Wednesday, October 17, 2018

How Do I Get Security Clearance? Government Worker or Contractor

To Obtain Any Level of Security Clearance You Must Complete Standard Form 86 - Questionnaire for National Security Positions

Click Here to jump to a fillable .pdf of Standard Form 86.

What Are the Main Reasons that Security Clearance is Denied?

If you are concerned about whether you will be granted security clearance, the key thing to bear in mind is that you MUST be TRUTHFUL in answering the Questionnaire.  If you do not believe you can do that, then you may want to consider a non-security clearance position with the company.  Generally, failing to disclose information on the application is the number one reason clearance is denied (serious criminal history, dishonorable military discharge and mental health issues follow).

What Types of Security Clearance Are There?

Confidential, Secret, Top Secret are the common, major categories, and you need to complete Form 86 and on must go through the vetting process to get them. There are also "need to know" clearance, temporary clearance, special access authorization, collateral clearance, interim access clearance...

Interim access clearance is often granted to employees of defense contractors after their application has been completed and initially processed, but before formal clearance is granted.

You must be sponsored by a government agency or contractor to get clearance; once cannot obtain clearance without a sponsor.

How Long Does it Take to be Cleared for Security Clearance?

For top secrete and secret clearances, they try and get them done quickly (30 to 90 days).  The lower level clearances can take 6-12 months. 

Can Non-U.S. Citizens Obtain Security Clearance?

You must be a US citizen to obtain security clearance (although you do not have to be born in the USA initially).

How Long Does Security Clearance Last?

As of late 2017, renewals are required at the following intervals: 5-year intervals for Top Secret clearances, 10-year intervals for Secret clearances, and 15-year intervals for Confidential clearances.

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