Background InvestigationsSecurity Clearance Process

Tips to Ensure Your Security Clearance Application is Processed Expeditiously

Most security clearance applications that are rejected by the Defense Industrial Security Clearance Office (DISCO) and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) are due to missing or incomplete information. Applicants can help expedite the clearance process by ensuring their application is filled out completely and accurately with current phone numbers, addresses, and contacts.  If you have lived and worked overseas you should list references that are located in the United States who can verify the overseas activities. All employment, whether part-time or volunteering, and periods of unemployment are required to be listed.  All educational institutes attended within the scope of the question are required to be listed; if none then the last degree awarded should be listed.

Pay special attention to making sure you obtain and provide the requested information for a spouse, co-habitant, ex-spouse, relatives, and any foreign contacts.  Other areas that cause clearance application rejections are: incomplete financial delinquency information; lack of explanation for change in employment or termination; insufficient details regarding illegal drug use or alcohol abuse; missing education information; insufficient details regarding a criminal arrest; missing selective service registration information; and discrepant military service type and dates.

Providing complete and accurate information the first time takes the guesswork by the personnel processing your application out of the equation (which is greatly appreciated), and ensures your security clearance application gets processed in a timely manner. It is also advised that you keep copies of all investigative materials submitted in case you need to refer back to them at a later date.

Comment Archive

  1. Avatar

    Good day,

    I am a veteran looking for someone here in the San Diego, CA area that can assist me in re-establishing my Secret security clearance to be more competitive for employment opportunities. Right now it is expired and I wish to get it reinstated.
    Do you if there is POC you know of in which I can speak with and get this process started?

    Thank you in advance.
    Have a good day.
    Best Wishes.

    ~Colin Hinds

    • Avatar

      Unfortunately, in order to get your clearance reinstated you have to have been offered or are already working in a position that requires it. Otherwise, everyone would be asking for a clearance in order to make themselves a more attractive choice. The best you can do is put on your resume` that you previously held a security clearance.

  2. Avatar

    I was recently offered a tentative job as a nuclear engineer at Pearl Harbor. I filled out all the information thoroughly for a security clearance, but was told today that I did not get an interim clearance. I have asked why, but have not been given a reason. I will need a security clearance in order to work as a nuclear engineer. How can I determine why I was rejected? I have lived a simple, quiet life, so I find this denial puzzling. How can I rebut or fight this rejection?

    • Avatar

      There is no due process requirement to an interim clearance as it is totally up to the granting agency whether to allow access before the background investigation is completed. Some agencies cannot grant an interim clearance and appoint someone to certain positions (e.g., Top Secret) in accordance with their own policies. That being said, they should have informed you up front if this was the case. You need to ask if the full background investigation is still in progress and what the status of it is. Once it is completed they have two options: grant your clearance or issue a letter with a statement of reasons as to why not.

  3. Avatar

    I have to renew my clearance my spouse is awol will that come up

    • Avatar

      Depends on your level of clearance, and her status: military, civil servant, etc… You should report this to your FSO just to make sure it does not seem like you were trying to hide it if it does come up.