Standards for L clearance

What are the Standards and process for L Clearance? Process and how different from Q clearance.

The standards are the same as for a Q (you can find them by googling like DoE adjudication guidelines, but they basically boil down to ‘have you ever done drugs, been an addict, had debts, acted irresponsibly, been in debt, had a bunch of contact with foreigners, etc? and if so, was it long enough ago and did you do enough to convince them you’re not likely to do it again’). The main difference is that they don’t check into you as much. The process is about this:

  1. You fill out the e-qip.
  2. They do a records check to see if there’s anything they can find that wasn’t on the e-qip. They check criminal records, court records, and pull a credit report.
  3. If you told the truth and there’s nothing concerning, they’ll make you wait a while, then give you the clearance.
  4. If you told the truth and there is something concerning, the investigator will call you in and grill you some. How friendly they are and how stressful it is depends on the investigator.
  5. If they still have questions about something, they’ll either do more investigating or send you to a DoE psychologist, depending on the issue. They may also make you take some kind of drug or alcohol tests, depending on what their concerns are.
  6. If 4-5 satisfied them that whatever issues they had are dealt with, you wait a while and get the clearance. Otherwise you don’t get it.

There’s not much investigation to it other than a record check and maybe some interviews or drug tests. However, even though this may suggest that you can lie on the form or to your interviewer, DO NOT LIE ON THE FORM OR TO YOUR INTERVIEWER. Even if you get the L, the lies will mess you up if you go for a Q, and also they may catch you. As always, if you’re honest and have your life together enough that someone offered you a job that requires a clearance, you can probably get it.

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