Comment Archive

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    With my former employer I had the SSBI investigation and adjudication completed favorably and became, as I understand it, TS/SCI eligible. I haven’t used it at my last place of employment or current one yet, although I think they both “picked up” my TS clearance. I’m looking at taking a new job that requires SCI. The date of the adjudication outcome or SCI eligibility is June of 2006. I’ve heard some say that the investigation is good for 5 years, and others say it’s good for no more than a 2 year break in service…generally (it’s the generally that scares me). If I start this new job less than 2 years from the TS/SCI eligible date can I use that investigation and not have to go through the paperwork (the offer is contingent on being able to start right away)? Thanks.

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    The “break in service” two-year rule only applies to situations where a person terminates employment at the place he was granted a clearance, then does not have the clearance reinstated for two years. It does not apply to people who hold a clearance and have SCI eligibility, but have not be “read on” to a program for two years.

    Whether or not you have to undergo another investigation for SCI, depends on the government agencies involved. Reciprocity of SCI eligibility is rather complicated, and some government agencies seem to disregard the rules.

    For complete information on reciprocity see attachment to Memorandum for Deputies of Executive Departments and Agencies, from OMB Deputy Director for Management, Subject: Reciprocal Recognition of Existing Personnel Security Clearances, dated: 17 July 2006. You can find this at the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) webpage at the National Archives website. Just Google “ISOO”

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    on 13 Dec 2007 at 10:11 am # Elizabeth

    My husband is a US Marine officer. He currently holds a Secret Clearance that he received in 2006. We just found out that he is required to get a new TS clearance to go to Iraq. My questions are these:
    1. Are they going to pull a credit report again or do they just build on the current secret clearance?
    2. If he doesn’t get the TS will he still be able to keep the secret?
    3. He had a DUI in 2000. Although he was able to get the secret clearance with this on his record, will he be able to get a TS clearance?
    4. How hard is it to get an interim TS if you already have a secret clearance?
    5. How long do you estimate it will take to get his TS clearance?
    Thank you

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    I have applied for a job that states:

    “Applicants selected will be subject to a government security investigation and must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information.”

    I am guessing this is a secret security clearance. I have read through a lot of the other posts and understand that financial stuff is the the number 1 reason for denial. I am worried that my bad credit past is going to come back to bit me in this. I had 3 accounts that were charged off in 2002 (over 180 days late) one for $5000ish one for $1000ish and one for $3000ish I have paid the $3000 off and am planing on starting payments on the $1000 next. What would my chances be for being denied.

    How long on average does it take for the investigation to start. Will trying to pay this stuff off extra fast help or is the damage done…

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    I have a DOJ-issued Secret clearance. If I understand William’s response above, it should translate into a DOD Secret clearance if get a job with a defense contractor. Is that correct?

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    Is the transfer more or less instantaneous assuming investigation age and break-in-service are kosher, or should I be prepared to wait? Also, thank you so much for your prompt response and making yourself available to answer all of our questions.

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    1. They will do a completely new investigation, including a new credit report. But they will not have to completely cover previously resolved issues.
    2. No. The adjudicative standards for Secret and TS are the same. If he can not be trust with TS material, he will not be trusted with Secret material, and his Secret clearance will be revoked.
    3. Yes, see #2 above. The adjudicative standards are the same, only the investigations are different.
    4. People with Secret clearances are almost automatically granted interim TS clearances, unless there is unfavorable information on the new SF86 (application form) that was not covered during the prior investigation.
    5. Absent any other security/suitability issues, if your husband has been stationed in the U.S. for at least the past six months (and is still here for a few months after the investigation begins) and can identify references who had direct knowledge of his activities outside the U.S. covering the past seven years, the investigation should take between 6 to 12 months (faster if the case is submitted as a “Priority”).

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    You should also start making at least minimum payments on the $5000 debt as soon as possible. Paying off delinquent debts quickly helps, but if you are able to do it now, why weren’t you able to at least start repaying earlier. The length of time that you have been making payments on all your previously delinquent debts, and the regularity of those payments is critically important to getting a security clearance after having credit problems. This will show a current pattern of acting reasonably and responsibly and thereby be indicative of what you will do in the future. The purpose of a security clearance investigation/adjudication is to attempt to predict future conduct based on past conduct. Your more recent conduct is more important than things you did years ago.

    Of course what happened from 2002 until you began repaying your delinquent debts will be given a lot of consideration by an adjudicator, as well as why the debts became delinquent and why they went unpaid for as long as they did. These are matters you should be prepared to address. Beware of job offers contingent on receiving an interim clearance. It is more difficult to obtain an interim clearance than a final clearance.

    If you are among the 80% of contractors whose clearances are processed by DISCO/OPM, your investigation will probably start within 30 days after your error/omission free clearance forms are submitted to DISCO by your company’s security office.

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    There is generally no problem transferring collateral clearances between executive branch departments/agencies, provided the underlying investigation is not out-of-date and there has not been a break-in-service of 24 months or more.

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    Thank you for your response William. Is it common to loose your secret clearance after a TS has been started? Obviously, everything in our past was listed on the previous SF86. What will they do in the new investigation that they didn’t do in the last?

    If the DUI was already resolved during the secret clearance investigation, then it shouldn’t be a reason for denial on the TS investigation, right?

    I guess we shouldn’t be worried about this new investigation if all of our “issues” have already been resolved, right?

    Thank you so much for your time and knowledge.

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    You said “It is more difficult to obtain an interim clearance than a final clearance”.

    I got my interim a few weeks ago. If anyone has worse credit than me I would be surprised.

    Since I got my interim and I have been and will continue to make payments and turn my situation around, can I expect to get my secret?

    I have another job offer where a sceret is not required, so I was thinking about jumping ship since everything I have heard seems to indicate that I have absolutely 0% chance of getting a secret.



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    As I indicated to you in another thread, you are very lucky to have been granted an interim Secret clearance. There are no statistics on interim clearances. My comments regarding interim clearances are based on anecdotal information during 30 years of involvement with security clearances.

    In a previous post you stated that you had unpaid debts and some tax liens totaling less than $40K; that you were filing chapter 13 bankruptcy and working to pay down your debts; that you “only” make $110K; and that you did not list all your debt, just a few, and then commented that you had more and wanted a chance to explain.

    Given these circumstances and the fact that you have already been granted an interim Secret clearance, my best guess is that your’s is one of those rare cases where it will be more difficult to get a final clearance than an interim clearance.

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    I’ve never been a JPAS user, so I’m not positive about how it is done. But my understanding is that your new FSO “in-processes” you in JPAS and that’s it. I think if there’s a problem the FSO uses the “Request to Research/Upgrade Eligibility” function in JPAS to have the CAF do it. It shouldn’t take long, a few days at most.

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    People almost never loose their clearance (have it revoked) while an investigation is pending. If it occurs, it almost always happens after the investigation & adjudication are completed. Clearances are sometimes suspended because of very serious new suitability/security information that is reported to a CAF in an SF86 or incident report. When this happens, an investigation is immediately opened.

    Chapter 1 of my book (which is posted at my website) explains the scope and period of coverage of all security clearance investigations. Click on my name (above), then navigate to “Security Clearance Manual” then to “Chapter 1.” Look for National Agency Check with Local Agency Checks and Credit Check (NACLC) and for Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI). The NACLC was the investigative basis for your husband’s Secret clearance. The SSBI is the basis for his future TS clearance.

    If information about the DUI was listed in your husband’s prior SF86 or otherwise covered during the prior investigation and he was granted a Secret clearance, the DUI (absent any new suitability issues) will not be a reason to deny his TS clearance.

    Relax, it doesn’t sound like you or your husband have anything to worry about.

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    Sorry for double posting this again, if it is indeed a double post, but I thought it better to put in “part 3” than “part 2”.

    I’ve just been offered a job with a goverment agency within the department of the Navy and I need a “NAIP pre-entrance on Duty Security Clearance (SF-86)” I am a recent college grad and really won’t this job but feel that I will not be able to get this clearance including:

    1) First offesne DUI (misdemeanor) for which I served 24 hour in jail and successfully completed counseling such as state mandated classes and AA meetings. This is my only run-in with the law.

    2) My drug use in the last 7 years consists of 2 uses of marijuana in early 2004. There were to or 3 other instances in High School outside of this seven year window.

    3) I have a credit rating well into the 700’s but have large student debt and credit card debt but have never been delinquent, late, and am tax lien free.

    4) I spent 2 weeks in summer 2007 in China for study abroad. I will spend 2 weeks in the Ukraine with my Ukrainian fiance over New Year’s. She is not an employee of her government, just a college student there. She intends to move here and become a permanent resident within the next two years. I will see her only about twice per year and talk on the phone almost daily.

    5) I saw a mental health professional for seasonal affective disorder in late 2005. No longer getting this treatment.

    I’m just seeking a well qualified opinion here about any “red flags”, thank you for your help. I wonder if I should even bother pursuing this job or take one of my other offers, because I don’t think I can get this clearance.

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    I was wondering if someone could point me in the right direction. Ok here it goes and thnanks in advance for your help.

    In 2002 we were told to get ready to ramp up for a trip to the sandbox. As a member of the Special Forces, we all needed Secret Clearances. I applied for mine in 02 through an EPSQ. I was granted an interim Secret and operated overseas. Upon my return I decided to transfer to an Infantry unit whom only operated on a ” need to know” basis. In December of 03 I received a letter that I was being investigated for my financial history. (That’s all) Anyway, I told my officer in charge at my unit, just before my transfer, who told me don’t worry about it, you won’t need access to classified information anymore.
    In August of 04, I was told that my clearance had been revoked. Fast forward to Dec/Jan 07/08. I have a great job lined up with DOD. It requires a Secret Clearance. My finances are in order, no criminal, drug or personal conduct issues, just this flag that pops up from the past. I have got to get this resolved. I guess they just want to know what happened before they issue any type of waiver.
    What do I do?
    Where do I start?
    This incident happened 3/4 years ago.
    Can’t they just do a re-investigation?

    This position is a once in a lifetime for me. And after being wounded in my second combat tour, this is a great fit for me. They can’t give me a start date until this is corrected. Any help would be very welcomed.


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    I have an article that you might be interested in posting on the blog. I looked around the site to see if I could find an e-mail address for you so I could e-mail you the article but I could not find one. If you are interested please e-mail me at the address I provided for this post.

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    Scott – while none of the issues you mentioned are overly problematic on an individual basis, the combination of events might be seen unfavorably by an adjudicator.

    It would be helpful to know when the DUI occurred.

    In my opinion, you should try for the clearance based on the information you’ve provided.

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    I cant say I have any delinquent bills – they all get paid but it takes everything I make to keep on top of my debts. Naturally I want to apply for a higher paying job but am not clear on the criteria – is it only BAD debt that makes one unsuitable or does debt to income ratio disqualify you too? I feel stuck in a Catch 22 – I need the higher paying job but cant qualify for the job with all the debt I have that I could pay off if I had the higher salary.

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    What is the relationship between a TS clearance and SCI access? Do they mean the same thing?

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    TinaMia — See a debt counselor; is a good one. They may be able to help you lower your interest rates, giving you a better chance of paying down your debts. They also have connections to volunteer “coaches” who can help you rein in your other spending.

    Mike — No, but the way classified material is handled, now, they are very closely linked.

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    Mike: Here is the long answer to your question —

    Access to classified information is based on having the appropriate security clearance (Confidential, Secret or Top Secret) and a “need to know.” This need-to-know can be either a formal or informal determination. Generally all classified information exists within one of these two “need-to-know” realms. Information that falls into the realm of informal need-to-know determinations is often referred to as “Collateral Classified” information or “GENSER” for general service message traffic. Information that falls into the realm requiring formal access authorizations (just another term for need-to-know) is controlled within Special Access Programs (SAP) and Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI). Technically SCI is a SAP, but since it is the most common and largest SAP, it is almost always referred to separately from other SAPs. Access to SCI is regulated by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) under Director of Central Intelligence Directive (DCID) 6/4.

    Acronyms such as SAP, SCI, CNWDI (Critical Nuclear Weapons Design Information), SIOP-ESI (Single Integrated Operations Plan—Exceptionally Sensitive Information), RD (Restricted Data), FRD (Formerly Restricted Data), ATOMAL (NATO Atomic Material), COSMIC Top Secret, CRYPTO, COMSEC, etc., are not clearances. They refer to categories of classified information, some of which involve extra need-to-know restrictions or special access authorizations. For instance, the term COSMIC stands for “Control of Secret Material in an International Command.” COSMIC Top Secret is merely the term used for NATO Top Secret Information. There are many caveats stamped or printed on classified documents with exotic sounding words, but most are only acronyms or short titles for special administrative handling procedures. (The above was extracted from Chapter 1, Security Clearance Manual.)

  23. Avatar

    I have hold TS/SCI from DOD for the last 5 years. I recently went through a life style poly from the intelligence community. I was denied of clearance for TS/SCI lifestyle 6 months after. I appealed soon after. If the appeal fails, which I hope not. Will I lose my TS/SCI from the DoD as well?

    Thanks in advance!

  24. Avatar

    Debt to income ratio can be taken into consideration for a clearance; however, this usually only comes into play if the applicant has or had significant delinquent debt, a bankruptcy, repossession, garnishment, tax lien, etc. In other words the answers to the financial questions on the SF86 serve as triggers. If you can honestly answer “no” to those questions, your financial situation should not be a security/suitability concern. Here is the only item in the Adjudicative Guidelines that applies to your situation:

    Paragraph 19 (e) “consistent spending beyond one’s means, which may be indicated by excessive indebtedness, significant negative cash flow, high debt-to-income ratio, and/or other financial analysis”

    The reason this paragraph is not used unless there is some obvious financial problem is because credit reports do not include information about your salary or other sources of income. It is impossible for the adjudicator to know your total income, unless an investigator asks you and includes that information in a report. And the only reasons an investigator would ask about your income is if your lifestyle was totally out of sync with your occupation or if you have failed to pay your debts and other financial obligations.

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    Spec Ops:
    Who wants to know what happened and what type of waiver are they going to give you?

    There are some things that should have happened before and after your Secret clearance was denied (it was not revoked because you were never granted a final Secret clearance). 1) You should have been interviewed by an investigator about your finances. 2) You should have been issued a Letter of Intent (LOI) to deny your clearance and the LOI should have contained a “Statement of Reasons” explaining exactly why they intended to deny the clearance and you should have been given an opportunity to rebut the LOI/SOR. 3) When the clearance was denied you should have been advised of your right to appeal.

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    Just wanted to say thanks for the info. I was made aware of information similar to that, yesterday, about an hour after I was told that I didn’t have a clearance. I was offered a position with the Navy, and I don’t think that they are going to give me a clearance, as much as I was hoping for a push to adjudication.
    2004 was a rough year for me. I have been told that there was an attempt to contact me 3 times by mail, to which I never responded. I did meet with the investigator, and when asked he told me, ” If you don’t hear anything from us, no news is good news.” I bought my first home in 04, moved, switched military units right around the time they sent the notices, and then in December 04, I was on my way to Iraq. ( was told today that my final revoke/denial came sometime in 05 )
    I went back through my filing cabinet today, my credit was so bad, I couldn’t finance rubber dog bone. I was in way over my head. They were so right to deny my access. But now, just three/four short years later, with a budget and some restraint, my credit score is still low due to the past debts ( all paid and settled), but you can tell I made a valiant effort. ( it’s like night and day )
    IYHO, do people ever bounce back from this? I got depressed all day, typing up this letter and going through my past discrepancies. I have spent the last 4 years trying to improve my life and move on from my immature spending. Now is my chance, but I don’t feel like it’s gonna happen. Keeping my fingers crossed…..

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    I currently hold a TS and might be upgraded to a Lifestyle or Polygraph soon.
    I have no arrests, no financial problems, I’m clean, except I gamble recreationally online.

    Will this be a problem for me? I am not in any sort of gambling debt, I am not addicted, I just place occasional wagers on some sites.

  28. Avatar


    In my previous position I had a TS/SCI with a FS poly (4/2005). I recentl started a new position with another company that requires a TS/SCI with a CI poly. I eventually want to transfer back to a job with the previous agency that requires the FS poly. I have heard that after your initial FS poly the updates are CIs. I am worried about loosing my FS poly. What is the longest that I can stay at my current position and still be able to transfer back to the agency requiring the FS poly? I have talked to several people about this with no definite answers.


  29. Avatar


    If your financial problems were situational and you;
    1) have taken reasonable, responsible steps to correct those problems;
    2) made good progress toward debt reduction, being solvent, and current on all your debts; and
    3) made lifestyle changes to preclude any recurrence of those problems;
    there is no reason that you can not apply for a security clearance again and be granted a clearance.

    Don’t worry about credit score; the score is not used for clearance adjudication. Your problem will be getting someone to sponsor you for a clearanc. One alternative is to find a potential employer who is willing to give you a contingent job offer and is willing to wait for your clearance to be completely processed. Another alternative is to try to find a job that does not require a clearance at an employer who has both cleared and uncleared positions with the understanding that they will sponsor you for a clearance. You can also try to get a clearance again through the military if you are still affiliated with the reserves or NG.

  30. Avatar

    First, a TS clearance and SCI/SAP eligibility are two separate things. For instance, you can be granted a TS clearance and denied SCI eligibility by the same or by different Central Adjudication Facilities (CAF). DISCO doesn’t have the authority to grant SCI eligibility, so for a TS with SCI, the investigation must be adjudicated by a second CAF. CAFs, other than DISCO, can grant both clearances and SCI eligibility. When they adjudicate for TS and SCI, they do both at the same time but the criteria for granting a collateral clearance is slightly different than for granting SCI eligibility.

    I think your TS clearance is safe, unless you admitted to previously undisclosed information of significant security/suitability concern during your polygraph. Whether or not your current SCI eligibility may be in jeopardy will probably depend on whether the two SCI programs have the same adjudicative criteria and whether the reason for the denial is deemed serious enough to report to the CAF that granted your SCI.

    By the way, DoD has 9 CAFs, 8 of which can grant SCI eligibility and each one does things a little differently than the others.

  31. Avatar

    Legal gambling is not a security/suitability concern, unless it detrimentally affects other aspects of your life.

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    Thanks a lot William…

    I am hoping that they will re-plug me.
    Cause a lot of things that I admitted during the poly wasn’t true at all. (regrets for not finding out the information at the first place) This is because I myself didn’t know the complete truth at that moment. I told them the worst possible scenario with good intentions, but ended up admitted to the worst possible results.

    Everything that I admitted to can’t be proved or disapproved by me. Thus, I was unable to produce any document to invalid what I said during the poly. But, I have submitted an appeal to explain my side of the story. Will a simple appeal be enough?

    Since, I really have no supporting documents to back up my story, I really hope that I can be retested. What are the possibilities that they will re-test me? And will they believe the new results? I have heard that they don’t like to re-test people. “And once you fail, you fail.”

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    I sent in a letter of explinations. My question is, does EVERY discrepancy turn into an adjudication hearing? Or can they just decide that your reasons were sufficient enough, and give you favorable action?

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    William, I believe the US LAW states that Internet gambling is illegal.

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    Mike Tao:
    Internet gambling appears to be an area unsettled federal law, which may apply to some forms of gambling and not others and to businesses but not individuals. That is why I my previous response began with the word “legal.” I can’t possibly comment on all forms of gambling.

  36. Avatar

    Who did you send the letter to and for what purpose?

  37. Avatar

    How long takes for a inital investigation for clearence to be completed?

  38. Avatar

    In very much need of help with with a question regarding clearance processing. I accepted in January I accepted a position that required a background investigation and suitablity determination. In early September I was interviewed and my employer was interviewed. I had been working hard there and received a favorable recommendation. Unfortunately, in November I was let go for having a minor traffic accident with the company vehicle (bumper damage). The rationale was that I had had damaged the vehicle during a busy period earlier, that this was showing showing my lact of responsiblity. Also, it was said that, I was “leaving” anyway..

    I am concerned about what effected that this will have on my suitability determination. I was a good employee and worked very hard earning this company alot of money. And, often was left shorthanded. Last I heard the investigator had called me in October and said he was done. Two weeks later I backed into a curb and was fired. The company security officer remarked — you ain’t going to get that job. Not sure whether a call was made?

    My record is clean and I have not performed any of the shanagans at work I have seen with the security at this establishment. I used to work for them, but knew little chance these non-veterans without the education I worked for, would give me a good recommendation. Any chance I may be now X’d out? Its been a tight rope for a long while now.

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    I don’t think you should be overly concerned about your termination of employment. When it comes to employment, federal background investigations (and their adjudications) focus primarily on misconduct and dishonesty. An accident is an accident, and how your past employer chooses to characterize the accident is arguable. It wouldn’t make good business sense for your former employer to telephone the background investigator with this information.

  40. Avatar


    What type/level of clearance?

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    William Henderson: Thank You. Thank You.

    You must be a world-class genius. Made alot of money for these folks and took alot of heat promoting the blue states. Thru Army intel and, big blue being trailed by security. Always defering to them to make the big money; opting instead to get the got a job, I wanted. Less is more. Thank You Very Much. Will have to see what happens.

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    Hello, I just got hired by Defense Contractor as a firefighter (parttime). I haved worked my tail off at my current fulltime job (firefighter) for the last 15 years. I have been an outstanding employee with great performance apprasials etc. The only thing i have been financially irresponsible. I have about 4000.00 in credit card debt. With the housing crunch lately my house payment has gone up. My priority is my house payment and car payment. I have old cards that have been charged off around 10 years ago. These most recent deliquencies have been in the last year. My wife does not work and I took this job to make extra money because I see my house payment going up a little in the next year. Once I start working at this job, I will make GOOD extra money. I have stated all this on my SF86 in regards to my finances. Should I pay alittle to show good faith for my SF86? I am in a pickle. After reading the diffrent cases that DID NOT get granted, I feel this is a no win situation. I need this job badly. Any help or info that you can help me out with will be great!

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    Thanks. I’ll work and wait. Quite a bit has gone into that position.

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    Thanks for the info!!

    I have been sooo stressed out about this SF86!!! Two other things.. The Site for this Defense Contractor (Fire Chief) wants me to start training first of the year. How does this work without a security clearance. I was reading on this great blog of yours that they do an interim?? How will this work with my debt?? Lastly, I forgot to mention that in Jan 01 I filed a Chapter 13th for mortgage arrears but I imediately withdrew it because I was able to refinance. Will this hurt me also? I does show on my credit report under public record but I have all the DOCs from the court proving it was a voluntary withdrawl.

    Thanks for everything William!!

    Merry Christmas!

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    Thank you for bringing up the option of a second job to help resolve financial problems. Very few native-born Americans even consider this.

    Taking a second job coupled with immediate efforts to repay your delinquent debts will be viewed very favorably by an adjudicator. You will probably have a few months before you are interviewed by an investigator so use that time wisely. First, get a copy of your credit report from all three national credit reporting companies to see what the investigator will see, so there are no surprises. Contact and arrange debt repayment plans with those creditors you have not been paying. Document everything you do–dates, names of people contacted, gist of conversation. Try to reach an agreement on the amount of monthly payments, but if the creditor is unreasonable, send them an amount you can afford each month. If they cash your checks, they must credit your account. Adjudicators prefer to see consistent action over just promises of future conduct.

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    I apply for a secret clearence . My intern was denied and submitted for a complete investigation. I have 6 acounts past due and already in payment plans. I had wrote letters to credir bearueaus and asked them to update my information. All these was caused by a recent divorce.

    How long a secret clearence usually takes? When I shoud expect a investigator contact me. I got a second job as a tranlator to help paying these bills, even that i make 5300 a month.


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    My timeline for a DOD TS clearance

    05/2005 submitted EPSQ: eventually my package was lost
    06/2006 resubmitted clearance package through E-Qip
    08/2006 received interim TS
    10/2007 finally got personal interview
    12/2007 FSO said that there is no new information and case
    is still open

    Does anyone have a clue as to how much longer I will have to wait for the final TS?

    I have no history of drug use, no mental health issues, no credit issues, no foreign relatives, and no court cases.

    Also, I already have a final Secret issued in 06/2004 and I received the interim TS before my TS case even opened. I was told that I got the interim TS because of my current Secret clearance.

  48. Avatar

    I currently hold a Interim TS. Is it possible to transfer to a new job which requires an interim TS without losing it? WIll the investigation need to be restarted or will the interim transfer easily? I also would like to know If I were to leave my job for a position which requires a full secret, Would my interim TS revert back to a full Secret or would I have to redo the secret Investigation again.

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    Hello I am about to graduate from the university of North Carolina Charlotte CJ program, I Have been in the Army for over 10 years now. In 2002 i left active duty to pursue my dream of being an army officer. I went to school then i was deployed to afghanistan in an Engineer BN. Unfourtantley in between active duty and the deployment i had hit a rough patch with losing my job due to school.(the gi bill helped) but i was unable to fulfill my obligations. To make a long story short I had a job in the tactical Operations center (TOC) and when i was filling my SF-86 and came across questions with financial implications. I asked what they meant and the Officer in Charge stated if i didin’t know that i should just put no. Well that was a bad idea. I need the security clearance to become an officer and i have since worked on my credit yet still have to pay things off. They sent a letter of Intent to deny but my NG unit lost the folder and then found almost six months later. What can i do to show that i am making an improvement and i am trustworthy to have this clearance granted. Thanks you can respond here or at my email

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    I am currently an Army Officer with a secret clearance. I was fired from a job working for a defense contractor back in 2003. the firing was due to my using the company tuition reimbursement program while using the GI bill at the same time. The policy at the time was unclear wether or not we could use both at the same time. Myself and 6 others in my department were fired for this same offense and none of us were given copies of the policy at the time of firing.

    In Feb 2004 I joined the Army National guard and submitted an SF-86. This SF-86 was entirely accurate and I was granted a final secret clearance in Sept 2004.

    In 2005 I finished my degree and joined the active Army. The active Army recruiter gave me a questionaire (not an SF-86) that was very basic, where have you lived, who did you know, where have you worked, etc. It did not have the last 8-10 sections like firings, drug use, felonies, bankruptcies, etc. The recruiter then took the info from this questionaire and put it into an SF-86, which had many errors. I already had a current secret clearance and they checked JPAS and got a reply of “No investigation required, a current valid investigation exists”, if not exact, it was VERY simlar to that wording.

    the issue I have now is that I am being told to apply for a T/S clearance, but looking back a this SF-86 that has many mistakes (firing not listed, addresses wrong, wife’s country of origin wrong, wife’s family members country of origin and citizenship wrong, etc) has me worried. This SF-86 was never investigated, but it is part of my permanent service record as part of my enlistment contract (I enlisted to go to OCS).

    I realize this is my fualt for signing and not forcing the recruiter to go back and make corrections. However the investigation from 2004 was done with an accurate SF-86 and becuase I had a current clearance, all the active Army did was a NAC and JPAS check.

    I am worried this erroneous SF-86 could hurt me on the next investigation. Any advice?

  51. Avatar

    This website has a lot of information, but I still have some concerns about my situation. I have applied for a direct commission in the Army JAG Corps, and have submitted all of the documentation. I have been late on a couple of payments (in private practice, sometimes there are dry spells), but nothing so extreme that would require a “yes” answer on any of the financial questions on the SF86.

    Should I be concerned, or am I freaking myself out for no reason? This is the first time I’ve been through anything like this, and it’s a little intimidating.

    Thanks for your help!

  52. Avatar

    A friend of mine had a TS clearance for a job that required it but recently quit that job. The clearance was good till 2012. Is his clearance still considered “active” (say for purposes of applying to jobs requiring “active” clearances)? How long does it remain active, assuming his next job doesn’t require a clearance?

  53. Avatar

    Also, some of the government contractor positions he’s considering require a TS/SCI. If all he has is a TS, should he not bother applying?

  54. Avatar

    Hello. My name is Cadet Kristopher Johnson. I have been in the army for the past ten years and in may i will be receveing my commission. The problem i am facing is that my National Guard Unit recevied a Leter of Intent to Deny my clearance and lost the letter and i was unable to tell my side. I filled out a sf 86 in march of 2005 and i was deployed to afghanistan. I returned in 2006 to join an ROTC unit to finish school. I filled out another sf 86. The problem is on the first one one a few of the questions i was unsure of and my Security officer a LT told me since i didn’t know just put no on the answer. It had to do with past debts. When i filled out the new one i pulled my credit history and put what ever debts i had forgot i had on there. I also spoke with an investigator and told him my side of the story. Is there still away i can appeal there descion and get a clearance. i have paid alot of past debts off and i really want to recieve my commission any information on what i can do would be a great help. please email me or let me know Happy holidays

  55. Avatar

    Janet – in government contractor speak, a final clearance is “active” when you are using it on a job that requires it. When you leave the job, it moves from “active” to “current” status for 24 months. Meaning, contractors can utilize that person during the two year window by letting the government know they are now administering that person’s clearance on the job.

    Regarding the TS/SCI question, your friend should apply for both TS and TS/SCI positions. It is possible for the contractor to put him on a TS job while he’s in process for an SCI investigation and upgrade.

  56. Avatar

    I worked for a big name Defense contractor and was granted a Secret clearance, at the same time I was employed with said contractor I was also in the Reserves. On my personnel record for the reserves it showed I had a Secret clearance. My question to you is that I started several months ago with the Federal Government in Public Safety position and require a Secret clearance. I am being told that I need to file a new SF86 and re do the whole process over. My clearance was granted just over 2 years ago and is still active. Is this true, or is it someone not knowing what they are talking about? If it is true, why? Does my clearance not transfer or something?
    I thought a clearance was a clearance. Any help would be appreciated it.

  57. Avatar

    Don’t worry about the Chapter 13 you filed and withdrew. You may be questioned about it but at this point it isn’t an issue. I can only think of one reason a fireman would need a security clearance—the possibility that he/she might have to enter an area that has open storage of classified material or a SCIF. If you are only training with them, they don’t have to take you with them to fight a fire within a highly classified area. So basically you don’t need a clearance while in training. Don’t count on getting an interim clearance. You might get one, but with delinquent debts it isn’t likely.

    Happy New Year

  58. Avatar

    OPM claims that 80% of all initial clearance investigations are currently being completed in 70 days (add 30 days for preinvestigation processing and 30 days for adjudication). However, cases with significant derogatory information usually fall into the 20% that take much longer. The approximate date of your interview (if there is one) will depend almost completely on the workload at the investigative field office that services your area. Sometimes it happens within the first 30 days of the investigation; sometimes during the last 30 days. Whether or not you are automatically interviewed for a Secret clearance depends on the aggregate past due amount of your delinquent debts. $3500 is the break point. If it is less, it is still possible that the requesting agency can ask OPM to do an interview anyway.

  59. Avatar

    Unfortunately your case was opened before October 2006 (for IRTPA purposes cases opened before 10/06 don’t count), so there is no emphasis to close it. It could close in a month or in eight months. OPM claims it is trying to clear out all of its investigations that are more than a year old, but they really don’t have an incentive to do so. Whereas there is a lot of pressure on OPM to close cases submitted after 30 Sep 06. The fact that you were interviewed is a good sign. Usually after field investigators start working on a case, it usually closes in a few weeks to a couple of months, provided there are no complications.

  60. Avatar


    If you go from one DISCO contractor to another DISCO contractor, it is possible to retain the interim Secret clearance and have the investigation continue uninterrupted. It may or may not be easily done; it depends on the knowledge of the gaining FSO.

    An interim Secret clearance is a preliminary determination that you can be granted access to most categories of classified information at the Secret level until the investigation for your Secret clearance is completed and you are granted a final Secret clearance.

  61. Avatar

    I wouldn’t be too concerned about the 2005 SF86. Even though you knowingly signed an inaccurate document, attesting that it was true; you really did not intentionally falsify the document, nor did you try to withhold or otherwise hide any unfavorable information, since you previously disclosed everything in 2004. I hope you still have a copy of the 2004 SF86. If the 2005 SF86 was not submitted for investigation, the only place it can exist is in your Army Officer records. But I believe that what was once known as the field 201 file, really no longer exists. If the 2005 SF86 does not exist in your online officer record, it does not exist anymore. In any event, it sounds as if you have a reasonable explanation for why the information in the 2005 SF86 is inaccurate.

  62. Avatar

    If you answered “no” to all the financial record questions accurately, you have nothing to worry about regarding financial matters, unless something you were previously unaware of pops up on your credit report.

  63. Avatar


    I’ve just received my TS/SSBI clearance. I was amazed at how fast I was cleared – just over four months it took! My question now is, how much am I really worth? I’ve tried to do some research on the web but haven’t found anything of relevant value but the standard 5,000-15,000 salary increase. I have five years of IT consulting experience in the government sector and work in D.C. I believe my client may now be the FBI, but I am meeting with my manager this week to confirm my options now at work. I want to have some documented proof that I deserve a market salary increase, since my manager does not give raises all too often. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

  64. Avatar

    I applied for a government internship that requires a Top Secret investigation. After completing the written security packet, I had a preliminary telephone interview where I admitted an instance of petty theft (between 7 or 8 times until November 2007, I knowingly placed a 24-pack, worth approx. $5.00, of water bottles under my cart at the supermarket and walked out without paying for it), and work theft, (on two separate occasions I stole $20 and $40, respectively, during July 2007). I am 20 years old.

    I am in good shape in all other regards (no drug use, mental health issues, credit, foreign activities, or criminal charges). Although no one knew about the above misdeeds, I felt guilty about them and voluntarily disclosed them during the interview.

    These actions were very stupid decisions that reflect moments of poor judgement. On a personal note, I sincerely feel these are aberrations in my behavior and do not constitute a fair representation of my trustworthiness or character. I believe, therefore, I needed to be completely frank in order to “come clean” with my hiring agency and my own conscious.

    I have read that, under criminal behavior, “Allegations or admissions of criminal conduct, regardless of whether the person was formally charged” constitute grounds for disqualification. As such, I understand the seriousness of my admissions.

    My question is: How certain is it that my application will ultimately be disqualified? I have yet to have my personal interview, and will certainly expound on my feelings during that time. Is there any other actions I can take at this point that would increase my standing during this process? Do you anticipate that the investigatory agency will be more tolerant given my age?

    I apologize for the lengthy explanation. Thank you for your help!

  65. Avatar

    I have a current active TS/SCI clearence. My SSBI is was completed in Mar 03 and the reinvestigation needs to start by Mar of 08. I just submitted the SF86 for the reinvestigation. I changing jobs after 8 years to another contractor. My new position requires me to have a TS/SCI. I am just looking for some reassurance that my clearence is going to be alright and to see what the time frame is for the reinvestigation. I lived in the same 30 mile area my entire life. Excellent credit. No financial problems for me or my spouse. No run in’s with the law or anything like that.


  66. Avatar


    I’m currently awaiting my TS and Suitability of Trust from DHS. I met with a field officer for my interview 2 weeks ago. Some of my contacts have been contacted, but not all. Where does the interview fall in the timeline of obtaining a TS? Am I towards the end, or do I still have a ways to go?

    Secondly, silly question, but what’s the difference between a TS and TS/SCI?


  67. Avatar

    Quick question,

    I was told by the officer who interviewed me for my TS that there are “many cases where the individual is never notified when they receive their clearance.” Is this true

    If so, is there a way I can check on it’s status, rather than sit at home and wonder?


  68. Avatar

    I am not sure if this is relevant or not, but I also wanted to mention that I was recently (October 2007) confirmed for an Interim Secret clearance for a internship position that I am currently occupying (this is at a different agency).

  69. Avatar

    Blondie – see for more information. On average, cleared personnel earn about 25% more than their non-cleared counterparts. The higher the clearance, the higher the earning potential. Good luck.

  70. Avatar

    I have held a clearance since 1999.I never had any security violations. In September 2004 I was arrested for larceny. I was on a business trip. I drank too much and decided to pull a prank. I decided to take a projector that was left in the open at the hotel and return it in the morning. Needless to say, when I awoke I became quite embarrassed with my actions and did not return the item. The room was searched by police and the projector was sitting on a table. I was arrested and transported to the local precinct. My belongings were inventoried and I was placed in a holding cell. There was no other official documentation. The arresting officer and hotel learned that I was a recent war veteran and I was released before charges were pressed. Upon my return to work, I documented the entire account and copies were given to my supervisor as well as the COTR. I was given two weeks severance. I also met with the agency’s security officials to discuss the situation. An investigation was opened for this incident. Because I was no longer a employee, the security personal never contacted me again.

    I was hired by another company later that week for a contract for a different agency. My SF-86 was processed and completed my periodic review and polygraph. Forward to now. I was recently transferred to a different contract that used JPAS for verification. On JPAS, my information shows that the investigation is still open, but it also shows that my periodic review was completed four months after the incident. The report states that the investigation is still open and DISOC has not yet adjudicated my clearance. Is it possible that my clearance can be revoked? Since the incident, I have not had any legal trouble or problems related to alcohol. I also have become a volunteer at a local hospital and completed 65 credit hours of school since said incident.

  71. Avatar


    Thank you for all of your help. The conditos stated above are pretty close to the situation. My periodic review was completed by the Dep of the Air Force. The Dept.of the Air Force was also the SCI granting authority for thecontract I just left. My FSO is the same, I am just transfering projects. The concern is that DISCO is the SCI granting authority for the project I am transferring to. Of course they do not wan’t to grant SCI access until the investigation is complete. It seemed to me that the Dept of the Air Force did not clear this matter up and it may become an issue of contention now.

  72. Avatar

    Help 🙂

    If the following three conditions exist, your new employer’s FSO should be able to effect the transfer without any problems:

    1. Your SSBI-PR was submitted to DISCO.
    2. Your collateral clearance at the new employer will also be handled by DISCO.
    3. The government agency that granted your SCI eligibility will be the same as before.

    Problems often occur when people switch jobs while an investigation is pending. This usually occurs because the clearance granting authority and/or the agency granting the SCI eligibility are different. So if DISCO is the collateral clearance granting authority and “xxx” agency is the SCI granting authority for both positions, there should be no problem. The responsibility to seamlessly have your clearance and pending investigation transfer from one company to another rests primarily with the gaining company’s FSO.

    Don’t worry about the time it takes to get the PR completed. As long as you submit the SF86 on time there generally will be no problem unless it takes more than 2 years. PRs have very low priority at most investigative agencies.

  73. Avatar

    Your telephone interview was probably a security screening interview to determine whether to proceed with your clearance application. The decision to proceed is more of an Human Resources decision than a security decision. So, at this point you should be wondering whether the agency is still considering you for the internship. It’s hard to say what effect all this may have on your interim Secret clearance with the other agency.

  74. Avatar


    Instances where a person is granted a clearance and never informed are pretty rare. The only one that make any sense is when a person is granted the clearance but never hired for the position that required the clearance.

  75. Avatar

    Most agencies like to do the Subject Interview near the beginning of the field investigation, but it doesn’t always work out that way particularly if there are multiple offices involved in the field investigation. If the field investigation is being done in only one location, then it is usually done first and the entire field investigation is usually completed in less than a month.

  76. Avatar


    The investigative requirement for Public Trust positions associated with public safety jobs with the government and government contractors, ususally exceed the investigative requirement for only a Secret clearance. You may need an MBI, LBI, or BI for the public trust position even though you will only need access to secret information.

  77. Avatar

    Regarding the difference between TS and TS/SCI, see my 18 Dec 07 post on this thread.

  78. Avatar

    Thank you William you are a blessing!

    Since my investigation will most likely involve another agency (I lived and went to school in the North), what is the time deadline investigators are given to gather all information once my interview is conducted?

    Once that step is completed, is the next step an ajudicator for final review? Or is there another step in between?


  79. Avatar

    Thanks for your reply, so my clearance is good is what you are saying? But I need “an MBI, LBI, or BI for the public trust position even though you will only need access to secret information.”

    What does this mean? I am not familiar with those terms.

  80. Avatar

    Some federal positions are designed as both national security and public trust positions. If your position is designated a Moderate- or High-Risk Public Trust position that also requires a Secret clearance, the investigation you previously had for just a Secret clearance is not enough. MBIs, LBIs, and BIs are required for these Public Trust positions and these investigations are more thorough than the NACLC or ANACI investigations that are used only for Secret clearances.

  81. Avatar

    Question I haven’t seen anywhere on the Internet…

    Currently going for a MBI with CBP. Why is CBP BI’s seem so much harder then a DOD TS/SCI.

    I currently have a TS/SCI with a CI Poly. Applied for a MBI with CBP and got flagged with a termination of employment for using business credit card for personal use. No fraud or money issues with former employer. Acutally got a reference from President of former company.
    What are my chances in getting a suitability for this clearance? This is moderate Public Trust position. This is the only issue flagged. Know this information because I got ahold of CBP internal affairs.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!

  82. Avatar

    Thank you for your reply, William. Based on the information that I have provided, do you feel it would be reasonable for me to assume that I am no longer under consideration? I am not sure if this is relevant or not, but when I spoke to the person over the telephone, she was referring to “advisements” that I should take under consideration before I am contacted to schedule a security orientation. I can imagine this is just another bullet point to note during a telephone interview, and that it could be possible I’ll be contacted to be notified of a withdrawal.

    Just looking for any other background information you could provide. I understand that intelligence/investigation is your area of concentration, not HR, but I appreciate your advice.

    Thanks again.

  83. Avatar

    Quick question:

    What is the OPM’s Security/Suitability Investigations Index? What information does it contain?

  84. Avatar

    What are the guidelines CBP uses to determine suitability for a moderate public trust position?

    I am not in LE field but IT are different guidelines for each career field?

  85. Avatar

    Basically, OPM’s SII (Security & Investigations Index) is a computer database of investigations conducted by OPM. A record exists of each person investigated by OPM for clearance and employment purposes, including dates, type of investigation, and eligibility determinations. SII is one of four major databases that contain similar information. The others are DCII (Defense Clearance and Investigative Index), Scattered Castles, and CVS (Clearance Verification System). Another system known as JPAS uses information in the SII and DCII. CVS is a new system created by OPM that should eventually replace DCII, SII, and Scattered Castles.

  86. Avatar

    I really don’t know whether the agency will submit your clearance application for further processing. If they do, your misconduct is a potentially disqualifying condition as you already know. Potentially disqualifying conditions can be mitigated, but because your misconduct was recent and occurred repeated, there are no direct mitigating factors. The only possibility for migitation would be under the “whole person” concept. Mitigation under the whole person concept is much more discretionary than mitigation using the mitigating factors directly applicable to a specific guideline (i.e. Guideline J: Criminal Conduct) within the Adjudicative Guidelines.

  87. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson:

    My wife is an IT professional, 2 years into a 7-year DoD secret-level clearance. She’d like to start her own business. If she incorporates such a business, and then begins subcontracting to her current employer (a small private company) on clearance-required projects, will she be able to transfer her clearance to her own company at some point? If so what is the general process and any limitations, and/or what requirements would she have to meet?

    Thanks for any guidance you can provide.

  88. Avatar

    It will depend on the nature of the work she will do for her former employer. If she works as a consultant with access to classified information only at her former employer’s work site, her former employer will continue to be the sponsor for her security clearance (almost like an employee). If she must store classified information at her own place of business or employ others who will need a security clearance, she will have to get a Facility Security Clearance. In either event her former employer will have to issue her a Contract Classification Specification that details how the classified work will be performed. If she get her own Facility Security Clearance, her clearance will be registered to her own company. DSS has Industrial Security Representatives who will help her with this process.

  89. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson:

    Thanks for the quick response. All of her work on classified projects with her current employer to this point has been at client sites, either at a government agency or at the office of a larger prime contractor. The interim situation in which she would be subcontracting to her current (at that point former) employer would likely be the same.

    The preferred situation would of course to eventually not be tied to that one company as her sponsor. Is it unheard of for a private home to qualify for a Facility Security Clearance?

  90. Avatar

    I’m currently awaiting my TS. I met with a field investigator a few weeks ago for my “interview.”

    I’ve had two separate people come forward since then, and state they would be happy if I included them as references for my TS. Both of them have clearances and currently work for the government.

    If I felt they could further strengthen my case for TS, can I still add them? Or will that only further delay the investigation? Is it worth it?


  91. Avatar

    My case (TS) was opened in mid-December 2006, and adjudication began on June 6, 2007 and is still on-going. Two of my co-workers who submitted their SF86’s around the same time as me received their TS clearances at the beginning of November. I am eagerly awaiting my clearance so that I can pursue some opportunities that have come my way. Should I be concerned at all? Except for some foreign travel, I can’t imagine anything else that could cause a delay. What are my recourses for getting information on what might be the hold-up?

  92. Avatar


    DISCO does not grant SCI eligibility. SCI eligibility can only be granted by a designee of a SOIC (senior official of the intelligence community). DISCO is not part of the intelligence community and has not been delegated this authority by any SOIC.

  93. Avatar


    Once your Subject Interview is completed the rest of the field investigation in the area where you work will generally be completed within a month. If field investigative work is also being conducted in other geographic areas, the date by which that work will be completed depends completely on the caseload in that other area. All cases are assigned suspense dates based on the date the case is opened.

    Once all field work is completed on a case, it is reviewed to make sure everything has been done properly, then sent to the appropriate Central Adjudication Facility (CAF). Average adjudication time is about 40 days.

  94. Avatar


    There will be no opportunity to add any more character references, unless you are asked for more names by the investigator. FYI, applicants overestimate the weight given by adjudicators to character references based on the references’ occupation or security clearance. In fact usually there is no way an adjudicator will ever know that one of your references holds a security clearance based on what is in an investigative report. A positive recommendation from a neighbor who has close personal interaction with you everyday (regardless of his occupation) is more important than a positive recommendation from a Navy admiral who only had monthly contact with you at large meetings.

  95. Avatar


    Does your spouse anticipate getting a contract for classified work that will require her to hire employees and/or store classified information at homeoffice? If not, then she will not be eligible for a facility security clearance (FCL). If yes, I know of no reason why a homeoffice would be ineligible for an FCL, as long as it can fulfill the supplemental security controls for classified storage.

    If she does classified work for more than one company as a consultant, when one company terminates her work, her clearance will just move to another company.

  96. Avatar

    Thanks to Al Gore and the reinvention of government that occurred in the mid-1990s, the Federal Personnel Manual (FPM) was scrapped. It was a very bloated, multi-volume manual that probably needed to be replaced with something more easily used, but it contained some very valuable standards used by all federal agencies. The FPM was discarded, but nothing was created to replace it. Regulations of many federal agencies still reference this non-existent manual. Other federal agencies have created their own rules. So there is no federal standard for investigations or adjudication for public trust positions. For Public Trust positions agencies are encouraged (but not required) to use the 2005 Adjudicative Guidelines For Determining Eligibility For Access to Classified Information, with less emphasis on Guideline B and Guideline C.

  97. Avatar

    Currently have a clearance that is held by my company and a small consulting business on the side with some friends. We have an opportunity to do some commercial work for a company in Hungary. Will this hurt my clearance in any shape or form?


  98. Avatar

    I have 2 questions: My friend received his TS, Nov 2007. In JPAS this is what stated: Eligibility Top Secret, 2007 11 26, DISCO. Investigation SSBI, Closed complete: 2007 11 09, OPM. Which is the correct date that he got his TS?

    Also, there are no updates in JPAS regarding adjudication for SCI. Does this mean that the case has not yet forwarded for adjudication or will it be updated in JPAS only when his FSO is notified that he got his SCI?

    Thank you.

  99. Avatar

    I have been in processing for my TS SSBI w Poly for over a year now. I took two polys and passed them. For several months after the polys I had two reports outstanding… in November my SO told me I was in adjudication. I checked in with her yesterday and now she says that they want another poly.

    Is this normal? I am happy to continue to meet with them and share anything they want to know, but after the first two polys and then the interview I thought that I was going to be done soon. I have been waiting for this job for a long time.

  100. Avatar

    26 Nov 07 is the date DISCO granted the TS clearance. DISCO does not grant SCI eligibility. If your friend is being considered for SCI access, the completed investigation was sent to a different Adjudication Facility for the SCI at the time the TS clearance was granted by DISCO. When the SCI eligibility determination is made, this information will be posted to JPAS by the other Adjudication Facility.

  101. Avatar


    I recently spoke with my manager about receiving my TS/SSBI in order to find out about positions where I would be a fit. He told me, in so many words, that he doesn’t plan on placing me on a project that requires a clearance because they are lifeless and boring. What that really means is, they are not any of HIS projects he is in charge of at work. I cannot imagine a company paying for a clearance and then deciding not to use it. There is a lot of cleared work out there, and it’s awful to think if I want to be a part of it, I have to leave. My question is, I have been seeing a lot of job posts for a TS/SCI required. Can I apply for those with my TS/SSBI? I haven’t seen many for just a TS. I know I am SCI elligible, but if I am never placed on a project using my clearance, I do not see how I will ever receive it. Appreciate any advice! Thanks!

  102. Avatar

    Thank you for response to my question, 09 Jan 2008 at 11:12 am.

  103. Avatar

    psublondie – if you have hopes to obtain a clearance, you may need to look elsewhere within your company for a job that requires it, especially if your manager doesn’t want to find such a position for you.

    To answer your question, you can apply for any open clearance-required position regardless of your clearance level. If the employer and job warrants you getting a higher level clearance, the employer will make that request and take those steps.

    Good luck

  104. Avatar

    I recently received and accepted an offer for a job that requires a secret clearance. The job is overseas and the offer does not say anything about it being tentative or contingent upon getting the clearance. However, I would love it if there is no hurdle and I could just get the clearance. I have a couple of questions:
    1. I am married to a foreign national (permanent resident with every intention of becoming a US citizen) – does this hurt my chances?
    2. I lived 11 years in a foreign country, returned to the US in 1993 and have not been there since – does this hurt my chances?
    3. I don’t have any financial issues that are negative on my credit. I do have two mortgages though but we’re going to rent out our place while we are out of the country. Is having a mortgage considered huge debt?

    Thanks so much for answering my questions and Happy New Year!

  105. Avatar

    I understand that my situation is not as severe as many others on this post, but I see a lot of good questions have been answered with great advice, so I figured I’d submit mine. I hope this is the right place to submit it. I am only 19 years old, and have recently enlisted in the US Air Force. I am down for a Linguist job with the AF, and am ‘extremely well qualified’, to use the words of the service liaison, for the job, but the one thing that could stand in my way is my TS clearance which is required for my intel job. They do a credit check on us, and they expect most people my age to not have a credit history; however, I already have 3 credit cards which my dad convinced me I should get so that I could get my car fixed (as an 18 year old without a car, I jumped at the idea which I now realize was not so smart. My dad agrees with me, and he has been helping me to pay them). Since I got the cards they have been paid each month, on time, at least the minimum due, but 2 of them are still beyond their limit: together only about $150 over. As I said, I understand this is not a grave situation really, but I would like to know if this will keep me from getting my clearance. I’m not sure whether or not it matters, but my credit score is 673. Thank you for your help.

  106. Avatar

    I am trying to figure out how to answer Section 25 “have you consulted with a mental health professional (psychiatrist, psychologist, counselor, etc.) or have you consulted with another health care provider about a mental health related condition?”

    I visited my general physician on two separate occasions several years apart for depression/SAD, but no treatment was ever done. Also, I don’t know the dates I saw the doctor. Is this considered a “mental health” issue, or can I leave it out?

  107. Avatar

    I am going through Top Secret clearance. My wife is a foreign national and a US Permanent Resident. She will be subjected to a polygraph.

    If she used drugs casually during her college years in a foreign country, will this information be passed on to USCIS (US Immigration)? We intend to be completely truthful but we may have to cancel the application if there is a strong chance of deportation.

  108. Avatar

    I am requesting an opinion on my regretful situation. I have worked for eight years as an engineer with secret clearance. In June of 2007 I got a DUI. Additionally I was arrested five months later for driving with a suspended license. I was placed on ‘administrative leave’ following the DUI and (obviously) had the additional charge added while this was in effect. Since the question of clearance wasn’t resolved prior to the second ‘indiscretion’ I am in a sort of limbo now. Here’s my question: How does the combination of both charges affect my chances of keeping my clearance?
    Thanks, in advance, for any response.

  109. Avatar

    Congratulations on joining the USAF. You will enjoy your future assignment at DLI in Monterey. The training is academically challenging and will require hard work. If you do well, you will have an interesting career in the military and later in the government.

    Don’t worry about being slightly over your credit limit your credit card accounts. Just don’t get behind in payments and try to pay them down as soon as possible. Your credit score is not important; your payment history is.

  110. Avatar

    1. For a collateral clearance having a non-US citizen spouse is only significant if his nationality or your contact with his non-US citizen relatives “creates a heightened risk of foreign exploitation, inducement, manipulation, pressure, or coercion” or creates a potential conflict of interest. Substantial foreign financial interests can also be a concern.

    2. Having lived abroad for an extended period more than 10 years ago is only significant if you maintain close contact with foreigners and if your activities outside the U.S. were questionable.

    3. Mortgages are only significant if they are delinquent or you have several properties with considerable equity and no plausible explanation for having amassed such assets.

  111. Avatar

    I only recently learned the disctinction between an Active and Current clearance. However I’m confused because I see some job fairs requring “an active clearance or one used in the last 24 months”. Say someone had an active TS clearance good for several more years. She’s working through a contracting firm for federal agency A, and quit that job by her own accord (she didn’t like it). A month later the person is applying to a different contracting firm for federal agency B, for a position requiring the same clearance. The person doesn’t want to get into a discussion of leaving the previous firm or mentioning that the clearance, at least in theory, has returned to Current status. How likely is it that the government has already turned that clearance back to Current status? Even if it has already done so, will the new contracting firm, when confirming the person’s clearance, even be made aware that it’s not Active and is Current? That is, will the cross-agency database (presumably JPAS) reflect it is still Active since we’re still in the 24 months? Thanks in advance.

  112. Avatar

    Recent Chapter 7 individual bankruptcy (due to real estate investment slump, and no other reason as over-spending etc.) is THE issue I cannot join Army as Intel. Officer. Rest everything else is pristine as background, education, asvab scores, medical etc. Please share your thoughts if an exception can be made by Army? I’ve been advised my recruiter to join other MOS – that doesn’t require clearance – and sign 3-year contract; after 12-months, when re-enlistment window opens, I can reclass as Intel Officer and go to Intelligence School for training. Only reason being that an exception (about {then} 12+ month old bankruptcy) can be made at that time.

    My question: Is there guarantee exception will be made? Should I ask Army to provide this point in writing? What else should I consider at this stage, as I “only and only” want to join as Intel. Analyst.

  113. Avatar


    I was hoping someone might be able to answer a few questions for me. I have applied for a Secret Clearance with DHS. I filled out my SF86 August 2007, was contacted by a contract investigator from OPM for an interview in October 2007, then at the end of Nov 2007, was asked for an updated contact information, which I had already given to the investigator in October. And today when I called for an update they said it was taking longer because my DOS clearance wasn’t sufficient enough. What does this mean? I lived in the UK for 2 years and in Ecuador with the State Department for 3 months. Any ideas on what the process is and where I am in the process and what to expect? Thanks.

  114. Avatar

    I currently hold a TS/SCI clearance in the Army. My concern is, when I filled out my initial SF 86 my recruiter hinted that it may not be a good idea to admit previous drug use and that the Army only cared about drug use within the last 12 months anyway. My previous drug use dated back approximately 2-3 years and was recreational pot use (approximately 10 times) so I made the mistake of checking no to any drug use. It has been eating me ever since and I’ve been looking for a way to come clean, however, I’d obviously like to keep my clearance as well. Is it possible to keep my clearance if I come forth and correct the error during my reinvestigation or on my own? Should I come clean sooner? It’s already been approximately two years since my clearance was finalized, but about four years since I filled out my original SF 86. Any suggestions on how to fix this? I’m hoping for a career in law enforcement and I don’t want this looming over my head. Thanks for any help.

  115. Avatar


    Generally, a single traffic infraction (driving on a suspended license is usually an infraction) is of little adjudicative significance for a security clearance. A single DUI, absent any aggravating factors, usually does not result in a clearance revocation. Of course the DUI shows poor judgment, but it also raises the question of an underlying alcohol problem. If you have had no other alcohol-related incidents in the past 5 years and your consumption of alcohol is not excessive, you should be able to retain your clearance.

    Usually when a clearance is suspended, the individual is directed to submit a new SF86 to be used in a Special Investigative Inquiry for clearance adjudication. Was your clearance suspended? Were you required to submit a new SF86?

    Administrative leave for five months seems somewhat severe for a single DUI. Was there some complicating or aggravating factor?

  116. Avatar

    People use the terms active, current, and expired to describe clearance status, but these terms are not used in JPAS. When a cleared person terminates employment, their security manager/FSO should immediately update JPAS with this information and the clearance is terminated. If the person is hired for another cleared position within 24 months and their last clearance investigation is not out-of-date, their clearance can be reinstated without any investigation (it is during this period of time that people refer to a clearance as being “current.”). When a prospective employer’s security manager/FSO looks at your record in JPAS, he/she will be able to see the date and type of investigation completed, the date and level of clearance granted, and the date the clearance was terminated, as well as some other administrative data.

  117. Avatar

    Your question regards army recruiting policy, not security clearance policy. With proper sponsorship, no one can be disqualified from applying for a security clearance, not even someone who was previously convicted of espionage (unless the provisions of the Smith Amendment apply). Perhaps the Army has a “12 month” rule regarding bankruptcy, but no such rule exists within the Adjudicative Guidelines for Determining Eligibility for Access to Classified Information. Recommend you shop around for another Army recruiter or possibly a recruiter with another service. You can also try forums like: , and . There are conscientious army NCOs and recruiters that answer questions on those sites.

    I would not rely on what your army recruiter is telling you about reclassifying after 12 months without confirmation from a competent second source. It doesn’t sound plausible.

  118. Avatar

    Being interviewed by an investigator for a secret clearance is not routine. Being interviewed by an investigator for a position that requires both a secret clearance and public trust determination is routine. If your secret clearance at DOS was based on a NACLC or ANACI, these investigations do not meet the investigative requirement for a Moderate- or High-Risk Public Trust Position. I can only guess that your investigation is an LBI or BI (bother are sufficient for a secret clearance and high-risk public trust position) and the investigation has not yet been completed or is being adjudicated.

  119. Avatar


    Thank you very much for your information. I looked in my files and it says it is a non-critical sensitive SECRET clearance. I think because it was an internship with DOS, the clearance may not have been as thorough (none of my references were contacted). When I call the DHS security office, they tell me that the OPM investigation is “pending.” I’m assuming this means the investigation is not finished. I know this is a long shot, but do you have any ideas on when the adjudication process might begin and the OPM investigation might finish. Again I turned in my SF86 in Aug 07, met with the investigator in Oct 07, and heard from my case manager regarding contact details in Nov 07, since then, nothing. I did also spend 2 years teaching in England and a summer with DOS in Ecuador.

    I really appreciate your fast response, it is difficult to get answers to clearance questions!

    Thanks again, 🙂

  120. Avatar

    Unfortunately there is no publicly available information on the average elapse times for LBIs and BIs or for adjudication of those types of investigations. For DHS some of these investigations are conducted by OPM and others are conducted by companies that contract directly with elements of DHS, like CBP and ICE and possibly DHS-HQ. This further complicates gathering even anecdotal information about elapse times.

    Public trust investigations and adjudications have not had any congressional oversight, possibly because of the lack of any government-wide standards for contractors.

  121. Avatar

    If your told to go back 10 years instead of 7 on the SF86 and SF85P, does that mean you’re up for a TS? I thought I was getting a TS, but when I speak to the firm who hired me they never mention TS, just secret. My investigation is still open, but I wanted to prepare myself for the bad news if necessary.


  122. Avatar

    What is the difference between a “For Public Trust, Medium Risk” type of clearance (obtained by filling out an SF85P) versus a “Secret” or “Top Secret” type of clearance (obtained by filling out an SF86)? Does qualifying for a Public Trust position also qualify the person for a “Secret” or “Top Secret” position — or is the process (and information accessed) completely different?

  123. Avatar

    Hello, I’m preparing to retire from the military and as luck would have it I’m due for my PR. I currently hold a TS/SCI. Here’s my question… My last PR investigation closed out in Jan 03 but took 14 months to be adjudicated. I’m getting conflicting stories about whether or not my PR is due. Is the due date for a PR based on the adjudication date or the last investigation closeout date? Additionally, I’m being told by potential employers that doing the PR may not be a big deal but because my PR is approx 15 days overdue I’m “out of scope”. What does this mean?

  124. Avatar

    There are certain designated Special Access Programs classified at the Secret level that require an SSBI, which is a 10-year investigation. Normally a Secret clearance requires only a NACLC, which is based on an SF86 with 7 years worth of information. Regardless of the investigation, you are only granted the clearance level you need.

  125. Avatar

    The National Investigative Standards for national security clearances specify that the application form must be an SF86. A national security clearance authorizes the holder to have access to classified information up to the level of the clearance that he holds–confidential, secret or top secret.

    When an SF85P is used as the basis for an investigation for a Public Trust position, the applicant is ineligible for a national security clearance based on that investigation. This is because neither the SF85P or the “trustworthiness” investigation cover the issue of foreign connections as thoroughly as the SF86 and a security clearance investigation.

    When a person is determined suitable for a Public Trust position, they may be entrusted with such things as: Sensitive But Unclassifed information, fiduciary responsibility, public safety responsibility, and sensitive ADP duties.

    There are some positions that are designated both national security and public trust. This occurs when they only need a Secret clearance, but the Public Trust aspect of their job requires a more indepth investigation than that required for a Secret clearance.

  126. Avatar

    I’m completing the e-qip and am wondering if it’s worthwhile to try to explain mitigating factors in the comments portions or if that will just open a whole new set of problems. I’ve had some financial and other issues related to my 1999-2002 divorce that I have either worked through or will have resolved in the next month.

  127. Avatar

    Without knowing all the veriables involved, my basic advice is: if you must answer “yes” to any of the financial questions on the form, it’s wise to add mitigating factors in the “comment section,” especially if you need an interim clearance.

  128. Avatar

    has anyone ever heard of a first decline on an interim secret being evaluated again?

  129. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,
    I am a newly-hired contractor who is currently in-process for a DHS “public trust” position (completed SF85P via eQIP) and have also been invited to complete eQIP for a DoD SECRET clearance. I have two SSBI investigations on my record from previous job applications w/in the IC. Both of these resulted in “unsuitability” determinations. The most recent application denial, from FBI, cited “comments I provided regarding my personal conduct during my application processing” as reasoning behind the decision. For these current DHS and DoD investigations, I have disclosed the previous applications and dispositions on my SF85P and SF86. I am wondering whether this investigative history, which I sincerely hope I will have a chance to explain during a security interview, will seriously hinder my chances at being cleared by DHS and DoD at their respective levels? The DoD investigation is only NACLC in scope. Might this investigative history prevent my receiving either an interim clearance or one altogether? I’m going to be completely forthright with investigators in disclosing the conduct issues I believe were at issue during my previous investigations. Any insight you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

  130. Avatar

    I was in the Coast Guard for a little over 4 years. I held a Secret Clearance while in the coast guard. I am about to get a job working for the Dept. of Navy. When the guy I have been talking to ran my social security number he said it came back with nothing. It has been less than two years since I got out of the coast guard, Would it be because the coast guard is DHS and not DOD. And if so is it something easily transferable?

  131. Avatar

    CG clearance investigations have been conducted by OPM for the past few years and before that by DSS. OPM investigations are recorded in their database (SII) and DSS recorded their investigations in DCII. Both SII and DCII are linked to JPAS. Your info should be accessible in JPAS, but JPAS does have some problems. Perhaps when CG clearances transferred from DOT to DHS in Feb 03, your record vanished. The security officer you are dealing with should be able to verify your past investigation and clearance by letter inquiry to DHS. Ordinarily, former CG clearances are easily transferrable.

  132. Avatar

    Because you used the words “unsuitability determinations,” I believe the FBI and the other IC agency rejected you as a hiring decision, not for a security clearance. The FBI has a two-step adjudication process. Investigations are first adjudicated for employment purposes and if acceptable, the investigation is sent to a different office in the FBI for security clearance adjudication. The other IC agency you applied to may work the same way.

    Your new investigation for the DHS position is an employment investigation, and your future investigation for DoD is strictly for a security clearance. You will be reinvestigated (possibly using all or part of the previous investigations), but the adjudications will be new. Since you are already employed, you will have certain “due process” rights that you may not have previously had, and the adjudications (including the one for an interim clearance) should be based on the merits of your case, not on the previous adjudications.

  133. Avatar

    Hello William,

    I’m trying to get some reassurance for my situation. I interviewed and received a conditional offer from a government agency around May/June 07. By August 07 I completed polygraph/psych testing and an investigator contacted everyone on my SF86.

    When I try to contact my HR contact at the agency, I get no responses. No returned voice messages and no returned emails. This seems kind of odd to me. I’m just trying to figure out if everything is still going fine. I’m only 24, have moved very little, no drugs, no financial problems, and never left the country. I assume I am up for TS-SCI, but admit I really did not know what I was getting into when the process started. If I somehow have been disqualified or had my investigation stopped, someone would have contacted me, right?

  134. Avatar

    Thanks. I hope it works out he is going to call me tomorrow and let me know. Thanks again

  135. Avatar

    ashton: No.

  136. Avatar

    The fact that personal references from your SF86 were interviewed is a good sign. When you apply for a government job that requires a clearance (especially a TS/SCI), you get evaluated both as a prospective employee and for a security clearance. These evaluations (or adjudications) can occur concurrently or sequentially. Just because you got a conditional offer of employment, does not mean that the employment part of the evaluation is done. If your investigation was initiated in August, it’s only been 5 months. The investigation for a TS is an SSBI. If your SSBI was completed in 5 months, you would be one of the lucky few. Add another month for adjudication. I can’t comment on lack of responsiveness by the agency’s HR. You may want to give it a couple more months before you try contacting them again.

    Investigations are rarely stopped after they have started. You would definitely have been notified if your clearance was denied.

  137. Avatar


    Thank you for the response. I will just try to remain patient, because I do know that I could be waiting several months longer.

    My investigator did contact me to say his process was complete and he was turning his report back in August. My understanding of how things work is that now my “file”, for lack of a better term, is sitting somewhere waiting for an adjudicator to essentially say yes or no, and has been sitting for 5 months?


  138. Avatar

    The investigator who interviewed you may not be the only investigator working on your case, unless you have lived, worked, and attended school in the same general (non-metropolitan) area for the past 10 years and all your listed references are in the same area. In major metropolitan areas a case can be assigned to more than one investigator, even if your work, school, and residence are only a few miles apart. If all the field work was done by one investigator, you should be hearing something soon.

  139. Avatar

    Is a one time encounter with a prostitute in Canada (1 yr ago) on one’s bachelor party (unknown to wife) cause for refusal to grant a TS/SCI clearance?

  140. Avatar


    I am a Corporate FSO and just came accross your blog. Let me know if you need additional contributors to help out on the site. Thanks.

  141. Avatar


    I have a couple questions regarding my clearance. First, I’ve recently been offered a position that requires a TS-SCI w/CI polygraph, which I already possess from service in the Army. However, I’ve been in a relationship with a Korean national for nearly two years and we recently decided to marry. What implications will this have for my clearance and job? Will I be able to cohabitate? Will she require a background investigation and how likely would it be for a smallish private contractor to be willing to pay for this?
    Secondly, I separated from the Army and was last “read on” approximately 18 months ago. However, as a member of the IRR my periodic reinvestigation was conducted over the summer and closed in late September (though when last I checked – October – it was still pending adjudication). What category do I fall under? Active? Current? I have read the preceding comments but remain unclear as to what these categories mean and where I fall in them. Most importantly, if I pass the two year point from last access to classified information will my clearance no longer be current or does the reinvestigation restart the clock despite my not having been read on since its completion?

    Thank you

  142. Avatar


    I am applying for a job that requires DoD security clearance. I recently traveled to Cuba – will this inhibit me from obtaining clearance?


  143. Avatar

    See my reply under the thread, “Ask Your Clearance Questions — Part II.”

  144. Avatar

    Shy M,

    Although I’m not the official greeter, I welcome you and look forward to getting your perspective.

  145. Avatar

    Terms like “active clearance,” “current clearance” and “expired clearance” are colloquial expressions used to describe clearance status, but are also misnomers. Most people who use these terms understand what they mean, but for the uninitiated they can be misleading. In fact these terms are not used in JPAS or any security clearance database. Basically you either have a clearance or you don’t. Investigations can be current or out-of-date, but again these terms are not used, dates are calculated and there is room for fudging. There is also the 2-year break-in-service rule that makes the date of investigation irrelevant. So, active means you have a clearance, current means you don’t have a clearance but you are eligible to have the clearance reinstated, and expired means you have to start from scratch.

    If you were previously read-on to a program that required a polygraph exam and you have been continuously affiliated with the US Army (either regular or reserve) and your reinvestigation is up-to-date, you should still have general SCI eligibility and eligibility for any SCI program that requires only a CI poly in addition to the SSBI.

    Hopefully you disclosed your relationship with your fiancee during your Subject Interview. When you begin cohabiting, she will be treated as a spouse for clearance purposes. You will require a waiver to keep your SCI access, because most if not all SCI programs prohibit non-US citizen immediate relatives. There is a good chance your SCI access will be suspended as soon as it is known that you are cohabiting. It would be better if you told the appropriate security official. A NAC will be conducted on your cohabitant. You may be reinterviewed regarding foreign influence and foreign connections, before your case (both collateral clearance and SCI) is readjudicated.

    Very, very few contractors pay for security clearance investigations. The only ones that I know who pay are the contractors working for OPM. None of the contractors working for the IC, DoD, or DoE pay for investigations.

  146. Avatar

    Jason L:
    I’m having trouble posting a reply to your question. Hopefully this one will work and I’ll try to post the actual reply tomorrow.

  147. Avatar


    I was forthcoming on my SF86 and to my OPM investigator about my relationship with my fiancee and I do know that she was interviewed (over the phone) by them. Does it seem possible an NAC was conducted at that time?
    Also, I fully understand its impossible to judge all the circumstances from your position but how likely/possible is it in your experience for a waiver to SCI access to be granted to someone with a foreign spouse? And is an NAC something that must be paid for (and therefore unlikely to happen if working for a private contractor) or simply a routine procedure that can be handled by the gaining unit’s S2/security officials? Essentially, and I understand this may be difficult to speculate on, if I take the job, marry, and begin to live with my fiancee should I reasonably expect to be terminated?

  148. Avatar

    And again, thank you for all the time and advice you’ve already given.

  149. Avatar


    Most likely your fiancee was interviewed as a character reference on your Periodic Reinvestigation (PR). OPM can not conduct a NAC on her unless you identified her as a cohabitant. When you marry or begin cohabiting, report through the security channels of whoever is sponsoring your clearance, whether it be the Army or the contractor or both. The government will pay for the NAC when necessary.

    Before retirement I dealt with many servicemen who were crypto-linguists (Army=MOS 98G) requiring SCI access. Some of these servicemen went to Korea and married Korean nationals. Of those that I reinterviewed 5 years later, all went through the same process: clearance and access suspended until NAC was completed on spouse (30 – 90 days), then clearance and access reinstated. These servicemen are in a critical specialty, and I imagine it is easier for them to get the “certification of compelling need” required to obtain a waiver, than it would be for a military reservist. If Army CCF gives you a waiver, other non-DoD Intelligence Community (IC) agencies do not have to accept your SCI eligibility. So, if the contractor’s customer is a non-DoD IC agency, they may or may not grant you SCI access to their information. In all likelihood your collateral TS clearance will be unaffected. The world of SCI/SAP is very complicated and there is a lack of uniform compliance with existing policy on reciprocity. I don’t think that anyone can reasonably predict what might happen to your SCI eligibility with the Army or any other IC agency.

  150. Avatar


    Thank you for your help.

  151. Avatar

    Jason L.,

    If you didn’t pay for s e x, you may not have committed a crime. You’ll have to check Canadian law. That would eliminate one potentially disqualifying condition.

    If others watched you, it raises a different potentially disqualify condition. Since your wife doesn’t know about it, susceptibility to blackmail under the S e x u a l Behavior and the Foreign Influence guidelines are also potentially disqualifying conditions.

    There is no question on the clearance application form that asks about this type of conduct. So, you won’t have to deal with it until you get to your security interview. During the interview for a TS clearance, you may not be asked specifically about this type of conduct, but you will probably be asked about susceptibility to blackmail.

    You should have little or no problems mitigating any security concern (except blackmail), because it only happened once, under unusual circumstances, and is not likely to recur. If the susceptibility to blackmail becomes an obstacle to getting a clearance, you can always tell your wife.

  152. Avatar

    I just took a job in the Navy that will required a Security Clearence after training. I had some credit issues in the past that was not my falt. I hire a law firm to disput the credit issues. Some of the account has been deleted. Will a letter from the lawyers and prove that some account has been deleted help get my SC?

  153. Avatar

    Hopefully someone can answer this. I’ve looked through this site and others and it seems there is a difference between TS obtained through the civilian side vs. the military side and certain circumstances etc.

    I’ve been in the Army National Guard for 4 1/2 years and I recently transfered into the Air National Guard. When I transferred my current MOS wouldn’t transfer over to the Air Force so I was forced to take one of their MOS’ and do retraining.

    In the Army my MOS didn’t require a security clearance even though it was similar to what I applied to do in the Air Force. The Air Force, however, requires their Network Administrators to have a TS SCI security clearance because you could potentially be reassigned to a unit that handles TS material regardless of whether your current unit does.

    So on to my question, since I have to get a TS clearance in the Air Guard will I be denied if I have unsecured credit card debt? When I went through college I racked up credit card debt, (Under 10K worth) and defaulted on it a few years later when I lost my job as I couldn’t keep up with the payments. Well since then I have struggled to payoff what I could, and I’ve paid some creditors off while others refuse to work with me and I haven’t paid them a dime since I defaulted (USbank takes and all or none approach to their debt) So subsequently they’ve sold my debt to other people etc. Anyhow it’s a really big mess, but unfortunately I don’t make enough on the civilian side to really get a good grip on it. Other then that I have a spotless record, nothing more then a speeding ticket, no family overseas, not married etc. Nothing that I know that would disqualify me.

    So my question is will this instantly disqualify me? It’s kind of a catch 22 in that regard, because since I transfered and signed up to do basically the same thing, I recieved a 15K bonus. I planned on taking the bonus and paying off all my debt.

    Believe me it’s starting to become a real hindrance even jobs are running credit reports on people now and I really want to fix it. I just don’t get how they expect you to pay back an insane amount of money that they never shouldn’t entrusted to an 18 year old college student who made maybe 3k a year and you give him a credit limit of 2000, give me a break. Anyway that can lead into a whole discussion on the world of credit and what a messed up system it is.

    But anyhow does having that defaulted debt disqualify me or will they hear out my side of it, especially since I recently was laid off, so money to pay back debt is in short supply.

    Any help on this subject would be appreciated since I haven no idea about how any of this security clearance stuff works.

    Thanks in Advance

  154. Avatar

    Yes, the letter from your lawyer and any other proof that the debt has been successfully disputed will help. But you will have to do something about any remaining delinquent debts.

  155. Avatar

    Nick D,
    No, it will not instantly disqualify you. Yes, you will have one or more opportunities to explain what happened and try to mitigate the negative effects of any delinquent debt. If you are unable to make steady progress in repaying your debts on your own, you should seek the assistance of a credit counseling service, preferably with a organization that is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.

    Conscientious participation in credit counseling or a debt consolidation program can significantly mitigate financial concerns. Without formal counseling consistent, systematic, good faith efforts to repay or otherwise resolve debts will have the same effect.

  156. Avatar

    I was just wondering if you or someone else on this board might be able to help answer a question I have.

    I was offered a job (conditional upon obtaining a TS clearance of course) with one of IC members back in July of 2007. My security paper work and all was turned in at the end of August 2007 and the background investigation was completed end of October 2007 by OPM. Adjudication was completed mid-November 2007. I was granted the clearance (No complaints from me on the timeliness of this process considering what I have read on this board).

    Anyway, at this time, I have been turned over to applicant processing for placement within the agency I hope to work for in the near future. I still have to take a CI poly, and a drug test. On their website, they say this process typically takes 3 to 4 months. Anyway, I have talked to applicant processing and they are very apprehensive to give me any information on when I may be placed. May be tomorrow, may be 6 months from now. I just have to wait for them to let me know. A, Don’t call us, we’ll call you when were ready for you kind of thing. They are not great about letting applicants who they have already cleared know when they may start. So my question is, if I have already been cleared (had my TS clearance granted) and if in the future, I grow tired of waiting for a call that never comes, can I apply for a new position with another agency or another company that requires a TS clearance and have my clearance that I have never actually started to use transfer over? Or would I have to start from square 1?

    Thank you very much for your time!

  157. Avatar

    John W.,
    This is not the normal sequence of events for a TS/SCI clearance when applying for a position as a federal employee with an IC agency. Most of the IC agencies don’t use OPM to conduct their investigations. Normally the polygraph exam occurs near the beginning of the process or at least sometime before adjudication. It would be unusual for them to adjudicate only for the collateral TS clearance when you are being considered for a position that requires SCI.

    If your SSBI was completed and you were granted a collateral TS clearance, you should be able to have another agency or contractor transfer the collateral clearance. If you SSBI was completed, but you were not granted a clearance, another agency should be able to obtain the investigation and use it as the basis for a clearance adjudication, provided too much time does not elapse. Do you have any foreign connections?

  158. Avatar

    Seems I’ve been trying for weeks to post an expanded question but it never shows up.Am I doing something wrong?


  159. Avatar

    a little over 1 year ago I completed my background investigation and 2 poly’s for a ts/w/life style. I am trying to figure out what my chances are of being pushed thru:

    1/bankrupcy about 9 years ago..
    2/I take a prescription for anxiety

    During the Poly I had 2 discrepencies. The 2 ares that hit up I can honestly say should not have. Since both discrepency were nothing I experienced in my life I was forced to provide information that best closly related. I was more then happy w/my excuse but i could tell the investigatore was expecting more. The investigator actually seemed disappointed in my response. I would post my discrepencies but im not sure if I can.

    Thank you for reading my post. I look foreward to response.

  160. Avatar


    I had the same problem and Admin told me that certain words trip the spam filter. Check your post for any objectionable words and change them.

  161. Avatar

    Thanks, looks like my answer came today!. I have an interim clearance after an initial decline. Sent them a letter requesting reconsideration with proof of bankruptcy discharge in 2002,credit report, state background from police office. Also sent payment verification on a few delinquencies. I was very surprised. If it hadn’t happened my new job would have been up in smoke.

  162. Avatar

    I was discharged general under honorable conditions in September. I was involved in an investigation involving over the counter medication. (Which led to my discharge) My TS was put on hold during the investigation. I am trying to get a job in D.C. and they asked what my clearance was. I called my previous security manager in Tampa, and he said that my clearance was still in suspension status. How do I get it reinstated?

  163. Avatar

    Can you tell us if you are an applicant for a federal or contractor position and what office granted the interim?

  164. Avatar


    I will be working for a great DOD contractor, the job is in theater overseas. I’m not sure what office, sent the package to Ohio. I’m just thrilled, I really didn’t think it would work.I had a pretty good case to be made I thought, as the issues where old but inside seven years or close enough for me to want to let them know. I gave them everything I could find about myself.It’s really revived my faith in things.

  165. Avatar

    I just thought I would let someone know. I’m sure there are others in my position. It’s been a nerve racking experience.

  166. Avatar

    Unfortunately, you probably will not be able to get your clearance reinstated. One of the exceptions to reciprocity is when there is substantial information that the standards of E.O. 12968 may not be satisfied. In other words if the existance of credible derogatory information is known, another clearance granting authority does not have to (and probably won’t) grant a clearance based on a previously granted clearce. A new investigation will probably be necessary.

  167. Avatar


    The catch to that is JPAS will not allow a security manager to initiate a new investigation while your clearance is in Suspended or Denied access.

    If it was Denied, then the option opens after 365 days. While in Suspense, however, it just sits there.

  168. Avatar

    I am looking how the financial review impacts maintaining my clearance.

    Since obtaining my clearance several years ago (and coming up for periodic reinvestigation soon) I was unemployed for several months and hadn’t the reserves to sustain all my bills. This lack of income and current payments caused my credit rating to nose dive (upper 700s to low 500s!). I got back on track once re-employed, but am still fighting the uphill battle of improving my credit rating. Unfortunately, this effort was set back by late reimbursements from my current employer to pay debt on my company credit card (used for company-related expenses only, but not guaranteed by the employer).

    Should I expect these circumstances of the debt and rating to act in my favor?

  169. Avatar

    I have recently transitioned from the Air force and have a question regarding my resume. I currently hold a TS/SSBI clearance. I am wondering if I would be correct if I put on my resume that I hold a TS/SCI. Below is what my JPAS reads. The reason I ask is I believe I’ve been wrongly passed over for a job because I don’t say I currently have a SCI (which just about every DOD contractor requires). The job that I had didn’t require a SCI but I understand that I was eligible. I believe the HR reps for these companies don’t understand that a TS/SSBI with eligibility for SCI is basically the same thing as TS/SCI. The only difference is being read into the position. If I’m mistaken please let me know. Any help would be appreciated!!!

    Investigation Summary
    SSBI frpm OM, Opened: 2002 09 20 Closed 2005 11017
    NACLC from OPM, Opened: 2002 03 11 Closed 2002 07 11
    Adjudication Summary
    PSI Adjudication of SSBI OPM, Opened 2002 09 20, Closed 2005 11 17
    determined Eligibility of SCI-DCID 6/4 on 2006 01 23 AFCAF

  170. Avatar

    alrite im tryin to get a security clearence to work on ft. knox. i have a dui in 2002,criminal tresspass in 2003 and assault 4 or 3 and amended down to 4 or 3, all are misdemenors. my credit is fine do you think i will get a clearence. or maybe an interim, and how long does it take to no if you have clearence or not cuz the job starts in 11 days.

  171. Avatar


    I personally know someone who has had a car repossessed, and about $10,000 in overdue credit card debt this was all about 1-2 years before obtaining his clearance. From what I’ve been told if you show that you are currently paying off the debt and that it’s at least manageable you should have little problems with the investigation. The problem is when they run your credit report and see you are still not paying overdue debts.

  172. Avatar


    After reading your past posts you seem very versed on this subject. Would you mind reading my question above? I really would like to hear your opinion. Thanks!

  173. Avatar

    Look at the SF86. If you can answer “no” to at least questions 27d and 28b, you should be okay. If you can answer “no” to more of the questions in section 27 and 28, all the better. Don’t worry about credit score; it is not considered.

  174. Avatar

    Technically you are incorrect. The moment you separated from the USAF you clearance terminated. So you don’t currently hold a clearance. However, it can be reinstated by AFCAF or any other federal adjudicative authority for a period up to 24 months after you left the USAF. HR people use the terms: Active, Current and Expired. A current clearance is one that can be reinstated. You have a current TS clearance with SCI eligibility. Whether you chose to list this on your resume is a matter of personal choice.

    Having had SCI eligibility does not mean that you are eligible “as is” for any SCI compartment. Many have supplemental requirements like polygraph and psychological exams.

  175. Avatar

    An interim clearance is something you get in advance of getting a final clearance. Interim Secret clearances can be granted in a matter of days following submission of an SF86. Interim TS can take a few months. Interim clearances are harder to obtain than final clearances. No one can tell you what your chances of getting a clearance are without knowing how your offenses can be mitigated. Take a look at the Adjudicative Guidelines and see how the mitigating conditions might apply to your situation.

  176. Avatar

    A bankruptcy 9 years ago without subsequent financial problems and taking anxiety medication should not be a not be a problem. But the polygraph problem????

  177. Avatar


    Thanks for the info. From what I understand, anybody who had a TS/SCI in a past job be it last week or 1 1/2 years ago technically only holds a current TS. From what I’ve been told this is because a SCI doesn’t follow you from job to job. A SCI is only for that specific position. Is this true? If two people are going for the same job. One holds a TS/SSBI with eligibility for SCI. The other holds a TS/SCI from a job 6 months ago. The job these people are going for requires only a TS/SCI with NO ploy and psych. From the employers perspective isn’t the person with the TS/SSBI just as qualified as the other under the security clearance requirement?

  178. Avatar

    A TS clearance doesn’t follow you from job to job either–it depends on the level of access needed at the job. During my years in federal service, my clearance administratively upgraded and downgraded several times from Secret to TS, but my underlying investigation always met the standards for a TS/SCI. I was also read-on and read-off of a number of SCI programs.

    I don’t like to use words like “holds a current clearance,” even though the words may be commonly used by many other people. “Current clearance” is generally accepted as meaning a clearance that can be reinstated without further investigation. Clearances and SCI eligibility can be reinstated and the criteria for reinstatement are generally the same for both. In the example you gave, both individuals are equal in their eligibility for both clearance and SCI.

    Yes, access to a specific SCI program is generally based on a billet system. But that doesn’t matter if you go from a billet at one employer to the same type of billet at another employer.

    TS/SSBI is a misnomer. An SSBI is an investigation, not a clearance, and all TS clearances have been based on an SSBI since Dec 91, as are all determinations for SCI eligibility. TS/SCI means a Top Secret clearance with SCI eligibility. Access to specific SCI programs can be granted and terminated (repeatedly) without affecting the underlying SCI eligibility.

    Reinstatment of clearances and SCI eligibility when different government agencies are involved is a matter of reciprocity. Generally with collateral clearances, reciprocity between government agencies is not a problem. Reciprocity of SCI eligibility can be a problem. Although rules exist about reciprocity of SCI, it is not uncommon for IC members to ignore the rules. So if one job applicant was granted SCI eligibility by Govt Agency X, and the other applicant was granted SCI eligibility by Govt Agency Y, and they are both competing for a job involving Govt Agency X’s program, the first applicant has a distinct advantage.

  179. Avatar


    WOW!! There is a lot more to it than I originally thought. But I’m sorry to say I’m a still just a little confused. So I’m going to ask my question in a different way. Also, I’m generally speaking. I know with clearance’s it’s hard to speak generally because of the different levels and compartments i.e.(active, current, S, TS, TS/SCI, Poly, Psych, different agency’s). I just need to know what to tell potential employers who ask me if I have a TS/SCI. If an employer(USAF Contractors) asks me if I have a “current” TS/SCI and I ask them if they need Poly, Psych, or any other special needs other than just being read into the position and they say NO. Generally speaking would I be correct if I say yes that I do qualify? After speaking with HR reps (USAF Contractors) for a couple months most of the positions I am going for don’t need anything extra than the basic TS/SCI. It seems to me the HR reps don’t know if that’s the case then I DO meet the clearance requirement. I’ve been looked over many times because of this. Again, I’m just generally speaking. I truly do appreciate your time in helping me out.

  180. Avatar


    Thanks for everything. You answered the questions that I’ve been trying to get answered for quite some time. Hopefully I wasn’t too difficult.

  181. Avatar

    Yes, you have a “current” TS with SCI eligibility.

    The policy regarding reciprocity can be found at ODNI Intelligence Community Policy Memorandum 2006-700-5 and OMB Reciprocity Memos of Dec 05, Jul 06, and Nov 07. The policy letters contain exceptions to exceptions. But more importantly non-compliance with the policy memos has been common. Even the deputy director of OMB complained that “reciprocity has proved elusive by fiat.” It seems odd that there are two different offices issuing national level policy memos on the same subject and both are ignored with impunity. All these documents can be found on the “resources” page of my website. I’ve studied the memos, and I still can’t make one simple, clear, unqualified statement about reciprocity. And I’m sure that if I ever do, someone will tell me that something different happened to them.

  182. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,
    I posted on 21 Jan. 2008 regarding my “unsuitability” determinations from FBI and another IC agency as well as the two current clearance processes (DHS “public trust” suitability and DoD Secret) I’m undergoing for my current contractor position. I failed to mention that after the FBI process ended (i.e. I recieved a letter rescinding my COE on “personal conduct” grounds), I spoke with a contact of my former boss’s who was a Supervisory Special Agent w/ FBI for over 20 years. I discussed the specific personal conduct issues I know FBI was concerned about (since I recieved phone calls from an SA requesting clarification/elaboration of these during the adjudication phase of my SSBI) and he emphatically suggested that I write a letter requesting an appeal of the unsuitability determination even though no formal avenue for one was offered in my rejection letter. He said nothing we discussed “jumped out at him” as justifiable grounds for their decision (granted, he, as far as I can tell, did not participate in the adjudication process while at FBI). I have written the letter, which mentions this SA conversation and lists the six conduct issues I know are of concern (fyi, I have no LE record whatsoever), and explains, as best I can remember, the process by which they were disclosed to FBI during my SSBI. The two major “red flags” I can think of from the Bureau’s perspective were two discrepancies b/t what I’d disclosed during my previous IC agency polygraph (lifestyle variety) and my FBI processing (I simply forgot about them since it was 2+ years since my previous poly). I agreed with the revised version of events when asked about it during FBI adjudication, but suspect that this was considered an indication of untrustworthiness, and grounds for dismissal from the process. For what it’s worth, I’m going to explain all of these issues as fully as possible during my next security interviews for the DHS and DoD investigations I’m undergoing as part of my contractor position.

    Would you recommend sending this to the FBI adjudicator who originally sent me my rejection letter? Might this create some “bad blood” b/t myself and the Bureau in the event I choose to reapply in several years’ time (working under the assumption that the passage of a few years would certainly help to mitigate the youthful indiscretions disclosed during processing)? How do you think such a letter would be recieved by FBI (or would they more than likely just toss it in the trash)? Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  183. Avatar

    I’m a retired investigator whose experience was almost exclusively within the Dept of Defense. I have extensively studied national level (and some agency specific) security clearance policy, but have no special qualification to give advice about agency specific hiring policies or procedures unrelated to security clearances.

  184. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,
    I understand. Thanks for clarifying that and thanks again for responding to my previous post. It was quite helpful.

  185. Avatar

    I’ve recently finished graduate school and am hoping to join the intelligence community. As I wait for the application review process, I’m looking to build my credentials as an area expert. I’ve applied for a job at the South Korean embassy as a political researcher. My question is this: will working for a foreign embassy in DC hurt my chances of getting a security clearance, or my chances of getting employment with the intelligence community?

  186. Avatar

    I have a question about my timeline for this clearance. I would like to know how long adjudication takes. Here has been my timeline so far:

    TS SSBI w Poly
    2/27/06 – submitted paperwork
    4/25/06 – paperwork rejected bc it was on a resume paper (too thick I guess)
    7/3/06 – SO checked on status, they lost my new paperwork, had to resubmit
    12/08/06 – called by case worker. They are missing some of the pages of the paperwork. I faxed them in.
    12/15/06 – Interviews with old neighbors start
    3/14/07 – On standby poly list
    4/12/07 – Completed second poly (they said I passed)
    6/4/07 – Met with interviewers (went over credit etc)
    **2 reports outstanding. This is my status until…
    10/30/07 – In adjudication
    1/8/08 – SO checked on my stats and said it looked like I would need another poly
    1/15/08 It looks like I am back in adjudication. My SO called the poly place and they say they don’t have a record of me needing one. Then she checked on my status again and it now says Im in adjudication again.

    I’m also wondering if its possible that somehow my paperwork for the poly didn’t make it into my file right away and I sat in adjudication with out it. Would that would explian the weird status on the 8th of Jan?

  187. Avatar

    Yes. At the very least it will probably complicate and prolong your security clearance process at an IC agency. For more information see Guidelines B and C of the Adjudicative Guidelines.

  188. Avatar

    I am currently a Army civilian and hold a secret clearance (granted Feb 2006). If I work for a contractor, who supports a DoD agency, will I have to go through the process all over again to obtain a clearance, or will my clearance transfer over? If it will transfer, will I have to fill out new forms…or how will the process work?

  189. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    This is a lateral clearance – a secret DoD clearance for a contractor (supporting DoD) secret clearance.

    Thank you in advance for your help.

  190. Avatar

    Is it typical for a govt contractor to put you through for a secret clearance, en route to a TS. Meaning, once I have worked for some time utilizing a secret, that they put me through for a TS to enable me to support more classified work? Also, once cleared at a lower level (secret), is it easier to obtain a higher clearance…TS?

  191. Avatar

    Yes it will transfer. No, you will not have to fill out another SF86. When you are hired by the contractor, the contractor’s Facility Security Officer will inprocess you through JPAS and assume sponorship (sometimes referred to as ownership) of your JPAS record. Transfer from Army CCF to DISCO for a collateral Secret clearance should go very smoothly.

  192. Avatar

    What is an L & Q clearance?

  193. Avatar

    I was informed by our company FSO that my clearance investigation (Secret) and adjutication status on JPAS both show closed as of 29 Jan. I was denied an interim clearance at the beginning of the investigation back in August of 2007, I’m assuming due to my financial problems. I had what I assume was a SPIN in early December concerning my finances. I have had no personal interview. None of my family, friends or coworkers have been interviewed. Because the investigation is closed and no interviews have been performed, am I to assume my clearance was denied? Please help.

  194. Avatar

    A SPIN (Special Interview) is a personal interview that only covers issue information (i.e. financial concerns, criminal conducted, drugs, alcohol, etc.). Average adjudication time is 30 days for most cases; more for cases with significant issues. If a preliminary decision was made to deny your clearance, you would receive a “Statement of Reason” (SOR) explaining why and instructions on how to rebut the SOR. In your situation it is not unusual that no personal references were interviewed.

  195. Avatar

    The Department of Energy (DoE) issues “L” and “Q” access authorizations (AA). DoE uses the term access authorization to mean the same thing as a security clearance.

    A DoE “L” is about the same as a Secret clearance and a DoE “Q” is about the same as a Top Secret clearance.

  196. Avatar

    I am a DoD Contractor working on contract with the Dept of Navy. My paperwork was submitted in February 2006. I was granted an Interim TS in March 2006. My investigation was closed in June 2007, sent to adjudication and then re-opened in November of 2007.

    I asked my company’s Security Officer if she could give me some details on what is going on and she said “Your investigation was sent to be re-opened in November because they need additional information. We are waiting on OPM to complete this and then it will be re-adjudicated. They said they can not tell me what the additional information is that is needed nor how long we can expect this to take.”

    Is it true that there are no timelines on how long it take OPM to return an investigation to DSS?

  197. Avatar

    It is not faster to get a TS clearance because you have a Secret clearance, but it can be faster to get an interim TS clearance if you already have a Secret clearance, provided no new unfavorable information appears on your new SF86.

    It is common for contractors to submit an employee for a Secret clearance first, then later submit them for a TS clearance.

  198. Avatar

    I have a Current (not Active) TS/SSBI clearance and applied for a job with a government contractor who requires a TS/SCI requirement. After interviewing, they’re interested in me but say that the SCI is the sticking point. They say they’re trying to get me upgrade me to it. I don’t want to bombard them with questions or status updates. What do they do to upgrade me to SCI? Do they make further inquiries to employers and/or references, and if so, won’t they contact me to say they’re commencing this process? I would want to give a heads-up to my contacts if so. Thanks in advance for any info.

  199. Avatar

    Hi, I need some info about bankrupcy and secret clearances. I was active duty AF for 6 yrs and got out w/ an honorable discharge in Jan 07. After I got out of the AF I caouldn’t get a job that paid enough to keep up w/ the bills I had. While trying to find a better paying Job I had to use my cedit cards to help pay bills and for food and gas…etc. Basically, I ran my credit cards up and they are maxed out now to the grand total af almost $30,000. At the last possable moment which was a blessing I got a GS-07 position w/ the Navy as a Firefighter. Now I have a great job, but my credit cards have taken on a life of their own and I can’t pay them fast enough, especially w/ gas and food and other nessecary bills. So it really looks like I will have to file bankrupsy. I already have a secret clearance that i got in 2001, so i will be up for a reinvestigation in 2011. My question is if I file bankrupsy will I be denied in 2011? Is there anything I can to to help my cause? My finances and my credit were imaculate prior to me seperating from the Air Force.

    Thanks for any help

  200. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    tried to read thru the entire blog here, but I was wondering specifically about what is being referred to as NACI clearance for a potential job. The company is a DOD contractor. Does the NACI differ any significant way from any of the other clearances I saw referenced here? If so, in what way? Is it less stringent, more stringent? Does it require periodic re-evaluation? If so, how long is the period? Is a spouse or co-habitant a factor in an NACI clearance? Does it require a polygraph? Are they going to care I stole a pack of gum when I was less than 10 years old, which is now more than 35 years ago?

    Thanks for your assistance.
    BTW, is your website the only place your book on security clearances may be purchased?


  201. Avatar

    Could you please answer the entry from Jake above. I am in very similar situation. I am trying to determine whether or not I should just get out of the Army (since my 8yr commitment is up) or should I drive on and hope for the best. I would like to think that the Army and the Clearance adjudicators would consider me worthy of clearance under whole-person common sense determination. But the more I research this the worse it looks and while I would like to continue serving I dont know if it’s worth the risk. Appreciate your guidance in advance.

  202. Avatar


    Before the contractor can do anything, they will have to extablish a formal relationship with you. They will either have to hire you or give you written job offer.

    After that, it depends on the IC agency that will consider you for SCI eligibility and the specific SCI program requirements for access. Even though there is existing policy regarding reciprocity and adequacy of previous investigations, some IC agencies do not comply with the policy. So, anything is possible. You may have to undergo a new SSBI with or without a polygraph exam and possibly psychological testing. They may only require a new SF86 and use that in conjunction with your prior investigation to adjudicate for SCI eligibility.

    No new investigation or even partial investigation will be initiated without a new SF86 (and general release form) from you.

  203. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson, I am in a situation similar to the entry above by Jake. Could you please provide your input. Thanks for your info in advance.

  204. Avatar


    Looking for info on timeframes, once your paper work is in for adjudication.

    TS/SCI has been sitting in adjudication for 5 month.

  205. Avatar


    Unfortunately, it’s true.

  206. Avatar

    My husband works as a contractor and has a secret clearance. He is being made a manager at an overseas location and has to now get a TS clearance. He was a police officer for 10 years and in July of 2005, applied for his current position which he got, his secret clearance was in place as he had previously been in the Army and Reserves (both honorable discharges) and he did his first deployment in December 2005. However, a few months before he left the police department, he was working extra duty at a film location and the producer tipped both him and another officer $100 which they both returned. The department now claims that there was an Internal Affairs investigation into the gratuity which they continued after his resignation and they now have him listed in his internal affairs file as having quit as an officer while under investigation which produced a sustained complaint in his abscence. However, he had the new job offer 6 months prior to resigning and was waiting for his deployment dates. Also we nor our lawyer have any documentation that there was an IA investigation. He left to take the new job unaware of any of this.
    If he refuses to apply for a TS clearance, he will lose his job and if he applies and it’s denied, he will then lose his secret clearance plus his job. How much of a problem is this likely to be? He has no other issues, no debts, criminal records, impeccable references from federal agents etc.

  207. Avatar

    I can only answer one of your questions. If he applies for a TS clearance and is denied, he will also lose his Secret clearance.

  208. Avatar

    Navy Fireman:

    Bankruptcy is a legal way to absolve yourself of debt. Adjudicators often view bankruptcy and credit counseling as positive efforts to correct financial problems. Three things are considered: 1) reason for debt, 2) response to debt, and 3) amount of debt. In analyzing these three factors they try to determine if it is likely that it will occur again, the extent to which the problem was beyond your control, and whether you are and have been making good faith efforts to repay your debts.

    You should always try credit counseling first, but only from a reputable credit counseling service, preferably one associated with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. They are often able to get better repayment terms than you can on your own. They should tell you if bankruptcy is a more appropriate course of action. is currently running a 3-part article I wrote in their “Job Seeker Update” electronic newsletter. I recommend you sign up for it. The next part is on mitigating financial problems.

  209. Avatar

    Miss M:

    I don’t sell single copies of my book on my website, because people can get a better single copy price than I can offer by purchasing it at Amazon. My website order page has a link to my book’s page at Amazon. It is also being sold at some PX and NAVEX store, but is not generally available other “brick and mortar” stores, except by special order.

    The NACI is an investigation (National Agency Check with Written Inquiries). It is generally used for a new federal employee who will occupy a non-sensitive position. It can also be used for as the basis for issuing “Personal Identity Verification” cards required under HSPD 12 for contractors who occupy a non-sensitive positions. The NACI with credit check can be used as the basis for “Moderate-Risk Public Trust” positions for contractors only. Positions that are designated only as Public Trust do not involve access to classified information, but can involve responsibility for federal “sensitive but unclassified” information, fiduciary duties, computer systems duties, and public safety duties.

    Neither the NACI nor the NACI + credit is sufficient for a national security clearance. Reinvestigation requirements for Public Trust positions vary from agency to agency. Neither require a routine polygraph exam. Status/conduct of a spouse or cohabitant are rarely issues in these types of investigations. Minor misconduct (not involving drugs, alcohol, explosive or firearms) that occurred more than 7 years is never an issue.

  210. Avatar

    Average adjudication time was 53 days for DoD agencies, 72 days for DHS, 80 days for DoE, and 164 days for DOJ. Other agencies ranged from 15 to 133 days. This information is one year old and new information should be coming out later this month.

  211. Avatar


    Generally if at least two years have elapse since the pre-service marijuana use occurred and it only involved simple use and possession of marijuana (two to five years for other drugs and/or trafficking), the drug issue can be sufficiently mitigated.

    The falsification issue is address under the Guideline E: Personal Conduct of the Adjudicative Guidelines. Mitigating factors in the situation presented include: 1) falsification was in largely due to improper advice by an official and 2) passage of time, isolated incident, unique circumstances. Additionally, “whole person” evaluations are often made when falsification is an issue. Consequently it’s difficult to make general statements about this issue.

    My advise regarding all potentially disqualifying issues is “tell the truth, take responsibility for your actions, show remorse, and take action to correct the problem as soon as possible.” This does not always result in a favorable outcome for a security clearance, but there is more to life than a security clearance. A career involving access to progressively more sensitive information often involves a polygraph exam at some stage. It’s never easy when you are forced to change your career goals, but it’s usually more painful later than earlier.

    You should also be aware of other potential adverse action. Even though rare, there is the possibility of criminal prosecution and/or being removed from military service for fraudulent enlistment and false official statement.

  212. Avatar


    Thanks for all of your work on this board and the book, which have helped me understand security investigations a lot more.

    My question is about full-scope polys and how they are updated. It’s my impression that a FS poly is required for entry on duty with a future employer and it is updated by counterintelligence polys during periodic reinvestigations. I believe the FS poly covers everything since 18.

    Since previous conduct is rigorously examined in an FS poly and investigations are continuously updated with CI polys, is one able to claim to future employers that he/she holds a current FS poly if that is required for the new job? Or, would one only be able to claim a CI poly and have to undergo a new FS poly to meet those requirements?

  213. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson, thanks for the response. Your last sentence confirmed what I was afraid of. I am very aware now of what a mistake I made. Would you please consider the following facts though and let me know what you think. The application I filled out was almost 10 years ago and I have not used any drugs in over 12 years. There is no other derogatory information. Thanks in advance.

  214. Avatar

    I am concerned about my husbands TS/SCI clearance getting revoked, he is doing a periodic reinvestigation, and
    we have incurred 30,000 in debt, due to me being a cancer patient and needing treatment that the insurance does not cover, as well as his ex wife, he has had to pay over 85,000
    in support and alimony in the last two years.
    He has had a clearance for years, and prior to my illness and all of the court costs and fees associated with divorce and post secondary support we had good credit.
    Any suggestions??
    Please Help!

  215. Avatar

    Hello Mr. Henderson,

    I have been offered a great private sector job which is contingent on securing a DOE Q clearance. I’ve completed the SF86, and of course am anxious about the outcome, especially since the new company wants me to leave my current employer & start with them working on non-classified projects while I wait for my clearance to come through. In the event that I am refused the clearance then I will be terminated & thus unemployed.

    I have four items which could be potential issues …
    a) My mother is from West Germany – came over & married Dad in 1959 but never became a US citizen; still holds a German passport. I am not in contact with her relatives in Germany.
    b) My father in law (whom I’ve never met) is a Canadian national. My wife has dual Canadian/US citizenship. Her partents divorced when she was 6 and she moved to the US. I believe her father is still alive somewhere in Quebec, but have no idea at all of his whereabouts.
    c) I have approx. 35,000 in credit card debt. Nothing is deliquent, credit score is 685; all questions in sections 27, 28, & 29 are answered no.
    d) I am under physicians ongoing care for adult ADD with associated medication; my two ADD meds are also commonly perscribed for depression. My MD says that my condition will not impair my reliability or judgement.

    Do you forsee any reason for concern … ?

    THANKS so much !!!

  216. Avatar

    I have been a member of the National Guard, as well as a full time technician.

    I currently hold a Secret Clearance and I am accepting a position with a commercial company.

    I will remain a member of the National Guard for several more years.

    My question is: What is the process to have the commercial company “affiliate” my clearance with them? What changes in JPAS? Do the National Guard security personnel have to release my clearance?

    Thank you in advance.

  217. Avatar

    I am a naturalized US citizen with Indian background. My parents and one brother live in India. I have excellent academic, financial, and criminal record.

    Here is my question – “Does my being a foreign born US citizen (with active ties to India – delays my interim clearnace as well?” I would think that the final clearance may be delayed a bit.

  218. Avatar

    Marc C:
    You can claim that you were granted “access” to an SCI program that required a full-scope polygraph examination and that you currently have access or that the access was recently terminated. As long as you have satisfied the periodic reinvestigation requirements for access without a 2 year break in service, it doesn’t matter what the exact reinvestigation requirements are, provided you did not require a waiver, condition, or deviation. Based on current policy your access to different SCI program can only be limited by “additional” but not duplicative investigative requirements of the other program.

  219. Avatar

    In my opinion your past drug use has been fully mitigated by passage of time and should no longer be an issue. The falsification is another matter. If you are affiliated with DoD and hold a security clearance, by DoD regulation you have a continuing obligation to self-report any potentially disqualifying condition to your security manager. I would never advise anyone to violate the law or government regulation. Although I feel that the possibility of any secondary punitive action being taken against you is remote, I can offer no assurances about this or about your security clearance. I have seen a number of situations like yours (usually involving a polygraph years after the initial falsification) where people have kept their clearances, but were non-selected for the position that required the polygraph.

  220. Avatar

    I truly sympathize with your situation. As I have said before on this blog, adjudicators only expect people to do what is reasonable and responsible regarding their financial debt. In all likelihood your financial situation will only become an issue if there are significant delinquent debts, garnishment, repossession, etc. If you are able to show that you have a reasonable plan to manage your debt and are following that plan, you should be fine. If necessary, seek financial counseling from a firm that is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. I realize that in your situation it is difficult to have a solid plan, because of unforeseeable future expenses, but you should have a plan. No one will hold you to the plan, if unavoidable, unexpected expenses arise.

  221. Avatar

    Bob W.
    Of course everything you mentioned is addressed in the Adjudicative Guidelines, but nothing seems to be beyond your ability to fully mitigate.

  222. Avatar

    The National Guard does not grant federal security clearances. Your clearance was granted by either the Dept of Army (Army CCF) or Dept of Air Force (AFCAF). Neither CCF nor AFCAF will have to “release” your clearance. If the “commercial” company is a cleared contractor, they will initiate the appropriate action within JPAS to have DISCO (or some other federal agency, if DISCO is not involved) accept your CCF or AFCAF clearance. This is a relatively simple matter.

  223. Avatar

    Is there a central office to call to check the status of my clearances? I am a government contractor, who had a DOJ clearance that expired last year, and am interested in finding other clearance positions.

  224. Avatar

    You will be treated the same as a native-born US citizens with immediate family members who are foreign citizens living abroad.

    Having immediate relatives abroad should not delay a final collateral clearance very much. Interim clearances are rarely delayed, regardless of a person’s background. The decision to granted or not granted an interim can occur within days for a Secret clearance and within one to three months for a Top Secret clearance.

  225. Avatar

    Hello Mr. Henderson

    Thanks for the info

    Should I be concerned about the length of time that it is taking for adjudication.

    TS was submitted on 3/06
    Went to adjudication 10/07
    Still waiting
    TS for Other agencies

  226. Avatar

    I’m in a huge panic, sorry for the earlier question it wasn’t very detailed. I just got a new job in December ’07 and I have an interim secret clearance with a DoD contractor. I had an interview today with a field fbi investigator concerning a secret clearance. My position is a meeting planner. On my e-Qip I answered “no” to ever being arrested. A paraphernalia charged popped up on their end. She asked why I didn’t disclose and I said because the officer told me it was a misdemeanor not a felony, I paid a fine and was on my way (this occurred 15 years ago.) I didn’t intentionally falsify my answer (I’m sure that’s what red flagged it) and I told her I honestly believed (and was told) it was a misdemeanor. To further my anxiety, she asked if I’ve used drugs in the last 6 months and I said I smoked marijuana once while I was unemployed. Further, I stated I’m not a regular or casual user and don’t currently use any drugs (prescription included) because this new job is too important to me. In hind sight I could have answered “no” to using, but I thought telling the truth is the honest thing to do. Does this scenario sound like denial to a secret clearance? Would I be able to appeal a denial based on above? I’d hate to loose this job because I misunderstood something that happened 15 years ago and one thing in 6 months. Thanks a million in advance.

  227. Avatar

    I was a background investigator with OPM for a few years, and I resigned about 8 or 9 months ago to accept a local non-government job. My current job is less demanding (less hours) so I am hoping to return to conducting BI’s part-time as a contractor. My question is, will my TS be reactivated if I am offered part-time work through Kroll, USIS, etc, or will I be required to participate in another full SSBI? How much would this cost a future employer either way?? I appreciate any information provided.

  228. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,
    I reviewed the online portions of your book, very interesting. I will definitely purchase the book so I can read the rest! It’s sad, but I was able to clarify many aspects regarding BI’s through your readings more-so than I was able to do as an actual Investigator???
    Do you have any advice regarding my inquiry above, as I would love to continue investigating BI’s as a contractor, but I’m not sure if a private company will want to spend the cash for my TS, unless of course it can be re-activated fairly easy/inexpensively since it has only been 8 or 9 months since my resignation??
    Thanks for your help.

  229. Avatar

    There is no central office to which people who previously held a clearance can verify their clearance status. If you are still employed by a cleared contractor, you can check with the contractor’s security office or you can submit Privacy Act requests to the agency that conducted your investigation and the agency that granted your clearance.

    You can determine the status of your clearance yourself if you know what type of clearance was granted, when it granted, when the investigation was completed, and when the clearance was terminated

  230. Avatar

    On an SF86 there is no time limit to the question regarding criminal offenses involving alcohol or drugs. It doesn’t matter if it was a misdemeanor or felony. The SF86 also asks about any illegal drug use during the past 7 years. Your failure to list your drug related conviction from 15 years ago and your recent use of marijuana can result in your interim clearance being withdrawn. If you are issued a “Statement of Reasons—SOR” by the adjudicator indicating why they intend to deny your final clearance, you will have an opportunity to submit a rebuttal and ask for a hearing. Your success or failure in successfully rebutting the SOR will depend on your ability to fully mitigate the security concerns under “Guideline E: Personal Conduct,” specifically falsification and “Guideline H: Drug Involvement.”

  231. Avatar

    Former Investigator:
    If your last SSBI was completed less than 5 years ago and you have had less than a 2 year break in service, your clearance can be reactivated without any further investigation. OPM charges about $3,700 for a standard SSBI and about $2,500 for a standard SSBI-PR. Most security clearance investigations are paid for by the government, not the contractor. Contractors working for OPM pay for the investigation and sometimes pass the cost of the investigation on to the applicant.

  232. Avatar

    Former Investigator:
    If your last SSBI was completed between 5 and 7 years ago (with less than a 2 year break in service), your clearance can be reactivated with the submission of an SF86 for an SSBI-PR.

  233. Avatar

    Thanks for the info on my other question. I would also like to know if I am going to file bankrupcy, Is there anyone on base that I should talk too first, Like the security manager? To give them a heads up or even make it look better when I do go through my reevaluation in 2011. Would that help, or does it even matter? Thanks

  234. Avatar

    Navy Fireman:

    The DoD personnel security regulation requires cleared individuals to self-report any situation that could be a potentially disqualifying condition for a security clearance. Although you are only required to report such matters when they occur; since your financial problem exists now, you should report it now. The bankruptcy is only a method of dealing with the financial problem.

  235. Avatar

    Navy Fireman:
    Yes, your security manager.

  236. Avatar

    Thanks for all of the great info

  237. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson, I have a question that falls in line with civilservant on 12 Jan 2008. I have had a Secret clearance for over a year with my job. Recently, I received a DUI and now reporting it to my security manager. It was bad timing on my part, I drink maybe once a month, if that. The second part is I just married a foriegn national and will submit my new status. With two major changes affecting my clearance, my co-workers have explained that my I clearance will be revoked. I have no clue what will happen next. My only other change is financially, I bought a new car, and no other debt.
    I appreciate any thoughts from your side.

  238. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,
    I was wondering what kind of information I might expect to recieve from a FOIA/Privacy Act request I submitted to FBI regarding my COE/suitability denial back in Sept. of 2007? (My denial letter explained the procedures for filing such a request, and I’ve recieved confirmation that my request has been processed by the Bureau’s central records division). I requested any and all records pertaining to my SSBI since I would like to get a better idea of the adjudicator’s reasoning behind my denial (beyond the “comments regarding your personal conduct” statement found in the COE/suitability denial letter). I’ve read on other forums (, specifically), that submitting a FOIA to FBI can take months to hear back from and contain as much as an entire ream of paper’s worth of BI records. Do you have any experience with this process and how informative do you think the request may end up being? Should I settle in a long wait and not expect much in the way of “enlightening” information, given the classified nature of IC hiring standards? Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

  239. Avatar

    About a month or so ago, the law changing FOIA/PA was enacted, requiring federal agencies to respond faster to requests and to make the process a little more transparent, but I think they have several before they are required to implement changes.

    At a minimum you should receive a copy of all investigative reports, except those from confidential sources and possibly psychologists. You should also receive some documents completed by the adjudicator. When “Personal Conduct” is raised as an issue in security clearance investigations, it usually focuses on honesty and sometimes on a multitude of minor issues, none of which by themselves rise to the level of being a disqualifying condition under any other adjudicative criteria. I can only guess that it is used the same way in employment selection decisions.

    I don’t know how long the process will take. DSS and OPM usually respond in about 30 to 60 days.

  240. Avatar

    I am in the middle of an investigation for a secret clearance – This past week I filed for divorce. Should I notify the FSO as I do not want my husband’s credit issues to play an adverse part in the decision?

  241. Avatar

    I just submitted my SF-86 for a job that requires a TS clearance. However, they need somebody onsite right away so my boss requested an interim secret for me since that would be adequate for me to at least start working on classified data. The only concerns I have is that as a juvenile in 1997, I was arrested for Burglary and Conspiracy to Commit Burglary in the 2nd degree, both of which are felonies. I was eventually convicted of lesser misdemeanor charges contingent upon a trouble free probationary period of at least 1 year. I served the probationary period and have not been charged with any crime in the 11 years since the incident. The records were sealed and eventually expunged in 2005. I disclosed as much info as I could of course. I have read that this may be enough to get my interim secret denied. I have perfect credit and literally no debt. I bought, owned, and sold a house while never missing a payment and I graduated college in 2004. I have lived an exemplary life (in my opinion) since the incident. What are my chances of getting the interim clearance? Thanks in advance for any input that you can provide.

  242. Avatar

    In August 2007, I failed a polygraph given as part of a TS/SCI clearance process with DOJ, with no offer to retest. I recall the individual who gave the exam said I had to wait 3 years to reapply. (1) Was he referring to 3 years to reapplying for a security clearance or just a TS/SCI clearance or 3 years to reapplying with the agency? (2) If it is 3 years for a TS/SCI can I apply to other places (such as private contractors) that require Secret clearances? Thank you

  243. Avatar

    I recently fill the SF-86 for a job that require an interim secret clearance. The only question that worries me is the past drug use. In 2004 i use marijuana from 4 to 6 times and never used again? I told the truth in the SF-86 so what are my chances on getting the interim?

    Thanks in advance!!!!

  244. Avatar

    You’re not required to tell your FSO, but you can. There really isn’t anything your FSO can do for you in this situation. Check your credit report and see which of your spouse’s debts appear there. Also look at your joint accounts. Be sure your attorney knows about all debts (yours, his, and joint), so that responsibility for all debts can be assigned in the divorce decree. Your attorney can advise you on what to do to protect your credit report from being adversely affected by your spouse’s actions.

  245. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    I working in IT and have been applying for a job with the US Customs and Border Patrol. Apparently we will need to get a high level security clearance. I was pulled over in 2004 for a DUI; however, I was able to get the DUI removed from my record (therefore, I do NOT have a DUI). I have no criminal charge and I was never convicted of a DUI. However, my driver’s license was suspended for 90 days (alcohol) suspension. Is this enough to prevent me from getting clearance even though I have nothing on my criminal record?

    Also, I take anti-depressants on a daily basis, but my “condition” is highly-functioning and under control. I hadn’t even thought that the mental health issues could possibly be a problem.

    What do you think?

  246. Avatar

    You are being considered for employment and for a clearance. I can only give you my opinion about security clearances. There are two clearance application forms: an SF85P for Public Trust positions and an SF86 for National Security Clearances. The questions regarding criminal matters are worded differently on each form. There is no mental health question on the SF85P.

    When criminal court records are expunged, often information regarding the arrest continues to exist in secondary records. I don’t advise people to withhold arrest information because they believe the information has been expunged. On the SF86 you are required to list any arrest during the past 7 years and any criminal charge or conviction for an alcohol-related matter, regardless of how long ago it occurred. The SF86 specifically requires this information even if it has been expunged from court records. The SF85P does not have this specific requirement.

    A single alcohol-related arrest without any complicating or aggravating factors would probably not result in the denial of a final security clearance, nor would current treatment for depression. Both these situations could result in not being granted an interim clearance.

  247. Avatar

    For collateral security clearances DOHA specifies that one year must elapse after the denial of a clearance before an applicant can reapply. I believe this is the same for many other agencies and for SCI eligibility.

    Since you weren’t denied a clearance or SCI eligibility, even this one year waiting period does not apply to you. I believe that examiner may have been advising you of DOJ employment policy. Perhaps DOJ has a rule that an employment applicant rejected for suitability reasons may not apply for employment with DOJ for three years.

  248. Avatar

    Before an interim or a final Secret clearance can be granted in your case, the potentially disqualifying condition of marijuana use must be mitigated. Based only on the information you provided, you should be able to fully mitigate the drug use based on passage of time and be granted a final Secret clearance. DoD will require a Special Interview (SPIN) so that you can explain the circumstance and provide additional mitigating information. Other agencies may or may not require SPIN. If you provided the same information on your SF86 that an investigator would report based on an interview with you, I would say that your chances of getting an interim clearance are good. Some agencies may view four years of abstinence (as listed on your SF86) as sufficiently mitigating the security concern for interim clearance purposes—some may not.

    With DISCO, if they grant an interim Secret clearance, they generally do it in less than a week after they receive a properly completed application. They will not tell you if the choose not to grant an interim.

  249. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,
    My SF86 and fingerprints were submitted to DISCO via my govt. contracting firm’s FSO around two weeks ago (recieved word of the DISCO submission on 8 Feb. ’08). Given the fact that I already have two unsuitability determinations from two separate SSBI investigations on my record (the fact of which is clearly delineated on my current SF86 in the “additional comments” section), do you think, given your estimate that interim clearances are granted within a week or two of paperwork submission, that I have most likely been denied an interim clearance from DoD? According to your most recent post on this section, DoD does not notify an applicant that their interim clearance has been denied, correct? Given my most recent unsuitability determination from FBI (see my previous posts on 20 Jan. and 02 Feb.), I would not be at all surprised if this were the case. Would you expect me to be called in for a SPIN as well? Again, I fully expect this and indeed am hoping for the chance to explain my previous investigatory history, but wanted to get your opinion. Any insight is, of course, greatly appreciated.

  250. Avatar

    If DISCO grants an interim Secret clearance, they almost always do it within one week of receiving a properly completed application. Interim TS clearances take 2 to 3 months. DISCO does not deny interim clearances per se; they just don’t grant them. They do not advise anyone when they choose not to grant an interim clearance. There is a data field in JPAS for interim clearance that just remains blank.

    I don’t know whether or not you will have a SPIN. DoD has OPM automatically conduct SPINs under certain conditions related to the Adjudicative Guidelines. I don’t know if your situation falls into one of these conditions. It is possible that your investigation could be completed by OPM without a SPIN and returned to DISCO. DISCO could then send the case back to OPM for a SPIN. On the other hand DISCO might be able to favorably adjudicate the case using the prior investigative reports which they probably do not have at this point. You will not be denied a security clearance without being given an opportunity to present additional information in person on your own behalf.

  251. Avatar


    The SPIN went well! It lasted approx. 2 hours and was very thorough. I went prepared – I brought along an additional copy of my credit report which enabled me to read along and give as much information as possible when a specific question was asked. There were a few dates that I didn’t remember – but it wasn’t held against me as long as I could provide an approximate. I figured my investigator would be sharp so I took time out to tab, highlight and make notes to avoid looking unprepared. I brought a FULL copy of my bankruptcy case to include the petition, attorney information, Schedule F which is the disclosure of all debts included in bankruptcy, my credit report at the time I filed bankrupt and my current report. The interview went rather efficiently – because I took time out to organize my documents and thoughts. I was given the opportunity to tell what I have done since filing to better my financial standing. Overall – in my case the SPIN allowed me the platform to say what sometimes is difficult to convey on the SF-86. After three sleepless nights – I can breathe a sigh of relief because it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

  252. Avatar

    Hi William,

    I am in the midst of security and medical clearances for FSO. I met with the investigator a week ago, and since then he has been doing interviews with various co-workers and my boss, etc. All is well where my references and work experiences are concerned — everyone loves me. (Really!)

    I am concerned about getting clearance because of credit history. When the investigator met with me, he had a list of 36 “bad” hits on my credit report. Most (about 25 of them) were from medical bills, and the vast majority were from 2003 or before. I had a list of things I have paid off in the last year, a budget made with a budget counselor, a list of the things I am working on paying off with expected pay-off dates and a series of recent receipts and checks showing payments. I also explained that in my attempts to clear credit problems, we decided to leave things that were already charged off for last — ie. we are not disregarding them, but I am taking all open accounts first.

    There were about 7-10 items (all medical!) that I wasn’t even aware of. Since having met with the investigator, I am working on tracking down and contacting all of them.

    Other than that, no drugs, no alcohol, no bad work record, no criminal record, all good references.

    How would you rate my chances with the adjudicators?

    Looking for your best advice.


  253. Avatar

    Dear Mr. Henderson,

    I am hoping you might be able to help me. I had an interim Secret Clearance with a DOD contractor starting in mid-2004 and resigned my position in 2005 without ever getting the full secret clearance.

    I was denied top secret clearance in early 2005 for a position with the IC that I was conditionally hired for and have been in the appeals process for a while now. I have had my first appeal personal appearance interview and they are currently in the process of reviewing my appeal.

    I have a few questions:

    First, if I apply for jobs that require a Secret clearance, will the findings of my current ongoing appeals investigation be used as part of the determination for my interim DOD secret clearance?

    Next, if the first appeal does not go well, is it worth even bothering going through with the second appeal or is that not worth the time?

    Also, I am considering joining the military if I don’t win my appeal and I am wondering how a previous denial of clearance for a job with the IC will hurt me. I am especially concerned if it will disqualify me from service with the army special forces. With the army, I am also curious if they have the ability to shift you to an alternate MOS that does not require clearance if you don’t qualify for a secret clearance once having signed up or do you have the option of getting out at that point.

    Finally, if I apply for a position with local law enforcement, will a background check by the local law enforcement agency discover that I have been denied clearance for a TS with the IC and will that be held against me.

    Any assistance you can provide with these questions is very much appreciated.

  254. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,
    I have had a DOE Q clearance for about 4years and then recently got laid off due to lack of funding, how long is my clearance active if it is active at all. Do I lose it the minute I was laid off or what? Can I renew it or reapply? Slayde

  255. Avatar

    I recently received a letter rescinding my conditional offer for the FBI in regards to a youthful indiscretion. I did reveal this indiscretion in full during my security interview and polygraph. I was forthright and honest with them from the beginning, but I am still being held back. I was told I can appeal in writing to the adjudication unit. My goal is to mention that I was honest from the beginning and that it was a youthful mistake, which I have not made again. My track record since that occurrence has been very positive. I have donated my time and money to charities and am actively involved in helping my community. Does anyone have any advice when writing this appeal letter? I know that I may only have one chance at getting this right and I have been working hard for this job for a long time. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  256. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    Thanks for your replies…mine is somewhat different.

    1st. I have been tendered an offer no clearance needed, just a sf-85.

    2nd. back in my youth(21yo) I screwed up while in the NAVY and received a Bad-Conduct Discharge. IN Fall of 93.

    In sf-85 it says court-martials going back 10 years. I’ve been pretty much squeaky clean since. I’m still have to list it on other prior federal exp. forms.

    ??? Is what are my chances???

    HR lady I asked in ref. What checks are done she said if your a pharmicist and convicted of selling cocaine THATS A PROBLEM…IF YOUR A CUSTODIAL WORKER SAME CONVICTION THATS ANOTHER STORY.

    -can’t sleep at night

  257. Avatar

    I can’t rate your chances. Yours is a complex problem and you offered about 150 words of explanation. If I had done your security interview, just the financial issues would have taken two to three hours and resulted in a five-page report of about 2000 words. Adjudicators need a lot of information about credit issues, such as:

    What were the 11 non-medical debts for?
    Why did the debts become delinquent?
    When did you begin your efforts to repay each of the debts you knew about?
    Have you been making consistent, systematic, good faith efforts to repay your debts?
    How much delinquent debt is there?
    How much total debt do you have?
    How much do you make and how much discretionary income do you have?

    Part 1 of a 3 part article on financial issues I wrote for is posted at It will help answer part of your question. Part 2 of the article should appear in the “Job Seeker Update” eNewletter in a week or two.

  258. Avatar

    You can have your Q clearance reinstated provided you are hired for a position that requires a Q clearance before the 5-year anniversary of your SSBI or 2 years since leaving the job where your previously had a Q clearance, whichever occurs first.

    You can also have your Q clearance reinstated within 2 years of leaving your last job where you had a Q clearance and between the 5-year and 7-year anniversary of your SSBI, provided you submit an application for an SSBI-PR.

  259. Avatar

    Alex P:
    1. Yes.
    2. There is only one appeal to a PSAB, so I’m not sure what you mean by second appeal.
    3. Generally, a person can not apply for a security clearance for a period of one year after being denied a clearance.
    4. Most, if not all, SF positions require a security clearance. You should consult an Army recruiter about your options.
    5. No, but many police departments require a polygraph exam as part of their screening process.

  260. Avatar

    I have a TS/SCI with a Full Scope Polygraph that I’m currently using. I recieved a bachelors in criminal justice in 2006. Since then I have done physical security and admin work. I make 55k a year and I’m looking to make more. What are some tips for negotiating that I can use to bump up my salary with companies that interview me.

  261. Avatar

    Rob – with you having the highest clearance level and polygraph, you do have extra earning potential. A lot has to do with geography and where you are willing to work and live. Check out our salary survey at and look for a new version in the next few weeks. This can help give you a better understanding of what salary you might command, and the jobs that pay the highest. No doubt, the IT and engineering jobs pay best. If you are willing to be trained, you might be able to find an employer that would provide on the job training for something in IT. You might consider IT “boot camps” that get you certified and on the job quickly.

  262. Avatar

    Dear admin/Mr. Henderson,

    I’m a naturalized US citizen. In May 2006 I was offered a job with a defense contractor. Part of the deal was that they would start me off as a temp employee through the staffing agency. Then few months later I would be considered for permanent full time position based on my performance.

    So of course, my clearance paperwork was initialized by the staffing firm. In one month, I was offered the permanent full time position. An investigator came to interview me in July and passed my case to adjudication. Unfortunately during the transition from temp to permanent employee, somehow someone forgot to update my employment status. So it still listed the staffing firm as my current employer. So the when the adjudicator called the staffing agency to confirm my employment with them, they had to say that I’m no longer with them, hence the dreaded “Loss of Jurisdiction”.

    Bad thing about it is that I never knew about it until May 2007 when I decided to call my FSO to get an update on my clearance. They then immediately submitted an RRU form. In Nov 2007 another investigator showed up and asked me pretty much the same questions being asked during the first interview in July 2006. Why did they have do to it twice? I don’t know. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worst, last week they removed my interim secret. My FSO explained it to me that because I had a “Loss of Jurisdiction” in 2006 so when my case went into adjudication again in Jan. 2008 they removed the interim. I still don’t understand the idea behind all this. Should I be really concerned?

    I have absolutely clean record, no bankruptcy or credit problems. Only things that might be a problem is that my dad whom separated with me and my mom since I was 4 yrs old is still in my birth country, and my wife who is still a green card holder. She’s only been here for two years and planning to get citizenship in next year or so.

    Sorry for the long story. I don’t think I can say it with a sentence or two. Perhaps you can shed some light on this matter so I can sleep well at night.

  263. Avatar

    My husband and I are having financial problems and will be filing for a Chapter 13. I was laid off and not able to find a position at my old salary. To help maintain us in the interium we used our credit cards and equity line. Never thinking that the unemployment would go on this long. I held a TS clearance years ago and have been looking at job openings that require a clearance. What are my chances of getting one? I have no other problems that would deny me one. No arrests, tickets, drinking or drug problems or law suits.


  264. Avatar

    I joined the military in 1996, had an ETNAC-Secret. Got out of the military in 2002. Went back into the Reserves in 2005, and also within that same month I got a job with Defense Shipbuilding Contractor. I was required to have a Secret clearance working for the contractor and was granted such in 2005. I deployed for all of 2006 to Iraq.I sat in during classified security briefings and mission planning.It shows in my military record that I possess a Secret clearance, and although my military job does not require me to have one at my current pay grade. I will need it to get promoted to the next rank. Is my clearance DOD wide? Can I use my civilian contractor obtained Secret with my military career progression? Now, fast forward to the present. A few months ago I took a job as a civilian firefighter in the DOD/Federal system. Is my Secret clearance good for this position as well? Am I wrong to believe that once you are granted a level of clearance it is good Agency/Department wide? Thanks!

  265. Avatar

    Collateral security clearances, such as yours, are transferrable from one federal agency to another. It is especially easy to have a clearance transfer from one DoD agency to another DoD agency. There are two requirements for a Secret clearance to be transferrable: 1) the last investigation must have been completed less than 10 years ago, and 2) there must not be a break in service of more than 2 years since leaving the last job that required a clearance.

  266. Avatar

    Since the bankruptcy was due to unemployment after being laid off and you chose a Chapter 13, these factors will weigh in your favor. Of course other details of your financial history will also be considered. No one can accurately tell you what your chances of getting a clearance without knowing all the details, but based on the little you presented, you have a fair chance, provided you don’t fail make payments to the bankruptcy trustee.

  267. Avatar

    so even though when I worked for a defense contractor and that is how my Secret clearance was obtained, I can use it for my military service and my Federal employment? My granting investigation was completed in 11/05. How often are periodic investigations conducted and will I have to resubmit or update SF86 paperwork? Do they periodically pull credit reports and local checks? I am new to this and am trying to learn all I can. Thanks!

  268. Avatar

    I meant how often will I have to update my SF86 paperwork.

  269. Avatar

    Hello, I have a question. I hold a TS/SCI as a DoD government contractor. I recently accepted a position with the Department of Energy. I just found out that the transfer of my DoD clearance to a DoE clearance was denied. Why would that be? Now they are saying I will have to be reinvestigated. Because of this, I wanted to be proactive and got a copy of my credit report since I have been recently divorced (June 2007).

    I am concerned about this now (on top of the fact that I have no idea why my DoD TS/SCI did not transfer to a DoE clearance). There are collections on my credit report for accounts I never owned. I have been in Germany for the last 3 years and only have two car payments (one was granted to my ex-wife in the divorce) and one credit card. Being that I was overseas, I never applied for any other credit and have not had any other credit other than what I just mentioned. These collections are fraudulent as they state the accounts were opened in late 2005/2006 and I got to Germany in January 2005. I have disputed these but am concerned what I should say on my SF86 if they are not removed. Please advise. Thank you.

  270. Avatar


    PRs for Top Secret clearances are conducted at 5-year intervals and at 10-years intervals for Secret clearances. At present no investigative action is routinely conducted between PRs, however, if an incident report is submitted, it can result in an investigation between PRs. SF86s are only required when investigations are required.

  271. Avatar

    An incident report? what would cause or generate an incident report? Criminal? Drugs? DUI? Am I missing any?

  272. Avatar

    Incident reports don’t apply to your situation. I was just trying to give a complete answer to the question, “(when) will I have to resubmit or update SF86 paperwork?” Incident reports are submitted anytime adjudicative significant situations arise concerning a person with a clearance (i.e. DUI, other arrest, new foreign connections, security violation, psychiatric commitment, etc.).

  273. Avatar


    I would contact the collection agencies and ask them about the accounts. Sometimes unpaid medical bills, utility bills, rent, bad checks, etc (for which you would not have applied for credit) are turned over to collection agencies. Could your former spouse have caused these delinquencies?

    As long as you take reasonable steps to satisfy or resolve these entries on your credit report, they should not have an adverse impact on your clearance.

    There are a number of exceptions to reciprocity for security clearances. Your case may fall into one of these exceptions.

  274. Avatar


    Current government employee with an active TS clearance seeking employment with contracting company. The job requires a TS clearance. Would my clearance transfer or will I have to go through a general background or financial disclosure?

  275. Avatar

    Your clearance should transfer without a problem. If your last investigation was more than 5 but not more than 7 years ago, you will have to submit an new SF86 for a periodic reinvestigation.

  276. Avatar

    I am an IT contractor about to join a job which needs public trust clearance. I incurred debts on my credit cards when I was a student about 5 yrs back. I stopped making the payments until 2 yrs back. I have settled all my debts except one from Unifund Collection agency, which seems to be a fraud company. Will there be a problem in getting the Public Trust Clearance, how long does it take to get it ?Thanks.


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    I work as a communications NCO for the Army and I currently hold a secret clearance. My wife and had another child and we were not prepared. I have been thinking about filing for bankruptcy, but I am concerned that if I do I will loose my security clearance. I have a clean record and have never had any financial problems in the past however, we found ourselves a little in over our heads.Any thoughts on this. Will I loose my security clearance if I file for bankruptcy?

  278. Avatar

    I have not seen any info on turnaround time for the type of investigations used for Public Trust positions. Many federal agencies (including DISCO/DOHA) use the Adjudicative Guidelines for Public Trust adjudications. Because you began cleaning up your bad debt two years ago and have made good progress, I think you have a reasonably good chance of getting a PT clearance. Unifund’s claim against you may be valid, but many people have complained about their collection practices, which they claim are unethical and even illegal. You should at least determine the source of Unifund’s claim and determine whether it is valid, and if so, decide on some reasonable course of action.

  279. Avatar

    If you petition for bankruptcy, you must report this to your security manager. Your access and/or your security clearance could be suspended until CCF looks into the matter and evaluates the risks involved in your case. Whether or not your clearance is ultimately revoked will depend on a number of factors. One of these factors is cause of debt. If your financial problems are largely due to the unexpected child and you have taken reasonable and responsible action regarding your debts, you will probably be able to mitigate the financial concerns. I recommend you contact a reputable credit counseling service like Consumer Credit Counseling Services (CCCS). They can evaluate your situation and recommend a course of action (debt consolidation or bankruptcy). Depending on the amount of delinquent debt you have, you may or may not have to report your situation to your security manager, if you use the services of a credit counselor. Both credit counseling and bankruptcy can be viewed as appropriate solutions to credit problems.

  280. Avatar

    I previously responded to your question on a different thread on 21 Jan 08. Part of my response was “You will be reinvestigated (possibly using all or part of the previous investigations), but the adjudications will be new. Since you are already employed, you will have certain “due process” rights that you may not have previously had, and the adjudications (including the one for an interim clearance) should be based on the merits of your case, not on the previous adjudications.”

    Since then you have cleared up some things that you didn’t previously explain. But as I said before, both your prior SSBIs were used for making hiring decisions (not for a security clearance or Public Trust clearance). Those hiring decisions are not recorded in security clearance/investigative databases; however, the investigations are. With cases as complex as yours it is impossible to give a reasonably accurate assessment about your chances of getting PT or security clearance, and you definitely should not use any information on this blog as the basis for making a career decision.

    Others, including Edge141 and I, can make reasonably good predications about clearances on cases involving only simple, straightforward, one or two issue cases. Even Edge141 (a former adjudicator) can’t reasonably predict what might happen in your case without reviewing the entire completed investigative case file. That case file will probably have dozens of pages of information. Your explanation of your situation on this blog amounts to about one page of relevant info and may differ in some respects with the info in your case file.

  281. Avatar

    I am a US citizen born in China. I got an offer which is contingent upon my obtaining an interim security clearance. My concern is about the chance to be denied the interim security clearance. I have no records violating the adjudicative guidelines except that my sister is living in Shanghai which falls into the “Foreign Influence” category. My parents are US permanent residents and currently living with me in US.

    I would appreciate it if someone can give me some advice here because I need to make a decision soon to choose between this offer and another offer that does not require a security clearance.

  282. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    Thanks again for clarifying things for me. I understand that my case will be much more involved and complicated than most given the sheer volume of investigative files which have been collected during my previous SSBI’s. I have not, nor will I ever, make any career decisions based on any responses I receive on this blog. I view it as purely informational only and realize that my situation is more unique than that of other posters. For what its worth, my supervisors are aware of my situation, and of the possibility of a final denial in my two current investigations. They have said that my job is not utterly dependant upon being cleared, and that there are other members of our team who have been denied SC’s but are still with us and contributing productively in other areas.

    Moving forward, I will answer everything asked of me as fully and truthfully as humanly possible and, if at the end of the day, after all my appeal options have been exhausted, I’m still deemed unworthy of holding a security clearance (as I recognize it is a privilidge, not a right), then so be it. I will wait several years before considering to either reapply to another IC position or requesting sponsorship from my current employer in the event that that is an option. Thanks again for your insights into what, for me at least to this point, has been quite a frustrating and disheartening process.

  283. Avatar

    Have looked through the posts and did not see this asked.
    I’m going through a secret (contractor) clearance. Which medical records do they go through all seven years of your records? or if military just pull your last 7 years of hospital records? I had family counseling but continued with my counselor after the issue was resolved. I thought this was considered family 9since it’s why I went in the first place) but they might not see it that way since I continued after for anxiety and say I did not disclose it on line 19.

    Also if they do see it as not family related will I get denied for omission because I interpreted it differently? Can I change my 86 while it is being worked?(should I?)
    I have a clean record and great job. I also don’t want to worry all the time either if they don’t look at medical records for secret.

    Thanks for your time,

  284. Avatar


    I forgot to let you know that the last time I saw my therapist was in 2003.


  285. Avatar


    I am a civilian employee with DoD and currenty hold a Secret clearance. I have been charged with 3rd degree DV against teenage child. Have completed voluntary anger managment and problem resolution counseling with child and qualified Psychologist. Court date is not until Aug this year. What impact could this have on my clearance?

  286. Avatar

    I have been offered a job by a DOD contracting company that requires a secret clearance. I am currently working in the airline industry so I have had my FBI fingerprints done and a 10 year background done with no problems.
    My question is in about 1986 I was charged with a DUI pled guilty, paid a fine. I had never even had a ticket until then so I did no community service or probation. Since then I have not had even one ticket I have good credit and never had any illegal drug use. Do you see any problem for me getting an interim and actually getting the secret clearance?

  287. Avatar

    I am a recent hire at the USPTO as a patent examiner. It is located in Alexandria, VA – which is very high cost of living… and I just used what little $ resources I had, after college, to move here.

    Now I find out I am a MODERATE RISK, public trust position, needing an MBI. Filling out the SF-85P as we speak! I am VERY worried I won’t pass and despite my dedication and hard work to put myself through school, that they will kick me out for the following:

    In 2001 I came up positive for THC on a urine test in the Air National Guard with a Secret Clearance, which led to a General, Honorable conditions discharge. Not sure if they ever revoked my clearance or if it was just terminated or what?

    This was a hard period for me as a young man and I ended up filing Ch. 7 bankruptcy in 2002 and had to leave PSU for awhile. I worked crappy retail jobs and I have been periodically late on payments, until I finished college in 2007, killing my credit – even upto recently. A high paying job like this would easily resolve all these things!

    DO I have any chance in getting through an MBI, or was this a mistake and I should’ve taken a private sector job? (had several private sector offers after my colleges last career fair)

    I can’t believe the Patent Office brought me here and is about to give me a recoupable 5k bonus in a few weeks before even completing my MBI.

    Sincerely, a hard working, hard luck, but talented engineer and scientist. JF


  288. Avatar

    There are 50 states and 50 different penal codes that use different abbreviations and terminology. I can’t give you an opinion because I don’t know what a “3rd degree DV” is. Please resubmit your question with an explanation of what happened.

  289. Avatar

    KP (aka: KS):

    List the counseling/treatment on your SF86 and explain in the comment section that it was initially for family counseling but was later for anxiety. Indicate in the comment section, if you took any medication for this and include dosage and dates. Clearances are very, very rarely denied for mental health issues. The question on the SF86 lists an exception for family counseling, not for counseling that originated as family counseling but continued on as something else. In your case intentional omission will be one hundred times more serious than the mental health treatment. If you omit it and get your Secret clearance, it could come back and bit you at some unexpected time in the future, like when you need a TS clearance. An more importantly, it is a violation of law to intentionally omit pertinent information.

    Generally they only review mental health records. So if they don’t know such records exist, they can hardly review them. If they do know that records exist, they review all available mental health records and interview mental health practitioners you have seen in the past seven years. For military medical records, mental health records are maintained separately from regular medical record. Only the mental health records will be reviewed. If the military mental health records can not be found, the regular medical records could be reviewed to find any references to the mental health treatment.

  290. Avatar

    I was granted an interim secret on 14 March. I told my security manager Monday that I needed to change my 86 but he already submitted in 3 days before. He said he is going to check before adding an addendum to my form. He said he may not have to do it.
    Am I covered for disclosure if he doesn’t do it? I saved all the emails from him. It really was an honest mistake because to me it really was family related since the only reason I went was because my husband was deployed.

    As for interviewing my doctors. There was 2 and I remember one was getting out of the military in 2004 so I have no clue where they are. Will I be denied if they can’t find them to interview them?

    thanks for everything

  291. Avatar


    I was granted an Interim Secret Clearance almost imediately upon employment. What percentage of a chance do I have of getting a Full Secret Clearance? What other investigative procedures occur after one is granted an Interim?

    I am new to all of this and would like to know the details. I have below average credit, but my debt is only $4,000. Also, I have lived in many places in the US.

    Thank you,

  292. Avatar


    I just went throught the process of obtaining a top secret clearance, and I think have been rejected for TS? well, i am not exactly sure. First, i got a conditional job offer from the DoD, then i went to the agency for personal interviews, psychology, and full scope polygraph exam. Two weeks later, i got the letter said that DoD can not extend further employment. Does that mean i failed the clearance ?



  293. Avatar

    Whether or not they can identify and interview your former counselor is not important. If there is any question about your mental stability, they will just ask you to be evaluated by a government psychiatrist.

    You are not “covered” just because you told your FSO about it. But by all means keep any documentation of your efforts to correct this mistake. This may never become an issue but if it does, then its resolution will depend on whether your assertion that you made an honest mistake is believed.

  294. Avatar

    There is little or no relationship between being granted an interim and being granted a final clearance. Interim Secret clearances are based on a review of the SF86. Anyone can get an interim Secret clearance by providing false information on the form. If you are a contractor employee, you will be subject to a National Agency Check, local police records checks, and a credit bureau report. If you are a federal employee, you will also be subject to written inquiries sent to employers, schools, neighbors, and personal references. Credit score or rating is not considered for a security clearance; however, the existence of delinquent debt or previously delinquent debt is considered. Also the number of different places you have lived are not adjudicatively significant.

  295. Avatar

    Thanks for your info. I have saved everything.

    But my question is I am a contractor now but in a few months (3 maybe) I may get offered a GS position. If I do take the GS job is this investigation process canceled and I will have to do the whole process over again or will this one be completed?
    I am guessing this final clearance will not be finished by 3-6 months.

    and if I do have to do another 86 for the GS job I will include the counseling but how should I word it in the comments about my other 86 and item 19 not matching? Should I put the reference number and what my security official told me (that I couldn’t change my form since it had been submitted 3 days before and he would do an addendum?)

  296. Avatar


    If there is absolutely no information on your SF86 of any security/suitability concern and no adverse info turns up during your investigation, your final Secret clearance could be issued in less then 6 months.

    The NACLC investigation currently being conducted on you does not meet the investigative requirements for being hired as a federal employee. You will need a ANACI for federal employment with a Secret clearance or a NACI for federal employment only. An ANACI is a combination of a NACLC and an NACI.

    The SF85 used for the NACI and the SF85-P used for Public Trust positions does not have a mental health question. It is possible that you will be required to submit an SF85 for a NACI only.

  297. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    Besides the information that an applicant offers, what other records are used for a public trust investigation? Are medical records from five to six years ago available to the government? Do the investigators access your income tax returns? Are court records checked? I am just very curious to what records the Government has access to during a public trust investigation and your blog is the only one on the net that offers real help. Thanks

  298. Avatar

    When filling out yor SF 86 in the section about previous investigations should I put a 10 year background and FBI fingerprint check down. This was done when I got an airport job with an airline for a SIDA badge at my current job.

  299. Avatar

    There are five different investigations used for contractor public trust positions; each has a different investigative scope. Medical records would not be routinely reviewed for any public trust investigation and if they were reviewed, a specific release for the records would have to be provided by the applicant. The same for IRS records. Court records are routinely checked for disposition of criminal offenses and for listed civil court actions.

    I’ll try to post some information about the investigative scope for PT positions at the resources page of my website early next week.

  300. Avatar


  301. Avatar

    David F:

    One year from the date of orignial revocation.

  302. Avatar


    I have been applying to some jobs recently, some of which may require me to obtain a security clearance. I’m guessing they would require Confidential. Is this easier to get than Secret and Top Secret?

    I have no criminal history, but I have a spotty credit history. I was the victim of identity theft some time back and have had certain odd things pop up in my record once in a while. A few months after I did report this to the credit bureaus. Along with that there was a period when I didn’t make some payments and I have some medical collections. It’s a poor credit score but I am ready to fix it. I can seek credit counseling, but mainly I need to take care of the medical collections (which I’m not sure is a legitimate charge) – basically a matter of disputing them.

    BTW, I am naturalized, but my parents are not US citizens (they are still permanent residents). Will that hurt me too?

    I appreciate the help.

    Thank you

  303. Avatar


    I have been laid off for about 5 months, Worked as a gov’t Contractor. Currently have Secret clearance “active”. During the time of the lay off my debt has skyrocketed. My credit score is headed for disaster. Will I be able to find another job requiring Secret clearance or will the future employer understand my circumstances, please advise.


  304. Avatar

    All collateral security clearances (regardless of level) have the same adjudicative standards, only the investigations are different.

    Parents who live in the US as resident aliens should not be a big problem for a collateral clearance provided you don’t have extended family in a high risk country. If you have been trying to clean up your credit and the credit problems occurred because of things that were beyond your control, you will have a reasonable chance of getting a clearance.

  305. Avatar

    I currently hold a TS/SSBI and was wondering what all is involved in upgrading to a TS/SCI. I previously held this level of clearance while in the Army, but now I’m a contractor. Some of the individuals I work with are upgrading their clerance and have stated that they only have to attend 2 breifings and they will be good to go. I am just curious as to how long and what to actually expect as far as upgrading my clearance as I’m getting only heresay locally.

  306. Avatar

    An SSBI that is not more than 5 years old can be readjudicated for SCI eligibility without any further investigation. However rules governing SCI eligibility and specific SCI program access are not the same. There are some SCI programs that require additional (but not duplicative) investigative requirements (i.e. polygraph) beyond those required in an SSBI. In such cases a new SF86 may be required. Some government agencies ignore national policy and require a new SSBI.

  307. Avatar

    I would like some advice on how to marry a foreign national and keep my ts/sci. I met a Chinese national on deployment and have been to China several times since. I received the security and country briefs from my S2 and State and they had no problems with my travel. We would like to marry during my next R&R. How should I proceed from here?

  308. Avatar

    I was recently granted a Top Secret clearance, but am now considering a position with DHS which requires a Public Trust Investigation and the completion of an SF85. Doesn’t my TS count for anything? The contractor hiring me says I have to go through a full investigation again, and while the job is worth the hassle, I’d prefer not to have to put my coworkers and friends through the process again.

    I’ve heard of various agencies having reciprocity; don’t DoD and DHS have an agreement? Or is the contractor incorrect, and my SF85 a matter of formality?

    Thanks in advance for your help and insight.

  309. Avatar


    I am 22 years old and I will be starting college this fall at a very prestigious university for Aerospace Engineering. I also have plans to join the Air Force ROTC in hopes of one day becoming a fighter pilot.

    The only thing that is keeping me from chasing my dream is the need to eventually obtain a security clearance. Even if I don’t make it in the Air Force, most positions in the companies I would like to work for after college such as NASA or Lockheed-Martin will require a security clearance as well.

    I have been convicted with a felony (theft) when I was 19 years old. I was released from probation 3 months early and have not been in trouble since. Fortunately the conditions of my probation allows my conviction to be reduced to a misdeamenor which I will follow thru with this year and eventually have it sealed in 2 years.

    I also filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy early this year because at one point, I had really good credit and agreed to purchase a house under my name that my mother was suppose to pay for. Unfortunately she could not keep up with the payments and the house was on track to be foreclosed so I was left with no choice but to file the bankruptcy.

    I have experimented with marijiuana in the past but eventually stopped since I did not like how it affected me.

    Since college tuition is very expensive and I will be left with a huge debt after graduation, I was curious to know how high (or low) my chances are of obtaining a security clearance within the next few years as I don’t want to be left jobless or feel that I should have chosen a different path in life.

    However, I am in a very pivotal point in my career goals right now and this is something I have always wanted to do. I was wondering if there is anything I can do now to improve my chances of succeeding. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!

  310. Avatar

    With multiple issues like yours, it is not possible to give you any meaningful advice without studying your case in detail for a few hours. I recommend you read the Adjudicative Guidelines, the Adjudicative Desk Reference and some DOHA cases. Everything is at the DOHA website

    Good luck.

  311. Avatar

    I recently was arrested for my 2nd DUI, the fisrt arrest was April 2004 and the most recent was last week. I received and completed probation for the first arrest, but I don’t think I will be lucky to receive probation for the last incident. I have volunteered to attend alcohol counseling sessions at the VA hospital for returning veterans to show the court that I am remorseful and understand the seriousness of a DUI. How will this affect my clearance (TS/SCI with CI poly), especially if I am found guilty?

  312. Avatar

    A siingle DUI is a potentially disqualifying condition for a security clearance; however, it is possible to mitigate a DUI. It is even possible to mitigate a second DUI, but of course it is much more difficult. The effect of the DUI on your clearance will only be slightly reduced if you manage to beat the charge or have it reduce. Failure to promptly reduce an arrest for DUI to your FSO will only make your situation worse. Read the mitigating conditions under Adjudicative Guidelines G & J, and start doing everything you can to have as many of the mitigating conditions as possible apply to you. There is a possibility that your clearance could be suspended until the matter is evaluated (possibly involving a new investigation) by the clearance granting authority.

  313. Avatar


    I work for a contractor and they want me to go for my secret clearance. Problem is I have past issues that I am pretty sure they will deny it. I have just started on Lexapro for anxiety because I am in the process of buying a house and the stress level has been enough for me to see my PCP. I have had anxiety issues in the past (General Anxiety Disorder)but have not had to have medication to control it until recently.
    I also had a chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2005 due to a job loss and had about $45,000 in credit card debt wiped out. I have since cleaned up my credit, pay bills on time, have very little debt and am closing on a house next week.
    My next problem is I got arrested for a DUI about three years ago, but my lawyer made a deal, so it became a civil infraction of “Driving to endanger”. Oh, I also got let go from a job six years ago for having pornography on my computer, which everybody did, but I ticked somebody off or something.
    I am currently 40 years old and also got arrested around 1987 for charges that were not true, and they got dismissed. The charges were: A&B on a Police Officer, possession of class c substance, tresspassing on a reservation and possessing alcohol on a reservation. I do have an explanation of what happened.

    I guess I will finish spilling my guts and also say I got arrested twice for DUI in 1986&87 when I was in the Military…I was young and stupid. I ended up getting a General Discharge under honorable conditions and felt like an idiot. I started college and joined the National Guard for one year (Prior Service) and got a Honorable Discharge from that.

    I have been working for this company for two years and do not want to bring any of this to light with my employer as it is embarrassing. Do I have any chance at all for a clearance?? Please give me some advice!!

    I and have been putting this off, but I don’t think I can anymore.

  314. Avatar


    Help, are you out there? Sorry, just anxious!!!

  315. Avatar

    Sorry, but I was typing my response to your question to fast and used the word “reduced” when it should have been, “failure to promptly ‘report’ an arrest . . . .”

  316. Avatar

    My opinion is that your chances of getting a clearance are poor. There are just too many problems spanning the last 20 years with the most recent ones occurring within the past 3 years. I can only rate complex situations like your as poor-fair-good. Each of your problems if taken individually could be mitigated, but it will be very difficult to mitigate them when taken all together under Adjudicative Guideline E (Personal Conduct) and the whole-person concept. This is just my opinion based on the bare facts you presented. No one can tell you with any certainty whether or not you will be granted a clearance.

  317. Avatar

    I assume you intend to marry regardless of the impact on your clearance. You must report to your security manager that you have established a close and continuing relationship with a foreign national. Check Immigration policy and make sure that getting married outside the U.S. will not make matters more complicated than bringing her to the U.S. on a fiancee visa and getting married here. Anticipate that in all likelihood your clearance will be suspended when you get married or possibly sooner. Security checks will have to be conducted on your spouse after you get married. Once that is done, your situation will be evaluated and your clearance will restored or revoked.

  318. Avatar

    I don’t believe there is any formal policy on reciprocity of security clearances and Public Trust clearances because the differences between the various investigations involved and the differences between an SF86 and SF85P. However, the one common sense exception to this should be a favorably adjudicated SSBI. The SSBI exceeds the investigative scope of all other federal background investigations (and the SF86 exceeds the data requirements of the SF85P) and therefore should be readily acceptible as the basis for granting any Public Trust clearance. There is a separate problem of some DHS agencies not being plugged into the same clearance database as the rest of the government. This lack of formal reciprocity between Public Trust and Security clearance investigations currently being addressed and we may see some changes in the next 12 to 18 months.

  319. Avatar

    To the admin and regular contributors, you’re going to love this one.

    – a handful of “breaking and enterings” as a teen (under 18)

    – A DUI as a teen (under 18)

    – Some marijuana a crack cocaine use – but none for 20 years (includes as an adult)

    * No arrests or criminal convictions as an adult

    * Secret clearance and PRP program while in the Navy

    * Secret and now TS Collateral clearance as civilian

    * TS Collateral held for 10 years

    * 20 years total with some type of Clearance

    * No debts – no problems – family man, dedicated, just a not so good start as a young man

    Can I qualify for a TS SCI?

    All of the above has been reported on the SF86 from the very beginning.



  320. Avatar

    I currently have a TS/SCI and have a 5 year background investigation coming up. I am a little concern because I ran into some financial problem in 2006. I had 3 car payments that were 30 days late and 4 mortgage payments that were 30 days late throughout the year. I have cleared my financial situation up and have made all of my payments on time for the past 13 months. Should I be concerned about my next 5 year update?

  321. Avatar

    Joe: Yes.

  322. Avatar

    Your temporary delinquencies don’t even have to be listed on your SF86. What must be listed are debts that are currently 90 days past due and debts that were previously 180 days past due any time within the past 7 years.