State Department Sec. Clearance & Extensive foreign experience


I just got an internship offer from the State department for spring semester.

As many of you know, interns are also the subject of the security clearance procedures.

I hold a dual citizenship of the States and South Korea. Despite I was born in the states (PA), both of my parents and my younger brother are all South Korean nationals. I am currently attending to a university in the states. My biggest worry is that I served in a Korean military.

Uniquely, I served as a translator/interpreter at the USFK/CFC with the American forces and had DOD security cleranace (Level II: Secret). At the end, I received a medal from the US Army. Lastly, I have many US military personnel, including a AF Colonel (my former division cheif), who would provide references.

Despite South Korea is one of the trusted allies of the States, my Korean military background worries me a lot in getting the sec. clearance.

Dual citizenship itself is not the concern, but rather what the reasons are for keeping it. Things like voting in foreign elections, holding a foreign passport, owning property, and having relatives that could be used to influence or exert pressure on you are the concerns. You did not state why you served in the South Korean armed forces, so cannot advise you there, but if you held a Secret clearance previously and nothing has changed then there should be no problem granting you a clearance again.

Is there going to be an interview or a statement I can explain in words why I served Korean military? Because I have good reasons that will be consistent with “American interests”.

Also, I heard that DoD clearance and State Department clearance are managed/operated separately, so I would like to get an advice if you are aware of these matters too.

Thank you Marko.

They will only require an interview if there are concerns about anything, at which time you cam provide clarification. Security clearance processes are similar no matter what agency, some have their own policies regarding interims.