I have an Interim Secret, is that same as a Secret granted?

I was granted an interim Secret Clearance about a month ago. I work for a government contractor and am thinking about moving to another job. A co-worker said I’m golden that I don’t have to wait for the investigation to complete, I can put Active Secret Clearance on my resume now. I’m a bit skeptical about that, but everyone at work (and the government) is treating me as if I have a full Secret investigation over already. It’s confusing, do I have a Clearance or a “maybe” clearance. Note: I don’t expect the investigation to turn up anything that wasn’t disclosed on the sf86. It should be fine, but I’m hesitant to say I have a clearance now on a resume.

She also said that the clearance is good for 10 years, I’ve heard/read here 24 months is a limit and I need to do it all over again.

Advice, guidance, thoughts please? Thank you in advance!

Interim - a placeholder. Temporary.

Interim allows you to begin work before your investigation is completed and before you receive a final adjudication.

1 Like

Your interim is granted by your current employer. You’ll be debriefed when you leave and it’ll be up to you new employer rather to grant you an interim or not.

1 Like

You don’t have an active Secret. Interim means the gov’t agency (not the contract employer) thinks you are a good risk and they need you working now.

If the investigation is discontinued before the adjudication- you will not have a Secret clearance.

1 Like

Interim clearance is NOT granted by your employer. If that were the case almost everyone would receive an interim in order to fill seats. But, I’m not sure that an interim will transfer to a new employer.

Interim clearance, as I understand it: Your employer transmits your SF-86 and requests an interim. With the interim request, they have to provide a justification. The government looks at the application. If the applicant appears to be a good candidate for an interim, they look at the justification and make a decision.

Even a perfect candidate will not get an interim if the company doesn’t have sufficient justification on why they need to fill the seat before an investigation is completed. This is why an interim MAY not follow you to a new employer.

1 Like

Well different agencies do it differently. I served as an Air Force Chief of Information Protection. For People NEEDING an Interim, I reviewed the SF 86. If I didn’t see any issues, I made a recommendation to the Commander, and if he assumed the risk, he approved the Interim and then I went in to JPAS and granted the Interim. Of course, the investigation had to be in an open status. I guess others do it differently… The only time I reached out to DoDCAF for interim was for Interim SCI, in which they had to give the go ahead for that.

1 Like

I do not believe that option is there for contractors. I know that it is not there for industry.


I used to work at a place where in the vast majority of cases, an “interim” was not acceptable because our customer required a final secret.

But I heard of people who were able to go to other companies based on their interim. I guess it all depends what the “gaining” employer can see in JPAS and what they know their customer will accept.

As far as the timeline goes, the 24 months refers to how long you can be “inactive” (ie “between jobs”) without having to start all over again. In most cases, a Secret clearance is valid for ten years before a periodic update needs to be started… but who knows how that will work with “Continuous Evaluation.”

Also, note that you’ve received a number of conflicting responses here. None of them is incorrect. It is all dependent on the situation, especially when you’re talking about contractors who could be working on different programs for different customers with different requirements.


Military commanders can grant interim clearances only for their personnel when the need is mission essential. Contractors can not grant interim clearances to anyone. Only the owning agency can do this.

(i am also a retired SP/SF)


There are access limitations for those with interim clearance–no NATO, no COMSEC, etc. Unlike final clearances, interim clearances can be withdrawn at any time without any procedural due process or other rights. You should not put active secret clearance on your resume.

If you have a 24 month break-in-service, a security clearance cannot be reinstated even if the underlying investigation has not gone out-of-date (e.g. 5 yrs for TS, 10 yrs for Secret). Because of CE, some of this is changing.

If your new employer sponsors you for a DoD clearance (this does not apply SCI or other SAPs) within a couple of days of leaving your current employer, your interim Secret will remain intact. This is because within DoD this is not considered a transfer of clearance (actually a reciprocal acceptance of clearance), it is only a change in sponsorship. If you get a new job that requires a clearance from DHS or DoE or State Dept., etc. then they will have to make a new interim clearance determination.

All DoD contractors (except those being processed for SCI or other SAPs) are automatically considered for interim clearance eligibility–no justification is needed. For DoD contractors the interim clearance decision is made centrally by VROC at DCSA. With DoD employees and military, the decision is made by the military command, but the same standards apply throughout DoD for interim clearance eligibility, which includes advance results of the FBI fingerprint check, SF86 review, and review of online government clearance databases.

1 Like

Good morning Sir!

I am a federal employee with 20 years of service. I just received and offer to work for the DOD. This job requires a Secret Clearance. The HR employee doing my on boarding has asked me to fill out the SF-86.

If an Interim is not granted as is the case most of the time these days, how does DOD mitigate these situations?

I will not leave my current job at the VA unless I can start at the DOD.

Please advise sir.

Actually, about 70% of DoD applicants are granted interim clearances. Issue mitigation sometimes surfaces during the background investigation, but more often it’s the applicant who must provide mitigation for any potentially disqualifying issue(s) that may exist. This usually occurs when an applicant must respond to an Interrrogatory, RFI, or SOR.