Changing jobs right after a secret clearance renewal


The company I work for requires a DHS public trust to do my job and that is still pending (initial public trust). Since I already had a DoD secret clearance from the Air Force, I asked if they would be able to renew that since it was about to expire. They agreed and started the renewal process in October 2019 and it just renewed last week. I would like to change jobs because I’m not happy in my current role. Since my clearance just renewed last week, am I obligated to stay with them for a certain period of time? Someone told me that they could bill me for the cost of the clearance since it wasn’t required for the position but they did it anyways. Is this true?

You would’ve seen somewhere in your onboarding paperwork if there was a requirement. T-3 secret is relatively cheap so doubtful they’ll charge you but again it would’ve been mentioned. T5 is another story…

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I have never heard of this happening. The cost is actually borne by the agency that sponsored the clearance and it is not that much money.

In other words, I don’t think you are obligated to stay any specified amount of time due to the clearance. Signing bonuses or relocation packages would but not a clearance.

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Yea, the only requirement was for the job was to be eligible for a DHS Public Trust Clearance and a Secret Clearance was not required. I asked them to renew the Secret Clearance about 2 months after I started working there and they agreed. I just wanted to make sure since it was my request to renew it, if they would bill me for it if I left too early.

Actually it does happen. A T5 can run $5,500 and up. Many companies require at a minimum 12 months with company or repay investigation costs, but it is alway disclosed while onboarding…

Since I have a secret clearance and not a Top Secret. I shouldn’t worry about it and start the job search?

I would think so. Like I said, your onboarding paperwork should’ve said something about having to pay back the cost of an investigation and time criteria if the company had one.