Foreign Facebook friend/relative

I have relative and friends that I might saw them one time in the past 10 year but they are on my Facebook. I occasionally like the post but not much more than that. . I did not put them down on my SF86 because I did not think we have "continuously " contact, nor do I think we are bonded by effection or anything. We are just friend from long past… am I in trouble.?

I have aunt that is in Malaysia. I saw her one time in last 20 years. Cousins I saw 1 time in last 10 years and few that I absolutely had no contact other than on my Facebook… Was not even invited to wedding

I would speak to this to the investigator and FSO. Make clear you thought it should be mentioned. Over report rather than under report. I have foreign connections and report all that I am aware of. I am sure there are more than a few on FB I did not know were foreign. Always a good time to cleanse the friend list when it is time for reinvestigation. If you truly do not know them…unfriend.

The problem is that the investigation is over… now it is in adjudication… It really did not cross my mind until something I read recently… … including my aunt, I know they are in certainly country, I do not even know where they live nor do I know where they work nor do I care… my aunt left my pervious country when I was like 5. We really do not have much connection

“Real, known, continuing,” is the standard as I see it. If you had very limited but consistent contact…and this is visible…you MAY have an issue. They are just now rolling out social media reviews. I think moving forward it will be routine for investigators to do at least a quick check of FB and instagram. I suppose you could appeal if denied based on the contemporary definition of “continuous contact.” For some that simply means if on FB…contact is assumed continuous. Others may have an arbitrary amount of contacts for it to be considered continuous. If there has been no contact over several years…I would feel safe with it not being continuous. If it was in the past few months…I consider that continuous.

All my foreign Facebook friend were from college and high school… and we did loss contact for over 15 years until Facebook become popular… will that count as continuous?

This may work for someone like Jenny with very little contact with foreigners. But for someone like myself who finds themselves living in a foreign country… By this standard, listing every casual friend/acquaintance I see every once in a while, I would be reporting dozens of people. These are not people I have any obligation to or lasting connection with.

I get it, better to over-report, at what point does it become too much?

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I too lived in several foreign countries. During that time period it was continuous, daily, hourly. I lived in a host nation apartment, foreign landlord, shopped at foreign grocer, used public transportation, etc. Honestly, don’t overthink it. Contact on a professional level is one thing, when the relationship moves more towards personal it moves closer to reportable. I follow the simple rule of “if it is explainable, it is understandable.” If you work in a foreign building filled with foreign people (technically you are the foreign person, but I digress) and the contact is incidental such as moving along the corridor, going to use a restroom, eating lunch…it isn’t an issue. When a coworker moves beyond work acquaintance and towards friendship…one you break bread with at home, recreate with, go to movies, tour…that is when you need make certain to report it. For the facebook thing, perhaps print the friend list after judiciously removing those who are more hangers on from certain pages you follow…but do not interact with…highlight the ones you communicate with, send messages to and from. Let the investigator scope the ones they feel require scoping.
Likewise when listing character references I inform applicants if you know the person enough to use as a character reference then list the date from when you met them to “present.” Don’t put a given end date. I had packages rejected claiming the person no longer had contact after a certain date. There really isn’t a hard and fast rule as to how many times one must be in contact or how recent that makes it continuous. I may go weeks without talking to my lifelong best friend. Suddenly, I may have 3 emails a day. I consider us “in contact.”

I asked this question once during a orientation.

It went kind of like this.

“What do I do if I have 100+ foreigners on facebook?”

“You report 100+ foreigners on your form”

In my case there is no work or coworkers at all. My involvement with contacts in the foreign country is strictly social (I’m not working). I don’t interact on a “professional” basis. I’m talking about people with whom I play sports recreationally, meet occasionally for a drink in a group setting. I suppose anyone (foreign or domestic) can be an influencer or source of compromise but I thought it more likely that a professional contact would be of more interest in an investigation.

Thank you for your time and thoughts. I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m fighting you on this. Your advice is clear and sound. This is all a bit new to me so I’m trying to gain a better understanding of the logic behind it and investigations in general.

Also, sorry for hijacking the thread! I found my way to this site seeking answers for when my clearance application would be completed (HR said ~80 days but that has long since past). But I got to reading…opens up a whole other can of worms.

It does depend on their definition of “continuous” contact. To me, if I met someone and had no idea of when I would next see or talk to them, that’s not continuous to me. I just ran into that situation and filled out the forms as needed, since at the time my BI started, only foreigners that I routinely connected with got written down. For the ones I just had to report, I don’t talk to these people every day or plan to see them way in the future. It’s just something that pops up at random. I’d rather be safe than sorry, so I filled them out just in case.

I agree with your continuous. And given I left my pervious country 20 years ago and only back 2 times … I really do not think I will see them… or when… and how you define “affection” … one big reason I did not even think of was because I always define affection as a feeling of care and love… and no… I do not feel that way… … they can not tell me how I feel, can they… ?? . Some of them were my very good friend back 25-30 years ago but even those people… I don’t feel same after 25 -30 years apart,

I spent three years, immediately before applying for my clearance in July 2016, for a U.S. contracting company which primarily employed foreign nationals in the U.S. on H1B visas. I worked closely with these people everyday. On my EQIP, of course, I disclosed the employment but I mentioned nothing about foreign contacts. My investigator did ask me about this. I explained, truthfully, that these were strictly work relationships. I was invited to but never attended, lunches, after work parties, in office celebrations or weekend parties with any of my coworkers.

The investigator noted all of this in her report but there was no issue on my SOR when it came months later.

No worries. You are right, anyone can be an influencer. Bad and good. Just be open about all of it. There is a certain amount of discretion in understanding you live there so incidental contact is continuous as well as social. So I would take it a step further and say of those, who are you connected with on social media or phone numbers and email? That would indicate a smaller and more intimate level of contact. Understanding timelines is like reading tea leaves. It goes up and down, elections seem to slow it down, Thanksgiving to New Years seems to be slow, understandably so, and the amount of investigators is always an issue. They added about 1100 this year so it is finally impacting the backlog. But TS clearances are showing at well over 2 years total, soup to nuts. I did however, just get two folks cleared “soup to nuts (translation: initial turn in of SF86, through poly, adjudication, signed clearance)in 8 months flat. I have never seen that in my 7 years of direct Personnel Security handling. 15 to 18 months is the norm for my client.

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As an investigator I can tell you that usually, because the question is subjective (only you can define who is close and who you’re bound to by affection, influence or obligation), you do not have to list FB only contacts. However, it can depend on the contract you’re working. Some common sense is in order. I agree that over-reporting is better than under-reporting but it can be ridiculous to list dozens of people with whom you know very little of each other. I think a good rule of thumb is that if the person knows who you work for and what you do and/or if you would have them in your home when they visit the U.S. or you would stay in theirs if you traveled to that country, that would constitute someone as being close.


My investigator asked me about facebook. Remember if you have a personal relationship and or you could easily have them to stay at your house or visa versa. Just make sure you list them in your foreign section.

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I had put nothing about Facebook on my SF86 but the investigator did ask me. I noted that I also work as a professional photographer and communicate with foreign nationals often to trade critiques and tips. I pointed out that I don’t actually “know” any of these people. She said, “Be careful” and that was the end of the conversation.

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I didn’t get asked about Facebook or anything related to social media. Is that odd? I feel for someone younger that’d be a basic question.

Hi Janie, is it a good idea to deactivate facebook during the clearance process? I have deactivated FB account prior submitting e-QIP. I do have a few photos on FB (nothing illegal) in my early twenties that I am not very proud of. I am currently 38 yo. Thank you.

I wouldn’t worry too much about photos from 15 plus years ago (depending on what they are of course, you may want to have an explanation ready and discuss how you’ve matured since then), and I wouldn’t deactivate the FB account because that can actually seem as though you were trying to conceal info.

JanieB, thank you. I agree with you on not deactivating FB. I am a naturalized citizen who has relatives (aunts, cousins, etc that are not listed under section 18) from both Egypt and Taiwan. Most of them are listed in my FB, but I don’t talk to them. I am just a little anxious because of my Egyptian side. My interim clearance was denied last week.