Question 19 - Foreign Contacts


I recently had my first ever SSBI last month, and all went quite well. The experience isn't anywhere near as bad as many first-timers think it will be. It's not! Stay calm and carry on! :-)

About the only hiccup I had was that I had answered "Yes" to Question 19 - Foreign Contacts. I listed a resident alien social acquaintance of mine (because I do stay in occasional contact with her). During the course of my interview with the BI, however, both the BI and myself realized that I am not "bound" to my Mexican social acquaintance and shouldn't have really listed her on the SF-86 in the first place. My BI even suggested that I do NOT list the foreign acquaintance in five years and simply answer "No" when my first periodic SSBI comes up. She also said that this question confuses a lot of people and that changes on subsequent SF-86's are fairly common.

So, any quick guidance on how I can mitigate this minor discrepancy in five years? Is this something that can easily be discussed during the periodic Subject interview with the BI, or will I need to write up an explanation? My thinking is that I simply answer "No" to Question 19 when the time comes to resubmit my SF-86 in five years and explain the change in person only if asked.

[For what it's worth, my BI made it politely clear that she wasn't a fan of additional comments and added that most investigators really don't care for them.]



Foreign contacts come and go just as do other friends, so if asked you can explain why they are no longer being listed. The investigator, however, was incorrect and unprofessional to suggest one should not put in comments on the form. They are not the ones who review the completed investigation and will not have to guess at missing or incomplete information. You should always clarify information when needed.