Are You Experiencing Security Clearance Processing Delays?


My impression is that interims are rarely if ever granted anymore.


Ahh ok. But for instances where they are requested (required before starting) in order for individuals to begin work. I imagine they are about 16 weeks in. Only according to the experiences I have read about on this forum. At least that is what I am hoping for.


When I was waiting for mine, they told me 4-6 weeks. Ended up being 6. That must have been right before things went over the edge though cause everything I've been reading has them taking much longer, as in the 4 month range.

Funny did some research when I was first completing the SF 86, read about people getting a response on the interim between 2-4 days. These could have been direct government hires though, I don't know


I am about the point where they rejected me for missing fingerprints. But, with all of the holidays, I guess I could subtract maybe a few weeks from that timeline.

With all of the "limbo" stories, I am not sure where I stand. Just like everyone else I guess.


it used to be common for individuals to receive an interim in less than 10 days, my best was the same day as submission for several of my personnel, but this was 2014 - early 2015, before the discovery of the breach and the total shut down of e-QIP submissions in July of 2015. Now with the changes to the processing of clearances, the budget constraints and the continuation of the backlog, interims are taking 100+ days. It is taking approximately 80+ days just to get the initial approval from PSMO-I. Then another 20 - 45 days to get the investigation opened at OPM. The interim can only be granted after all of the written checks have been completed, fingerprint check completed and the investigation has been opened by OPM. Another thorn in the investigation side, is the new administration needs to be cleared, which is taking priority over the previously submitted investigations.


DSS PSMO-I that does all the front-end processing for collateral DoD contractor clearances apparently does not have enough money, because they are operating under a "continuing resolution" rather than a full budget appropriation, to submit all the investigation requests they have to OPM for investigation. Since last April they have been metering their submissions to OPM. Which means they are on average receiving more investigation requests each day than they are submitting to OPM. Consequently there are probably about 20,000 to 30,000 cases backed up at PSMO-I waiting to be submitted to OPM (about 2 to 3 months worth of cases). Plus, as of last August they can no longer grant interim clearance until after the case is submitted to OPM and OPM has sent them the advance fingerprint results from FBI and the credit report. There's also a backlog of fingerprint check requests at FBI. All of this is resulting in more than 3 months before PSMO-I can even review a case to make an interim clearance decision. Prior to all this, PSMO-I granted interim Secret clearances in 2 to 3 working days to about 70-75% of all initial clearance applicants. I suspect that the advance fingerprint results and the credit report has brought that number down to about 60-65%. What I've just said only applies to collateral clearances for DoD contractor cases. The money for investigations for contractor SCI, federal employees, and military cases comes from other agencies, which may have their own funding problems. PSMO-I automatically considers all initial clearance applicants for interim clearances. Not all agencies do this. Some agencies only consider interim clearances for specific jobs or when there's a compelling need.


I feel you bud. I graduated with a BS in May, this will be my first real job (dream job offer though) out of college and I don't even want to think about the lost earnings and training I could have completed. I was initially told 12 weeks, which passed long ago in October. My company currently has about 1,000 people waiting on secret clearances, mostly blue collar workers like pipefitters and welders. I can't believe that they can't support their families for months/years until they get their clearance.

As for the question about the interim, my investigation was opened September 12th, and I was put on "eligibility pending (ie denied)" on October 25th. From eqip submission in August, it was 78 days for interim denial.

Really frustrating watching the average wait times get longer and longer every 3 months. I don't even know if they are in business days or calendar days. (If calendar then they sound like bullshit, considering I'm at 160 today). My current employer was sent a questionnaire back in September, have yet to hear from a BI, have an interview scheduled, have not gotten a reply from DMDC to my letter, total crickets since JPAS "eligibility pending".


Thanks for the succinct clarification on thus topic Mr. Henderson. Although to does not help many on this site who have been frustrated by the process, it doe explains in layman terms why it is happening.


Are you a Attorney? can you be hired to help mitigate a SOR?


I am not an attorney. I have worked as a Security Manager, Industrial Security, Info Security and Personnel Security for 30 years. I would recommend a cleared attorney for an appeal on a revocation.


After submitting my sf86 in June, my credit was pulled by OPM in Sept and my interim was bypassed in Oct. I found out that 3 weeks ago, DOD pulled my credit. Does that mean that the investigation is barely beginning and I now have 160 days to wait?


Does anyone know if investigations for people with tentative offers will continue through this hiring freeze?


I'm sure that the investigations will continue at their current pace... the last thing they need is a freeze what with the massive backlog.

The only thing that is affected is people starting a new job, I base this on previous freezes.


The hiring freeze took effect on 1/23, no one who was not appointed by then can be hired. This is a 90 day moratorium. It is up to the individual agencies that made offers to applicants that were not on-boarded as to whether to continue a background investigation fi one was already scheduled or to cancel it. In these unstable times I would not be surprised of agencies decide to cancel all pending appointments and investigations.


Hi Marko,

The trouble I am finding is the answer to what exactly "appointment" is referring to. I have a letter dated 1/4 for my "Reinstatement Appointment" which states an EOD of 2/6. Some have told me that in the Executive Order, "appointment" means you have already been sworn in.

If the later is the case are you saying that my reinstatement could get cancelled altogether rather than just delayed (for however long that may be?)



Sworn in by an officer of the agency means appointment. The guidance given by the memo is foggy, even for the DoD for national security positions which are supposed to be exempt. I would contact the agency HR office that sent you your EOD date to see what guidance they have been given,


Thanks Marko,

I emailed HR first thing this morning & they said management was working on an answer.

I will patiently wait (some more).


Hi there. So I submitted my form last April. The investigation opened in July. I have not heard anything until December when an investigator from across the country called me to interview me. But she had to reassign me to the investigators in my area. I'm in WA state. Anyone know if that puts me at the bottom of some other pile?

The only people I've to call is the security department of my new employer. They're not very helpful as all they can tell me is my investigation is showing open. Any thoughts? It's hard to try and plan life like this.


OMB released this guidance: Individuals who received a job offer or an appointment before Jan. 22, received a confirmation from the agency and received a start date on or before Feb. 22, 2017 should report to work on that day, OMB said. But if a person has a job offer from agency that does not include a start date — or that date is after Feb. 22 — agency heads should review the position and decide whether it should be revoked, or if the prospective employee should show up for work.


and Marko when you say guidance, does that mean that all agencies HAVE to adhere to this? In other words, my FO from December with my EOD of 2/6 is safe no matter what agency I am in, correct?