Forgetting to list foreign contacts

Question on 2 people I forgot to list as foreign contacts and how forgetting to list them may affect my clearance. For context, I didn’t list them because they are Americans who are dual citizens, context below:

Friend 1: Born in the US and dual citizen in France. I didn’t list him because I (stupidly, in hindsight) only thought to list “foreign” contacts, i.e. people who live abroad. This person is an old friend from school who I didn’t even think to list because he was born and raised in the US and is a dual citizen only through a parent’s birth. At the time I filled out the SF86 I was aware that he is a dual citizen but didn’t list him because I thought those with US citizenship shouldn’t be listed

Friend 2: Born in the US, dual citizen in Iran. He is a dual citizen because his parents are from Iran, and (to the best of my knowledge) Iran doesn’t allow people to renounce citizenship. This person has lived in the US their entire life. When I filled out my Sf86 I did not know that this person was a dual citizen, I found out later. Here, I’m more concerned regarding clearance processing because, well, it’s Iran.

Would forgetting to list these people cause my clearance to be denied? I did not bring these two up in my PSI, but a few weeks after that I realized that I should have and contacted my investigator to tell them. I didn’t give the investigator the details about these two, they didn’t ask for more info because they had already passed along their documents to the next level. Should I be concerned here?

Once again, it depends.

For most security clearances and background investigations, the response for overlooking friends with dual citizenship is no- they should not be a disqualifying association - but report them to your security manager/FSO just in case.

Some IAs may be upset or want a closer look, but you won’t know until you report the contacts.

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Concur it happens. Report at first opportunity to report.

I would assume foreign contacts are friends, people you associate with? I had a classmate who was from the Netherlands, we are bff but don’t talk. I didn’t even think to list her.

Yes. Reason being, they want to see if your allegiances lean towards other countries. I have many foreign friends, all reported. It is a good thing to see if an applicant was perhaps targeted for friendship by a hostile agent. So they can see if there is any known connection to the named person as well. If you possibly connect via Facebook on occasion to “like” a post, just say so. That makes up the vast majority of my foreign friends.

Geez. I think the only time I spoke to her this whole year was wishing her happy birthday yesterday on her fb wall.
And that was really just because fb told me to do it… she was in nato and was here on orders, went to college while she was here … she’s from the Netherlands.

Should I just bring it up during interview? Or just delete her from fb. World is so small now a days

I just had all this drama and I want to avoid going to fso saying the package she submitted a few days ago is missing info

Assume interview is done. Seems your only options are to either wait it out or report it to your security officer immediately. It wouldn’t hurt.

Social media contacts are required. But investigators are savvy enough to understand a FB friend may just be an acquaintance. But let them make the decision. I have foreign friends, and they are reported. Do a few slip by here and there on FB? Absolutely but I rarely if ever have contact and the digital record would reflect that. Is it intentional? Not at all. If it is explainable, it is understandable.But I would report.

Ugh, I didn’t think I had to report those. The question said “bonds of affection” or something like that and I just didn’t think that applied to casual friends from college or that random guy I haven’t talked to in 10 years. I haven’t had an interview yet, so should I just mention it then?

If they are a random guy you haven’t talked to in 10 years, why are they on your social media? That relationship can fall under continuing contact (which is also one of the conditions on the questionnaire).

Because I’ve never really been a social media pruner, though maybe I should become one, I suppose.

Do you have, or have you had, close and/or continuing contact with a foreign national
within the last seven (7) years with whom you, or your spouse, or legally recognized civil union/domestic partner, or cohabitant are bound by affection, influence, common interests, and/or obligation? Include associates as well as relatives, not previously listed in Section 18.

And looking at the question, my thought was that I didn’t have affection, influence, common interests and/or obligations with any of them. I’ll certainly mention it to the interviewer, but the question seems worded to target relationships of significance, not casual acquaintances from college.

So should I just mention it in my interview or ask my security office now, or what?

It is a great time to prune the facebook page contacts. And to reveal them in a printout to the investigator. Make clear the ones you only see occasional posts from and hit the like button for. If you have long conversations with others, or monthly contact, tell them of that grouping as well. Real and continuing is key. If no contact in 10 years…you aren’t in continuous contact. Passing acquaintances from 10 years ago isn’t the aim. But if you regularly chat with, contact, call, send birthday greetings, have a BBQ with, go to movies with…a foreign friend, then yes report. But don’t stress over a facebook or worse yet Myspace connection you no longer chat with. Background investigators are savvy enough to see a current link. Even then, having foreign friends is not a problem. I have several. I report them. The end.

So at this point should I just tell the investigator up front at the interview that I think I underestimated the scope of the question and here’s a list of all the old foreign classmates I’m connected to on Facebook and LinkedIn or whatnot?

That sounds like a great plan. Even better would be to google the SF86 and already have all the information required (or at least what you know) for each foreign contact printed for the investigator.

Thanks! That’s what I’ll do then. :smile:

He said I should have listed them. I’m a bit surprised by that but I will do it. Geez.

@random @needhelp

I know people like to overreport, but just think of the question logically and you’ll have an easier time filtering through everyone… who are they looking for?

  1. Non-U.S. citizens (this includes dual citizens)


  1. Individuals you have close (is the contact meaningful or of some significance? Out of convenience? Due to physical proximity? … a bit open ended unfortunately) AND/OR continuing contact (self-explanatory) with within the past 7 years


  1. Individuals in which you have ties of:
    (a) affection (self explanatory)
    (b) influence (does the individual have some sort of influence over you in any capacity? Or the other way around?)
    c) obligation (do you have any obligations as it relates to the individual? Or the other way around?)
    (d) common interests (extremely broad term… but keep the 7 year scope in mind)

All three qualifiers need to be met. All three taken into consideration appear to have a very specific intent and scope.

I don’t agree that all foreign social media contacts should be reported. Just because they’re on your social media does not mean they meet the above criteria. There are some very arbitrary things done on those platforms. A casual “Happy Birthday” or insignificant small talk to John Smith in Lithuania—who you were last truly acquainted with 9 years ago at work, but barely acknowledge now—annually may not be reportable. If that was the case, then does Bob Johnson, the store owner with permanent residency status, whom you’ve seen every other day for 6 years at 9:00 a.m. (yet hardly acknowledge or frankly care for) for a cup of coffee need to be reported?
My point is some things are done out of convenience and don’t necessarily imply the criteria mentioned.

Section 19 is one of the most confusing and subjective things on the form. The author(s) did not do a good job creating the question. Sometimes it’s clear someone should be reported, sometimes… not so much. My field work is overwhelming focused around foreign nationals/interests/preference and even I get flustered by section 19 sometimes.

If you feel like you need to report something then have at it, but don’t make it more difficult than it has to be.


Social media complicated this issue. I agree clicking Happy Birthday because Facebook prompted you isn’t really a continuing connection except that in 365 days you will get another prompt. If I die and leave my FB account running…my friends will continue to get prompts for my birthday. Hard to claim continuing contact with a dead person. It is easy to be on many global pages. Click “like” on a picture, you end up connected. I couldn’t pick out half the people I know on Social Media if they were in a police lineup. Even old military acquaintances from years and bases past. If you have them over to the house for BBQ’s regularly or you hang out I would definitely report. If you can print the names of those you only click “like” on, I would give to the investigator. Let them determine if it requires scoping. This way you can honestly say you are reporting what you think should be known. I defer to the BI folks on that topic. But I suspect even they may disagree on some. So…back to my mantra of over reporting. Nobody can accuse you of hiding.

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It seems like deactivating FB is a good idea prior submitting e-QIP to avoid foreign contact hassle, as long as you report all the friends on FB who you closely associate with on e-QIP. But is it really a good idea? I deactivated FB prior submitting e-QIP. I am a naturalized citizen (since 2004) who have relatives in both Egypt and Taiwan (I am half Taiwanese half Egyptian) and most of them are on my FB. I barely speak to them and no continuous contact. But the more I read about the blog the more I think I messed up on my SF86 by not listing my foreign relatives as my foreign contacts. My interim clearance was denied last week. I personally believe in being up front is the right thing to do, I am just anxious about my Egyptian side (and possibly Taiwanese side), and a few early twenties party photos (nothing illegal) that I am not proud of. I am currently 38 yo. Reactivate FB or stay deactivated?

Yes . . . You very likely messed up not listing foreign relatives but that has nothing to do with Facebook and your contact with them has nothing to do with Facebook either.

They don’t give out interims like candy . . . I think that you were unlikely to get an interim simply because of your naturalized status.

None of this has anything to do with Facebook. Maybe you need to make your question a little more clear.