Resources for the Clearance Holder or Applicant

Commonly Asked Questions

Answers to some of the most common questions we hear from clients and issues addressed by adjudicators.

 


 

Five Tips for Getting and Keeping a Clearance

Five foundational considerations for clearance holders.

 


 

Understanding Interim Clearance and Denials

Generally speaking, a security investigation 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.

 


 

Completing the Personnel Security Questionnaire

The first step in getting a security clearance involves completing the Personnel Security Questionnaire or, SF-86. Most likely, it will involve completing the SF-86 online, using the Electronic Questionnaire for Investigations Processing system, or e-QIP (pronounced “Equip”), though some agencies still rely on a PDF version of the SF-86. The level of clearance granted will be Confidential, Secret, or Top Secret.

 


 

Most Common Security Clearance and Public Trust Application Forms

 

SF-86: Questionnaire for National Security

 

SF-85P: Questionnaire for Public Trust Positions

 

SF-85: Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions

 


 

Adjudicative Guidelines for the Executive Branch

 


 

Reporting Requirements for the Executive Branch

Security Clearance Blogs

_

Security Clearance Practice


Elaine L. Fitch


Photo of Mary E. Kuntz, Partner, DC employment law firm KCNF

Mary E. Kuntz

Co-chair of the Security Clearance Practice


Photo of Elizabeth M. Baker, associate with DC employment law firm KCNF

Elisabeth Baker-Pham

Co-chair of the Security Clearance Practice


Photo of Aaron Herreras Szot, associate with DC employment law firm KCNF

Aaron Herreras-Szot


Photo of Elizabeth I. Newman, Retired Partner, DC employment lawyers of Kalijarvi, Chuzi, Newman and Fitch

Elizabeth L. Newman

Retired (2015)