These are the two things I was told. Together, what do they mean?

My BI said that my clearance packet was sent in for review, while my recruiter said that I am in the suitability stage, which I have not heard of. Does that mean I am in the final stages of the investigation itself? Assuming no additional investigation is required, how long does the review stage usually take?

Edit: This is for a TS/SCI

No. You are at the very beginning and the investigation has yet to begin. Expect to wait 1-2 years.

It’s foolish to tell the OP to wait one to two years! The vast majority of clearances are completed faster than this. This site is mostly populated by those who have had to wait far longer than average. We’re not, generally, a good estimate of the norm.

Yes, it does mean that you are near the end of the investigation stage. Your investigator has passed your package up for review before it is sent to adjudication. It could come back to the investigator if found incomplete. If everything is done, it will move on.

It will likely take 30 to 60 days before it’s assigned to an adjudicator and it SHOULD be out of their in as little as a few weeks.


The investigation has already finished. I met with the investigator in March, all of my contacts contacted shortly thereafter. He’s not talking about the SF86, but the investigation packet itself.

Gotcha, I was confused by the wording. It was my understanding the “suitability stage” was at the very beginning. Good luck!

As far as an initial TS/SCI is concerned, I believe that 1-2 years is a fair estimate, as the DoD specifically reports an average of 543 days as of Q2 2018.

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I missed the edit that this is for a TS/SCI . . .

But, an average of 543 days means a median of far less because it’s impossible for the number of days to be evenly distributed around the mean. There are no TS/SCI clearances completed in 30 days or less but there are a few that go on for two or three years. These drive the average up while there are no very short examples to drive the average down.


Thanks! I thought that’s what it meant. It seemed like the BI was quick but thorough, so hopefully it can get to adjudication quickly.

I haven’t had a poly yet. Does that come before adjudication or during?

No problem. I hadn’t heard of the suitability stage, but I guess that is synonymous with the investigation stage, at least for my agency.