Nanny w/o Green Card


First post here - grateful to find the community!

I’m considering applying for an attorney position at the CIA. I have a lot of specialized technical knowledge that would make me a unique fit.

We have employed a nanny for the last 3 years who is still waiting for her Green Card. I believe she legally entered the country but overstayed her Visa. The husband is legal (but not American). 2 great kids in public school

There are two issues that I have a concern about - but maybe others.

  1. We had been paying her under the table. I’ve just become aware of a process that we could use to pay the back taxes. I’m aware that the SF-86 has a question that requires you to assert that you’ve paid all your taxes in the last 7 years (but also allows you to show if you didn’t that you resolved the issue). So I think I could pay the back taxes and penalties to resolve this. I’m told that IRS doesn’t share info with ICE so presumably she’s not at much risk of deportation.

  2. Even if the taxes were paid - would our hiring someone who doesn’t yet have a green card automatically fail me on the clearance process? I’m aware that they would probably investigate her background (we did our own background check on her before hiring her to make sure she didn’t have any warrants, tickets, arrests etc)

I’m happy to resolve the tax issue but it’s not worth anyone’s time if I would get auto-rejected. Also not sure if this is covered on the SF-86, probably is my guess.


Probably going to be a steep uphill battle, but you know this. Isn’t there some kind of ethical code that an attorney must abide by? I mean you must be a little familiar with the law right?

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Do as much as you can and pay as much as you can to make it right before filling out your SF and then admit it all when you do. Make sure to report your nanny and her husband as foreign contacts and be open about their status within your family and friends network. I don’t think it’s an auto reject. But that may depend on how much $ you are talking about.


So you paid an illegal under the table. So you don’t understand the law? Serious question.

I personally don’t know about clearances but there was a political candidate a few years back who got in trouble for just this issue (not paying payroll tax for a nanny/domestic with unclear immigration status). If anything will mess up your chances of getting a clearance it is any kind of tax delinquency.

Talk is cheap and advice on an internet forum is even cheaper but I’d get this cleared up before you apply for any position requiring a security clearance.



I was laughing so hard after reading that comment that I had trouble posting the minimum 20 characters for the post :joy::joy::joy:


Not illegal. She has an (expired) visa. I think. Def not illegal.

Thanks for all the comments. This validates pretty much my instinct. Key is to resolve the outstanding taxes. The honest truth is I didn’t know I could pay taxes if she didn’t have an SSN. I’ve since realized that I can pay the taxes but I need her to agree to get an ITN.

Looking at the form, it’s clear that I need to disclose her as a close personal foreign contact. We just didn’t push the documentation when she applied for the job. Probably too much don’t ask, don’t tell. She’s an incredible caregiver and when it comes to finding trustworthy caregivers for your kids you want the best. She is 100% not a security risk. I have no concerns about that.

I also realize that this could be a disqualifying factor. Looking at the comments - I can see how someone can say (1) you are a lawyer who didn’t understand the law - fair - but the law is vast and wide and NO excellent lawyer knows all areas of the law.

(2) I did see that a recent president had nanny tax issues. That said, it was probably more of a political issue than a security clearance issue - but really don’t know - hence the question. Trump’s U.N. pick Heather Nauert withdraws over nanny’s work status, unpaid taxes – ThinkProgress

Looking at the form I am squeeky clean on everything else. Never ever used an illegal drug, super solid financials, no debts other than my mortgage (that I could pay off if I had to).

This was not a wise choice in retrospect but also have to belive that you don’t need to be perfect (honest for sure) to be a public servent with clearance - but this would be a new world so I’m trying to understand how warm or cold the waters are.

If it makes you feel any better please know that many states have allowed undocumented immigrants to qualify and certify as foster parents within the local social services/child protective services for decades. These wonderful caring individuals are “taking the jobs” of raising many US citizen children whose US citizen parents can’t seem to provide a safe and stable home. I’ve personally observed some fabulous undocumented foster home families and am grateful for their presence in my community :slight_smile:

That means she was illegally in America.

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Thanks Weeble - they are a fine and honorable family. Very loving caregiver and we are happy to pay her well - she makes far and above minimum wage. We paid her through the pandemic - even though we didn’t have her work inside until she could secure the vaccines.

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That is quite literally the definition of illegal.


and your illegal point is??? Expectation of human perfection leads to disappointment.

The point is you claim to be a lawyer and knowingly broke the law twice.

Not all broken laws are the same in the clearance process. The “bigger” issue is tax evasion while employing the nanny - regardless of the nanny’s nationality. Then the foreign contact - and the nanny’s citizenship is a bigger issue than the legal status. Then perhaps the illegal status.

There are few automatic disqualifiers and they are pretty well laid out - participating in a resurrection against the Federal government is one, having an illegal alien as an employee is not one.

The sensitivity of the IC clearance might factor into the final decision, but you have a good chance for a clearance under the normal clearance process.


Thanks. Yes, I’m working to clear up the tax issues. I didn’t realize I could pay the taxes if she didn’t have an SSN. I’ve since found out that there is a way. I note that the form does provide for a way to declare how and when you resolved any outstanding tax issue so I think that’s what I will do. Do you provide a completed SF 86 after you get a conditional offer? How long do you have to provide the completed form and how long after you provide the form do you start? I’ve heard that the whole process can take a year!

yes. Get the CJO/COE, and then begin the security process

different agencies have different timelines - from what I’ve gathered reading here, typically 1.5-4 weeks

not to discourage you, but you’d be extremely lucky if CIA only took a year.

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@ArseneWenger is the length of time (1+ year) because of the security clearance process or because it just takes a long time to get interviewed an offer?

Both. Dig around the various threads, and you’ll see that every case is different and every timeline is different; but TS/SCI in under a year is extremely rare

Do you really think that you would be competitive? CIA gets over 4k applicants/month and most are honest law-abiding citizens. You need to consider the before, during, and after of your knowledge of your situation. Did you know that she was overstaying her visa before you hired her? This will come up during your poly. When you realized that you were engaged in illegal activity did you stop, or did you continue to employ your nanny? After you realized that you owe taxes, did you decide to pay because you wanted to apply with CIA or because it was the right thing to do?
Is it legal to hire somebody under the table that is here illegally?

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