Interim Security Clearance


The Fifth Edition of Security Clearance Law and Procedure written by Elaine L. Fitch and Mary E. Kuntz offers representatives, attorneys, and union representatives a comprehensive and authoritative analysis of security clearance law.

Available from Dewey Publications

Helping Federal Job Applicants Understand Interim/Temporary Security Clearance


Generally speaking, the completion of a full security check can take months. Many federal agencies need to fill positions faster than that, so they cannot always wait for the final clearance. In these situations, an applicant may be approved for an interim security clearance until the final clearance comes through.


Understanding Interim Clearance and Denials


Your personnel security officer or facility security officer will submit your completed security questionnaire to the Defense Security Service, or DSS. If none of your answers raise any questions whatsoever, you may be granted an interim clearance. Interim clearances can be granted at all levels, but eligibility for access to higher level programs will not be granted on an interim basis. Applicants seeking a secret interim security clearance typically receive their clearance quicker. Interim clearances are available for one year with the option to extend them for another six months under certain circumstances.


Sometimes an interim clearance may be denied for reasons having nothing to do with damaging information on the form. For example, if you lived or worked abroad, DSS may conclude that interviews with foreign nationals may be necessary and will deny the interim clearance. More likely, the applicant will have checked “yes” to a question that raises issues that must be resolved. In such cases, an interim clearance is denied. Instead, the applicant will be referred for the next stage, the investigation. The denial of an interim clearance may not be appealed or contested. The applicant is not even told the reason why the interim clearance was denied.


Contact an Experienced Federal Security Clearance Lawyer


To learn more about interim security clearance and what it means in your situation, call our experienced legal team at (202) 331-9260 or visit our Contact page.