Immediate family members abroad. TS clearance

I am in the process of joining the Army through the MAVNI program and should be naturalized as a US citizen by the end of basic training. I am currently selecting a MOS that does not require a security clearance because I’m not yet a citizen.

My questions are regards to career path down the road. I love this country and want to serve it to the best of my ability – coming from a place that sends very few immigrants to the US (the country is generally pro-US) and being able to speak critical languages/possessing regional knowledge. I was looking at eventually trying to get into military intelligence and/or applying to be an officer, which would entail an S or TS clearance. I’ve seen some conflicting reports on the web, with some people even claiming that having non-US-citizen immediate family was an automatic disqualifier for TS – allegedly, the investigation wasn’t even started because at least one of the parents wasn’t a US citizen.

Could the knowledgeable people here please clarify whether such automatic disqualifiers exist? I thought this only applied to SCI, but these reports have me worried. I would love to serve the US with my background/linguistic knowledge in intelligence positions, but if I’m automatically disqualified by this then I have no chances in the near future. My parents are planning to get their green cards and come to the US eventually and apply for naturalization when the time comes, but this would take around six years.

I should also mention that I’m completely clean (no law violations of any sort, no drugs, no mental issues, no financial issues, no foreign investments/contacts outside the two parents). I will renounce my other citizenship as soon as I’m naturalized. The country I’m from is generally regarded as safe/safe enough, so I don’t think there are fears of my parents being captured to be used as a bargaining chip against me.


Thanks for your counsel!

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It is not a hard and fast rule and requires the analysis of several factors. If your immediate family member is not a U.S. citizen, the adjudicator should understand why. Is the family member not yet eligible to apply? What country do they have citizenship with? Is the family member interested in becoming a U.S. citizen but has not gotten around to applying? The adjudicator may wish to consider whether this presents risk. How vulnerable does this make the clearance holder to coercion or blackmail? These are some of the factors considered when making a clearance determination. There is a requirement for SCI access for all immediate family members to be American citizens. The term immediate family includes the one’s spouse or cohabitant.


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Hi Marko, following up on the definition of “immediate family” as used in the context of SCI clearance. I know that it would understandably extend to the individual’s spouse/cohabitant/children. But would the term “immediate family” also extend to the individual’s parents and grandparents?