Boss asked me if i wanted a Security Clearance, how does my case look?


I have been working for the same DoD contractor for more than a decade, my position does not require a clearance.

However the company has been trying to get a few employees cleared in anticipation of more projects that might require a clearance and i was asked if wanted one. I
have been trying to fill out an mock sf86 and its pretty stressful specially since i am a naturalized citizen. Here’s a summary of my case.

Born in China.
Became an US citizen in 2003.
Green card holder since 1997.
One Parent is US Citizen. The other is in the process of becoming one as we speak. Both live in the US.
According to photos, I visited China once after leaving - back in the early 1990s when i was 10-11 years old. I don’t remember. ( I am 40 now ).
No contact whatsoever with anyone back there.
Married to another naturalized citizen (non chinese, Latin America ). Children born in the US.
Live with Green Card holder in-law.
I have only traveled with my US passport.

Credit and financials:
I own my house.
Credit Score is in the 820-840 range.
Credit card balance are paid in full every at due date every month.
30K student loan.
Bachelors from college ~15 years ago.

My spouse does have a brother that lives abroad ( Mexico ) but contact is sporadic. However i will put him down as foreign contact as i should.

Do i have a shot at getting the clearance? I am worried mainly because, well i was in Chinese born even tho i have no ties back there.

Be upfront with any issues you might have to mitigate. Make sure all foreign contacts are properly documented. If your worried about your foreign birth make it exceedingly clear that your first and only preference is to the united states. Give the adjudication guidelines a once over. Good luck and god speed.

From what you described, your case is about 85% similar to my case, but you have a very thin line of foreign influence so that you might a get a better chance for interim clearance.

It doesn’t hurt if your management/company sponsor it, because not a lot of them out there would do it since it costs them $$$ to have initial and maintenance.

When it comes to foreign contacts, just honest when describe the nature of the relationship, and be very selective on who you pick for the three preferences, who know you well.

I wouldn’t anticipate any problems. As advised, be open, honest and up front. Don’t hide anything and don’t look like you have anything to hide.

You’ll be fine but remember that it will take time. Of course, you have the advantage that you can continue your current work while waiting.

I would say your case looks good. I was in Korea and naturalized. I was able to obtain my secret clearance. You just have to make sure you list all of your foreign contacts. You have any connections with the CCP? If you do that maybe an obstacle.

If this is for a Secret clearance, it should not be a problem. I knew people with similar backgrounds who held a Secret clearance with a contractor.

Might take a while (like close to two years) but everything is slow now.

I hear things are even slower! I hear that DOD is going to take over all the investigations again. Do you know when this is going to happened?

Thanks for all the replies!

@krazyk784 No, I don’t have affiliations with the CCP ( I had to google it lol )

@sbusquirrel Yes its only for a Secret Level, so i am guessing its a Tier 3 investigation?

I just need to find out 3 references, we ain’t very social.
Cards will be mailed to them right? I just need to give them the heads up and ask for them to expect something in the mail.

An employer might get cards mailed out, but references would get a phone call to schedule a face-2-face possibly. The agent showed up at my reference’s home during the day, left a business card and a note to call them back. That’s the case if they don’t have the reference phone number handy or they wanted to show up to verify if you provided the correct address for your reference. At least in my case, the agent showed up at 2 of 3 references I provided.

Try to get references that live near you. I moved to a new location, where I don’t have a lot of people that know me well, and my investigator had to ping one of the agents in the reference’s location to collect the information if he/she can’t travel there.

Naturalized won’t be an issue. You are a citizen. Foreign influence can certainly be an issue. I would expect a slower time to clear.

I think you should be fine. Like I said I am a naturalized citizen from Korea and also I am half Chinese. I have a clearance. You should be fine. You should think about working for the state department.

Hi Amberbunny, what are they checking for regarding the foreign influence/contact? For ex, I listed one foreign national in my form - my elderly grandma, whom I speak with 1-2x per year, and also provided her address. Would they be verifying her address or trying to reach her? Just wondering how foreign contacts are looked at.

Most likely checking to see if your foreign contacts are in any federal or international databases or watch lists or if they are known to associate with anyone who is.


What Ed said, plus “are you under undue foreign influence”? Loyalty through affection, monetary gain, land ownership, etc can indicate you lean more towards that country than this one. I wouldn’t worry if the relationship is strictly love for grandma. I have foreign connections since 1982 in the Philippines and Japan. If you have facebook/social media foreign connections you should make note of this or at least discuss with the investigator. That can be a large list if you are a member of chat rooms or affinity pages. I own bull terriers and I’m active on facebook Bullie breed pages. This is a popular breed throughout Europe. Clicking “like” on a facebook page is low on the pole of connections according to at least one background investigator commenting in this forum. But I caution the form asks of social media foreign connections and you are the only one with skin in the game regarding your clearance.


Yes . . . I have had Facebook, and before that web-forum connections, all over the world for years. I have a side business as a wedding photographer and communicate with others all of the time. I explained those to the investigator and didn’t hear anything about them after. I also worked for a company that employed MANY Indian nationals on H1B visas and I had extensive contacts with EU and Asian clients while working with a few software companies.

The world is getting smaller and I believe that is being taken into account in investigations.


Excellent - thank you for the Sage, EdFarmerIII and Amberbunny. And really, detailing all those contacts on FB sounds insane. Do people do that? How would those be explained? So many of them could be random, friends of friends, etc., who comment on any number of posts. May even be hard to determine residence unless they specifically list it in their profile.

Agree that world is getting smaller!

I think that is what Ed is getting at, along with the investigator posting here. Easy to let one slip, are you now hiding a foreign connection? Likely not. Periodically I do clean the FB account of folks I have no idea how I got connected to them. Cambridge Analytica maybe? Hard to say. It is easy to see if you are in constant contact or casual contact. I would not hide it or claim ignorance. But I would not worry I once clicked “like” on a cute Bull Terrier picture from a guy in a foreign country. That said I do tend to steer away when I observe Cyrillic writing or things indicating distinctly hostile governments or countries towards the US.

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LOL! Cambridge! Social media is imp to check these days, so I’m actually glad to hear it. Last thing we need are unsavory folks having access to classified info and putting our whole country at risk.