Ask Your Clearance Questions - Part 3
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Ask Your Clearance Questions – Part 3
Getting/Updating a Clearance, investigations

Since the first two threads we’ve started on obtaining answers to clearance questions have filled up, we are starting a new one. Please post questions here and we will do our best to respond to them.

  1. David F:

    One year from the date of orignial revocation.

  2. Hello,

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

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

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

    I appreciate the help.

    Thank you

  3. Hello,

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Thanks in advance for your help and insight.

  9. Hello

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Good luck.

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

  12. contractor06:
    A siingle DUI is a potentially disqualifying condition for a security clearance; however, it is possible to mitigate a DUI. It is even possible to mitigate a second DUI, but of course it is much more difficult. The effect of the DUI on your clearance will only be slightly reduced if you manage to beat the charge or have it reduce. Failure to promptly reduce an arrest for DUI to your FSO will only make your situation worse. Read the mitigating conditions under Adjudicative Guidelines G & J, and start doing everything you can to have as many of the mitigating conditions as possible apply to you. There is a possibility that your clearance could be suspended until the matter is evaluated (possibly involving a new investigation) by the clearance granting authority.

  13. Hello,

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

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

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

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

  14. William,

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

  15. contractor06:
    Sorry, but I was typing my response to your question to fast and used the word “reduced” when it should have been, “failure to promptly ‘report’ an arrest . . . .”

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

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

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

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

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

    – A DUI as a teen (under 18)

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

    * No arrests or criminal convictions as an adult

    * Secret clearance and PRP program while in the Navy

    * Secret and now TS Collateral clearance as civilian

    * TS Collateral held for 10 years

    * 20 years total with some type of Clearance

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

    Can I qualify for a TS SCI?

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



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

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