Clearance crossover timeline

I’m currently a blue badge IC employee with TS/SCI/FSP and recently accepted a position with a contractor supporting the same agency. I know enough not to give notice before my clearance crosses over but does anyone have an idea of how long it takes these days? My recruiter tells me it’s anywhere from 72 hours to 2 months and it just depends. That seems like a pretty wide window maybe someone has some recent experience with this? Thanks for any help you can offer.

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I’m afraid that is a pretty fair assessment, depending on so many factors… but in most cases I think it goes very quickly.

And if you are going blue-to-green with the same agency, it isn’t really a ‘crossover’ but just a question of the contractor being able to pick up your existing clearance based on the current investigation.

Appreciate the reply and thanks for clarifying the ‘crossover’ term. It’s a shame that the window is so wide but I suppose there’s a million different circumstances to consider.

Follow on question, if I may: Is there any reason a contractor would be unable to pick up my clearance? I’m not due for reinvestigation for another 2+ years and my life and agency record is pretty boring. In fact, it’s really boring. Or does something else drive those decisions?

Again, appreciate the help.


If your investigation is recent that should help a lot. But I think the main worry (other than the usual security issues which dont seem to apply in your case) is that it somehow gets to the bottom of the stack on somebody’s desk who has just gone on leave or something.

And contractors don’t always rate the top priority as you may know…

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Normally, same agency crossover can be done in 72 hours. A week tops. I learned to never take verbal. Only rely on scanned approval and popping up in system showing contractor vice govvie.

I tried to be a goviee with a TS/SCI FSP as a contractor and here i am languishing in 5the year of
“Application actively bring processed” and “ Are you still interested in position “ question.

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Check yes, remain clutter on their in basket. Regardless now, items are outdated, signature pages require update, BI dates move…last agency tried putting it on us as a contract security manager. Once we as a company submit to clearance division…it is in their hands. They many times would claim mot having it…or claim “waiting on a DD214” that they never requested. Normally that would suddenly break logjam and they would find it. On occasion I went through the compound security office to follow up on old dogs languishing in system. That too could get progress but you couldnt over use that trick. You want the security office able to call in that favor once a year or so.
I never understood companies not actively tracking the clearance progress of their submissions and actively pursuing updates. I suppose I was lucky to be on the Agency in questions system and could communicate direct to clearance folks. But with almost 400 positions I had to be aggressive to keep seats filled. As long as we had candidates in process the government could not write us up for seats not filled. It was their clearance process preventing it.
I had “detractors” on both sides…as I conducted a stringent security interview and heavily scrutinized the SF 86 for common errors and honesty. Company HR was mad I would not process or submit folks who I knew would never clear. At times 9 out of 10 would not get past my interview. But
…I had a 100% clear rate on those I submitted. And a zero error rate on every sf86…no rejects due to error or missing items. On the government side I followed up on clearances at set intervals. 5 days on a cross over, 8 to 10 months on Secret and 18 to 24 months on TS with poly.

Yeah, I’m painfully aware of the priority that contractors receive. The prime on the contract I manage has a lot of difficulty getting people through the process. At last check there’s about 100 people in their queue just sitting. Occasionally, and with a lot of backing from senior leadership, we’re able to nudge a handful of folks to fill critical positions. Even then, it seems Congress moves at a faster pace.

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I’m not giving my notice until I know the clearance transferred. I’ve seen people learn that lesson the hard way. Is there a system that us normal govvies have access to where we can see our affiliation? Inappropriate to contact my MSO or someone else in my Agency’s clearance office?

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May I ask why you want to become a contractor? I know money is generally better. However, in my experience, there is much more job security on the government side.

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I left my first career in industrial laundry (glamorous, right?) to go back to school and finish a degree in cyber. While doing that, I got picked by a college co-op program administered by my current Agency. COVID came along and I had the opportunity to go full-time and I took it. Much better to be a govvie during COVID than not. But, the catch was I had to stay at my then current grade which was and still is well below my performance. My leadership has told me that I’m already performing somewhere in the 14-15 range in a highly visible position but there’s no way for them to promote me fast enough. There was a lot of talk about a double promotion last year but that didn’t materialize though I did get the single. There’s more talk this year of a double but I can’t trust it. I dipped my toe in the waters and multiple offers came my way, one topping $200k. Even with a double promotion this year, that’s a third of what I will make as a contractor.

I’m mid forties, not mid-20’s and can’t afford to make a third of what I’m worth.

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Good for you. When you have a highly marketable skill set, strong work ethic…and record of performance…O would opt for the 200k. Because that background plus that salary then resets your baseline. And with your skill…there will always be demand to pull you in, possibly in SES or SIS level.

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