How to obtain a security clearance

How to obtain a security clearance

To obtain employment with many government agencies or departments, you must be able to obtain a security clearance that is prepared following a thorough investigation of your personal background. Depending on the degree of potential sensitivity of information to which you might be granted access, such an investigation can range from “routine” (a basic check of your criminal and credit history) to “comprehensive” (an in-depth investigation of every facet of your life up to the time that your prospective employer submitted its request for such an investigation).

Eligibility for Security Clearance

Eligibility for a security clearance is set forth in a number of federal laws (50 U.S. Code § 3341 – “Security clearances”) and departmental policies. Other than the branches of the Department of Defense, government agencies that routinely require certain employees to obtain a security clearance include the Departments of:

  • State;
  • Energy;
  • Treasury;
  • Homeland Security;
  • Justice, and the
  • Central Intelligence Agency.

Are there any circumstances that may result in an automatic denial of a security clearance?

Under current U. S. law and regulations, there are four absolute barriers that will prevent you from obtaining a security clearance issued by a department or agency of the federal government:

Being a non-citizen of the United States

By law, only citizens of the United States (by birth or by naturalization) are eligible for security clearances. This prohibition includes, of course, those who are in the country illegally as well as any residents who have been granted legal resident alien status (“Green Card” residents). However, dual-citizenship status is not an absolute barrier to obtaining a security clearance. In such cases the issuing of clearances is at the discretion of the department or agency that originally requested the investigation.

A criminal record

In general, any criminal conviction or guilty plea that could have resulted in confinement for more than one year can result in your ineligibility for a security clearance. Each department or agency may establish its own policies, to be applied on a case by case basis, regarding convictions that are “older” than a certain number of years or what it considers to be a “pattern” of criminal behavior.

A history of psychological or emotional disturbance

Most departments and agencies will reject an applicant who has a documented history of a psychological or emotional disorder that was diagnosed within a certain time frame. Again, each requesting department or agency has some leeway in what it considers to be a disqualifying condition.

A history of drug and/or substance abuse

A personal history of ongoing drug or substance abuse is sufficient grounds for your being denied a security clearance. In most cases, such a history can be ignored if the abuse occurred years ago or was not suggestive of addiction to a particular drug or substance. However, most agencies will consider any condition that required either hospitalization or intensive outpatient therapy to be sufficient grounds for your being denied access to sensitive information.

What about a prospective private employer’s requirement that I be able to obtain a security clearance?

Many private employers, particularly those that are government contractors or subcontractors, have policies that require all new employees to submit themselves to a background check that is often practically identical to the investigation required of a government employee. In these cases, most employers also require that their employees also sign “non-disclosure” and/or “non-competition” agreements as a condition of their employment. Such agreements are governed by the laws of contracts rather than by criminal or espionage law, as would be the case if an employee deliberately revealed sensitive information to a foreign government.

Must I accept an agency’s or employer’s decision as “final”?

According to the pertinent laws and regulations regarding security clearances, you usually have the right to an administrative (non-judicial) appeal regarding “adverse findings.” However, such appeals are only infrequently granted and then only in cases where the available facts are overwhelmingly in your favor. In most cases an appeal is successful only if the appeal is based on another aspect of employment law, such as existing non-discrimination or civil rights statutes.

In summary, security clearances are granted only following background investigations that are conducted to minimize the risk that an individual may be at risk of exposing information that could cause harm to the national interests of the United States or would compromise the competitive advantages of private employers. Since this article has presented only generalizations of current laws and procedures, it is always prudent to consult with the personnel and recruitment offices of your prospective employer if you have specific questions regarding such matters that should be addressed.

A security clearance is a determination by the United States
government that a person or company is eligible for access to classified information. There
are two types of clearances: Personnel Security Clearances (PCL) and Facility Security
Clearance (FCL). Government agencies that issue clearances often refer to clearances as
“eligibility for access.”

What are the security clearance levels?

Security clearances can be issued by many United States government agencies, including the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department
of Homeland Security, the Department of Energy (DoE), the Department of Justice, and the
Central Intelligence Agency. DoE clearances include the “L,” and “Q” levels. DOD issues
more than 80% of all clearances. There are three levels of DOD security clearances:

  • Confidential
  • Secret
  • Top Secret

What type of information is requested on a security clearance application?

The application form requires personal identifying data, as well as information regarding residence,
education and employment history; family and associates; and foreign connections/travel.
Additionally, it asks for information about arrests, illegal drug involvement, financial
delinquencies, mental health counseling, alcohol counseling, military service, prior
clearances, civil court actions, and subversive activities. The number of years of
information required on the form depends on the level of clearance involved. For instance,
residence, education, and employment history for a Top Secret clearance requires ten years
of information, whereas a Secret clearance requires seven years.

Can I obtain a security clearance on my own?

No. You must be sponsored by a cleared contractor or a government entity. To be sponsored you must be employed by a cleared
contractor (or hired as a consultant) in a position that requires a cleara nce. As an
exception, a candidate for employment may be submitted for a clearance if the cleared
contractor has made a binding offer of employment and the candidate has accepted the
offer. Both the offer and acceptance must be in writing. The offer of employment must
indicate that employment will begin within 30 days of receiving the clearance.

Can an 8(a) Participant be offered an offer without a security clearance?

Maybe. The contracting officer and the agency end user may decide that it is in the government’s best
interest to make an award to a company without clearance with the specific requirement that
an interim clearance be obtained within a certain number of days after contract award. An
interim clearance (also known as “interim eligibility”) is based on the completion of minimum
investigative requirements and granted on a temporary basis, pending the completion of the
full investigative requirements for the final clearance. Interim Secret clearances can be
issued rather quickly once the clearance granting authority receives a properly completed
application. Interim Top Secret clearances take two or three months longer. Interim
clearances can be denied, if unfavorable information is listed on the application form or at
any time unfavorable information is developed during the investigation. All applicants are
considered for interim clearances by the Defense Industrial Security Clearance Office. With
some exceptions an interim clearance permits a person to have access to classified
material at all levels of classification up to the level of the clearance requested. Interim
Secret clearances are not sufficient for access to special categories of classified
information, such as COMSEC, NATO, and Restricted Data. Interim Top Secret clearances
are sufficient for access to COMSEC, NATO, and Restricted Data at the Secret and
Confidential levels only.

To summarize, the only entity that can grant a security clearance is the federal Government.
Clearances are required by the government based on the specific needs of certain
positions. This means an 8(a) firm won’t be able to apply for a clearance on its own. In order
to obtain a Security Clearance, an individual must first obtain sponsorship from a cleared
US contactor or a federal agency. The government or its contractors are the only groups
that can start the clearance process; the government pays for this process, not the
contractor or the employee. The process begins when an offer is extended. The person is
asked to fill out the National Security Questionnaire, which when submitted kicks off the
security clearance process. Two separate procedures follow: the background investigation
and the adjudication process. The background investigation, conducted by employees of
the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) or its contractors involves:

  • A National Agency Check, during which investigators review records held by federal
    agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigations and OPM.
  • A Local Agency Check, which calls in criminal history records held by local law
    enforcement agencies such as police departments and sheriffs with jurisdiction over
    the areas where you have lived, gone to school or worked.
  • Financial checks.
  • Field interviews of individuals including co-workers, employers, friends, educators
    and neighbors. The candidate provides a list of contacts, though the investigator may
    and often does) talk with others beyond the names submitted.
  • Checks of records held by employers, courts and rental offices.
  • A personal interview.

After the background investigation, the investigators give every report to adjudicators, who
begin their work — “an examination of a sufficient period of a person’s life to make an
affirmative determination that the person is eligible for a security clearance”.

How long does it take to process a security clearance?

In September 2006 defense contractors reported average end-to-end processing time of over one year for Top Secret
clearances. Part of the answer is that for over a decade insufficient resources have been
allocated to clearance processing, causing a large backlog of cases. The other part of
the answer involves the applicant and requires a better understanding of the process.
There are three phases to clearance processing: 1) application processing, 2)
investigation, and 3) adjudication. Most of the delays in getting a clearance are caused
by either: “queuing” time (the time a case sits waiting to be acted on); poorly completed
security applications; extended periods of residence outside the United States, and/or;
serious security/suitability issues. The average times for processing are:

The majority of security clearances are obtained through the United States Department of Defense (DoD), which is the process we will summarize on this page. At The Edmunds Law Firm, our skilled attorneys have helped hundreds of applicants across the country obtain or retain their security clearance, using our valuable experience and knowledge for their benefit.

Applicant Requirements

  • If an individual’s job requires security clearance, he or she will be required to:
  • Complete specific forms
  • Provide personal information
  • Be fingerprinted
  • Consent to a background investigation
  • Undergo multiple interviews
  • Possibly consent to a polygraph test
  • Provide contact information for acquaintances and people close to you, so that they may be interviewed

SF-86 Security Clearance Questionnaire

The Standard Form (SF) 86, Questionnaire for National Security Positions, is used by military personnel government contractors, and government employees to apply for a Security Clearance. To keep up with the electronic era, a new form titled SF86 Electronic Questionnaire for Investigation Processing (eQIP) became available online. However, it contains the same questions and information that can be found in SF 86.

Completing the Form

When filling out the form, it is important to be honest in your answers to each question. You may also provide explanations for answers in the comments or continuation section if you feel it is necessary. The form will require an extensive amount of information, including current and former spouses, residential addresses for the past 10 years, employment history for the past 10 years, and time spent overseas. Be sure to make copies since you may require this information in the future when seeking higher clearances.

Nationally Ranked Security Clearance Lawyers

If you have doubts about revealing certain information while completing the SF86 form, you might want to consider contracting a skilled security clearance attorney. Attorney Alan Edmunds has the experience and knowledge to guide you through this process and answer any questions you might have.

If inconsistencies, incorrect information, or falsehoods are discovered in any of the documents you provide for your security clearance application, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) may contact you to ask for clarification on these issues. Some might deny security clearance without this opportunity. If you encounter obstacles throughout the application process or are denied security clearance, legal representation can make a critical difference in changing the outcome.

Apply for Security Clearance Today

The legal team at The Edmunds Law Firm has been serving clients in the area of national security clearance for over 40 years, since 1976. If you would like more information about applying for a security clearance, contact one of our accomplished security clearance lawyers today.

We are nationally ranked and proud to offer effective representation. Call us at (800) 481-2526!

It’s the passport into a world of opportunities within government, defense, and other sectors: a security clearance. For students in some fields, such as cybersecurity, being able to obtain one is an absolute must.

How to obtain a security clearance“It represents, for the federal government, a way of determining that you can be trusted,” notes Sarah Alspaw, associate director of career services at Capitol Technology University. Getting a clearance is a high priority for many students at Capitol given the school’s focus on engineering and technology fields and its close links to federal employers.

“We work with a lot of employers that require security clearances,” Alspaw said.

Whether aiming for a confidential, secret, top secret, or Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) clearance, students need to think ahead to the clearance process, understand the requirements, and be aware of potential red flags, she said.

1. Find a sponsor. Job-seekers going into the federal employment marketplace often face a Catch-22: you need a clearance to land certain jobs, but a clearance can’t be obtained unless a company or organization is willing to sponsor the process. “You can’t just run out and obtain a clearance on your own,” Alspaw notes.

Traditionally, employers would provide “contingent” job offers, in which a candidate is first hired and then goes through the clearance process under company sponsorship. Nowadays, though, many companies are looking for applicants who have already been cleared through some prior position, stated Alspaw.

Cybersecurity bachelor’s students can position themselves ahead of graduation by doing internships that lead to a clearance, she said. Capitol works with programs such as the National Security Scholars Program (NSSP), which includes a security clearance as part of its scholarship package, and also connects students with internships that can get them on track.

2. Ditch the illegal downloads. Does the federal government really care that you watch pirated movies or grab your favorite music from file-sharing networks? The answer is yes, Alspaw says – those FBI warnings at the start of a DVD are for real, and involvement in piracy will count as a serious strike against you when applying for the clearance. “That includes not only illegally downloading music and movies, but also textbooks,” comments Alspaw. “Textbooks are a big deal among university students, obviously, but if you’re getting materials that you should have paid for, for free, you’re breaking the law.”

Clearance seekers are hooked up to polygraphs and asked a range of questions that cover topics including online behavior, and they must also disclose such information on the SF-86 application form.

3. Get Your Finances in Order. In vetting clearances, the Secret Service is particularly alert to issues that could expose an applicant to blackmail or induce acts of espionage. Financial woes are high on the red flag list. “Having student loans or credit cards isn’t a problem,” Alspaw says. “But having outstanding credit card or loan debt is.” To help students avoid such pitfalls, Capitol provides training in financial literacy as part of the Freshman Seminar that all undergraduates must take.

4. Steer Clear of Drugs. Investigators will conduct a thorough check to ensure you are not using illicit substances. “Don’t take anything that hasn’t been prescribed to you,” Alspaw says. “If you’re found to have used drugs of any kind illegally within 365 days prior to your application, that’s an automatic disqualification.” Investigators will also contact family members, friends, and roommates who may disclose instances of substance abuse.

5. Don’t Broadcast Your Status. The fact that you’ve applied for or received a clearance should be kept private. Publicizing such status, in addition to breaching the rules, can lead to being targeted for social engineering efforts by adversaries. “Keep in mind that in the security field, you may be discouraged not only from revealing your clearance, but also from talking about your job. Some of our former students aren’t even allowed to tell people where they work,” Alspaw says.

Top-secret and SCI levels of clearance are often required for the career paths of greatest interest to Capitol students. “Due to the subject matter we teach here, many of our students are looking at careers with the NSA or with companies serving the nation’s intelligence and defense needs” said Alspaw. These fields of study can lead to widely impactful careers. Being prepared to apply for a security clearance brings our students one step closer to making a difference.

How to obtain a security clearance

With the ever-increasing need for quality and trustworthy employees, many employers are requiring that potential hires obtain a security clearance before they can begin work. This is especially true if you are applying for positions with the Department of Defense, or DOD. Obtaining a DOD security clearance isn’t as simple as filling out and submitting an application. Once you obtain a DOD security clearance, however, it will open doors to new, interesting and fulfilling careers.

Understand the types of security clearances. There are three basic levels of DOD security clearances with each level allowing different levels of access to information. A Confidential clearance allows access to information that could cause some measurable damage to national security. A Secret clearance grants access to information that could cause grave damage if the information were released and a Top Secret clearance will provide access to information that could be devastating to national security.

Determine if the position requires a DOD security clearance. When applying for a position with the Department of Defense, the security clearance required should be listed in the job posting. If you are unsure what clearance is needed, ask the employer.

Get an employer’s assistance to obtain the security clearance. You cannot obtain a DOD security clearance by yourself, and the process can be very costly and time-consuming. You will need your current or potential employer to apply for the clearance on your behalf.

Complete the application phase. During this phase of your application process the DOD will verify your U.S. citizenship, obtain fingerprints and require you to fill out the Personal Security Questionnaire, Form SF-86.

Wait for the background checks. After the application process, the Defense Security Service will conduct a thorough background check regarding your employment, criminal and credit histories.

The final phase of the DOD security clearance is the adjudication phase. During this time the DOD will review your information and evaluate you based on 13 factors, such as credit, criminal and personal conduct.

Depending on how the evaluation went, the Department of Defense will either grant or deny you a security clearance.

The security clearance process can take up to two years.

Start with a nonclassified government job. This will allow you to get your foot in the door and obtain a DOD security clearance if needed.


Don’t quit any other employment you have have until you obtain your DOD security clearance.

The security clearance application process can be very personal and intrusive.

Beware of companies that offer to pre-approve your security clearance; it cannot be done.

To access classified information, individuals must prove they are willing and able to keep it secret. Those who have shown that they can keep sensitive information secure may receive top secret or sensitive compartmented information (TS/SCI) clearance. TS/SCI clearance can help you increase your earning potential and qualify for high level positions in the government, military and private sector. In this article, we describe how to get a TS/SCI clearance and which jobs require it.

What is top secret or sensitive compartmented information clearance?

TS/SCI clearance allows you to access sensitive information that is not available to the public. Sometimes, this can mean access to data, information or even technology that is only available to those with the appropriate clearance level. Often, the type of data that someone with a TS/SCI clearance might access involves national security. To keep citizens safe, the agencies who grant TS/SCI clearance only provide it to trustworthy people who need this level of clearance for their work.

There are different levels of security clearance, ranging from confidential to top secret. TS/SCI is one of the highest levels of security clearance, meaning that anyone who has this level of clearance has access to highly sensitive information.

How to get TS/SCI clearance

To receive a TS/SCI clearance, follow these steps:

1. Gain sponsorship

An ordinary citizen cannot request TS/SCI clearance on their own. A sponsor must request this type of clearance on your behalf. Often, government agencies such as the FBI or CIA require some level of security clearance for the people they employ. There are also civilian companies that require some level of security clearance, especially if the company specializes in sensitive data such as finance or internet security, or if the company works closely with government agencies.

While some companies have their own process of vetting someone for TS/SCI clearance, many agencies ask you to complete Personnel Security Questionnaire (SF-86) and provide extensive information on your personal history. Most times, you must inform them of any international travel you have made in your lifetime and up to 10 years of information detailing your address and work history. Companies that offer you a position that requires TS/SCI clearance may add that the job that is contingent upon successfully receiving this clearance.

2. Undergo a background check

Anyone seeking a TS/SCI clearance must undergo a background check. The agency or agencies responsible for processing your application—typically the Office of Personnel Management, the Defense Department and the Office of the Director of the National Intelligence—also interview your family, friends, acquaintances and previous employers.

The agencies review all the information you provided on your application to ensure you are being honest. It's in your best interest to give them complete and accurate information from the beginning so you are likely to pass the verification process and receive TS/SCI clearance. If the information they find through their research conflicts with what you've told them, you may not be eligible for this security clearance, or you may need to go through the process again.

3. Take a polygraph test

Sometimes, agencies require a polygraph test during the processing of your application. They use this step to verify information or determine your fit for working with national security issues. Some employers may not require this step, but agencies like the CIA require candidates at all levels to complete a polygraph test before considering them for employment.

Some agencies may be more likely to request a polygraph test if they suspect you have connections to people in foreign countries who may use their relationship with you to gain access to sensitive information. Polygraph examiners may also ask if you have secrets or financial troubles that could make you vulnerable to outside influences who may use that information against you.

4. Complete adjudication

During this step, the agency or agencies decide whether to award you TS/SCI clearance. This stage may take a lengthy period of time, particularly if they need to confirm anything you provided or said during your polygraph test or background check. You may also receive requests for further information during this stage.

You may appeal the decision if you receive a denial at this stage. An agency may deny a candidate clearance for reasons like inconsistent answers, drug use, criminal conduct or missing information on the application.

5. Keep up with reinvestigation

Even if an agency grants you TS/SCI clearance, it does not last forever, so you need to undergo a reinvestigation some time after you've begun working. For TS/SCI clearance, you must usually do this every five years or if your employer or a government agency revokes your clearance for any reason before then. If your clearance lapses due to a job change or similar situation, you may also need to go through reinvestigation.

Your clearance level changes depending on your current employment and when you last needed security clearance for work. Clearance levels include:

  • Active TS/SCI clearance: You currently have a job that requires TS/SCI clearance.
  • Current TS/SCI clearance: You worked in a position requiring TS/SCI clearance within the past two years.
  • Expired TS/SCI clearance: You have not worked in a position requiring TS/SCI clearance for two or more years.

Types of jobs that require TS/SCI clearance

While many of the jobs that require TS/SCI clearance are in the government or military, some civilian jobs also require some type of security clearance. Companies that work in counter-intelligence or data security also hire candidates with TS/SCI clearance. Often, companies that require security clearance are especially interested in candidates who already have some level of clearance, as the process of getting TS/SCI clearance can be costly and time-consuming.

How to obtain a security clearance

Whether you are a military member and already part of the Department of Defense, or a civilian seeking a job within the DoD, you might require an active secret-level DoD security clearance. A secret classification is assigned to information which, if obtained by unauthorized personnel, could cause grave harm to the country’s national security interests. You cannot request a clearance on your own — only a potential employer within DoD or a related contractor can request you be granted a clearance. This typically occurs in conjunction with your selection for a DoD position. This does not mean your employment is imminent, however — such clearances can take anywhere from six months to a year or more to complete.

Application Process

Filling out Standard Form 86, Questionnaire for National Security Positions is required to apply for a DoD secret security clearance. You can complete this electronically, through the U.S. government’s e-QIP program, or by completing a hard copy of the form. This extensive questionnaire requires a lot of information about your past residences, jobs held, overseas travel and acquaintances. It is used by U.S. government investigators to thoroughly review your background and character. This information is used to determine whether you are eligible to receive a security clearance, allowing you access to certain levels of classified materials. The branch of the DoD seeking to hire you will submit the form on your behalf.

It’s important to fill out the form completely and accurately. It’s recommended to keep a copy of the completed form for your records, because you will have to request updated clearance investigations every five or 10 years, depending on the level of clearance you possess.

Fingerprinting and Testing

You will have to complete additional measures required by the requesting agency to qualify for a DoD secret clearance. Most organizations require you to be fingerprinted. The prints are checked against various databases to identify any criminal history or other unlawful connections. You might also be required to undergo a polygraph examination, also known as a lie-detector test. Questions for the polygraph are designed to identify past activities or ongoing issues that might make you subject to recruitment by foreign espionage groups, thereby jeopardizing your ability to safeguard U.S. information.

Interview Process

Undergo an interview with Department of Defense investigative personnel. Prepare to expand on the information you entered on the SF-86. You might also be asked questions based on details uncovered during the course of DoD’s background investigation. This includes comments made by neighbors, family members, co-workers and other people the investigators talked to about you. It is essential that you are completely truthful in your answers to investigators’ questions, as well as in the information you provide on your original SF-86.

For those of us who work in Security at TAD PGS, the multifaceted process of obtaining and servicing our employees’ security clearances have become like second nature to us. However, we realize that it may not be like that for many of you who only have minimal exposure to the process on an occasional basis. With that in mind, we have put together some answers to frequently asked questions. These questions only scratch the surface, but hopefully, they will help clarify some of the basics. If you have any other questions, please feel free to forward them to [email protected] or call us at 941-746-4833.

1. What does it take to get a security clearance?

Firstly, only US citizens are eligible for a security clearance and must currently be in a position or offered a position that requires a clearance. The employer will require you to complete an eQip (SF86), after which you will need to be fingerprinted. Once those actions are complete, your employer will submit your security package to the government for processing.

There are three levels of DOD clearances that we work with

  • TOP SECRET: Information or materials of which unauthorized disclosure could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security.
  • SECRET: Information or material of which unauthorized disclosure could be expected to cause serious damage to the national security.
  • CONFIDENTIAL: Information or material of which unauthorized disclosure could be expected to cause damage to the national security.

2. If I held a clearance with another agency could I use that in the DoD world?

Many U.S. federal agencies reciprocate security clearance determinations. Reciprocity may be applied when you have a clearance with a U.S. federal agency, and it is honored and accepted by another agency. Some agencies have separate systems though that aren’t tied to or have limited access to DoD systems. If you believe this situation applies to you, you need to inform your employer of which agency currently holds your clearance. This will allow your employer security department to submit a request to the DoD to have your clearance information imported from the other agency. Once your clearance is confirmed with the other agency, the DoD will make a decision regarding reciprocity based on such things as if the investigation is current and if it meets the standards set for the level of clearance needed for the DoD position which you are seeking to fill.

How to obtain a security clearance

3. What are the types of investigations for security clearances?

a. NACLC/T3: National Agency Check with Local Agency Checks and Credit Check, is for a
Confidential or Secret (Equal to a Department of Energy “L” Clearance)

b. SSBI/T5: Single Scope Background Investigation, is for a Top Secret (Equal to a
Department of Energy “Q” Clearance)

4. How long will it take to receive my final clearance?

Mostly, it depends on the level of clearance for which you are being processed. Wait times change all the time and are only estimates. Currently, the average wait time for final Secret clearance is 4-6 months and final Top Secret can take up to a year or more. However, some will be granted quicker and some will take longer as it is really a case by case situation.

5. How long is my clearance good for?

Top Secret clearances require re-investigation every 5 years, however, to assist with reducing the enormous backlog of investigations, current guidance from the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency “DCSA” has extended that period to 6 years and Secret every 10 years. To remain eligible for a clearance, you must remain working in a position that requires a security clearance. If your position changes and/or you no longer have the need to access classified information, your access privileges will be removed., Your access may be reinstated if the break-in cleared employment is less than 24 months. If you do not work in a position requiring the security clearance for over two (2) years, your clearance can be reinstated by DoD. However, in most cases it will require you to complete another Standard Form 86 – Questionnaire for National Security Positions.

6. What is the difference between a “Current”, and “Inactive” clearance?

  • A “Current” clearance is one in which a candidate has been determined eligible for access and may or may not need to be re-instated.” status.
  • As stated previously, if you do not work in a position requiring the security clearance for over two (2) years, your clearance can be reinstated by DoD. However, in most cases it will require you to complete another Standard Form 86 – Questionnaire for National Security Positions and go through a new investigation to have access reinstated.

Individuals without current clearance eligibility, may not be considered for jobs that require current clearances.

For more information on the clearance process please visit the DCSA website at:

For more information on Security Clearances check out our series where our experts cover the in’s and outs of obtaining and working with security clearances.