I understand that agencies ask you to wait a year before applying to their specific agency after a security clearance denial. However, do you have to wait a period of time before you are able to apply for a security clearance with a different agency?
I was recently denied a TS/SCI FS Poly from the CIA in early 2017 due to misreporting minimal marijuana usage.
Afterwards, I was contacted by the National Geospatial Agency for a contingent hire and to be processed for a TS/SCI CI Poly. However, they stated that they could not initiate my investigation due to an “active and ongoing SSBI”. I do not have any other security clearance processes so this was confusing to me. After sharing my background with them, they told me that it was due to my clearance denial and that I am not allowed to apply for a clearance to other agencies until a year after the denial.
First of all, does anyone know why NGA shows an “active and ongoing SSBI”? Is this really due to my security clearance denial?
Also, is it really true that I have to wait a full year before applying to other agencies? In particular, the FBI? I am currently in the interview process, but am wondering if it’s best to postpone the security processing until a full year of my CIA denial.
First, thanks for reading. This community feels like the only thing I can really turn to regarding these questions and I really appreciate the insight. I really appreciate your help in helping me figure out how to best move forward with life after a clearance denial.
The general rule of thumb for all federal agencies is one year from the date of clearance denial. However, when you are denied by agencies like the CIA or DEA for TS/SCI eligibility it is usually because of criteria specific to that agency. IC agencies will not look at if you were denied by another IC agency. Were you to apply for a job only requiring a Secret clearance, say with the DoD, then you would have a better chance at by-passing the one year wait rule.
Since I am in the final stages of FBI, would you recommend that I postpone any further interviews until a year passes? In the attempt to be as open as possible, I spoke about this denial with my applicant coordinator and she told me that although this was not an immediate disqualifier, she didn’t know how the adjudicators would respond to it.
Hard to provide advice as it is all the FBI has specific disqualifiers, but since they are moving you forward even after you informed them of a denial then you have nothing to lose. Just be prepared to answer the questions about why your were denied.
Honesty at all turns. I tell our applicants this at every turn. At initial security indoc, annually during re briefings, follow on investigations, upgrades, etc. And yet we still have people who “forget” they used marijuana. Though the use may be cited for the SOR, it is the attempted concealment of info, and falsification of the SF 86, followed by denial to the investigator and the polygrapher that usually seals the deal. Many of the employees we lose to upgrade denials misunderstand the SOR and wrongly assume they will re-clear in 365 days. They are allowed to reapply in 365 days. This time around they MUST ensure they annotate they were denied a clearance or had a revocation. Or once again the lack of candor is proved. When you received the SOR did you appeal? If so did you look up mitigation for the cited reasons of denial? Often folks want to submit an appeal not related to the mitigation. I tell them it is a waste of time if they do not speak to potential accepted mitigation. For MJ use, age, date since last usage, severity or use, removing oneself from that crowd or environment, or undergoing significant once in a lifetime stress can be used to explain bad choices. I find, based on experience, if the use is 7 to 10 years prior, roughly falls under youthful experimentation, or occurred in high school or college, or shortly after, there is a high chance of overcoming this. If a person was 50 when they decided to smoke…less so. Honesty is everything with the IC.
They all share the investigation results. It is true one may have higher standards. It is more boiler plate verbiage when it says you are free to reapply after one year, than telling a person to resubmit and they will clear. If you have substantive issues, lack of candor, etc you will likely not fair much better a year later. Clean up the record, raise the credit score, and you have a fair chance. If applying for the FBI after the CIA rejection I recommend bringing the SOR to the new investigator. That is as honest as you can be.