Obtaining Security Clearance

Interim Clearances for Industry

Contractors who apply for jobs that require a security clearance and don’t already have one may be eligible for an interim clearance while the background investigation is in progress. Depending on the agency for whom the work is being done, interim clearances can be granted at both the Secret and Top Secret level. Here is how it works:

– Applicant submits fingerprints and the SF-86 application through e-QIP to the initiating company official

– Company FSO reviews the application for completeness and releases it through JPAS to the Personnel Security Management Office for Industry (PSMO-I) for review. PSMO-I will also review the criminal history results that come back on the FBI fingerprint check.

– If there are no issues the e-QIP application is submitted to the investigating agency and interim clearance eligibility is granted. This can usually be processed in as little as 5 days after completion of thh e-QIP. However, if there are issues that outweigh the risk to the Government then an interim is denied and the applicant will have to wait until the investigation is completed and favorably adjudicated before being granted a clearance.

What are some of the issues that may prevent being granted an interim during the initial review phase? A history of financial issues, psychological or mental health issues, foreign preference, criminal conduct, alcohol abuse, and illegal drug use (under federal guidelines). The PSMO-I Adjudicator will take into consideration how recent the issues are, the circumstances, if known, and other factors and apply them as mitigation. This is why it is important for applicants to provide a detailed explanation and as much information as possible on the form to help the adjudicator understand the who, what, why, where, when and how and enable them to make an informed decision.