CURRENT spouse called for an interview (TS/SCI)??

Is this normal? If not, what does it mean? My (first and only) spouse was pretty surprised to get the call. We have a very happy marriage, so I have no worries on that front, but I’m now concerned that there’s something else “unusual” going on with my investigation since I didn’t think this was a usual part of the process.

This is several months after my subject interview.
Spouse is an umpteenth generation American, born in the USA, and has no foreign relatives.
We’ve been married about 6 years. First and only marriage for both of us.
Spouse did live overseas (not in a “questionable” country, though) for a couple of years before we met, but that was more than 10 years ago.
I listed one foreign contact on my eQIP because we send this person a yearly holiday card, but I have only met twice personally, most recently 5 years ago or so. I specified in the comments that it was a friend (former co-worker) of my wife’s, who occasionally emails this person.

Current spouses are normally only interviewed to fill in gaps in coverage for residence or employment that could not be covered by other sources.


That’s very strange then: since our marriage we’ve only lived one other place than our present address, and I did list someone for that address with whom I’m still in touch—two phone numbers plus an email address. Employment likewise straightforward. My BI was not shy about asking for additional names and numbers as backup so if that is what it was I’m surprised they aren’t just asking me instead of her.

I’ll report back what it actually was, once she does the interview…

I have a naturalized citizen who my client wanted to undergo polygraph. Then they wanted the spouse to undergo polygraph. Both agreed. Two years later they still have not been polygraphed. So yes I have see this. But it has happened only once. I would make sure you are on the same sheet of music on frequency of contact and be honest.

OK. Yes, we are on the same page with regard to the frequency of contact–I read out what I’d said with regards to this person on my SF-86 to my wife, and she said “yup that sounds right”.

Still seems a little odd to me–the person in question is a citizen of a Five Eyes country, whom neither of us have seen in person in over 5 years, basically just a friendly former co-worker of my wife, whom I personally hardly know at all. Wouldn’t have thought this individual out of all of my foreign contacts merited very much attention.

(Both of us are natural-born citizens with no foreign relatives.)

Trying to guess the “why” here is an interesting exercise but it is just that. You really have little chance to guess what may have come up or why that actually want to talk with her. Just tell her to be 100% honest and forthcoming.

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Do you know why they haven’t been polygraphed yet? That’s ridiculous!

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Yeah, I would agree in general for just about any other question, but (as Marko mentions above) current spousal interviews are SO non-standard that I found it highly unusual and so thought there might be some insight into the (presumably) very limited circumstances under which they happen.

(Also, just curious, are you an FSO or a BI or…? I’ve visited this site off and on for awhile but I’ve seen you post lots more lately! Have you ever heard of a spousal interview, other than on this website? I hadn’t even heard of it on this site, actually–the only other topic I saw in my search was from someone who was still married but in the process of divorcing.)

My experience was gleaned through the tortured process of getting my own clearance, from reading here and from helping a few others through their clearance trials and tribulations . . . I’m just a guy who learns well and remembers just about everything.

I haven’t heard specifics of spousal interviews but it doesn’t strike me as that odd. Personally, I testified at my wife’s hearing a while back and often, one spouse or the other may know more about certain aspects of the families social or financial life.

In your case, the foreign contact that you listed was a coworker of your wife and she did live and work overseas for some period of time. They may be looking to see if there are more contacts, they may want to dig deeper into this contact, they may want more information on what your wife did while she was overseas and who she did it with.

Or . . . It could be something else entirely . . .

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I function as the FSO if it was directed towards me. Ed has a very good grasp on how it all works. Seldom if ever does my experience not line up with his input. No idea why so long for Poly on my couple. Being naturalized fairly recently I imagine it is difficult reliably establishing a name trace in foreign countries and conducting a proper BI.

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OK, so my (again, not foreign-born, no foreign relatives, etc.) wife was interviewed today.

It was a completely typical 15-minute run down that sounded, when she recounted it to me later, exactly like the list of questions I’ve been asked when doing references for friends and work associates as part of their clearance process. (She has done this for friends too and said it was exactly the same list of questions.)

How do you know him? “Uh, we’re married.”

How often do you see him? “Every day. We’re married.”

When and where did you first meet him?

Is he financially stable?

Are there any reasons to believe that he has ties to a foreign government?

How would you describe his character?

What would you say about his honesty and integrity?

Does he know any dual citizens or foreign nationals?

Where else has he worked?

Where else has he lived?


The background investigator was chuckling the whole time and said “I really don’t know why I’m asking you these questions”—he was obviously just going through the form in his binder. There were no questions about resolving uncertain jobs or residences, and no questions whatsoever about the foreign contact I mentioned above, or her own time abroad.

Of course she gave me a fine (and honest) reference. But in short, my suspicion is that she got on the wrong list somehow, because as I have always understood it, this is exactly the kind of interview they do not, as a rule, select a spouse to do.

You’re speculating.

They needed corroboration/coverage of something.

Generally avoided, but not necessarily uncommon.

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Certainly I am speculating! That’s why I said “my suspicion is that…” not “I’m certain that…”

The BI may have been asked, by a supervisor, to interview your wife because the foreign contact was her friend . . . Who knows? It doesn’t really matter. I’m sure that investigations get changed up just as a validity check or to make sure that things are not too easy to predict.

It’s really not uncommon at all. They obviously just need her to fill a gap in coverage somewhere. Could be something as simple as a neighbor telling the investigator they see you in the yard once a month when they need someone who sees you once a week. Not a big deal.

Just be glad that it’s your wife who is being interviewed, not some co-workers at a part-time casual job which you may have held in the past, who have said derogatory things about you, the fact of which you will never find out until and unless you submit a FOIA/PA request.

Woe betide any applicant if such co-workers were “developed” informants.

Like others have said, she was probably interviewed to fill in a gap that was missing somewhere. Investigators may have not been able to get a hold of whatever references you provided who would be knowledgeable of your foreign contact, and you mentioned that the foreign contact was a former co-worker of your spouse.

There are no references who would be familiar with “my” foreign contact because it’s not someone I know, only my wife does.

But in fact she wasn’t asked about this person at all, just the standard set of questions about how she knew me, where I lived currently, etc.

She wouldn’t be asked about a specific person. She would have been asked a blanket statement something in the lines of whether or not you have any relatives or associates who are foreign nationals, dual citizens, or naturalized citizens. A lot of people don’t really pay attention to the questions they’re being asked and just answer “no”. Investigators aren’t allowed to divulge any details about your case to anyone being interviewed, only under specific circumstances can they do so.