Clearance and OCI Card (Overseas Citizen of India) Questions for Investigators!

Hello there Investigators and peers!!!

I recently got a federal job, requires me to go through a Secret clearance process. I am a US born Citizen, but I have a “Overseas Citizen of India” card.

It is NOT a dual citizenship. India does not recognize dual citizenship and this OCI card is counted as a unlimited visa for travel. That was my intention with it, back in 2015 when I got it. I only used it once, along with my US passport to attend a wedding years ago. First time going through the clearance process.

I am 100% willing to turn-in/hand over to a security official/have the OCI destroyed ASAP, if needed.

My questions:

  1. Would the OCI card be of any concern for my Interim? Or the full Clearance?
  2. Has anyone run into this issue before personally or during investigations?
  3. Investigators, do you see any issue here with the OCI card?

Here is some basic background about me:

  • US Citizen (By Birth) - Only a US Citizen
  • Age in the upper 20’s
  • Clean Criminal Background
  • Clean Financial History
  • No foreign assets or accounts
  • Only two family contacts in India with which I have only ANNUAL (sometimes never) phone contact with for birthday wishes. One in their 30’s and the other in their 70’s.
  • Only traveled once with the OCI card, for a wedding. Also used the US passport!
  • No plans on traveling over there anywhere in the future.

Please let me know any information and what I can put on the SF-86 that would help!

Thank you in advance!

OCI card… you learn something new every day on these forums :slight_smile:

Anyway read the questions on the SF-86 carefully. I think they only ask about dual citizenship and passport. I think as long as you use the US passport there should not be any issues but I’ve never heard of this. I think there is a concern when a person uses their non-US passport for travel but that does not seem to be the case here.

The SF86 asks “Have you ever been issued a passport (or identity card for travel) by a country other than the U.S.?” That is where you will need to list it. Just be prepared to fully explain why you obtained it and that you’re willing to relinquish it and I doubt you’ll have much issue

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I’m familiar with OCI. It’s a card issued for travel by a foreign country so it should be listed.

What about if my job depends on getting the Interim Secret?

Would having the OCI be a cause for concern of getting the Interim denied, if the job depends on getting that?

Thank you so much or being so fast at answering!

Here is the problem, if you were to be told that yes, having the OCI card will get your interim denied, would you still list?

You clearly understand your situation in regards to your ID card.

Have you ever been issued a passport (or identity card for travel) by a country other than the U.S

Options:

  • Lie on your SF86, but when caught, kiss your career as a cleared professional goodbye.
  • Talk to the FSO when filling in your SF86. Depending on what policy they have, they may:
    –Destroy it on the spot, and send a letter to the CAF (even prior to sending out the SF86…)
    –You would surrender it, and they will keep it for safe-keeping. If you retrieve it, they would have to notify the system that you did.
    –You can keep it (which should be the policy based on SEAD 4). However I’m not sure if anyone is really implementing it. In that case, you may have some self-reporting to do when using it…

Hopefully there would be the option to have it destroyed on the spot. I guess I’ll have to ask and see, when that time comes.

I would never want to lie about it. So I would list the OCI card either way.

We are about to apply for OCI card and seen similar queries but did not see any one confirming how their clearance process went with active OCI card. Can you please share your experience if this caused any problem with your clearance ?

This is a reportable event if you hold a clearance or most any federal employment. You need to discuss this with your FSO/Security Manager immediately.

Having a foreign passport or ID card prior to getting a security clearance is generally a non-issue.
However, you’ll have to go in details as to how/why/when it was acquired, if you used it…

Getting one as a cleared individual is a completely different matter.
Like backgdinvestigator said, talk to your FSO before taking any further steps if you are in that situation.

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I checked with Professor Google and found some websites, including official Govt of India sites, that make it quite clear that, despite the name, this is not a form of ‘citizenship.’ More like a special visa category from what I can tell, to include some kind of right to work in India.

Does this constitute some form of allegiance to a foreign power? Does the possibility of having this OCI card revoked give that foreign power some kind of leverage over a clearance holder? I myself don’t think so, but who knows what an adjudicator might think.

If a person has a security clearance with the USG this might be worth avoiding. If you plan to travel to India so frequently that this is an attractive option, then that too might raise questions.

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I’d agree and say there that there is a potential concern here, depending on various details to which we are not privy.

Generally speaking having a foreign visa may not be an issue in and of itself (I had one and it was no problem, but it was issued by a friendly nation for a college exchange program which was fully listed on my case papers), but of course you always need to look at the big picture and other aspects of the case.