How to follow up on "Eligibility Pending" status?

My e-QIP submittal for a National Security Position (Secret) as a contractor was submitted Oct 2, 2016. In mid-December my FSO informed me that the application was “Eligibility Pending”. I understand the Eligibility Pending status, but do not know how to respond / find out more detailed information. As far as I know, my background is clean as a whistle.

My FSO asked if I had been contacted by the FBI or OPM. I have not been contacted. The FSO then suggested I write a letter to Defense Management Data Center (DMDC), Attn: Privacy Act Office to request further information and perhaps ask for an interview. Does anyone have any experience submitting a letter? Sample wording perhaps, and what was the result.

The contractor may have another position available that does not require a Secret clearance, but that does require a (less stringent) investigation for issuance of a CAC. Problem there is that you can’t have two e-QIP investigations active at the same time, so we’d have to kill the first to initiate the second. Which would be Ok with me because I actually like the other position better, but am concerned about starting the entire process over again (time wise).

Any advice / experience will be much appreciated.

A CAC card can be issued based on a submitted investigation. All they have to do is look into OPM’s database and see that an investigation is in progress and use that information to issue the CAC.

Thank you for your quick response.

Based on an earlier informal chat, my FSO seems to think that to move forward with the CAC we will need to cancel the current “Eligibility Pending” investigation and initiate a new one. Of course, even if that’s true, based on what you’ve said it might not take long to approve the CAC if we could proceed once the new investigation is started.

Can you be more specific about what “an investigation in progress” means? Is it considered in progress once the e-QIP is submitted, or at some specific milestone after that? Can you cite any official document or ruling that I could show my FSO regarding issuing a CAC on an investigation in process? Or, for that matter, on an investigation with “Eligibility Pending”.

I’m sure that some FSO’s are more experienced than others, and being able to provide a reference would be of great benefit. Otherwise, what recourse do I have if the FSO stands by their current opinion? I think she’s doing her best to help, but…

For what it’s worth, I’ve never actually met the FSO or anyone else involved in this process. I do know that a SterlingBackcheck investigation was ordered and favorably completed for the CAC, but that they were waiting for the e-QIP investigation prior to issuing the CAC.


I am currently lost in JPAS as Pending Secret. Honestly in my opinion it would be better to wait for the Clearance then to push on just any position. I had to leave contracting in 2012 for Domestic matters. It has taken me up until August 2016 to even get to Submit for a clearance. I am currently at 18 plus weeks and still no word other then I am currently listed as pending Secret.

Submitted equip 8/17/2016
Credit pulled 11/6/2016
Current employer contact roughly 11/6 - 11/14/2016
Investigation started 11/14/2016
FSO contact 12/19/2016
FSO response to current status of “pending Secret” 12/20/2016

It’s a waiting game but well worth it when all is finished.

DoDI 5200.46 provides all the requirements for issuance of a CAC, specifically Section 3d.

Hi Bryan,
I agree with your position; however, in my particular case I really would prefer the alternate position. It just happens that the alternate position was not available at the time I first applied.

The point is mute in any case, as the employer is unable to wait for a final clearance with an indeterminate date and has therefore rescinded the offer. I understand their reasoning and will pursue the alternate position, although there are still some open issues/questions regarding that approach (See my follow-up with Marko for more detail).

Hi Marko,
Thank you for the reference. I found that the referenced DoD Instruction is based on 32 CFR 156.6 (b)(1) Common access card (CAC) investigation and adjudication. So that gives me two references.

However, the issue became even more complex/unclear yesterday. Apologizing in advance for my lengthy explanations, there are two new issues:

  1. The employer was unable/unwilling to wait an a final determination with an indeterminate clearance date and has rescinded their current offer. Understandable, but that raises the issue of what happens to the current investigation. I assume it will be administratively withdrawn - can that terminology even apply to a pending investigation, or only to a clearance which as already been adjudicated?
    At any rate, with the offer rescinded and the investigation terminated in whatever fashion, that leaves me in the position of having a prior investigation terminated in Eligibility Pending status. Will I even be able to find out what flags were raised by writing the DMDC Privacy Act Office when the investigation is no longer active? I think that will be important for reasons stated in the next bullet.

  2. The employer is still interested in offering me an alternate position that does not require NSP clearance, but does still require a CAC. However HR is being told by the FSO that
    a) She can’t issue an interim CAC based on an investigation in Eligibility Pending status. Which sounds correct given DoDI 5200.46 (3)(g) wording on concurrency, and that “Eligibility Pending” is essentially just new wording for the old “interim clearance not granted” and, more importantly,
    b) That a new investigation cannot be started within 6 months of the old one. That sounds incorrect. Although DoDI 5200.46 (3)(k) calls out a 1 year waiting period for denied/revoked clearances, and I do know that you can’t have more than one active e-QIP application, I’ve found nothing to indicate there would be a any waiting period between withdrawing one e-QIP application and submitting another.

  3. Finally, do you have any idea how long it takes to get a response from an inquiry to the DMDC Privacy Act Office or, for that matter, from a FOIA request? I’m assuming the only way to start that process is with a written letter.

Again, I apologize for my wordiness but didn’t want to miss any salient points.

Hi Marko,
My secret clearance interim got denied on Sep, 2016 and the process is still continuing but don’t have the job from the company as they can’t wait for the whole process to finish. In the mean time, I interviewed with one more company and the job needs MRPT(Moderate Risk Public Trust). Can I apply for MRPT while my secret clearance is still underway. One is for DOD and another is for DOS. Can they be simultaneous or will there be any issues. Thanks

Hi Joel, My interim secret clearance got denied end of September 2016 and I wrote a letter to DMDC, Attn: Privacy Act Office to request further information. You need to provide few personal details such as Name, SSN, DOB. There is no particular template for the letter. Just explain them that you want to know the reason for the interim denial. Within 3-4 days I got an answer from them. Hope this helps.

If you no longer have a job offer from the company that sponsored your clearance then the investigation should have been canceled. If that happened then there is no issue withe starting a public trust investigation. If they did not cancel it then there is a problem as OPM will not begin a new investigation with one already in progress.

Thank you Marko.Let us see how it goes.

Just received from the FSO:

As you are no longer being considered for employment in a job requiring a clearance, your NACLC clearance investigation has been stopped on our end.

For CAC processing on this army installation, we are required to go through the Army PSIP and follow their protocols with respect to a NACI investigation. We have repeatedly been advised that their protocols for CAC eligibility do not allow initiation of a new investigation if another investigation has been started within the previous 12 months regardless of the result.

So I guess the question is, are individual commanders allowed to make up their own rules?