- Can you give me an idea of the average time frame for completing the security clearance process?
It all depends on whether issues arise in the security clearance process. It can take as little as 60 days (sometimes even less), but it can also take much longer if there are issues that are complex. Such cases, fortunately, are rather rare, and we generally know within 120 days or so whether the clearances will be forthcoming.
- Drug use, Felonies and Security Clearance
Security clearances and final suitability are adjudicated by looking at the candidate's entire profile (including court records). There are no automatic disqualifiers from the process. If you are interested in joining the Civil or Foreign Service, you should at least take the first step by registering to take the Foreign Service Officer Test, applying for a Foreign Service Specialist vacancy, or submitting your application for a Civil Service position on USAJobs.
- During the security clearance process, what will my current employer be told is the reason for the clearance? Is it best they didn't know I was applying for another job, since employment isn't guaranteed?
If you don't want your current employer contacted, you need to advise the security investigator. They are not supposed to contact your current employer unless you say that they may, since this is a common — and obviously legitimate — concern.
- I have a top secret security clearance now. If I pass the written and oral exams, would I be eligible for a job immediately?
If your TS clearance was granted by the Department of State, then you won't need a new one. However, if it's from another agency, we'll need to verify the duration and level of clearance to determine if we need to update the background investigation and issue our own clearance.
- I have obtained security clearance, but what is the likely hood of being denied in the Final Review Panel?
Upon completion of the background investigation, a Final Review Panel will examine your completed file (except medical records) to determine your suitability for employment with the Foreign Service. This process is one of the most thorough aspects of the application process. Many pass the process; some do not.
- Is sexual orientation a factor considered by the Department in its hiring decisions?
The Department of State is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of sexual orientation.
- What chance does someone with a misdemeanor conviction have of becoming a Foreign Service Specialist?
All security clearances are handled on a case-by-case basis. It depends on when, what, etc.
- What happens if I do not receive clearance?
Candidates who do not receive security clearances are ineligible for appointment. Potential Candidates who have any serious issues which could prevent them from receiving their clearance should give some thought to the likelihood of their being found ineligible before starting this process. These investigations are conducted by the Department of State in cooperation with other federal, state, and local agencies.
- What if I am a male and over 18 but have not registered with the Selective Service?
If you are a male born after December 31, 1959, and are at least 18 years of age, civil service employment law (5 U.S.C. 3328) requires that you must be registered with the Selective Service System, unless you meet certain exemptions under Selective Service law. If you are required to register but knowingly and willfully fail to do so, you are ineligible for appointment by executive agencies of the Federal Government. If you are unsure of your registration status, or if want further details on exemptions to the registration requirement, you can check the Selective Service System website at: http://www.sss.gov.
- What is involved the security clearance process?
Officers: Applicants who are successful in the Oral Assessment will be asked to submit forms for the Top Secret security clearance required for appointment to the Foreign Service. The clearance process investigates the candidate's background and, prior to issuing a security clearance, considers such factors as: registration for the Selective Service; failure to repay a U.S. Government-guaranteed student loan; past problems with credit or bankruptcy; failure to meet tax obligations; unsatisfactory employment records; violations of the law; misrepresentation in the Registration Process; drug or alcohol abuse; a criminal record; extensive travel; education; residence and/or employment overseas; dual citizenship; foreign contacts; immediate family or relatives who are not citizens of the United States and/or a foreign born spouse or foreign born declared same-sex domestic partner; or a less- than-honorable discharge from the armed forces.
- What is the background investigation?
Applicants who are successful in the Oral Assessment will be asked to submit forms for a security clearance required for appointment to the Foreign Service.