A security clearance is a status granted to individuals allowing them access to classified information (state or organizational secrets) or to restricted areas, after completion of a thorough background check. The term “security clearance” is also sometimes used in private organizations that have a formal process to vet employees for access to sensitive information. A clearance by itself is normally not sufficient to gain access; the organization must also determine that the cleared individual needs to know specific information. No one is supposed to be granted automatic access to classified information solely because of rank, position, or a security clearance.
Any U.S. citizen or company who has access to classified government information must have security clearance. You may hear the term “eligibility for access” pop up in conversation. This is the same as a security clearance.
There are two types of government security clearances:
- Personnel Security Clearances (PCLs)
- Facility Security Clearances (FCLS)
Naturalized citizens are eligible for security clearance; foreign nationals are not. In lieu of a security clearance, non-U.S. citizens may be granted a Limited Access Authorization (LAA).Security clearances are issued by a variety of U.S. government agencies that deal with classified information. These include Executive Branch departments such as the:
- Department of Defense (DoD), including the DIA, NGA and NSA
- Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
- Department of Justice (DoJ), including the FBI
- Department of State (DoS)
Why do you need Security Clearance?
Criminal convictions – often incarceration for one year or more, unlawful use/addiction to controlled substances, mental incompetency, dishonorable discharge or dismissal, unwillingness to surrender a foreign passport, serious financial problems, intentional false statements, repeated alcohol abuse, pattern of criminal conduct/rule violations are all the reasons behind not being able to obtain a security clearance. Any false claims regarding any cases mentioned above is a reason to worry.
Express Infomatics Security Clearance Verification Services:
Express Infomatics will submit the completed security questionnaire and other required forms, also known as the security package, to DS’s Office of Personnel Security and Suitability. Once the security package is received by the Office of Personnel Security and Suitability, it will be reviewed for completeness, and the information will be formally entered into a case management system. National agency record checks and scanned fingerprint checks are then conducted. A case manager will direct the background investigation to cover key events and contacts from the individual’s past and present history.
A critical step in the Security Clearance investigation is the face-to-face interview the individual will have with an investigator. This interview usually occurs within a few weeks of an individual submitting a complete security clearance package.
Our Investigators are located in the United States and overseas. These investigators verify the information an individual has supplied in his or her security package, such as where he or she has lived, gone to school, and worked. Investigators talk to current and former neighbors, supervisors, co-workers, classmates, as well as to the references an individual provided. Investigators also contact law enforcement agencies in each of the places an individual has lived, worked, or attended school. Once our investigators have completed a report, highly trained security clearance adjudicators will weigh the results against existing adjudicative guidelines for security clearances.
Most individuals will be granted a security clearance, although complicating factors or derogatory findings may delay a decision or result in a denial of a security clearance.