SF86 - Section 20C - Foreign Travel Question


I have a questions regarding the foreign travel section on the SF86. I was formerly a member of the U.S. Antarctic Program and my last contract ended in 2012.

The first question is regarding Antarctica itself. The continent doesn’t show up on the drop down for “countries” because of course, it is not a country. The station I worked at is also a U.S. Station, so therefore I am still technically inside the U.S. much like embassy duty.

The second question is regarding how contractors get to the stations in Antarctica. That is, we are sent through New Zealand and issued a visitor visa that through an agreement with their government gets extended if a person extends their contract on the ice so there are no issues when a person is going home. So the questions are, will it not look odd to the investigator that I had a 9 month Visitor Visa to New Zealand? How do I explain that? Obviously I would be truthful since there is nothing wrong with the job I had, but I am just slightly afraid that I might get flagged since 9 months is a long time to be a “tourist”.

Explain it just like you did here . . . Investigators may not have seen very many members of the Antarctic expedition team but it’s all verifiable.

US Gov’t travel, even for contractors, is not reportable as normal foreign travel. You need to answer “yes” to travel within the last 7 years whether you had personal travel or not. You only need to report the travel that was not part of the US gov’t travel, or parts where you also had personal travel.

Example: You are flying to Antarctica under a US Gov’t contract. You do not need to report your stops from here to there (Japan, Australia, etc) UNLESS you take off a day or two for tourism (such as a couple extra days in Japan). Then just the period for personal travel is reportable.

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Yup and if it’s classified work they can’t ask you about it anyways.