Background InvestigationsObtaining Security Clearance

Ask Your Clearance Questions

We get clearance-related questions in almost all threads on this site, so we thought we’d occasionally create a separate Q&A thread. Here, you can ask questions about clearance investigations, how to get a clearance, reinvestigations, adjudications, or any topic you are looking for an answer to.

Comment Archive

  1. Avatar

    I’ve been waiting 16 months for a secret. I don’t have an interim, and haven’t heard a peep on what is going on. My question is, if I go to another contractor (assuming they would hire me without a final clearance), what would happen to my investigation? Would it start over? Would I have to file a new E-QUIP? If I would have to start over, would there be a chance of getting an interim this time?

    Also, how long will I have to wait before I hear ANYTHING from the governmet?

  2. Avatar

    I am a contractor that recently was offered a job with a different company. How long will it take for my clearence to transfer? Is there any reason that my clearance will not transfer to the new company?

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    You may have to start over E-QUIP because future employer may and may not sponsor your current/ongoing investigation. Once transfer paper is filed, clearance (final or interim) transfer is done in JPAS (online within seconds) by company’s security office, which also handles interim clearance, if it’s authorized to do so by the gov. JPAS hold the clearance information of everyone.

  4. Avatar


    If your investigation has been completed to E.O. 12968 standards, regardless of who the investigative agency sent it to for adjudication, the investigation remains on file with the investigative agency for at least 15 years, and can later be use as the basis for a new adjudication for a collateral Secret clearance by the same or different adjudicative agency for a unspecified period of time (probably between one to two years).

    That’s the way it is suppose to work, but since the process is dependent on human beings there are no guarantees.

    If your clearance was processed by DISCO, they automatically consider all applicants for interim clearances. If DISCO did not grant you an interim clearance, it was because you did not qualify. There is little chance you would be granted an interim clearance in the future, unless the reason you were not granted an interim no longer exists.

    Your FSO should have JPAS access and should be able to tell you if your investigation is still open or the date it closed. Average adjudication time for DoD is 53 days after case closing.

  5. Avatar


    Your clearance can be reinstated at your new employer within a few days if:

    ï‚· the underlying investigation for your clearance is not out-of-date,
    ï‚· both companies are operating under the NISPOM and serviced by OPM & DISCO,
    ï‚· and there are no SAPs or SCI involved.

    Otherwise the answer to your questions depends on type of investigation, clearance, and special access; date of last investigation; and the agencies involved.

  6. Avatar


    If you want more detailed information about reciprocity of clearances see the OMB letters on this subject, dated 12 Dec 05 and 17 Jul 06, and the accompanying, “Checklist of Permitted Exceptions to Reciprocity.” These are included at pages 14 thru 18 and 27 to 30 of the Feb 07 SCOG Report to Congress available at

  7. Avatar

    Is this reality?

    August 15, Federal Computer Week — Security clearance reforms sought. The Office of the

    Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Defense and the Office of Management

    and Budget are seeking ways to meet Congress’ December 2009 deadline for improving the

    security clearance process. In a request for information (RFI) posted on the Federal Business

    Opportunities Website Tuesday, August 14, the Air Force, which is acting as the procurement

    arm for the group, is asking vendors to submit their strategies for completing 90 percent of

    security clearance investigations in 40 days and adjudications in 20 days. The Air Force said

    the new system should be in place by December 31, 2008. The RFI’s goal is to find out whether

    industry solutions already exist that are scalable, portable and interoperable. The chosen system

    must work in classified and unclassified environments, and must process and track a variety of

    investigation types, the RFI states.


  8. Avatar

    BB – Real enough. Think about it though. There’s a huge amount of irony here:

    1) The government asks contractors to solve the clearance problem.

    2) The contractors come up with a solution containing products and services.

    3) The government says “Approved – go for it.”

    4) The contractors say “Uh, we need cleared workers staffed on this project to make it work.”

    5) The government says “Why can’t you get cleared staff for this project? We need security clearance reform!”

    Chicken, meet egg. Egg, meet chicken.

  9. Avatar

    How real can it be if the RFI was posted on 13 Aug 07 and the deadline for responses is 27 Aug 07 and they want cost data?

  10. Avatar

    I currently have a secret clearance which was granted three years ago. I recently have gotten married, and put in for a TS, will my wife’s bad credit (which was damaged before we married) affect my clearance?

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    The RFI is merely admitting to the world that the Govt still doesn’t have a clue how to fix the security clearance problem and now ODNI and DoD is asking industry for the solution. What’s particularly vexing is the fact that industry has been more proactive and concerned than Govt over this issue and, in fact, over the years has repeatedly identified problems and offered potential solutions (see various coalition white papers on security clearances, for example).

  12. Avatar


    The Adjudicative Guidelines and the Adjudicator’s Desktop Reference are completely silent on the situation you describe. Hopefully, you were able to honestly answer “no” to all the financial questions on the SF86, and none of your spouse’s bad debts show up on your credit report. It’s probably a good idea to get a fresh copy of your credit report from the three national credit reporting agencies. Free reports are available once a year from This site links you directly to Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union.

    You are not responsible for your spouse’s actions before you got married, unless you were somehow involved in those actions. Depending on your particular circumstance, you may have no legal obligation to pay your spouse’s pre-marital debts; however, as a practical matter severe financial pressure regardless of the source is a matter of concern to adjudicators. What you having been doing since you got married and what you are doing now as a couple regarding these debts are important. Adjudicators are looking for reasonable, responsible conduct by you and your spouse to resolve this problem.

  13. Avatar

    I’ve applied for a TS clearance, and I am a dual national (Swiss). As I understand it, I might be asked to give up my Swiss citizenship to be granted the clearance. What are the factors, odds? If it happens, at what point in the application process would the request to give up the second citizenship occur? I’ve been told by the Swiss consulate that it will take a full year just to have the citizenship renunciation approved! Does that mean I wouldn’t get the clearance until after that process/additional year?

  14. Avatar

    I currently have interim clearance while my secret clearance is still under investigation.

    My team and company is great; however, the tasks could be more challenging. With that in mind I’m considering other options.

    I was wondering if I should leave will my secret clearance investigation be cancelled OR will it continue since its already been submitted to JPAS?

  15. Avatar

    I have the TS clearance, and I did what I was supposed to do as far as applying for the jobs and even posting my resume and everything that needed to be done, and yet I have not heard anything from companies that are interested in me. I applied on-line with the company. I verified that I am willing to travel for an interview. What else do I need to do?

  16. Avatar

    I’m two years into an SCI at a contractor. I can’t even start there until this goes through so I’m at my “old,” unclassified job for the time being.

    I was poly’d twice in November and the results were inconclusive [or “incomplete” as my FSO now says they’re called]. I was supposed to be called in for another poly but I haven’t heard anything [I was on a “short notice” list but it’s been a long time].

    Is this normal or is my file dead? I haven’t heard anything and if they were going to reject wouldn’t they have done so by now?

  17. Avatar

    I was recently hired as a by a government contracted company and only need an NACI background check for minimal clearance. I have a few questions that I hope someone could answer for me…

    1) I have a set start date contingent on background check and drug test. Fine enough, but the way it is sounding is that this stuff won’t be done in the next 2 weeks before I my start date. Hmmm I wonder if anyone has ever had their date keep getting pushed pending the paperwork. I still need do eQuip, fingerprints, etc. All I have taken is the Hair drug analysis and haven’t even heard anything back on that yet.

    2) How in-depth do these checks go? I have a job that I was working at for a few years and is now out of business, I have no real forwarding information that I can provide for the job anymore but previous jobs have verified this job and I’ve been fine until now. I’m wondering would a “background checker person” 🙂 classify an out of business place with no real address or forwarding as “incomplete”.

    3) As well I have a company that I worked at where they only give a person’s salary and length of employment information. That’s it. Since this is a background check will this company have to release more or can they get off by just saying it’s all confidential. Wondering because this and what’s posed in #2 makes most of my employment history look full of holes.

    I’m racking my brain here and have all these what-ifs. I tend to think worst-case scenario all the time and would feel a lot better if someone with some experience could answer these question or at least tell me how important this would even be in the grand sceme of things for an NACI minimal suitability clearance.

  18. Avatar

    I recently seperated from the Air Force. While I was outprocessing I was told my TS/SCI clearance expired on May 10 of this year (while I was in Iraq handling TS/SCI info). My SSO downgraded me to Secret. Is this even legal? More importantly, I can’t find a job because nearly everyone in Hawai’i is asking for a full clearance. Is there any way I can get reinstated?

  19. Avatar

    I currently have a US Air Force TS/SCI clearance. I applied for a DoD Contractor job. They’ve required me to re-submit the SF86 to have my clearance adjudicated. How long does the process usually take to adjudicate from a military TS/SCI clearance to a DoD Contractor TS/SCI clearance? Hopefully it’s not that long.

  20. Avatar


    I am–and have been for some time–waiting on a TS/SCI clearance so I can start working for an IC member. I’d be working directly for the agency (i.e. not as a contractor).

    I did my SF-86 about a year-and-a-half ago, and finished my polygraphs about a year ago. Since then I’ve heard absolutely nothing. My references were contacted, I had my security interview, and so on; but that all happened at the beginning of the process. As far as I can tell, nothing has happened for a year.

    My point-of-contact assures me in vague terms that everything is fine. But this seems like an awfully long time; and moreover, others are getting cleared more quickly than me. I have no foreign relatives or anything like that.

    So I have two questions: (1) What is going on? Like, what physically is happening with my case now? Again, I’ve been assured I’ve done been forgotten about, but. . . . And (2), how much longer is it going to be? I know I’m on the long end of clearances, but how much longer could it reasonably take? Could it possibly be another six months? Another year?


  21. Avatar

    Hello All,

    I was recently interviewed by USIS in the Maryland area to come on as a Background Investigator. Can any of you tell me your thoughts about USIS? Are they a good company to work for? More importantly, the salary I should expect from them if hired as a new investigator?

    Currently, I have a position through Mantech as a contract investigator and was granted a secret clearance back at the end of May. I am going for a TS/SSBI with Mantech and had my personal interview at the beginning of August. The investigator said all the the reports had to be turned in by September 15th and to an afjudicator by Spetember 30th. When do you assume I will have my clearance and be able to start work based on that information?


  22. Avatar


    NACIs are conducted on prospective federal employees for employment purposes—-not for security clearances. NACI does not meet the National Investigative Standards for any level of security clearance.

    The drug test you described has nothing to do with a government security clearance.

    I can only guess you will be put in for a NACLC. See for the exact scope (investigative components) of a NACLC and other Personnel Security Investigations. Although a NACLC doesn’t normally include a review of employment records and interviews of employment references, you should complete eQIP as if it will, because of the possibility that the investigation may need to be expanded.

    When you enter information into eQIP regarding your past employment, if you can, list home addresses and home telephone numbers for your former supervisors at both jobs. In the comment fields for these two jobs include name and contact information for a former coworker at each job. If you don’t have names and contact information for former coworkers, provide names and contact information for one or two people who knew that you worked at these companies and can corroborated the approximate dates that you were employed there.

  23. Avatar


    If you are investigated by OPM, the investigator should ask you during your Personal Subject Interview (PRSI) if you are willing to renounce your Swiss citizenship. The investigator should not direct you to do anything regarding your Swiss citizenship. If you are in for a collateral TS clearance, you may or may not be asked to renounce your Swiss citizenship as a condition of being granted a clearance by the CAF. This often depends on how a person acquired foreign citizenship. For instance, if you were born in the U.S. and one of your parents was a Swiss citizen at the time and registered your birth with the Swiss Embassy, it would not be considered as significant as immigrating to the U.S. as an adult and later becoming a Naturalized U.S. citizen. In the first example, if you never received any benefit or privilege of Swiss citizenship, you might never be asked to actually renounce it. In the second example, it would probably be wise to submit the request to renounce Swiss citizenship before your PRSI, so you can show a copy of the request to the investigator. This will avoid possible delays at adjudication. The CAF realizes you have no control over what the Swiss Embassy does or does not do. As I understand it, it is currently impossible to renounce Mexican citizenship.

    Another issue is possession and use of a foreign passport. The “Money Memorandum” directed all DoD CAFs to deny clearances to anyone who possesses and uses a foreign passport. This can be overcome by simply returning the foreign passport (via controlled mail with return receipt) at the same time a person renounces their foreign citizenship.

    The real issue here is Foreign Preference. A person with dual citizenship is generally interviewed to explore the circumstances that have led to dual citizenship, relationships with the other country, past and potential future travel to the other country, and the individual’s attitudes toward allegiance to the United States under various circumstances that could prompt a conflict of interest.

    Dual citizenship is a Foreign Preference issue when a U.S. citizen has, within the past 10 years or so, taken any steps to maintain or exercise the benefits of another country’s citizenship. Such circumstances need to be examined carefully to identify a subject’s primary loyalty and weigh the potential for conflicting loyalties.

  24. Avatar


    It will be cancelled, unless you are immediately hired by another contractor under the same CAF.

  25. Avatar


    You need someone to sponsor you for a clearance.

    Clearances don’t expired because of age, but the underlying investigation can go “out-of-date.” When you separated from the USAF your clearance should have been cancelled, because you no longer held a position that required a clearance. I have no idea why your SSO would downgrade it to Secret. At any rate even the Secret clearance is gone now that you are out of the USAF. If someone looked you up in JPAS now, it would only show your status as “Debriefed.”

    The current policy is that if your last SSBI or SSBI-PR was more than 5 but less than 7 years ago, your TS clearance can be reinstated provided you are sponsored for a TS clearance and concurrently submit a new SF86 for a SSBI-PR. See OMB Memoranda, Subj: Reciprocal Recognition of Existing Personnel Security Clearances, 12 Dec 05 and 17 Jul 06 (both are attached to the Feb 07 SCOG Report available at See also, Tables 1 &2 of the Appendix to Annex A, DCID 6/4, also at the same webpage. All of these references also cover SCI eligibility.

  26. Avatar

    It has been 17 months now I have been waiting for a DoD secret. Corporate security says my investigation is “open, CA considered”. Does anybody know what this means?

  27. Avatar


    The normal notation under the “Investigative Summary” heading in JPAS for an open NACLC would look like:

    NLC from OPM, Opened: yyyy mm dd

    I’ve never seen a notation like “CA considered” added to this line.

    If you want to discuss your situation in a little more detail, contact me through my website by clicking on my name.

  28. Avatar

    Thank you very much William for the helpful information. This site has proved to be very valuable. I did hear back from my employer today and was told that everything on their end came back well (background check, etc.) and I am still slated to start on time. I will have to do the eQuip after all but it will be pretty much for the purposes you stated above. It all makes so much more sense now. Guess now it’s time for me to do the famous phrase that everyone says regarding govt paperwork… “Hurry up and wait”
    I will definitely be back if anything else comes up. Once again thank you for the repsonse.

  29. Avatar


    CA Considered means Closing Action Considered. What this means is that the investigators have finished their investigation and now all of their reports are going to an adjudicator who will make the final decision on whether or not you will receive yur clearance. I am in the process of getting a top secret clearance and just did my PRSI with an investigator the first week of August. My POC for the company I will hopefully be working for when the clearance comes through said it will say CA Considered in my JPAS file once the reports are turned over to an investigator.

    Hope this helps! P.S. Can someone answer my questions from a few days ago?

  30. Avatar

    I have been out of the military since 2003. When I was in, I held a interim TS/SCI. Is there anyway I can find out if I have a clearance and apply for a clearance job?

  31. Avatar

    Le – Have you had a job since 2003 that required the clearance?

  32. Avatar

    I am thinking of joining the Navy, and for what I want to do I need TS/SCI clearance. However, neither me nor my immeadiate family are citizens. I am single and should have citizenship in a few monts. My parents on the other hand are not getting citizenship. So what are the requirenments to acquire TS/SCI for people like me?
    Thank you,

  33. Avatar


    The only requirements to be considered for a security clearance is US citizenship and sponsorship by an authorized agency. Beyond that, there are official guidelines for granting clearances and special access authorizations. A background investigation is conducted to determine whether the person is suitable for a position of trust and loyal to the US. Of particular significance to you are the guidelines regarding foreign influence and foreign preference. Foreign influence and preference covers more than just the citizenship of your immediate family members; it also covers all other close foreign relatives, foreign travel, foreign financial interests and other ties to foreign countries.

  34. Avatar


    I am–and have been for some time–waiting on a TS/SCI clearance so I can start working for an IC member. I’d be working directly for the agency (i.e. not as a contractor).

    I did my SF-86 about a year-and-a-half ago, and finished my polygraphs about a year ago. Since then I’ve heard absolutely nothing. My references were contacted, I had my security interview, and so on; but that all happened at the beginning of the process. As far as I can tell, nothing has happened for a year.

    My point-of-contact assures me in vague terms that everything is fine. But this seems like an awfully long time; and moreover, others are getting cleared more quickly than me. I have no foreign relatives or anything like that.

    So I have two questions: (1) What is going on? Like, what physically is happening with my case now? Again, I’ve been assured I’ve not been forgotten about, but. . . . And (2), how much longer is it going to be? I know I’m on the long end of clearances, but how much longer could it reasonably take? Could it possibly be another six months? Another year?


  35. Avatar

    An employee has a TS clearance and just found her birth mother who lives in Korea and is a Korean national. Does she have to report this outside the normal PR cycle?

  36. Avatar

    Good afternoon,

    I currently hold a TSSCI Clearance with my company. I’m job hunting now and have a couple of interviews setup but I’m concerned about my clearance transferring. One of the companies I’m going to be interviewing with has government and public contracts so I’d be working both types as needed. Doe’s this have an effect on my clearance? Also I read above where you said it could take a couple of days to transfer if you didn’t have a SCI. Since I do I wanted to know the process of transfering the SCI.


  37. Avatar

    My new employer (as of last week) informed me that they want to upgrade my clearance level to TS. When I first received my Secret (01/2005) my credit was good, around ~650 from the credit bureaus no credit blemishes. Since then I’ve hit some financial difficulties from extensively assisting a close friend at that time who kinda, sorta, burned me by numerous failed promises. To date, my score hovers around 525 with 2 low value charge offs and 2 higher value charge-offs as well as a couple of credit grantor closed revolving credit accounts. I’m in the process now of resolving the low value charge-offs as best as I can, attempting to get them settled and maybe even removed if possible. My questions: How severe are charge-offs viewed in obtaining the TS (Do I even have a shot?) Also can my Secret be revoked if I get denied for the TS?

  38. Avatar

    Good news! Exactly 18 months after I applied for a secret clearance, I was finally interviewed. Anybody have any ideas how much time it will take for them to make a decision?

  39. Avatar

    I am leaving the military with a TS/SSBI and looking for a job; most of the postings that I have seen are asking for TS/SCI (with no compartment specified, but these are IT jobs). What I am wondering is can I apply (am I qualified, clearance-wise) for these jobs even though I haven’t been briefed into a compartment. My understanding is that even if I was briefed into a compartment I would be briefed back out before discharge. If anyone has experience with this I would really appreciate some clarification.

  40. Avatar


    I filled SF86. There is a question about employment record in the last 7 years. One of the question is if you was fired from a Job in the last 7 years.

    I was working in a tiny company (20 people company) for 6 months. I was complaining to my manager about my team leader unprofessional behavior toward me and the group and his poor manager skill and as a result I was asked to leave. This was 2 years ago. ( I never fired from a Job before.)

    Of course, I put this information in the SF86 form.

    Do you think this event can deny secret clearance.

  41. Avatar

    No. Based on the circumstances as you presented them, there is no possibility that your clearance would be denied on this incident alone.


  42. Avatar

    Hi, my investigation is supposed to be turned in this Thursday, September 27th and I was wondering about how long it will be for me to get my clearance? What are the next steps after my investigation reports are turned in?

    Thanks! This site is great!

  43. Avatar

    On August 2, 2007 my paperwork for an Interim TS was submitted for a DOS contract. My interview was three weeks later and so were my references. I am divorced from a British national who had a green card, he is deceased. It has been eight weeks and when the investigator came he said that there is a rush on my case.

    It has been almost eight weeks and I haven’t heard anything back from the clearance coordinator. What would be the timeframe for an interim TS in my case? DISCO did the investigation. OPM is not involved.

    Thanks for your help…


  44. Avatar

    I just retired fromt he Military and was offered a Government Service job that requires a secret clearance. So I pulled my credit report to ensure I reported everything as trufully as possible. I discovered that there are 4 outsanding in collections credit card debts stemming from my divorce. Unfortunately I was unaware of these problems and have never been contacted by these collection agencies for payment. I was informed by my Ex-wife that all of these debts were already paid. I have contacted a credit lawyer and have tentatively entered into an agreement to pay off these debts. But have not recieved the actual contract yet. I am wondering how this is going to effect my obtaining a clearance?

  45. Avatar


    I’m currently in the military and stationed at a small post. I’m tiring to reclass to an MOS that requires an interim TS /SCI to go to the school. My security office does not have much experience with this matter (for example they originally said you can’t get a interim TS unless you have had a secret in the past and they have been unable to get my finger prints correct and I’ve had to submit them four times). This game has been going on for 2 month, how can they request to expedite my clearance? I know there is a way but they don’t know how and are unwilling to put the effort to find out how. Also roughly how long should it take to get an interim TS/SCI?

    Thank you,

  46. Avatar

    I just retired fromt he Military and was offered a Government Service job that requires a secret clearance. So I pulled my credit report to ensure I reported everything as trufully as possible. I discovered that there are 4 outsanding in collections credit card debts stemming from my divorce. Unfortunately I was unaware of these problems and have never been contacted by these collection agencies for payment. I was informed by my Ex-wife that all of these debts were already paid. I have contacted a credit lawyer and have tentatively entered into an agreement to pay off these debts. But have not recieved the actual contract yet. I am wondering how this is going to effect my obtaining a clearance?

  47. Avatar


    1) If my FSO informed me that my interim clearance was denied without requiring a set of fingerprints, can I assume that DISCO was not involved with the decision?

    2) If an interim is denied, does this follow me as a permanent record?

    3) What is my recourse if I receive a denied interim and wish to continue the process. Can I get access under the FOIA to my records to understand/respond to the Interim Denial?

  48. Avatar


    Question: I currently have a TS with DISCO. I am interested in starting my own business and work towards contracting with federal agencies. The opportunities I am seeking require TS clearances. How can I keep my clearance? Is there guidance on how to do that for small business owners?

    Thank you

  49. Avatar

    Hello. I have a question about obtaining a secret level security clearance. I was born in Canada and moved to the US in high school. My family and I obtained US citizenship about three years ago. I graduated several years ago from university, and have worked in my profession since.

    I am looking at a job which requires a secret-level clearance. However, I have a sister who went to graduate school here in the US, but found a job back in Canada a few years ago. She also got married to a Canadian. The couple, however, have been looking for jobs in the US. My question is: will I be denied a security clearance based solely on my sister’s current residence, despite her and her husband’s wishes to move to the US? Also, I read in an earlier post that they may make you give up your dual citizenship – will I have to do this for my Canadian citizenship?


  50. Avatar

    I recently separated from the US Navy, and had a SSBI completed. Shortly before I left my command I was told that I was granted the SCI part of my clearance. I separated in Jan’07 and was wondering where I could obtain a copy of my clearance paperwork with the approvals to use for job hunting purposes, with companies that use the clearances I.E. Shipyards, ONI, etc…

  51. Avatar

    What does this mean, and how are my records updated?

    Your investigation (ANACI) closed at OPM on 7 Jun 07 and was adjudicated at CCF for a SECRET security clearance on 26 Sep 07. This is the FINAL.

  52. Avatar

    Does anyone know if the e-QIP system remembers and compares answers to two different investigations? In other words would the system know if a answer to a specific question, esp. the drug one, had been modified. Please let me know by Sunday if possible! Thanks.

  53. Avatar


    I’m curious about my civilian employment prospects next year after I retire from the military with a TS/SCI clearance. I have a foriegn born spouse who is not yet a US citizen. I haven’t attended any job fairs yet. So, I’m not sure how employers will accept me after learning about my spouse. My friends have told me that after I retire it will be tough to get a security badge again until my wife becomes a US citizen. Is this true?

  54. Avatar

    I’m a contractor working for the Dept of Ed and was requested to submit eqip and other documents for level 5 security clearance; this was done in Jan 07 — still no word, although I know that people I listed on my eqip for background info have been contacted via mail recently.

    I’m seeing on this blog that most folks are going for more stringent, high level clearances — is a more “moderate” clearance taking the ~18 months to clear that I’ve seen referenced on this board? Does it mean that they are close to finished if they have been contacting people I listed as references?

  55. Avatar

    Lee – your guess is as good as ours. We do recommend you look for multiple points of contact regarding the clearance, process, and current status. We’ve seen a number of candidates rely on one sole contact, only to have that contact leave/quit and the candidate find a complete void of information. Good luck

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    Rick – I thought that by marrying your foreign born spouse she would automatically become a US citizen? It is true, that foreign born spouses can delay the clearance process. However, it sounds like your TS/SCI is already in place. If that is the case, you don’t have anything to worry about with your employers. The next time you have a periodic reinvestigation, you will need to make this info clear but it shouldn’t harm your chances of keeping the TS/SCI. Good luck

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    Tom Conn – We aren’t sure if the e-QIP system remembers and compares answers to two different investigations. Chances are the answer is “no” but someone handling your case might pick up on this. Always ensure consistent, truthful answers for the best results.

  58. Avatar

    Charles – you asked:

    What does this mean, and how are my records updated?

    Your investigation (ANACI) closed at OPM on 7 Jun 07 and was adjudicated at CCF for a SECRET security clearance on 26 Sep 07. This is the FINAL.

    This essentially means your background investigation is complete, and your final Secret clearance was granted on September 26th, 2007. When did you submit for the clearance?

  59. Avatar

    Kyle – you asked:

    I recently separated from the Navy, and had a SSBI completed. Before I left my command I was granted the SCI part of my clearance. I separated in Jan’07 and was wondering where I could obtain a copy of my clearance paperwork to use for job hunting purposes.

    Having a copy of the paperwork from JPAS would be nice, but isn’t required for job hunting. If you separated in Jan 2007, you simply tell prospective employers that you have a current TS/SCI which is good through January 2009. Potential employers may ask for your social security number to check your clearance details in JPAS. If they do, ask if you can get a copy of the records they retrieve. Also, you may want to check with your separation councelor and/or your local veterans representative and see if they can point you in the right direction.

    Do know that you don’t need to have the paperwork in hand to job hunt. Good luck

  60. Avatar

    I received a conditional offer from a military service intel office back in May and have been waiting on TS/SCI clearance. It’s a civilian position. I was ineligible for an interim clearance (too much time living in China and too many foreign contacts from ‘hostile nations’ – rated at 1D – whatever that means). Here’s the timeline thus far: Submitted SF86 6/18, subject interview completed 8/17, drug test completed 9/10. Several freinds have been called. I was told my section chief really wants me to start and has placed a priority on my clearance process. To those more familliar with timelines, does this look like an accellerated timeline? If so – I’m hoping that my process could be completed by Nov or Dec. Am I completely out of my mind to get hopes such as this in my head? Any hints on a realistic timeline? Thanks for your thoughts.

  61. Avatar

    adda – Yours does look like an accellerated timeline. Look at some of the posts above, and you’ll find candidates that submit their initial paperwork and don’t hear anything for a year. You’ve got more data than most people normally get.

    We’d say your chances of obtaining a favorable adjudication of the TS/SCI by January are good, assuming they don’t find anything that could cause alarm.

    Good luck

  62. Avatar

    Daniel – you asked:

    Also roughly how long should it take to get an interim TS/SCI?

    We’ve never heard of an interim TS/SCI. Most interim clearances are at the Secret level with a few being TS. If the job you seek requires a TS/SCI, you may be waiting a while for a final clearance.

  63. Avatar

    Tony – you asked:

    My question is: will I be denied a security clearance based solely on my sister’s current residence, despite her and her husband’s wishes to move to the US?

    No – This shouldn’t have too much weight in a favorable clearance award.

    Also, I read in an earlier post that they may make you give up your dual citizenship – will I have to do this for my Canadian citizenship?

    Yes – Our experience is that you would have to give up Canadian citizenship.

  64. Avatar

    Hi, I got word that the investigator in my submitted my case work on 9.27.07. I have been e-mailing my POC since then and yesterday she sent me this from JPAS….

    It has closed! (SBI From OPM, Case #: CLOSED, Closing Action: CLOSED COMPLETE 2007 10 09, File Available: Y)

    I did not put my case number in for security reasons, but what does this mean? I am being investigated for a top secret/ssbi. My POC also said that I defintely will receive a favorable adjudication because I was given an interim secret back in May and that because this investigation costs over $3,000 it would have been stopped as soon as something bad was found.

    Do I still need to go through the adjudication process and when do you think I will be able to start working? My job is for a backfround investigator with USIS. Anthing you have to say about the company and my clearance status is much appreciated.

  65. Avatar

    Also, does anyone know anything about work as a contractor for Mantech/MSM? Can you tell me some othe good background investigation companies to work for?

    I am also in the process of getting my Masters Degree in Homeland Security from a well known school. Will this help me in being promoted while being a background investigator? What kind of salary should I be looking for with a top secret/ ssbi clearance and a masters degree in homeland security?


  66. Avatar

    Mike – Mantech is a good company, and we’ve heard the benefits are excellent. Also try Kroll. They are a good company and have a huge business doing background checks for OPM:

  67. Avatar

    Admin, do you have anything to say regarding my first comments from yesterday?


  68. Avatar

    Mike – we aren’t sure regarding your case marked as Closed. Did your contact at USIS consider this as favorable?

  69. Avatar

    Well Mantech is the company sponsoring my case. I got a job with USIS after my case was already started and I plan on working for USIS as an employee and Mantech as a contractor background investigator.

    USIS has not gotten back to me on whether or not I have received a favorable adjudication. I am curious as to what that JPAS statement means from my previous post. If it is closed, am I in the adjudication process or is the case over and I am able to start working?

    Also, what do you know about working for USIS?

  70. Avatar

    Trivial question…

    I recently received my TS/SSBI…..Please explain what more needs to be done to get A TS/SCI…


  71. Avatar


    Your investigation was completed by OPM on the dated indicated and your investigative file has been sent to the requesting adjudicative facility. When your clearance is grant, a separate entry will appear in your JPAS record indicating the clearane level, date of clearance and clearance granting agency. Clean case adjudication should take anywhere from two to five weeks at DISCO (with mailing time from OPM to DISCO). If the case must be referred to DOHA for adjudication, it will take considerably longer.

    Your investigation would not have been “stopped as soon as something bad was found.” OPM does not operate that way for security clearance investigations, because of due process rights of the applicant.

    Your best bet for “employment” as a background investigator is with the government. Working for a contract agency is great for retirees, but not as advantageous for younger people. Of the contract agencies Kroll and Mantech have good reputations. It seems that everyone working for USIS is applying for federal employment with OPM FISD. That should tell you something.

  72. Avatar


    You must be nominated for an SCI billet and your prior investigative file will undergo a second adjudication for SCI eligibility.

  73. Avatar


    As Admin indicated having a sister who is a Canadian citizen living in Canada should not be a problem for you in obtaining a “collateral” security clearance at any level.

    During your security clearance investigation you should be asked if you are willing to renounce your Canadian citizenship; however, investigators are not authorized to direct you to do anything. I would suggest that on your SF86 you indicate in the comment section for Dual citizenship, your willingness to renounce Canadian citizenship as directed by proper authority. Unless you hold a Canadian passport, you may never be directed to actually renounce your Canadian citizenship.

    A separate concern is any benefit or privilege of Canadian citizenship that you may have accepted since becoming a US citizen. For instance, if you have a current Canadian passport and have used it since becoming a US citizen, it is an indicator of foreign preference (one of the 13 categories of security issues under the Adjudicative Guidelines). Within the Department of Defense a US citizen who possesses and uses a foreign passport will be denied a security clearance (ref: Money Memorandum). This can be overcome by simply returning the passport to the appropriate consulate or embassy with a letter or form renouncing foreign citizenship. If you do this, use controlled mail with return receipts, etc. Also state in your SF86 the date you did it.

  74. Avatar


    If you intend to become a consultant with classified access only at your customer’s facility, it’s a very simple matter because you will not require a facility clearance. If you intend to store classified material at your office and hire employees that need clearance, then you will need your own facility clearance. In either event you will need to secure a contract for classified work from either the government or a government contractor. The National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (NISPOM, DoD 5220.22M) contains much of the information you will need.

    If your last investigation for your TS clearance was less than three years ago, you have two years from the time you stop working for your current employer to reactivate your clearance with DISCO as a consultant or as a Key Management Personnel at your own facility (investigation is good for 5 years, 2 years maximum break in service).

    Your employer’s FSO can put you in touch with his/her DSS Industrial Security Representative, who can give you some pointers on what to do and how to do it.

  75. Avatar

    Howard Chick,

    1) Unless you had a previous security clearance investigation (where a set of acceptable fingerprints were submitted), DISCO should have rejected you current application, because a set of fingerprints were not submitted with or shortly after your application was submitted. Only a government entity can issue or not issue an interim clearance. In your case this was probably DISCO.

    2) There will probably be a record of the interim clearance denial per se, but it will have no effect on future investigations or clearances. Only the underlying reason for the denial will have any effect on a future clearance.

    3) Normally when an interim clearance is not granted, the investigation and clearance processing for the final clearance continues. I’m not sure if you can get the records you want under FOIA before your case is finally adjudicated. It is not possible to rebut the denial of an interim clearance.

  76. Avatar


    Yes, there are provisions in the regulation (DCID 6/4) for interim SCI, but they are pretty rare. One exception is for military service schools, such as the school for MOS 98C, because it is impossible to get a Standard SSBI completed between basic military training and the school. Someone who knows what they are doing is going to have to write the justification for the interim SCI. I’m guessing that someone would be the security manager at the military unit you will be assigned to at the school. Have you been accepted by the school? Perhaps you should contact the appropriate security representative located at the school for help in processing your clearance application.

    To expedite the investigation, the office that requests your investigation must request investigation type “30A” This is the code for a priority SSBI. For Priority SSBIs, interim TS clearances are generally granted in about 30 to 60 days. There isn’t any data available on interim SCIs.

  77. Avatar


    You are probably being processed for a “Public Trust” position at a moderate risk level. Most of the people posting on this forum seem to be involved in “National Security” positions requiring access to classified defense information.

    If your “listed” references have been contacted by mail, then it seems that your investigation is probably a “Minimum Background Investigation – MBI” or its Dept. of Ed. equivalent. I haven’t seen any data on turnaround time for these investigations.

    I checked, and it seems that the Dept of Ed uses the term “security clearance” for Public Trust positions, but these are not the same as security clearances issued for access to classified information.

  78. Avatar


    How do I find background investigator positions with the government? Is there a website you know of? I assume USAJOBS is the site, but are there any keywords I should be using?

    Also, why would a case be referred to DOHA?

    If I get the clearance, I plan to work for Mantech as a contract investigator and USIS as an employee investigator. Is there any kind of issue working for both. If not, I also want to apply to Kroll or some other background investigation companies.


  79. Avatar


    All investigator positions with OPM are listed at USAJOBS. OPM investigators are 1810 (general investigator). Some general investigators with other agencies are 1801. Announcements for OPM investigator positions are frequently only open for 2 weeks. In the last 6 months OPM hired a large number of investigators (most of whom were former USIS). Why limit yourself to background investigations. Criminal investigators (1811) are generally paid better. OPM investigators generally start at GS-7 with automatic promotion to GS-9 in one year, GS-11 in another year and GS-12 the next year. Criminal investigators are the same but their journeymen top out at GS-13. Some of the investigative contract agencies have rules against their contract investigators working for other companies or require their contract investigators to commit to being available a certain number of hours a week/month.

    DISCO personnel (who are not full-fledged adjudicators) are not authorized to deny clearances. DISCO only grants clearances on cases that are completely clean or contain very minor derogatory information. All other cases are referred to DOHA for adjudication.

    Everything concerning security clearance investigations and processing could change within the next 12 to 24 months.

  80. Avatar


    How do you think security clearance investigations and processing might change in the next year or two?

    Also, I am just out of college and have no experience as an investigator. I’m just going through the clearance process. How would someone like myself get hired as a criminal investigator?

  81. Avatar

    Mike – Many in government and industry are trying to get more technology into the security clearance process. In particular, some want to reduce the number of in-person interviews and rely more on computer background checks more heavily. In other words, less human intervention, more technology.

  82. Avatar

    Any insight into what takes so long in the adjudication stage? To me, it seems like a straightforward task to look at the facts of the investigation and make a decision.

    I got word from my security office yesterday that my TS/SSBI investigation was closed in July 2007 and is currently at DISCO for adjudication. The office said I should probably expect a decision by the end of the year – I wonder if there is any truth to that?

  83. Avatar

    JM – We’d have to say that the main reason adjudication takes so long is the large number of cases to consider.

    Hopefully you should get word by January that your TS/SSBI was granted.

  84. Avatar


    As admin indicated there is considerable pressure from industry and government customers to automate a largely manual paper-based system. The DNI’s 500 Day Plan calls for modernizing the security clearance process and it appears that government has asked industry for the solution.

    As for criminal investigator jobs in the government, you apply for them like any other. If selected they train you. In addition to the major investigative agencies, every governmental agency has an Office of the Inspector General (OIG) that uses 1811s.

  85. Avatar

    Hi, I’m a professional with a doctorate. Am applying for a position requiring a “secret” security clearance. I was treated for depression 4 years ago. Turned out to be caused by sleep apnea, which has since been remedied. Haven’t taken antidepressants for about 4 years.

    Can anyone comment whether an interim security clearance is likely to be denied.

    Thank you.

  86. Avatar

    Rex – Prescribed medications by a doctor should not have any impact on your clearance investigation. “Recreational” drug use and/or addiction treatment is what the investigators would have a problem with. Good luck!

  87. Avatar

    DON CAF put a ‘loss of jurisdiction’ on clearance, there is an open incident report. This person got out of military with open incident report but is now hired by govt contractor. How will this effect his clearance at the govt contractor job? Right now the contractor has ‘Pending Recertify Eligibility Requested’ on JPAS. Is there hope or will that open incident keep him from a clearance?

  88. Avatar


    I’m a contractor undergoing a clearance which was first initiated in March of 2006. I took the poly twice during the first week of August (results afterwards inconclusive) and just found out that the process was “cancelled” when I asked for a status update with the lady who scheduled my poly. Even though she doesn’t know much information, what does “cancelled” mean? Does that mean my case has been stopped or has it been finalized? I never received notification that I had to retake the poly This has been going on for about 19 months. Any advice would be appreciated.
    Thanks for your time.

  89. Avatar

    What is the adjudication process like? As I stated before, I am up for a top secret clearance and my case was completed and closed on October 9, 2007. What is a realistic, safe time I should expect to receive my clearance by? Also, after the adjudication process is over and assuming I receive my clearance, is there any other process that I have to go through, or can I just start working?

  90. Avatar

    I submitted my info on e-qip for a secret on Friday. I started work on Monday and Tuesday morning the security office told me DISCO cannot issue an interim. Wednesday they asked for fingerprints. Now it’s Thursday and I’m thinking about quitting and accepting another offer that has no clearance requirement and has not yet expired.

    Was it really possible to be denied interim in 1 business day? (issues: dual citizenship in my case, spouse with green card and relatives in the other country). Thanks

  91. Avatar

    Hello All! I wanted to let you know that I received my Top Secret/SSBI Clearance. I turned in my E-Qip forms on April 24, 2007, received an Interim Secret Clearance on May 23rd and my investigation started on July 5th. Then my case was turned in on September 27th and was considered closed on October 9th. As of October 22nd, my case was adjudicated and I now have a Top Secret Clearance. I had a lot of things for investigators to cover, so everyone should have hope theirs will get done quickly.

    Now, I’m going to be a Background Investigator. How much should I demand in pay for companies I will contract with?

  92. Avatar

    Mike – wow, 8 months is very short. Congratulations! I’ll let others chime in for the salary question.

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    Brian – the dual citizenship, spouse with green card, and relatives in other country are a difficult combination. We aren’t surprised an interim Secret was not awarded. We’d give it another week and see what the outcome is. Contact the other company and let them know you are still considering their offer.

  94. Avatar

    After 23 months at the State Dept. w/a top secret clearance I left to begin a job w/a DoD contractor. The contractor is now processing a TS/SCI clearance on me. What would cause denial of a SCI? When is a polygraph needed for a clearance? How long does it take DoD to finish a SCI clearance? Thanks.

  95. Avatar

    admin, Thank you. My boss told me that not getting an interim secret means I will have to wait about 18 months for the final secret answer and it’s not an issue now, she has plenty of unclassified work even though I won’t be able to go to labs, but it will be a major issue !!! if I don’t get the clearance at all. How can she possibly know it takes 18 months?

    And since I have major foreign preference and influence issues (dual c, wife PR, relatives and financial interest all related to the same European country), for a secret only, will DISCO interview me? I read that for secret, most of the investigation is computerized… Then, will I ever get a chance to say something (except that I will divorce my wife) or provide more details before DISCO makes up its mind?

    This Thursday I think I will quit this top defense contractor and get the job at a subcontractor (I might even work on the same product)

  96. Avatar

    When DISCO receives an applicant’s eQIP and there are no discrepancies or omissions, DISCO generally approves (and makes an interim clearance determination) in 24 to 96 hours.

    Generally, if an SF86 (or eQIP) contains information significant enough to deny an interim clearance, it is also significant enough to require a Special Interview (SPIN) on an investigation for a Secret clearance.

    Recently OPM (the agency that’s doing your investigation) has significantly reduced their turnaround time on recently submitted cases. Last month the average turnaround time on recently-opened totally clean cases for Secret clearances was about 70 days. Your case may take significantly longer because of the need to do a SPIN and possibly other field investigative work. I don’t think that 18 months is a good estimate for problematic cases anymore–perhaps it was 18 months ago.

    Recommend you do everything necessary prior to the SPIN, so that you can present the most favorable information possible to the investigator that interviews you. See mitigating factors under Guideline B & C of the Adjudicative Guidelines available at

  97. Avatar


    Polygraph exams are required for access to specifically designated information protected with Special Access Programs (SAP). Technically SCI is a SAP. Only your company’s FSO will be able to tell you if the program you will be working on requires a polygraph.

    There is basically one issue that differentiates adjudication for collateral clearances and adjudication for SCI access eligibility—foreign influence. Having an immediate family member or cohabitant who is a foreign citizen is a potentially disqualifying condition under the Adjudicative Guidelines. It is possible to mitigate this issue for collateral clearances, but for SCI access, successful mitigation is very rare.

    Depending on the agency that will adjudicate for SCI eligibility, they may simply review your current SF86 and prior investigation or they could require a completely new investigation.

  98. Avatar

    What is immediate family? Does it include stepmother and stepbrothers? If your father, who was not US citizen, were dead long time ago, will it affect you getting interim clearance? If you have a record of being fired from a job 5 years ago due to adult website visiting, will it also prevent you getting a interim ? Thanks for your help.

  99. Avatar

    I was in the army from 1994 to 1998 and had a TS/SCI clearance and then worked for a contractor from 1998 to 2000 and had my clearance updated in 2000 but left for a non clearance job. Should I include that I had a clearance on my resume? Is it easier to get a clearance again since I already had one?

  100. Avatar

    Thank you William. I have decided to quit and take a job that does not require clearance. In the end, while I can give up a passport etc, I am not ready to sell my share of a business or whatever property I inherited from my mother or lie that I am not talking to my father in law who makes such great wine and thinks of me as a son, just because all this is in a different country. There are just too many issues to mitigate and it’s not worth it. I’m just unhappy that I did not know all this before I signed the offer and now I have to explain to some great engineers that it’s not their fault I’m quitting after two weeks.

    Thanks all.

  101. Avatar

    Just an FYI for all…My TS/SSBI took 8 months through OPM..Which compared to most is a very short turn around…Good luck all…Now my company is going to put me against a client that requires an SCI…

    Does anyone know the turn around for such a thing…Does it pend on the particular client for the amount of time.

  102. Avatar

    Scott – no telling how long the SCI could take. 8 months for the SSBI is excellent. Perhaps yours was expidited for some reason?

  103. Avatar

    It was not expedited. The investigator was grateful that I had done a very good job writing and explaining things. Not opening up additional questions. I answered everything to a T. I did have some bumps along my travels but I was very very straight forward and no BS. I did not write winded explanations but very precise detailed information.

  104. Avatar

    So, I found out that I cannot work for a contract company and be an employee for another company as a Background Investigator. My question now is how much money should I demand when attempting to work on a contractual basis as a Background Investigator?

    Also, I will be working as an employee Background Investigator…. my Top Secret/SSBI investigation was done by a company that only contracts work out to investigators, they do not have employees. I have decided to work as an employee for USIS, but they only go for a favorable adjudication, not a top secret clearance for new employees. Since I will be working for USIS as a new employee with a TS, should I demand a higher salary? I have no experience as an investigator, this would be my first job. My thinking is that I should get more money since I have a clearance that new employees do not have.

    Please let me know!

  105. Avatar


    Immediate family is defined as: Living family members (father, mother, brother, sister, spouse, son, daughter, or cohabitant). Each of these terms includes all its variants; e.g., “sister” includes sister by blood, sister by adoption, half-sister, stepsister, and foster sister (however on the SF86 you must list deceased family members).

    Any information of possible security/suitability concern that appears on your SF86 could result in the denial of an interim clearance. There is little consistency in the granting/withholding of interim clearance from one agency to another.

  106. Avatar

    on 28 Oct 2007 at 9:39 pm Mike asked:

    “I was in the army from 1994 to 1998 and had a TS/SCI clearance and then worked for a contractor from 1998 to 2000 and had my clearance updated in 2000 but left for a non clearance job. Should I include that I had a clearance on my resume? Is it easier to get a clearance again since I already had one?”

    I’m not sure about listing prior clearances on a resume. Since its been 7 years since your last SSBI-PR, it will have no practical effect on the length of time it takes to get a new clearance.

  107. Avatar

    If your step-sister and step-mother are not u.s citizens and live overseas, it will prevent you from a interim, right? I was told that interim is for exceptional clean people. Most people have to wait for the final clearance. However, a lot of new-hire jobs are based on interim. No interim =no job offer. The interim is to be cautious and let you wait for the final clearance. But when a job offer is rescinded, the clearance stop. You never have a chance to get the final clearance.

  108. Avatar

    My questions is regarding the SF86 / Secret clearance. I had an arrest over ten years ago for possession of a controlled substance. The charges were dismissed. Additionally I had an arrest approximately 7.5 years ago for shoplifting and also got the charges dismissed. I will disclose the info on the SF86 even though I don’t believe the later charge from 7.5 years has to be disclosed because its not a SSBI top secret investigation. Still the agency for a secret clearance instructs you to fill out 10years going back. Its very confusing. Secondly I take issue with the question that asks if you ever been “charged or convicted relating to alcohol or drugs” notice how the word arrested was left out, again confusing there.

    My question is 1) Are the two arrests which happened between 7.5 -10 years and were dismissed and disclosed on the SF86 likely to get me a denied secret clearance?

  109. Avatar

    My husband is currently waiting for his clearance. Will my credit affect his chances of getting cleared?

  110. Avatar

    I’m retired Navy, 20-plus years service, stellar record, got out in ’94, held a NATO Top Secret clearance. I’ve been in the private sector from ’94 until now, but have been offered a job as a GS-13 that will require a Top Secret (non-compartmented) clearance.
    Here’s the rub.
    From 1999 to 2003 I went through what can only be called the Divorce from You-Know-Where. My ex-wife vowed to “legally destroy” me and she almost succeeded. In 2000 she accused me of molesting our daughter. I was charged with felony sxual battery. My daughter recanted the charges, but because of some verbiage that the state police investigator included in the report and that I objected to but my attorney told me not to pursue, I was still convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a misdemeanor. I was sentenced to a year in jail, all suspended.
    All during this time I held the same job (which I still hold today) one with high public contact, visibility and responsibility. While it’s civilian private sector and thus no clearances required, I still hold positions of high trust, such as working on a corporate Web site unsupervised. I have had no legal troubles, have no credit problems that haven’t been resolved or that I am resolving, and have remarried and am in a stable relationship. No other strikes against me.
    Will this anomalous issue keep me from getting a TS clearance? Should I just forget about this job, which I dearly want?

  111. Avatar


    No one can answer your question without knowing whether your husband has an obligation (to you or the creditor) to pay your debts, whether any of your accounts show up on his credit report, whether the accounts are delinquent, whether these accounts were due to any irresponsible conduct on your part, and whether he shares any culpability in these debts. If your debts are a potential source of significant pressure for you and the adjudicator is aware of it, the adjudicator could view your debts as a potential source of pressure on him to satisfy the debts.

  112. Avatar


    Absent any subsequent similar misconduct or complicating circumstance, there is little likelihood that your clearance will be denied. I’ve reviewed about 200 cases at the DOHA website and have not seen any situations similar to yours that even resulted in an SOR. Passage of time without recurrence of misconduct is one of the strongest mitigators for a potentially disqualifying condition.

  113. Avatar


    As I said before there is little consistency regarding the application of Adjudicative Guidelines for interim clearances. No one can say whether or not you will be granted an interim clearance in your situation, except the adjudicator who reviews your SF86.

    At least two people on this blog have reported receiving an interim clearance even though they are naturalized US citizens. One has parents living in Bangladesh. The other did not indicate that she had immediate relatives overseas, but many naturalized citizens do. Neither indicated which agency granted their interim clearance. However, a native born US citizen with a British wife (wife works for British government) was denied a (final) TS clearance by the State Department because of his wife.

  114. Avatar

    Hi…I had an internship this summer requiring a secret. I was denied the interim and am currently “pending adjudication” (met with an investigator in July). I’ve been interviewing for homeland security type work (getting a Master’s degree in December) and of course they require the interim up front. You mentioned that time is the greatest mitigating factor so I’m wondering what your thoughts are on my history: I had occasional/random drug use (meaning marijuana/prescription once or twice every seven or eight months) until I got a DUI 4 years ago(completed ASAP). Then I decided all of this “recreation” was not worth the risks and have been an angel ever since. The question is: what do you think my chances of getting the clearance are? Its been nearly 4 years. Does all of this constitute a “complicated” case? Any idea on the adjudication timeline? Thanks for your thoughts : )

    Ooh one more thing: I’ve also been to China twice for school-related programs (one week for each visit)…Does that have a bearing?

  115. Avatar


    Absent any other complicating factors, you have a fair to good chance of getting a clearance, but your case will take longer than most to adjudicate. In Feb 07 DHS reported an average adjudication time of 72 days for all adjudications.

    Four years of abstinence is sufficient to mitigate experimental/occasional drug use. There are other mitigating conditions that may apply to you, such as completion of army substance abuse program, if that is what you meant by ASAP. See the Adjudicative Guidelines available at

    It will also be necessary to mitigate criminal conduct because of the drug use and the DUI. If the DUI was for alcohol rather than drugs, you will also have to mitigate alcohol consumption. But mitigation for all three security issues are pretty much the same, except that criminal conduct includes: remorse or restitution, job training or higher education, good employment record, or constructive community involvement.

  116. Avatar

    After and 4.5 year debacle…

    TS/SSBI granted 20071113. Here is my timeline for those interested:

    e-QIP trasmitted – 20061113
    Opened – 20061128.
    Personal interview – 20070110.
    Investigation closed – 20070710.
    Adjudicated – 20071113.

    Exactly one year.

    The most important thing I have learned throughout this process is that you have to take personal responsibility for keeping up with your progression within the system.

  117. Avatar

    I compile anecdotal information about security clearance processing to assist others on this forum. Can you share the following from your experience:

    1) Which agency granted your clearance?
    2) Were you granted an interim TS and if so when?
    3) Were there security/suitability issues in your case that could have caused a delay in adjudication?
    4) What did you mean by “4.5 year debacle?”


  118. Avatar

    1. I presume you mean OPM. The sponsoring agency need not be revealed.

    2. I was granted an interim TS clearance 200410.

    3. Small amount of marijuana use from 1996-2001. Pretty sure that was mitigated by the passage of time alone. So, not really an issue at all.

    4. I came onto a contract in 200305 with an ongoing investigation for SECRET with DoD handled by DSS. My lazy idiot of a security officer decided to just “let that one finish” before bothering to submit me for my TS. When my SECRET came in he then had me submit for a TS in 200409 which came back with my interim TS in 200410. After that the lazy fellow just let it ride for almost 2 years until I finally made some noise by bringing his incompetence to the attention of some big bosses. At this point I had not even had a personal interview nor had any of the people on my SF86 been contacted.

    It turned out that my case had to be transmitted from DSS to OPM (when they took over the bulk of cases) and it apparently never even got there. Evidently this bum had been saying he was logging into JPAS and checking on things but really hadn’t done a thing. Shortly thereafter he was asked to leave the company.

    His replacements got things corrected, I was restarted in 200611 and here I am, done.

  119. Avatar

    I am ready to e-QIP. I am concerned about an interim clearance. A SSBI will go back 10 year on some things.

    I have a 1977 assault charge, while in college, that was dismissed, and a 2001 assault charge that was dismissed. I have been ticketed for DUI in 1988 and 1993, both were reduced to negligent driving misdemeanors. I do not have any felony convictions, or DUI convictions. For the last 10 years all I have on my driving record is a speeding ticket doing 70 in a 55 mph zone. I have good credit, and good medical record. I don’t use drugs, and seldom ever drink.

    Please comment on my chances for an interim clearance.

  120. Avatar


    What a nightmare. Thanks for the info.

  121. Avatar

    I just wanted to share my experience since a lot of people on this site appear worried at the length of the process…maybe this will make you feel better.
    Here’s some background: I work for the largest defense contractor in the world. I was hired by a division in the company that only has work for people with TS/SCIs with FSPs…the customer is THE intel company. The program that I was to support has been my company’s program for over 10 years now, and was just renewed for another 5 years. The mission is CRITICAL and there are always vacancies on staff. I am a FOURTH generation American, my only “foreign” relatives are dual citizens of Canada and the US (my aunt and two cousins) and I talk to them about every 3 years. My husband holds an active TS/SCI with FSP and works at the customer’s headquarters. My sister has an active TS, as does my father. The only times I have been out of the country in my life were for my honeymoon in Jamaica, a 3 week education program to in England, and a 2 week education program in Mexico. My credit is FLAWLESS, I have never done any drugs, have no issues with alcohol, and my only crime was a 10mph speeding ticket 5 years ago (In fact, I worked for a police department as crime analyst before I took this job and went through an extensive background investigation and 4 hours 100 question poly!) and the only mental health counseling I have ever received was marriage counseling. With that said, here is MY timeline.
    7/04-began work with company, submitted my SF86.
    9/04-met with my BI
    11/04-polyed twice, two weeks apart, results (like pretty much everyone I know) were inconclusive.
    12/04-had a meeting with the “customer” to resolve issues from my poly.
    01/05-status check from my security officer results in her calling customer service and finding out my case was “pending two reports”
    06/05-status check, “pending two reports”
    12/05-staus check, “pending two reports”
    5/06-status check, “pending two reports”
    10/06-status check, “pending two reports”
    5/07-status check, “pending two reports”
    10/07-status check, “pending adjudication”
    As you can see, I have been in the process for 3.5 years now. My case was complete except these “two reports” since 12/04. What these two reports are, I have no idea, and apparently can’t get this information. So how long will adjudication take? that’s the question I would like to ask Bill and admin…For a long time I had a feeling that they lost my records, since I have heard that this happens a lot. Also, of the group I started with, I am not the only one that has not cleared yet. It took my husband about 3 years to get his clearance, and there is someone on my program that has been waiting for 5 years. The average at our company is about 22 months…but rarely does anyone clear before that unless they are right out of school and have never moved in their lives. So hopefully that will help you all knowing that you are not the only one, that even 2 years is not a long time for this type of process, and not hearing anything for a while means NOTHING either way…I know people who waited for 3 years and got denied, or 6 months and got denied. There is no rhyme or reason to this process and your decision is based solely on the very subjective mind and of 1 adjudicator!

  122. Avatar

    Tia – You take the prize for longest clearance award reported on this forum. Don’t want to speak too soon, but I’d wager you’ll have final award by January 1st unless there’s something the adjudicator finds that would delay. Good luck to you.

  123. Avatar


    I have you beat regarding time…It took over 6 years…Once I switched from one of THE clients that require a Full scope to another client it took less than 8 months for my TS…Granted higher levels may take longer…but the first try which we(Company and I) gave up after 5.5 years of trying.

    Now that I have some form of credit I will try again here shortly….

    I was given the same run around regarding pending 2 reports…They went back and forth between 1 report and 2 reports for over a year. depended on the month was a different statement.

    What reports are they talking about ?? was never answered….

    Many of the snafus with my first try at getting a clearance was many times the Cluster mess with our old security team. Underpaid and understaffed. I am not going to get into a long winded story as to what a mess it was. but I hit ever bump along the way… Believe me…

    My recommendation to all IS… STAY ON TOP during the process. ASK AS MANY questions as possible with your security team. Have them walk you through each and every question. I actually answered some questions “yes” the first time that I should not have.

    “Have you ever been denied access to classified information”. I mentioned Yes…I said yes because I was working on a project that was part classified and I figured since I was not cleared I was not allowed. That is not what the statement means.

    Nobody walked me through and explained anything… Here is the software go and fill it out and submit…Big Big mistake and I did not know how serious this process is.

    Prior to submitting your Equip. I know many of you may not like this idea. (Only the one’s who have a checkered past) Print it out and hand it to someone you trust and let them read it. I chose the security team. For heaven sakes they have come across many worse than what you may feel you have done. Believe me when I say this. Many people have been cleared for doing many things but Honesty, Integrity and time are your best allies.

    “And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”

    Your security team may have an individual that has some form of background with being a investigator. I had them read through my paperwork….and made sure I crossed my T’s and dotted my I’s..

    They did not help me write it in any shape, but recommended clarifying some things or just do not be so worded. Remember to state your facts. Give them any and all necessary information. Make the investigators life as easy as possible.

    We all try to over clarify and in turn make it more of a mess than it was originally, or we try to be over apologetic to what we did wrong. When they just want the facts. The investigator will ask for better clarification when they interview you.

    Sorry all for the long winded story but I had a very frustrating time, when if someone had assisted me in the beginning life would have been easier.

  124. Avatar

    I’ve received my interim TS during my employment and then I was laid off thereafter. I thought that my investigation was cancelled since I am no longer with this company. Twelve months later, my references are being contacted by OPM.

    Where do I stand?

    1. Can I state on my resume that I have my interim clearance and does interim means I have an active clearance?
    2. Is my previous employer still sponsoring me for the investigation even though I’m no longer with the company?
    3. What should I do? Contact FSO and whom would that person be?

    Thank you in advance for your advice!

  125. Avatar

    Tia & Vas:

    OPM says there are 10 agencies that don’t use their services and those agencies are responsible for 170,000 clearance investigations a year. OPM does about 710,000 investigations for clearances (they also do about 1,100,000 for employment–public trust & non-sensitive positons) a year.

    Obviously your investigation was/is being handled by one of the 10 agencies. “Pending two reports” means nothing because if you only lived in two places during the past ten years, those two reports could represent the entire field investigation.

    There was something that happened at both DSS and OPM that explains some extra ordinary delays that occurred between 2004 and 2006. Something similar may have happened at one or more of the ten agencies.

    In 2004 DSS was using Contract Investigative Service Providers (companies like MSM). For whatever reason one of the contracts terminated. That contractor also did work for some of 10 other agencies. Months before the contract terminated they stopped working on the cases they had. A few months later all the uncompleted investigations were redistributed to DSS field elements. It was a mess. Most DSS investigators hated working on partially completed cases that were done poorly and worked on them only when forced to do so by their bosses. Some cases had to be completely redone. As I recall, it took about a year to clear all those cases through the system and many were already a year or two old when we got them.

    Almost exactly the same thing happened at OPM in 2006. A couple of other things.

    Generally a case is reviewed by an adjudicator, senior adjudicator, and supervisory adjudicator before Statement of Reasons (SOR) is issue as a preliminary decision to deny a clearance. Any one of three can grant a clearance without referring it to a higher level. If the applicant submits a rebuttal to the SOR, it is reviewed by a senior supervisory adjudicator or the head of the adjudication facility before a final decision is made. Then there is an appeal process where others get involved.

    “Higher level clearances” shouldn’t take any longer than a collateral TS, because the only thing they can add to an SSBI is a polygraph exam. None of the contract investigators working for the 10 agencies are going to do any more than the minimum required for an SSBI.

    Tia: I have no idea how long adjudication will take. Most of the 10 agencies don’t make any clearance information public.

  126. Avatar

    I recently was phoned about a job and when they went to check my clearance I was told that there was loss of jurisdiction. What does this mean and is that a bad thing?

  127. Avatar

    After reading so much about background investigations, I am wondering what kind of actual questions the investigators will ask. Is there a catalog of particular questions for the various adjudication areas (i.e. foreign preference…). And how long will a meeting with a BI usually take?

  128. Avatar


    A “loss of jurisdication” can occur anytime after an application for a security clearance is accepted by a government agency but before a final adjudicative decision is made by that agency. When the applicant no longer requires a clearance from the government agency that was processing his clearance, the case processing is stopped and “loss of jurisdiction” is entered in the clearance database. From a security clearance adjudicator’s point of view “loss of jurisdiction” is usually not a bad thing.

    I can only think of one type of circumstance where it would be a bad thing. For example: an applicant quits the job for which the clearance was required (effectively stopping the process), because the investigation has uncovered information that could result a clearance denial.

  129. Avatar

    Thanks for your response to my earlier posting.

    Would it be possible for the investigator to keep my case open if he or she decides that I must return my passport? Or will my application simply be declined and I would lose the job (and find out soon after that it was declined due to a Canadian passport)?

  130. Avatar

    Investigators lack the authority to decide whether you must surrender your Canadian passport and therefore can not keep your case open for that reason (actually for any reason, except that all the investigative work hasn’t been completed). If your clearance is being processed by any agency of the Dept. of Defense and you decline to surrender your foreign passport, you will be denied a security clearance, unless the US Government officially approves your possession and use of the passport. This is a very rare exception, so don’t count on it unless you expect an appointment at the deputy undersecretary of defense level.

    Your investigation will be completed and sent to the appropriate Central Adjudication Facility (CAF). Only a CAF can deny a final security clearance.

  131. Avatar


    There is a good list of questions asked during SSBIs at Annex B to Director of Central Intelligence Directive 6/4 (also known as DCID 6/4). A copy of this document is available at my website. Click on my name (above), then click on “about security clearances” and then to the resources page.

  132. Avatar

    Any comments on my case above. I am seeking an interim clearance. Do I explain the details of the charges in the additional information box? Do I have a chance for an interim clearance?

    Thank you for taking the time to respond.

  133. Avatar

    Your former employer failed to notify the government requestor (usually DISCO via JPAS) and OPM that your employment was terminated. When the OPM investigator attempts to contact you or do a employment record check at your previous employer, they will discover they are wasting their time and immediately cancel your investigation (and probably have some choice words for your former FSO).

    Your interim clearance will be terminated as soon as the investigation is canceled. You can not legitimately claim any clearance on your resume, but you can tell a potential employer about the interim TS. You don’t need to do anything about the investigation, unless you are contacted by an OPM investigator. In which case just tell the investigator you are no longer employed in the job for which the investigation was requested.

  134. Avatar

    There are literally hundreds of government officials who are authorized to grant interim clearances and many have not received training as an adjudicator. Consequently there is little consistency regarding the granting of interim clearances. If your clearance is being processed by DISCO, the decision regarding your interim clearance will be made by a trained adjudicator who will apply the Adjudicative Guidelines in the same manner as other DISCO adjudicators. There is no published data regarding interim clearances. Before eQIP, the best person to ask about probability of being granted an interim clearance was your company FSO or agency security officer, since he/she saw all the applications and the results of every case he/she submitted. I suspect most of them still see the application in printed form.

    The more information you provide about these incidents in the comment sections of the eQIP, the better your chances of getting an interim clearance, unless alcohol was in any way involved in the 2001 offense. I don’t think your chances of getting an interim clearance are very good, but not impossible. That’s just my WAG based on limited unverified anecdotal information.

  135. Avatar

    Secret clearance went “out of Scope” a few months ago
    ie more than 10 yrs from last PR. If I switch contractors
    is the clearance still good?? Also current employer
    has failed to ask for eQip or update info. I found
    out my clearance was “out of scope” only by job hunting and a prospective employer was kind enough to check
    JPAS and inform me. Any thoughts?? All thks..

  136. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    Thank you for taking time to respond. The 2001 charge did not involve alcohol. I have done as you advised and fully documented what happened. I have made my best case for the adjudicator review. I believe my SF86 is going to DISCO.

    Assuming that a fully trained DISCO adjudicator reviews the case, will they take into careful consideration additional information that I provided, and will there be subjective reasoning involved when making the decision for interim clearance, based on the comments?

    I have been selected by the agency department director for the position, but will not be made the job offer if I cannot get an interim clearance.

  137. Avatar

    Yes, they will take into consideration the additional information you provided. There will be subjective reasoning involved in the decision for the interim clearance. But, the threshold for denying an interim clearance is lower than the threshold for denying a final clearance.

  138. Avatar

    Thank you Mr. Henderson,

    It is a worrisome process. I can only hope that my explanation is enough to allow an interim clearance. Unfortunately my past is not a good reflection of who I am today, but weighs heavily on my future.


  139. Avatar

    I am a veteran being vetted for Secret clearance having held Sensitive thru TS/SCI clearances. My financial condition has changed since holding these clearance in 2000. I have been quite concerned what bearing my current financial condition will have on obtaining this clearance. Following a divorce, I have 18K in unsecured debt, yet no past dues, or charge offs on my credit report. I have not been able to improve my financial condition and I am wondering whether having a credit score above 650, yet with this amount of debt –with no assets– could be a disqualifier, in and of itself. Wondering what the threshold are for service.

  140. Avatar


    Don’t worry about your credit score. The credit report that becomes part of your clearance investigation does not have any score. If you did not list any credit problems on your SF86 (delinquencies, garnishments, repo, judgments, tax liens, bankruptcy) and your credit report shows current delinquencies (120 days or more) on combined delinquent debt totaling less than $3,500, you should not have any problem. In fact you should be able to get an interim Secret clearance.

  141. Avatar

    Thanks Mr. Henderson.

    I have no delinquencies,or other but do have 18K in unsecured debt. No assets at this age. I also worked in the same position before, but ended up in lawsuit after my assigned supervisors requested I be promoted and it didn’t happen. Wondering how this will all play after apparently being hired back, position exam, drug test, pt test, etc.

    Wondering what the prospect after suing in federal court to no avail, then presentive still being in the running to get a similar job after tentive selection 11 months ago followed by all these tests? Any professional advice is very much appreciated.

  142. Avatar

    I have just recently switched jobs between two federal contractors. I currently have a TS/SCI clearance that was being adjudicated when I left my former employer. I resigned from a DoD agency five and half years ago. Upon my departure, it was noticed that I had an outstanding debt – which was paid from my last paycheck. I spoke to someone in the IG’s office and they assured me the debt had been settled and no further action would be taken. I received two letters stating that I still owed the debt and tried several times to contact the POC listed in the letter with no success. I left several messages and documented each time I called this person. After not hearing anything for five years (and no action being taken as stated in the letter), I thought the matter was taken care of. Now when I go to get read in for my new job – the sponsoring agency still says I owe the debt and I cannot be read on until this is resolved. There are telling me that I may have to go through another investigation which could take 4 months. I have supplied contractor security with all my supporting documentation. With supporting documentation, how long can this take? My current company will have to let me go if this takes too long.

  143. Avatar

    My TS/SCI clearance was suspended when I was terminated from my company. After several months of pondering my next job I was hired for a position that required TS. It was only then I found out my clearance had been suspended by DIA (pending an investigation). Needless to say the company released me. I have contacted my prior company for information, there is nothing in my personal file and all of the key players have left the company. I have tried to contact the agency whom holds my adjudication several times but no one will return my calls. I’ve even contacted a couple of attorney’s and they are asking for documentation that I have not received yet. It’s as though I’ve dropped off the face of the earth.

    What recourse do I have to get to the bottom of this quamier?

  144. Avatar


    If on your SF86, you clearly indicated that you were the plaintiff in the civil law suit and briefly described what it was about, it shouldn’t cause a problem. If they want more information about it, an investigator will interview you. For collateral security clearance purposes, the adjudicators are only concern with your conduct and character, not what others may have done to complicate your life.

  145. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson:

    This is good to hear. Collaterally, it was harder to hold a Secret clearance than a TS. In any case, was interviewed August and gave the investigator the authentic documents. Probably a rare case where one goes to civil court ninth circuit, then returns home. 6 years later it has been “good” to re-apply and find out what the investigators find and question in their processes. Thank You for your consideration.

  146. Avatar

    I am up for a security clearance with my current job. I have been fired from a pprevious employer seven years ago. I was wondering if this will cause my clearance to be denied. I did not tell anyone about this. How much information do previous employers give to investigators?

  147. Avatar

    I’m planning to join the Army with a Special Forces Contract. I scored 115 GT, on the practice ASVAB and continue to study day in and day out until I join. I also speak decent Arabic and continue to study the language everyday. I’m in great shape and have every intention of becoming a Delta Force Operator sometime in the future.

    Here’s my problem. Last year I was out on Halloween night and attempted to break into a gun store. I know, foolish huh? I sat in jail overnight and was appointed a public defender, who barely showed up to court let alone was passionate about my case. I got charged with Burglary of a structure, a felony in the state of Florida. I was sentenced to one day in jail, 2 years of probation and 75 hours of community service. I’ll be off probation soon enough, before I enlist obviously. I’ve also had quite a few speeding tickets, but everything has been paid up to date.

    Christ, I was a kid. I mean I’m a kid now but it was an adolescent mistake. I’ve written a letter to the judge who saw my case asking her to allow me to join. Still waiting for a response.

    Will this ruin my chances of going Delta, or even Special Forces for that matter? I’m scared to ask my recruiter, I don’t think I can handle hearing bad news. I am one hundred percent committed to Special Forces and will do whatever needed to make it.

    Will I ever get a Security Clearance?

  148. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson:

    Thank You. I’d like to assure you no misconduct on my part. I failed to show for work that I was not told I should be doing and had the paperwork to prove it. I could not prove it was because of color of one’s skin; however. Assured no misconduct on my part. I was married at the time. (It wasn’t really a ninth circuit opinion. Maybe a fifth ciruit.) Thank You very much.

  149. Avatar


    Employers can release any and all record information about you. They can also answer all questions put to them by a government investigator. The degree to which they provide information is strictly voluntary on their part, but most employers fully cooperate with the investigation when presented a copy of the General Release you signed authorizing the investigation.

    If you were fired because your work performance was not good enough, there should be no problem with a security clearance. If you were fired because of misconduct, it will depend on the nature of the misconduct.

  150. Avatar

    Your eligibility for a security clearance is secondary to your eligibity to enlist in the Army. You have no choice; you must tell your recruiter. If you don’t disclose this information on your enlistment documents and security clearance form, you will be guilty of a second criminal offense and face courts marital for fraudently enlistment and making false official statements. You arrest and conviction for burglary will be discovered during a security clearance investigation and in all likelihood by your recruiter when he makes his police records checks.

  151. Avatar

    On April 10, 2007, I recevied a notification that my background Investigation was favorably adjudicated. In the JPAS system, you can see the SSBI and the date of april 10, 2007 but is still reads Interim. What does the Security Clearance Officer at my company needs to do? My current job does not require this level but I am trying to move to another position within my company and the clearance officer is new and has attend some training. Doesn’t something else needs to be completed by the Clearance Officer?

  152. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    I totally agree with you that I need to tell my recruiter. I had no intention of lying to him, I’m just not ready to tell him now. I’m still wondering, providing the Army takes me, will I have a chance for a security clearance? Thanks for all your time and I really appreciate your responses!

  153. Avatar


    If the investigation was opened over one year ago and the status has not changed in 120 days, your Facility Security Officer (FSO) can call the DOD call center at (888) 282-7682 and ask what your case status is. If he doesn’t get an acceptable response, he should ask that the case file be written up.

  154. Avatar


    If the Army grants you a waiver so you can enlist and they process you for a position that requires a security clearance, your background will be investigated just like everyone else and the investigation will be adjudicated based on the 13 Adjudicative Guidelines. Yes, you have a chance of getting a clearance. You will have a chance in the sense that your conduct and character will be fairly investigated and fairly adjudicated.

    Having committed a felony is considered a potentially disqualifying condition for a clearance. However, if the burglary was the one and only time you were involved in criminal activity in the past 10 years, the conduct could be mitigated since it was an isolated incident and unlikely to recur. Hopefully your conduct was not complicated with alcohol or drugs. See the Adjudicative Guidelines, specifically Guideline J: Criminal Conduct (available on my website, just click on my name above).

  155. Avatar

    I have I final secret clearance and I wanna leave my current job can I do so without losing my clearance.

  156. Avatar

    I had a NACI for entry into federal service 14 years ago and now I have to upgrade to secret. What do they do for this?

  157. Avatar


    When you terminate employment, your clearance will be terminated. If you secure another job that requires a Secret clearance within a period of two years, you can get the Secret clearance reinstated provided your last investigation was less than ten years ago.

  158. Avatar

    I currently have my clearance in adjudication @ DOHA and my file has been assigned to someone according to my SO. Everything was in a closed status as of early October. It was reopened again back in Jan 07, after lost paperwork, and switching contractors. I have only been visited once this year to resign a release for my investigator to talk to an old psychologist.

    The biggest issues that I had was an issues where I stole less than $200 worth of items in 01. I was never charged, signed a statement with the company and paid restitution. I had personal issues at that time. I disclosed this in my SF-86.

    I also had another employer that I resigned from due to allegations of me talking about guns, bombs, and shooting ranges. Which none of this I said and I denied everything while the company official was writing down my statement, and quit that job. I was never charged with anything in this.

    I did back in 02 apply for a secret, and the file was in a closed status when I left the company 11 months later. I’ve also been to a psych dr. up until 2 years ago, for minimal issues. Since 01/02 I haven’t had any issues, and have been good in all aspects of my life.

    I have no outstanding debt, good credit, the only thing that’s changed this year was that I moved to a new house, but I’m not sure if that makes a difference since my SO never warned or told me.

    I haven’t been visited to do any interviews, and I’m wondering what are my chances of getting my clearance passed through? How long do you think it will take at DOHA?

  159. Avatar

    For Mr. Henderson:

    I recently (4 months back) met with the bi for a clearance for a job I accepted in February. In August my my references checked out, as I was employee of the month at my old company. My worry is, I happen to have some neighbors that are in a cult and do like this neighbor. Fortunately, when the investigator spoke with the owners of the sushi shop (koreans) other neighbors, they gave me a good recomendation. I’m a person who is not into any drug use and just minds my own business. I’ve been waiting on this clearance for a few month. In October, I checked with the security office and was not being able to get any answer when I was going to clear. Recently, and took another position with a stronger company because I needed to do this (40 years old and in debt/with decent credit). When I call the security office, and check on what my have come of that job they say your case is on hold.
    -Do I need to get ahold of these guys again and have the retiring bi come back out and re explain my situation? Or should I just sit on it? The cultist say they own my situation and I plan on moving, to boot.

    Thank You.

  160. Avatar

    14 years ago a NACI investigation was sufficient to be granted a Secret clearance. In 1997 everything changed, and a NACI is no longer enough. Today a NACI is still sufficient for federal employment only, but if a new employee needs a Secret clearance they get a ANACI instead. Those who initially have a NACI (for federal employment only) and later need a Secret clearance must undergo a NACLC. Additionally, to maintain a Secret clearance, a new NACLC is required every 10 years.

  161. Avatar

    Thank you Mr. Henderson. I had been with DoD since I had the NACI and just recently took a job with the Army where they said I would now need a secret and I was not sure what they process was. Does the transfer from a DoD agency to Army make a difference?

  162. Avatar


    The only difference is the office that will adjudicate your investigation. DoD has a number of different adjudicative offices (known as Central Adjudication Facilities–CAF). The Army only has one for DA Civilians and military personnel. The Army CAF is known as the US Army Central Clearance Facility at Fort Meade, MD. Since you already had a NACI, they will probably put you in for a NACLC, rather than a ANACI.

  163. Avatar

    I am currently going through a TS/SCI investigation, and am worried over something that came up during my investigation that I never gave much thought to until the question was asked. During my time as an active duty Army officer, I used my personal laptop to work on information, both at home and while deployed overseas, that became part of classified briefings. There was never any disclosure to any unauthorized people, I never saved the work for other use, and the purpose of the use was always job related. As I said I never gave this much thought unitl I was pressed on it after voluntarily providing the information, and now I feel as though I may have committed a security violation that will prevent me from getting a clearance. I’m really stressing over this, any thoughts? Thanks so much.

  164. Avatar

    Sorry if this has been answered: I have a TS investigation pending. I work for Northrop Grumman. If I leave Northrop for another contractor will the investigation stop? Or will Northrop cancel it?

  165. Avatar

    1) One misdemeanor offense does not rise to the level of being a potentially disqualifying condition.
    2) The significance of the allegation at the second employer depends whether your investigation corroborated or refuted the allegation. If the investigation corroborated the allegation, you would probably have been interviewed by a security investigator concerning it, and the extent to which the allegation was corroborated would have been somewhat apparent from the investigator’s questions.
    3) The mental health counseling as you described it should not be an issue.
    4) Voluntarily moving from one house to another does not affect adjudication.

    My best guess is that items #1, 3, and 4 should not result in a clearance denial. I can’t comment on item #2 due to lack of information. There is no data available on the length of time it takes to get a clearance decision at DOHA, because almost all the cases that reach DOHA (which are therefore not adjudicated at DISCO) fall within the 20% of cases that are not included in the statistical reports regarding average adjudication time.

  166. Avatar


    I wouldn’t be concerned about the neighbors, provided you don’t participate with them in any questionable conduct. If you are on good terms with these neighbors, why would they say that they, “…own my situation.”?

    Are you currently employed at a job that requires a security clearance? If yes, is your current employer trying to get you a clearance with the same government agency as your previous employer? Do you know if your investigation was completed before you switched jobs?

  167. Avatar

    Thank You Mr. Henderson: People are lucky to have this service. I do not know. I didn’t work for a job that requires a clearance. This bi should be completed, in the sense that last time I spoke with the investigator in late August, he told me he was checking on a psychologist I saw in 1993. Wanted to check on any mental issues. Told him fine. (had gone to a workplace EAP after our contract was changing.) Following that I received my TS. In any case, have had some neighbors that smoke all sorts of things and put out sacrificial idols, leave the stuff for you, have thrown them back. One loses many sleepless nights waiting on this. Just not sure, if I should try and update the security office or, not, or what? Took another position not knowing what would come of this and needed to move with that. Thank you for you insight.

  168. Avatar

    Mr Henderson,

    I am currently going through the process for a TS Clerance. During my interview, I related that as an Army officer, I occasionally used my personal laptop to work on information that was incorporated in briefings that were classified as secret, mostly while deployed. While I didn’t give this much thought at the time, I am now very concerned, mostly because of the tone of the questioning, that this might have been a security violation that may now hamper my chances at getting a TS clearance. Any access of this information was always work related and was never shared with anyone who didn’t have need to know access. Would you be kind enough to share your thoughts on how negatively something like this might be viewed? Thanks so much.

  169. Avatar

    If you processed classified information on a your privately-own computer, you committed a security violation. It doesn’t matter whether or not you retained any information in your computer. If the investigator does his job properly, expect a separate investigation regarding your computer. The findings of that investigation will influence your new clearance. Unless you ran an NSA approved program to thoroughly clean your hard disk, your computer may present a continuing security problem.

  170. Avatar

    If your new job requires a TS and the same adjudicative agency is involved, your new employer should be able to do what is necessary to have your investigation continue without interruption. Northrop will report to the appropriate government agency (usually DISCO) that your employment has terminated. Without action from your new employer, the investigation will be cancelled. If your investigation is being done by one of the 10 government agencies that don’t use OPM, it may not be possible to keep the investigation open.

  171. Avatar

    I am a 27 year old that was arrested for Theft of Property 2nd degree in 1999. All charges against were dropped. I was on probation and attend a theft diversion program. I am currently being considered for a job that does a security clearance. Will the arrest and dismissed charges show up on the clearance? If so, is that something that will have me disqualified from getting the job? I’m nervous……

  172. Avatar

    Thank You Mr. Henderson: My question relates to more of this open ended discussion they have with you after you get a TS. It attracks neighbors, every place you work, etc. you become a golden person associated and disassociated. I have always paid my bills have been lucky, and got the ex-wife into a good position. The question is do you sacrifice 8 more months are try to get a final answer, neighbors included. Then you turn 43 and have served you country and gotten the short end of the stick, or not, other applicants applicants with higher scores,jump in front of you. It has been not very useful becoming DEA-sensitive, 20 years ago, in my case. Thank You for your service on this post.

  173. Avatar


    The arrest and court disposition will be discovered during the security investigation. If you’re being considered for a TS clearance, you will have to list it on your clearance application form.

    Absent any complicating or aggravating circumstances (i.e. weapons, drugs, alcohol, explosives), a single misdemeanor arrest is not significant enough by itself to become a potentially disqualifying condition for a security clearance.

  174. Avatar

    I plead guilty to a DWI and received 1 year of probation. My DHS clearance was denied due to my probation. Can I get a DOD clearance while on probation? Or should I wait until the my probation is complete. I am in the IT field and I receive DOD clearable job offers all the time.

  175. Avatar

    Are you sure you were denied a security clearance? Could you have been denied employment because you failed to be granted an interim clearance? The 2005 ADJUDICATIVE GUIDELINES FOR DETERMINING ELIGIBILITY FOR ACCESS TO CLASSIFIED INFORMATION were approved by the President and used by all executive branch agencies for granting clearance. So, everyone uses the same standards for granting clearance.

    If you were denied a clearance, it was probably for more than just a misdemeanor DWI conviction (i.e. alcohol use and other potentially disqualifying factors, including “whole person” evaluation). A single misdemeanor conviction by itself is not a disqualifying condition.

  176. Avatar

    I think you are right. A copy of the denial letter is listed below. Can I get a DOD clearance or interim while on probation? Or should I wait until the my probation is complete.

    You were nominated to undergo employment suitability screening. Thus, an investigation was initiated based upon the information you provided on your Standard Form 86, “Questionnaire for National Security Positions”. Based upon the investigative results you were found unsuitable to perform on the contract in support of DHS. There will be no further processing on your case. The reason for denial is DWI Arrest.

  177. Avatar


    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. 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 2 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 spent 2 weeks in the Ukraine with my Ukrainian fiance over New Year’s.

    5) I saw a mental health professional for seasonal affective disorder in late 2005.

    I’m just seeking a well qualified opinion here, thank you for your help. I wonder if I should even bother pursuing this job or take one of my other offers.

  178. Avatar

    The term, “employment suitability screening” indicates you were being considered for a Public Trust position. The fact that you were required to submit an SF86 (instead of an SF85P) indicates that the position was designated both a Public Trust Position and a National Security position (requiring a clearance). It sounds as if you were rejected for the Public Trust position, thereby obviating the need for a clearance determination.

    I apologize for not answering your question completely the first time. So here’s the complete answer:

    A single misdemeanor conviction (i.e. DWI) is not significant enough to be a potentially disqualifying condition for a security clearance. However, currently being on probation or parole is a potentially disqualifying condition. Like all potentially disqualifying conditions, it can be mitigated, but it will be difficult.

    My recommendation is write a letter to the judge requesting that probation be terminated early. Indicate in your letter that you have otherwise fulfilled all requirement of probation and that your employment opportunities are being significantly limited due to the probation (cite requirement for a security clearance and paragraph 32(d) of the Adjudicative Guidelines). You might consider offering to do some extra community service to compensate for the reduce period of probation. I would then wait until you have successfully completed probation before applying for a position that requires a clearance.

  179. Avatar

    Currently in the military. I have had several interim secret clearances. Finally, I was interviewed last month by USIS. I was told the “adjucators” would have my info within the week. I spoke to the command security officer Friday and was informed that my investigation had a closed status on 4 Dec. What does that mean.

  180. Avatar

    i have a t s cleance sci why does it take so long to tranfer from one job to another

  181. Avatar

    I would like to get a security clearance. I am not working for any defense contractor (but a large public consulting company). I am looking to get a security clearance so I will be able to get a better job.

    Do I need to be working for a defence contractor in order to apply for a security clearance?

    Where can I get the forms and other detailed information?

    Thanks in advance.

  182. Avatar

    The most common closed status is “closed completed.” This is the date that the investigative agency sends your completed investigation to the requestor’s Central Adjudication Facility (CAF). It takes a week or two for the file to make it from OPM to the CAF. Average adjudication time is about 30 days.

  183. Avatar

    Unfortunately there is no simple answer to your question. Many different federal agencies are involved in granting security clearances, and there are a number of different databases used to track clearances. Information from these desparate databases is merged into a single database, but that process hasn’t been completed. SCI eligibility is particularly problematic, because not all SCI and SAP programs have the same supplemental investigative requirement (i.e. polygraph). Full reciprocity for SCI eligibility between agencies has been elusive. If a person was granted a waiver by one agency for SCI, another agency does no have to accept it.

  184. Avatar

    Before you can apply for a security clearance, you must be hired for a position that requires a clearance or receive a written offer of employment for a position that requires a clearance. In either event, your future employer’s security office will provide you the forms and guide you through the process. If you want to know in advance what the form looks like and what is involved in the clearance process, go to my website (just click on my name above), navigate to “Security Clearance Manual,” and look at Chapter 1. Also navigate to “About Security Clearances” then go to the resources page where you will find a “Standard Form 86” and other information.

  185. Avatar

    I forgot to mention, there is an excellent FAQ at that may answer many of your questions.

  186. Avatar

    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.

  187. Avatar

    I just got a job with a gov contractor requiring a TS. I have a clean record, good credit, good refs, no flags, also read your book which was a great help to give the investigator additional contact information for prior residences. On the mental health issue, in the past 7 years we got some marriage counseling for help with communication issues, also, at some point I saw a licensed counselor at my church two or three times. I can’t remember the exact reason but I had some mild depression and anxiety issues around the time of my dad’s prolonged terminal illness. I contacted the counselor, now in private practice, and he dimly remembers seeing me for these issues. He checked records in his office and the church and can’t find any records that I was there, indicating they were destroyed after 5 years. I’ve checked “yes” for seeing a mental health professional, but what do I need to document, if anything? My counselor said that the anxiety can be a result of grief from finding a relative is going to die. Should I put down the name and contact information of the counselor? Neither of us have any idea of the dates I even went in to see him. If anyone can respond I just just found this blog and need to get the eqip sent in on Monday. Thank you!

  188. Avatar


    Thanks for plugging my book. Sorry if this reply is not in time.

    You don’t need any backup documentation. Just check “yes” on the first mental health question. When the second mental health questions pops up, provide the name, address and approximate dates of counseling. In the comment section explain that you do not recall the exact year, but no medication was prescribed, there were no referrals, and there were “x” number of visits in “x” period of time (or monthly visits for about six months or weekly visits for about six weeks). You don’t need to list anything about the marital counseling in the second mental health question. Because you will be investigated for a TS clearance, you will have an opportunity to explain everything to the investigator, but what you put in the SF86 will influence your chances of getting an interim TS clearance.

  189. Avatar

    Actually, a delay enabled me to get your answer and this was a great help. Thank you. I found out that this is a secret, not a TS. My counselor, although he can’t find his notes, did find the three dates I saw him and they were right under those 7 years. I hope it doesn’t delay it too much..

  190. Avatar

    I just got offered a position and they require securty clearence for the position. How tuff are they in dening you because of bad credit? In the past my credit hasn’t been great no bankrupcy or anything but its not good.



  191. Avatar

    Hello, I am going for a interim clearance. I had an arrest 2004 for Simple Battery and Theft by Taking did first offender probation and that was taken off my record. Only thing i have on my credit is childsupport which i pay. No bankrupcy’s or anything. Never been out ther united states no drugs or mental problems. Do you think i can get a interim clearance?

  192. Avatar


    Financial problems are the leading reason for clearance denials. Bad credit by itself may not result in a denial, but failing to repay debt for a long time, irresponsible spending, and having no solution to your debt problems can.

  193. Avatar

    John A:
    Absent an complicating factors, a single misdemeanor arrest/conviction is not a potentially disqualifying factor for a clearance and it should be a disqualifying factor for an interim clearance. There are only 9 CAFs within DoD that grant final clearances; however, there are hundreds of DoD officials who can grant or not grant an interim clearance, so it is harder to get any standardization for interim clearance.

  194. Avatar

    Thanks for your response William! I realized I only filled out a 85P form for public trust position. Is that a step lower than a secret clearance?

  195. Avatar

    John A:

    Sorry, I just notice that I left out the word “not” just before “be a disqualifying factor for an interim clearance”

    The SF85P is used for Moderate- and High Risk public trust positions. Generally for Moderate-Risk positions a Minimum Background Investigation (MBI) or a Limited Background Investigation (LBI) is required. For a High-Risk position an LBI or a Background Investigation (BI) is required. These investigations themselves are greater in scope than the NACLC or ANACI required for a Secret clearance; however, because the investigations are based on an SF85P rather than an SF86, they do not meet the National Standards for granting any level of security clearance. An MBI, LBI, or BI based on an SF86 is sufficient for a Secret clearance. This may seem illogical, but no one ever accused the government of being logical.

    Most agencies use the same adjudicative standards for security clearance determinations and for public trust determination, but they are not required to. Remember that investigations for Public Trust positions are actually employment investigations and not security clearance investigations, so the decision is a hiring decision (for federal job applicants), not a security clearance decision.

  196. Avatar


    My wife would like to get a TS/SCI clearance in the future. I have a dual citizenship (US and Russia). Do I have to renounce my Russian citizenship? My family (mother, father) still lives in Russia.

  197. Avatar


    You do not have to renounce Russian citizenship. Generally a person can not be granted SCI eligibility (without a waiver), if they have an immediate family member who is not a US citizen. In-laws are not considered immediate family, but step-children are. You spouse’s contact with people outside the United States and her foreign financial interests will be examined closely before her security clearance is granted; however, this will occur whether or not you retain dual citizenship.

  198. Avatar


    – SF85P has been filed in October,
    – references have received papers.
    anyways, the person (agent) called yesterday saying that he needs to meet to interview me, is it normal for security clearance (to be interviewed)? what questions would be asked?

  199. Avatar


    I am currently working for a defense contractor and have been for the past 3+ years. I am being switched to a different contract within the company but this contract requires that we fill out a SF85P. My problem is that I had a felony arrest 16 years ago but have had no problems since then. I am married, have a new son, have great credit with very low debt. Will they just investigate back 7-10 years or will my arrest come up from 16 years ago? Thanks in advance for your help.

  200. Avatar

    If you filled out an SF85P, you are being considered for a Moderate- or High-Risk Public Trust position, not a security clearance. In security clearance investigations references are almost never contacted by letter inquiry.

    The questions you will be asked will closely follow the questions on the SF85P.

  201. Avatar

    All but one of the Public Trust investigations includes a routine interview with the subject of the investigation.

  202. Avatar

    thank you,
    will they check my husband’s background too? the form had me put his SS#, why?

  203. Avatar

    No, they will not investigate your husband. But if during the investigation serious security information concerning your husband is volunteered to an investigator, it will be reported. Social security number like date and place of birth and full name is just another identifier. Sometimes there may be no routine use of all the information collected on government forms.

  204. Avatar


    It’s possible. The NAC is a component of all Public Trust investigations. Part of the NAC involves a name check and a fingerprint search at FBI. There is a chance that your felony arrest is still on file there.

    When a police record check is conducted, the security investigator generally does not ask for records on a Subject going back only 7 years. They just ask for a name check. If a record exists, it get reported.

    All of this is kind of moot for an offense that occurred 16 years ago, and even more so for an offense that did not result in a conviction.

  205. Avatar

    I have a question on the process of adjudication. I was put in for both an “L” clearance and “Q” clearance. My initial interviewer explained that my “L” would be delayed until a determination of a “Q” eligibility would be decided upon. Currently, my case is stuck in adjudication for a full year now. Could it be that this is just a very complicated case, I’m starting to
    lose hope–and really would appreciate an opinion.

    My credit is OK, and over the past 4 years or so, I pay my bills on time. I had a few medical bills from 6 years ago I was not aware of, which I paid off immediately [the agency could not get ahold of me to tell me about this because I moved–and it was taken off my credit record]. I did join a credit consolidation plan to manage debts and
    that caused a few deliquent payments back around 2003.

    I took anti-depresents for several monthes around 2002-2003 for smoking cessation and mild depression. I stopped taking them, mainly because I wasn’t seeing the point of it, and wasn’t terribly depressed.

    I used marijuana on occasions in 2000 and 2003, and was
    frank about it. The supplier on the second occasion I then had a falling out with. I’ve been interviewed on the 2nd occasion 3 times now, which makes me wonder if conflicting stories were told [mine vs. the supplier].
    I have not used drugs since then, and rarely drink.

    My brother is a dual citizen of a sensitive country, but now resides and works in the US for the govt.

    I left a few jobs during my early college years. One I left before giving notice, but had to start another position the next day. The other, I was injured and out of work for a month. When I returned, the company had not kept up a level of safety that would have prevented an injury like mine, and so I walked out.

    Adjudication for more than a year? Does this make sense? Should I be thinking about starting my career in an area that doesn’t require a clearance?

  206. Avatar

    I’m currently working on accepting a job with TS clearance. I have never had a TS clearance. My credit is good with a 746 with no other money problems. I don’t have a criminal record at all. My only concern is that I have seen a Therapist for Anxiety/Depression about 3 yrs ago and I have taken meds off and on during that time to help with the anxiety. But recently I had to start antidepressent meds again problem because of all the stresss of starting a new job after being at my old one for more than 12 yrs. Will me seeing a Therapists and taking meds deny my TS clearance? I also worry that if I start going back to my Therapists will I lose my TS and job. A lot to worry about since my current job doesn’t require any of this. Stress….

  207. Avatar

    Hello, I currently switched defense contractors and my new job requires a TS/SSBI. In my former place of employment, I was eligible for a Secret clearance and I had filled out an SF86 back in Feb07 and was denied an interm secret about a week later. (I am positive it is because I am a dual citizen – Scandinavian country, and have a foreign passport)I have never used the passport when travelling and the reason I have it is based on one of my parents citizenship, in which they are now US naturalized. I was contacted by an OPM investigator in Dec07 who asked a few questions over the phone about my dual citizenship and If I would relinquish my passport, in which I said I would. I am now at my new job as of Jan08. My question is, since I switched jobs and now require a TS/SSBI, does my investigation start over from scratch and how long do you think I will have to wait until I am granted my final TS/SSBI?


  208. Avatar

    It’s possible that the investigation for your Secret clearance could be used as part of the investigation for your SSBI, but it will not reduce the amount of time necessary to complete your SSBI. This is because the field investigation portion of the SSBI will take considerably longer than the NAC, LAC & credit report (NACLC) required for the Secret clearance. If they start again from scratch, the NACLC portion of your SSBI and the other field aspects of your SSBI will occur concurrently, and the other field aspects of your case will take longer than the NACLC portion. Additionally, the SSBI requires an indepth, wide-ranging Personal Subject interview (PRSI). As part of the PRSI you will be questioned again (if only breifly) about the foreign preference/foreign influence issue. With this significant issue present in your case, it’s not possible to give you an estimate of how long it will take.

    Unless you live in Scandinavian, I think it was inexcusable for the OPM investigator to interview you over the telephone.

  209. Avatar

    Seeing a therapist and taking meds to treat your depression is much better than refusing to do so when it is needed. Mental health problems must be very serious before a clearance is denied because of them. Basically your theraphist would have to say that your condition would adversely affect your judgment and therefore your ability to safeguard classified information. Listing mental health counseling on your security clearance application could result in not getting an interim clearance, but that’s because without talking to your theraphist they don’t know how serious the problem is. Failure to follow treatment strongly recommended by a mental health professional is also viewed unfavorably, but is not cause to deny a clearance unless it would make your mental condition critical.

  210. Avatar

    If you are saying that it has been more than a year since the SSBI for your Q clearance was completed and sent to adjudication, then yes, one year is excessive. Contact your security officer again and give him one more chance to get things unstuck, then give consideration to getting your congressman’s office involved. You’ve been waiting a long time. It would be worth waiting another month or so to get a definitive answer.

  211. Avatar

    I applied for a secret clearance in April 2007 and received my interim about 4 weeks later. I officially received my secret clearance on October 4, 2007.

    In late November, I noticed a card from an investigator of US office of personnel management with a name and contact number that was dated October 9, 2007. During the months of September and October, I had a few contractors working on the house, and suspected that one of the may have placed the card in the house. This is why I did not notice the card until late November. I asked all of the contractors about the card, but they did not know.

    Anyway, I thought this was strange because I received my secret clearance before October 9, 2007 (date on card). As of today, I have not contacted the investigator. Should I still contact the investigator ?

    Also, how soon after receiving the Secret Clearance should I apply for a top secret clearance ?

    Thank you

  212. Avatar


    Possibly the investigator wanted to interview you as a reference on someone else’s clearance investigation.

    You can apply for a TS clearance as soon as you are sponsored for one.

  213. Avatar

    I recently received my Interim Secret Clearance. I am still awaiting Secret Clearance. Anyways, in the process of waiting for the interim secret to become secret, I was contacted about a great job at another company. If I leave my present company for the new company, will that create a problem with getting my clearance completed? The new company also requires a secret clearance. I don’t want to switch jobs if it will cause a problem getting the clearance completed. Is there a way to transfer the interim secret to the new job?


  214. Avatar


    Yes, the sponsorship of your interim clearance and the pending investigation for your final clearance can be transferred from one company to another, if both companies process their clearances through the same government agency. The companies’ government customer does not have to be the same, but the government agency that processes the clearance must be the same. Otherwise it may be very difficult or impossible to effect the transfer.

  215. Avatar


    Thanks in advance. I have read the thread and heard you say that “Absent any complicating or aggravating circumstances (i.e. weapons, drugs, alcohol, explosives), a single misdemeanor arrest is not significant enough by itself to become a potentially disqualifying condition for a security clearance.”

    I was recently charged with a firearm related misdemeanor with alcohol involved. I have an application in right now but the investigation has not commenced. Would you recommend I withdraw my application and wait until more time has passed (It has been less than 1 month)?


  216. Avatar

    i’m a new college graduate and a i’m applying for a job that requires a SSBI clearance. will i be denied the clearance if one of my immediate family member’s is not a US citizen?

  217. Avatar

    let me clarify a little more. she has her green card and is on her way to take the citizenship exam.

  218. Avatar

    An SSBI is an investigation, not a clearance. The SSBI is the basis for a TS clearance with or without SCI access. Having an immediate family member who is not a US citizen, will not disqualify you from being granted a TS clearance without SCI access, but you will be evaluated based on foreign preference and foreign influence.

    For a TS/SCI having an immediate family member who is not a US citizen will disqualify you, but you could be granted a waiver based on a “certificate of compelling need” issued by a Senior Official of the Intelligence
    Community or his/her designee.

  219. Avatar


    I’m guessing that you anticipate pleading guilty or being found guilty. If this is the case, you will probably be placed on probation for a few years with or without jail time, fine, community service, etc. One of the potentially disqualifying conditions under the Adjudicative Guidelines is “individual is currently on parole or probation.” I don’t think this disqualifying condition can be directly mitigated. It may be remotely possible to overcome this problem under the “whole person” concept. But since your conduct involved a firearm and alcohol, this further aggravates the problem and opens the door to evaluating your conduct under other Guidelines like Personal Conduct and Alcohol Consumption.

    I can’t recommend withdrawing or not withdrawing your application, because if you are denied a clearance this time around you can try again one year after the clearance is denied. But, there are other factors to consider that are not related to security clearance processing. One of these considerations is whether or not a future potential employer will want to sponsor you for a clearance one year after being denied a clearance.

  220. Avatar

    I just found out that I was inaccurate on my dates of employment for one of my jobs. Whereas I thought it was over 7 years ago, it was actually over 6 years ago. I have my interview in less than a week and will inform the investigator because I was fired. Here is the problem. I was 19 or 20 at the time and I was fired because I was accused of stealing. No, I didn’t steal anything and there was no proof. I left my computer unlocked and someone, don’t know who, purchased supplies, canceled them, and then re-purchased them for a cheaper price for their friends. The day it was brought to my attention, I denied any act of it. However, I was told that they would press charges. I said go ahead, I’m innocent. So then they stated that rather than pressing charges, I would have to pay for the merchandise. I waas young, nervous, and afraid so I signed stating that I will pay back but I was no way involved. Will this prevent me from getting a clearance?

  221. Avatar

    I did not know, and am still not sure this was within 7 years. My interview is tomorrow and I plan to disclose it whether or not it falls within the time period. I’m not positive about the dates but I know it was around 2000/2001, no more recent than that. It was an honest mistake and am afraid that it will hurt me, but I will be honest in my interview.

  222. Avatar

    Failing to list this incident on your security form is more serious than the incident itself. Even if you were guilty, a minor offense six years ago by itself without any other misconduct would probably not result in the denial of a security clearance. I recommend you volunteer this information at the beginning of your security interview before being asked about it. This may prolong the investigative process, but it will help mitigate the omission. There are no inflexible rules about granting or denying a security clearance for the situation you present.

  223. Avatar


    If during a personal subject interview the investigator asks what you consider an “inappropriate” question…what can you do? Are there guidelines as to what the investigator can ask? Is there a complaint mechanism if you feel a question has gone over the line?


  224. Avatar

    Yes, there are guidelines regarding inappropriate questions and there are way to report inappropriate conduct/questioning by an investigator. Unfortunately the guidelines are not in the public domain. I might mention that sometimes people are offended by a legitimate question because the investigator failed to introduce the question properly or failed to explain the relevance of the question to a security concern. There are too many agencies involved in security investigations to tell you how to submit a complaint.

    If you would prefer not to discuss your complaint in an open forum, you are welcome to contact me through my website.

  225. Avatar

    When a clearance is being reviewed and they actually tell you the date they are going to review it. How much longer will it take to get the final answer? Thank you

  226. Avatar

    One more Question, I have a misdeamnor served probation from June 2006 to June 2007. Still waiting on the outcome of the clearance. Will this prevent me from getting my TS back??? They are reviewing it now will as of the 4th of Feb 2008. How long will this review take? Will I be granted my clearance back. All my bills are paid including a bankruptcy filed in Mar 2007. Paid in full.

  227. Avatar

    Mr Henderson,
    I’m back again for some advice. In December my clearance processing was “just stopped”.It was for a TS as a contractor working for a three letter employer, the client.

    Timeline was BI completed May-June 07, followed by two full scope polys in June 07 the “in adjudication”.

    When I contacted my ” person” at the contracter HQ he gave me no reason and I also noticed that the particular job had not been advertised for since then. It had appeared weekly for the prior seven months. It as an admin support position.

    I asked the contracter if they had stopped recuiting for this and he said ” no” but yet it has not appeared and all references to these positions ( there were multiple spots) have been erased from the contracter website. I’m waving my “BS” flag now.

    You had concluded that it was some sort of admin action on the part of the ” client” and not due to adverse findings.

    I have yet to find out what happened and have no report either. I have nothing that would preclude a favorable decision. My husband has had a TS/SCI for 20 years.

    Now, I/m thinking of applying to another agency which will also require a similiar investigation.

    What do I tell them? Do you think it’s worthwhile or I am on some list somehwere?

    Why fast track this and then come to a screeching halt. My BI and polys where competed within six weeks of my initial application with no wait time!It happened so fast my head was spinning.

    I’m just trying to get a job. I went through a lot for this and ended up with nothing.

    Sorry the question is so long, but I am very discouraged.

    Thank you very much for your time and patience. You are the best.

  228. Avatar

    It is possible to see the date a case has moved from the investigative stage to the adjudicative stage. Once in adjudication, the case will sit in a que until an adjudicator picks it up to adjudicate. If he/she is able to make a favorable determination, it could happen the same day. If not, the case is referred to a senior adjudicator and again sits in a queue. Sometimes it is referred to a supervisory adjudicator. The greater the issues involved in the case, the longer the adjudication takes.

  229. Avatar

    There are very few absolute disqualifiers for a security clearance and your situation does fit any of them. Your case will reviewed based on the Adjudicative Guidelines, applying both the potentially disqualifying conditions and the potentially mitigating conditions.

  230. Avatar

    Question: My clearance is being reviewed by the adjududicator now for the final stamp of approval or denial. They had me do a financial statement, and explain how I am paying my bills. I haven’t worked for the agency in about 2 yrs but I m still employed there. I have been in clearnce hell. got behind in bills. now i paid em up. they had me do a mental health exam bcuz i was on a ton of meds they really did me no good bcuz I really did not need them. I was just depressed and sad. The doctor says i m not crazy this was a one time thing and he beleived i was over medicated. I was taking about 6 or 8 different pills a day back then the doctor did not know what to give me i think so she tried everything out there i had many terrible side effects and could have died over this junk. not on meds anymore and love it. feel pretty well adjusted too. I have a eeo case too. could the adjuciator be waiting on the outcome of that case before they either approve or deny my clearance? Who will know first me or the agency when I m approved or denied my TS cleance back. will they call me on the phone tell me to report to work or will i need to go up there sign papers or something. I never did this when I originally got my clearnce i just worked and actually really did not know it was done. a yr later it was pulled for something stupid i did while medicatied that I wish i could forever change. I just wasn’t in my right mind. any answers…. I will appreciate. I m not a bad person i just messed up big time one time in my life and it cost me bigtime so far.

  231. Avatar

    another question is a police dispatcher considered a public trust position like an Officer?

  232. Avatar

    If your EEO case is based on alleged misconduct by you, it’s possible that adjudication can be delayed until the case is resolved. The agency will be informed first about the adjudicative decision, then agency will notify you in person.

    Public Trust positions are designated by individual agencies based on broad guidelines issued by OPM. So it is possible for similar positions to be classified differently by different agencies. Almost all positions for federal police officers are designated as Public Trust. I can’t make any general statements about police dispatcher positions.

  233. Avatar

    Dear Mr. Henderson Thank yo for yor reply. My case is NOT based on misconduct. it is Disability related. at the time My doc’s thought I was bi-polar, depressed and anxiety I think they really did not know. put me on a ton of meds which in turn I got a traffic violation and my clearance was pulled. that is all behind me now this happend in dec 2005 and i plead june 2006 served probation off since june 2007. still not working for my agency. done everything the asked of me and more. I still cannot get answers. I guess what I want to know is can this really take forever? Thank you Mr. Henderson

  234. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson: In one case, recently, I asked the office to verify my security clearance status – and received a blue e-mail back. (After receiving black typeset two times before christmas.) I guess that represented something. Didn’t seem real, or right from this Carter man tho’. Thanks.

  235. Avatar

    There is very little I can add to my previous response. At this point I can only guess that the contractor is not being completely honest with you. You need to independently verify the status of your case. There are three ways to do this: 1) apply to another contractor who deals with any IC agency, 2) through a Freedom of Information/Privacy Act request, or 3) through one of your congressmen.

    If you apply to another contractor, tell them exactly what happened. If they are interested in you, it only takes a minute to check the Scattered Castles database. Agencies don’t keep secret lists of people they don’t want.

    Normally the only time an agency stops processing a case is when there is a “loss of jurisdication.” This occurs when the applicant withdraws from the process or when the sponsoring contractor advises the agency that the applicant is no longer being considered for the position that required the clearance.

  236. Avatar

    I don’t know who you are communicating with. To my knowledge government offices do not verify security clearance status for applicants by email.

  237. Avatar

    We send an e-mail to our security clearance clearinghouse. The then chose to tell us what is happening, if they can. In this instance every few months I check in. Last time, I check in a friendly person there (had spoken with them on the phone) sent back the e-mail in blue color. I said,=[thought] fine okay I don’t expect to be hearing from them any time soon. Appreciate what is done here on this board.
    thank you again, Mr. Henderson.

  238. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson:

    CBP same as Pamela’s. I jumped up on box for (was tough), had a medical exam, other tests; and met with my BI in August. (He checked in right before Labour Day and said, “I have no further questions going forward.” [had wanted to clarify who I’d gone to Spain with (my wife at the time -I did.)] Around early July I got them to initiate a background check after waiting some months, and saw it wasn’t being initiated. (probably overlooked because I had to send in a second set of fingerprints.) So, what I have to show for a long time as a 98C (and given the rank of ass Pltn Sgt in AIT) is a blue e-mail. I guess its better than nothing but, like a linquist (the BDE’s best) from the wine region I find myself back home. (I work part time for the newspaper, and see [1] basic buddy! that I argued with, just made the E-7 list. Good for him!

    Thank You.

  239. Avatar

    “…our security clearance clearinghouse.” Who is this?

  240. Avatar

    CBP similar to Pamela. Once can call or e-mail to St. Paul Minnesota. That’s where they have Senator Coleman, and former Senator Wellstone. Our Senators in our state don’t have the clout — so I’m not calling them. Just take the e-mail, for now.

  241. Avatar

    Question: I just received a job offer at a defense contractor where I will need to obtain a security clearance once I begin work. I am currently 26 years old, and I plan on disclosing that I have a marijuana possession arrest on my record from 2000, while a freshmen in college. I also used marijuana one additional time in 2001. I have no drug usage in the last 6+ years, nor do I intend on any in the future. What is the likelihoood of being denied secret clearance? Can anyone guess how long this investigation will last?

  242. Avatar

    A close friend of mine has recently been offered a job that required a public trust investigation. After she turned in her paperwork she realized that she was incorrect on her dates of previous employment. The scope was 7 years and she only went back 6 years 6 months. What she failed to do was report a job she was terminated for due to a failed drug test. Now she has concerns because at the beginning of the form 85 it states she could be guilty of a felony for false information. How serious is this problem? Will the investigation reveal her past job?

  243. Avatar


    I’m not an adjudicator but in my opinion your chances of getting a Secret or Top Secret clearance are good, provided there are no aggravating circumstances. Almost any drug involvement that happened more than 5 years ago can be fully mitigated by passage of time, so don’t be tempted to minimize your past involvement. Falsification is a much more serious issue.

    I haven’t seen the full report yet but this month OPM claimed that they completed 80% of contractor security clearance investigations received between Oct 07 and Dec 07 in 61 days and that end-to-end clearance processing for these cases took 151 days. The other 20% probably took a lot longer.

  244. Avatar

    Most investigations for Public Trust positions include a Personal Subject Interview, during which she will have an opportunity to correct this error. I recommend she tell the investigator about this matter at the very beginning of the interview. By doing so, she will greatly reduce the possibility of be charged with making a false official statement. Prosecution for making a false official statement is pretty rare and almost never happens in cases where the falsification occurred unintentionally.

  245. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    Thank you very much for prompt and professional response. It has helped tremendously. Just one last question. In regards to an individuals employment history. Do the investigators of a Public Trust investigation go by information that you the potential candidate has provided or do they also go by other checks, such as IRS records? Thank you in advance Mr. Henderson.

  246. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    Thank you again. I was very curious to know about the process. I am a former military Officer and with conditions in security checks today I was just curious to see how one would go about starting a business in this field. It seems like a very lucrative career field. I was just curious to know some of the tools the investigators use and what is available for someone who had interest in starting a company in that field. Thanks again for your prompt and professional responses.

  247. Avatar

    Investigators use the SF86 or SF85P was a roadmap in conducting an investigation. If they find that the map is inaccurate as they navigate from one venue to another, they are required to do as much as necessary to resolve the discrepancies. If the applicant indicates that they worked at a company from 7/03 to 6/04, but company records show that the applicant only worked there from 1/04 to 6/04, its rather obvious that 6 months are missing. If the applicant is unable to provide a satisfactory and verifiable explanation for this gap, secondary sources of information are used. Cases of this type take much longer than normal and are taken very seriously.

  248. Avatar

    Go to my website (just click on my name above). There’s a lot of information there. Parts of my book, Security Clearance Manual, are posted there. Chapter 1 covers a lot of the basics about investigative scope. On the resources page of my website, read DCID 6/4. It covers in general terms the type of questions asked of different types of sources. Good luck.

  249. Avatar

    Please help! Today the security manager tells me that my secret clearance has been cancelled or revoked. He asked if I know why and of course I don’t. I have a job overseas as a army contractor and my job required a secret clearance which I already had through the Airforce Reserves. I took this job so I had the Airforce place me into IRR status. Would that be the reason why my clearance got cancelled?

  250. Avatar


    My name is Alex and I have recently been offered a job setting up and networking computers. I recently found out that it requires a security clearance that I must apply for. I am 19 years old and a sophmore in college. I need to know what my chances are of getting my clearance because I have a pending possession of marijuana charge. It is a first offender misdemeanor which is going to be dismissed once I complete all the requirements of court. How will they look upon this, it is my first run in with the law dealing with something like this (excluding a traffic ticket). What are my chances for getting this clearance or being rejected?

  251. Avatar

    Hank C.,
    Revoked would be very bad. But some other type of termination shouldn’t be a problem. You need to clarify with your security manager what he knows that you don’t. Exact terminology is very important.

  252. Avatar

    For a security clearance with the federal government more things than just criminal arrests, charges & convictions are considered. For example, illegal drug use. Clearance adjudicators are more concerned with conduct than with outcomes. Having the charge dismissed does not negate the conduct. Using marijuana without being caught does not negate the conduct. Your chances of getting a clearance will depend on your intent not to use illegal drugs in the future and at least six months to three years of abstinence, depending on the frequency and type of your past illegal drug involvement.

  253. 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?

  254. Avatar

    Hello everyone, I hope you’re all doing well. I have posted the following on the DB, however, since this seems to be dedicated to Security Clearances I decided to give it a shot.

    Prior 11X wannabe here who got injured during OSUT at Benning, but I have been looking at reenlisting into the Army; probably a year from now.

    I have been looking at two particular fields within the 35-series: 35M & 35F. From the research I have done online I have read that 35F requires a TOP SECRET clearance off the bat, whereas 35M first requires a SECRET clearance and then is moved to TOP SECRET once you reach your unit. My question, which I pose this question to those of you with experience in the TS/SCI process, what is the likelihood of getting denied either if you have debt but are paying it off?

    Here’s a bit of background on my problem. Apparently I have about $3,000 debt owed to the US Department of Education which I actually just found out last night when I ordered a credit report online. Along with $12,000 owed to a college I went to back in 2002 and had no idea about either seeing as I had never been contacted by any collection agency while I was back in the States. I have been living in the UK since November 2005, however, I intend to pay off the $3,000 when I return to the States in a lump sum due to the GBP to USD conversion. As for the $12,000 I would like to start paying that off once I joined the Army, especially using any bonus money that came from enlisting, etc. I have also been thinking of doing one of those debt consolidation programs, my parents would take it out and I would send them the money each month, etc.

    Also, in 2004 I worked for a City facility, it was a pool, and a I gave away a few punches on a swim pass. However, my name came up doing a criminal investigation because two of my supervisors were being investigated for embezzlement and last I heard they were charged. I spoke with two detectives about my time there and I was upfront about having given away a swim pass, etc. and I never heard anymore about it. Any thoughts on this being detrimental to my obtaining clearance?

    I would hate for something like this to keep me from enlisting, especially when it seems like it’s the only thing in the whole clearance granting process that might keep me back. I’ve never done drugs, never been in trouble with the law for anything more than just two speeding tickets.

    I would have asked a recruiter, but the fact that my nearest recruiter is in Germany…well…this was the next best thing.

    Thank you so much for your attention and I look forward to your replies at your earliest convenience.

  255. Avatar


    I was honorably discharged from the AF back in 10/06. I was given a TS/SCI on 05/05. I know I have about 7 months left for my clearance to still be considered ‘active’.

    Now I’m in the process of applying as a private contractor but need the Department of State’s approval. Will my clearance be able to cross over? Or do I have to repeat the whole process again?

  256. Avatar

    According to current policy, you should be able to have your TS/SCI eligibility reinstated at any federal agency until 10/08 without any further investigation. If access to an SCI program that has supplemental investigative requirements is involved, you will have to fulfill those supplemental requirements before being granted access.

  257. Avatar

    You’ve got some problems that you don’t seem to be aware of: Why have you been in UK since 2005? How could you not know about a $12,000 and a $3,000 debt when they are based on education you received? It will be really hard for an adjudicator to believe that you were previously unaware of these debts; therefore your honestly/truthfulness will become an issue. This is potentially as big a problem as $15,000 of long term unpaid debt. The swim passes by themselves are relatively minor, but combined with your apparent financial negligence shows a pattern of irresponsible conduct. There are major differences between eligibility for military service and eligibility for a security clearance. Often military recruiting policies are more restrictive than security clearance policy.

  258. Avatar

    Not sure if my previous post went through. If it did, please have this one deleted and I apologize.

    Thank you Mr. Henderson for your prompt answer. I live in the UK because my wife is British and we decided to stay here. I have my Indefinite Leave to Remain and have stopped short of applying for Citizenship.

    I’m not going to write all I wrote in my previous post because it might show up…but I am curious. If I were to get rid of all the debt by dipping into our savings right now, before joining the Army a year or two down the line, would the problem be seen in the same light to an adjudicator? Or would the conduct outweigh the action to remedy the problem?

    Thank you!

  259. Avatar

    Any action you take to pay off your debts will improve your chances of getting a clearance. If you pay off the debts before you apply for a clearance, it will further improve your chances of getting a clearance. The adjudicators try to predict future conduct based on past conduct, so if you can show that you have changed (i.e. become more responsible)and that you will not repeat the same mistakes in the future, it will make a big difference.

    Because you have a spouse who is not a US citizen, in order to get SCI you will require a waiver. There are no written guidelines for waivers. It just depends on the needs of the govt agency and their assessment of the risks involved.

  260. Avatar

    Hi Mr. Henderson,

    Again, thank you for the prompt response and sharing your insight and answering my questions.

    I’ve begun the process of transferring the money owed so that my family back in the States can pay these two debts on my behalf. Hopefully it’ll help down the line.

    As for the issue of my wife being British I found out about the waiver earlier in my research. I believe for the Army I will have to get a waiver from the CO of the Army Central Personnel Security Clearance Facility. I’m hoping since my wife, nor her family, have no criminal records here in the UK, nor work for the Government, or have ever been in the military, that it won’t be a difficult process. But again, just one of those things I’ll have to wait and see about.

    Again, thank you so much for all the great information, I really appreciate it.

  261. Avatar

    I currently have job offers with companies that are in the defense industry. All of them require me to get a security clearance. After some research, I realized I am not eligible for top secret clearance due to the fact my long-term girlfriend is not a US citizen or a greencard holder. We were actually planning on getting married this year and apply for spouse sponsorship. I was wondering if I am eligible for ordinary secret clearance or confidential secret clearance. Will my girlfriend’s status affect my chance to get clearance. Thank you.

  262. Avatar

    You have reached an incorrect conclusion from your research.

    There is a prohibition against having a non-US citizen spouse, cohabitant, or immediate family member for SCI eligibility, but not for collateral clearances. Foreign influence is a consideration for collateral clearances, but the foreign influence of a non-US citizen spouse, cohabitant or immediate family member would be evaluated based on a number of different factors.

    The adjudicative criteria for confidential, secret, and top secret collateral clearances are exactly the same, only the investigations are different.

    You didn’t say if your fiancee is in the US. I hope your situation isn’t futher complicated by any violation of US law.

  263. Avatar

    Hi! Mr. Henderson,
    I applied for a DOD secret clearance last August. It is still in Interim stage currently; however, I am going to start another job soon which requires public trust investigation. While filing my public trust investigation form, SF85P, I realized that I omitted a one month job I had 4 years ago in the previous SP85P form submitted for the secret clearance. If I include the omitted working experience in the new SF85P form, is it going to have negative impact on my investigation just because this discrepancy between the two SP85P forms?

  264. Avatar

    I left the cleared world in May of 2007 and was told that my clearance would be ‘active’ for 2 years from that date (2 years from my last date of access). In reviewing some dates, I noted that my BI/poly run their 5 year term in 7/2008. Will my clearance still be active until 5/09 or will this be trumped by the fact that my BI/Poly run their 5 year course in 7/08?

  265. Avatar

    No, it should not have a negative effect. You may be questioned about the discrepancy, but it won’t be a problem as long as it was an inadvertent omission. Over 80% of the military SF86s for TS/SCI clearances that I reviewed failed to list all relevant education, residences and employment. Consequently more than half of the time involved in conducting a Personal Subject Interview is spent gathering this unlisted information and correcting dates.

  266. Avatar


    Your clearance stopped being active when you left your job. Your clearance is now “current.” In 7/08 your clearance will be “expired” so after that you will not be able to have it reinstated, except that there is a two-year window (between the 5-year and 7-year anniversary of your last SSBI or SSBI-PR) during which your clearance can be reinstated provided you submit an SF86 for an SSBI-PR. So, between 7/08 and 5/09 you can have it reinstated as soon as you submit an acceptable SF86.

    Polygraphs are program specific, so I can’t comment on their “reinstateability.”

  267. Avatar

    Thanks William. Looks like the cleanest path would be to get back on contract before July of 08. Thanks again.

  268. Avatar

    ****** Someone please help me *********

    I have a current active DoD Secret.
    My new job requires Top Secret with Compartments.

    The Investigation is done.
    The Agency came back asking for “Justification of
    critical need” to the Program. My manager wrote a 2
    page letter of critical need but the security officer
    at my company says that he’s never seen a TS go through
    after a request for explanation of critical need has
    been made. The Agency is doing the investigation is
    either NRO or NSA. No one has told me who it is but
    this is a safe guess on my part.

    If they deny my TS, I will then loose my Secret and
    never be able to work in Defense again. If I withdraw
    from the process I will be fired from my job.

    Now for my question:

    If I withdraw now, can I at least save my secret clearance or am I past the point of no return?

    I was told that all agencies share records now and
    that if I withdraw now, my official record will be
    coded such that any other Agencies which attempt to
    reactivate my Secret will see that the process was stopped. It was suggested to me that if I tried to re-activate my secret with a DoD position that DoD will see this coding from the NRO or NSA investigation and then request the investigation records before allowing the reactivation to occur. Is this true?

    If there is any way to save my Secret at this point??
    I want to do so before the official ruling comes out which will 99% likely be a denial. If I can at least
    save my Secret I will be far better off.

    Thanks So much and please keep replying to my topic as
    I may have more questions.. I am running out of time!

  269. Avatar

    There is something you didn’t mention. Why do you need a “justification for critical need?” It seems that this should only concern SCI eligibility, because such a justification is usually only required when an applicant needs a waiver for the US citizenship requirement for family members or very close friends. The waiver is based on a “Statement of Compelling Need” under DCID 6/4. If you are denied SCI eligibility, your investigation will be adjudicated again for the collateral TS clearance if a TS clearance by itself needed. For collateral clearances a different standard is used for foreign influence. Denial of SCI does not automatically result in the denial of a collateral clearance. Before I can give you any meaningful advice, I need to know why you need justification for critical/compelling need.

  270. Avatar


    I am in the process of a re-submittal of SF-86, I recently held a TS/SCI Clearance during my 22 year military career. My question is how do I account for names, addresses and phone#’s of personnel who have since transferred or retired from active duty. I don’t keep in touch with those personnel at last duty station. I am not the anti-social type, just work and home type person so therefore I really don’t have a social life.

  271. Avatar

    The only military people you have to list on your SF86 are your former supervisors–list their names plus the unit address and unit phone number where they were assigned at the time. It’s the investigators job to track them down. If your SF86 is for an SSBI-PR, then you only need to go back 7 years. If you don’t remember phone numbers, plug the field with any number and explain in the comment section that you don’t remember the number and the number listed is not correct. For address you can use the unit ID and installation; that should be enough.

  272. Avatar

    My husband has a TS – I don’t know anything else about it except that he is under the impression that any sort of mental health, and possibly even marital, counseling would cause him to lose his job. However, *I* think I need to talk to my doctor about an rX for antidepressants (for me). Since our health insurance is through his employer, would I put his job and clearance in jeopardy if I seek mental health advice/medication?

  273. Avatar


    I currently have a Top Secret clearance and I am up for my Periodic Reinvestigation. Of course, things have changed in my life over the past 5 years. My boyfriend currently lives with me—and he has been out of work for awhile. As a result, his credit is terrible…he even had to turn his car in because he couldn’t pay for it. My credit is great and I have no other issues.
    When I filled out my application the other day, I added him as someone who lives with me and DISCO responded back that my app was incomplete because they needed his Social Security Number. So, my question is: how much can his bad credit affect me in this process?
    On a lighter note—he is starting a part time job in a few days, so he will be able to start paying his bills again.

    ANy help you could provide would be much appreciated.

  274. Avatar


    Marital counseling is never a reason for denying/revoking a security clearance, unless one of the cleared spouse has a problem with being physically violent. But even then it’s generally not a big problem, if they are getting treatment. If you look at the clearance application form (SF86) you will see a general except for marital, grief, and family counseling.

    “Psychological Conditions” is the 2nd least frequent reason for clearance denial out of 13 reasons. The least frequent reason is “Allegiance to the United States,” which is never cited as a reason, because people go to prison for this one and never get to the stage of being adjudicated for a clearance.

    Mental health problems for one spouse would not have a negative effect on the other spouse’s security clearance, unless the cleared spouse was easily influenced to do something criminal or outrageous by an insane spouse.

    The Department of Defense is trying to get the mental health question removed from the clearance application form.

  275. Avatar

    I currently have excellent credit, however, about 10 years ago I lost my job, had a child with emotional and drug issues, and had to accept a much lower paying position. I had 7 charge offs that are no longer on my credit report. I paid creditors that would work with me. I could not pay those that would not work out payment arrangements. My question is, if I apply for a security clearance related position, must I list those charge offs that are no longer on my credit report? I was not sued and have no adverse public records. I was denied a clearance after adjudication in 2002 because of the delinquencies that are no longer a matter of record.

  276. Avatar

    As long as your cohabitant’s bad debt does not show up on your credit report, there should be no problem. An SSBI-PR includes a NAC on a cohabitant (hence the need for the SSN), but it does not include a credit report on the cohabitant. However, you will be asked questions about him during your Subject Interview. Be prepared to explain his financial situation, if asked.

  277. Avatar

    The SF86 only asks for financial information going back 7 years. However, for people who were previously denied a security clearance, they can ask for detailed information about the previous clearance denial. Answer the questions on the SF86 accurately and honestly. If they want more, they will request it.

  278. Avatar

    I’ve held a TS since 2002 working as a DoD contractor, but move to a job that required an SCI as a DA Civilian. While at this job I waited for the SCI and was not able to get an interim TS/SCI or compelling need granted – the job was in a SCIF and they needed me to work, so I worked in an unclear area for the most part, even though I had a TS. Within the two years I was there, my investigation was conducted, closed and sent to an adjudicator. After two years, I moved to another state to another DA Civilian job that doesn’t require a TS or TS/SCI, but the security manager did not downgrade me. From what I was told by the losing security folks, the request doesn’t just stop because I moved. Today I received notification from the unit security office that I had a letter and have to go see the main security folks, but the person had to go with me and couldn’t go until about 3 days. What does this mean? Is my entire clearance being revoked? Is this a letter of intent to revoke or deny SCI or request to provide more information? When I asked was it bad, I was told “not necessarily.” Why would I get a letter that needs the unit security person to go with me? I was not told of what kind of letter it was just a letter. Can you shed some light on letters to applicants for SCI? Why can’t they just be delivered to the person via mail (certified perhaps) or just a quick run to the security office? Thanks for any help.

  279. Avatar

    A Central Adjudication Facility can issue a letter called a “Written Interrogatory” when they need more info from an applicant. They can also issue a “Letter of Intent” to deny/revoke a clearance or SCI. It is normal to have the applicant sign for these types of letters at the applicant’s security office, so they know the exact date the letter was received, because these letters usually have suspense dates for a reply/rebuttal. I don’t know why your local security officer would have to go with you. Perhaps it’s just their local procedure.

  280. Avatar

    Hi. Thanks for doing this. It really helps people like me who are freaking out about this.

    I had a Secret clearance for my MOS when I enlisted in the USMC in 1999. In Jan 2004, I got a DUI off-base because I called the cops to report an accident after I had run off the road. The charges were later dismissed. I informed my command, submitted to an alcohol-dependency screening per their procedure and was told that I was not alcohol-dependent. That was my only felony charge. The only other offense I have is one recent speeding ticket (84 in a 70). I have no foreign influence, drug use, missed payments, etc. Since 2004, I’ve left the USMC, about to get an engineering degree, stayed out of trouble, and I just got hired by a defense contractor. I need a TS clearance at some point, but I’m worried about the DUI charge for a couple reasons. First, I never entered an alcohol dependency program b/c the USMC said I wasn’t an alcoholic (and I don’t think I am). Also, I still drink… I’m just more responsible about it. Basically, I made a huge mistake in 2004 that I won’t repeat again, but I’m afraid it’ll look bad because I didn’t quit drinking or enter AA.

  281. Avatar

    Continued responsible use of alcohol after a single alcohol-related incident is not a security issue. Not completing alcohol counseling following an alcohol-related incident, unless required by competent authority, is also not a security issue. Since neither the civilian court nor the USMC required it, it is not a concern. Absent any aggravating or complicating factors, a 4-year old DUI charge without any subsequent alcohol-related incident, will probably be considered fully mitigated by passage of time.

    I’m surprised that your DUI was charged as a felony. DUIs are usually charged as a misdemeanor unless there was injury to another person, it was the 2nd or 3rd offense, etc.

    A single traffic infraction is not a security issue and doesn’t have to be listed on a clearance application unless the fine was more than $150.

    I don’t think you have anything to be concerned about for a final clearance. There is a possibility that you might not be granted an interim clearance, but that doesn’t mean that your final clearance will not be granted.

  282. Avatar


    Myself and some of the other regular contributors to this blog do our best to answer questions about security clearances, but this blog has multiple threads and sometimes it’s easy to miss questions that buried back in one of the earlier threads like this one. For the fastest and broadest response to your questions, I recommend using the “Home” button at the top right corner of this thread to get to the most recent page of this blog and find the best thread to post your questions.

  283. Avatar

    I’m filling out and SF86 for a Clearance, 22 years ago I had a felony which was dropped to a misdemeanor. Do I report this?

  284. Avatar

    I am an army DOD employee 49 years old. I must maintain a secret clearance for my field of work.

    I recently was arrested for Public Intox (misdemeanor). The prosecution agreed to dismiss all charges if I attended 10 AA meetings, which I did. All I have is the arrest record. When I was 18 I had convictions for Public Intox and Illegal Possesion of Alcohol.

    I will need to submit another security app in 3.5 years for another periodic investigation. Can I wait until then to disclose or should disclose now?