Are You Experiencing Security Clearance Processing Delays?


Thank you subsquirrel for your concern and hopefully things will work out in your favor as well. The thing that i find unusual is that one year after submitting the SF86, they haven't yet contacted any references nor did they reach out to me for an interview. I wonder if this sounds similar to your scenario? And yes regarding the poly, that makes sense.
Thanks !


There is another forum I visit at Federal Soup where they have similar discussions, and some investigators there say they are getting cases that are one year old... that is, one year since they were first opened. These investigators can't tell if anyone else has worked the case but it does give you some idea of the true magnitude of the backlog.


Right , especially after this enormous OPM data breach. I guess up to this point all we can do is wait patiently. Hopefully things will move on towards the end of January.


I've been waiting on my interim secret since August for my first job since graduating. I'm currently at 147 days waiting and in "Pending Interim Determination". People have submitted in the same time frame as me and received theirs within 90 days. Also, the Q4 performance statistics just came out and the end-to-end average wait time is 166 days, which now exceeds Top Secret wait times from a year ago. Funny how the target is 74 days (good luck investigators, I truly feel bad for you). There needs to be more transparency in the process, my security officer can't get any additional information aside from "your application is being worked on somewhere out there in the void". Years ago an interim clearance would take a WEEK. I understand a lot has happened with the breach and all, but this is absurd, causing both my company and I a huge loss of money and productivity. I have to pay back college loans and I have lost almost 5 months of salary due to this. Now i'm hearing "the new IT system will make most decisions on secret and top secret level cases." What the hell? This better not be some shanty automated system that rejects people without a reviewer.


There is absolutely no reason an application should be without an interim determination, rejection, or SOME kind of decision longer than 90 days. If they were going to deny me they should have done it long ago.


After having originally been submitted in Sept. Then, again, in Oct. twice after some mix-ups. Finally, altogether 11/20. The first two submissions were because of clarification (even though you can check a box for I don't know). The last, just before Turkey Day. The reason for submission that time was because of fingerprints. I am in the DMV waiting for an interim to begin a new job.

My SF86 is clean. No money issues, or authority issues. Couple trips to outside of the country to friendly's.

One thing to note is that I was rejected in November for no fingerprints. That took 8 weeks to catch. I am guessing that they would've opened the investigation at that time.

I am guessing another month or so to start the investigation.

If you guys were gamblers, what would you think my timeline will look like for that interim?

What do you guys think?


My job bounces back and forth between FSO and Security Manager. I can contact clearance division and speak to a case manager regarding a person's clearance we sponsored. 99 out of a hundred times I will be told "in process". If I have one running really long I can ask for a supervisor and mention the average timelines but it needs to be far out of normal for them to take action. I have had one person tell me "it is a negative thing holding it up right now." I think that means someone is on vacation. Once in a while I call, they pretend there is nothing they can do....and suddenly the person is contacted by an investigator. I think they lost the package and then "found" it on someone's desk. l


The adjudication panel will review groupings of packages. You may have just missed the last grouping moving forward.


@Amberbunny, I just checked in with HR today and they said my application has been "Eligibility Pending" Since October 25th. I've been reading up on it and it seems to mean the old "interim clearance denied". Does that mean I have to wait for the full clearance, which may take up to a year?? Or does that mean I still might get an interim after they do a little more investigation?


Aha! So there IS an "Adjudication Panel." I was not sure if this was the case... had heard other reports that there is only one person, unless it gets denied and goes over to DOHA.


I submitted my SF86 for a tier 3/NACLC in early November and according to my recruiter, it has yet to be opened. I can't start my new job until the investigation is fully adjudicated, which I'm guessing will take months. I live in an expensive area without insurance and am working at a restaurant just to get by and have to make payments to my student loans soon. Further, my contract for my new job will be up later this year! So I may get the clearance and start my job and then my contract could be up a few months later. But my understanding is that I'm at the "bottom of the barrel" and there's nothing that can be done. I don't even know if there will be issues once they decide to open my investigation, though my background is clean, I have lived in 4 different states over the last 10 years and have had 18 different jobs, some of which they will not be able to contact via mail.


It means you will have to wait through the whole process now.


Which a full clearance should take about 166 days according to This Chart, correct? How long do interim clearances take and how common are they to get?


That is the exact wording from a case manager to me last week regarding one employee who had a DUI last year and a few negative reports from his car machine in his supervised status where he is to remain absolutely alcohol free. In the interim he managed to successfully complete two counseling programs and she asked for any documentation on these classes to mitigate the negative impact "from the panel." She then clarified "if he had successes, I really don't want to go in front of the panel with these negative findings alone." She made several references to the word as we continued to discuss this one employee. Previously I had a case manager ask how critical a submitted package was as there was one "panel member" who was a stickler on no use for 12 months if MJ, and no use for 18 months if it is a misuse of prescription drugs. The implication was if this person was not critical, pull it back and resubmit in 6 months. I did that and they were approved. Mind you when I pulled the SF 86 to see why he might have questions and I read aloud the misuse of prescription drugs he made clear he could not and would not discuss anything on this candidate. Mind you he called me. But like in this forum, I am anonymous to you, as is my company, my client, and the candidate. But it was easy enough to connect the dots.


You likely got a fresh start date with each resubmission. Living in several states...slows you down. I have had clearance folks ask if the candidate has references in one area to make it easier. You have to document where you lived obviously and that chain of dates must be intact. Oddly enough I get a lot of kicked back packages when residences don't track back for 10 solid years. Expect 6 months from last submission.


I expect a good wait.


Does that 166 days begin when the form is submitted or when they credit has been pulled/previous employer contacted?


That's a good question. My personal theory is that is the time from when the case finally makes it to the desk of the person whose job it is to hand out investigative assignments. So it is not when you submitted it, probably closer to the credit check. By the time they are contacting previous employers I'd say the clock has already started. But this is based on personal observations over the years not any actual inside info.

There are so many people out there waiting months for a clearance that these numbers about "166 days" or "90 days" or whatever are some kind of non-real-time measure that bears no relation to actual elapsed calendar time.


And I'd assume that "166" days are excluding weekends and holidays. Seeing how my credit wasn't pulled til about Sept, that would mean my estimated date to get a decision on my secret clearance is somewhere in May. After submitting in June, to not hear back til May the following year is just ridiculous.. smh.


Ridiculous yes, but par for the course.