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.
Clearances from other agencies may be recognized by the Department of State, but some may need to be up-dated. Investigations include interviews with current and previous contacts, supervisors, and coworkers.
Specialists: The clearance process considers such factors as registration for the Selective Service, failure to repay U.S. Government-guaranteed student loan, credit history, violations of the law, drug or alcohol abuse, or a less-than-honorable discharge from the armed forces.
Background investigations may take several months (longer if a candidate has moved frequently or lived overseas for extended periods of time), and may include interviews of supervisors and coworkers. These investigations are conducted by the Department of State in cooperation with other federal, state, and local agencies.
Keywords: Security clearance