SF-86 reviews by investigators

Good morning,

Would anyone be able to explain to me the order in which you guys review the SF-86? Do you follow the form in order or jump around based up the information you receive?

For example: The employment section comes before the credit check section. They’ve run my credit, but by all accounts they have NOT contacted a supervisor.

Thank you.

Pulling your credit is one of the first things they do. It is done before they assign your case to an investigator.

1 Like

Ugh, so that means my BI hasn’t even started yet.


1 Like

When you’re contacted for your interview, you can expect that will be around about the same time your supervisor/coworkers are contacted as well. Myself, and I know most investigators, will try to knock out a subject interview as soon as possible, and if the interview is at your place of employment, supervisors and co-workers can be interviewed right before or after the subject interview.

1 Like

Ok, thanks! That really gives me a better idea of how this process works— it doesn’t really matter how much research one does— you really don’t know.

Hopefully you can answer this for me @sideshowbob, how long after running my credit… will they contact me for a subject interview— or what’s the next step thereafter?

Honestly I wish I could give you the answer you want to hear, but unfortunately there’s no telling when you’ll be contacted for a subject interview. It all depends on how many investigators are in your area and what type of workload they’re dealing with. Eventually your case will get assigned to someone. Just keep hanging on, you’ll get a call before you know it.

1 Like

@sideshowbob, you sound like a parent trying not to get their kid too excited…lol.

But, thanks, I appreciate it!

No problem! if you have any other questions feel free to ask!

1 Like

An interview? Is this also done for secret clearances? Not that I’m concerned about one, but I didn’t know someone at some point would be sitting across a desk from me and interrogating me.

1 Like

Yes, I believe there is an interview even for secret.

Interviews for secret clearances aren’t the “standard”, but something on your case papers can easily trigger an interview. The interview isn’t an interrogation, it’s a chance to provide additional clarification for whatever triggered the interview. Example, if you have non U.S. citizen relatives that you listed, that could trigger an interview for you to provide additional information regarding those relatives


I waited 10 months. Began in Aug17. Pulled by credit around Sept17. Met investigator in June 17. Nothing since. No contacts with empoyees/supervisor, friends or family.

A long wait it is.

Edit: this is only a secret.

1 Like

That is absolutely ridiculous.

1 Like

I’ll go on to say, I had my subject interview fairly quickly. Investigation started 5/18/18. Subject interview 7/24/18. However none of my references or previous employers/coworkers have been contacted. Investigation is still open. Just chiming in because often I see people state that references are normally contacted within two weeks from the interview, that is not always the case.

If I had to guess, and again this is only a guess, I think some problems stem from lack of investigators in some areas. The area I work and reside in now is an area where cleared jobs are in high demand, so I would imagine investigators in this area are numerous. However almost my entire background is from a different geographical location hours away. So while the investigator that conducted my interview here may be done with her portion, the hang up could be on another investigator in the areas I previously lived/worked where my investigation could possibly sit on a desk for months on end. Again, I’m only speculating. If any investigators want to chime in on this, I’d like to hear how it works when investigators have to hand off investigations to other investigators in different geographical locations.


Thanks for the input! It puts things into perspective.

I’ll add that the agency that I’m processing with does its own background (so I don’t think there’s any additional investigators) and with that being said, I have two family members that live in two different areas; one in the Midwest and one down south. My references actually all live in the area (or surrounding), I’ve only worked for two different places in the last 10 years, lived in only 3 places in the last 10 years (2 of the 3 are right down the street from one another); and have only been out of the country once in all of my 34 years on this earth… that would lead me to believe that my processing shouldn’t take this long (I submitted the SF-86 in mid March)… but maybe that’s the millennial coming out…lol.