Since Virginia is one of the hubs for military activity, there are many people who live in the state or are relocating for a potential job and are concerned about security clearance issues. Security clearance is needed for a significant portion of these jobs whether it is a person who is taking a government job, a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, or a contractor. Understanding key points about the security clearance include being prepared for the background investigation, knowing when an interim security clearance can be given, and when periodic re-investigations will take place.

When there has been an offer of conditional employment and the security questionnaire has been completed, the background investigation will begin. Applicants are expected to reply with honesty and be candid in their answers. The security package will be submitted to the Department of State and the relevant office. The security package will be subject for review to ensure that it is complete. There will be record checks and a fingerprint scan. The person’s history – past and present – will be assessed. There will be an in-person interview with an investigator from the Department of State. If there are no issues, the security clearance will be approved.

For those who are classified as being an exceptional circumstance, there can be an interim security clearance where the person will be granted clearance quickly after submitting the package. The final clearance can be completed in fewer than three months. Just because a security clearance has been granted does not mean it is permanent. To ensure there are no issues that have come up after the security clearance, there will be a periodic re-investigation. This happens every five years. The person will be informed when the re-investigation is set to take place and there will be an updated security package and another background check. It will start from the end of the previous investigation.

In these troubled and complex times in the U.S. and around the world, it is not uncommon for people to face challenges with their security clearance. Clearance issues are often due to a small problem in the person’s past – one that should not prevent them from getting security clearance and being allowed to work. When there are problems with security clearance, having legal advice and assistance is critical. Calling a law firm that specializes in military law and clearance issues can be imperative to getting the security clearance and the job.