chinese woman. I have made my security officer aware.

    The Korean/Chinese woman 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.

    Over a year ago she came to the U.S. on a student Visa to get her masters. Her goal is to find a teaching 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 maybe once per week. Her dad is in his 70s and long retired. He was in the military long ago when younger. Her brother works for a local municipal government.

    If the dating were to continue, how would a more serious relationship, or marriage, with this Korean lady (originally from China) affect my public trust clearance – IE what are the chances of losing the PT clearance? I have seen several others ask about how foreign influence affects their Secret or Top Secret clearance. Wondering whether public trust clearance is usually as equally stringent when it comes to foreign influence?

  77. Avatar

    @Jeremy, a lot depends on the position for which you are trying to hired in and the agency it is conducting work for. Mitigating factors are present, but such extensive use could be a problem. Rehabilitation, recency, current environment and your age at the time are considerations. Hard to say, but getting a clearance is 50-50 but would expect additional inquires if not a statement of reasons to answer.

  78. Avatar

    @eagles, you do not have a clearance, but rather have met the suitability standards to work in a public trust position. Foreign contacts and influence are not considerations regarding eligibility for public trust positions. Were you to apply for a job that requires a security clearance it would be an issue.

  79. Avatar

    I’m a former federal employee and previously held a TS clearance. I left government several years ago for the private sector but recently made a decision to return. I have accepted an offer with my old agency and expect to begin the clearance process within the next few weeks.

    I am estranged from my parents and have not spoken to them for several years (this was not the case at the time of my last clearance). Will they be interviewed? Is the estrangement likely to impact my investigation one way or the other?

    Also, my wife is a Lawful Permanent Resident and has family overseas (this was also the case when I was cleared previously), including parents who are elderly and in very poor health. Are they likely to be contacted as part of the background check? We would prefer that they not be disturbed. I don’t think they were contacted last time but it’s been many years so perhaps the process has changed.

    Finally, can someone please explain what happens after an interim clearance is granted? What happens between then and when the “final” clearance comes through? What kinds of issues could come up that would result in denial of a permanent clearance?

    Thank you.