Obtaining Security Clearance

Yearlong Wait for Security Clearance

Only a year? See security clearance. I know a lot of job seekers that would be very happy with only a year wait. The average time we’ve recorded over the past 12 months to obtain a clearance from beginning the final award is 14-18 months. What about you?

Comment Archive

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    I’m 20 months in for an SCI and I just found out a month ago from my FSO that I’m on a “short notice” list for a THIRD polygraph! I guess the previous two 3-hour sessions that I went through 6 months ago weren’t quite enough for them to adjudicate on.

    There are also several others at my company who have been waiting longer.

    A year wait? You’re breakin’ my heart…

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    Ha! What a joke. I applied for my clearance exactly one year ago yesterday. Still waiting. Bueller?? Anyone? Anyone??

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    It took 15 months for me to get a Secret clearance, and I only found out because I finally asked if it was finished. Things don’t seem to be getting better at all.

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    I received a Secret clearance from DHS; it took 4-5 months for the whole process (which was carried out primarily by OPM).

    I was recently upgraded to TS/SCI. It took (amazingly) 1.5 months. I think this speed had to do with a number of factors: (1) I already had a Secret-level clearance. (2) The SSBI investigation was carried out by Kroll, a private-sector firm that presumably is more efficient than the OPM. (3) DHS said they would expedite the process.

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    I recently received the PR on my TS/SCI. It took almost exactly one year from the day it was submitted. At the time my SSO submitted the PR, I was still on active duty and deployed to Iraq, which I’m told may have expedited the process. Again, this was a PR, not an initial clearance adjudication.

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    I have worked as a contract special investigator for a company who I will not name for 4 years. Unfortunately there are times when we get word from OPM that we have to stop working on the cases we currently have because there are newer cases that have more priority. I have also discovered contractors who need clearances are not as high priority as government employees. There are always exceptions though. I currently have 25 cases I am working on. Depending on the experience of the investigator their case load can range from 10 cases to 30 cases.

    Also as a little tip never ask your background investigator how long your security clearance process will take. He/she has no clue. There are many factors that can delay a case both on the fieldwork side as well during the adjudication process. From my experience the more places an individual seeking a security clearance lives or works the longer the field work takes especially if the individual has lived or worked in various states.

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    Well, what you said about contractors taking a back seat to govt employees makes sense and I thought that might be the case.

    My background is done and I am currently in limbo between poly and clearance. I’ve lived in different states and one foreign country- would any of THAT affect me at this point, even with the background check ostensibly over?

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    I really can not say if the factors you mentioned would affect your clearance at the point you are at now. For the most part each agency has their own adjudicators and security officers who determine if a clearance should be granted from the information received from the background investigation.

    Ideally coverage for overseas residences or employments is usually covered by someone who is stateside that can verify your time overseas. This is not always the case. Also depending where you lived overseas and for what reason is a factor that most likely will be looked at.

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    Obtained S in 2004 via DoS. Took about 5 months.

    Obtained S again in 2005 via DoS. Took about 3 months.

    Have been waiting for TS/SCI via OPM now for 9 months. My security officer says I have Interim TS for the time being, but Interim TS is meaningless. Also, it has been 9 months and I have yet to be contacted by the background investigator(s). I have yet to be interviewed; same with my references. I find it a little strange that I haven’t heard a word in 9 months, whereas my colleague got interviewed within a couple of weeks of his submission of the paperwork for TS/SCI. I heard that some investigators will do the interviews at the end while others do it at the beginning. Is this true?

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    Face – Not surprised you haven’t heard anything in 9 months. I’d start worrying at 12. Give it a bit more time. The average wait in the “real world” for a TS/SCI is 12-14 months.

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    Don’t be suprised if none of your references ever hear from an investigator. The references you listed on your
    SF 86 are a last resort. A good background investigator is able to find people to interview who you did not list anywhere on your case papers.
    As for why it has been 9 months is tough to say. My first thought was because you already have had a secret clearance twice your case is not a top priority. Yet, when you mentioned that your colleague got interviewed a few weeks after submitting his paperwork that thought went out the window.
    As admin said wait until the 12 to 14 month mark and then contact your security officer to let him/her know.
    Until then you will have to wait unfortunately. The government is like that: hurry up then wait.

  12. Avatar

    Other than differences in personal history, there are two general reasons some investigations at OPM take longer than others.

    1. Level of service requested (either standard, accelerated, or priority).
    2. When the request was submitted.

    Initial suspense dates for field work on priority cases are only about three weeks from the date the cases were opened.

    Cases opened on or after 1 Oct 06 are worked ahead of cases opened before 1 Oct 06. Because of the lag time between case submission and case opening, it’s hard to know if a case was opened before or after 1 Oct 06 for those cases submitted between Jul 06 and late September 2006. If your case control number starts with 07xxxxxx, your case opened on or after 1 Oct 06.

    The reason OPM emphasizes cases opened after 1 Oct 06 is because these are the cases OPM and OMB currently use when calculating their compliance with Title III of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act.

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    I hope you or anyone reading this, can answer this question for me. I’m married to a foreign national awaiting an FNW. I was told by someone that already has a clearance that I might not be able to get my clearance because of that. She’s a German citizen, but her family is originally form Turkey.

    As a seperate question, would my spouse make it even harder for me to get a civilian job. I’m sure it will limit the jobs that come my way, but will it really keep me out the loop with things or are people giving me bad information. Thanks

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    To Clearify I’m awaiting the FNW not my spouse

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    Thanks admin, Investigator and William H. Your words were helpful.

    The fact that OPM prioritizes FY07 cases because they will have a better chance to look good is really disturbing. Unfortunately, I think my case was opened in August 06, just at the end of FY06. In that sense, the Intelligence reform act is counterproductive–for my case at least.

    Unfortunately, my case was probably submitted as “standard” because the contractor I work for handled it. Although the job I perform is critical to the functioning of my office (which is a part of INR), my contractor status I think served as a hindrance to a speedy clearance process. The first 2 clearances I got were through Diplomatic Security, not OPM, and it’s no wonder why they were so quick. If I were hird as a Civil Service employee in INR, they probably could have put in for priority or accelerated.

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    What is an FNW and who issues it?

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    William H.

    An FNW is a foreign national waiver. It’s required for anyone working at the NSA that has family that are from another country, and that you have regular contact with.

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    If I understand the first part of your post properly, my response is yes. If NSA doesn’t give you a waiver, they’re not going to continue processing you for a clearance. There is a certain amount of pre-nomination screening required for TS/SCI clearances, and apparently in the case of NSA for employment/clearance purposes, because just about everyone there needs a TS/SCI. My best guess is that the waiver is part of the pre-nomination process, similar to drug waivers needed for people wanting to enlist in the military for positions that require certain clearances.

    I’ve never heard of an FNW, but I’ve never worked for NSA. I have done a lot of investigations on people who worked at NSA, but they were all military. It is my understanding that NSA does its own investigations on NSA civilians and uses its own contractors to investigate NSA applicants.

    There is no requirement in DoD for a “foreign national waiver” for a collateral security clearance. There are way too many SAPs and SCI compartments to make any general statements about them.

    Having a foreign national spouse with close relative(s) in a foreign country can be a security issue for collateral clearances and even more so for special access authorizations. But the security issue can be anywhere from very minor to very serious depending on the circumstances, such as countries involved, occupation/employer of the foreign relative(s), spouse’s intent to become a US citizen, financial obligation to or dependence on foreign relatives, nature and frequency of contact, applicant’s and spouse’s financial assets outside the US as a percentage of their net worth, etc.

    I’ve seen numerous situations where military crypto-linguists have married foreign nationals (Koreans and Germans, mostly). What normally happens is their access/clearance is immediately suspended and they are reassigned to non-sensitive duties until a National Agency Check on the spouse can be completed. If there are no problems with the NAC, their access/clearance is reinstated and they go back to their former jobs. This usually takes a few months. Of course in these situations the government has already made a substantial investment in the serviceman’s training and the serviceman already had a TS/SCI.

    Looking at the Adjudicative Guidelines and examples of clearance decisions will give you an idea of how collateral clearances are decided, but the standards for special access authorizations and particularly pre-nomination screening can be significantly different.

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    I just found out that my TS with DOS had been denied because my wife is a foreign national (British) and works with the British government.

    I had already had two previous TS with DOS and my wife was with the British govt. then.

    DOS never notified me of the reason for denial, nor did they offer an appeal. I had to find out via the FOIA why i got denied which took a year. We have now gone back and asked for a S.

    DOS has said that they have to restart the process even though the investigation for the TS is only a year old. So they will go back and talk to the same people….

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    Responding to an earlier post by ‘Anonymous’ — I was recently able to get TS/SCI with DHS in about 8 months from the time I submitted by SF-86. I thought 8 months felt like a long time, but apparently I am on of the “lucky ones”.

  21. Avatar

    In July 2006 I accepted a contract position with Customs and Border Protection pending the granting of a Public Trust Security Clearance. I was told that as a contractor, my background investigation would be treated with a lesser priority than those who work directly for the government.

    In October 2006, I was told my background investigation papers were submitted to CBP Internal Affairs. In December 2006, I was informed that I had been placed into a “delay” status. No explanation was provided. My credit is good and my background isn’t something I consider complex (no criminal record, no foreign influences, only lived in two places, etc.).

    In January 2007, I was contacted by a ChoicePoint contract investigator. She told me that she was told my investigation was her highest priority. When I asked why I was in a “delay” status, the investigator had no idea I was in “delay” in the first place. She said I would have to check with CBP or OPM since one of them probably placed me in “delay”. The investigator concluded her work in February 2007 and submitted her final report to her company. I presume her company has since submitted the report to OPM.

    It is now June 2007 and I still remain in a “delay” status with no explanation. I have no idea what is going on at all and neither does the contracting firm that interfaces with CBP. I don’t understand how I can continue to be in a “delay” status when the lead investigator completed her final report months ago.

    If anyone has any insight or ideas about my situation (aside from “just continue to wait”), I would appreciate the feedback. I would just like to know what my true status is and why I continue to be in “delay”. Also, from what point do I start counting my 12 to 14 months?


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    I’m a security consultant to the Federal Government for a private consulting company. I already had a Moderate Public Trust, but when I left the government to go private sector, I was told I needed a TS. Paperwork was started the first week of March 2006 and I was given an Interim Secret in a few days. I still have yet to hear anything and it’s now June 2007. None of the people I put down as references have been contacted by an investigator. I don’t even think it has even started. We’re talking 15 months and nothing.

    Any suggestions?


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    I recently seperated from the Army and since I have been working as a contractor for the NSA as an admin research assistant. I hold a TS/SCI w/a full scope lifestyle poly. I would like to work as a background investigator, but can’t seem to get my foot in the door. The special investigator who completed my own PR assured me that most agencies were in desperate need of candidates with backgrounds and clearances like my own. Any advice?

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    Are the investigators that work on national security investigations cleared themselves?

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    This is in response to your question about ADMINISTRATIVE UPGRADES/DOWNGRADES OF CLEARANCES.

    All positions in the Department of Defense (and probably all executive branch departments) are designated as either critical sensitive, non-critical sensitive, or non-sensitive. The sensitivity of the position (not the security clearance) determines the type of security investigation required. It just so happens that almost all critical sensitive positions entail access to Top Secret information, and almost all non-critical sensitive positions entail access to Secret or Confidential information. As examples of the exception to this rule, all DoD investigators occupy critical sensitive positions, but most of them rarely require Top Secret clearances. This also applies to some fiduciary and ADP positions. All positions requiring access to Top Secret information are critical sensitive, but not all critical sensitive positions require access to Top Secret information.

    All personnel in critical sensitive positions must have a favorably adjudicated SSBI. All personnel in non-critical sensitive positions must a favorably adjudicated NACLC or ANACI. Once their investigation has been favorably adjudicated, they are granted the level of security clearance they need to do their jobs, as indicated on the request for the investigation. A person with a favorably adjudicated SSBI, who is initially granted a Secret clearance, does not have to have the investigation readjudicated for a Top Secret clearance. The Secret clearance can be administratively upgraded to TS.

    It is DoD policy to limit the number and level of security clearances to the minimum consistent with operational efficiency. However, there is no enforcement and therefore little or no compliance with this policy. Ideally, when an engineer finishes working on a Top Secret project and is reassigned to work on a Secret project, his clearance should be administratively downgraded from Top Secret to Secret. If his is later assigned to another Top Secret project, his clearance can be administratively upgraded to Top Secret. As long as the engineer occupies a critical sensitive position (regardless of clearance level) he/she will continue to be subject to period reinvestigations (SSBI-PR) at five-year intervals and remain eligible to have his/her clearance administratively upgraded.

    Sorry for the long-winded, pedantic response.

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    Hi guys. I’m fresh out of college with an engineering degree. I applied for a government job around October 2006. I went through the interviews, the medical check up, and the polygraphs in December 2006. My background was started in February 2007. My investigator told me he submitted my report around early March so I assumed that his portion was finished. I figured they were moving rather quickly in order to complete my papers so I could be cleared by graduation in May 2007. When I asked them around April, I was told that I was in the last portion of the process where they look at all the info they received and make a decision. They also said there was a mandatory 60 days wait after the BI was done. Is that true? How long can the last step take? I’ve been waiting for a while and I’m getting nervous. There isn’t much background on me since I’m only 22 and I have only lived in one state. I just want to know i have a job already. Has anyone else gone through this straight out of college? If so, how long did it take?

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    CollegeGrad – If your background investigation was started in February 2007, other recent posts on this blog would suggest you wouldn’t get clearance award until November 2007 at the earliest.

    Being young and not having moved around will help speed up the investigation. Good luck.

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    How do I find out if My security clearance is processed or not yet? Few months back got calls from invetigators and they investigated friends and work place etc. After that have not heared anything from anyone.

    How I can check the status of the process now?

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    Hi All,
    Can anyone tell me what this means?

    “Your BI investigation has been recently completed and you have been cleared.”

    This is the message I got in response to status for my investigations. Thanks.

  30. Avatar

    I am a college student, 22 years of age and I got offered a position from a DOD contractor in May of 2007. As of today, I have submitted all e-qip documents, and released fingerprint cards to OPM. I was told from the contractor that once I attain an interim security clearance, I would be able to start working. I’ve seen in previous posts that many were success in getting interim security clearance. In general, how long does it take to get an interim Secret clearance? My e-qip background has no discrepancies and good references… Anyone have an idea?

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    What happens if you change jobs from the company that initiated a security clearance request before you are granted the security clearance?

    It has been 8 months since I completed my e-QIP and apparently my security clearance has been in the Adjudication phase since March 2007.

    Would my security clearance investigation be cancelled if I were to quit my job and work for another company that does not require a security clearance?

    Thank you in advance for any information that you can provide.

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    Contractor – If you left the contracting company before your clearance was adjudicated, it would most likely be dropped wherever it currently sat in the process. Your current employer’s Facility Security Officer is required to tell OPM that you left the company.

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    An interim Secret clearance from DISCO can take from two weeks to three months, provided your application is error free and there is no unfavorable information or foreign connections listed in your SF86. The amount of time depends on how long it takes your FSO to submit the application and how many other applications are pending action at DISCO at the time.

    You will only be considered for an interim Secret clearance, if you were submitted for a Secret clearance. If you were submitted for a Top Secret clearance, you will only be considered for an interim Top Secret Clearance, which takes a few months longer.

    Good luck.

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    Hi everybody. I have some good news for a change to add to this blog. Check it out:

    Oct 2006 – Recieved conditional offer of employment
    Nov 2006 – Sent in all paper including security paperwork
    Dec 2006 – Completed Medical and polygraph exams
    Feb 2007 – Background investigation started
    March 2007 – Background completed
    June 2007 – Final follow up casework and clearance work done
    July 2007 – Cleared for work and granted TS clearance

    I seems that it took about 9 months total for me to get my TS clearance but i got it. I alot of people would say that I am one of the lucky ones. Well the paperwork said the clearance usually takes 6 to 9 months….. right the dot i guess. The longest step was between the background investigation to the final decision. I was straight out of college though with only minor travel, movings and other things to check out. They say it helps the younger and less things you have on record. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

    My clearance is as a federal worker. Most of my other friends went the contractor route and had received their clearances a few weeks before me and I was becoming worried. Im not sure what level they were and i assumed mine was a little more sensitive. I think it takes a little longer for direct government employement. My only advice to newcomers is that if you dont know whats going on without your process, call your contacts and check it out. They at least owe you a vague description of where u are.

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    I have been told that my file was submitted to Adjudication June 2007. Does anyone know how long adjudication takes?


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    For investigations completed by OPM (90% of all clearance investigations), the average adjudication time is 39 days plus about 14 days to transfer the case papers from OPM to the requestor’s Central Adjudication Facility for a total of 53 days. This data based on cases adjudicated between 1 Oct 06 and 11 Feb 07 and cited in The Security Clearance Oversight Group’s report to congress in February 2007. A copy of this report is available at https://www.state.gov/m/ds/clearances/60321.htm

    There is no data available for investigations conducted and adjudicated by the Intelligence Community.

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    Hi. After a very long process I have been told that the adjudication of my clearance to work with DHS/CIS is nearly finished. However, I don’t have much hope of being cleared due to being overseas for a long period of time. There were two other applicants in a similar situation and I’m told their clearances were denied. So, does anyone here have experience with the appeal process? If so, can anyone recommend a good lawyer? Any other advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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    This is an additional question to contractor’s from 7/17. If you leave a company after you recieve your clearance, would that clearance follow you to your next job?

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    Strictly speaking no, because your clearance is terminated the moment you terminate the employment that required the clearance. But as a practical matter, YES, under certain circumstances.

    Your previously granted collateral clearance could be reinstated almost immediately at your next job if the new position requires the same level of collateral clearance from the same clearance granting authority.

    If there are two different collateral clearance granting authorities involved, or if your clearance includes a SAP or SCI access, things become a little more complicated.

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    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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    I have been in adjudication for a TS clearance for an intelligence community college summer internship since February 2007. I was supposed to work this summer but clearly the process has taken longer than expected…how much longer can adjudication possibly take? Also, is it possible to start a clearance process with an agency when you are in adjudication with a second agency?

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    Dave – You may yet have a few more months to go. Not sure about starting a job with another agency. Does your security officer have any indications of when the clearance might come through, or are you completely in the dark?

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    Adam DoD – No I’m completely in the dark about the clearance, all I keep hearing is that the average adjudication time is “3-5 months” and beyond that my s.o. has no information.

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    In an earlier post I stated that there were no data available regarding the intelligence community. I was wrong. The SCOG report at page 5 states, “For the Intelligence Community, 83% of all investigations and adjudications completed in FY 06 and the 1st quarter of FY07 were completed in an average of 103 days (investigation and adjudication time combined).”

    It seems to me that your “adjudication” is complicated by the fact that it involves both a security clearance determination and an employment decision.

    Regarding your question about transferrability of investigations–according to Title III of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act at section 3001, paragraph (d)(2), “All security clearance background investigations initiated by an authorized investigative agency shall be transferable to any other authorized investigative agency.

    Hope this helps.

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    Mr. Henderson – Thank you very much for that information, it certainly helps me.

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    Thanks in advance for this informative site
    1) Do they drug test for Secret Clearances? or any clearance level for that matter? I have never been charged with drug possession but with paraphenelia.

    2) Does being charge with paraphenelia automatically assume drug use?

    3) Why would Disco/OPM issue an interim Secret clearance (which is pretty much the same as Secret) to individuals and then later revoke it due to recent unfavorable information. The individual has already access the classified info which could later be compromised.

    4) What is involved with an interim clearance? Seems to me any Joe Schmuck can get a clearance until unfavorable information is later revealed.

    Thanks again,

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    Hello. I was denied a clearance in 2005 and rectified the problem the same year. I have a reconsideration pending from Feb 2007. At the same time I’ve started a new position and they tried to request an interim and it was denied. Therefore now they are proposing termination. Is there anything I can do at this point? They are not willing to request an expedite for duty determination either. Also they feel as if I wasn’t truthful during my interview. What they asked me was did I see any problem with me obtaining a clearance. I said no because I had rectified the problem. Any suggestions or guidance at this point?

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    Between the years 1990 and 1994 I took too many deductions , 11, as opposed to 1, I’m single, on my Federal tax forms. In 1997 the IRS placed a lien on my bank account (only because they said they could not physically locate me or knew where I lived). I meet with the IRS and made a payment arrangement with them. We were talking about 14,000.00 after penalities and interest accrud after and for those years. I paid about 25,000 total. Since then I was put on hardship by IRS due to unemployment. this happend two times. I’m on it now and have been for 1 years or more now. But I am working. However, I was denied an FBI clearance because of the outstanding IRS debt, least I am assuming that is why. The IRS bill has accured to 30,000.00 now. You see this is all based on 14,000.00. So I’m paying 4 times what I owed. I have not heard from the IRS in 3 years about the rest of the payment. Is this over or do I still have to pay this debt. I heard something about if they (IRS) don’t demand payment after 3 years they can’t clooect), is this so? Am I fre of this debt and what should I do to get this off of my back? can I get an attorney to help me settle this and pay something or nothing to close this? My county records still shows this lien placed in 1997 and they said they can’t take it off until they hear from IRS. Does it stay on my credit report and county records forever? Help me…

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    Thought I would update folks on my situation (see posts above):

    It’s now been 1 year (and 2 weeks) officially since I was granted Interim TS (August 4, 2006). I still havne’t been contacted by any investigator, nor have my references, family members or coworkers.

    So I have a few questions for the clearance experts:

    1) I have heard that dual nationality, being born/having lived abroad and having foreign relatives may affect the speed and outcome of your investigation. I’m sure this is true, but because I’ve never been contacted by any investigators, is this even an issue at this point?

    2) I have been told different things about dual nationality. Some have said that you will “never” get a TS/SCI with dual nationality; others have said it doesn’t matter. It’s nearly impossible to renounce my other citizenship, and I wouldn’t even know who to notify if I even did succeed. Any thoughts?

    3) It took one of my colleagues 10 months to get TS through OPM/DISCO, but he quit before getting to the SCI part. He is significantly older than I am. Another colleague of mine got his TS through OPM/DISCO in less than 8 months, and they are now starting the SCI process. I’m the only one who’s gone past the 1-year mark. I called OPM and they can’t tell me anything. I called DISCO and they can’t tell me anything. My security officer only knows one thing: that my investigation is “open.” How can it be open if I haven’t even been interviewed yet and it’s been a year? And why won’t DISCO, who has full details from OPM, give my security officer more information about my case?

    4) Finally, what are the “repercussions” for failing to comply to the new IRTPA legislation that instituted benchmarks for completing investigations and adjudication? If there are no incentives for copmleting these clearances in the time required, then why bother?

    Thanks very much!

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    It took me 13 months to get a Secret Clarence and now the company ran out of work, oh what joy. Guess I will start looking I do telecommunications if any one can help. Best of luck to you all.

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    1) No, your dual nationality should not be a reason for delaying the start of your investigation.

    2) When you are interviewed, you should be asked whether you are willing to renounce the other citizenship. If the clearance granting agency actually wants you to do it, they will provide instructions. I recommend that you do not attempt to do this on your own. Contacting a foreign government while being considered for a US security clearance is not wise. An equally important matter is the use and possession of a foreign passport. This is cause for clearance denial unless appropriate action is taken.

    3) There are five separate investigative entities conducting investigations for OPM. Your case may be at a different investigative agency than your two colleagues. Each office of each agency will be working on cases of varying age. Some offices will begin working on cases as soon as the cases arrive. Others may have cases sitting in filing cabinets for months before being assigned to a field investigator. Ask your colleague for the name & number of the investigator that did his interview. There is a chance that your case is assigned to one of the investigator’s colleagues and you may be able to get some information through that avenue. Check with your industrial relations office and see if an OPM investigator reviewed your personnel file. That’s one of the first field actions on a case—to insure that you are stilled employed and need a clearance. Once an investigator actually starts working on a case, it usually doesn’t take more than a few weeks to complete that portion.

    4) Using the most restrictive interpretation possible, under the IRTPA OPM need only consider cases opened on or after 17 Dec 06. The stats they presented last February used cases opened on or after 1 Oct 06, because they did not have any stats for cases opened after 17 Dec. The IRTPA goals for Dec 06 to Dec 08 are 120 days for 80% of all clearances. So, they are allowed to take an indefinite period of time to complete 20% of the clearances.

    Good luck.

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    I was born in IRAN and I have been in us for 30 years, and I got my Top secret (SSBI) few years ago, next year is my 5 years review.
    I got married to IRANIAN woman 2 years ago, she is a permanent resident, but she will be citizen within 3 years, and my Top Secret review will be next year.
    Can anyone tell me if I will get my Top Secret (SSBI) back, or I will lose it???


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    thanks for all your help, william! i had considered asking my colleagues for their investigators’ contact information, but thought that getting in touch with them directly might be a faux pas. i’ll look into that for sure.

    thanks again!

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    Just an update. My clearance went into Adjudication June 21 2007 and adjudication has closed as of august 28 2007.So hopefully, I will get my clearance granted soon.

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    When you got married 2 years ago, did you report this to your security manager?

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    Does a “compelling need statement” help you get a clearance if you had credit issues due to an illness?

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    i am a recent college grad-
    I am about to accept a job that requires an interim security clearance.. and then a secret.

    The only thing i have ever done wrong/could potentially see being a problem is tried marijuana… it was less than 5 times, and the last time was over a year ago. Is this going to have a great effect on me being cleared?

    i am going to be completely honest on my forms, but is this going to effect me getting an intertim clearance/any clearance at all?


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    I have a website with a security clearance FAQ. There are two answers to questions that speak directly to your situation. If you are interested go to https://www.clearancejobs.com/security-clearance-faqs

    Don’t be upset if they don’t grant you an interim clearance. It is fairly normal not to grant an interim if an SF86 contains a “yes” response to the question about drug use (as well as most of the other questions from #19 to #30 on the form).

    If you have any follow up questions, you can contact me through the website. I also pop in here fairly often.

  60. Avatar

    I have been in adjudication for a TS/SCI clearance since late January 2007. Is it safe to assume that no news is still good news and that if they had seen something wrong they would have denied me by now? Or is it possible they still haven’t even picked up my file so to speak.

  61. Avatar


    Are you sure it is actually in adjudication? Is that what your security people tell you? I have been awaiting adjudication for 6 months, but my security people tell me that once it enters adjudication, it “should” only take 2 months.


    If you have used marijunana, there’s a good chance they will not give you an interim, which means you will have to wait a couple years for a final clearance. I’ve been waiting 1.5 years so far.

  62. Avatar

    Hello all,
    I am a naturalized US citizen and waiting on a secret clearance. I currently have an interim secret. I might need to travel overseas to visit my parents while my application is still pending. I would like to know if there would be any delay or negative consequences of an overseas travel.

  63. Avatar


    You were very fortunate to receive an interim Secret clearance. Most requestors would not grant an interim clearance to someone with immediate family members who are not US citizens and who live abroad.

    What county is it that you will visit? It makes a difference.

  64. Avatar


    I completed my SECRET clearance application in April and received my interim clearance a few weeeks later.
    I have a clean background with no financial problems and no convictions. However, I am married to a chinese wife who has been here in the US since 1997. We got married in the summer of 2003. She has already submitted the paperwork for a US citizenship about two months ago. What are the chances that I could be denied a SECRET clearance because of my marriage situation ???
    In addition, I have never travelled outside the United States and I have never contacted any of my wife’s relatives.

    Thank You,


  65. 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.

  66. Avatar


    Unless your wife is related to someone who works directly for the government of the the PRC (other than a functionary like a postal clerk), you should have no problem at all.

  67. Avatar


    It’s more about foreign relatives than yourself. Is your parent US citizen? If not, there is a good chance you will be denied clearance due to foreign influence. I was in the same boat as you are a few years ago. Had interim DoD Secret first, but denied Secret a year later because PR wife and PR mother, but won the appeal a year and half later to have DoD Secret reinstated. So be prepared for a long haul.

    Good luck…

  68. Avatar

    William Henderson,
    I’ll be travelling to Bangladesh.

    – SS

  69. Avatar


    I am waiting for interim clearance. I am
    Naturalized US Citizen. I am also dual citizen of a friendly country and I have an expired passport that I did
    not renew since 2004.

    I am willing to surrender my passport and renounce my foreign citizen.

    If I will deny the clearance can I appeal?

  70. Avatar

    Hi All,

    I was cleared in about 6mo ago for a TS/SCI Clearance w/ Lifestyle Polygraph. I was recruited and processed while still finishing up school. Graduation came and went and I didn’t hear back from the processor, so I accepted another job thinking they were never going to get back to me. Now I am on a quest to understand what I may be giving up, if I don’t accept the gov offer. I understand that the TS/SCI Clearance w/ Lifestyle Polygraph is a condition of employment either with the gov or a primary contractor.

    If I choose not to accept gov employment is it possible to get TS/SCI Clearance w/ Lifestyle Polygraph again when needed with out much difficulty?

    If I accept employment with someone else that is a contractor(primary or non primary), can they upgrade or downgrade the clearance easily?

    How does clearance renewals work with contractors vs. the gov?

    I appreciate any feedback anyone can offer. This is a pretty difficult decision.

    Thanks, J

  71. Avatar


    I read several of the posts concerning marriage to foreign nationals and I have a similar question. I have a TS/SCI with an ISSA poly, although I am working on a Secret level contract. I’ve been dating a woman from France and am heading toward marriage sometime in the future. Can I still hold my Secret clearance? The SCI is probably out of the question. Anyone have any insight as to how this might affect my clearances.

    Thanks, Jason

  72. Avatar

    Clarification: The first investigation was voluntarily withdrawn–clearance was never denied.

  73. Avatar

    Need help.

    My interim clearance was denied one day after I submitted the SF_86. I believe
    It was done automatically.

    I am a naturalized citizen of a friendly country (Italy) and have family overseas.
    The facility security officer said the family connection is the problem. My wife is
    a US permanent resident and will apply for a US citizen next year.

    Since most naturalized citizens have family connections overseas they can not
    be granted an interim clearance. The question is how a naturalized citizen with family connection can get an interim clearance or a secret clearance?

    Any one has experience?

    Thanks a lot,


  74. Avatar


    Sorry for the delayed response, but I was traveling outside the US and could not post any responses to this forum from an ISP in Ukraine.

    Probably the only impact your travel will have is a delay in completing the investigation because you will be unavailable for a personal interview during the time you are outside the country.

  75. Avatar


    There is little consistency in the granting of interim clearances for applicants with immediate family members who are foreign citizens. Certain government security managers can grant interim clearances. If your clearance is being initiated by a government agency, there are literally hundreds of security managers who have the authority to grant interim clearances and there is little consistency when it comes to denying interim clearance due to foreign influence/preference issues. If you are a contractor employee (or candidate) and your clearance is being initiated by a cleared contractor’s Facility Security Officer, the interim clearance will be issued by government Central Adjudication Facility (CAF). CAFs are much more consistent in applying the criteria for granting interim clearances and generally having an immediate family member who is not a US citizen is grounds for withholding an interim clearance. Your final clearance will be dependent on the degree of foreign preference and/or foreign influence that exists in your situation as determined by your completed security clearance investigation.

  76. Avatar


    I hope you have reported your relationship with your potential fiancee to your security officer. Failing to report this type of relationship as soon as possible will complicate matters later.

    Absent any complicating factors, marriage to a French national will probably not have an adverse affect on a collateral clearance at any level. SCI/SAP access is a different matter and often depends on the agency that grants the special access authorization. Intelligence Community CAFs tend to be less flexible about this issue; whereas the military CAFs tend to be more lenient, particular if the individual already has a clearance with a special access authorization.

  77. Avatar


    Thanks a lot for your quick reply.

    As a result of the interim clearance I lost the Job (Job was pending on interim clearance) so the clearance investigation stopped.

    There are 3 problems that I think trigger clearance denial:

    1. I still has a foreign passport that expired in 2003 and I did not surrender it.

    2. I still hold a dual citizenship and did not renounce it yet.

    3. My wife is a Russian citizen but also a US green card holder.

    4. Of course, family (wife and I) overseas.

    After reading the Interim Personnel Security Eligibility:


    I realized that a foreign passport is a big issue. I was wondering if I renounce my citizenship and surrender my passport I may be granted interim clearance in the future, since a lot of defense contractor jobs are pending on this interim clearance.

    This is what the lawyer suggested me to do. Otherwise, it will be almost impossible to find a job where a company will sponsor you a secret clearance if the interim is not granted. (So it may be better for me to seek jobs only in commercial field although, I think I can much contribute to the US defense industry. )

    Any way I am in the process to surrender my passport since I do not have intention to use it.

    Can you please advice?

    Thanks a lot,


  78. Avatar


    I assume you are going to renounce your foreign citizenship at the same time that you surrender the expired passport. Do it by controlled mail with return receipt. Keep a copy of all documentation.

    Doing this will improve your chances of getting an interim clearance in the future, but items 3 and 4 are still significant problems.

    Try getting a job with a defense contractor that does not require a security clearance. They can put you in for a clearance after you are hired to make you more flexible in future job assignments within the company.

  79. Avatar

    I held a TS/SCI in the Navy. I’ve been out for 10 years now and I’m married to a Russian citizen (who plans on becoming a citizen). I can find jobs not requiring a clearance but a few I’m interested in are at the Secret level. My wife calls home a couple times a week (parents and brother in Russia) and we had a 6 month visit from her mom after the twins were born. I guess my question is from those who know is what can I expect if I try for another clearance? Mom and dad are musicians in a small town and brother just graduated college and has a job which I don’t know the details of. I rarely speak to them. This is the main reason I haven’t tried for another clearance.

  80. Avatar


    Perhaps the best way to understand what happens in a case similar to yours is to read the written case decisions issued by DOHA administrative judges. One case with facts similar to yours (i.e. Russian spouse in U.S. with parents and sibling in Russia) can be seen at http://ogc.osd.mil/doha/industrial/05-01707.h1.html

    You should also go to http://ogc.osd.mil/doha/industrial/
    select a recent year and use the word “Russia” with the “find” function on your browse. That should take you to all cases resulting in an “SOR” (Statement of Reason for an intent to deny)involving a Russian connection. When you find a case that looks similar to yours, use the blue link to view the entire write up for the case. You can also look at cases that involve other nationalities to give you a broader view of the foreign influence issue.

  81. Avatar

    I submitted my SF86 for a clearance 14 months ago. I have had no contact and have not even been asked for fingerprints. Does this mean my paperwork has not even been started into the process? I’m ex-military, so they have my fingerprints, but I don’t know if this makes any difference.

  82. Avatar

    I was granted an Interim Secret clearance back in Oct. 06, and have been waiting for my final clearance ever since. (To be fair, I was told to expect things to take “about 12 months” once the interim was granted). As it’s now been about a year, I recently contacted my FSO to see if there’s been any updates since.

    Here’s where things got interesting – My FSO stated that my investigation closed sometime last March but was reopened in Sept. because of some “new information” OPM needed to follow up on. While he assured me this is common and not necessarily a bad thing, I’ve had an uneasy feeling since hearing this news. I honestly have no idea what could have triggered my case to be reopened 6 months after being supposedly “closed”. Is this truly that common an occurence in an investigation? And should I at this point be worried, or am I simply letting my intolerance for uncertainty get the best of me???

  83. Avatar

    If in March your case status was “Closed complete”, the two simplest explanations for your situation are:

    1. OPM closed your case and sent it to the adjudicative agency, but failed to properly complete all the investigative requirements for your type of investigation, and the adjudicative agency sent it back for the missing work.

    2. OPM’s investigative report contained some unfavorable information and they forwarded “as is” to the adjudicative agency for them to decide whether or not they want the information resolved. Typically a Special Interview (SPIN) of the subject of the investigation would be conducted.

    Both of these situations are not uncommon. If you are a DoD employee or DoD contractor, the second scenario would not apply, since DoD has an arrangement with OPM for OPM to automatically conduct the SPIN as part of the original investigation.

  84. Avatar

    Will being married to a permanent resident(from Jamaica)
    potentially halt a citizen from gaining security clearance. I was born and have only lived in the U.S., but my wife is from Jamaica. She has family there, but her immediate family also resides in the U.S.

  85. Avatar


    This should not be a problem for a final collateral clearance at any level, but it could affect getting an interim collateral clearance. It could also be a problem for SCI/SAP eligibility.

  86. Avatar

    Hi, I just suddenly received a conditional job offer from the FBI. I’m recently out of college and my background is clean in all the areas they address.
    My only problem is that my girlfriend is from China, and I’m worried it may lead to me being denied a position.
    We have been going through the K-1 visa process over the past year, and we are at the stage where she has arrived in the US and we have 90 days to decide if we will marry or not.
    I have never met her parents, and none of my relatives live abroad. She does keep in contact with her mother through computer. None of her relatives work for the government.
    Any help you could give would be great. I’m a bit worried from what I’ve heard from other people, a lot of mixed messages. Obviously I’d really love to get the job.

  87. Avatar

    Here’s a question:

    I have a TS/SSBI clearance with a major defense contractor. I’m hoping to get a job soon which requires TS/SCI or SCI eligibility. My understanding is SCI-eligibility means a person has had SCI before, the program ended and they got debriefed.

    1. I’ve never had SCI before, so technically, I’m not SCI -eligible, correct?

    2. I know for a fact (confirmed with my sec. office) I do have a current TS/SSBI. Is it a major thing, timewise, to go from TS/SSBI to TS/SCI? If it isn’t a major thing, sounds like I’d probably get the job.

  88. Avatar


    Did you list your fiancee on your SF86? Does the job require only collateral clearance or does it also require SCI eligibility? What type of position have you been offered? Did you take a polygraph exam? If not, will you be required to take an exam in the future? All of these things matter, because your background investigation will be adjudicated twice—once for employment suitability and once for a security clearance by different offices of the FBI, plus the adjudicative standards for SCI are slightly different than for a collateral clearance.

  89. Avatar


    1. Yes, you are correct. There are also situations where a person has been favorably adjudicated for SCI eligibility, but have not been “read on” to a program.

    2. The length of time depends on the government customer and the program. You will probably be asked to submit a new SF86. Your prior investigation (if acceptable to the customer) will have to be adjudicated for SCI eligibility by the customer. If the prior investigation is not acceptable, a new investigation or partial investigation may be conducted. Some special access programs require a polygraph exam.

    Your “program” security manager is the best source for the information you want.

  90. Avatar

    Strange one here, looking for any insight.

    4/07 Offered conditional employment through a contractor for a contracted position at a government agency.TS with lifestyle required. I did not have , and never have had a clearance . Spouse has had TS/SCI for years.

    5/07 BI begins with five OPM investigators, told BI had to be completed within 45 days.Includes drug screen and fingerprints and interviews.

    6/07 Had two full poly’s two weeks apart. BI completed.

    7/07 File moved to adjudication per contracter.

    11/07 : receive writen notice from contracter recinding offer of employment.

    11/07 Called contracter FSO. Said processing was “stopped” by the client. Not disqualified , not unsuitable , no denial of clearance. Just stopped. FSO said never had any indication along the way of any problems/concerns with my file and would usually get some insight if there was.

    Any ideas?? What happens now?

    Thanks for any input.

  91. Avatar

    I had a final secret clearance a few years back. During that time, I started a TS investigation with OPM. For a few years I had interim TS before the investigator even contacted me. During the time I had interim TS with OPM, I was submitted for TS/SCI with an intel agency for a contract. They did their own investigation and granted me a final TS/SCI in two months. I had the TS/SCI for over a year and then they said it was time for a poly. Since I was no longer supporting that contract, I did not take the poly and was debriefed but they ended up saying my investigation was ‘no determination’ and it subsequently turned off any active clearance I had!
    During the time I was being debriefed for my TS/SCI with the intel agency, the OPM investigator contacted me for my original TS and started actively doing the investigation (the OPM was never canceled by the intel agency). He finished and my clearance it went into adjudication. At that point, I left my company, without an active clearance and with the OPM TS still in adjudication. Now, I need to have my Secret clearance back. Since I do not have a billet for the TS clearance, and thus cannot submit a request for the TS to adjudicate, can my company just have my old Secret clearance turned back on since it was final? We have a need on a project for Secret level work. Or will DISCO insist that the TS be adjudicated before granting any further clearance, even though we do not have a billet? This all happened within the last two years, so everything should still be current. It’s a huge mess.

  92. Avatar

    Liz – Sounds like the contractor might have lost funding for the project you were being considered for. Did you ever speak to anyone in HR to get a better understanding why they pulled the offer of employment? Seems like there should have been some additional details here.

  93. Avatar

    Hi Admin,

    No, no additional details. It’s just very frustrating to have goen through two 4 hour lifestyle/CI poly’s plus the BI and the wait for nothing,it seems.

    All I was told was that the “client” who wouldn’t even hold the clearance stopped it.

    Contracter/employer never had indication of problem at all and was specifically told it was ” not denied ” nor was I DQ’d or found unsuitable. No SPIN requested either.

    Where do I go from here…any ideas?

    Can I apply elsewhere with the hope that someone else can restart it?

    Would someone else be able to pick it up to restart?
    Thanks for your fast reply and hope to hear back from you here.


  94. Avatar

    Mr Henderson…any thoughts?

    Appreciate it ,if so.

  95. Avatar

    Answered fully on another blog topic .

    Thank you.

  96. Avatar

    I have been searching but have not found a direct answer for my situation. Would you be able to advise please?

    I am a naturalized US Citizen and have no ties to my previous country or government. However, my wife is a foreign national and here with a green card. We plan to apply for her US citizenship soon. I understand that this is not a problem except that her father, whom has been retired for 5 years, use to work for the foreign government. He was an accountant there but no longer has ties to government since retirement. My wife’s mother is a professor at one of the foreign country’s University. She is still working.

    I am assuming that this puts be in a bad position for a clearance?

  97. Avatar

    Having a spouse who is a permanent resident of the US should only be a speed bump in your road to obtaining a collateral security clearance. Absent any complicating factors, her retired government accountant father and university professor mother should not present a major obstacle for a collateral clearance. Examples of complicating factors include: your father-in-law’s former employer was an intelligence/security agency, your father-in-law was a high level government official, your spouse’s assets include holdings outside the U.S. that amount to a large percentage of your combined net worth, or the likelihood that your spouse’s parents could be coerced into pressuring you to do something contrary to the national security interests of the United States..

  98. Avatar

    Thank you for the response. That definitely gives me a bit more reassurance in this process.

  99. Avatar

    Maybe someone out there can answer this for me or is in a similar situation. I’ve had my TS for the past 3 years now. I submitted paperwork to receive my SCI about 9 months ago and haven’t heard a peep on it’s progress. I typically hassle my security manager once a month, who in turn, contacts AFCAC. Isn’t the TS the “meat and potatoes” of the investigation and an SCI is simply a paperwork check? Should it take this long considering I already have my TS?

    Thank you.

  100. Avatar

    Correction to above entry AFCAC should be AFCAF.

  101. Avatar

    Yes, the SSBI that was completed for your TS clearance is the investigation needed for an SCI eligibility determination. Ususally the adjudication for TS and SCI occur concurrently at most CAFs (except DISCO). Your SSBI is being re-adjudicated for SCI because it wasn’t done when your SSBI was originally completed. The application of the Adjudicative Guidelines is more restrictive for SCI than it is for a collateral clearance. I have no idea why your SCI is taking so long, but there are three possibilities. 1) OPM has been somewhat successful in reducing its backlog of investigations and these cases have been forwarded to the CAFs who are now experiencing a backlog of their own. 2) Your investigation may have been barely adequate for a collateral clearance decision, but possibly lacking in thoroughness for an SCI decision, thereby requiring multiple levels of review. 3) A combination of the first two possibilities.

  102. Avatar

    I am new here. Reason I am writing is I am up for a position where I must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information. I have multiple issues. (1) 2002 bankruptcy. Due to divorce and business going under within a few years of one another. (2) Currently married to foreign national. Russian. No immigration problems and she has been here in the US for 1 1/2 years, but I am wondering if being married to a Russian citizen… and the bankruptcy… are going to hurt? One other question… does anyone know if (if I am ultimately denied a clearance) contacting a lawyer specializing in clearances yields any positive results, or is that a waste of money? Any advice appreciated.

  103. Avatar


    Both your non-U.S. citizen spouse and your financial situation are potentially disqualifying conditions under Guideline B: “Foreign Influence” and Guideline F: “Financial Considerations” of the Adjudicative Guidelines. However, both situations can be mitigated for a collateral clearance. Foreign influence is judged based on the degree and frequency of contact you and your spouse have with her relatives outside the U.S., any affiliation her relatives may have with foreign governments, and you and your spouse’s foreign business connections and assets. The foreign country involved also factors into this. Financial considerations focus on the reasons for the bankruptcy and your finances after the bankruptcy. It sounds as if you had good reasons for the bankruptcy, so if you have not been delinquent on any debts subsequent to the bankruptcy, you should be able to readily mitigate this concern.

    Before your Subject Interview, you should review the Adjudicative Guidelines and prepare something in writing addressing all the applicable mitigating conditions. If you present all mitigating factors to the best of your ability during your Subject Interview and still receive a Letter of Intent and Statement of Reasons to deny your clearance, consulting an attorney who specializes in security clearances may be worthwhile.

  104. Avatar

    Thanks William. I appreciate your comment.

    I have been doing some research and found something that I hope you can shed some light on. The following stmt:

    “When completing the questionnaire, for Confidential, and Secret Clearances, it’s necessary to provide information for the previous five years.”

    The clearance I am going to be required to have is a Secret. Therefore, I will not have to divulge the bankruptcy if this statement is accurate. I am still waiting the packet from HR so do not have the EPSQ (not sure if it is an E-QIP?) to refer to. Is it a possibility that the bankruptcy will not be an issue as it was outside the 5 year timeframe… and I do not have to report it?

    As an fyi, I am currently collecting letters from all past landlords and even my ex-wife (who surprisingly agreed) stating I have always paid rent, support, etc on time. I may be able to present these letters at the Subject Interview if there is a question of my responsibility financially.

    Any advice on what to prepare the my foreign national wife? She is currently in Russia selling her apartment so I told her to bring a copy of that paperwork to prove she does not intend to keep ties there. Anything else?

    Thanks for you information on this blog… your posts are very informative.

  105. Avatar


    Unfortunately the information you found was incorrect. The NACLC done for Secret and Confidential clearances has a basic period of coverage of 5 years; however, the credit portion is 7 years. In any event, Question #27, “Your Financial Record” on the SF86 asks specifically for information going back 7 years. This requirement is the same for Secret clearances and TS clearances. The basic period of coverage for an investigation for a Secret clearance may only be 5 years; however the SF86 asks for 7 years worth of information for residences, education, employment, finances, court actions, foreign travel, etc. For a TS clearance there are supplement instructions for the SF86 indicating that an applicant must provide 10 years worth of information for residences, education, employment, certain criminal records, and court actions.

    More importantly, for a Secret clearance investigation, the investigation is not automatically expanded for a bankruptcy that occurred more than 2 years ago, if there have been no subsequent credit problems. So your bankruptcy should not automatically result in a Special Interview (SPIN). Rather than gathering letters, I would get a free credit report from each of the 3 national credit reporting agency and make sure there is no unfavorable information listed subsequent to your bankruptcy. Use the website, “www.annualcreditreport.com.”

    If you are a DoD employee/applicant or DoD contractor, your foreign spouse should automatically trigger a SPIN. I can give you some guidance on what information to gather for that interview, but it is too lengthy to post here. Contact me through my website by clicking on my name (above). While you are there get a copy of the SF86 at my website (the questions are the same as on eQIP and the EPSQ). Just navigate to the “about security clearances/resources” page.

  106. Avatar

    Thanks again William. Good info.

    I will get my credit report and ensure it is clear. Actually have a contact in the business of cleaning up credit reports. “SPIN” is a new term to me. I will drop you a line at your website.

  107. Avatar

    My husband is a US Marine officer. He currently holds a Secret Clearance that he received in 2006. He held a TS clearance in 1995. We just found out that he is required to get a new TS clearance to go to Iraq. My questions are these:
    1. Are they going to pull a credit report again or do they just build on the current secret clearance?
    2. If he doesn’t get the TS will he still be able to keep the secret?
    3. He had a DUI in 2000. Although he was able to get the secret clearance with this on his record, will he be able to get a TS clearance?
    4. How hard is it to get an interim TS if you already have a secret clearance?
    5. How long do you estimate it will take to get his TS clearance?
    Thank you

  108. Avatar

    I just found out that my ISSA clearance is in adjudication. Meanwhile I have been offered by a government agency which does NOT require a clearance. The position is a high level position. A little background about myself. I am a naturalized citizen whose foreign relatives are coming to the US as resident aliens. Can anyone tell me if it is worth sticking it until I get my clearance or should I just jump at the position offered.

    Thanks in advance,

    In Dilemma

  109. Avatar


    I am a permanent resident alien of US, and i am interested in enlisting in the US army as an intelligence analyst. However, prior to being given the job in the MI fields, one must undergo a top-security clearance. Just wanted to know my chances of getting through with it. Also, my immediate family members, that is, mother,father, and brother too are having green card. There is a fair reason to believe that the US army should open its MI slots to permanent resident aliens, if, at the same time they are willing to put them in the infantry positions.

  110. Avatar

    Akshay – You should visit your local Army recruiting center and obtain information on non-US citizens entering the military for naturalization. That would be the best first step in this process. As a rule, security clearances are not granted to non-US citizens.

  111. Avatar


    I hope someone on here can help me out or at least provide some reassurance with my situation.

    I received a conditional offer for an internal government job in May 07. I Completed psych. testing and 2 polygraph tests by the start of August and my background investigator finished up his interviews with all of my contacts by early august too. And since August I have heard absolutely nothing. I do not get emails or phone calls returned from my HR contact (I’m starting to wonder if she even works there anymore). I believe I am waiting for a TS/SCI clearance.

    Is is normal to not be able to get a return call? I know they probably get hounded all day by people wanting to know if their clearance is finished, but an answer back would be nice.

    I’m only 24 and have done very little moving around and have never left the country, so from what I understand I should be on lower end of the waiting time scale?

    Any suggestions or answers are appreciated.


  112. Avatar


    I was hoping someone might be able to answer some questions for me. I applied for secret security clearance with DHS, August 1. Then I had an interview with an investigator from OPM in October, after which I was contacted by my “case manager” to update contact details, as I was no longer living in Ecuador. Since then I have had no contact, and was recently told that my DOS clearance wasn’t sufficient enough so the investigation had to be redone. Does anyone know where I am in the process and what the rest of the process entails? I have lived abroad, 2 years in the UK, and 3 months in Ecuador. Are there any specific time windows for a Secret Clearance with DHS? Thanks.

  113. Avatar

    Hi, can someone please explain to me why I have to go through a five year update for my secret clearance? I thought secret clearances were good for 7 years?

    Could it be a special program requirement? Thanks!

  114. Avatar


    Investigations (normally an NACLC) for Secret clearances are good for 10 years. Here are some possible reasons you have been asked to submit a new SF86:

    1. Your position is a Moderate- or High-Risk Public Trust position (with access to Secret info) and the agency you work for requires reinvestigations at 5-year intervals for the Public Trust aspect of your job.

    2. You are in a NATO staff position.

    3. You are the subject of an incident report and you have been requested to fill out a new SF86, so that a special investigative inquiry can be conducted to resolve the matter.

    4. You have access to a Secret level SAP (you would definitely know if you have such access) that originally required an SSBI (rather than the normal NACLC) and requires reinvestigations at 5-year intervals. There are specially “designated” Secret level SAPs that have the same investigative requirements as a Top Secret clearance.

  115. Avatar

    I have a similar situation to CommCtr. I too am awaiting an interim clearance for a position with Customs and Border Protection pending the granting of a Public Trust Security Clearance. I was recently told that I was put in “delay status” what causes this action and what does this mean? Does this mean that I will not be cleared for a clearance?

  116. Avatar

    I hope someone can help me. I recently was given a 30 day appeal process for a clearance denial. It is for public trust. The reason is at the time of the credit check,8/2006, it showed i had 6 accounts past due. However, 3 acccounts are current now, i have worked on 2 and agreed and are paying via payment plans, and the remaining one for 249.00 i have no clue what it is. I even searched the company on the web and have had no such luck finding the company. Of the reported 5600.00 past due, only 249.00 remain.

    My question is if i show them my most recent credit report showing this documentation, what are the chances i will win the appeal? Should i get an attorney now or wait to see if i win the appeal. I have received nothing but high marks on the job and feel my credit is up to date.

    Thanks for any help!

  117. Avatar

    I received your question by email through my website and responded by email. I hope you have received it by now.

  118. Avatar

    I’m in need of a little reassurance, I work for a contracting company and there is a position I am interested in with a government agency. It requires Secret clearance. I am a naturalized citizen, my dad is a citizen but my mother is a permanent resident, and she just submitted her application for naturalization. How likely am I to be denied/granted this clearance?

    Thank you in advance for your replies.

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    For a collateral Secret clearance just having a parent who is not yet a US citizen rarely results in a clearance denial. Of course if you have significant ties to your native country (or some other foreign country) it becomes more complicated. Significant ties would include financial or business interests outside the U.S., close relatives or friends outside the U.S., dual citizenship, possession of a current foreign passport.

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    Good Morning,

    I noticed that you never replied to my e-mail which was posted on 2/1 and I see that you have responded to several others?

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    I don’t know the answer to your question. I have never heard of a “delay status.” CBP contracts directly with private firms that provide investigative services and CBP manages their own cases. They don’t use the services of OPM.

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    For reference: I have been in delay status for 7 months, myself. There is something about you they find worth not telling, you about for a “while”. It does get old but that’s the nature of the beast.

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    Are you also being processed for a Public Trust position by CBP or is there a different agency and clearance involved? Can you answer Pamela’s question?

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    Can’t answer Pamela’s question. I have no expertise other than what is stated.(Peanuts as a way to get a good old Ford.)

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    Good Morning,

    Thanks for the reply. Thank God, the investigators are diligently working to do whatever needs to be done. I have had my face-to-face and I believe that all of my references have been interviewed. I don’t think my process will take too long since I am a Washingtonian and everything and everyone that needs to be verified or contacted are local.

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    Have you had your face-to-face and have they contacted your references?

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    Yes. Everything has been checked and have had face-to-face last summer. Good Luck. There is needs-based.

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    Hi David,

    Is your clearance for CBP and are all of your activities local? i.e., references, schools, etc. Also, are you still in delay status and have you heard anything yet?

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    yes, for same. But I put in for Montana. haha –Here’s why I think you will clear quickly:
    That pt test is one toughest, I’ve seen. As you passed it, not be a chauvinist, but I think they will have a hard time getting women candidates who can pass that(in sufficient numbers). They’ve definitely ramped it up. There other are candidates that are in a backlog fy ’06. On delphiforums.com there are candidates talking. I’ve checked in and they’re having budget issues trying to get figured out by fy this time (next few). Me, I’m paying my bills and hunkering down like some of the candidates. Check
    them out.

    Mr. Henderson gives a higher level advice.

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    This is an excellent blog and a great service. I have had a secret clearance for five years and recently went to Europe and married a foreign national (who is still there), and returned. She will be immigrating to the United States to become a citizen. I was not aware of any stipulations regarding reporting anything to my security officer at the DoD contract firm where I work. Upon my arrival at work, I was told to report to the Security Officer and have fully cooperated. Was I required to inform my Security Officer/Company before I left for Europe that I was going there to marry a foreign national? And what should I expect now?

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    To add to my previous post, I traveled through non-sensitive countries, and my wife is a citizen of a non-sensitive country (Czech Republic).

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    There is a requirement in DoD 5200.2-R to self-report any potentially disqualifying condition as listed in the Adjudicative Guidelines. Your situation is arguably covered under “Foreign Influence.” I think that it is sufficient to report marriage to a foreign national as soon as it happens, not before (if premarital cohabitation is not involved), but apparently you FSO thinks differently. There is a good likelihood that you will be the subject of a limited investigation and be interviewed (SPIN) by an investigator regarding your trip, your new spouse and her relatives.

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    Thanks for that info. Gives me something to look forward to! There should not be any issues with my wife or her family.

    Thank you again.

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    Hi David,

    What is a pt test?

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    how do they notify you on the status — approve/denied. Do they call you or send you something in the mail and are you contacted directly or do they contact the security person and they intern contact you or your company representative?

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    Hello Pamela,

    Not sure of your position, as a contractor I am not in position to describe that process. Usually a background check involves contacting you by mail, or otherwise, if any issues remain. (PT step test is administered for CBP Officers.) The clearinghouse e-mail address is [email protected] You can contact them and make sure your file has not been misplaced.

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    Hi, My husband has been offered a DOD-related job and needs Secret clearance. I understand they will check his credit as apart of his background investigation. As his sposue, will they also check my credit report? Paperwork asked for my SSN#. Thanks for any advice you can offer.

  138. Avatar

    Obtaining a credit report on the spouse of an applicant is not a standard component of any federal suitability or security clearance investigation.

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    Hi all – no particular question, just my experience. Filed SF-86 for secret in Oct 2005 and still waiting. Case went into adjudication Aug 2007 and returned back for further investigation. Second investigation closed end of Jan 2008. Now back in adjudication. Hopefully, I hear something soon after the 60 days pass by. I am foreign born. Came to the US in 2000. Received my citizenship in 2005. Renounced my other citizenship. Still have my foreign passport, just because the embassy here in the US won’t accept it. Never used the passport and have no intentions to use it. All my professional career has been in support of the US government in foreign assistance. Husband and kids are foreign born but all naturalized. They still have their dual citizenship. Have parents and a sibling living abroad, but they have no link to the foreign government. Parents are in their mid 70s, brother is in late 40s. Yes, for me 12 months wait is a dream never come true ….

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    Back in September 07′, I received an email from my company stating that my Interim Top Secret clearance eligibility has been granted. Could there be any consequences or risk to losing my Interim TS if I got a job for another company in which they said they would sponsor my TS? Is this too risky?

    Thank you,

    David S

  141. Avatar

    Can you get a secret clearance with a DUI?

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    You CAN get the secret clearance as long as you don’t lie about the details about the DUI. I also know a person who claims to have Secret clearance denied due to repeated offence of 3 DUI. However, I don’t know if there were other reasons.

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    I’m an American citizen currently working in China right now and I am applying for a FSO position. I was wondering, what are my chances for security clearance if I’ve spent the past two and a half years studying and working in China? I’ve heard that it might disqualify me, even though it helped me learn Chinese fluently. Would the points added for speaking fluent Mandarin override living in China for almost 3 years?
    Also, on another note, in 2004, while in college, I was pulled over for a DUI. There was no property damage nor any injuries. I completed the necessary program, etc. Since then, I still drink some, but really not the same amount as I did when I was college. With these two factors, is it possible to still get clearance?