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How To Get Us Government Security Clearance

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Guideline F: Financial Considerations

Can a Permanent Resident Get a Security Clearance?

The Concern:

  • An individual who is financially overextended is at risk of having to engage in illegal acts to generate funds.

Conditions that could raise a security concern and may be disqualifying include:

  • A history of not meeting financial obligations
  • Inability or unwillingness to satisfy debts
  • Unexplained affluence
  • Financial problems that are linked to gambling, drug abuse, alcoholism, or other issues of security concern.

Conditions that could mitigate security concerns include:

  • The behavior was not recent
  • It was an isolated incident
  • The conditions that resulted in the behavior were largely beyond the person’s control
  • The person has received or is receiving counseling for the problem and there are clear indications that the problem is being resolved or is under control
  • The affluence resulted from a legal source and
  • The individual initiated a good-faith effort to repay overdue creditors or otherwise resolve debts.

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Applying For A Security Clearance

  • 1Identify the clearance level you need. There are three levels of security clearances: confidential, secret, and top secret.XResearch source Identify which one you need.
  • Confidential. You can access material that could cause measurable damage if improperly disclosed. Most military personnel get this clearance.
  • Secret. You can gain access to material that could cause serious damage to national security if it were disclosed improperly.
  • Top secret. You can access to information or material that could cause exceptionally grave damage to the nations security if improperly disclosed.
  • 2Complete the questionnaire. You will need to complete the Personal Security Questionnaire, SF-86, online.XResearch source This form will ask for substantial amounts of information, such as where youve lived and worked for the past 10 years and your relationship with family members. Answer all questions honestly and thoroughly.XTrustworthy SourceUS Department of StateOfficial website of the U.S. Department of StateGo to source
  • Talk to your companys Facility Security Officer for information on accessing the questionnaire.
  • 3Choose your references wisely. The application will request work, school, and personal references. It will also ask for the names of neighbors and landlords. If possible, you should avoid naming family members. Also try not to list someone as a reference more than once.
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    Guideline D: Sexual Behavior

    • Sexual behavior that involves criminal offense
    • Indicates personality or emotional disorders
    • Subject the individual to coercion, exploitation, or duress, or reflects lack of judgment or discretion. see footnote)

    Conditions that could raise a security concern and may be disqualifying include:

    • Sexual behavior of a criminal nature, whether or not the individual has been prosecuted
    • Compulsive or addictive sexual behavior when the person is unable to stop a pattern of self-destructive or high-risk behavior or which is symptomatic of a personality disorder
    • Sexual behavior that causes an individual to be vulnerable to coercion, exploitation or duress
    • Sexual behavior of a public nature and/or which reflects lack of discretion or judgment.

    Conditions that could mitigate security concerns include:

    • The behavior occurred during or prior to adolescence and there is no evidence of subsequent conduct of a similar nature
    • The behavior was not recent and there is no evidence of subsequent conduct of a similar nature
    • There is no other evidence of questionable judgment, irresponsibility, or emotional instability
    • The behavior no longer serves as a basis for coercion, exploitation, or duress.

    What Is Security Clearance

    Security Clearance Process

    A security clearance grants eligibility to receive classified national security information or access to restricted areas following the completion of a rigorous background check. Not all security clearances grant the same types of access, and it’s impossible to obtain without following the government’s formal process. After an applicant receives a conditional offer of employment from a government agency and submits subsequent forms to the hiring office for review, a background investigation is initiated by the U.S. Diplomatic Security Office to determine the candidate’s national security eligibility.

    Review the types of security clearances below:

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    Federal Employment Fitness Investigation

    The requirements for a Fitness investigation are exactly the same as a Suitability investigation. The only difference is that Fitness investigations are conducted on new excepted service federal employees and these investigations can involve different adjudicative criteria and procedures than Suitability investigations. These investigations are also conduct on federal contractor personnel being considered for Public Trust positions or PIV cards required by HSPD-12. Within DoD a PIV is called a Common Access Card .

    Facility Security Clearances

    What Is A Security Clearance

    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 and Facility Security Clearance . Government agencies that issue clearances often refer to clearances as eligibility for access.

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    Guideline L: Outside Activities

    The Concern:

    • Involvement in certain types of outside employment or activities is of security concern if it could create an increased risk of unauthorized disclosure of classified information.

    Conditions that could raise a security concern and may be disqualifying include:

    Any service, whether compensated, volunteer, or employment with:

    • A foreign country
    • Any foreign national
    • A representative of any foreign interest
    • Any foreign, domestic, or international organization or person engaged in analysis, discussion, or publication of material on intelligence, defense, foreign affairs, or protected technology.

    Conditions that could mitigate security concerns include:

    • Evaluation of the outside employment or activity indicates that it does not pose a conflict with an individual’s security responsibilities
    • The individual terminates the employment or discontinues the activity upon being notified that it is in conflict with his or her security responsibilities.

    Police Certificate And Ircc Requirements

    What it takes to get top secret clearance

    You must provide a police certificate when you apply for permanent residence in Canada and for some temporary residence programs .

    If you apply for criminal rehabilitation, temporary resident permit, and authority to return to Canada , you must provide state certificates as well as an Identity History Summary issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation .

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    Guideline G: Alcohol Consumption

    The Concern:

    • Excessive alcohol consumption can leads to questionable judgment, which may increase the risk of unauthorized disclosure of classified information.

    Conditions that could raise a security concern and may be disqualifying include:

    • Driving while under the influence, fighting, child or spouse abuse, or other criminal incidents related to alcohol use
    • Reporting for work or duty in an intoxicated or impaired condition, or drinking on the job
    • Diagnosis by a credentialed medical professional of alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence
    • Evaluation of alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence by a licensed clinical social worker
    • Habitual or binge consumption of alcohol to the point of impaired judgment
    • Consumption of alcohol after completing a rehabilitation program

    Conditions that could mitigate security concerns include:

    • The alcohol related incidents do not indicate a pattern
    • The problem occurred a number of years ago and there is no indication of a recent problem
    • Positive changes in behavior supportive of sobriety
    • Successful completion of a rehabilitation program along with aftercare requirements, as well as abstaining from alcohol consumption for at least 12 months.

    Requirements For A Clearance

    The vetting process for a security clearance is usually undertaken only when someone is hired or transferred into a position that requires access to classified information. The employee is typically fingerprinted and asked to provide information about themselves. This becomes a starting point for an investigation into the candidate’s suitability. The process has been streamlined and now requires the person who needs clearance to input the information online using E-qip five days are allowed for data input. Having the older paper form can be helpful for collecting and organizing the information in advance. The information on an investigation and its status is stored in either JPAS or Scattered Castles.

    Investigative work is usually at least one of the following types:

    Investigations conducted by one federal agency are no longer supposed to be duplicated by another federal agency when those investigations are current within 5 years and meet the scope and standards for the level of clearance required. The high-level clearance process can be lengthy, sometimes taking a year or more. In recent years, there has been an increased backlog of cases which has been attributed to the economic climate. The long time needed for new appointees to be cleared has been cited as hindering the presidential transition process.

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    How Does A Company Get A Facility Clearance

    A company must be sponsored for an FCL by a federal agency or a cleared contractor. A company cannot sponsor itself for an FCL. The cleared contract or federal agency requests the FCL when a definite, classified procurement need has been established. DSS has information at their website about the FCL process.

    Jobs That Require A Security Clearance

    What are your odds of getting a security clearance ...

    Many federal agencies and federal contractors working with those agencies necessarily require their employees to hold security clearances in order to do their job.

    The need for a security clearance is dictated by a necessity to handle sensitive or classified information rather than a specific job description.

    Anyone having access to classified data requires clearance at or higher than the level at which the data they must handle is classified. For this reason, security clearances are required for a wide range of jobs, from senior management to janitorial. Positions that may require a security clearance include secretaries, security officers, librarians, system administrators, and computer-support personnel who have access to classified documents or systems.

    The December 2017 United States Government Accountability Office Report to Congress states, As of October 1, 2015, the latest date for which data are available, approximately 4.2 million government and contractor employees, at nearly 80 executive branch agencies, were eligible to hold a security clearance.

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    What Are The Different Levels Of Security Clearances

    Not every clearance holder has access to the same information. Some clearances only grant access to a particular facility or information about a specific project for a government agency. There are levels of secret clearance that dictate what information needs to be known by the clearance holder. Most government agencies have three levels of security clearance. While the unauthorized disclosure of any level of information disclosed could cause damage to national security, the risk of danger becomes more serious the higher the level of clearance:

    • Confidential: In this case, the position typically requires only basic access to facilities, information, or systems, which can be granted through the lowest level of security clearance. The individual’s clearance eligibility is re-investigated every 15 years to keep authorization active.
    • Secret: At this middle tier of clearance levels, secret clearances are re-investigated slightly more frequently, every 10 years. As the investigation to grant a clearance becomes more thorough at higher levels, more candidates may be deemed ineligible through the discovery of criminal activity not reported by public record.
    • Top Secret: This type of security clearance is reserved for positions that require access to very sensitive information and systems. Candidates must undergo a background check and field check, Single Scope Background Investigation , and potentially a polygraph test. This clearance is re-investigated every five years.

    How To Get Ts

    by MilitaryBenefits

    Do you need to know how to get a TS/SCI security clearance? TS/SCI stands for Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmentalized Information and while some may confused the SCI designation as an additional security clearance, it is not.

    What is it? Its an additional screening process applied to those who have jobs requiring access to SCI, which can include data, hardware, certain controlled-access areas, etc. Not all who are vetted for Top Secret clearances are approved to handle or access Sensitive Compartmented Information.

    Only those with a need to have the clearance for specific duties involving SCI will be screening. Your supervisor will likely be the first point of contact for such requirements where applicable.

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    Will My Clearance Be Granted Faster Because I Previously Held A Security Clearance

    No. A new application will need to be submitted and a completely new investigation will need to be conducted and adjudicated. If unfavorable information in a case was fully covered, and favorably adjudicated during the prior clearance processing, it could speed up the adjudication phase of a new clearance request.

    What Is The Defense Office Of Hearings And Appeals

    An Army Ranger Reveals How You Get A Top Secret Clearance

    The Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals is a component of the Defense Legal Services Agency. DOHA is comprised primarily of attorneys , Administrative Judges, and administrative support personnel. DOHA previously had Personnel Security Specialists , but when DOD CAF was created, these personnel transferred to DOD CAF. In 2015 DOHA added Personnel Security Specialists to their staff to perform some functions related to HSPD-12 credentialing and federal employment suitability cases that are not done by DOD CAF. DOHA receives a few thousand of the most problematic cases each year from the Industry Division of DOD CAF, and about 1,500 of these cases are decided by their Administrative Judges. Most of these decision are based on evidence presented at a hearing requested by the applicant. DOHA Administrative Judges also preside over Personal Appearances of clearance applicants appealing clearance denials or revocations by other divisions of DOD CAF.

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    Why Does It Take So Long To Get A Security Clearance

    Some security clearance determinations are made relatively quickly. Others may take a year or more. For these cases part of the answer involves the applicant and requires a better understanding of the process. There are three phases to clearance processing: 1) application, 2) investigation, and 3) adjudication. In the past most clearance delays occurred during the investigation phase. Due primarily to a significant increase in the number of investigators, the average time for investigations has been significantly reduced. Today most of the delays in getting a clearance occur in the application phase and the adjudication phase. The problems that cause these delays are:

  • The applicant is not available for a Subject Interview
    • A brief description of the records you are seeking
    • Any other information that you feel may help in searching for records pertaining to you.
    • The address where you would like the records sent.

    In addition, you must provide a notarized statement or an unsworn declaration made in accordance with 28 U.S.C. 1746, in the following format:

    If executed outside the United States: I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on . .’

    If executed within the United States, its territories, possessions, or commonwealths: I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on . .’


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    How Are Security Clearance Investigations Carried Out

    A National Agency Check , police record checks, and credit check are components of all clearance investigations. When possible these are done centrally by an Investigation Service Provider , like OPM. Some police record checks must be done locally by field investigators. Letter Inquiries to employers, employment supervisors, etc. are also done centrally by an ISP. For investigations requiring other record checks, reference interviews, and a Subject Interview, tasking is sent from the ISP simultaneously to different field offices and assigned to individual investigators in all locations involved. If the investigation develops information that requires additional action in another location, tasking is sent from the investigator that developed the information to another field office. Investigative reports are electronically submitted as the work is completed. When all reports have been received at the ISP, the case is reviewed for completeness, and then forwarded to the appropriate Central Adjudication Facility .

    What Is A Special Access Authorization

    Access Granted, Federal Security Clearance

    Access to classified national security information is based on an appropriate level of security clearance and a need-to-know. Need-to-know can be either a formal or an informal determination. All classified national security information exists within one of these two need-to-know domainsformal or informal. Information that exists within the domain of informal need-to-know determinations is referred to as collateral classified information. Information that requires a formal need-to-know determination exists within Special Access Programs , including Sensitive Compartmented Information and Restricted Data .

    Acronyms such as ATOMAL, CNWDI, COMSEC, COSMIC, CRYPTO, NOFORN, ORCON, SAP, SCI, RD, SIOP-ESI, SPECAT, SIOP-ESI, etc., are not clearances. They are categories of classified information, some of which have extra need-to-know restrictions or require special access authorizations. For example, COSMIC stands for Control of Secret Material in an International Command. COSMIC Top Secret is the term used for NATO Top Secret Information. There are many such markings stamped or printed on classified material, but most are only acronyms denoting special administrative handling procedures.

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